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The Salute to Supernatural Burbank Convention | A Fangirl’s Dream Come True

For my tenth wedding anniversary, my husband and I attended Comic-Con, and it was the most romantic and magical trip a geek couple could have hoped for. We nerded out until we nearly passed out, attending panels for The Guild and Phineas and Ferb, visiting the LEGO booth and getting our picture taken on The Walking Dead set, buying multi-sided dice in every color imaginable and collecting pop culture tchotchkes by the Mythbusters bag full. Would I go again? Absolutely. I sincerely hope to.

But if I had to choose between going to Comic-Con and going to the Creation “Salute to Supernatural” convention in Burbank that I was fortunate enough to attend last week, what would I do? I would fire up the Impala, crank the Kansas, and salt and burn my way to fandom paradise. Why? Well, with a week to digest the overwhelming magic that was that event, I think I’ve figured out why my specialized experience was so much better.

Salute To Supernatural banner

Comic-Con: Nerds, geeks and pop-culture enthusiasts with hundreds of different interests in many different genres.

Salute to Supernatural Con: People who love my show as much as I do. Period.

One of the great things about Comic-Con is the variety, no doubt. But at a themed con like the Salute to Supernatural events, everyone in every line, at every table, and in every audience row shares your distinct passion. I didn’t have to worry that I would be in line next to an anime devotee and have nothing to say because I know so little about the genre. I didn’t have to defend my network TV indulgence to anyone who refuses to watch anything that doesn’t have subtitles. I didn’t have to admit that I’m not really a graphic novel person (with the obvious exception of Neil Gaiman who is a god among men). Everywhere I went, people got me. They wanted to talk about the Sam and Dean of season one versus season nine. They understood my in-joke t-shirts. They cheered when I bought a huge, and I mean HUGE, canvas panel of Sam Winchester in a charity auction. No matter where I went, or where I sat, or whatever line I was in, I was next to an SPN geek who, like me, was having the time of their lives. That made for instant bonding and tons of laughs.

Supernatural BurCon 2013 Barbara and giant Jared banner

Comic-Con: A huge amount of geek and pop culture panels, spread out into a vast space, many of which conflict and many of which you are not guaranteed by any means to get in to.

Salute to Supernatural Con: One panel presentation or entertainment event at a time, in which you are guaranteed a seat. You miss nothing.

Again, Comic-Con is great. There is so very much to choose from and see. It is eye candy nirvana for nerds. Still? The choices can be overwhelming to say the least. Also, you need to line up for hours, sometimes days, to get into anything big, like, say, Iron Man or the Nerdist or, God forbid, Doctor Who. Hall H, the huge hall where the most popular panels are held, is nigh impossible to get a seat in. At the Supernatural con, I could breeze into a panel or event at the last minute and know I would see the whole thing in a guaranteed chair. The panels were focused, funny and informative, and allowed even recurring stars and guest stars their moment to shine, and to give you the inside skinny on the show.

Comic-Con: Many costumed characters walking about, enhancing the ambiance.

Salute to Supernatural Con: Same! More focused and specific, of course, but just as delightful.

I was amazed at the thought and detail people put into their costumes at the SPN con. People dressed as everything from the basics (Sam, Dean and Castiel) to the more specialized (Crowley, Abaddon and Jo Harvelle) to the downright crazy and awesome (the Leviathan, a shojo, and a “nude” Castiel covered in bees, a SPN in-joke that drove the crowd wild). We put together a slideshow of the costumes below for your enjoyment. Keep your eye out for Steampunk Castiel. She was a particular favorite of mine.

Cosplayer slideshow – click images to enlarge

Comic-Con: Lots of industry and insider parties that you might get to go to, if you’re very, very lucky, but you won’t get to interact with the stars unless you have connections.

Salute to Supernatural Con: Evening events that the stars participate in with you, that are a guaranteed blast.

Slideshow of Mark Pelligrino, Matt Cohen, and Travis Wester – click to enlarge images

On Friday evening, S&C founder Nanea Hoffman and I attended a fantastic karaoke party co-hosted by Richard Speight Jr. (Gabriel/The Trickster) and Matt Cohen (Young John Winchester) and it was more fun than I could have imagined it would be. The event, totally free, had an SPN Class of ’13 theme, and many people came in decade specific high school outfits (Matt even rocked a cheerleader outfit, in which he looked glorious.) We sang our lungs out, and so did many of the stars of the show. How many people can say they sang along with Lucifer (aka: Mark Pellegrino) to AC/DC’s “Big Balls” or that they chanted the Fresh Prince of Bel Air’s theme song with the prophet Kevin Tran (aka Osric Chau)? I can, now. I went to sleep with a sore throat and a happy heart.

On Saturday night, Rob Benedict (The Prophet Chuck) was set to perform with his band Louden Swain. Unfortunately, Rob is recovering from a health crisis and was unable to sing, but, in true the-show-must-go-on spirit, his castmate friends came out in force to sing for him. I watched the angel Balthazar (aka Sebastian Roche) belt out a rock song shirtless, and the angel Anna (aka Julie McNiven) sing a sweet love song. The amazing Jason Manns and Brian Buckley, friends of the SPN cast and hugely talented musicians themselves, filled in too. And the entire crowd lent their voices in support of Rob’s recovery, singing “Carry On Wayward Son” so loud I swear he must have heard us, wherever he was.

Louden Swain concert slideshow with Sebastian Roche, Julie McNiven, and Matt Cohen – click images to enlarge

After, we attended a cocktail party for those who held gold tickets (not cheap but worth the price, IMO) and danced with the likes of Benny the Vampire (aka Ty Olson) and DJ Qualls (aka Garth). I bumped into someone on the dance floor and turned to apologize. Instead of saying sorry, I found myself dancing with a GhostFacer (also known as Travis Wester.) How freakin’ cool is that?

Comic-Con: Many big stars who may or may not recognize the audience with any humility or humor.

Salute to Supernatural Con: Show stars who call you their family and love being at the con as much or more than you do.

J2 panel pics. Click images to enlarge

I was fortunate enough to attend a couple of great panels at Comic-Con, for smaller shows and web shows. The stars were all very well spoken and friendly, and I enjoyed their presentations very much. That said, there is something about being at a show-specific con, and knowing that every single person in an audience absolutely loves what you do. The stars of the SPN con fed on that love and gave it back in bushels. From the two-episode guests right up to the headliners, they were grateful and kind, making us laugh and cry, and thanking us repeatedly for all we do to keep the show on the air and keep them employed. Everyone went out of their way to be gracious and interactive. Even Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki and Misha Collins, the big guns themselves, took the time to talk for a moment when going through autograph lines, to comment on anything show-specific you were wearing or to ask how your con was going, and they even tried to accommodate even the silliest of photo requests. I never felt rushed and it never felt impersonal. I asked my questions, got my moments, and I made great memories. And I have the photos to prove it. (Professional Fan Tip? When attending a con, wear custom t-shirts that you make yourself, especially with your favorite quotes or character names on them. The stars will love the effort you put into them, and they are instant line ice-breakers.)

Supernatural BurCon 2013 Jared Jensen photo op bitch jerk t-shirts

Supernatural BurCon 2013 Felicia Day photo op Nanea and Barbara

Click images to enlarge

The weekend was jam packed with memorable moments. Some of my personal highlights were:

Osric Chau (Kevin Tran) dressing up as Rapunzel and handing out birthday cupcakes

Angie Siketa gets a cupcake from Osric Chau.

Angie Siketa gets a cupcake from Osric Chau.

Supernatural BurCon 2013 Osric Chau photo op Barbara and Nanea

Singing “Carry On Wayward Son” with hundreds of other rabid SPN fans at karaoke

Misha Collins getting his nails painted by cast members as he answered audience questions

Hugging the King of Hell himself, Mark Sheppard, in a photo op

Supernatural BurCon 2013 Mark Sheppard photo op Nanea and Barbara

Jared Padalecki answering my question about shirtless scenes during the gold panel event

Felicia Day’s entire irreverent, adorable panel presentation which concluded with a brotherly hug from Jensen Ackles

Supernatural BurCon 2013 Jensen and Felicia hug

Meeting and getting a hug and kiss from one of my favorite adorkable people, DJ Qualls

Supernatural BurCon 2013 DJ Qualls photo op Nanea and Barbara

Seeing Jared’s reaction to my Sam Winchester convert t-shirt

Supernatural BurCon 2013 Jared Padalecki photo Op Barbara Sam Girl shirt

The retiring of Richard’s karaoke costume (Dean Winchester’s gym coach outfit from the series) during Jared and Jensen’s panel, and Jensen’s hilarious reaction

Supernatural BurCon 2013 retiring of Jensen's shorts 1

Supernatural BurCon 2013 retiring of Jensen's shorts 2

Supernatural BurCon 2013 retiring of Jensen's shorts 5

Seeing Jared, Jensen and Misha holding (or, in Misha’s case, licking) Sweatpants & Coffee Mugs

Supernatural BurCon Misha Jared Jensen photo op Sweatpants and Coffee mugs

When I initially signed up to attend this con, I thought I would go once and “get it out of my system.” That seems hilarious to me now. If anything, attending this con made me a bigger fan of the show and the fandom itself. As crazy as it sounds, I felt like a part of something at the con. Something bigger than the mutual love of a handsome, talented actor or a quirky cool TV show. I truly did feel like part of a family with people from all around the world, hell bent on spending 72 hours indulging in something and enjoying each other. It was a unique and magical weekend I will remember for the rest of my life.

Oh, also, there was this

Supernatural BurCon 2013 Jared Padalecki photo op BarbaraSupernatural BurCon 2013 Jensen Ackles photo op Nanea

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About Barbara Doyle (221 Articles)
Barbara Sirois Doyle is a Contributing Editor for Sweatpants & Coffee. She is a writer, mixed-media artist, and, most important, a wife and mother to her boyos three. She is a voracious reader, unapologetic uber-geek, and lover of all types of music, from Public Enemy to Rachmaninoff. If she's not watching Supernatural or Doctor Who, she is likely trolling the internet for amusing cat photos. She takes her coffee light with no sugar.

29 Comments on The Salute to Supernatural Burbank Convention | A Fangirl’s Dream Come True

  1. This is BEYOND awesome! Thanks for sharing your experience and your pics! And VIDEO! NICE!

    I agree with you Barbara- once you attend a con- or any fan event or tweetup for your favorite show- you become a BIGGER fan. As someone who writes about a television show every week, and have not only attended but thrown my own fan events for the show- there is nothing more thrilling than hanging out with like minded folks. I was so stoked for you and Nanea having the chance to meet your favorite actors and to be able to take pics with them. Absolutely the best! Loved your coverage and your dedication to all of us who got to live vicariously through you both. And kudos on being on top of it to get them to also promote Sweatpants and Coffee! Thanks for sharing such a great time with all of us:) Aloha, Wendie

    • Aww! We love you, Wendie! And we love reading your inside scoop about Hawaii Five-0, too! xo

      • Hi, my name is Carley and I’m going to my first Salute to Supernatural event this summer! I just have one question…When everybody shows up at the convention are they already in their cosplay outfits? I’m pretty sure that’s how it works but I thought I’d ask somebody who knows their way around! And also, any other advice would be welcome! 🙂

        Thanks!

  2. Thanks for sharing the fun and pics! Can’t believe you were able to get close enough to hug the boys! Wow…. I think I’d melt 🙂 What an awesome experience that must have been!

    • I get it, Brigitte! It was very exciting and they were beyond wonderful–kind and funny and charming. The best part is that I am a Sam girl and Nanea is a Dean girl, so it all worked out very well.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I GEEKED out over all your photos (which are all amazing and awesome!) and over the videos you posted. Literally squealed at some of them cause of how awesome they are, like the one with Jared and your Sam converted shirt (total fan girl over here as well lol). How awesome! You have me convinced that if my husband and I are ever given the chance (if the US Military ever decides to let him be home during one 😉 ) to go to either a comic con or a specific con for one of our many fandoms, I will definitely lean towards a specific one if at all possible.

    How fantastic of a trip and how amazing for you to share it with everyone! 🙂

  4. Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us. I really want to attend a SPN Convention. I will make it to one and I know that even if I go by myself I the journey to and from will be the only time I’ll be alone because I know I will be welcomed and accepted by my SPNFAM. I think you are so right about a show specific con. And I would love being in the mist of others who share my love for the show.

    I will be following your site going forward in suport of my SPNFAM.

    • Thank you so much for your support! We have a lot of great SPN articles here for you to enjoy, as well as other wonderful content too! You will definitely not be alone at con. I met many who attended solo and made tons of friends.

  5. This is beyond awsome!!! I super love supernatural and their cast (even the crew). How I wish they will have meet and greet or convention here in the Philippines! ♥♥

  6. Thanks so much for sharing! Just Love for you!

  7. Hi Barbara- I love your post. I just got back from Burcon myself, and I had a wonderful experience as well.

    I hadn’t been to a SPN con in 4 years, because I’d been very shy at the previous con so I didn’t have as good a time, but this time I had a roommate, re-connected with people I’d almost forgetten and made even more new friends. I am still on cloud nine about what a great time it was.

    It’s too bad I missed seeing your Sam convert shirt (love the pic BTW) as we could have squee’d together. LOL.

  8. PS. I bought a 4 ft wide banner of Jared at the auction too! Took a while to find a place for it on the wall, but . . .

    • I still haven’t hung mine up. That said, I do have a picture of me sleeping under it. I figure it’s the closest I will get to sleeping with Jared Padalecki. :^)

  9. Wow! This is so awesome there really aren’t enough words but I just wanted to personally thank you for sharing your amazing experience,photos & videos! 🙂 I imagine attending an event like this would be a bit surreal and a near constant adrenaline rush. Too freaking cool.

  10. Thank you for posting this! I really have been wondering about Comic-Con vs an SPN con. So this is excellent.

    Also, that pic of Jared seeing your Sam convert t-shirt might be my new favorite thing on the planet. Thank you so, so, much for writing this!!

  11. Wonderful post and amazing photos! A little jealous you got to hug “THE Dean” though…lol! I love Jensen. He has truly captured my heart in so many ways…hands down my favorite actor. I am considering (somehow) being to able to afford to make it out to one of the Supercons… the Supernatural fandom is the best and I have never engaged much in other fandoms, but I feel right at home here. 🙂

    Love, love your blog! Keep it up! <3

  12. I was just wondering how much a ticket to a SPN convention costs. How much did you pay?

  13. This was great!! I haven’t been to a con yet but I’m trying to get to one! I have to ask, in these photos, is Jared wearing a Gilmore Girls flannel shirt– Luke’s Diner? If he is, that is AWESOME!

  14. Hi Barbara,
    Thank you so much for posting this recap on the Supernatural Con. My 12 year old daughter is crazy fangirl for Supernatural. All she wants for Xmas is to go to the SPN Con in Seattle this March 2015.

    As parents, what do recommend we buy in terms of Gold Package vs. General Admission and photo ops, etc. We know that some things are adult oriented. Obviously, she couldn’t benefit from cocktail passes.

    But any suggestions to help us give her the best experience possible would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again.

  15. Thanks for posting this! I’m going to my first con this fall in Chicago. I know I’ll love it, but I’m nervous just the same! You gave me some great tips. Now, if October would just hurry up and get here….!

  16. I’m not sure I like the convert t-shirt. It must have hurt Jensen (at least a little bit).
    Its ok to have favorites but to flaunt it to the actors themselves is not very nice IMO. Though I do know both Js are good sports. Maybe if the other girl (ur friend) had worn a similar but opposite one it might have been funny. Don’t get me wrong its just that I found it demeaning to Jensen/Dean. But maybe I’m too sensitive. Its ur right and glad u had fun. I just didn’t like it.

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