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I'm just your typical, 27 year old Michigander brony and Batman-obsessionist.

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Batbrony Baltimore Batventures at BronyCon: Part 1 · 8:44pm Jul 13th, 2016

On Monday, when I got on the highway in Grand Rapids after two early morning flights, I balled my eyes out for about 30 minutes straight. I mean it, I was crying like crazy and just could not stop. These were not bad tears, though, no, no, far from it. These were some of the best tears I've had in a long time. My tears came from one place and one place only: the sheer shock I felt and still feel at how very much BronyCon 2016 met and far exceeded my expectations in oh so many ways.

I cannot possibly cover every single thing that happened to me at BronyCon 2016, not only my first ever BronyCon, not only my first ever pony convention, but my first ever convention in general. To do so would result in an obscenely long blog post even for me. But what I can cover is exactly what this event showed me, that being namely this: that every single good thing about this fandom that I have encountered in over four years of being in it solely online is the real deal. Bronies are the real deal. Together, they live what they preach online, and it is something to behold, let me tell you.

In those three days, time and time again I encountered indescribable, wonderful expressions of kindness, generosity, fun, laughter, camaraderie, love, and friendship between friends, family, and total strangers, thousands of them. Bronies of all shapes, sizes, ages, genders, ethnicities, and backgrounds gathered together to celebrate in something as simple and silly as a television show we all love, and it was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen, simply because it was so real. By the end of the weekend, it was clear that none of us were here first and foremost for the show, the merchandise, or the special guests; first and foremost, we were here for each other and to be with each other. We were here because friendship is magic and we all, each and every one of us, truly believe that and try our best to live it.

It took me awhile to get a feel for all of this on the first day. Going in, I was nervous that either the con wouldn't meet my high expectations or I would be a fish out of water seeing as I'd never been to a con before. The idea of being around so many bronies, famous fandom members and special guests was intimidating, especially since many of them were either such big names or were rather seasoned con-goers. I also feared that this was going to be the climax of my time in the brony fandom, that from here on out I might drift further and further away. One last hurrah for me.

This sentiment couldn't have been further from the truth. My first exposure was the opening ceremonies, and right away I was presented with something I'd never seen before; thousands of bronies, just like me, all packed in one room, all smiling and having a blast with each other. Since none of the other staff were there, I sat by myself, just sort of soaking things in for the time being. After that, I wandered around the vendors hall and attended the first big VA panel, gradually getting a better and better feel. It certainly didn't hurt seeing what goofs the VAs were with each other in front of all of us.

Balloons, the only thing as common at pony conventions as bronies

Ever wanted to go to something where your favorite pony VAs are just as likely to drop into character as they are to bring up VERY embarrassing and NSFW stories about the VA business? Look no further people, VA panels are where it's at!!! :raritystarry:

But I think the real turning point came when I finally got to meet Jenn Blake. Here was someone who wasn't just a horse famous member of the fandom; she was a legitimate VIP, a ridiculously talented artist for the actual IDW MLP comic books, and someone I'd also chatted with online before. In those chats, she'd always been friendly (and I figured she had to be given that she'd been kind enough to do a Q&A with us for our last MCM as well as donate some of her own art for it to be auctioned off), and we'd even discovered that we shared a love of all things DC comics, to the point that I decided to grab her a little gift for the con. But all the same, I couldn't help but wonder if things wouldn't be the same in person; would she even remember my username or who I was, would she be too busy or just there for business, would it just be awkward meeting her in person in spite of all the evidence I had that said I had nothing to fear?

Well, as it turned out, I had nothing to fear! Jenn was just as friendly in person as she has always been when we've chatted online, much to my delight! She was kind, funny, very generous with her time and more than happy to talk about whatever, from DC comics and movies to her upcoming projects. When that happened, I think that was the first time when it finally hit me just how real all of this was. Everyone here was genuinely happy to see each other no matter who they were. Everyone was here... for each other! After buying a gorgeous print from Jenn (which was ridiculously reasonable in price given its quality) and getting it signed, followed by taking a selfie and sharing a hug with someone I'd just met in person for the first time about 10 minutes ago, it was like my eyes were suddenly opened to just how amazing this all was! From that point on, I realized I wasn't just an observer; I was a part of all this, and knowing that was one of the greatest feelings I've ever had.

The lovely Jenn Blake, a.k.a., Patron Saint of Lesbians, or as I like to call her, Super Awesome Fueled-by-Fireball McArtsypants (yes I just made up that last one, why do you ask?)

The things that happened after that, gosh, I don't even know where to start. It was all just so wonderful. I met great artist after great artist, folks I have followed on DeviantArt for a LONG time but never so much as sent a PM to, and they were all so very wonderful to talk to! NC Mares, White Diamonds, DennyVixen, and so many more, they were all great and it was such a treat just getting to tell them how wonderful their art was in person and just getting to see the genuine smiles and gratitude on their faces when I said that. I chatted with fellow fanfiction authors and attended panels on the art of writing it, and to get to share our ideas on writing with one another, face to face, my gosh was that great! I got to make brony history along with thousands of other bronies and see for the first time ever all four of the Mane 6's VAs gathered together at the same con, and to top it all off, they read a fan-script written by Tabitha St. Germain herself (so yes, Tabitha St. Germain basically writes fanfiction). I jammed at BronyPalooza for a bit late on Saturday and sang karaoke too, and I can't even tell you how wonderful it was having a choral background getting to finally sing an MLP song, "The Magic Inside of You" no less, in front of so many fellow bronies, each one cheering me on! I even won the Appleloosan Poker Tournament on Friday night and walked away with a prize of my first plushies ever, the three mascots of BronyCon, Hoof Beatz, Blank Canvas, and Mane Event in plushie form!!!

Ponies Court: Where a simple family dispute between a fashionista and her rambunctious little sister can escalate into a murder case in an instant (at least if Discord's the judge... and yes, that's exactly what happened)

Bronies: we even make signs better. I mean really, have you ever seen more adorable signs?!

Something I could have seriously used more of (probably why I ended up getting one of these mugs)

But it wasn't just the events themselves, it was everyone there, just every single one. Wherever you went, a conversation with a total stranger was waiting to be had. We didn't even usually exchange names, but time and time again I chatted with brony after brony about the show, the con, or whatever! Meeting my fellow Poniverse staffers too was just as great; like Jenn, they turned out to be just as great and even more than I could have ever expected they'd be, and were most definitely one of the biggest parts of making this weekend such a gem! From Simon and Stitch to Koukatsu, SFyr, Path, Simeon, and Victor, I just couldn't get enough of any of them, and being with them in person only renewed and grew my love for Poniverse and doing my best to make it as great as can be. Thankfully, I'm glad to say that our Saturday panel went rather smashingly if I do say so myself, and that too was a wonderful experience to participate in, getting to tell so many people, face to face, what makes our little corner of the Internet such a great place to hang out!

This and oh so much more went into making this a weekend I'll never forget. But if you thought I'd covered it all, ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh my are you oh so wrong. No no no, I'm saving the best for last, but I'm afraid it will have to wait for the time being. Otherwise, certain surprises may be ruined beforehand. Until next time everypony, when I will finish regaling you on the wonder that is BronyCon, this is Batbrony signing off. I'm off! *cue dramatic exit*

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Comments ( 2 )

Glad you had fun, Batbrony! I've been looking for videos of the con online to no avail, well the Dr. Wolf TF2 one is what I'm looking for anyway... I personally would have loved to meet Tara Strong and more than a couple 'horse famous' people like Silver Quill Lightning Bliss, and Josh Scorcher.

Got to meet Tara very briefly at the end of the autograph line; didn't get to say a whole lot, but she was very nice and thought my print I had her sign was cute. I did get to mention that I was looking forward to hearing her in "The Killing Joke" later this month. :raritywink:

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