Cheeker Goes to CONtraflow 2012!

Cheeker Goes to CONtraflow 2012!
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This past weekend (October 5-7th, 2012) was Louisiana’s second CONtraflow SciFi convention. CONtraflow is a smaller convention with a lot of potential to grow located in Kenner, Louisiana which is just a few minutes away from New Orleans and has more of a literary and sci-fi focus than comics or any other genre. Like other conventions of its type, CONtraflow had tons of fantastic panels, guests, and activities!

Panels focused on topics from comics and writing, costuming, and even Dr. Who as well as many that were “family friendly” so you could bring your children along. There was even a part of the convention called “Kid Con,” where children had a booklet to collect stamps from certain events and panels they attended.

The Suzaku 7 concert; photo by Joseph Nelson

The guests included authors, comic book writers, entertainers, and people focused in media, gaming, science, paranormal, and more. All of them were fantastic people with more than enough talent! The musical guest such as the Marc Gunn and the Suzaku 7 were absolutely mind blowing!

 Alongside the panels, there were so many great events. Friday included the opening ceremonies, a concert, a cocktail party, and even a game of laser tag! Saturday had even more things to do such a charity auction for the New Orleans library, an all day steampunk workshop hosted by the Ironclad Cairo, a costume contest, and even an entourage auction; not to mentions the room parties that happened all through the night.

The dealer’s room and artist alley had tons of great vendors and fan tables. The dealer tables consisted of things like steampunk items, corsets, nice art, games, and any number of sided dice you can imagine. The artist alley portion had a lot of great artists with lots of great fan art, one of which being Bowie Art with his ever growing collection of amazing fan art and more!

CONtraflow also had a big gaming room full of table top gamers playing their hearts out all day and night. There was a table covered in boxes where you could go pick out any game you want and go play it with your friends. The convention also had a hospitality suite! This is something that I believe all conventions should have. The room had all kinds of free food and drinks; there was even a microwave in case you wanted something hot like ramen noodles. There was plenty of room to sit down and relax to chat or watch TV as well as a balcony with a nice view and plenty more space to sit down and enjoy the fresh air.

All the contestants of the cosplay contest; photo by Joseph Nelson

This was my first CONtraflow, and I was more than excited to attend. Smaller comic/scifi conventions tend to be the ones I have the best time at because they are easier to navigate and much more sociable. Alongside being my first CONtraflow, it was also the first convention I ever volunteered for. I spent my weekend helping out with the Ironclad Cairo as well as a helping run a panel about lolita fashion last minute.

Overall, I had a very good time between volunteering, cosplaying, seeing old friends and even meeting new ones! I had a great time at all the events I attended, particularly the costume contest where my friend, Constance Lightwood, and I managed to snag first place as well as see many more amazing costumes. I do hope to attend this convention again next year if I get a chance so I can continue to have such great experiences.


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