Trotcon returned from June 20th to 22nd of 2014 for it’s third year and biggest event yet, set as always in Columbus Ohio. For the first time, the event broke 1,000 attendees! With show guests M. A. Larson, Peter New, and Andrea Libman, IDW comic colorist Heather Breckel, as well as playing host to the wedding of the con chair, Trotcon was a whirlwind weekend of fun and friendship! Read on for the full (albeit long-delayed) writeup!
For those who wish for a visual experience, almost every panel is available at Ponyville Live’s Youtube Page! Plenty of the convention was not recorded, and a glimpse of the festivities is given here.
This years Artist’s Acre had a varied repertoire of prints, customs, and awesome creations all around. Though spacing was a little cramped, and it did suffer from air conditioning issues, particularly on Friday, the creators were a great lot with plenty of cool stuff to buy. Here are a few of the most interesting displays!
This year had three show staff as guests, VAs Andrea Libman & Peter New, and creator of Princesses MA Larson. Rumors swirled around the entire weekend as to whether or not Big Macintosh would be Equestria’s fifth Princess. Heather Breckel, colorist of many of the official MLP IDW comics, rounded out the major convention guests!
There was a Q&A with each on Friday, which was oft-filled with the staff ribbing one another, and silly events like Andrea Libman singing ‘I’m a Little Teapot’ in only eeyups and Fluttershy ‘yays’!
Interesting tidbits came up in the Q&A, such as what would be the VA’s dream role. Andrea would love to play Rainbow Brite, and Peter to take Orson Welles’s role in The Third Man. There were adorable moments as well, such as cupcakes being gifted to them by little kids. Heather’s Saturday panel ranged from questions about the care and upkeep of cats to careers in comics, and much more!
M.A. Larson’s Panel on Saturday was extremely interesting, as he broke down the creation of The Cutie Mark Chronicles from initial treatment to developed script. There was plenty of fascinating pony trivia, showing how in Season 1, so many things now taken for granted as bedrocks of the show had almost accidental beginnings. Scootaloo’s adoration of Rainbow Dash, for example, was born out of a need to tie the episode together, and so the quest for Rainbow story provided the framework for the Crusaders to hop from pony to pony as Scootaloo sought to hear her idol’s tale. Larson initially had Celestia written as wearing ceremonial robes and huffing and puffing to raise the sun at the Summer Sun Celebration, but Lauren had none of that – her own words were to “Make it really Sailor Moon like, where the magic makes her hair whip around and crap…glowing, maybe using her wings to levitate.” Pinkie Pie had other possible full names like Pinkephone or Pinkelope in the list that Pinkamena was chosen from.
It was cool to see how some lines made their way from the first draft completely unchanged. “No laughter, no joy, only rocks,” made its way from the beginning to the end. Plenty changed as well. Applejack in her first incarnation was as prissy as Rarity, keeping herself shaded under a parasol, grossed out by mud, and the complete antithesis of the mare she grew up to be. Larson told of how he loves to use metaphor to frame a scene : ‘(The) atmosphere is electric, like a James Dean style finish line.’
Getting a glimpse of the show behind the curtain provided a fantastic view into the creative process. He’s still doing the panel on the con circuit, so if you get the chance to see it, go! It’s awesome.
On Saturday Evening, the Handfasting Ceremony took place, where con chair Darkly Cute tied the knot with her fiance Dragonsbld. The event was open to all congoers, and was a wonderfully quirky ceremony unlike any I’ve been to before. The participants chose a renaissance theme, and when the groom entered to Skyrim’s Dovahkiin, it began a celebration of all things nontraditional. For example, the “I Do’s” contained a wonderful line akin to ‘And do you swear to ruthlessly haunt them if you perish first and they attempt to marry some other dude/chick?’, as well as of course a mention of the six Elements of Harmony.
The ceremony chose to include the old English practice of Handfasting, where the two were ceremonially bound together via a ribbon, and by bonds far stronger than a mere knot, and the rite ended shortly after. Though it was short, it was the most memorable wedding I have ever been to, and I can only hope more choose to follow in their footsteps of turning such a special day into one that revels in the unique charms of its participants.
It was the second wedding at any Pony convention, and it took full advantage of the venue to celebrate life in its wonderful diversity of thought and experience.
Cosplay, Cards, and More!
The convention had a considerable cosplay contingent, of which a few favorites have been selected!
Beyond panels, there was plenty to do. The MLP CCG could be seen all over the place, and had a dedicated space that was busy all weekend, including a tournament on Saturday. There was a game room open 24/7 that went from the 16 bit era onward, shooters to fighters, including an improved DDR setup this year featuring hand-built wooden pads that left the room with the steady sound of feet clacking panels. Each night featured multiple hours of Karoake after the panels died down, as well as late night oddities, and of course concert events both Friday & Saturday. Friday suffered from some sound issues, but Saturday ran smoothly, and hit a crescendo with Odyssey // Eurobeat Brony’s performance. The Traveling Pony Museum returned again, bringing their display of awesome artwork, sculptures, plushies, and other fan creations. If attending Bronycon, be sure to check them out!
The entire convention was kept family friendly. Though there were a few scattered late night events that were humor/improv based, and thus 18+ for language reasons, and one 21+ event related to mixing pony-themed cocktails, everything else was well-crafted to be open to fans of all ages, and all three days had a ‘Kid’s Pinkie Pie Party’, specifically themed for the younger audience.
Bronies for Good held Sunday’s Charity Auction to benefit KaBOOM!, an organization that helps build playgrounds. In the end, it pulled in over $4,000! Ponytoast of Fillydelphia Radio MC’d the event, keeping energy high and the bids rolling in! Take a look a few of the coolest items – or click the link and watch it on Youtube!
Sadly not pictured are Silver Slinger’s Apples to the Core Pendant that brought in $400, as well as his Chrysalis that also took in $400.
In the end, the weekend was a whirlwind of crazy pony fun that went by far too fast. Though there were some small hitches in Artist Alley air conditioning and Friday night’s music, everything else ran incredibly smoothly. As far as future plans go, the fourth Trotcon will return in 2015. Trotcon was well-organized and well-run and it showed all weekend long.
Correction – We have been informed this was the second wedding to take place at a Pony Con, the first being at ROTLcon 2013. The article has been amended to reflect this. We regret the error. ■