A couple weeks ago, we decided to make a spontaneous trip from Seattle to Portland to attend Fandom PDX. The primary drive was to see the wonderful voice actress, Kimberly Brooks, who I have been dying to see for a few years now. After getting up at an obscene hour and driving for three hours, we felt incredibly underwhelmed upon entering the convention. But after listening to the founder of Green Mustard Entertainment, Tom Croom, speak about the convention’s origin, I was over-the-moon. Those who are unfamiliar with the company should know that it has been responsible for other conventions including, MuggleCon. InvaderCon and WasabiCon in addition to working with other major conventions.
Fandom PDX was originally supposed to be put on under the name Newcon PDX in January 2018. Croom explained that Newcon organizers had contacted him for advice when they ran into some trouble, and on a late night whim (which is still fuzzy for him), he told the organizers that his company, Green Mustard Entertainment would buy out the convention, rebrand it and put it on at a later date — June 2-3, 2018. Long story short, Green Mustard Entertainment organized an entire convention, including a venue, Artist Alley guests, cosplay guests and celebrity guests, in about four months. Those of you who are seasoned convention-goers know that conventions typically begin organizing a year in advance, maybe more.
So, needless to say, I was impressed with the quality of the convention for being thrown together in such a short amount of time. There were few artists or creators tabling, and the floors looked near empty, but this gave con-goers an opportunity to spend more time browsing specific booths rather than getting distracted by a sea of vendors like they would at larger venues. Many tables showcased Voltron and Invader Zim merchandise to keep with the theme of the celebrity guests.
Kimberly Brooks (Voltron: Legendary Defender, Steven Universe) and Richard Steven Horvitz (Invader Zim, Nicktoons) headlined the event. Both hosted panels led by fans, who were full of questions, and sat at a tables near creators in between those panels. I have to say that it was exciting to see these amazing voice talents in a position where they could talk freely with fans and have a more personal experience. We even got a shout-out on Instagram after asking Kimberly to sign a Blue Lion action figure!
The takeaway story is simply this: NEVER underestimate small conventions! Despite the obvious signs that the convention was put together last minute, Fandom PDX was an enjoyable experience that left us feeling excited to see what Green Mustard has in store for us in January. If they can reel in artists, creators, panelists, professional cosplayers, celebrity talent and a photographer with a DeLorean from Back to the Future, I have full confidence the next event in Portland will be phenomenal.
Thanks for having us, Fandom PDX! We can’t wait to see you again in January 2019!