Bringing the Comic Con to your Home
What happens when the world goes into lockdown and comic cons around the world are postponed?
The actor Paul Amos known as the voice of Jacob Frye from Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (also Lost Girl and The Murdoch Mysteries ) teamed up with his friend Rachel Skarsten (Lost Girl, Reign, Batwoman) to create their very own and unique, stay at home Comic-con, the aptly named HomeCon which debuted on April 10th-11th 2020.
From the moment Paul Amos went live on Instagram on the 30th March and declared a new project he’d created alongside Rachel Skarsten, we knew he had something big up his sleeve and it would be a game changer. A few days later via Instagram Live HomeCon was announced and a comic con like no other had been born. With the world on lockdown and comic cons being postponed or cancelled left right and centre, Paul and Rachel had the genius idea to create HomeCon, as the name suggests a comic con at home.
But how would it work? What would it entail? And who would be there?
With everyone at home, HomeCon literally had a captive audience and with many of the voice actors in the same boat as the fans, they were available to participate. Like with any Comic-Con, there would be panels, Q&A’s and the chance to have 1to1’s with your favourite actor.
So with less than two weeks Paul, Rachel and many other incredible people behind the scenes pulled an incredible feat and HomeCon was ready to go live. HomeCon would take part on April 10th and 11th. All panels would be live via Twitch and with a subscription of $4.99 (or free of you had an Amazon Prime account) you could view it all. HomeCon’s Social Media platforms (Facebook) informed us frequently with panel information and guests.
As the HomeCon website went live, it provided fans with schedule’s and allowed them to book their 1to1 sessions. Of course, there were a few teething problems, as there always is with technology and the rapid interest in HomeCon meant that the website traffic sent it into a mini meltdown. With all new ventures, there were a few teething problems, but personally speaking I felt that the HomeCon support teams did a phenomenal job in handling issues prior and during the event.
A few questioned the cost ($53 for 5 mins) for the 1to1, some feeling that they couldn’t justify the spend during these uncertain times, but as Paul explained very diplomatically that many actors had dedicated their time free of charge to be available and that 10% of proceeds were going to the charity First Responders First.What I felt was impressive it that they devised an almost perfect timetable, the different time zones taken into account, allowing those around the world to tune in.Day 1 started strong, with a live introduction and welcome by Rachel and Paul.Assassin’s Creed fans eagerly awaited the AC panel at 6pm BST. I noted as I tuned in to watch that over 26,000 people were watching.
Suddenly all the familiar faces (or should that be voices) appeared on screen and the discussions began. I felt the moderator Ming Chen did a great job in keeping the pace and allowing each person to talk.
However, as is the way with this incredible bunch of people, the conversation steered off course in the best possible way, usually led by Paul himself. It was great to see the interaction between them all, each one giving a little insight into their character and sharing anecdotes. As the hour long panel continued it was a joy to see fans sending questions and even communicating with one another as the message board scrolled furiously.
Image source: Cas Anvar
Before Day 1 came to an end, Paul popped back on to Instagram to send love and thanks to all involved and teased us with the hint that there could be a HomeCon 2.0.
Victoria Atkin (Evie Frye) also hosted a quick Instagram live with Melissanthi Mahut (Kassandra), and then siblings Alexios and Kassandra did the same over on Michael Antonakos’s Instagram. It was evident at this point that everyone was having the best time and that HomeCon really was bringing everyone together.
Day 2 and Assassin’s Creed was represented in the Motion Capture Panel which featured Elias Toufexis (Federico Auditore da Firenze - AC 2), Melissanthi Mahut (Kassandra - AC Odyssey) and Kris Holden-Ried (Crawford Starrick - AC Syndicate), alongside Greg Bryk (Joseph Seed - Far Cry 5) and Adam Croasdell (Ignis Scientia - Final Fantasy XV)
The panel was insightful and again thoroughly amusing.
Meanwhile remaining AC actors were busy meeting and greeting fans via the 1to1’s. I myself had the pleasure of talking with Victoria Atkin all whilst being photobombed constantly by my excited son!
Image Source: Lisa Zaman
As Day 2 drew to an end for the Assassins Creed fans, Michael Antonakos went live on Instagram with HomeCon’s co creator Paul, who we discovered, was sat in his shower with a beer and a box of kitty litter.
Would we have expected anything less from the Welshman? As the conversation passed between the two it was obvious that there had been another lightbulb moment for Paul and that perhaps another HomeCon would focus solely on Assassin’s Creed.As HomeCon came to an end it became clear that it had been a great success. Not only in bringing excitement and entertainment to the fans at such a tumultuous time, but it allowed those who have been unable to participate in Comic cons previously (be it mentally, physically or simply geographically) to enjoy and embrace the atmosphere that so many of us cherish.
Yes, it was a fabulously entertaining 2 days, but what I took away from this experience is, as Paul highlighted, it allowed us as humans, to connect with others, something that is so important in these current times.
About the Author
Lisa is a talented portrait artist specialising in graphite work.
Back in May 2018, she turned her attentions to the world of Assassin's Creed art, and began creating lifelike portraits of key characters.
By joining the program, Lisa's work will be viewed by a larger number of community members, allowing her to build a captive audience.
The partnership also means that we will be working closely with Lisa for upcoming art giveaways and competitions for the community.
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