Now every first and third Thursday each month,  ANIMATED INSIGHTS BY SHANNON MUIR takes you inside Shannon’s latest reflections on her passion for animation as a medium, and other animated insights about life. To catch up on all posts, check out the Animated Insights portion of the website! This special installment covers Shannon Muir’s experiences at LOSCON 45.

LOSCON 45 ran from Friday, November 23rd, to Sunday, November 25th, at the LAX Marriott. This year, I appeared on two Friday afternoon panels and two Saturday evening panels.

The first of the Friday panels covered “Discussing the State of Online Fandom,” where I sat as a panel participant, giving my perspective from my years of experience in the VOLTRON and JEM  online fandoms. Immediately after came, “What Defines a Super Hero?” where I moderated. At this panel, we kept returning to the theme that while powers can make someone super, they’re not always required… sometimes just excelling at something can make someone super.

Before my Saturday evening panels, I took in a couple hours in the filk room at LOSCON 45, a yearly “must do” for me. If you’ve listened to a past podcast of LET’S VOLTRON which featured Random Gibberish, I’ve mentioned filk before. I got to see live concerts featuring Eben Brooks (who can be found on Spotify) and Tim Griffin, a retired educator who not only sings traditional filk but also songs dedicated to promoting science, math, and history which can also be found at his website. However, live concerts are always better!

The first panel Saturday evening focused on “binge-watching” and how it has changed the viewing experience. I moderated this one as well, and one of our panelists correctly pointed out that the concept of “binge-watching” has been around since old TV rerun marathons; nowadays, though, the panel unpacked how “binge-watching” is done more on our schedules and with a far wider range of content available.

After dinner came the VOLTRON: DEFENDER OF GENERATIONS discussion I co-moderated with Laurie Tom. Basically, the two of us came into VOLTRON fandom at a much earlier period (and Laurie was, in fact, influenced by my early fandom website long before we met last year). We basically had an open room where fans of all iterations of VOLTRON could come and join us in casual discussion.

Shannon Muir (left) and Laurie Tom (right) at the Loscon VOLTRON panel
Shannon Muir (left) and Laurie Tom (right) at the Loscon VOLTRON panel


Given the late hour, the group turned out to be small but engaging. Of particular note, one man attending the con brought his 7 year old son by for a short bit before bedtime. The father had seen the 1984 series (both Lion and Vehicle) from the beginning, but he and his son have been watching VOLTRON: LEGENDARY DEFENDER together. Those few minutes speaking with them spoke volumes to the enduring magic that VOLTRON has had being able to be passed down as a shared experience. I’m so thankful for Laurie, and the others who took the time to stop in Saturday night.

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