By Mary O’KEEFE
There are all kinds of “cons” from Comic to Dragon where fans can catch a glimpse of their favorite star from their favorite show. But there is something special about a convention. Maybe it’s because the fan convention was established years before the “cons” began. Maybe it is because a convention dedicated to fans of one show is more like a family reunion where there is a freedom to be who you are and not to hide that you know not only the names of all the episodes but can quote obscure lines from each one.
For fans of the long running television show “Supernatural,” that family convention is happening next weekend, Nov. 13-15 at the Pasadena Convention Center. The lineup for the “Supernatural” convention is impressive with the Winchester family, including dad John (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and brothers Sam (Jared Padlecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles), all appearing on Sunday.
Castiel (Misha Collins), Crowley (Mark Sheppard), Rowena (Ruth Connell), Claire Novak (Kathryn Newton) and Young John Winchester (Matt Cohen) will be on stage on Saturday. Sheriff Donna Hanscum (Briana Buckmaster), Sheriff Jody Mills (Kim Rhodes) and Cole Trenton (Travis Aaron Wade) will be on stage on Friday. Kevin Tran (Osric Chau) will appear on both Friday and Saturday.
And The Trickster (Richard Speight, Jr.) and Church Shurley/Carver Edlund (Rob Benedict) will be partnering as emcees for the entire run of the convention.
There are other events where fans can see and ask questions of stars and creators of their favorite show but nothing brings the one-on-one feel like a convention dedicated to one series. “Supernatural” is in the midst of its 11th year on the CW and from the beginning its stars and creators seemed to respect and understand the power of the fan.
“The interesting thing about ‘Supernatural’ is … that from the first show, the leads have made it their mandate to get out there and see the fans. They are out [at conventions and shows] 15 to 16 times a year. They headline our shows and it has been a wonderful partnership,” said Gary Berman, co-CEO of Creation Entertainment. Creation Entertainment is producing the “Supernatural” convention.
At the foundation of “Supernatural” are the two brothers, Sam and Dean. Their career, or calling, is that of hunters. They hunt demons, angels, ghosts and anything supernatural. The episodes are based on the Bible, Cain and Abel, Michael and Lucifer. Plots mix in religious stories from the ancient Greeks to Hinduism and, of course, there are some old-fashioned ghost tales. Throughout the storyline is the ever-present demonstration of strength of family, whether biological or friendship based.
Fans have been loyal since the beginning of the show and the convention is the perfect venue for them to hear the stars, ask questions and just hang out with their favorites.
Since 1971, Creation Entertainment has given fans of science fiction, fantasy and, well, the supernatural [pun intended] a place to go where like minds can meet the creative teams that put their favorite shows together.
When Berman and his friend Adam Malin were 14 years old they took their love of comic books and turned it into an incredibly successful business.
“It all started with comic books,” Berman said.
The basis of their success is they actually do what they love to do. In 1971 they held a comic book convention at the New Yorker Hotel in New York City. Berman had gone to another convention and said he liked the “Wild West nature” of the event.
“It was pretty cool. Those old conventions were fun but not as organized [as they are now],” he said.
Berman knew the power of the fan, even at 14. Gene Roddenberry, creator of “Star Trek,” knew this power more than most.
“‘Star Trek’ we focused on in the 1980s,” Berman said.
Creation Entertainment hosted/produced several “Star Trek” conventions. Berman worked with Roddenberry and praised his foresight when it came to knowing how important fans were to a show.
“Star Trek: The Original Series” ran from 1966 to 1969. For most shows that would be the end, but “Star Trek” had a following that was strong enough to breathe life back into this canceled series. The series not only expanded to add more television shows but extended to the big screen as well. All along were the generous, loyal and supportive fans.
Berman has given those fans a place to exercise their fandom and a place for studios to reach the fan in a one-on-one way. The importance of the fans may have been recognized by those like Roddenberry and Berman, but not everyone. In those early days, Berman did not get a welcoming attitude from studios; however, nowadays studios contact him to set up conventions.
“We do one show at a time,” Berman said of why his company concentrates on one series as opposed to panels of several shows. “People are going to spend their money to travel [to the conventions]. We want to give them their full money’s worth.”
The “Supernatural” Convention is at the Pasadena Convention Center, 300 E. Green St. in Pasadena. The shows begin about 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. and end about 6 p.m. or 7 p.m. They may begin earlier depending on actors’ schedules. The hour-by-hour schedule is posted late in the afternoon on the Wednesday prior to the convention. General admission tickets for Sunday are sold out but Friday’s tickets are $30 each and Saturday tickets are $60 each. They are still available as of press time though tickets are selling out quickly. There are preferred admission tickets available with prices ranging from $50 to $120. Weekend general admission tickets are available for $175. There are also tickets available for the Gold Weekend Package at $699; all $1,000 tickets giving fans a front row seat have been sold out.
For information visit www.creationent.com/cal/supernatural