wombat_socho (wombat_socho) wrote,
wombat_socho
wombat_socho

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Arcana: My bloody valentine

Of the half-dozen conventions in Minnesota and Iowa that I get to with any kind of regularity, I sometimes think I like Arcana the best. This is strange, to say the least, because I'm not really a big horror fan. Sure, I've read pretty much all the Lovecraft I could get my hands on, watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer obsessively, and have been known to enjoy the occasional Stephen King novel, but I don't really know the big names in the field and have only a passing familiarity with horror movies. So why is it that every October I find myself going over to the Holiday Inn Express at Bandana Square and hanging out with the regulars at this tiny convention (40 people most years, 51 this year, which was considered a raging success) until all hours?

Well, it's more like a large house party than a small convention - there's one track of programming, a dealer's room which seems to mainly cater to collectors (specialty publishing house Fedogan & Bremer always has a table), the hospitality suite (my responsibility these days) and Krushenko's. The panels are more like discussion groups than panels, since the audience often knows as much about the subjects being discussed as the panelists, and the Guest of Honor usually says something in their closing remarks to the effect that we have as many smart, intelligent audience members as conventions many times our size. (Joe Bob Briggs, 2002 and Tim Powers, 2004; maybe David Drake and Gahan Wilson as well, though I don't remember for sure.)

So if you have a taste for horror, either literary or media style, you could do a lot worse than Arcana. It's a nice little convention, right in your back yard. I'll have the cheese lumps and crackers waiting for you. ^_^
Tags: arcana
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