Another GREAT Shore Leave convention come and gone
Baltimore Maryland was yet again the scene of one of fandoms most loved and popular fan run Sci Fi conventions, which has now been ongoing for 35 years; Shore Leave. This is one of those shows that is unique in and of itself because it is run by fans for fans and for all the right reasons! This is the place where you always feel at home, where you get to see great celebrity, science, author and artist guests and where you can always count on seeing those people who you only see a few times a year, but love just like a family member!
As always, Shore Leave 35 was not only a huge success, but also more fun than any one sentient should be allowed to have in the space of three days! This year’s show featured so many great guests I am not sure where to start and hate to leave out even one, so please feel free to visit the con’s web site for a full list, but here are some of my favorite guests who were in attendance, William Shatner, Amanda Tapping, Brent Spiner, Saul Rubinek, Eddie McClintock, Vic Mignogna, Julie Caitlin Brown, John Broughton and the continuing adventures of the USS Farragut, Michael Jan Friedman, Paul Kupperburg, Peter David, Greg Cox, the Boogie Knights, and a science fiction cartoonist/sci fi reporter who also happened to illustrate this year’s Convention program book cover, Tye Bourdony. Plus so many others, so please visit Shore Leave’s web site to see for yourself and don’t forget to put this on your favorites list! http://www.shore-leave.com/
Shore Leave is that special convention where you can mingle with all of the great guests, and this convention does all it can to bend over backwards for its attendees, even going so far as to give away 2 free celebrity autographs just for attending, volunteering or being a vendor at the show; Amanda Tapping being one of these free autographs! WOW, that’s a savings of $40.00 right there! So that just goes to show you how fan friendly this convention is! Then there is also the great masquerade, dance and costume parties where you can get your Klingon groove on as well as an amazing art show, and tons of panels and programing for all ages and types of fandom. And did I mention the two tremendous dealers rooms in which you could purchase almost anything your favorite science fiction fan could crave!? There was even a 1960’s era Bat-mobile and a full size Tardis at the show! Last but definitely not least for me and perhaps even most important for this show was the fans, costumers and attendees as this show is again, plain and simply, a convention run by fans and for the benefit of the fans!
For me personally, Shore Leave 35 was about little more and something just as special; old friends. Going back to Shore Leave was like going back in time for me in that Shore Leave was one of those staple shows I used to attend when I first started drawing Sci Fi cartoons and when I lived up on the Eastern seaboard of the continental United States (for all of our off-planet readers). I also created the artwork for the program book cover this year and just so happened to create it for Shore Leave 22, so imagine that I have 13 years of history with this show and that for me is quite special.
The friends you make on the convention circuit are a part of a sub culture you all share in which you only see each other at other conventions for the most part. So going back to shore Leave after what must have been six or seven years was simply a delight because I was able to spend time with Sci Fi friends I have known for a decade or more. Friends who were at my wedding, friends I shared adventures with, friends you dreamt, laughed and even cosplayed with.
Going back to Shore Leave was like going home for me in some ways, while still being the kind of convention that anyone could greatly enjoy because of the atmosphere, the amazing guests and the homey feel that you just can’t seem to get at most conventions anymore! Shore Leave and the Townsand Star Trek Association that works to make the show happen every year is quite simply one of those treasures tucked away that you find and never want to let go of! Shore Leave 35 was not just a great show, it is an example of what a really good fan-run convention can and should be! Live Long and Prosper Shore Leave and long may you reign!
Written By: Tye Bourdony
Tye Bourdony is a Sci Fi cartoonist and creator of ‘The Lighter Side of Sci-Fi’, a mediator, science fiction reporter and the U.S. based content editor for Sci Fi Pulse. He is also a graduate of the Barry University School of Law, SUNY Purchase and H.S. of Music & Art. Tye currently works in Florida’s 9th Circuit as the Staff Family Mediator, is currently the Public Information Officer for the Osceola County Bar Association and has a regular self-published column in Sci Fi Magazine. You can visit Tye on facebook and at www.thelightersideofscifi.com or send him your thoughts and story/article ideas to TBourdony@scifipulse.net.