Recap & Photos: CommuniCon 3

Yahoo Screen swag. Clockwise from top right: Annie's purple pen, Community composition book, Greendale bumper sticker, Community tote bag.

Yahoo Screen swag. Clockwise from top right: Annie’s purple pen, Community composition book, Greendale bumper sticker, Community tote bag.

Another CommuniCon has come and gone, but this year’s was probably the biggest party ever. After all, a lot has happened since CommuniCon 2: Dan Harmon returned, season 5 aired, NBC cancelled the show, and Yahoo saved it.

And boy, did Yahoo save it. CommuniCon attendees were greeted at registration with Community swag bags from Yahoo Screen. Holy cow, right?! Actual promotional swag for Community? And it was on point, too: a Greendale bumper sticker (“I’m an honor student at Greendale”), a Community composition book, and Annie’s purple pen. Yahoo Screen was in attendance for random giveaways of shirts and other fun stuff. And they recorded all the panels, which will be online sometime this week on the Community channel. Compared to the usual Community fan/network relationship, CommuniCon 3 felt like waking up in a magical land made of chocolate.

CommuniCon's first foray into badge ribbons.

CommuniCon’s first foray into badge ribbons.

CommuniCon has always felt like a cult con for a cult show – fairly small in size but with hugely passionate attendees, many of whom have been attending since the con’s inception. This year, badge ribbons were added as a feature; these are a staple at many cons, but direct inspiration came from Gallifrey One, which was easily the second most popular topic of conversation after Community. (If I had a Nielsen point for every time I overheard or was in a conversation about Gallifrey One transfer tickets, Community would’ve gotten six seasons and a movie long ago.) The enthusiastic crowd took to the ribbon idea like it’d been a part of the con all along, and there were some high quality ribbons being traded. (“Notches” and “bear down for midterms” stand out as personal favorites.)

For a young, small show, the caliber of guests is really quite impressive. It helps that the show is still on the air, and that the convention is held in LA, where the show is produced. But the attitudes of the cast & crew that come – whether they stay all weekend or just for a few minutes – make CommuniCon special. Series regulars Gillian Jacobs and Yvette Nicole Brown have made it a habit to swing by Saturday afternoon, despite busy schedules that keep them from staying for a whole panel. And Danny Pudi regularly sends a video greeting to be screened at the con in his absence. Writers, crew, supporting cast, and even Dan Harmon will stick around for hours – often after the actual convention is over and the room has been locked up – to sign autographs and chat with fans.

And the people who create the show get just as much of a kick out of the fan-created art and projects as the rest of us: most of them wander through artist’s alley; many of them buy something. (Last year I swear I witnessed Andy Bobrow buy something from every vendor in the room.) Community fans are a creative bunch, and this year they brought the latest versions of two video games (“Journey to the Center of Hawkthorne” and “Six Seasons and a Movie”), plus set pieces and props from the wildly successful Inspector Spacetime webseries (and soon-to-be movie).

The discussion panels are also great fun: as mentioned, full video will be available on Yahoo Screen, but we’ve also collected the livetweets from each panel on Storify. Take a look while you wait for the video to be posted!

“No Small Parts” (supporting cast)
“The Science (Fiction) of Spinning Off” (Inspector Spacetime)
Costume contest (judged by Travis Richey of Inspector Spacetime, with a surprise visit from Gillian Jacobs & Yvette Nicole Brown)
“Advanced Concepts in Concept Advancement” (anatomy of an episode with the writers & crew)
“Rodent Mammography & Facial Astronomy”(animation panel with Titmouse Animation and Starburns Industries)
“Intermediate Game Theory” (fan-made video game “Six Seasons and a Movie”)
Town Hall discussion with Dan Harmon

Relive the fun of CommuniCon 3 by clicking through our photo gallery below, checking out the livetweet collections on Storify, and blasting the official CommuniCon 3 playlist on Spotify!

Bonus: video of what is now a CommuniCon tradition, the “Kiss from a Rose” karaoke sing-along just prior to Dan Harmon’s discussion panel.

Disclosure: I usually attend CommuniCon as an unpaid volunteer, but this year instead served as moderator for the “Advanced Concepts in Concept Advancement” panel. Many thanks to CommuniCon for having me!