Arisia 2012 -- January 13 - 16, 2012
Review by Daniel Dern
Date: 16 January 2012
Links: Convention Website /
With Phil and Kaja Folgio, creators of Girl Genius, the webcomic (also available in a series of print volumes) that "follows the career of Agatha Heterodyne, a hapless student at Translyvania Polygnostic University," as the Guest(s) of Honor for the Arisia 2012 science fiction and fantasy convention, the Westin Boston Waterfront hotel was steampunkier than ever -- in a good way, of course.
The weather was cold -- in the 20o and teens -- but, unlike too many Arisias, not sandbagged by snow or rain.
Gears, hats, and gleaming metal along with uplifting costumes, the occasional (well, one) full-sized Dalek were in full bloom, along with an impressively large dealers' area and a credible Art Show.
Between hall costumes and the dealers' room, Arisia has the classic look and feel of a great con. Here's my slide show, which tells the tale best!
Most of my Saturday was spent doing my program items -- my usual ones in the kids' Fast Track room: magic show, magic "how to" and reading some of my Dern Grim Bedtime Tales (Few Of Which End Well) & Other Stories). I did catch some panels, some of the video, but happily spent most of the rest of the time wandering the dealers room, or schmoozing in the hall (and in the Green Room).
And I did get Phil Foglio to autograph two comic books he'd done -- one issue pf ANGEL AND THE APE, and one of STANLEY AND HIS MONSTER (two four-issue mini-series he did for DC)... fortunately, since I've sorted and indexed all my comic books over the past year or so (in preparation to sell them -- anybody want reading-copy-quality mostly-DC mostly-post-First-Crisis, ping me!), I was able to find them within ten minutes.
Like last year's Arisia, there were attendees of all ages -- a reassuring sign, for those concerned that fandom is "greying out." Fast Track had a roomful of active kids doing everything from D-and-D to workshops in mask-making, swordplay, and costuming. Regular programming spanned the gamut of written and multimedia SF and fantasy, along with strong gaming, costuming, filking and lifestyle tracks. You could go see classic and obscure sf video or anime; watch the evening Masquerade... or hang with friends in the Con Suite area.