I guess I should write something about it here, just to document I was there.
Because we went there on the last weekend of September. And with we, I mean me, my wife, and our two kids. So that was an adventure.
Last time we were there was just before the birth of our older son, so he technically was there before. The difference was that now he could see what was happening around him. He seemed to like it. He told me he wanted to come back next year.
I was less impressed. They moved the venue from Atlas Arena to the International Conference center, and I am not sure if that didn’t cut down on the room that was available for people and shops. On the other hand it was about as crowded as before, so that didn’t seem to change. There also seemed to be a lack of actually interesting content there. Maybe it was because I was just too jaded, but I found it amusing that after desperately looking for something to spend money on I left having bought a cup of beer, a few snacks, and some Pad Thai, while my nominally non-comic reading wife left with two bags full of loot (half of which were books for our kids, but she did buy The Death of Stalin and some other hardcover about a French revolutionary).
I think the main issue was that I didn’t like the crowd. As in, the sheer amount of people. I didn’t feel like I could properly browse, first carrying my son, and afterwards on my own, and to be fair, the offers they had were kind of meagre as well. What I didn’t see much off where 2nd hand sellers with interesting offers. Even the ones that were there sold most interesting books at prices that were like new.
The boardgame stuff was just there, but not very large. There were a few stands with roleplaying stuff, but that too was overpriced and not in my ballpark. I briefly was thinking of finally buying the 5e books and then shrugged, yet again. Somehow I don’t have the will to get into this system. In hindsight I think I should have bought a few miniatures, but I had to carry around my son and he didn’t want to stare at this boring stuff with me.
I guess I am getting old. I remember the times when I just was visiting Lodz and the Festival was still in the Dom Kultury. There seemed so much interesting stuff there back then. This one felt kind of boring.
I think it might be a problem with what this con really was though. It started as a way for geeks from this city to meet and do something interesting, but by now geek has gone mainstream. It tries to be a con for comics, and games, and anything remotely geeky, but that just means there’s not much space to focus on specifics.
Interesting things to note:
- they got some brewery to make specific festival beer. A rather nice APA, although I was terribly thirsty at that point and most likely would have drunk anything that looked drinkable.
- there was at least one vendor that sold Famicom cartridges. Not even NES, but actually Famicom. There also were multiple stands that sold basically nothing but Japanese snacks. I remember them from last time as well, so they seem to make money peddling mochi.
- there’s a Call of Cthulhu Con (CarcosaCon) in English, taking place in Poland. I was briefly thinking of maybe attending when I found the leaflet, but then realized that I might not be the target audience. The whole thing looked a bit too expensive and too produced for me. They even offered an airport shuttle from Berlin airport.
- we parked just across the street, at Sukcesja. Sukcesja is the most stupid mall there is in this town, a completely misplaced and half-dead shopping area that tries to ape the look of the much more sensible Manufaktura. We again got struck how badly designed this place really is. When we tried to leave the building with the pram we had to get through the night exit in the back, because there was no other way to get out of the building with a pram. When we tried to get back later it turned out this exit only opened to the outside, and to even get to the elevators we had to manually carry the pram up two flights of stairs at the main entrance. Because all the escalators, even those clearly made for wheelchair use, had signs banning prams. I hate this place.