Jedi, zombie killers, metalsmiths, ancient Celts, steampunks, horror makeup artists and knights could probably all fall under the category “cool,” but do they belong at the same convention? That was the question at Combat Con, held over three days last weekend at the Tuscany hotel. The inaugural convention sought to meld history and fantasy into an event that was part Comic Con, part Ren Faire and part film fest … with weapons and martial arts thrown in anywhere and everywhere. In their words: “The times that were, the times that are and the times that may be … and how to kick butt in all of them.”
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Attendees could pop into the steampunk room to play with a toy gun featured on Castle, attend a workshop on how properly to apply horror makeup and catch part of a 24-hour fencing marathon for charity, all on the same day. Panelists included the weapon maker from Spike TV’s Deadliest Warrior, who spoke of the delicate balance between capturing historically accurate ancient weapons and meeting the demands of television higher-ups. (“We had an expert, but he wasn’t Spike hot …” he recalled.) Workshops included a Jedi fighting master class run by Nick Gillard, the fight director from the Star Wars prequels, and one with experts on ancient weapons, which attendees then got to test out on a file cabinet.
If it sounds all over the place, it kind of was, but that seemed to be the point. Bring together as many cool, violent things as possible and something’s bound to stick.