On the weekend of June 13th, the war clock reset to zero and Shatterdome Atlanta reconvened for the second year running and this time for two days instead of one! How did this little con that could measure up this year?
Spoiler alert: Like Striker Eureka bagging its tenth kill.
Like last year, I ended up missing the morning programming for Saturday because I had been up until 5 a.m. the night before because of a Doctor Who party I went to and staying up watching Orange is the New Black. By the time I finally made it to the con, they were on a lunch break.
Yep, programming took two breaks on Saturday. One for lunch and one for dinner. I have never seen a con do that, but I have to admit that it was kind of genius. It felt awesome to be able to walk out of the con for a bit to grab dinner in the evening and not feel like I had missed anything cool. It certainly relieved the Fear of Missing Out that I had last year.
The con itself did have extended programming this year to the point they could take over the entire hallway of the Marriott Perimeter Center instead of half. It was especially nice to see the extended artist alley and all of the pieces being sold in the charity auction even though I wasn’t able to afford anything this year. The Pacific Rim fandom is certainly a talented bunch and I hope I’ll actually be able to financially support them if the con happens again next year.
There was certainly a lot of fandom flavor to this con since we’re still in a grey area between the first movie and any details on the second one and the animated series. The panels I attended ranged from straight up headcanon territory with the PG and R-Rated Headcanon Jamborees to straight up speculation to diving into extended canon to form a proper timeline of the K-War. There is so much richness to be had in this universe and it was so obvious that we’re all looking for it in the meantime before del Toro says anything about it.
I think my favorite panel I attended all weekend though was the Pacific Rim and the Tokusatsu Tradition panel that happened on Saturday afternoon. Hosted by Greg Hudgens, Matt Frank, and Jer Alford, it really dug deep into the genre that inspired Pacific Rim the most and just how much it influenced a cinephile like del Toro. It also educated me on a genre I didn’t have much understanding of before the convention. If I can walk away with knowledge of something new, that’s an awesome convention for me.
Really, if I had any complaints about this year, it would be about how quiet the con felt compared to last year. The population of the convention felt roughly the same, but it didn’t seem to buzz with as much energy as it did before. Maybe it was the fact I wasn’t staying there, but I felt like there was something missing. However, that is not reflective of the convention staff, who kept the machine running as smoothly as last year, nor the actual attendees, who were sweet as can be and really made it feel like a fandom sleepover. Maybe it is just because the fandom is in a lull state right now and I do hope we get some news about the new movie soon!
Even if the clock is stopped right now, Shatterdome Atlanta was still an awesome and chill convention that I hope continues to last. With the fantastic staff and attendees, this con is easily on my list of new favorites.