May 20 & 21 – XCON IX (Myrtle Beach, SC)

This was the 9th year of X-Con Comics shop in Myrtle Beach hosting this convention. It has seemed to grow in scale every year, although attendance seemed lower this year than last. This year’s celebrity guests included 3 former Power Rangers, several competitors from SyFy’s reality show Face/Off, a WWE Diva, and quite a few minor actors/artists/writers.

The vendors and costume contests seemed to be the real focus of the convention. This year’s costume contest (judged by the Face/Off folks) had more that $13,000 in total prizes, with the grand prize being $3,000 in cash in addition to gift cards, a sewing machine and more. The big winners were a full-size Dalek with someone inside and a very impressive Iron Man with loads of electronic moving parts and lights, all seemingly operated from his gloves. All day Saturday, there were pre-judging events in the panel room, and the main contest still took over 2 hours on the main stage. Vendors included the typical convention favorites: collections of old action figures, comic book stores, hand-crafted costume parts and prop weapons, and some real pros, like Reynolds Advanced Materials who had samples of most Smooth-On products for mold making and casting.

The 501st was there as the convention opened on Friday with a sampling of helmets and blasters in front of our Death Star hallway wall. We posed for pictures gave away trading cards and talked to con-goers about the Legion and how they could get involved. Friday we only had a couple of troopers and one lone Jedi, but Saturday morning opened the con to find our ranks had grown to include several troops, crew, rebels and even a brand new R2-D2 (his upgraded metal body and speedy new motors/batteries were impressive).

Carolina Garrison Members in Attendance:
1. Chris Gould – Scout
2. Michael Beaupre – Snow Trooper
3. Jason Boyd – Sand Trooper
4. Jeff Miller – Sand Trooper
5. JP Morgan – Imperial Crewman
6. Bryan Roller – Stormtrooper

1. Christine Miller
2. Marty Harken

Crossover Attendees from the Rebel Legion / R2 Builders Club:
1. Chad Varn – Obi Wan
2. Brad Butler – X-Wing/Luke Skywalker
3. Ed Reed – R2

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