CON STORIES (1): C.O.N.S., WILLICH, GERMANY

As promised, ages ago, here’s a round-up of my recent travels to assorted Transformers conventions, starting with C.O.N.S. in Willich, Germany, over the weekend of July 23rd & 24th. Nothing to do with the convention itself, but getting there on the Saturday was a nightmare. Stansted to Dusseldorf – hour and a quarter, hour and half. Normally. But the inbound flight had developed a technical problem, leading to an epic seven-hour delay. Have you ever tried to kill seven (extra) hours at Stansted? Not easy. Note to self: avoid Air Berlin. Clearly, their fleet of aircraft is so miniscule that one technical problem results in that scale of delay. So, instead of getting to Dusseldorf airport at a very reasonable 2.30PM, I arrived at 9.45PM, to be met by a weary looking Tobias and Alex, who — as well as organizing a convention — had been back and to to the airport several times. Went direct to a much delayed meal that had been arranged for me, and got to meet a bunch of the other fans and organizers. A good end to a frustrating day! The next day (Sunday), after breakfast, I was whisked to the venue. Wasn’t sure what to expect. But it was a nice large space, with plenty of dealers and a stage set up for a full rock band (the amazing Rampage – more on them later). Weather was atrocious — I think it rained all day — so the lack of the promised lunchtime barbecue wasn’t too disastrous. But inside the hall spirits were un-dampened. I was set up with my scripts and comics to sell at a table facing the stage, watching as the fans piled in. Lots of fans! Things kicked off in earnest with a brief performance by Rampage, who woke everyone up with their Transformers-themed song, ‘Letz Go Transform,’ which I’d heard briefly the night before as we drove to Willich from the airport. I’m not a huge fan of ‘heavy’ rock, but I was pleasantly surprised how quickly I warmed to Rampage. There was a great sense of Meatloaf-style rock-operatics about their performance and ‘Letz Go Transform’ is a pretty catchy tune. Well worth checking out their website here, which has videos from C.O.N.S to view. For the morning, I pretty much signed and chatted and watched as amazing Cosplayers clanked past my table. A steady stream of people stopped and said hello, and Tobias, Alex and Lucy were always on hand to make sure I had whatever I needed. Lunchtime (and a hot dog) was punctuated by another (longer) performance by Rampage (again, high marks on the sheer entertainment factor – lead singer Smookey and backup vocalist Ines really perform their songs). In the afternoon, I had a Q&A session, which had to be simul-translated into German by Tobias, who was also asking the questions. He did amazingly well, and everyone seemed to grasp what I was saying. Though I have a feeling Tobias cut out a lot of my waffle and got to the heart of the answer when he did it in German. Either that or we use a lot more words. Things wrapped up with another performance (a full hour or so set) by Rampage, who seemed to just get better and better. Most impressed! Then it was food and wind-down, and a toast to the end of a great day. Overall, it was a really well put together and thought out convention, with a dedicated and good-sized attendance for a one-day event. This is definitely one to watch, as I have a feeling things can only get bigger and better. Big thanks to Tobias, Alex and Lucy for bringing me over and making it such a fun and friendly couple of days. Oh, and the flight home was on time/schedule. Hurrah!

Back soon with my thoughts on TFCon Toronto!

11 Responses to CON STORIES (1): C.O.N.S., WILLICH, GERMANY

  1. I love that the con (and I know others do too) had the band throughout the day!
    Did you get peppered with many questions about TF#81? I’m trying to think if the announcement had been made by then (when was SDCC… I think that CONS was just after it?)?

  2. simon furman says:

    Hi Luke,
    It was that same weekend. So the news had already broken. Had to field a few questions, without actually revealing anything. It was tough. But since then I’ve had TFCon and AA, so I’ve kind of perfected the evasive but still informative answer.

  3. Akira says:

    I am glad your flight back wasnt as disastrous as the other one..
    Yes, Tobias cut a few words out, but I think everyone got what you wanted to say ^.~
    I was very delighted that I got to talk to you.
    Hope to see you next year as well!

  4. Hello Mr. Furman,

    I have to thank you for answering my very own Qeustion about the possible release of the Movie-Book “The Art of Transformers” which is – like you said – cancled by Michael Bay and/or his Team without any reason. I wasn’t personally at the Convention in Willich, but I saw a lot of the Videos, and the most important for me was the interview with you. Thank you very much again, I hope there’ll be a day where I could meet you personally.

    Best Regards from germany

    Chris aka LimeWire on the TFW2005- and NTF-Archive-Boards (You maybe saw some Customs and/or Pics of my Work on the Convention)

    PS: I feel sorry for my english, maybe some words are misspelled

  5. Thanks for the script of the Transformers Prowl with it.

  6. And now let Prowl in the Transformers life, because he is my favorite transformer.

  7. Philister says:

    Glad to hear that you liked it at our Con, Simon, and we hope to see you again next year. Hopefully with barbecue and better weather then.
    Cheers,
    Phil (the guy who gave the Furmanism-speech)

  8. simon furman says:

    Hi Phil, sorry you weren’t name-checked in the post (my bad!), but thanks go to you too for an excellent and well organized weekend. –Simon

    • Philip S. says:

      No worries about the name-check, I wasn’t trying to get my name in there. Just wanted to thank you for a wonderful visit and for being a good enough sport to let me do that Furmanism thing.😉

  9. Smoo says:

    Dear, Simon, we´re glad to read, that you liked our stageshow. We hope and appreciate that we will meet us again. Greetings from Germany Smookey and Ines from Rampage

  10. simon furman says:

    Hi Smoo – great to meet you and Ines and the rest of the band. Looking forward to an encore next year!

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