Last year a friend of mine introduced me to a local convention in Atlanta, ConJuration. For those looking for a family orientated convention that celebrates magic and fantasy this is it. ConJuration is not only a Harry Potter convention, though many of the panels and events revolve around the boy wizard, it entails so, so, much more. This convention celebrates all things, (or as many as possible) magical; such as Supernatural, Doctor Who, Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit, and other magical literature and media. So for those with friends or family members who are just not that into the boy wizard there is something for everyone to enjoy!
This year was crammed packed with tons of new events, panels, and creative fun, so much it was hard to decide what to go to and what to skip out on. The Opening Ceremonies were a hoot, with Moxie Magnus, and CJ Marks performing. While the convention had many different authors, speakers, and guest attendees, the primary focus this year was on Wizard Rock. Many of my friends did not return to their rooms until after three am or later. I snuck down a few times to find them spending all night jamming out to bands such as The Blibbering Humdingers, Draco & the Malfoys, The Harp Twins, Ashley Hamel, Lena Gabriell, Hawthorn & Holly, and Kirsyn Hippe. Needless to say it was a big hit, in and of itself. As for me, I found something else to obsess over, but more on that in a bit.
I attempted to attend as many panels as possible, and be a diverse as possible in which I chose to attend. But only a few were a mandatory must for me this year, and it was difficult to choose just those. This year, I just wasn’t in the Harry Potter mood, but again, there were plenty of other things to do. This year one particular guest speaker pinged my radar as a must see, Kyl T. Cobb Jr. This author/historian is also a Demonologist and Paranormal Investigator. I love studying history of different religions, the paranormal, and the changes in how society interprets and changes their perspectives regarding these topics. For years I have laughed and gawked at people who get upset over television shows such as Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures when someone points out how “fake” they are, then get into arguments with “believers” of the shows. It was nice to sit down and talk to someone who has truly experienced what many want to believe, but also someone who has done the actual research and can speak honestly on the topic from an academic standpoint.
I was not surprised by the turn out that each panel had, but I was surprised by the presentations presented, and the questions it drew from attendees. Kyl presented what he called more of a college level presentation, but added his own personality to it, and kept the attendees engaged. Also, the questions that were asked of him didn’t just pertain to people’s “paranormal” experiences, but focused on the lessons each presentation. Of them the most intriguing was the discussion of the ‘Exorcist’.
We actually got the actual details regarding the case that lead to the creation of William Peter Blatty’s book, and later the film, ‘The Exorcist’. Not only had Kyl conducted actual research, other than reading the book, he explained how true exorcisms were conducted, and tricks the Priest use to find out if the subject is faking or not. This brought on some very interesting discussions, and food for thought. I would go into detail, but you can find out more truths behind this case, and other paranormal cases by visiting Kyl’s website, and purchasing his works here.
Again, there were tons of panels to attend with everything from Harry Potter, Doctor Who, the Vampire Diaries & Originals, to sorting DC. Comic heroes. I was panel hopping, so if I attended your panel, but attempted to sneak out, I apologize, but had to meet up with friends for another event I got volunteered for, Mugglenet Family Feud.
After last year’s successful Mugglenet Jeopardy I wanted to check this out. My team, Britt’s Every Flavor Beans, was excited to do this, but many of them expressed their desire to not win because it interfered with other panels. No worries, my epic failure came to the rescue. The game was well set up, and from the audience perspective the questions may have been easy, but when you’re being placed on the spot and in the spotlight, the easiest questions become difficult. In all we had a good time, and a good laugh! Thanks to Keith of Mugglenet.com for putting this on, we had a blast!
Once I shook off my epic failure of “Ginny’s lips”, I ventured into a realm of mystery and got to knock off an item from my bucket list, Dungeons and Dragons! Sounds goofy eh? Don’t knock it ‘till you try it. And try it I did! This was the highlight of my ConJuration experience. I have wanted to play D&D since I was kid, but scared to because, yes, it does involve math. Now that I’m older, it’s not so bad, and the Crimson Blades Gaming Club who put several D&D sessions on throughout the weekend did an amazing job. So amazing that I could actually picture the scenes the Dungeon Master set. After one quick game, I was hooked! And it did help that me and my Halfling badass rolled two Crit hits in one night!
Other events included Murder Mysteries, Hunt for the Horcrux, Fictional First Dates, Carry On My Wayward Scoobies, and much much more! I really wished to have attended several of these, but the call of the Dungeon Master was too great, and I had a great time playing D&D. So much that after my first session, I went back for two more! Along with the great vendors in Diagon Alley, new authors introduced and their books to be read, I went home with my pockets a little lighter and some awesome memories. Which is what ConJuration is all about! Definitely looking forward to see what’s in store for next year.