Conventioneering is the blog-arm of a little project called UnConventional. UnConventional is going to be my master’s thesis, a nonfiction book about the history and development of the fan convention. I’m tracing fan conventions from the very first PhilCon in 1937 and the first WorldCon in 1939 up through modern multimedia spectaculars like SanDiego ComicCon and the Penny Arcade Expo. How did fan conventions get started? How did they go from basically small gatherings of like-minded friends to multi-million dollar extravaganzas? How did, say, anime cons, comic book cons, and gaming cons grow out of the first science fiction cons? Where are cons going in the future? I’m trying to find an answer to these questions and more.
The book will be a romp through time, a tumbling exploration of not just how conventions came to be, but what it means to be a fan, and how fandom is a much older – and grander! – tradition than anyone today could guess. This blog, on the other hand, is a dance through space, the geek version of the road novel, a journey with me as I conduct my research. Here I can tell the quirky, whimsical stories behind my research, record amusing encounters, odd anecdotes, and give a behind-the-scenes look at what I’m up to. I’ll also be talking more about fandom history as a whole, giving a wider angle lens on the whole affair, as well as occasionally delving into the deeper philosophical implications of fandom.
Most of all, I’m hoping to give everyone one heck of a ride.