I’m a Backer: Necronomicon
Since starting our weekly, “I’m a Backer,” column, our coverage has been largely dominated by games. Though it is true that the occasional comic book breaks the rhythm of board and video games I so frequently back, it is pretty clear what my preferred category is. This week’s project goes far beyond that though, and is the first Con that I have backed. A regular reader will know why this week’s project: NecronomiCon Providence was chosen – I love Lovecraft almost as much as Kickstarter does, and that is saying a lot considering Lovecraft is definitely in the top 10 list of things people throw money at on Kickstarter.
To get the scoop on the out-of-this-world get together, you can journey beyond space and time, or simply follow me below the fold.
This cleverly named project is exactly what it sounds like: a convention celebrating the works of H.P. Lovecraft. In the words of the project creators, they are trying to create “a convention with top-notch research, writing, and non-Euclidean geometry… as well as history, art, music, theater, gaming, food, etc. All over the course of three really intense days next August.”
Unfortunately i don’t plan on flying to Rhode Island this summer for a convention, but I confess it does sound like a blast – especially the geometry part.
So the product seems interesting, feasible and worthy – what about the project? How is its presentation? I am pleased to report only good things on that front. The creators’ seem to be recent adopters to Kickstarter, having only backed three projects, but that is more than many of the project launchers flooding the system lately, so I’ll give them a pass there. All parts of the project’s presentation are somewhere between good and great; the writing is straightforward, the pictures are plentiful, and the video – not usually a highlight for me – is stylistically interesting and worth watching.
My favorite part of the project though has got to be the reward levels. There are a lot of them, 25 in fact, but they are organized as clearly as possible, and there are so many creative and unique rewards, that it is hard to fault them for what was obviously a well thought out choice. If you love Lovecraft like I do, you should definitely take a look, and if you are with in driving distance of Providence, I don’t see how you could pass the event up. Seriously, if any of our loyal readers go, I want pictures!
I had a chance to sit down with the creators of the Project, and ask a few questions:
The first question is both obvious and likely impossible: which Lovecraft story is your favorite?
Hi David – First off, thanks HUGELY for helping us spread the eldritch gospel of the Great Old Ones!
Wow, favorite? As you can well imagine, that’s a really tough one. Most of his longer stories are superb, and bring so much to the table (and also typically completely defy all the usual stereotypes of Lovecraft’s writing – they’re fast-paced, easy to read, and *descriptive* of the nasties!). However, especially considering the focus we’re putting on Lovecraft as a rational thinker and amateur scientist, and how those aspects shaped his writing, I’d have to say that “At the Mountains of Madness” is the best – but with plenty of close-seconds!
Your website makes it sound like you have a little experience organizing Cons in the past, tell us about that.
A few of us have extensive convention experience, particularly horror film conventions and gaming conventions, and one of the main organizers (perhaps not surprisingly) has helped organize a number of academic science conferences, but most of us are just incredibly excited to put on a cool event in a city that we love as much as Lovecraft did – Providence.
NecronomiCon is currently biennial. Any plans to change that if interest stays this high?
THAT is a very good question. We’ve always felt that in order to keep this fresh, and not totally burn out our attendees, our guests, and ourselves (!) it’d be better to keep this biennial, but given the clear demand for such a convention and conference, we *may* rethink that…
The website makes this event sound pretty academic. Does NecronomiCon have the same “carnival” atmosphere people find at other cons? Is there something for everyone?
Yes! While the core of the convention will be a fairly straightforward literary / academic conference, we’re not kidding when we say there will be a LOT for everyone to enjoy. So many different people have a stake in Lovecraft and his literary creations, for so many different reasons, that we are really striving to blow people away. Of course, don’t for a second think that the talks and panels will be boring or too academic – we’re planning some really fascinating ones that will appeal to a wide base of Lovecraft devotees.
What is the most outlandish event you have planned? Please say Cthulhu costume contest.
Ha ha… I’d be struck dead if I told! We probably will have some costume contests, though – and, similarly a contest to see who can say “Ph’nglui Mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn” the best!! We’re also organizing a city-wide immersive quasi-LARP scavenger hunt, too – naturally, given we’ll be in the heart of Lovecraft’s Providence.
You really should come and see for yourself, though!