One of the reasons I went to JoeLanta this year was that I was asked to be part of a roundtable discussion on the future of the 1/6 scale action figure hobby. Rather than try to explain it, why don’t you just watch it in its entirety?
In the above clip you will see JoeLanta organizers, David Lane, Buddy Finethy and Marten Jallad, plus Scott and Charlotte Beckmann, the moderators of The Trenches, one of the top GI Joe discussion forums on the web, and Pop Culture reporters Jon Waterhouse and Anthony Taylor. Joining in also were Greg Brown from Cotswold Collectibles, the hobby’s leading supplier, super fans Steve Charlton and E.J. “King of Swapapalooza.” They even let some guy named Rudy Panucci blather on a bit. There were also questions from the audience, including some from Dave Matteson and Alan Dawson.
My first GI Joe convention was just loads of fun. Even the drive down was pleasant. We stopped in Gaffney, South Carolina for lunch at a restaurant called “FATZ” (the food was great, but they needed an “R” in the middle of their name), and were somewhat startled by an enormous peach. I’m pretty sure it tried to follow us as we left.
Friday evening we settled in and I got to meet friends in person that I’ve known for a long time online. It was so cool to get to be in the same room with Scott Norris, Dave Matteson, Mark Otnes, and my fellow panelists. I literally met dozens of people who had only been names on my computer screen before.
Of course, I was so wired that I forgot to take photos with anybody. I think we were halfway back before I realized that. Now I really need to go back next year.
Just in case the panel isn’t your thing, here’s a JoeLanta dance video by Bambi, from Radio Cult.
I am working on a full-blown PopCult video report, but we shot so much stuff that it’ll be this weekend before I can get it edited and posted. In the meantime, here’s another short photo essay to hold you until then.