Fargo Core Con: Fun and Inspiration.

When I first moved to Fargo fresh out of high school what I remember most is the rainy drive up. The sky was dark and fog was straight out of a horror movie. As we neared our destination the rain stopped. The fog lifted dramatically revealing the speed limit change signifying the entrance into Moorhead. Right as we crossed the Red River into Fargo the sun shinned down on us. I knew at that moment that I had made the right choice in going there.

I was reminded of that when I left the Twin Cities for Fargo once again, this time for Core Con. Snow was falling as I loaded my car to go back 20 years after I first arrived. The crazy spring we have had was putting its last stamp on it. The howling winds and slick roads let up earlier on this trip and when I reached Moorhead it was just a beautiful spring day.

People I hadn’t seen since the last Core Con were everywhere. Like a reunion of

High School with just the people you want to see. We all played a little catch up on each other’s lives but mostly we shared in the new experiences of another gathering of geeks and fans.

This was the fifth year of Fargo Core Con that was started by friends of mine because they wanted a convention for fans by fans. Growing from 150 people the first year to over 700 this year it has become a jewel in the area. It brings out the best of fandom in an area that rarely gets to shown in public.

I could go on how Patricia Tallman told of her getting covered head to toe in bruises before shooting a stunt scene in Jurassic Park; or the amazing Joseph Scrimshaw doing a tweet version of Star Wars: A New Hope; or the Kamikaze Snowmen performing their super-secret performance playing a song they originally recorded on cassette tape about how much they loved French fries; like every good guest at a con they were not only guests, they were just another fan.

The energy with the mix of ages and “Geekisms” made the place. Seeing teenagers wide eyed that there are adults who still love the things they love, embracing the fandom cultu

re, and, most importantly, expanding on it. A family whose cardboard TARDIS was laid to rest at the last Core Con built a new wooden one with working lights. The ingenuity to build a Dalek around a scooter and building a voice modulator that also lit up the lights. Costumes from Jedi to sailor moon to the Doctor and his wives. From the Star trek room with vegan food to the late night cooking of bacon in the Star Wars room. The Game room is always filled with board, RPG, and miniature games. E-Gaming stepped it up with its variety of tournaments and two Artemis rooms. And you can never forget about the Fairy Room’s Pickles on a stick. 

But what I love most about Core Con is the inspiration and collaboration that feeds into each other. At the Second Core Con I watched Voluntary Nightmare preform on stage and I ended up getting them to record one of their songs for my first real film project, Zombie Zero. I had asked while still making it if I could premiere it at the next convention and they made me a special guest. I, in turn, inspired Dave to make Big Damn Hero and also the film contest that Core Con started. Listening to Michael Merriam talk about how he writes concluding with the often said always welcomed speech on just sitting down and doing it. The best words of advice not only to writers but to anyone of any craft. Keep doing it and you will get better. Core Con is a place where you can go with ideas to share and also to be inspired.

It really is a place to go and be whoever you want to be for a little while, to express the uniqueness in all of us. As I headed home sleep deprived listening to Black Eyed Susan with fresh ideas in my mind, I couldn’t help but looking forward to the next one and the one after that. Thank you friends for doing this yet again. See you next year.


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