After an extremely long and extremely early trip to Fresno, two friends and I made the trip up to Fresno to attend my first ZAPPCON! I was excited to see what the convention had to offer, and I was not disappointed. Between interactive booths, friendly and helpful cosplayers, and games galore, there was never a boring moment!
Our first stop was to a panel with Andrea Libman, the voice actress for the adorable ponies Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy of My Little Pony. I had a blast sitting with my friend and fellow writer, Kimmi (cosplaying as none other than her favorite pony, Pinkie Pie) as Andrea talked about her roles and how much fun she was having with the massive success that My Little Pony has become. We enjoyed listening to her read aloud a chapter from the new My Little Pony comic, and soon after, we headed to the Exhibition Hall to see what awaited us. We found a delightful assortment of artists, comic writers, authors, craftsmen/craftswomen, and incredible cosplays everywhere! Oh, and I got in a sword fight. No big deal. I walked away having died like seven times, but not a scratch could land upon this Cheetah!
I met some amazing artists and picked up a few awesome projects I am excited to start on. Some notable mentions include Witch Doctor, Meifumado, Love Machines, and The Way of the Clown. I was thrilled to find so many artists in such a small space, and feel the warm buzz of so many like-minded and kind-spirited nerds and geeks. I wandered up and down the aisles soaking in the pure, raw talent. I drank in the colors and vibrant personalities around me and filled my mind with the inspiration and ambition that only visiting a new place (especially a convention) can grant.
After roaming the hall, I found myself seated at a beginner’s table, learning how to play Dungeons and Dragons, and much to my great joy, it was fun! Of course it was not terribly easy, but I enjoyed every minute. My five fellow players and I defeated multiple enemies, including giant wild dogs and red demonic goats (one of which was two-headed)! I can’t wait to get more into the game and become as good as my friends.
Oh, I had mentioned I got in a sword fight, had I not? It was pretty epic, and thanks to the outdoor booth run by Sunspear Belegarth and their awesome representatives, I got the bejabbers beaten out of me. It was truly a wonderful experience though. The rules are that if you get hit, you lose a limb. if you lose two, you’re dead. Lucky for me, I only died about seven times (I was a cat. Nine lives!) and I got away barely alive in the Fresno heat. It was difficult for me not to just go after my opponent’s weapon, and I barely landed a couple hits myself. It’s definite that I need some serious practice before I go off LARPing! I’m super excited to try my hand at it again sometime.
Overall, ZAPPCON was a lovely experience. I found that most of the people there were not travelers as we were, but every single person had a positive attitude and a smile on their face the entire time. There were plenty of helpful employees, and there was even a booths near the gaming corner dedicated to repairing damaged cosplays and props for free! I have never felt so welcome at the cons I have attended, and Fresno’s ZAPPCON has left an impression on me that will not be too easy to beat. I learned how to play Dungeon and Dragons and I learned to sword fight. Do I get my official nerd medal yet? Or do I have to fight a boss battle? I’m down for that! Next stop: Comikaze!