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The Digicon (September 2011) - My Report

Posted by Carlo Jose San Juan, MD on Tuesday, September 13, 2011

    On September 10-11, 2011, the first official DigiCon took place.  Upon hearing of this event I already felt the daunting task of co-organizers Ryan Fisher and Casey Curtis.  It was a great idea, having a comic con on the worldwide web.  It eliminated many obstacles a lot of comic fans had to face with such events.  Location was no longer an issue!  I'm sure many of us had thought of the value of such a gathering but here are a couple of people who actually went ahead and did it.  And how did they do?  Marvelously.
    The event was not without its hiccups, though.  Once the comic con officially went underway the Audio/Video chatroom froze after a few minutes, presumably due to heavy traffic.  With free admission, the incoming traffic could have been limitless.  The AV chat and text chat were then given separate "rooms" which more-or-less lessened the congestion.  The first panel, composed of international artists (of which I was a part of), was going to be pre-recorded then posted on the site.  Then suddenly it was going to be live.  I got the feeling that it was all a learning process as the convention went along but considering it was the first DigiCon ever, that was perfectly fine.
    With a predominantly webcomic-oriented array of guests and attendees, no one was a stranger to online glitches.  It was remarkable how forgiving we all were and it perhaps spoke of how much we all appreciated the DigiCon, hiccups and all.  (Did anyone love the gargantuan task of logging-in to the tinychat Video chatroom?!)
    One of the notable positives from the weekend were the outstanding panels.  All of them were fun and a joy to listen to!  Lots of them were quite insightful.
    Personally, however, like in any comic con the biggest plus from the weekend was getting to meet fellow creators "face-to-face" albeit through video chatrooms as well as getting to make new friends.  The technical glitches were ironed out too.  My only regret is that due to time zone differences, I missed out on a lot of the fun due to that thing called sleep.  Nevertheless, what little time I spent there was well worth it.
    So, I applaud Ryan and Casey for providing the comic community with a great weekend!  I hear the DigiCon is not an annual event and may take place several times in a year.  I'm looking forward to the next one!

    Author's note:  In the weeks leading up to the DigiCon I had erroneously been referring to it as the first online comic convention.  It was later on pointed out to me that there had been at least one comic con based in the internet, specifically within Facebook.  Looking back at the DigiCon's promotional materials, it was called the web's first online comic con.  If you recognize a distinction between the worldwide web and Facebook, then Digicon may have made no mistake in its claims.  However, if you don't see a distinction, then I believe that it really doesn't matter who was first, as long as people were having fun! :)  I don't feel it would lessen the event's value at all.

Tags: digicon  report 
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About the Author

Carlo Jose Caz is a practicing licensed physician, professional voice actor/talent, writer, and cartoonist. He has been working on the Callous comic strip since 1996, winning several of The LaSallian's Silver Quill awards for his work. He has written several published short stories. He currently lives in the Philippines with his wife and two children.


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