Tag Archives: syndcon

synDCon 2011

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I’ve wondered what a Washington, DC gaming convention would be like.  I decided to check out synDCon II this weekend, “Wasington, DC Area’s Premier Gaming Convention!”  Considering I can’t even name a second gaming convention, this one gets that title by default.  I expected a pretty low key event, but low key would be giving this convention too much credit.

The event took place in Rockville, Maryland at the Hilton and ran from April 1 to 3.  The convention was billed as “April Gaming Fools.”  I was the fool for going, and would of been better off spending the time going to my local comic shop.  I spent more time traveling to the convention, than actually at the convention itself.

Three days of normal gaming is more of a better description as to what I witnessed.  A corridor of a beautiful hotel which permeated “gamer stench” along it’s ways.  The convention, brought together by Gamers’ Syndicate, reminded me more of the local game conventions I witnessed in Buffalo and Rochester.  The last of those I went to over a decade ago were better organized with more offerings and events.  They were also put together by college students and their gaming groups.

Most of the rooms lay empty while I was there, except one, which I believe was filled with individuals playing D&D.  I didn’t see any pick up games of Magic or really any other games and the panels seemed to be limited.

While I was there I saw about 50 individuals playing various games and a dealer room consisting of six tables, of which were only two or three real stores.  The gaming itself was sparse, mostly D&D, some Magic, some open board games and lots Living Forgotten Realms.  Each day had about 3 seminars (most big conventions have three seminars running at a time).  This was definitely not worth the cost, especially the $20 for one day.

There were about a dozen tournaments, mostly were Magic.  The game choice as a whole was pretty poor.  I’ll have to say though, the people were fairly friendly, though typical “gamers.”

What’s disappointing is the abundance of riches in the Washington, DC area.  SPX and Magfest both draw hundreds of individuals, great guests and have so much going on, you can’t catch it all.  There’s also at least a couple dozen game, video game and comic book stores within 30 miles of the city.  this convention took place a bit outside of the city (which might be part of the problem).

Distance is a weird thing in DC.  Even though the location was metro accessible and you’re rarely 20 miles away from the destination you want to go to, travel can take hours (it was 30 to 45 minutes for me) depending on how you go.

Why isn’t there a major national convention for the geek industry in our nation’s capital?  There’s a thriving indie comic book scene and a major convention to that.  A great video game music fest, and attempts at a game convention.  I can’t but think that combining all of these events into one weekend would be a major draw.  Move them all downtown and you have a national (and maybe international) event that’ll draw big names.  But, until then, here’s looking forward to Gen Con, a real game convention.

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While folks seem like they’re having a great time at WonderCon, I spent all of 30 minutes at synDCon and had to leave.  My thoughts about the show will be up Monday, but let me quickly say, jesus…  On that note, I had an all “geek” day Saturday stopping at a Toys R Us and grabbing a few things then a trip to the geek shop of the moment for me, Victory Comics.  All of that was followed up with reading comics and checking out my purchases.  Here’s the news that I missed as I was running around.

Around the Blogs:

GeekWeek – Patrick Dempsey Eyes DOCTOR STRANGEIt might work by I always pictured him more as Clooney type.

WonderCon Coverage:

Comics Alliance – Warren Ellis and Jamie McKelvie Team for ‘Secret Avengers’ in August [WonderCon]

Bleeding Cool – X-Men Schism: Respectfully We Informed You Of This Event At An Earlier Juncture… Ish

Bleeding Cool – Ivan Reis to Pencil Aquaman Ongoing

Comics Alliance – Marvel Teases the End of the X-Men in July’s ‘Schism’ Miniseries [WonderCon]

Bleeding Cool – Archaia Announce… Everything

Bleeding Cool – Dan Didio is the New Nightwing and Other DC Nation Revelations by Peter S. Svensson

Collider – WonderCon 2011: PRIEST Recap

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It’s friday, friday, friday, which means fun, fun, fun, fun.  I’m gearing up for synDCon this weekend while the rest of the comic world descends on San Francisco and Wondercon.  I’ll have coverage of synDCon and be bringing you the coverage everyone else has of Wondercon.  Here’s the rest of the news from the last 24 hours (or so).

Around the Blogs:

Kotaku – Return To 2099 In Spider-Man: Edge Of TimeIt feels like the last game just came out.  There’s a sequel already!?

Popmatters – The Seventieth Pt. 3: Patriotism RedefinedA great look at the evolution of Captain America and his patriotism over the years.

Boston.com – Not-so-super superhero moviesA look at super hero movies as well as the real people who dress up a

Comics Alliance – 10 Must-See Panels at Wondercon This WeekendMake sure to grab me some cool stuff when you’re there!

Bleeding Cool – Peter David Writes New Spider-Man Game, “Edge Of Time”Maybe he can write in some gay Muslims?

ICv2 – ‘Ghostbusters’ Comic From IDW in September

Around the Tubes Reviews:

Monsters and Critics – Aladdin Legacy Of The Lost

Comic Book Resources – Detective Comics #875

Psych Central – Psychiatric Tales: Eleven Graphic Stories About Mental Illness

In this Week – This Week IN Comics: Regular-Guy Problems in Comic Books

Comicvine – Comic Book Reviews For The Week of 3/30/11

Crimespree Magazine – Last Week of March Comics

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It’s a new week and there’s a lot coming down the pipeline for the site (trust me, you’ll like it).  I’ve been checking out Heroclix more and probably checking out DC convention synDCon.  Anyone in the DC are play and want to teach me?

Around the Blogs:

Publishers Weekly – Warner Bros. Takes Control of DC Comics’ Licensed PublishingWarner Bros. continues to take over responsibilities for DC comics.

Complex – The 10 Most Bizarre Comic Book CrossoversThankfully this is one discussion I never had to have when I worked in a comic book shop.

BG Daily News – Comic Book GuyAnother teacher uses comic books to engage his students.

TMJ 4 – Wisconsin Man Publishes Comic BooksA nice highlight of an indie writer and comic.

Washington City Paper – Meet a Visiting Cartoonist: A Chat With Christopher CardinaleSpeaking of indie comics an interview with Christopher Cardinale and one of the worst interviews I’ve ever read.  It reads like a middle school report.When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?  Where are you based now?” is actually a question.

Bleeding Cool – Rob Granito’s MegaCon Adventure With Mark WaidCan we have a new rule of people not swiping articles?

Comics Alliance – ‘The Wire’ Re-imagined as Illustrated Victorian Novel: Omar Comin’ on Dickensian StreetsJust awesome on so many levels.

The Beat – “Do you really think the families of Superman’s creators should be treated this way?”A must read.

Around the Tubes Reviews:

Comic Book Bin – After Dark #3

Comics Alliance – Captain America and Batroc the Leaper

Primary Ignition – Superman: The Black Ring

Comic Book Resources – Wolverine and Jubilee #3

Comics Nexus – The Weekly Round-Up #68 Featuring Echoes, Fables, Meta 4, New York Five

Paradix Comics Group – Mini Reviews 27/03/2011

Revolver – Anthrax Guitarist Scott Ian Shares Five Of His Favorite Comic Books