This will be the second con that I have gone to this year and I have to say that it started off with a bang and I had hoped it continued that way. In case you are wondering, Indy stands for Indiana and Pop, my guess is popular and Con is convention. This is only the second year of this con and because of certain guests, it grew enormously this year. There are the typical comics, artists and cosplay areas but they also have a Halo championship that is worth $50,000. What? I like Halo, maybe I should jump on this! There are also panels with Podcasters. Yes, that word is correct, podcasters. These are people that have shows but are not live, they record and put them out on Apple iTunes and a number of other places. Some podcasters do it live but none that I listen to. Podcasters are like talk radio stations but without the commercials and these people get to talk about what they like. Don't ask me how they make a living, not sure if it's like YouTube or not. Hmmm, maybe something to look into.
On to the meat on the bones. I mentioned above that this con got quite a bit bigger this year was due to the YouTube Bros as the panel was called. This was made up of Markiplier, Jacksepticeye, Lord Minion 777 and Muyskerm. If you have never, ever heard these names before you might be reading the wrong blog. If you would like to know more about them, look them up on YouTube, though Markiplier is going to be Markipliergames. Be sure you are on the official channel (Mark has over 8 million subscribers, Jack has over 5 million, Lord Minion 777 (Wade) has over 500,000 and Muyskerm (Bob) has over 250,000). The reason I say make sure you are on the official site is due to something that Google allows and I'm not sure why. Google allow others to use the same name. People then steal big YouTubers videos, re-upload them and over ad the videos to make money. Even constantly reporting these sites does about as much good as an ice cube in the desert. Don't ask why, I don't know. Rant over, I digress. These 4 young men were able to more then triple the number of tickets sold last year for this con. If you were lucky and purchased early, you could get a VIP ticket that pretty much was suppose to guarantee you a spot in the panel of your choice, jump the line for autographs once and jump the line for pics once. I bought these so that having flown from San Diego to Indianapolis my son would not be disappointed! I like guarantees being that the only one in life is death. Wow, that just went to a dark place.
Now you are probably asking why fly to Indianapolis? Well, we didn't get tickets to Comic Con which is in our home town. Again you are saying Indianapolis? You know, I thought the same thing at first. Here's the thing. This town freaking rocks. I thought for sure there would not be much to do downtown other then the Con. Boy was I wrong. They have these bikes that you can rent, free if under 30 minutes. There is no vendor that you have to deal with. They are racked and locked into place, you go to a kiosk and sign in with a credit card, pull the bike out and go on your way. We road these all over, oh and they have what I would call a bike road. I didn't have to worry that my son was going to get squished by some random car. We road to the State Museum, the Zoo, the Military Park, the State Volunteer Monument and a few other places. Also, since we were downtown, no car required to go out to eat. Everything is within walking distance and I mean walking distance. Steps away. No hills to worry about. We ate someplace new everyday. I'm sure we missed a few great things, one for sure. Everyone told us to go to the Children's Museum. We just didn't have time because the Con had started.
Indiana's Volunteers memorial. It has an observation tower up there at the top. You can walk up the 31 or so flights of narrow stairs or for $2 take the elevator. We walked. It was a climb! The building is absolutely beautiful. They are doing some renovations on it right now. In the basement is a museum that we spent over 2 hours in.
Wow, I've really rambled. Let's get started with day one of IndyPopCon. We were smart. The day before you could pick up the badges, which we did. Opening "ceremony" was to be from 1-1:30 where the floor would then open at 1:30 for the VIP people and 2 for the general ticket holders. We went to the opening ceremony that really wasn't a ceremony more of an impromptu talk and 2 guests. Carl, one of the organizers spoke for a bit about the Con and how much bigger it was from the year before. Warning bells should have gone off. At 1:30 we went onto the floor and my son and I went our separate ways. Not 10 minutes later I saw one of the YouTubers, Bob and asked if I could photograph him. He said yes but he was in a hurry because he had a signing. What? What signing? I didn't see anything about a signing. I followed him over to the area, got in line and called my son to join me. He made his way over and that's when we realized that it was now 3 of the four YouTubers. I got out of line and swung over to the right side of the line and started taking some pictures and the 4th member (Jack) showed up. I looked over at my son who shot over the moon at this point. I have a very low key kid and when he gets a shit eating grin, I know he is up and over. The line didn't seem that long and we were in about the 4th zigzag of the line. Really, how long could this take? I figured an hour or so. Holy hell, 3 hours later, young girls sobbing, angry words as people jumped in front of the line, lots and lots of swearing and 4 guys that continued to smile, hug, sign autographs, take pictures, collect fan made presents and be just general all around nice guys. What? No one is that nice. I truly mean that. Let me back track a moment and explain that I am not a creepy older gal stalking these younguns. Well, I am but not like you think. When my son began to be involved in the internet life, I made damn sure I knew what he was watching, what he was viewing and what he was listening to. Any YouTube channels he subscribed to, so did I. I checked his history on the computer and on his iPad. Seem intrusive, bet your ass it is. There were channels that I absolutely refused to let him watch. There were channels that we watched together and then there were channels I deemed "safe". In the beginning we watched Markiplier together. That was late 2012. By the beginning of 2013 I knew what his channel was about and deemed it "safe". Yes, he swore, sometimes like a fish mongers wife but he was never derogatory towards another person. He was positive and his vlogs were actually kind of up lifting. Not to say he wasn't annoying as hell and the reason that I bought my son a good gaming headset. When he found Jacksepticeye, we went through the same motions. Again, at first annoying as hell but he kind of grew on me after awhile. So in the end, I became a fan of both these guys as much as my son, which brings us back to Indianapolis. Three hours we stood in line and inched our way forward. At some point I got out of line again to take some pictures and realized the horrible mistake the Con had made. They did not regulate the length of the line at all. We were in one corral that had maybe 8-10 switchbacks, it then came out and went through about 5 more switchbacks that were much longer and then straight to the edge of the building. I think an OMG is appropriate here. Someone really, really wasn't paying attention. The signing had started around 2ish, we were done by a little after 5. I took my son to get something to eat and then I headed back to the con as I had not gotten any pics of cosplayers. The guys were still going strong. I left at 7:15, returned at 8 and they were still signing. I left shortly after that. Not once did I ever see them falter with a fan. It was absolutely incredible to watch. If it had been me, I would have bitten the head off of a frog by then and run screaming mad out the doors, but that's just me. Someone finally did get their act together and cut the line off. The boys finally had to leave and from what I understand those that did not get to meet the YouTubers were given a ticket for the signing line for Saturday. Hmmmmmm, I didn't see that in the agenda.
The YouTube Bros as they were called by the Con. Starting from the left Muyskerm (Bob), Markiplier (Mark), hidden in back a very good friend of the boys is Tyler, next Jacksepticeye (Jack) and to the far right kissing Jack's head is Lord Minion 777 (Wade).
Unfortunately this would not be the last mistake the Con admins made regarding these YouTubers and their fans. Were the blunders malicious, no. Were they deliberate, no. Were they agonizing to the fans, yes. Were they done out of unanticipated actions, yes. Should they have anticipated the actions, perhaps. At this point I need to remind that we and many others had purchased VIP tickets. These tickets clearly state that you are granted 1 front of the line for a signing, 1 front of the line for pictures and 3 panel line jumps. On the first day, in the main hall which was also the registration hall and the main thoroughfare into the Con, there was a VIP Jump line sign. A kind of "here is where you stand" and we shall come get you and take you where you need to go. That was the first day and a not very busy first day. By a Con standard there weren't that many people there on Friday. Oh Boy, Saturday was going to be interesting.