WINTER CON 2016 Recap: Good Fun, Good People ~ What'cha Reading?

WINTER CON 2016 Recap: Good Fun, Good People




Security was a little out of bounds with my children at Winter Con 2016! 😉

I write this report, better late than never.  Not a con junkie, I took my wife and kids, who had never attended one at all, to Winter Con 2016, and we all had a fine old time at the event held early December at Resorts World Casino in Queens, New York.  It was a perfect combination of panels, events, celebrity and artist signings, and a exhibitor’s floor offering good stuff.  Most importantly, you didn’t feel cramped – the setup was good (hats off to Convention Coordinator Spat Oktan and his crew) and the amenities offered (including a cosplay emergency repair station) befitted a convention that knew and served its audience.

“Warriors, Come out and Talk!” Well, they did!

We only came on the second day, but while mom and the kids shopped, dad still managed to watch a Q & A with the Warriors that was informative, funny and a bit ribald.  James Remar, Michael Beck and all the key warriors were on hand, and in good form.  The whole family got to enjoy an impressive role-play demonstration by the Empire Saber Guild, who followed it with a hands-on children’s light saber tutorial.


Empire Saber Guild put on a great show!

I’ll leave it to the WinterCon website to describe the Empire Saber Guild onstage event: As the Jedi Order struggles to maintain peace during the Clone Wars, Master Tarco and a small group of Knights are sent to Coruscant after the Council receives an urgent transmission. Their mission: find the Mandalorian, Falco. But this Bounty Hunter has a package containing more than they – and even he – could ever bargain for… Will they be able to set things right once a nefarious Sith plan is set into motion? Find out in Saber Guild: Empire Temple’s original show: Smuggler’s Bounty.

It was a lot of fun, and my six-year old son was riveted; they were also very nice in doing photos offstage with the little ones.  If they’re performing at the next con you attend, check them out!

I have now met two 007s!

As for celebrities, the Con did good by rounding up a full contingent of supporting players from the original ROAD WARRIOR alongside the aforementioned Warriors; a nice assortment of STAR WARS actors including Peter Mayhew, of course best known as Chewbacca from the original trilogy; and classic cult stars such as Adrienne (THE FOG, SWAMP THING) Barbeau, STAR TREK’S one and only Nichele Nichols, and George Lazenby, 007 himself from ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE, who was perfectly charming as he chatted with me and my family (he told me he was in Singapore working on HAWAII 5-0 when he was hired for Peter Bogdanovich’s SAINT JACK, and was incredulous when I told him THE MAN FROM HONG KONG now has a sturdy cult following).

As for stuff, we got plenty.  My 9-year old got an original Annie doll released for the 1982 John Huston film, my son got some super-hero stuff,  and both children ended up with light sabers. My wife got some nice prints for her business and I got this photo from Mr. Lazenby signed for my kids:


So thanks to the staff, and I look forward to their next Con in the Spring!

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About Author

James Kenney reviews film for What’cha Reading? and is an editor and film reviewer at QueensFreePress. He writes fiction for Hooked, an iPad application featured on TechCrunch, Fast Company, Business Insider and CNNMoney, won a New York Foundation of the Arts fellowship for his screenplay Secret Vienna, and has a pilot, The Whip, in development at Spike TV. He is an English Lecturer at Queensborough Community College as well as Bronx Community College, and lives in Queens New York with his wife and two children. You can follow James on twitter @jfkenney and check out more of his reviews on

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