Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Space City Con 2012

Last weekend I packed up the family and traveled to Houston, Texas for the first annual Space City Con. We arrived Friday night after registration closed but there was still lots going on.

In the main ballroom, the Doomsday Wrestling was in full swing. This comedy/action troop has such wrestlers as El Baño - whose finishing move involves a dirty toilet, Hot Flash - the menopausal menace, and Father Superior, the battling priest.

The troop did a good job spawning many laughs from the audience. In the final battle Little Dickens beat Father Superior for the World Wrestling Doomsday Title. They made no attempt to pretend the demonstration was real which was a satisfying change from regular wrestling.

Next up was a great band named Dulwich Fox which played primarily Country tunes. While I enjoyed it most folks left. I think the convention crowd would have done better with some southern fried rock. This was proven the following night when they regaled a larger crowd with requested ZZ Top and Lynard Skynard. Once they went back to pure country they lost what was left of the crowd.

On Saturday I wandered through the game halls and exhibition areas while my wife and son did a little sight seeing in the area. When they returned my wife went shopping in the Galleria while Chaos Lord Zack and I found some fun things to do. 

First up was the Killer Breakfast with Tracy and Laura Hickman. The dynamic duo of game designers (responsible for such hits as Ravensloft and Dragonlance) gleefully bring RPGers up five at a time to face certain doom at the hands of Tracy. Zack and I had our turn. I lasted one round. Zack lasted two. These two are very funny and I highly recommend participating if you get the chance.

After an inglorious death, Chaos Lord Zack and I headed for the dealer area. I'm not quite sure how one beelines to a portable atomic bomb but Zack did. We found the booth for Fallout - Houston, a fan film whose crew makes all their own props. Below is Zack with an hand held thermonuclear device. They had other cool gear as well.

Next we stopped off at a local wand shop. They had some nice stuff. Just remember, the wand chooses the wizard Mr. Potter.

I visited with a few artist looking for suitable folks to do cover and interior art for my next novel. There were some excellent artist but I didn't get to spend much time there for Chaos Lord Zack had spotted the game demonstration area.

Pictured below is the new Ogre from Steve Jackson games. The thing is huge but that's just the demo box. The actual box will be even bigger. I spent some time talking to the man in black about the old days of gaming and how I spent too much time and money on Steve Jackson's inventions. I learned they they'll be releasing a new Car Wars in 2013 along with a bunch of Munchkin add-ons. 

Our next stop lasted about an hour for we truly hit Zack's comfort zone at the Skirmish Publishing booth. They had set up there floor top game called H. G. Wells Little Orc Wars. I hope to do a review of the game on the publishing company soon so stay tuned. For now I'll simply say it was the coolest game I witnessed at the con.

We broke for lunch then eating in the Galleria at the Rain Forest Cafe near the ice rink. After that I was on my own again. I found a writers discussion with Breandán Ó Ciarraí, author of Dark Nova. It was a panel of one but Breandán spoke quickly enough for a panel of three. He writes science fiction was went through his process for discovering ways to incorporate science into stories. It was very informative.

After that I found this guy walking around the entryway to the main ballroom. At first I assumed he was just another cosplay person with a good budget. Turns out he's Bill Hughes, creator of the Matt Mercury films and comics. More on that later.

I stepped into the Ghostbusters Fan Club of Houston for a few minutes. There were all sorts of fan clubs running around including Klingons, The Mighty Morphin' Texas Rangers, My Little Pony Smackdowners, people trying to save The Seeker, lots of Harry Potter Fans, and many, many more.

After tooling through the wargame area I discover the the big brain above had a panel for Matt Mercury. Bill Hughes who worked on the Star Wars props team and is currently an indie film maker who hopes to release Matt Mercury and His Rock Rangers soon.

I'll do another blog post on the film in the near future. I may even contact Bill for a more in depth interview. He and his cast are great folks. I recommend checking them out on YouTube and other outlets.

Next up was the rooftop patio and the great guys and gals from Battlegrounds, an SCA-like group that uses foam padded weapons and a simple set of combat rules. Below is a very nice young man taking an axe to Zack. I don't remember his name but he played with Zack until there was no play left in him. 

Later that night I went to the Bonnie Piesse concert. She did a solo act with just her and her guitar. She had an absolutely beautiful voice with a matching personality. In case you don't recognize the name, she's the actress of Luke Skywalker's Aunt Beru in Star Wars 2 and 3.  

After that I wandered the gaming rooms. Below are a few photos for those who like living vicariously through other gamers.

Now I have one final tale to tell regarding Nichelle Nichols aka Lt. Uhura from Star Trek. After a long day of walking around the con and the Galleria Mall - my wife Debbie, Chaos Lord Zack, and I sat down at the bar of The Daily Grill to have a drink and rest a bit before dinner.

The lady sitting next to Debbie had on some interesting jewelry so Debbie struck up a conversation about how beautiful it is. I nearly spit my drink out when I realize it's Nichelle Nichols. The two chat it up while I sit there mute trying to think of something witty to say. They end the conversation and Nichelle goes back to talking to her friends.

"Do you know who that is?" I asked.
"No, who?"
"Lt. Uhura from Star Trek," I say.
"Oh yeah. I was thinking she looked familiar."

Nichelle left before I had a chance to form a coherent sentence. The funny thing is, everywhere I go that night, Nichelle is there. We go to Kona Grill, there she is. I go to the Bonnie Piesse concert, there she is sitting a few seats down. I swear to God I'm not a stalker. Really. I didn't see her in the gaming rooms but maybe, like me, she couldn't find a good Savage Worlds game to join.

So that was my experience at Space City Con. It was a great time and I hope to go back next year. I still owe you, dear readers, more words on Matt Mercury and Little Orc Wars.

Until next time,


  1. I wished I'd known you were hunting for a Savage Worlds game, I had one listed for all 3 days of the con, but nobody showed up for the Friday or Saturday game and only had 2 show up for the Sunday game.

  2. My schedule wouldn't allow it this year. Maybe we can do a pickup game next year.

  3. Hey Thar Keith! Appreciate the mention and the support. Contact me anytime at Ranger@mattmercury.com Best Always, Bill Hughes