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Author Frank Patz


I didn't know what to expect when I was invited to go to the Stony Brook University Campus in Long Island to cover the XXV Icon. On one hand the number "25" showed that these guys are able to put a convention together (actually, many of them!), but the long drive it took for me to get to the show, made me doubt if it was gonna be a huge show with many people.

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And I was proven wrong - upon arriving there, I saw hundreds of kids strolling around the building and gathering around a live martial arts presentation across the street. Inside, the number of vendors was also greater than I expected, spread across a spacious hall and to my surprise buyers could make some great deals there (things are more expensive in the city indeed!), and I really mean it (Sideshow Collectibles X-Files Fox Mulder and James Bond Pussy Galore for 20 bucks each anyone?).

What struck me the most was the kind of dealers I found there - one could say that in a "city" convention, half of the vendors are comic book dealers and the other half are "toy" dealers; at I-con, half of the total were "fantasy-based" dealers, i.e., they sold medieval costumes, dragon rings, ball masks, fairy bells, all kinds of swords and daggers. It shows the influence of Lord of The Rings on modern audiences and oh, boy they were modern - far more than half of the attendees were less than 30 years-old.

The attractions were not few - among 21 celebrities, the audience could see George Takei (who also went to the party after the show! - see below), Kevin Sorbo (who was walking around among the fans!), Terry Brooks, Elvira (Mistress of The Dark) and many others.

The organizers also put together a gallery where artists could display their work and sell them. But the greatest attraction of the convention was one held outside the campus - an after party held at a local Hotel, which was free for the show attendees (and it was catered! - booze sold separately).

The party had a costume contest and the presence of Aero-Sith, a parody band that plays covers of Metallica, Devo, U2, you name it, always changing the lyrics towards more "Star Wars-ish themes". The members are Darth Maul (bass), Anakin (drums), Palpatine (guitar/vocals) and a Royal Guard (keyboards) and albeit they didn't play live (they "interpreted" to the music), the tape that was played was really them playing. It was a win-win situation - who loved them had a lot of fun and who didn't had a lot of laughs with their antics.

The Icon official site ( is already counting down to the next show next year. And I'm going!

Micki Mihich


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by Frank