Over the last four or five years, I’ve been to several conventions, or as I call them “nerd fests”. Although all of the cons I’d attended were horror-themed, I was excited to try something different by checking out the latest Louisville Supercon at the downtown convention center. I’d always been curious about these sorts of broad celebrations of nerd culture — reading about the massive Comic Con festivals and other like-minded productions have always sounded liked a good time. But how would Louisville’s own version hold up? Jake and I made our introductory visit to draw our own conclusions.
After some confusion trying to find the correct entrance to the building, everything was laid out well making it easy for directionally challenged people like myself to easily navigate through the hordes of eager fans and cos players. Some of the horror cons I’ve been to in the past had been sloppily designed making it difficult to figure out who or what would be where and when. But not Louisville Supercon — everything was clearly labeled and easy to access. Hell yeah.
Right off the bat, after just a bit of interaction with festival-goers and workers, the mood was exceptionally positive, which is of course always a good thing. You never know what you’re gonna get when you pack thousands of nerds in the same building as we’re all desperately trying to get in and find who or what we’re looking for. Not once did anyone look frustrated or pissed off, despite the tons of people in attendance.
After spending way, waaaay too much money on bootleg blue rays, action figures and other shit I didn’t need, I made my way over to the “celebrity” area. While I was stoked to meet several of the people billed to be there, there was one guy that I was more than excited to shake hands with: the one and only Jim Cornette. To be honest, he was the main reason I wanted to get my ass out of the house and come to this thing, and thankfully he was as fantastic in person as you’d hope. You never know how someone is going to be when after years and years of idolic worship, you finally meet him or her and that person turns out to be a massive prick. But not Jim. He was genuinely excited to talk wrestling, Louisville basketball, and horror flicks. It was genuinely one of the most satisfying celebrity experiences I’ve ever had, making me brim with pride as a Louisvillian.
I didn’t talk to any of the other people on hand, but I listened to Booker T engage in a Q&A and spent some time around Linda Blair’s booth. Speaking of Linda Blair, I was told by someone near her table that it is explicitly frowned upon to ask her to sign anything with “Your mother sucks cocks in hell.” Cool, thanks for the tip, I guess. As I made my way further down the assorted booths of famous people, I witnessed a few interesting interactions. It was cool to see the Star Trek gang and Alice Cooper hanging out a few feet away from Henry Winkler as he embraced his own fans with hugs and handshakes. That’s the sort of happening that makes these festivals so much fun, you get to see these people that you don’t know but love for whatever reason as they are all thrown in a blender with you and other fanatics, for better or worse.
The cosplayers were out in full force for Supercon, and while everyone looked awesome, as a Star Wars fan I really loved all of the storm troopers, death troopers, jedi, sith, etc. In the very back corner, there was a really cool scene from Return of the Jedi set up where you could get your photograph taken as you ride a speeder away from an AT-ST on Endor. You already know we had to take advantage (see below).
Louisville Supercon ended up being one of my best personal experiences at one of these things. As good a time as I was having, it was clear that others around me were enjoying themselves as well — not just the festival-goers, but the celebrities, too. Hopefully there will be another Supercon next Winter — if the fest is renewed, count us in!