It was an overcast, dreary day in early August of 2004 and Prime and I were heading homeward from our short stay in Chicago. OTFCC 2004 had just ended and now, we weren’t sure if it was the last. As we made our way up the interstate highways, the radio chattering in the background, the notes of Enya’s Watermark were floating through my head.
While waiting in line for our pre-registration package, one of the convention goers sat at the hotel’s piano and started playing. The song she played was Watermark, which happened to be one of my favorites. On the way home, the notes to that song, so poignant and lovely, seemed to hold every emotion I was feeling at that time.
Was this the end?
Was BotCon finished?
Would OTFCC survive or not?
Would we have a convention of any kind?
Would Hasbro forget about us?
What did the future hold?
A thousand questions. A thousand emotions. A thousand wordless thoughts.
I felt as though we were making a last journey, one last pilgrimage to something that we held dear, that our trip home was for good and all.
OTFCC was in trouble. The convention had been mismanaged. Prime and I both were waiting on exclusives that had been promised a year prior, with no sign of them coming down the pike. There were rumors that checks to guests at the convention had bounced. Things were… bad. That’s being nice about it.
BotCon was no longer official. It had become a fan convention when it made a reappearance in 2004. There had been a split and things had gotten bad.
But on that day in 2004, it felt as though it couldn’t get any worse.
In that case, it took less than a year for us to get an answer: BotCon was coming back, under new management. In 2005 and onward, it would be held by Fun Publications. I recognized the name, as they were behind JoeCon. To me, it didn’t matter who was heading it up; BotCon was back.
Until 2016. Then Hasbro pulled the rug out from under us.
But like the Phoenix, BotCon has seemingly risen again, which means another road trip. Hopefully, the first of many.