Maine is known for many things. Trees, lobster, and highly acclaimed vacation destinations. Yet when the tourists come around, the local nerd culture knows what is soon to be following behind the strange license plates. PortConMaine, which celebrated its tenth anniversary this past weekend, signals the beginning of the sizzling con season for many. Though the sole convention in the state of Maine and one of the smallest in the region, PortCon offers a great time and memories for all and serves as the perfect venue for the first time congoer.
I greatly anticipated this past weekend, especially upon hearing the appearance of voice actor J. Michael Tatum. Well known for his roles as Scar from Fullmetal Alchemist and Sebastian from Kuroshitsuji, he succeeds in providing endless entertainment in both his anime roles and the panels he hosts. Able to talk for hours on end Tatum never fails to have enthralling stories of the voice acting industry, convention experiences, and even the horrors of a Texan faced with driving in the snow. Any panel hosted by this talented voice actor is guarenteed to be a panel to remember.
While the children go rave, the adults have time to play. Those who have attended PortCon’s infamous hentai panel undoubtedly have plenty of stories to share about not only the heinous and downright scarring videos but the host himself. For a first-time attendee of this two-hour long hentai fest, there was certainly no shortage of laughs and things that would make religious viewers of Rule 34 blush. To those of age who travel to Portland for this con, the hentai panel is an absolute must-see.
Part of PortCon’s charm is not only the chaos and convention inside but the adventures to be had on the front lawn. Once the rain died off the congoers poured outside for miniature photoshoots and to enjoy seeing the sun for the first time in the weekend. Picnics open to all fandoms spread across the parking lot as cosplayers shared their good times and impromptu lunches. A small cluster even formed by the main events tent to share in a retelling of the worst fanfiction ever written in the history of Harry Potter. Wherever one goes around Portcon there is sure to be something or someone waiting to share a good time.
Portcon’s size is perhaps its greatest asset. 2011 was perhaps the best Portcon I have ever experienced and after going for three years, what continues to be one of the greatest aspects for me is the people. The small, laid-back atmosphere keeps people from being in too much of a hurry and opens them up to being more friendly than in some cons I have been to. I certainly would recommend this con to anyone who is a newcomer to the con circuit or to anyone at all. Whether a wanderer, panel-goer, or gamer then there will be no shortage of good times and memories to be found.
Review by Even Makara – Photos by Even Michaels and Nerdly