Hover for Hints!
Programming is not yet set for Arcana 2020, but it will be similar to the below format we followed for the Arcana portion of Programming for DeCONgestant 4/Arcana 2019. There will be other, less structured programming from the D5 folks as well. Film programming has been set but titles not available online due to licensing arrangements.
Arcana 2019 Programming:
6 - 7:30 pm FILM
Hammer Studios' Scary Science Fiction - Greg Larsen, Dwayne Olson, Scott Wyatt
From 1955 to 1972, Britain's Hammer Studios became famous for their full color gothic tales of horror, including their original takes of Universal Studios' "famous monsters". But, Hammer produced films in other genres, including science-fiction. A few deftly blended SF with horror elements as well. A look back at some of these under-rated classics and why they're still fun today.
9 pm - Late (?) FILM
A Sesquicenntial Tribute to Algernon Blackwood (1869-1951) - Erc Heideman, Roger Lasley, Brian Perry
Arcana/DeCongestant pays a sesquicenntial tribute to Blackwood, who worked a wide variety of jobs and spent much of his life outdoors, becoming a nature worshipper and mystic. He wrote journalism, plays, and children's fiction, several novels, and dozens of short stories, ranging from classic ghost stories to cosmic science fiction, notably "The Willows," "The Wendigo," "The Centaur," and "John Silence, Physician Extraordinary." A media pioneer, Blackwood told many of his stories out loud on radio and television.
12 - 2 pm FILM
The Dark Art of Steve Ditko (A Visual Presentation) - Steve Fastner & Rich Larson
Before and after he made his mark as the artistic visionary behind two of Marvel's most enduring heroes (Spider-Man & Doctor Strange,) Steve Ditko created some of the most stylish and visually compelling horror comics of the 50's and 60's. Whether it was in his immediately recognizable covers and interiors for "This Magazine is Haunted" and "The Thing", or with his state of the art pen-and-ink and wash work in Creepy and Eerie, Ditko consistently and convincingly rendered demon-plagued worlds, luckless pedestrians, and palpable dread. Steve and Rich show and discuss some of their favorite Ditko imagery, and note the curious arc of Ditko's behind-the-scenes evolution.
6:30 - 8 pm FILM
"A look at Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797-1851) - Erc Heideman, Greg Larsen
"Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus" (1818), the global plague novel "The Last Man" (1826), "Transformation" and "The Mortal Immortal" are amongst MWS' many fantastical stories in the genres which later became Science Fiction and Horror. Besides her literary works, we'll touch on her family and contemporaries' influence, and delve into the rich theatrical tradition of Frankenstein, from the 1823 stage play "Presumption, or the Fate of Frankenstein" (a play that Mary enjoyed), through the many film adaptations, most notably those directed by James Whale and starring Boris Karloff, along with the novel's vast cultural and political influence.
Classic Outer Limits: Dread, Fear, Creeps & Frights - Greg Larsen, Dwayne Olson, Sybil Smith
Two anthology series brilliantly captured the zeitgeist of the scientific and technological explosion of the 1950s and 1960s, but in completely different ways. Where Twilight Zone used irony couched in imaginary settings to serve social justice, Outer Limits combined both fear and wonder of the unknown in cautionary tales to give us pause, yet inspire us to push ahead. A discussion of why the original 1963-65 series was memorably not for the faint-of-heart of its time.
10 pm FILM
Krushenko’s (aka Eric H's party)
Inspired by a Manhattan bistro in Larry Niven’s Ringworld, this space is for people who like to spend time at SF conventions talking about SF. It started at the 1983 Minicon, and now also materializes at MarsCon and Diversicon. Stop by for a mix of readings, discussions, and conversational parties hosted by SF-related groups.
The Future of Arcana - Dwayne Olson, Greg Larsen
Arcana's last official convention was in 2017. But, it's "not dead yet" and refuses "to go into the cart". We have some ideas and potential plans we'd like to try, but most depend on your participation. Have your voice heard as a participant in this open-ended discussion as to what you'd like to see Arcana become, and discover what is needed for those things to happen.
Good, Bad & Ugly of SF Horror Films: From Alien to Zardoz - Greg Larsen, Sybil Smith, Brian Perry
"Zardoz?" Yup. Our crack(ed) panel of amateur film critics discuss their faves, nays and possibly a guilty pleasure or two. Cronenberg will be mentioned.
Believed dead after 2017, ARCANA's convention spirit & programming will rise again at DeCONgestant 4, somewhere between Henry Frankenstein's, "It's Alive! It's Alive!" and Bauhaus', "Undead! Undead! Undead!"
This happened due to an interesting turn of events...
There are two boring, yet very important aspects of conventions like ARCANA: Time and Money.
The time that the all-volunteer convention committee (concom) members can fit into their lives in order to organize the event and the money needed to pay for Guest expenses, venue and incidentals.
Even a smaller convention like ARCANA needs lots of both. And, to be blunt, it barely had enough of either for years.
After ARCANA 47, concom came to the conclusion that it was time to stop and take stock of the situation without the pressures of preparing for another convention which might destroy it altogether.
"Life is what happens when you're planning other things." Taking stock is taking time. In moving forward with a restructuring plan, we knew that if things took too long, ARCANA (as a group of fans including you) might dissipate. 2018 passed by. 2019 had begun.
Minn-StF is the parent organization which hosts Minicon over Easter weekend. It also hosts a fall relax-a-con (of sorts) called DeCONgestant (D4 is the designation for its fourth convention).
While at a Minn-StF social gathering in early 2019, D4's chair asked the room if anyone knew when certain autumn conventions would be held, so that D4 would not conflict with them. When he asked about Arcana, Greg Larsen said there were no plans for one in 2019.
Then, he had a flash, like an electric bolt from a Van der Graaf generator or other sparking device from Universal's 1931 Frankenstein. Greg asked if D4 would be interested in hosting Arcana in such a way where Arcanians would produce a programming track and screen films which would be of interest to both camps.
But, what would unite both science fiction fans and horror fans? It was obvious. The succinct theme of SCARY SCIENCE-FICTION!
D4 takes care of the boring stuff and "Arcanians" get a place to experience some fun programming and gather as usual, plus meet some new folks with some shared interests.
What will be different? Well, no guests, per se. Even if Arcana had scraped up enough couch and cushion change to host its own 2019 convention, that plan featured no guests, either. But, ya never know who might register like you or me ... We'll keep you updated if any local talent wants to make their appearance "official".
While pre-registration closes on September 9,we encourage everyone reading this who is considering attending to show your support of Arcana and sign up early. Those who do so by the end of Convergence (July 8) will receive an 11" x 17" mini poster of this year's flyer art of similar quality as those for Arcana 47. And we might just strong-arm artists Steve Fastner & Rich Larson to autograph them for ya!
Also, if anyone has a programming idea they'd like to present, please let us know. We do have a few available slots on the schedule.
This convention, like the rest of Arcana's future, is an experiment to keep it going. For those of you loyal Arcanians, we hope to see you in September. We also invite the curious and those willing to take a chance (who have not attended Arcana) to see what Arcana is all about,