Couldn’t make it to ICON this past weekend? We went through on Sunday and thought we’d share our experience. Here’s a rundown of some of the high- and lowlights.
Taking place at the Red Roman Shed at Emperors Palace this year, I must say I preferred last year’s venue at Gallagher Estate. The Shed’s many windows created awkward lighting situations throughout the day, with a glaring backlight to speakers or stores. Similar to last year, the venue provided ample space to move around between stalls, but many of the stalls themselves were minuscule, most of them allowing only one or two people to squeeze into a store at a time. Given how much of ICON focuses on shopping, this cramped setup is rather odd. The venue also charged a fortune for refreshments. I’ve paid crazy premiums for food and drinks at events but R28 for a can of Coke was a new record for me. Like most of the event’s patrons, we ended up walking into Emperors Palace itself in search of more affordable snacks.
The stalls themselves came in the form of numerous physical retailers, including Nexus, Timeless Boardgames, Wizards, Cosmic Comics and more, selling board games, card games, dice, figurines, Funko Pops! and various other geeky paraphernalia. Various other stores dotted the venue, selling geeky jewelry, weapons, t-shirts, plushies and such. There were several stalls dedicated to artists, both local and international and we picked up a few new artworks to put up at home. As always, there was plenty of space dedicated to board gaming, wargaming, and roleplaying, the latter two being given a huge marquee.
Cosplay is another big component of ICON, and Sunday’s cosplayers did not disappoint. There were many beautifully detailed costumes on display, from Princess Bubblegum, Rapunzel, Zelda, Link, D.Va and Roadhog to Ron Weasley, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Catwoman, Kitty Pryde, and many more. ICON also hosted the World Cosplay Summit this year, as well as international cosplayer Meagan Marie.
We sat in on a panel about villains, featuring fantasy author Raymond E. Feist and comic writer and artist Jim Zub. This was a highlight for both of us – it’s always a treat to get a glimpse into the minds of the creators of things we love. Meagan Marie later showed some gameplay from Shadow of the Tomb Raider and let’s just say, I’m really looking forward to that game. (You can read Dawid’s thoughts on seeing it at E3.)