The appeal of Andy Warhol has always been somewhat baffling to me but I do think his quote works well within the context of this article. You see constant reader, I’m jonesing for some Lego action, I love plastic and I want to be plastic surrounded by other like-minded plastic people. I want to reconnect with old AFOL Pokemon and add some new cards to my deck. For a variety of reasons I missed the convention scene entirely last year so I’m determined to kick off 2018 the right way with a short trip down Interstate 15 to check out the festivities at Bricks LA. Growing up in southern California, I always thought of Los Angeles as my beloved San Diego’s older, chlamydia-riddled sister, but I’m willing to put all of that baggage aside for a weekend of questionable antics with the usual suspects. The convention is in it’s 3rd year and since it’s one of only two options within driving distance from Vegas, I’m all out of excuses for not checking out the scene. It might not be the big action like Chicago, Seattle or D.C., but when I consider the dozen or so cons I’ve attended over the years, more often than not the most memorable ones were the regional ones. One big advantage of a smaller con is that you don’t have so many drive-by conversations “Hey, how are you, what did you bring?” and you really get to know people and have a chance to hang out.
Constant reader Matt rountRee will be joining me for the road trip and if we’re very lucky so will noted Manifesto columnist and all around gasbag Michael Rutherford. When the stars are in the right alignment, we form a distinctly American power-trio with the mutant power of making even obscure conventions like the one in Orem Utah a blast. So if you’re in the greater Los Angeles area between January 5-7 of 2018, you should absolutely stop by and join us for the biggest Manifesto gathering to date at the Pasadena Convention Center!
I’ll be bringing along The Marcus Garvey, my SHIPtember offering from this year, along with a throwback from 2008, ChiefLUG’s oMICROn Weekend. It is also my intent in the next 50 some days to create a modest diorama to showcase the Garvey, and I’ll likely document that process here on the Manifesto as it progresses. Generally speaking I don’t keep models assembled for more time than it takes to photograph and post them, but I’ve held onto the Garvey to show some visiting AFOLs and it seems like a good opportunity to get a second use out of it.
God only knows what rountRee will be schlepping to L.A. besides a flask of Jamesons, his battered VLUG cap and a home-made shank, but I would imagine his contributions will include the infamous Bushmaster, and if we’re lucky his Speeder Bike Contest entry from the beginning of the year. If you do make it out to LA, don’t deprive yourself of the opportunity to walk the hall and critique models with rountRee, to see the hippy bullshit-artiste in action. If you’re anything like me, you’ll never look at models the same way again. If you play your cards right, you might even hear him imitate Rodan with broadcast clarity. Don’t be put off by the fact that he looks like a cannibal (those teeth!), Matt is very approachable and pliable with liquor.
If Rutherford does make an appearance, it will probably be with his standard kit: some pocket lint, half a tube of Mentos (The Freshmaker) and this dusty relic from 2007 that he drags to every con but can’t be bothered to post in his own photostream…because he’s lame. I’m sure he’ll even bring one of his cherished copies of Brick Journal’s sold out, first edition to prove how awesome the model is. He won’t mention the fact that I built everything under and around that model, or that Ryan Rubino took the cover photo because Rutherford can’t handle technology…no, no, he’ll stand there grinning from ear to ear, basking in the nostalgic glow of his beloved VTOL ambulance. I would assume Mike’s SHIPtember entry will also make the journey, reduced to the component level by baggage handlers and his own terrible packing skills. At least the design is so very simple that reconstruction shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes tops. Seek out Rutherford at your own peril, once you get him talking it’s very difficult to extract yourself without great effort.
If all that isn’t enough to convince you to come and hang out, I’ll also be judiciously doling out some prime Manifesto SWAG to constant readers, cronies and a small cadre of convention-goers who prove their worthiness over the course of the weekend. So why not join us for Bricks L.A. in January, it’s not like you have anything better to do. Quite frankly, if you read this blog you can’t be that busy. Yes the timing is less than ideal, right after the holidays, but won’t you be ready for a break from your loved ones just about that time? Don’t you want to be figured prominently in the after-action reports from the field? Ponder these questions, in the small hours of a long winter’s night.