Event preview by Charles Cassady, Jr.
Ever since LeBron left, the most significant thing about Cleveland, we can all agree, is the Cleveland ConCoction. This is an all new fantasy/sci-fi and gaming convention, making its inaugural outing this weekend, Friday, May 30, through Sunday, June 1.
(Thus, in the years between LeBron's departure and the ConCoction now occurring, ...there was nothing significant about Cleveland. That explains the local residents' longstanding feelings of desperation, futility and nameless dread. That and the sports teams.)
The ConCoction is devoted to a celebration of science-fiction and fantasy art, dramatizations, role-playing gaming (a la Dungeons & Dragons), comics, cosplay/fashion, and just about everything that fan conventions are about. Visit with vendors of "steampunk" gear! Attend bizarre and esoteric panel discussions! View galleries of Games of Thrones and Halo-type fan art! Listen to the unspeakable melodies of "filksong" bands, inspired by Harry Potter and the like! And watch (or, worse, participate in) a costume contest, partially judged by Plain Dealer reporter/critic and sci-fi buff of longstanding, Julie Washington.
There are also VIP guests, most prominently Eugene `Rod' Roddenberry, the son of the legendary Gene Roddenberry. He will present his long-in-production documentary TREK NATION, an exploration of both his father's life and career and the phenomenon of Star Trek - one that the famed producer's son admits in the film that, for most of his life, he himself didn't even grok; Gene Roddenberry's son was more of a George Lucas fan.
In addition, expect visits from Walking Dead actor Santiago Cirilo and the Stow-based troupe R.A.K. Films, who create lurid backyard features and skit-comedy videos in the tradition of Cleveland TV horror hosts, Benny Hills and Russ Meyer.
Cleveland ConCoction takes place at the Airport Sheraton, 5300 Riverside Drive, right by Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport (increasing the chance that LeBron could fly in, check it out, then leave town again before anyone notices him).
Hours of ConCoction are Friday from noon to midnight, Saturday from 10 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. - keeping in mind things Friday and Saturday night might go later, given the DJ party and two nights of midnite monster movies emceed by "Dr. Bob."
For more information and registration, go to the Cleveland ConCoction site, http://www.clevelandconcoction.org.