Chicago Tardis is one of my favourite conventions. It’s typically on the smaller side (at least compared to many that I attend), it gives me an excuse to not be with my blood family for Thanksgiving, and there are a lot of people I get to see there who I only see once a year.
This year’s Chicago Tardis, seeing as it is the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, was a lot bigger than usual. And it definitely felt a little bit different from previous years. Less intimate, less lobbycon (still trying to figure out how more people equaled less partying in the lobby), but just as much fun as ever.
I even made it to a few panels! Friday I wandered into a Sherlock Holmes panel, and Sunday I crashed the comics and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. panels, as well as going to the Outside In one. Yes, I’m aware that only one of those panels was actually about Doctor Who, but it’s still three more panels than I typically attend.
Between panels and Daleks and costumes and friends and spending money in the dealer’s room, the weekend flew. I met some new friends, including the folks from the Two Girls, A Guy, and a TARDIS podcast, caught up with some old friends, and hung around with people I rarely get the chance to see.
Not everything this year was perfect. Lines for registration went on for eternity. The food court at the mall was under construction, so meals became more of a challenge. (Of course that led to picnics in the lobby, and a delivery girl who was a huge Doctor Who fan, so it all worked out.) But the weather was gorgeous, especially for Chicago in November, and wandering back and forth to Target for caffeine was painless for a change.
And a lot of what makes Chicago Tardis special really has nothing to do with the convention activities. Some of it does, don’t get me wrong, but what truly makes Chicago Tardis weekend special are the people. From walking into the lobby on Thursday afternoon and immediately seeing people I know, to having a friend show up in the lobby on Monday morning while I was waiting to leave for the airport so I’d have a chance to say goodbye; it was always about the people.
I go to conventions relatively regularly throughout the year. Chicago Tardis continues to be one of my absolute favourites. And even as I start and stop attending various others, Chicago Tardis will be written onto my calendar with permanent marker.
Is it time for next year yet?