By Kenneth Shipp
What a wild weekend indeed!! I can always tell when I’ve been out of the conventon circuit for a bit. Every time, I feel exhausted before the weekend even gets good and really started. Or maybe I’m getting old, but that’s besides the point. GMX has steadily been getting better and better, and this year is no different.
GMX has been a strong local convention in the Nashville area for a long time. I enjoy it just as much as I do MTAC as do my friends who attend both each year. Vendors were excellent as always; they have always done a great job supporting local talent and those looking to expand their product, craft, or hobby. We chatted with the creators of a new graphic novel, The Anomaly, and were blown away by the concept. When they say they will go into the Guiness Book of World Records as the biggest graphic novel, they aren’t kidding. In addition to designing the novel’s amazing panels, David Landry spent well over 7000 hours during the course of 4 years painting the large size panels. For more information, check out their site dedicated to The Anomaly: http://www.th3anomaly.com/about.html
And just like the artist above, cosplayers put in some incredible man hours into their costumes. One that stuck out the most to me was a young kid, maybe 10 or 11, who was there with his mom and had crafted a rather impressive character from Destiny. He gets the nod for best cosplay of the weekend as he was the only to have a floating and lighted Ghost attached to his costume (Minus Peter Dinklage sadly). Impressive job indeed good sir!
Smaller conventions have the benefit of allowing better interactions between friends, panelists, content creators, and the like. Something that has been stressed to me from other Nerd Union author W.T. Bane and other convention junkies is how commercialized some of the big name cons have become. That’s a feeling that you won’t find at GMX; while it may not have the star power of some bigger name cons, it will win you over with doing the small things extremely well. Plus, there’s plenty to do in one weekend that you will remember fondly. I really wish I hadn’t missed Disasterpiece Theatre. I’ve heard great things from many of the attendees about it. You can’t attend them all, but that was the one I regretted.
Final Fantasy Panel:
One of the first panels on Saturday morning, Chad Wyre led an excellent path through the history of Final Fantasy. He noted there had never been a panel dedicated to only FF during GMX (It’s been mentioned or a part of another panel, and this was the first solely dedicated to the franchise). I was honored to contribute, especially to my favorites, Final Fantasy VIII and Tactics. Both hold special places in my heart and I enjoyed discussing the finer points of those two games.
There were joyous shouts discussing iterations we all agreed on and almost unanimous uproar to the ones we’d like to forget. FF XIII got the most hate from the crowd, although our panel host furiously championed it’s high points, to which some of the crowd could agree on.
The last part, a bit shortened because of how long we all stayed in nostalgia mode for the previous games, dealt with future games and prospects. What does Final Fantasy hold for the future? There were many suggestions: more open world game play, cleaner storytelling, most likely longer release times between games, etc. I personally can handle linear game play if we have open sections in between. If it feels like we’re on a rail game akin to Area 51 or House of the Dead, I want nothing to do with that.
Highlights For Me:
I have much love for the crew over at Cinema Sins. Jeremy Scott and Chris Atkinson gave us awesome advice at their autograph table and were great to chat with. They premiered new videos that you can expect out this week to coincide with the new 007 film Spectre. (And check out our review this Friday for our thoughts.) Their Q&A panel was excellent as well. Learning the true origin of the phrase “This scene does not contain a lap dance” and “roll credits” was not disappointing, even if the story was not remotely what you would have expected.
Despite their internet stardom, they seemed like down to earth guys. It’s nice to see that they don’t have inflated egos. (If they do, they certainly hide it well) It was a nice bow to the feel of the entire weekend: an excellent slice of nerd culture without the ridiculous frills or over complication of a bigger event.
If you’ve never been to GMX, I highly encourage you attend at least one day if not the entire weekend. You will not be disappointed by one of the best conventions Nashville has to offer.
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