April 8-10, 2005
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
I-CON is a three-day festival designed to promote literacy, creativity and interest in science and technology through science fiction, horror, fantasy, anime and various other related genres. Presented annually by ICON Science Fiction, Inc., the I-CON regularly invites several guest speakers from all genres to speak about their experiences in their trade and to share information with their fans. There are workshops, demonstrations, autograph signings, panel discussions, etc. Attendees also have the opportunity to purchase items from a variety of dealers who specialize in science fiction, fantasy, gaming, comic books, anime, and more.
I-CON 24 was held at Stony Brook University in Long Island, New York from April 8 through April 10, 2005. Among the media guests in attendance were Peter Mayhew (Star Wars’ Chewbacca), Rockne S. O’Bannon (creator of Farscape and Alien Nation), Jason Carter (Babylon 5’s Ranger Marcus Cole), and Orli Shoshan (Star Wars’ Shaak Ti). The comic book genre was represented in a variety of aspects. From print to web comics, guest speakers from every genre were on hand to participate in panel discussions about censorship, syndication, creation, and adult content. Several scientists were on hand for lectures and discussions of innovative advances in science and technology. Acclaimed authors such as Dr. Ben Bova, David Kyle, Patrick Thomas, Terry Osborne, Joe Nazarro, and more were available to discuss their craft. The gaming world was represented by members of West End Games, Eden Studios, iNDi RPG, and more.
In addition to guest speakers, attendees were given the opportunity to take part in or just observe medieval battles, masquerades, gaming competitions, and anime competitions. Attendees were also encouraged to attend special performances by bands, dancers, other various performers and a special Live Stage performance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Film screenings at I-CON 24 included such classics as THX1138, The Day The Earth Stood Still, and Forbidden Planet, to name a few. Fans of more recent films were treated to screenings of King Arthur, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, The Village, and more.
A special treat was the I-CON Art Show which featured artists from every field. Located at the far left side of the Dealer Room, the Art Show was a special treat with display after display of amazing artwork. Paintings, computer graphic generations, statues, sketches and more were displayed on tables or hung from partition walls. Much of the art on display was for sale and, for a fair and reasonable price, fans were able to go home with several works from very talented artists.
With the exception of the Art Show, the Dealer Room was fairly disappointing as it catered more to the anime, gaming, and fantasy genres this year. Dealer Rooms of past I-CONs had more for collectors of such items as trading cards, movies, books, posters, science fiction and comic book hero decorated clothing, etc. Most missed were the various tables of comic book vendors that used to line the aisles at I-CON festivals. Hopefully, this is something that will be remedied with the coming of I-CON 25, scheduled to begin on March 24, 2006.
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