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WE ARE ALL SUPERHEROES OR HOW WE REMINISCE ABOUT PYRKON

If you think after Thanos snapped his fingers there was a shortage of superheroes, that’s a sign that you have not been to this year’s Pyrkon. This account will also prove to you that not all heroes wear capes, because – although it is undoubtedly an element of clothing very much liked by them – a wide smile and high spirits do a much better job. The latter gains even more importance, depending on how much of a hard time the fickle weather conditions give us. Fortunately, we can always count on you, rain or shine. You’re like real superheroes!

ATTENTION! This account does not include low-flying Avengers: Endgame spoilers, so if you still have not had the chance to see the newest Russo brothers production, you don’t have to worry. There is not even a tiny bit of the plot included here that could spoil the film for you, so go on and read it without fear. However, we do not take responsibility for the sighs of nostalgia, emotional tears or the post-Pyrkon melancholia that may ensue.

MR PYRKON, I HAVE NO SUPERPOWERS!

What do you mean? Of course you do. I know, there are as many ideas for a superhero’s origin story as there are publishers and universes, however not all superheroes need some kind of a god among their kin, get bitten by a radioactive spider or get acquainted with a cosmic symbiote, being born on another planet is also not a necessity, neither is being struck by lightning, nor having an impossible amount of money on your bank account. Let me tell you something elese, it’s not only superpowers that are unnecessary for you to become superheroes, you also don’t need a cape and other awesome gadgets, costumes or a weapon forged in the heart of a dying star. The source of your power lies somewhere else.

You’re probably asking now, where your power comes from. The answer to this question is simple and, luckily, does not require any of Bruce Banner’s academic degrees. Your enthusiasm, your cheerfulness and  inexhaustible energy you show every step of the way, are all sources of this power. How does it manifest? With the broad smiles you kept on your faces throughout the three days of Pyrkon, no doubt, but also through the positive energy you were shining with, strong enough that the light coming from the Poznań International Fair could be seen on the furthest outskirts of the cosmos. You are amazing in your heroism! You are not only colorful and joyful, but also friendly and open. Never change, you are the heroes we need.

IRON MAN LEARNED HOW TO MAKE COSTUMES FROM YOU GUYS

Your costumes caught people’s eyes and I bet even Tony Stark would not be able to join different materials you used in your creative processes, in such a clever and precise way. Pyrkon was full of fantastic dresses straight from Disney animations, an abundance of capes and cloaks, disguising both superheroes from well-known universes and Jedi knights with lightsabers, the Nazgul also came to visit and so did the hobbits (I can bet that on Friday, two of them were looking for a place to dispose of a shady-looking ring with elven inscriptions on it), the Spanish Inquisition was also there (although no one expected them to come to Pyrkon!). We could also see some phenomenal armors and an array of more or less creepy clowns, goblins, orcs and people who managed to survive the latest apocalypse (whenever it happened and whatever made it happen).

I could just stand in front of the Convention Office for hours on end, watching all the, more or less well-known, characters strolling thorough Mark’s Square, on their way to the attractions of their choice. We also had a plethora of spontaneous (or only-a-tiny-bit-organized) parades and meetings of the fans of different universes: a group of Spider-Men trying to catch the Green Goblin or dancing Macarena; Jedi knights walking through the Fair, arm in arm with the Sith, as they managed to bury the hatchet, or blaster, and forget about ideological disputes about the nature of the Force for those couple of days. As always, I was impressed with the accuracy with which your costumes were made, and the ingenuity behind them was simply breathtaking and made me smile so wide a smile that – if it wasn’t for my ears – it would have wrapped around my head.

You also did not let the participants of the Masquerade down, admiring the costumes they made not only in the Earth Hall, but also – undaunted by the unfavorable weather – on the jumbotron, rewarding each of the participants with thunderous applause for the effort put in creating the costumes and the courage necessary to perform in front of such a huge audience. Your cheerfulness and sense of humor made the applause for the announcer an unforgettable experience.

YOU LOVE DANCING AND MUSIC, JUST LIKE STAR-LORD

It was not only the spontaneous applause given in not exactly accidental moments and situations that made me smile when reminiscing about the time spent among you. If Peter Quill was to face you in a dance-off competition, I am willing to bet pearls against peanuts (or a jar of strawberry jam) that he would not stand a chance. You were the ones I could hum old sea chanteys or stop halfway to another program event and listen to you play guitars, breathing in the amazing atmosphere, making us stop and forget that we were ever in a hurry instantly. Every music lover found something to sing there, whether they were sea chanteys, songs by Dżem or virtually anything else that came to mind. And many amazing melodies did come to your minds.

You love music so much you were even singing while waiting for the Percival Schuttenbach concert, you have flooded the Earth Hall to the brim and let the love for the band flow through you as you danced under the stage. Not to mention that on Sunday before noon, you came to the Addams Family songs concert – despite probably being tired, maybe a little sleepy, but bursting with energy it was impossible not to feel when in the audience with you. You are an amazing audience!

I could say something along the lines of men not being able to live by music alone… and maybe there is some truth to it as there is also dancing! Here, your imagination was the only limit as well, as the space of the Fair proved to be simply made for a group of Spider-Men dancing Macarena, for you to find the perfect spot to perform the Chapelloise or dance cheerfully to different genres of music and have fun until dawn with the Red Bull entourage. I believe you wore off more than one pair of shoes, learning Breton, Scottish, Irish or court dances; I believe that despite tripping, and imperfections that I am sure you managed to eliminate in no time (practice makes perfect in the end!), you had great fun, when learning the new steps (and now you are a sensation at every ball or dance).

HUNGRY FOR KNOWLEDGE LIKE BANNER AND TOUGH LIKE THE HULK

The enthusiastic dancing did not stand in your way to acquiring knowledge during numerous lectures and panels, even if getting in to listen to them required a bit of patience. You asked questions to the lecturers and dwelled on the subjects they brought up with admirable enthusiasm and considerable discernment. The lecturers on the other hand were not scared to spin their considerations and interpretations even when watched closely by the author of the novels discussed (like it happened during the program event entitled “Avenderi, czyli roztwór z boga – Bóstwa Meekhanu” (“Avenderi or god solution – the deities of Meekhan”) that Robert M. Wegner attended, but he only smiled mysteriously and did not confirm any of the guesswork done.

You wandered the area of the Fair tirelessly, visiting hall after hall where you had the chance to admire not only fantastic exhibitions the Fantasium Creatium was full of. The exhibition of  the splendid costumes prepared by the students of the University of Arts in Poznań, you were also very keen to see the canteen known well by the Star Wars fans, in which Han Solo (did not) shoot first  and a phenomenal collection of paper Pokémon, which has gained new, precisely executed exhibit since last year (apparently their creator is determined to catch them all!).

You also paid attention to the Fantasium Suburbium – a fantastic space, where there were different villages right next to one another. There was a place there for both the Tolkien fans, wanting to rest in locations known from the author’s works or learn elven calligraphy, and merely a few steps further, you could witness one of the visions of the end of the world with your own eyes and obtain a couple of useful skills to survive if it happened. We also had a Viking village, where you could learn the basics of handicraft and could be trained for battle. You were also very keen on the League of Superheroes – real heroes, who travel around Poland, wearing leotards, dressed as characters the kids love, visiting youngsters in hospitals, orphanages and hospices, bringing joy and laughter to them in difficult times.

You were tireless, full of strength and vigor, which I envied you at times. You seemed to have unlimited energy and merely a moment in your company was enough for me to feel born again and ready for further escapades to discover places I have not been to before (and I am sure I missed many of the nooks and crannies at Pyrkon throughout the three days). I have no idea if you guys were all exposed to Gamma radiation, just like Professor Banner, and you just were not able to get tired but – if so – the Hulk in you turned out to be incredibly civil. If he gave you a hard time, you could make good use of your power in a controlled environment during numerous tournaments at our Arena, which always had a substantial audience of intrigued spectators (watching the duels, even if they couldn’t fully grasp the rules).

YOU LOVE POP-CULTURE LIKE SPIDER-MAN

It’s only the tip of the iceberg that Pyrkon, with its over 900 hours of program events, definitely was this year. Incredible attractions awaited you every step of the way, offering innumerable options for how to spend your free time. The variety was so great that I would not be surprised if a hundred people spent these three days in one hundred different ways and all of them did exactly what they wanted and what gave them the greatest pleasure (and perhaps they never met).  Regardless of whether it was playing board games in a well-prepared Games Room open 24/7, running RPG sessions in a huge RPGaming hall, watching movies in our open-air cinema, gaining knowledge from lectures or attending meetings with specially invited guests.

You might not have been building the Death Star out of Lego blocks (although who knows, maybe you were? You are so amazing and creative I would not be surprised…even if the main building material turned out to be Kraft, glued together with the ever so reliable tape, I am sure that together you would defeat numerous opponents, using tricks you know from movies, TV series, games, books and comics – just like Spider-Man. In the end, Pyrkon is the Fantastic Meeting Spot, where every fan of the widely-understood popculture will find something that strikes his fancy. The best proof for that being that there were plenty Spider-Men with us (and it is known well that Peter Parker is a big fan of everything popculture).

It is thanks to you that our foreign guests left with big grins all over their faces, full of admiration for the atmosphere at Pyrkon. Do we even need a better recommendation than a content Stan Sakai, delighted Christopher Judge and Adam Koebel impressed by the event as a whole, not to mention Thomas DePetrillo (whom you may know because of the huge Bumblebee costume he was wandering the Fair in), who spoke of Pyrkon in glowing terms? And that’s only a portion of those we invited for your pleasure. There was also a plethora of Polish creators such as Aneta Jadowska, Robert M. Wegner, Andrzej Pilipiuk or Maksymilian Bogumił. You had the chance to meet each one of them, take a photo together and ask for an autograph, and you were more than happy to take advantage of this possibility in large numbers.

Those of you who wished to have a more tangible proof of your love for popculture wandered the huge hall where the vendor stalls could be found. Was there anything you couldn’t get there?! Books (pre-premiere ones, too, which was a true joy for me as a librarian), phenomenal board games and a huge variety of gadgets, all of them eye-catching and worthy of your attention. It was virtually impossible to leave this land of all that was good with only the things you intended to buy (it was also one of those moments when I truly regretted my bank account balance does not have as many zeros as Tony Stark’s). Luckily, the food court compensated for the difficult time spent trying not to spend the last buck at the vendors’ hall, there you could splurge on a truly delicious mean, which chased away all the sorrows and helped you regain strength to journey further!

LIKE NICK FURY AND AGENT COULSON?

Silent heroes were also present, remaining in the shadow, hiding from the camera flashes and watching over the well-being of the entire team of superheroes. Each Organizer was like Nick Fury, making sure everything ran smoothly, often sneaking across the fairground without being noticed to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s, keep an eye (or two eyes, even) on something or see to something else. As the day went by, we got tired, but we never doubted the sense of what we were doing – we still, constantly, deeply believe that it’s worth it!

It would not work, however, if it wasn’t for the strength and power flowing in the veins of each and every one of the volunteers, who were our shield, as important and as irreplaceable as the one that belonged to Captain America. There was nothing that could defeat you, you overcame every difficulty possible (every step of the way proving that there is no problem that could not be solved using the magical spell „moar tape!), you lent a hand to those who needed it. You have great power and you remember well that „with great power comes great responsibility”. Keep going, darlings, you are amazing and working with you is pure pleasure and a great honor!

WE MAKE A GOOD TEAM!

Experience taught us that teams of superheroes need time to adapt, learn to work hand in hand and cooperate to each a greater goal. We had more than enough time to do it, in the end it was not the first time we met with some of you, some of you guys have been with us for years and keep coming back to Poznań year after year. Regardless of how much time you spent at Pyrkon, I am extremely impressed with how well we work together! There is no challenge we couldn’t handle.

It’s you who made this year’s Fantastic Meeting Spot even more special and even more phenomenal! Your super-smiles are the reason why crowds of adults, teenagers and families with kids come to Pyrkon and each and every participant has amazing fun, contributing to the unforgettable atmosphere around him. You do not need capes or masks, because it’s enough if you’re with us for it to be great (and if someone’s not feeling too great at any given moment, it’s enough to look around and find someone who – completely selflessly – gives out free hugs!). You charge our batteries better than Shazam does phones.

I’m going to end it here. And not because I have nothing more to say, I just know you have an important mission to accomplish now: you have to be with us next year!

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