Turning Failure to Triumph-Wicomicon 2018 and Community
By the publishing of this, many who follow our site and listen to our podcasts will already know what happened. The comic convention known as Universal Fan Con, designed to be more inclusive of underrepresented groups and a 2 year project in the making, never came to fruition.
In the ashes of that failure a community of individuals who had arranged to vend at the event gathered with others to pull together a replacement convention to help some vendors, performers, and supporters recoup at least a portion of their weekend. Dubbed Wicomicon (for it's location on Wicomico street), it took place in an older building that wound up being a perfect location for gatherers to attend panels and meet new artists and vendors.
Many individuals who had planned to come to Universal Fan Con attended, some from right around the corner, and others from as far away as Canada and Japan. The event also brought out individuals who had not heard of the original event but caught wind of this one as an opportunity to bring their families to meet talent they may not have been otherwise exposed to. For some it was their first convention. While it was not the weekend they were initially promised, original Universal Fan Con attendees really enjoyed the atmosphere, the panels, the vendors, and the opportunity to fellowship with other convention goers.
What this group was able to coordinate in less than 7 days is to be respected and commended. As one participant mentioned, it truly highlighted that there is a strong and dedicated community amongst underrepresented groups in convention fandom. The support is there. The interest is there. People are wiling to come out when given access and opportunity. The access just has to be provided, and the trust that the community places in those who say they are going to provide an event must be honored and valued.
Above is a mini video of the event and some reactions to the event.