by Darkly

Hello! TrotCon’s This Weekend

July 13, 2017 in Programming by Darkly

Friends of TrotCon, guess what? It’s that time of year again!

Yes, this weekend, TrotCon 2017 happens in Columbus, Ohio, for the sixth year in a row. We’ll be setting up shop at the Crowne Plaza Columbus North for three days, beginning on Friday, July 14.

Along the way, you’ll be treated to panels from some of the great talent from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, including M.A. Larson, G.M. Berrow, Peter New, Lee Tockar and Heather Breckel! We’ll also have a slew — a veritable slew, y’all — of community guests who’ll be showing off their trade while informing each and every one of you on deeper aspects of the MLP franchise and what it means to them.

It’s gonna be sick. Truly.

The festivities begin with pre-registration TONIGHT, July 13, from 9 p.m. to midnight. Then, registration opens again at 7 a.m. on Friday, July 14, with the first panel kicking off at 10 a.m. We’ll have opening ceremonies at 7 p.m.

The shenanigans run until Sunday afternoon! Along the way, we’ll have full weekend badges available for $60, with single-day passes running at $25 for Friday, $40 for Saturday and $20 for Sunday. And remember, kids 12 and under get in free!

Come see why we’re still running strong six years running. See why we’re consistently considered a great option for adults and children alike.

And mostly, anyway, come to TrotCon.

We’ll see you here! And in the meantime, please contact us on social media or via info@trotcon.net for any questions you may have!

by Darkly

TrotCon’s in a Week! Also, Important Schedule Changes!

July 5, 2017 in Hotel by Darkly

Hello, everyone!

We come to you today exceptionally excited about TrotCon 2017 and what’s to come. From our programming to our vendor hall to our Saturday night concert and everything in between, we think TrotCon 2017 is going to rank among our best events, if not our absolute best.

And the good news is that TrotCon 2017 is indeed still happening next weekend, July 14-16, at the Crowne Plaza Columbus North in Columbus, Ohio! Mark your calendars!

We do, however, have some news to share about the convention that directly affects anyone planning on attending the Friday of the convention.

The SparkNotes version: Due to a misunderstanding between our venue and our core staff, we will not have access to all spaces of TrotCon 2017 in the way that we normally do each year. While certain spaces will be available Friday morning and even Thursday evening, July 13 (for pre-registration badge pickup in the latter case), certain other rooms will not be available until later in the day. This will be short-lived, and by 7 p.m. we will be fully operational and running the way we usually do (that’s all night, in case ya forgot) until Sunday evening.

In the meantime, we’ll be running on a sort of TrotCon Lite schedule earlier in the day on Friday. Will you be able to pick up your badge? Yep. Panels? Definitely. Other programming? Sure! But the schedule we originally released last week will see multiple changes on Friday, with certain events moved back a few hours and others moved to different rooms entirely.

It’s not ideal, but we’re going to make the best of it, and we’re happy to say that we’ll still have at least SOME programming going on at normal Friday hours.

Due to the lighter load of programming on Friday, we will be offering a slight discount in Friday-only badges, to $25 instead of $30. Since many of you arrive on Thursday or even very early Friday morning, we didn’t want to leave you hanging for too long without anything to do, so again, programming will indeed begin at 10 a.m. on Friday, starting with panels in Panel Room 2.

Check out the new schedule here.

There is a small, small chance we’ve be able to manage a fourth-quarter hail mary and get everything back on track as was intended before the convention next week. And if that does happen, watch this space and our social media accounts to be the first to know. Otherwise, the posted schedule is what we’ll be going with for 2017.

If you have any further questions, comments, complaints or anything of the sort, we completely understand and ask that you direct them to either our staff email (info@trotcon.net) or to our various social media accounts. Someone will be on hand to assist you as quickly as possible.

Again, come 7 p.m. Friday, we’ll be the TrotCon you know and love (or… tolerate?). And we’re incredibly excited to get to that point. Just have to clear this hurdle first.

Thanks for your understanding, and we’re thrilled to see you in the coming days!

by Darkly

Community Guest Announcements!

June 9, 2017 in Guest Announcement, Programming, Registration by Darkly

Each year, TrotCon is chock full of some killer community guests who are doing some really cool things in the fandom, and 2017 is no different.

After all, we’ve already announced our share of special guests who you’ll be able to meet at TrotCon 2017, including Harmony Studios, ChocoPony, TheBronyCritic, TJ Carson and the folks of Pony 411. Business as usual, ya know?

Y’all ready to double that list, though?

Cool, because that’s exactly what’s about to happen.

With our final major community guest announcement push for 2017, we’d like to announce the following:

Fire Team Harmony! Y’all’ve seen them around TrotCon for a bit now as well as other pony conventions across the country, and this year we’re vaulting them up a notch to VIP status. Righteous, yeah? Check out these fandom-beloved cosplayers around the convention, say hi, even check ’em out at their own panels!

DaThings1! We’ve had Luke/DaThing1, purveyor of some of the best YouTube Poops this side of the Mississippi (or west of it… just anywhere, really). Well, he’s back again, and this time he’s got the third installment of the “Wow! It’s Made” series to show off, along with how-tos and other demonstrations. Get ready to laugh.

Joe Dyer! Ya boy is known as volrathxp on FIMfiction, where he wrote the popular fic ‘Fallout Equestria: Starlight’ (and since our theme is post-apocalyptic… well, ya know), among others. He’ll be on hand to discuss fan fiction, side fiction and much more. Writers, you’re gonna want to get in on his stuff.

Hobbes Maxwell! A longtime member of our vendor hall (where he’ll be again this year, naturally), Hobbes is on hand (hoof? Ugh, this horse pun stuff gets tiring after six year, y’all) for multiple panels and events, including some of our after-dark content in the wee hours of the morning. C’mon, ingest a Red Bull or two and stay up late. Worth. It.

WeimTime! A last-minute addition to our panel programming last year (so late, he wasn’t even in the conbook or online schedule), we’ve got WeimTime back this year and part of our community guest roster this time around. Learn from the owner of the highly successful YouTube channel and business of the same name, which is known for its animation as well as the Synthesia and WeimTime Plays online series, and take a trip down memory line with his Nostalgia Time panel.

Robin from My Little Robin! You know the dude from the My Little Robin: Reviewing Is Magic series? Yeah, we got the heck outta him for TrotCon 2017. He’ll be doing a live episode of the show as well as throwing a bit of a party commemorating four years of reviewing ponies on the internet. Aspiring reviewer? Good guy to check out.

We’re also excited to welcome back the Traveling Pony Museum, who’s been at every TrotCon since the beginning. Catch ’em in the vendor hall or in their own room with an assortment of awesome pony-related wares from the beginning of the fandom’s lifetime to now!

Whole lotta exclamation points up there. Hope y’all got that.

We’re also officially announcing our musician lineup for 2017! How about that?

If you follow us on Twitter, you’ve already seen this, but for those of you who don’t (ya should! @TrotCon), let’s get ya a list:

We’ve got Chang31ing and Goggles for the fifth (FIFTH!) year! MogulDash for a fourth! They’re all alongside multiple other performers who’ve been with us in the past, including PonyFireStone, IvoryBrony, end_of_file, R3CTIFIER and JESUSKIDZ. And then we’ve got our rookies: Luck Rock, Versal, DJ Rod, Fennec Faux and Iggy the Kidd.

13 musicians, folks. How can we contain ’em all? Oh, that’s right: by expanding to TWO NIGHTS of performances this year! We’ll be hosting a short, later-hours set on Friday to get you warmed up for the big event Saturday.

And then, y’know, the musician panel on Sunday, like usual. We are nothing if not creatures of habit.

Let’s see. One last thing.

Oh, right: our pre-registration for 2017 closes soon! In fact, sponsor badges for 2017 are over and done with on June 14, followed by weekend badges on June 20. After that point, you won’t be able to purchase a badge for 2017 until the con itself, at the door and for a larger price.

You really aren’t gonna want to miss out. This is important.

by Darkly

Announcing: the Battle for Bottle-cap Canyon!

June 8, 2017 in Programming, Registration by Darkly

The truck driver pressed his hoof down on the gas pedal sending more nuclear power to the wheels. “I’ve gotta get all these caps to the bottling plant” he said to himself “If they can’t meet the quota for the new Peanut Bucker~Cola release, my head will roll.”

As the truck approached the bridge spanning a canyon, a bright light flashed in the distance, growing brighter than the sun within a millisecond! The driver covered his eyes as he was blinded by the mushrooming explosion, causing the truck to swerve over the bridge railing and fall into the canyon. “AAAAAAAAAAH, Buck me!” the driver exclaimed.

Had anyone been around, onlookers would have observed a smaller explosion in the base of the canyon… as the truck full of bottle caps burns in its own nuclear fire, sending the cargo all over the canyon floor.

Countless years later, tales about a canyon of riches came out of the wasteland, from the dying words of an old scavenger. No one has ever found it…Until now!

Three factions descend upon the canyon, all aiming to claim the hoard of caps. So grab your Nerf blaster, pony up with your team, and fight for the glory of Bottle-Cap Canyon!
That’s right everypony! It’s a Nerf war!

Scavenge the wasteland for bottle-caps to support your faction, but watch out, the other factions will try to stop you and claim the caps for themselves. Each team will have a base to keep their caps at, and the wasteland between bases will have containers hiding precious caps and more Nerf ammo.

The event has a $5 entry fee, but if you bring your own blaster, there is a discount! Ammunition is provided (standard darts only, no rival, disc, mega, or missile is available)

The event runs several times during the convention, including a sponsors only “Free session” on Friday! That’s right, if you are a sponsor, you get in for free!

Did we mention that ALL sponsor tiers also get a Nerf Blaster with their loot box? Well they do: The higher the tier, the better the blaster! What better way to try out your new Nerf blaster than hunting the wasteland for bottle-caps? Sponsor badges help the convention and come with all kinds of goodies, registration for sponsors ends on June the 14th, so you better hurry up!

by Darkly

Announcing Heather Breckel! And Our Vendor Hall Map!

May 31, 2017 in Guest Announcement by Darkly

We’re a month and a half away from TrotCon 2017, so let’s kick out final stretch of announcements into full gear, shall we?

We’ll start with an oldie but a goodie, someone you’ll certainly know if you’ve been coming to TrotCon the last few years.

That’s right, Heather Breckel is back at TrotCon!

Breckel is of course best known on our end as the colorist for the IDW Publishing comic series for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic that’s been a perfect complement to the TV show through its existence. You read one of the comics? Chances are you laid your eyes on some of her work. And loved it. Duh.

Beyond that, Breckel (a Columbus, Ohio, native too! Imagine that!) has worked in similar capacities across other titles, including IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series and Godzilla: Half Century War, Image Comics’ Peter Panzerfaust, Dark Horse Comics’ Number 13, plus some of her personal projects, like Angie Ruins Fire Emblem.

She’ll be back for panels this year as well as spending time in our vendor hall.

Wait, vendor hall. We gotta announce who’s in that still, right?

OK, let’s.

We’ve got 56 tables of TrotCon-y goodness this year, same pony place, same pony time. Both the vendor listing AND map is now available on our website, with further additions and subtractions possible depending on… eh, y’know, the usual.

Point is, chances are about 95 percent of this is going to stay exactly the same by the time TrotCon rolls around this July.

In addition to Heather Breckel and a few of our community guests (along with some fellow conventions! Hi, fellow conventions!), you’ll find many of the awesome vendors that usually adorn TrotCon’s vendor hall (some of whom have been around since we started up in 2012), along with new faces.

Go on. Check it out. Figure out what you’re gonna buy this year. You know you wanna.

More announcements on the way, y’all! Including musicians and our final round of community guests.

Dig. It.

Remember, folks, pre-registering for TrotCon is 1) hella easy, and 2) almost closed for the year! On June 14, sponsor badges are closed for 2017, and regular weekend passes ($50) stay available until June 20. After that point, you’ll only be able to purchase a badge at the door. Don’t miss out!

by Darkly

Announcing G.M. Berrow and many Community Guests

April 24, 2017 in Guest Announcement by Darkly

Guest announcement time! Try to imagine, like, six siren emojis accompanying this sentence.

At last check, we had announced three VIP guests and one community guest for TrotCon 2017, right? Well, get ready to bump up the numbers in both of those columns.

Like, quite a bit. Today’s a doozy, particularly on the community guest side. Let’s waste no more time.

First and foremost: once again, we’re pumped to have G.M. Berrow coming out to TrotCon!

This marks the third straight year we’ve brought Berrow to TrotCon, which is a testament to the amount of high praise we receive about her from you guys at the end of each year. Might as well keep this party going, right?

Berrow, for the uninitiated, first became involved in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic universe as the author of the chapter books published by Little, Brown and Co., including “Princess Luna and the Festival of the Winter Moon,” Twilight Sparkle and the Crystal Heart Spell” and more. That’s a role she continues to hold today, but in addition, she’s also worked as part of the TV series’ writing staff. Berrow has also worked as part of the crew on TV shows such as Law & Order: SVU and The Good Wife.

Cool stuff, eh?

So, she joins a group of folks we’re already enormously excited about: M.A. Larson, Peter New and Lee Tockar. We’re digging this list, y’all. Hope you are too.

OK, community guests. Deep breath, because there’s a lot of ’em.

That said, like G.M. Berrow, many of these are return guests. Again: we like them, they don’t seem to hate us, you’ve had nothing but great things to say about them AS guest. Git some.

Actually, funny story: we announced TheBronyCritic last year within the same announcement as G.M. Berrow. How about that? Anyway, yes, TheBronyCritic will be returning to TrotCon 2017 after first attaining community guest status with us last year. He’s one of our local boys, a critic and analyst who creates videos reviewing the MLP TV series as well as audioplays, fanfiction readings and more.

We’re also proud to welcome back ChocolatePony, known also as SouthParkTaoist, who’s best known in the fandom for some fantastic artwork, tarot cards and pony card games who also offers some of the coolest MLP-related panels you’ll see on this or any continent. He’s also recently published a book entitled The West Point of the West and hosts a Zootopia-related podcast called Zootopia Minute. You know how we feel about Zootopia here at TrotCon HQ, so we’re sold. Soooold.

In the same returning-guest vein, welcome back TJ Carson to TrotCon 2017! He’s been with us for the last few years as well, as the moderator of multiple ask blogs on Tumblr including Ask Pirate Dash, Ask Mic Boom and more. This is his fourth year as a guest here. FOURTH. That’s crazy, yeah?

We’ve got some new folks to announce, too. Welcome the podcast Pony 411 to TrotCon 2017!

Pony 411 has been helmed by hosts Nemesis Prime and Alca7raz for multiple years now, presenting frequent episodes that tackle the MLP fandom from all sides, from the TV show to its comics and everything in between. They’ve been featured as part of Ponyville Live for a few years as well. Come hear them talk about podcasting — the dos and don’ts, how they got started, the history of a podcast that’s been around for almost five years now.

They join Harmony Studios as our community guests announced so far for 2017, and we’re far from done announcing folks, no worries.

Sound like fun? Cool! Come on out to TrotCon 2017, which will be held July 14-16, 2017, at the Crowne Plaza Columbus North in Columbus, Ohio!

Registration is open until June 25th!

by Darkly

TrotCon Comic – Chapter 3

April 4, 2017 in comic by Darkly

by Darkly

Presenting M.A. Larson

February 22, 2017 in Guest Announcement, Registration by Darkly

Peter New? Check. Lee Tockar? Check.

Hm. How about a third?

Yep, that sounds good, and we won’t delay the suspense any further than three paragraphs in: we’re happy to announce that M.A. Larson will be attending TrotCon 2017!

Look, if you’ve been to TrotCon in the past, chances are you know the guy. After all, he attended our 2014 and 2015 conventions, and when he didn’t show up for 2016, we heard ya loud and clear via email and on social media: you needed more M.A. Larson in your lives in July in Columbus, Ohio.

If you’ve been following along on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic from the start, you know his name. Larson was one of the chief writers on the show for a few years, working his way up to the role of story editor for season five. He’s since left the show, but nonetheless maintains a strong presence at pony conventions all over the world (ours included!).

My Little Pony is far from his only entertainment credit. He’s written for Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, Gravity Falls, Littlest Pet Shop and more, and even has his own novel, Pennyroyal Academy, that you should definitely check out if you haven’t already, because it totally rules. 100 percent. We aren’t messing around with this recommendation, y’all. As it happens the second book in the series, The Shadow Cadets of Pennyroyal Academy, just came out earlier this month. Timing!

Larson will join Peter New and Lee Tockar as special guests at TrotCon 2017, and you’ll get to hear his thoughts on his book series, ponies and much more at multiple panels throughout the weekend, as well as get a chance to meet him and get an autograph or five. We know you want ’em, and we hear he’ll sign just about anything.

But hey, guess what? We’ve got more than just one guest announcement to do today.

Just some housekeeping stuff, but we think you’ll wanna hear: for the first time, we’re offering something we’re calling a Spirit Badge for TrotCon 2017. What’s it entail? Well, check it: you’re a fan of TrotCon, but you can’t make it out for this reason or that. Yeah, sad face. We’re bummed, too. But wait! What if we told you that you could still support your good ol’ Ohio pony con friends? Get a Spirit Badge, then, dummy!

For $40, you’ll be supporting TrotCon, helping us to put on some great programming and to snag even more guests of honor (because they ain’t cheap!), while also getting a few spoils for your troubles. They include: a con book, a limited-edition pin, a poster and a special Spirit Badge. We’ll shoot those goodies over to you via mail, you’ll open ’em up, it’ll be like Christmas in July or August or whenever it actually arrives. Donate more? We’ll throw in more goodies. They’ll be so good, you’ll wanna call them greaties. No? Terrible? Yeah, true, sorry, that was bad.

One last thing: if you want to pre-order merchandise for the convention in 2017 — shirts, pins, that sort of thing — then you can ALSO now do that on our Eventzilla page! Scroll down to Merchandise Pre-Order and do your thing.

That does it, then. Time to roll the hype train on out of the station. In the meantime, weekend badges (Friday-Sunday) for TrotCon 2017 are $50 through June 20, and kids 12 and under get in free with a regular badge purchase! We’ve also got sponsor badges available, in case you’re attending but want to toss some extra money our way to help us give you an even better time (and so you’ll get more stuff, which is the real prize). Applications for EVERYTHING — staff, musicians, artists, panels, you name it! — are now on the site as well!

by Darkly

Official TrotCon 2017 Comic: Chapter 2

January 16, 2017 in comic, Theme by Darkly

by Darkly

Guest Announcement #2

January 11, 2017 in Guest Announcement, Programming, Registration by Darkly

OK, friends! Guest announcement number two.

First of all: been a while, yes? Don’t worry, we’re still around — just a lot of behind-the-scenes work since our last announcement. We’ll be bothering you much, much more from here on out; you’ll be sick of us again before you know it!

One VIP and one community guest to reveal today. Y’all ready?

Let’s start with the former. Our guy has actually never been with us before, but he was… supposed to be. It’s complicated. TrotCon veterans (aka, anyone who’s been around since 2013) will remember that we announced him as a special guest, only to have an unfortunate semi-last-minute cancellation keep him from visiting Columbus — even though he ended up phoning in for a panel. So, you know, little victories.

Second time’s the charm, we hope: we’re happy to announce Lee Tockar for TrotCon 2017!

*ravenous applause*

Tockar’s a veteran of the scene, of course. He appeared in the first episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic as fan favorite Steven Magnet. You’ve since heard him in a number of smaller roles on the show, including Snips, Spot (one of the Diamond Dogs) an in a truly magnificent turn as Gummy in the 100th episode. We’re still reeling from the existential crises brought about by his monologue in that last one. Keeps us up at night.

As with pretty much any actor out there, Tockar has much more on his resume than My Little Pony. You might recognize him as the titular character in season one of George of the Jungle, as Roach in the current DHX production Supernoobs, Urp in YTV’s Nerds and Monsters, Yakkity Yak in Nickelodeon’s Yakkity Yak, plus much, much more. You could spend a day in his IMDB page.

Additionally, Tockar is the founder/CEO of FanBuilt Productions (which, if you attended in 2013, you’ll recall as the topic of his panel).

He’ll be in attendance at TrotCon 2017 to answer your burning questions about voice acting, working in television and film — the whole nine yards, y’all. Panels, meet-and-greets, autographs, you’re gonna be s-e-t.

Now… how about a community guest?

You might already know a little bit about them from some of our teasers of their work. Well, let’s make it official: we’re excited to have Harmony Studios at TrotCon 2017!

Harmony Studios, founded by Victor Vortex in 2014, is an animation collective creating videos for the MLP community, from shorts to PMVs and everything in between. In fact, they’re actually creating a bit of a special video for TrotCon, which you’ll see at the convention this year. You like our comic, drawn by convention artist AylaStarDragon, we’ve been putting up? Then you’re gonna love this, too. Trust us.

They’ll be on hand (on… hoof? After six years, you’d think we would’ve figured this out by now) for panels as well! If you want to learn a little bit about how to do your own animation, they’re gonna be a great resource.

Lee Tockar and Harmony Studios join Peter New as the guests announced so far for TrotCon 2017. And since we’re just a few days from being six months out from our 2017 date, you can bet we’re going to be ramping up our announcements going forward.

In the meantime: we’ve got applications for staff, musicians, vendors and panelists live on the site. There’s also badges to buy — and prices are gonna go up on Jan. 31, so if you want a weekend pass for $40, you should probably get to it soon.

TrotCon will be held July 14-16, 2017, at the Crowne Plaza Columbus North in Columbus, Ohio!