» Chilling in Chicago: The Midwestria 2012 Con Report

Sunday’s Shenanigans

Sunday was a lot easier to wake up on than the day before because I was afforded a whole 8 hours sleep. This was what I considered the light day because the only things we had to do were the interviews with Larson and the con chair. Otherwise, we were free to go around and see some of the con that we hadn’t been able to before. I dropped in on the musicians panel with Adelor but decided to leave early, because our time for the Larson interview at noon was drawing close, and also because I personally wasn’t liking the open-ended structure that the panel had. It was hard to hear what people were saying because they were all talking over each other and it became a jumbled mess of noise at some points. Adelor agreed, and we both headed to the lounge area to relax and wait until Larson came by. And indeed, a few minutes later he did arrive and cited that he wanted to grab breakfast before the interview. We agreed to meet in the interview room when he was done. Nirvash had since joined us with the camera and we headed to the room to set up. Unfortunately, Adelor stayed behind in an attempt to make sure Larson knew exactly which room to go to. However Larson must have walked past him without him noticing because he walked in after breakfast and Adelor was nowhere to be found. We all asked about him slightly but I also didn’t want to keep Larson for more time than needed so we decided to go ahead with the interview.

While I did enjoy all of the interviews, Larson’s was by and large my favorite for a couple of reasons. Due to having done two interviews previously and noting the most obvious mistakes I had made, I tried my best to not repeat them. I also found him to be very down to earth and easy to joke and banter with. He kept a slightly humorous attitude throughout the entire thing and I felt that most of the times we had a back and forth interaction, that it went well. We talked about some specific episodes he wrote including the “Return of Harmony” episodes, “Ponyville Confidential,” and the “Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000″ (which I also ribbed him on because of his karaoke performance). We also got into talking about his comedic influences, his previous work with Sin City and Gravity Falls, and learned a little bit about a book he wrote with the working title PennyRoyal’s Princess Boot Camp, which he told us was subject to change. He mentioned that he has already sold the movie rights for it and will be doing the screenplay as well. He even joked that since the target age group for it was girls aged 7-12, that bronies would also probably like it a lot. Overall, it was the most fun I had in these series of interview so far, and I was very glad to expand on the knowledge that we had picked up from Rogers and Fullerton.

We shortly realized afterwards that Adelor had missed Larson and had waited outside the whole time, not realizing that the interview was taking place. I do feel bad about this, but I do plan on making it up to him.  Probably by buying him a copy of Larson’s book when it comes out. Afterwards, we were heading back to the room by means of the pool area, and we met Final Draft and fellow press member Joe Stevens from Equestria Inquirer taking pictures of a Plank plush from Ed, Edd, and Eddy in a lounge chair. It just so happened that I had brought my Rainbow Dash plush with us to the interview and they asked us to put her in the lounge chair next to Plank for a truly unique photo-op. Afterwards, they explained that they were going to be taking pictures of Plank all around the convention as a joke. We spoke for a little bit about our con experience up to that point, and then we went our separate ways, but not before Final Draft told me to say hi to our Editor in Chief KefkaFloyd for him (There, I remembered to do it!).

And New Friendships Were Formed That Day

By this point, we had to gather our things and check out, signaling the end of the con was near. But we were not fully done as we still had to interview the con chair, Justin Chappelle. We relocated to our interview room to come up with questions for him and we finished that shortly before Justin showed up. I want to note that we had seen Justin multiple times throughout the con, checking up on as many things he could to make sure everything was running as smoothly as possible. To his credit, I do believe him and his crew had up to this point, done one of the best jobs I had seen of any pony convention I had gone to of keeping things going strong and making the con fun for everyone attending. This was expected to be a shorter interview than the ones with the writers and it did last only about 10 minutes, but we did learn about what his experience had been like running a first time con.

Something truly astonishing we found out considering how well everything had been running was that out of 80 people slated to show up and volunteer to help run the con, only 20 actually showed. It’s a wonder we didn’t see staff members running around like they were chickens with their heads cut off, which I have already seen at bigger cons that appeared to be fully staffed. But as per the interview, Justin said that he felt the reason that his team of people were working so well together was because they all knew each other and openly communicated when they needed something done or if they needed help. We also learned that they had gone to an outside company called Kollision, who specialized in setting up conventions, to help with planning the event. There had been some talk before the con that there was a corporate influence behind it and that they might not know anything about the community, but the reality is that they were simply helping the people who were in touch with the community to run the con. We also asked if Midwestria would be coming back next year, but at this time nobody knows if they’re going to try to do it again. We left the interview at that question and thanked Justin for hosting a con that everyone in the room said was enjoyable. Afterwards, everything with the con was winding down and after checking in lightly on the dealers den and the charity auction for a short time, I started saying my goodbyes to Nirvash, Adelor, Lex and Lucky Chance.

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