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Everything that we’ve done, where we can, we’ve used local vendors and merchants.

It just happened organically Are freaks defined by biology or through a lot of love for what we society? do and hard work.




A GUIDE TO PENSACON Independent News | February 20, 2014 | Volume 15 | Number 8 |


In the DIY spirit of Pensacon, we invite you to cos-play with our illustrations. From Harry Potter to Power Rangers to zombies, we hope you enjoy building a nerd, paper doll style, as much as we did creating them. Just make sure to read all the good stuff before you break out the scissors.

Illustrations by Samantha Crooke


February 20, 2014


If they build it... by Jessica Forbes

As far as actors and artists, Ensley said the early Pensacon targets represented horror and sci-fi. “We thought we’d get one or two bigger celebs to town. Peter Mayhew was our first choice—Chewbacca—because for me, he’s iconic, but I know he crosses a lot of generations, too.” The other “must have” on Ensley’s list was Kane Hodder, the actor who played Jason in the Friday the 13th franchise. Eventually both Mayhew and Hodder signed on for Pensacon appearances. “When I was trying to book people, there were plenty of people that said, ‘No, we don’t do first year conventions.’ So there was no selling them on it at all. I had to work hard to get Mayhew to agree.” Ensley said the hard work paid off. “He’s been a great ambassador,” Ensley said. “He got the ball rolling. I made a good contact with an agent that represented him and also represented a lot of other people, and from there it just kind of mushroomed.”

Around downtown

Part of the Pensacon team / L-R: Derek Bond, Steve Wise, Lemmie Crews, Courtney Hagans, Will Phillips, Manda Manning, Mike Ensley, Sue Spencer, Ben Galecki, Jonathan Antone, Larry Cook, Ryan Eaton / photo by Samantha Crooke centered on books, films, television shows Nerd. In childhood it may not have been and games meant to provide people with the hippest nickname, but now it has an outlet for creative, imaginative thought. become a moniker increasingly embraced And maybe even to inspire a costume among some adults. The Internet, “The design or two (thousand). Big Bang Theory” and Ben on “Parks and Yes, the old, classically nerdy mainstays Recreation” have changed the way most like “Star Wars” and Dungeons & Americans relate to nerds. And Dragons are represented in by adulthood, most of us the convention, but so are have realized deep down, mainstream pop culture there’s something “THE FIRST DAY WE obsessions includwe’re all nerdy for, so MET TO TALK ABOUT IT, ing “The Walking there’s not much use I SAID, ‘I’VE BEEN Dead” and “The in pointing fingers THINKING ABOUT THIS FOR Hunger Games.” If anymore. that's not enough, And into the A LONG TIME,’ AND HE SAID, “Ghostbusters,” ever growing “nerd ‘YOU’VE BEEN THINKING ABOUT “Mighty Morphin culture” comes THIS YOUR WHOLE LIFE.’” Power Rangers,” Pensacon—a “Halloween” and the fan convention Mike Ensley Harry Potter series are designed to span a also among the many range of media and iniconic media institutions terests—including anime, in the mix. horror, gaming and comics— The IN sat down with Mike within the Pensacola Bay Center Ensley, Pensacon Founder and Chairman, and Crowne Plaza Pensacola Grand Hotel. and Manda Manning, Media Coordinator, From panel discussions to “Nerd to get the story behind the event from its Karaoke,” the schedule of events reads inception to what it's shaping up to be. like a cross between a summer camp and academic conference, with all activities 88

A Convention is Born

Ensley, a native of Pensacola, hosted Nightmare Theatre events in town for over 11 years, bringing horror fans together at the former Silver Screen Theatre, Vinyl Music Hall and the Handlebar among other venues. For Pensacon, he joined forces with Kinematic Entertainment owner, film producer Ben Galecki. “The first day we met to talk about it, I said, ‘I’ve been thinking about this for a long time,’ and he said, ‘You’ve been thinking about this your whole life,’” Ensley said. Prior to that meeting, in February 2013, Ensley had taken to Facebook to see how much support there was locally for a smallscale fan convention that he envisioned as “some artist friends, maybe a couple of B-movie actors that I know to come to town and hang out for the day, and we just do a little convention—maybe have a few vendors selling things.” Within Ensley’s modest vision for a convention, Galecki saw potential and reached out. “Ben came to my office and we sat down and started talking and he said, ‘I think you should do this on a larger scale than what you’re thinking about doing,’” Ensley said.

As the size of the convention grew, so did the opportunity to show off Pensacola and introduce the city to the world of fandom and costume play, better known as “cosplay.” “We want to make sure that Pensacola is a part of this,” Ensley stated. With the guest list and ticket sales growing, last fall the Pensacon team began attending Downtown Improvement Board (DIB) meetings and connecting with local business owners, many of whom have become partners and are hosting events and after parties for Pensacon badge holders. “We recruited them all. It did take some convincing because I don’t think a lot of folks understood what Pensacon was in the general community. But once they did, they were very quick to come on board,” Ensley said. “There’s not really a bar or restaurant on Palafox Street that’s not offering a discount or holding a party for us on Pensacon weekend, and that goes over to Seville Quarter, too.” Seville is hosting Pensacon’s Welcome Night Party on Thursday and a Saturday night party as well. Hopjacks, Play, New York Nick’s, Tin Cow, Emerald City, O’Riley’s, Vinyl Music Hall and World of Beer are all holding events and offering discounts to Pensacon attendees. Pensacola Bay Brewery is also getting in on the action, having developed a beer specifically for the convention: Poseidon’s IPA. In addition, February’s Gallery Night falls on the Friday of the convention, so Pensacon is co-sponsoring Gallery Night and encouraging everyone to don a costume to turn the monthly event into a

from where and how much money they’re cosplay street party. “People in costumes spending, so we’ll have some really good are going to be everywhere. The people numbers for next year.” that come down just for Gallery Night are Based on rough pre-event estimates, going to be blown away, I think.” the Pensacon team believes that approxiIn a similar local-pride vein, Ensley mately 30 to 40 percent of attendees are stated that Pensacon chooses local vencoming from out of town. A great number dors, from credit card processors to printof locals seem to be purchasing single-day ing services, whenever possible. tickets for Saturday, which Ensley reported “Everything that we’ve done, where was approaching selling out. we can, we’ve used local vendors “It’s outselling Friday and and merchants,” Ensley said. Sunday combined 10 to “We could go to a cheap one,” said Ensley, who company probably and added the daily capacdo it online, but we’d “WE COULD GO ity will be around rather use somebody TO A CHEAP COMPANY 10,000 guests, but local and get good PROBABLY AND DO IT points out that the service and a good ONLINE, BUT WE’D RATHER crowd will by no product and help USE SOMEBODY LOCAL AND means be elbow to support them.” elbow. “Between The convention GET GOOD SERVICE AND A the two venues and also incorporates GOOD PRODUCT AND HELP downtown, people local establishments SUPPORT THEM.” are not going to be all long associated with gathered in one place fandom-related activiEnsley at one time,” Ensley said. ties, including one to run And between hotel an area dedicated tablestays, dining out, shopping top gaming (think Magic: The the convention and local stores, the Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons). Pensacon team expects the weekend to “We brought in Mike Bobe from Bobe’s be a busy one for local businesses. “These Hobby House—they’re royalty in the gamare not people who are just coming in for ing community locally,” Ensley said. a concert and then driving back home,” Ensley said. “They typically have money to spend.” Day passes are $30 per adult and So, you may be asking yourself, ‘How weekend passes are $75, meaning most atbig is this really going to be?’ The answer tendees will probably have some spending is, no one is quite sure yet. But Pensacon is money burning a hole in their pockets. “It’s already breaking a few local records. a good crowd to be bringing into the city,” “The Crowne is sold out. They said that Ensley stated. that’s the first time one event has ever held the entire hotel,” said Ensley. While the hotel is often booked to capacity, D.J. Hutzley, the Crowne Plaza’s Those who are sure that Pensacon Sales and Marketing Director, explained would have nothing that interests them that Pensacon has the distinction of having should at least give the schedule a glance. all of the hotel’s 210 guest rooms reserved As Manning points out, “The more you and occupying all of the event space at learn about it, the more you realize that no the Crowne, the largest hotel in Pensacola matter what you’re into there’s something proper, as well. there for you. That’s something Mike has Ahead of the inaugural Pensacon, prostrived to do since the beginning—to make jections of the potential economic impact sure all niches are covered and to be allare uncertain, but will likely be significant inclusive.” Ensley expects. “There’s no way to really In fact, Ensley believes Pensacon’s tell. There are conventions that we sort broad-based approach is part of the fun. of compare ourselves to, but we’ve really “There are people that I didn’t know outgrown what they could do. Chattacon that would be that big of a deal that I got—I in Chattanooga, Tenn., they estimate that don’t understand the Power Rangers, bethey do over $2 million in economic impact cause it’s not my generation,” said Ensley in the one weekend.” of one of the biggest and most unexpected Manning said Visit Pensacola will be fan reactions. “My generation is ‘Star Wars’ in attendance, conducting surveys to and ‘Battlestar Gallactica.’ For people who gather data to better assess the statistics. are 30 and under, the Power Rangers were “We’ll have a better idea of who is coming a huge part of their childhood.”

Economic impact

SomEthing for EvEryonE

Lest anyone think Ensley relied only on his own expertise, the organizer said in areas that aren’t his strong suit, such as anime, he reached out to friends for recommendations as to guests to pursue. “I didn’t just do it for myself. Yeah, this is my convention, and I’m excited about it, and I’m very proud of what I’ve done, but I wanted to make sure there was something for everybody,” Ensley said. “You buy a badge, you get everything. You’re going to have a great time and everything that we have to offer at the convention is included in that.”

Pensacon logo drawn by Steve Scott (for more info on Scott turn to page 11)

SprEading thE mESSagE

As for getting the word out about Pensacon, the team has worked for almost a year to do so. “We’ve tried to be really creative with our marketing efforts. We’ve seen a huge return on investment from our billboards,” Manning said. “We’ve had billboards running in Atlanta during Dragon Con." Attending other conferences including Wizard World in New Orleans, Spooky Empire in Orlando and Mobicon in Mobile has also contributed to the interest in Pensacon. Manning also noted that a group costume the Pensacon team wore while promoting at Comic Con landed them on national websites, and their photo was featured on E’s “The Soup.” But the large conventions aren’t the only ones Pensacon is interested in working with. Ensley said building relationships with smaller fan conventions in the region has been a priority. “The other local cons that are smaller, that are fan-run groups that don’t have the kind of resources we have, we’ve not only had tables at their events to promote our convention, but we also have them coming to our convention to have tables to promote their event.”

“We don’t want people to think that we’re coming in to try and squeeze them out, or we’re evil, maniacal business people. We’re fans, too, so we’ve had that open arms kind of policy, where if you’re into fandom, you want to come and be a part of Pensacon.” With that said, Ensley stated that he believes Pensacon’s is one of the best lineups of a first year convention that he has seen. “I don’t think I’ve seen a convention that has done what we’ve done in a year anywhere in the U.S., for sure. Not without studio support.” Likewise, Manning believes the work Ensley and the Pensacon crew have done has shaped up to be a great experience for fans and Pensacola at large. “It’s a huge opportunity for Pensacola that we want them to take advantage of.” Ensley concurs, “We really want them to enjoy themselves. That’s what Pensacon is all about: just having a good time and letting your geek flag fly.” {in}


WHEN: Friday, Feb. 21—Sunday, Feb. 23 DETAILS:

PENSACON 101: WE APONRY (RE AL AND FAKE) Real weapons will not permitted inside Pensacon at any time. For those wearing costumes and donning any kind of defense tool, there will be a weapon check at the entrance. Be prepared to allow time for this check, especially if you have more than one, as all weapons will be “peace binded,” i.e., zip tied for safety measures. February 20, 2014


Geek Out by Jennifer Leigh

Samm Levine Not only did he star in Judd Apatow’s “Freaks and Geeks” as Neal Schweiber, but Samm Levine lives up to the geek nickname in real life. “Have you seen me? Of course I am a huge geek,” he said. Levine’s chosen geek topic? Comedy, movies—basically pop culture in general. Some of his favorites include, “‘The Simpsons,’ ‘Monty Python,’ old-school ‘Saturday Night Live’—and new-school too,” he said. All of which can be up for discussion at Pensacon. “I’ll be here for whatever they want to talk about,” Levine said. Although “Freaks and Geeks” only lasted one season on NBC 15 years ago, it has since reached a cult following that resulted in being named on “Time” magazine’s “100 Greatest Shows of All Time” list in 2007 and one of “60 Greatest Dramas of All Time” by “TV Guide” in 2013. And even though Levine has continued his acting career in movies such as “Not Another Teen Movie” and “Inglorious Bastards,” as well as numerous television series, he doesn’t shy away from walking down memory lane and talking “Freaks and Geeks.” He still hangs out with the cast occasionally, mainly John Francis Daley, and calls Apatow a pal. In 2004 , to celebrate the DVD release of the show, Levine and

‘Freaks and Geeks’ fan. I even get a Weird Al fellow geeks, including Daley, Martin Starr Christmas card.” and show creator Paul Feig, went to Comic As an actor and fan of cinema and Con where they ended up signing autotelevision, Levine often gets to mix busigraphs for about six hours. ness with pleasure. But as a pop culture “It doesn’t bother me at all. I’m always geek, it can sometimes get in the way of happy to meet fans,” he said. “I’m really Hollywood magic. proud of the work I did, and I thought “Through my friendship with it was a great show.” Damon Lindelof [co-creator But, “Freaks and Geeks” of ‘Lost’] I was able to get a fans must know, it’s all “HAVE YOU cameo on ‘Lost,’” Levine in the past. Beyond the SEEN ME? OF said. “I was so worried profile in “Vanity Fair” COURSE I AM A that in my teeny, little magazine’s first-ever HUGE GEEK.” scene I would hear the comedy issue, there will other actor’s dialogue be no series reunion. and spoil the episode. So “When was the last Samm Levine I was holding my ears in betime you saw a reunion tween takes.” show and thought ‘I am so For his first trip to Pensacola glad they did that?’” Levine said. to the first-ever Pensacon, Levine “We would never be able to recreate said he is looking forward to being a part it. People don’t even look at James Franco of the convention, meeting fans and the same way.” bringing a little diversity to the city. Living in Los Angeles, Levine has “I’m excited to raise the Jewish quotient had his own share of fanboy moments, of Pensacola up by 100 percent,” he joked. including one with parody master Weird But no matter how much of a geek he Al Yankovic. is, don’t expect him to come in costume. “When I first met Weird Al, I was 14,” “That’s not my scene,” he said with a he explained. “I went to one of his concerts laugh. {in} and waited for two hours in line to meet him. Years later, I met him again and he was a

FREAKS AND GEEKS WITH SAMM LEVINE AND SARAH HAGAN WHEN: 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 23 WHERE: Pensacola Bay Center Room D

Sarah Hagan


With all the celebrity guests and cosplayers, this event is one hell of a photo-op. However, many people may not want to have their picture taken, no matter how cool their costume is. Just because someone is dressed up doesn’t mean they automatically agreed to be blinded by iPhone flashes all day. Always extend a quick, polite request to snap a photo, just in case. The gesture will be greatly appreciated.

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Character Study by Hana Frenette

The characters don’t even exist anymore,” Steve Scott is a storyteller. Not the kind Scott said. “But the comics were out on the lurking near the edge of a campfire or gesnewsstands, and at the convenience store turing wildly at the bar, but the kind who and the gas station, which was still a employs a nicely executed drawing big thing at the time.” and a few select words to push Scott soon moved on to the plot forward. household comic names Scott has illustrated and started drawing for some of the biggest “I REALLY STARTED Batman and various names in comics, like related series. Batman, The Hulk and DRAWING SO I COULD “I actually did the Wolverine. TELL STORIES.” last four issues of the “It gives me the original Batman series,” ability to be the direcSteve Scott Scott said. “I also did tor and the actor,” Scott some work with Batman said. “You get to take Confidential that people these sometimes monseemed to really like.” strously large stories and put The original Batman series them down on paper. I really started in 1939 and continued through started drawing so I could tell stories.” September of 2011, when DC comics Scott, originally from Biloxi, started canceled the series, and then relaunched it drawing comics professionally in the early with a new issue #1, as part of The New 52, ‘90s, while also working as a professional a project to reboot the entire line of DC’s fire fighter. superhero comic books. “The first job with comics I ever got In addition to the last four issues of the was with a company called Malibu Ultraoriginal Batman series, Scott also provided verse, and I got to do a couple of stories. February 20, 2014

the artwork for the only comic adaptation of “The Dark Knight,” starring Heath Ledger. “I guess Christopher Nolan had seen some of my other work and had liked the pacing a lot, so when it came time to bring in someone for the adaptation, he had me in mind,” Scott said. “They sent me some stills from the film, and I got to capture Ledger as the joker. This was about four months before he died.” Scott did renditions of several scenes in the film, and while drawing out the bank heist scene, he drew himself in as teller. “Just at the very beginning, I’m in there for a shot,” Scott said. Continuing on with the film adaptation route after “The Dark Knight,” Scott received a call to work with George Lucas for “Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Gods.” “A lot of times with films, you have to get approval to do the likeness of a certain character, sometimes they just don’t want you to do it,” Scott said. “This was not the case here. It was much more like ‘Hey, we know this is Harrison Ford in a fedora.’”

Drawing the likeness of Ford wasn’t too difficult. It was the hat that was the trouble. “In the first take, I made the hat too big, almost like a cowboy hat,” Scott said. “I could probably draw it in my sleep now, but that was one of the only things that Lucas had mentioned he wanted me to change a bit.” After the likeness of the hat was properly settled, Lucas was so pleased with the artwork that he bought several pieces to hang in his home. Scott will have several prints and various pieces of his artwork available to purchase at Pensacon. “I have several pieces of Batman material, The Indiana Jones comic cover that Lucas owns and a single frame of the Hulk,” Scott said. Lots of artists will do on the spot renditions of characters at comic conferences, but Scott prefers talking with people instead of standing at the drawing board. “I really like to have the chance to talk with people and sign books or answer questions,” Scott said. “Which you kind of miss out on if you’re just standing there drawing with your head down.” {in}


WHEN: 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23 WHERE: Pensacola Bay Center Room B


Dungeons & Dragons & Dating by Hana Frenette


IN: Are guests encouraged to only discuss nerd related topics? SPENCER: Certainly not. Most anything is fair game except last names, phone numbers, what you do for a living and where you live (address). The idea is to find a connection with someone quickly based on a common ground outside of typical bar questions.

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IN: How long will each round last, or how long will each person have to talk to the person across from him or her? SPENCER: It's pretty straightforward. They get three minutes to talk before moving to the next person. It's a bit intensive, so you have to get right to the point and put aside shyness quickly.

"Nerd Speed Dating." It’s just like regular speed dating, except the participants are likely to be cloaked in every kind of costume imaginable, from Zelda to Ewok; and the initial urge to try and seem as suave as possible is totally unnecessary. And of course there’s no need to worry about glossing over any mention of your 400 plus comic book collection or the magician classes you’ve been taking from Criss Angel online. That’s IN: Why do you think what they want to hear. "IF THIS NERD they created this Ed Spencer will be CAN FIND LOVE event? setting up the framework WITH SOMEONE THIS SPENCER: Speed for the Pensacon dating dating was originally INCREDIBLE, THEN THERE extravaganza. created by the Jewish He took a few moIS HOPE FOR EVERYONE." community to help ments to discuss the find love in their own basics of speed dating and Ed Spencer culture. In many ways, the potential of finding true "Nerd Speed Dating" is love amidst the crowds and similar. The people who characters with the IN. comprise much of Pensacon's attendance have hobbies, passions and IN: Can anyone sign up? embrace cultures that comprise a wide SPENCER: Anyone who is single and atvariety of topics. And like all people, they tending Pensacon can attend. We will have want to find love and someone to share sign up happening on Friday and Saturday that with. until it's full. IN: Will there be multiple rounds? SPENCER: That will depend on how many people sign up and the overall timing. We plan to have at least two rounds, and given the escalating popularity, we expect it to fill up quite quickly. 212 1

IN: Any love predictions? SPENCER: While we hope everyone that attends can find love, we know that's not always possible. If just one person does find a perfect match, it will have been worthwhile.

IN: Anything else we need to know about the event? SPENCER: For all of those thinking about "Nerd Speed Dating" who might be wondering if there is someone out there for them consider this: I am truly a geek and a nerd through and through. From my early days of D&D, to being in band and playing a woodwind instrument, to my natural abilities with computers, being an introvert almost to the extreme; and then coupled with my lack of abilities in sports, many might say I was doomed from the start, without any hope of ever finding love. Despite all of this, I found true love myself in an incredible, passionate, creative, redheaded, punk rock girl from California who loved me at first sight. If this nerd can find love with someone this incredible, then there is hope for everyone. {in}


WHEN: 3:30–5:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22 WHERE: Pensacola Bay Center Room D

PENSACON 101: OUTSIDE FOOD AND DRINKS Like almost every other event in the world held inside conference centers, these things are not allowed. Not even your water bottle or your almost finished latte. You’re going to have to throw it away. There will be tons of food and drinks available inside to console you though.

Pensa-Prints by Sarah McCartan

prints vary, ranging from 4” x 5” to 9” x 12.” Stars featured include Chewbacca, Darth Vader, Power Rangers, Boba Fett, a young rendition of Boba Fett, and The Big Tiny and Axel (from “The Walking Dead”). “The Star Wars inspired prints are 3040 edition runs, and all the others will be around 25-30 editions,” Daw said. “There are more guests attending that I really would have loved to make prints for, but unfortunately time restraints have really cut down on how many I can do.” Needless to say in the days leading up to Pensacon, Daw’s schedule has looked a lot like excessive coffee, diligent “THE STAR WARS INdrawing, carving, cutSPIRED PRINTS ARE 30-40 ting, and of course, EDITION RUNS, AND ALL THE printing. OTHERS WILL BE AROUND In addition to 25-30 EDITIONS.” the solid lineup of x prints he has announced, he has two Michael Daw additional series of 5" x 7" pieces featuring stars that he has yet to reveal. As for these particular prints, print enthusiasts and Pensacon attendees will just have to wait and be surprised. The price for each piece is determined based on size and subject, and ranges Boba Fett prints by Michael Daw / courtesy photo from $5 to $30. Prints will be on display and for sale in the Artist Alley, throughout Sure, a poster or t-shirt commemorating tention to detail, all the way from the initial the entirety of Pensacon weekend. Well, at Pensacon sounds nice. But what if we told inspiration and drawing, to the pressing of least until they sell out. {in} the print itself. you that you could also purchase a custom For linocut prints, the desired design is designed, hand-printed keepsake, which cut into a linoleum surface with pays homage to your favorite characters the raised areas representing a and has a Pensacola tie? mirror image of the parts that Well, you can. Local graphic design stuare to be printed. The linoleum dent at Pensacola State College, Michael sheet is inked, and then pressed Daw, will be selling exclusive Pensacon onto the desired paper. linocut prints at the convention. “First, I have to draw the Inspired while taking a printmaking design, trace it on transfer paper, class last year, Daw, a longtime illustrathen trace/transfer that to the tor, determined his style jived well with linoleum block. Then I carve the particular medium and process. “I've away all of the negative space. I always drawn, and the medium seemed to then have to cut all the paper to complement the style” he said. size,” Daw said. Daw quickly realized there was a growAnd then, finally, comes the ing demand for these prints, after having actual printing and final execusold the initial prints he made during class tion of each piece. minutes after sharing them with friends. “I ink the block, put the pa“After seeing how well they sold, I per on top, and transfer the ink started to make more prints than the class by rubbing with a baren,” he said. project required,” Daw said. “Then all of the prints get signed Not only did Daw continue to make and numbered. All things considmore, the opportunity arose for him to take ered, each edition can take from his printmaking all the way to Pensacon. “I decided to make some limited edition between 4 and fourteen hours to complete from start to finish.” prints exclusively for Pensacon to honor As for the exclusive Pensome of the amazing guests,” he said. Michael Daw holding his Chewbacca print / courtesy photo sacon prints, sizes of the final Each different print takes time and atFebruary 20, 2014

Tony Stark IRONMAN Cufflinks by Superhero Jewelry

Make sure you check out Artist's Alley on the second floor of the Pensacola Bay Center. In addition to Daw's linocut prints, you can also find works for sale by:

Eitanya Designs


War Tribe Comics

Pedro Saga

Geoffrey Gwin

Brian Woodward

Kittye’s Creations

Airship 67

Johnny Segura

Jaya Prasad Slauson Henry Cesneros


David Bane

Superhero Jewelry


May the Force be With Them by Jennifer Leigh


hen local couple Tayler Delane, 21, and David Norton, 21, got engaged on Star Wars Day—that’s May 4 for those who don’t know—they didn’t have big plans for their wedding day. “We were going to do a little church thing and basically get it over with,” Delane said. Stationed at an Air Force base in Arizona, Norton was already planning a trip home the weekend of Pensacon before the two love-nerds even knew about the convention. Once Delane caught wind of the convention on Facebook, she told friends how it would be the perfect wedding for her and Norton. And the event organizers agreed. Luckily, Pensacon’s volunteer coordinator, Sue Spencer, and her husband Ed specialize in cosplay weddings through their company, First Day Entertainment, which includes DJ, MC and officiate services. They’ve offered their services free to the couple and plan to do the same for a deserving pair every year at Pensacon. Ashleigh Tomlinson Edwards also offered her help with decorations and invitations.

to fit the story of “Star Wars” and even had “I’m always up for a chala Jedi robe made. Some members of the lenge,” said Sue about designing 501st Imperial Legion—those dedicated cosplay weddings. “Ed and I work fans that construct and wear their own hard at finding a balance. Giving “Star Wars” costumes—should the wedding meaning be in attendance and perand work to focus on the haps even more special occasion—it’s not just a guests. costume party.” “ED AND I WORK HARD “This is the first Delane’s love ‘Star Wars’ wedding of “Star Wars” AT FINDING A BALANCE. I’ve officiated,” Ed originated from the GIVING THE WEDDING MEANsaid. “I recently video games she ING AND WORK TO FOCUS ON helped with vowel played growing up. THE OCCASION—IT’S NOT JUST renewals, using Eventually, Norton A COSTUME PARTY.” elements from ‘Dr. made her watch the Who’ and ‘Lesix movies, which gally Blonde,’ which she immediately Sue Spencer worked out very well. loved and prefers to And I have a ‘Harry watch in VHS form. At Potter’ themed wedding in Pensacon, she hopes to March.” meet the movie’s stars such As coordinators for as Peter Mayhew (Chewweddings both traditional bacca) and Billy Dee Wiland themed, Ed and Sue liams (Lando Calrissian). have seen a rise in cosplay Since the bridal party weddings in the past five already has their gowns and years. tuxes, the wedding will be a As the big day apmix of traditional and “Star proaches, Delane is just Wars.” But don’t worry— excited to make Norton’s there will be plenty of charvisit back home special. acters. As officiate, Ed has They don’t have a honeyspent hours writing vows

Sue and Ed Spencer / photo by Ashley Victoria Photography moon planned, but they do intend to spend time at Pensacon. {in}

"I LOVE YOU. I KNOW." A STAR WARS WEDDING WHEN: 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22 WHERE: Crowne Plaza Ballroom DETAILS:

PENSACON 101: PL ANNING Just like a trip to Disney World or a music festival, planning helps to optimize your experience, especially when there are over a dozen things you’d like to see and do at once. Check out the list of scheduled events, panel discussions and celebrity appearances. Know where your desired events will be happening so you don’t have to run across the conference in a panic. If there’s something or someone in particular that you’d like to see, try and get there a little early so you can ensure being able to hear, see or sit if that’s an option.

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Pensacon’s Tribute: Macenzie Lintz by Jennifer Leigh

Mackenzie Lintz While 18-year-old Mackenzie Lintz’s filmography isn’t lengthy, it does include the blockbuster “The Hunger Games” based on the book trilogy of the same name. Just in case you haven’t read the books or watched the first two movies, “The Hunger Games” follows the story of Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, a

teenager chosen at random to compete in the annual Hunger Games, where twelve teenagers compete in a televised battle to the death. Lintz was a fan of the “‘THE HUNGER book series before she GAMES’ WAS MY was cast in the 2012 film. FAVORITE CHILDHOOD She played a tribute for District 8, one of BOOK SERIES.” the poorest districts of Panem, the fictional Mackenzie Lintz world where the story takes place. Even though her character did not survive the games, Lintz said she was happy to play a small part in movie. “‘The Hunger Games’ was my favorite childhood book series,” she said. “It was a huge honor to be in the movie.” Even after her days on “The Hunger Lintz comes from an acting family, her Games” set, Lintz continues to be a part of brothers and sisters, as well as her mom, the trilogy by going to conventions. Kelly, are all working actors. Kelly was in "The “I’m excited to meet the fans,” she said. Hunger Games" as well, playing the mother Lintz is looking forward to the final two of a different tribute. At the age of 13, Mackfilms in “The Hunger Games” franchise. enzie joined in. “The Hunger Games” was She plans to stay a fan of the movies, even her first time appearing in a film.


if it’s from a seat in the audience. “I really liked ‘Catching Fire’ and think the future movies will be great,” she said. Catch Lintz in person at Pensacon, and on screen as Norrie in the CBS show, “Under the Dome.” Season 2 begins June 30. {in}

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Panel Schedule FRIDAY

Crowne Plaza Ballroom 12:30 p.m. The Devil’s Rejects with Priscilla Barnes and Lew Temple 1:30 p.m. Comic Artists Roundtable with Jen Broomall, Stephen Butler, Mitch Byrd, Jason Craig, John Dell, Derec Donovan, Mike McKone, Nathan Massengil, Steve Scott and Kelly Yates 2:30 p.m. Heroes of Cosplay with Monika Lee and Riki LeCotey 3:30 p.m. Star Wars with Peter Mayhew, John Morton and Daniel Logan 4:30 p.m. Ready to Rumble WWE: Then and Now—Brutus Beefcake, Greg “The Hammer” Valentine and Honky Tonk Man Pensacola Bay Center Room B 12:30 p.m. Writing Your Novel with Lon Prater and Lex Chase 1:30 p.m. How to Feed Your Raiding Party with Jennifer Walker 2:30 p.m. Modeling in Cosplay with Lotus Buccola 3:30 p.m. Spotlight on Dean Haglund 4:30 p.m. From the Pulps to Comics with Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson and Jeffrey Shanks Pensacola Bay Center Room C 12:30 p.m. Star Wars Off the Screen with Timothy Zahn, Dave Dorman and Mike Baron 1:30 p.m. An hour with Joe R. Landsdale 2:30 p.m. The Borg Hypothesis with Robert H. Hoffman, Ph.D. 3:30 p.m. An hour with Mike Grell 4:30 p.m. An hour with Pamela Gay Pensacola Bay Center Room D 12:30 p.m. Past, Present and Future of the Adventure Hero—Retroblasting 1:30 p.m. Vintage Toys: To Restore or Not Restore—Retroblasting 2:30 p.m. Steampunk Creativity with Airship Isabella, Escape The Clouds and Lon Prater 3:30 p.m. Movie Screening: “Fantasm” documentary 4:30 p.m. IMPROVable Cause Exposed

CONFERENCE HOURS Friday, Feb. 21: 12-6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 616 1


Crowne Plaza Ballroom 10:30 a.m. A Versatile Actor with Deep Roy 11:15 a.m. Spotlight on Ernie Hudson 12 p.m. Spotlight on Billy Dee Wlliams 1 p.m. Wedding Prep 1:30 p.m. "I love you. I know."—A Star Wars Wedding 3:30 p.m. Game of Thrones with Finn Jones and Kristian Nairn 4:30 Star Trek—An Hour with Walter Koenig Pensacola Bay Center Room B 10:30 a.m. Kids Comic Hour with Dan Mishkin and Steven Butler 11:30 a.m. Hidden Gamers Presents: Not So Free 2 Play 12:30 p.m. Fantasy and Faith with Stephen Ringl 1:30 p.m. Steampunk It! with Airship Isabella 2:30 p.m. An hour with Parker Stevenson 3:30 p.m. Costuming an Empire—501st Imperial Legion 4:30 p.m. Basics of Costuming with Pensacola Costumer's Guild Pensacola Bay Center Room C 10:30 a.m. Saturday Morning Cartoons with C. Martin Croker 11:30 a.m. The Doctor of Gallifrey 101 with Jerod Perez 12:30 p.m. An hour with David Michelinie 1:30 p.m. My Dalek has a Puncture with Simon Fisher-Becker 3 p.m. Learn How To Become a Voice Talent with Bob and September Carter Pensacola Bay Center Room D 10:30 a.m. How to Do Comics the Inverse Press Way 11:30 a.m. Podcasting: Myth or Hokum? with Chimichanga Talk 12:30 p.m. The Trek Award—USS Continuum 1:30 p.m. Dark Arts: Horror Photography with LaLa Lauren Freedman 2:30 p.m. Movie Premiere: "At All Cost" 3:30 p.m. "Nerd Speed Dating"


Crowne Plaza Ballroom 10:30 a.m. Through the Stargate with Christopher Judge 11:30 a.m. Go, Go Power Rangers! with Walter Jones and David Yost 12:30 p.m. The Walking Dead with Lew Temple and Theodus Crane 1:30 p.m. Classic Battlestar Galactica with Dirk Benedict, Richard Hatch, Herbert Jefferson, Jr. and Anne Lockhart 2:30 p.m. Voice Acting with Monica Rial and Veronica Taylor 3:30 p.m. Jason Speaks! An Hour with Kane Hodder 4:30 p.m. Buff y: A Decade Later with Nicholas Brendon Pensacola Bay Center Room B 11:30 a.m. The Next Steps Toward Space Colonization with John Cserep 12:30 p.m. Firefly with Airship Isabella 1:30 p.m. Portfolio Reviews with Steve Scott 2:30 p.m. Making Props and Fake Weapons with Pensacola Costumer's Guild 3:30 p.m. High School of the Dead Panel Pensacola Bay Center Room C 10:30 a.m. I Was a Walker with Savana Wehunt, Michael Koske, Triston Johnson and Jerrad Vunovich 11:30 a.m. Star Trek Visual Effects with Ronald B. Moore 1 p.m. How to Play a Bad Guy with Robert Z’Dar and Vernon Wells 2 p.m. The Boogeymen: Horror Film Actors with Tony Moran, RA Mihailoff, John Dugan and J. Larose 3 p.m. Independent Filmmaking with Ben Galecki, Steve Wise, James Balsamo, Thomas Smith and Paul Sinor 4 p.m. Kinematic Entertainment Short Films Showcase Pensacola Bay Center Room D 10:30 a.m. Freaks and Geeks with Samm Levine and Sarah Hagan 11:30 a.m. AMC Acting with Darla Briganti and Ann Marie Crouch 12:30 p.m. Deviant Films presents with Scott Tepperman and Daniel Emery-Taylor 2 p.m. Dream Players Showcase 3 p.m. Droid Building 101 with the 501st Imperial Legion

Rooms B, C & D are located on the second floor of the Pensacola Bay Center. Schedule is subject to change. Also this schedule lists panel appearances only. All guests will be in attendance all three days, unless otherwise noted on the Pensacon site. Visit to view the schedule online.


Spotlight on Billy Dee Wlliams He's a rare jewel in the "Star Wars" convention world. If you don't get the chance to meet him at Pensacon, you might not ever get another chance.


From the Pulps to Comics with Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson and Jeffrey Shanks Fellow history nerds, take note: this panel features the granddaughter of DC Comics founder, Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, and an archaeologist, historian and scholar of pulp and early comics.


Buffy: A Decade Later with Nicholas Brendon Everybody had at least a little crush on Xander during his "Buffy" heyday—myself included. But don't worry, I'll try and keep my teenage fangirl tendencies in check during the panel. All bets are off if I see him at an after party though.


A Versatile Actor with Deep Roy He's played so many enigmatic and interesting roles it's almost overwhelming. I plan on waking up early Saturday to listen to him elaborate on working with Tim Burton and being the most famous Oompa Loompa there is.


Kids Comic Hour with Dan Mishkin and Steven Butler Any excuse to indoctrinate my kids early into the comic book world is a must for me and their self-professed nerd father. I encourage all parents to let your little creative geniuses in the making give this kids workshop, from two heavy hitters in the comic world, a go.

Cos -Parties by Sarah McCartan

Event Lineup:

While the Pensacon days may be filled with panels and workshops for convention-goers, when night falls the after parties take over. Although the parties are designed with Pensacon attendees in mind (badge holders get perks like food and drink specials), you can still get in on the fun even if you couldn't swing a Pensacon ticket. Just be sure to double check that your party of choice is open to the general public and make sure you get there early. If select bars and other venues reach capacity, those carrying Pensacon badges will get dibs on getting in.


Thursday night, the pre-Pensacon energy gradually builds, beginning with a low-key movie screening at Seville Quarter and an ‘80-‘90s-themed Pensacon party. Just don’t wear yourself out too much with excitement and dancing. You have an entire cosplay-filled weekend ahead of you.

Event Lineup:

• “Attack from Beneath” Movie Screening: 7 p.m. (movie begins at 8 p.m.), Seville Quarter • Gotham City Troubadour Live Show: 9 p.m., World of Beer • Welcome to Pensacon ‘80-‘90s Party: 10 p.m., Seville Quarter


Those headed downtown Friday night looking for a usual Gallery Night experience can expect something far more playful and costume-filled. Friday night Pensacon organizers have partnered with the Downtown Improvement Board to co-sponsor February's Gallery Night. You don’t have to go all the way to Orlando to enjoy the magic of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. O’Riley’s Irish Pub is transforming into a Harry Potter Party beginning at 8 p.m., welcoming in all non-muggles. Meanwhile at World of Beer, a Game of Thrones party featuring live bands kicks off at 9 p.m. As Gallery Night events begin to taper off, those seeking another late night of dancing can select between Emerald City or a dance party at the Crowne, both beginning at 10 p.m. February 20, 2014

• Pensacon Co-sponsors Downtown Gallery Night: 6 p.m. • Star Trek Party: 6 p.m., The Elbow Room • Pensacon VIP Meet & Greet: 6:30-8 p.m., Cavu Bar inside the Crowne Plaza • Dean Haglund X-Files Improv Show: 7-8 p.m., Crowne Plaza Ballroom • Escape the Clouds Show: 8-9 p.m., Crowne Plaza Ballroom • Harry Potter Party: 8 p.m., O’Riley’s Irish Pub • Game of Thrones Party and live music: 8 p.m., World of Beer • Nerd Karaoke: 9-10 p.m., Crowne Plaza Ballroom • The Crossover Costume After Party: 10 p.m., Emerald City • DJ Dance Party: 10 p.m.-12 a.m., Crowne Plaza Ballroom


Although you have the opportunity to revisit the Harry Pottery Party at O’Riley’s, much of the action is taking place farther up Palafox on Saturday night, with no shortage of special guests. Beginning at 8 p.m., Hopjacks Pizza Kitchen & Taproom transforms into the Cantina from “StarWars Episode IV: A New Hope,” with special appearances by the 501st Imperial Legion and Dave Dorman, legendary Star Wars artist. Guests can sip on drink specials including Poseidon IPA or exclusive cocktails like “Let the Wookie Win,” “Slave Leia” or “Luke, I am your Father,” while biting down on some “Tuskan Raider Gaffi Sticks” (Belgian fries). Also beginning at 8 p.m., The Tin Cow is hosting the official Pensacon Walking Dead After Party, featuring: Theodus Crane (Big Tiny), Michael Koske ("walker"), Dango Ngyuen (one of the Governor's men) and Jerrad Vunovich ("walker"). The evening will also feature Poseidon IPA, and “Zombie Apocalyspe” Burgers, plus a series of specialty cocktails that Walking Dead enthusiasts are sure to appreciate: “No! Not Hershel!” “Walkers in C Block!”, and even a “Dreamy as Darrol Dixon” milkshake. At Play, the Fright Meter Awards and After Party kicking off at 9 p.m. gives you the opportunity to meet several horror stars, including: Kane Hodder (the original Jason from Friday the 13th), Steve Nappe (also Friday the 13th), John Dugan (Texas Chainsaw Massacre), J. LaRose (Saw and Insidious), RJ Haddy (FaceOff) and participate in a horror themed costume party.

Event Lineup:

• Fright Meter Awards Show: 6-7 p.m., Crowne Plaza Ballroom • Official Pensacon Costume Contest: 7:309:30 p.m., Crowne Plaza Ballroom

• Star Wars Cantina Party: 8 p.m., Hopjacks Pizza Kitchen & Taproom • Walking Dead Raw Meat Party: 8 p.m., The Tin Cow • Nintendo Themed Party: 8 p.m., Blend Lounge • Bad Wolf Ball: Doors at 7 p.m., party at 8 p.m., Vinyl Music Hall (Exclusive to Pensacon Badge Holders) • Harry Potter Party: 8 p.m., O’Riley’s Irish Pub • X-Men Party: 9 p.m., World of Beer • Play Boy Bunny Party with artist Doug Sneyd and Pensacon VIP Party: 9 p.m., Seville Quarter • Fright Meter Awards and Horror After Party: 9 p.m., Play • Buffy the Vampire Slayer Party: 9 p.m., Twenty One West • Industrial DJ Night: 10 p.m.-12 a.m., Crowne Plaza Ballroom


As the events come to a close on Sunday, if you think you need a party just to re-

cover, or have remained in your costume since the night before and aren’t ready for the fun to be over, you have the opportunity to sip on a beer and partake in the Recovery Party. • Pensacon Recovery Party: 1 p.m., World of Beer This schedule is up to date as of the IN's press time (Monday Feb. 17). But the Pensacon party doesn't appear to be slowing down or stopping. We're sure at least one more event will get added, so make sure you check out to view the most up to date schedule online. {in}


Pensacon's main locations: Pensacola Bay Center, 201 E. Gregory St. Crowne Plaza Pensacola Grand Hotel, 200 E. Gregory St.


The online pre-sale option closed Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 11:59 p.m. But don't worry if you didn't get yours in time. Weekend and day passes will still be available for purchase at the Crowne Plaza, beginning Friday morning at 10 a.m. Weekend passes are $75; day passes are $30.


If you already bought your ticket, registration and badge pick-up should be your first stop. This too will be at the Crowne Plaza. It's recommended that you try to pick up your badge Thursday night in order to have immediate entry to Pensacon.


General admission parking is $10 per day at the Pensacola Bay Center. It's cash only and you can't leave your car there overnight. There is also VIP parking in the east lot off of Alcaniz Street. This is free

for anyone with a VIP pass. Crowne Plaza parking is for hotel guests only.


Trolleys will be available for Pensacon attendees who park downtown or need transportation to and from lunch and after-hours events. Technically speaking, you can walk from the convention area to the restaurants and after parties downtown (it's only about half a mile) but you're probably going to want to utilize the trolleys so you don't wear yourself out. It's a long, action packed weekend after all. Plus it's on kind of weird road with limited sidewalks and a lot of traffic. Go to to view the trolley map and schedule.


The majority of the after parties are located on the same street—South Palafox. So getting around shouldn't be too hard. The Elbow Room is the only one you'll need to drive to, and Seville Quarter and Twenty One West are only a block off the main drag. If you find yourself out after midnight (when the Pensacon trolleys stop running) and in need of a ride, just dial 850-433-3333 for a cab. 17

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