I’m often asked a simple question: What is NoirCon?
The answer isn’t so simple. Noir tells the stories of tortured souls—losers, psychopaths, loners, obsessives—driven down deadly paths, following desperate plans that are doomed to failure. Fans of Noir are drawn to these stories. And every two years, NoirCon draws these fans to Philadelphia for a weekend devoted to examining some of the darkest—most noirish—aspects of life.
A commonality of theme binds us together, that need to make sense of the evil that lurks all around us, the inherent injustice, cruel unfairness and undeniable banality of life. As fans of Noir, we seek out these encounters with the dark, confident that we can get close enough for a good look yet strong enough to avoid its iron grip and escape unscathed. Noir is an aphrodisiac—visceral and real. But it’s a dangerous lover, so while we’re fans, we still lock the doors and peer under the bed and wonder what fate has waiting for us down the next alley. NoirCon is a theatre for all that is noir. At NoirCon, we unlock those doors, flip the bed and pull back the shroud. In a world of darkness, NoirCon is our beacon of light. The sins, moral failings and dark truths of the human condition find a home at NoirCon— a forum where writers, filmmakers, publishers, and other noir fans share the trials of uncovering the dark side of life for readers and viewers. We look into the minds of tortured fictional characters and see real people, the mirror images of ourselves, coping with deep longing and inevitable disappointment. NoirCon, above all else, is a celebration.
The conference allows friends, new and old, to gather and carry on discussions—discussions that fittingly last late into the night.
All of this happens against the backdrop of Philadelphia, a city steeped in noir tradition. Noir was in the blood of the city’s prodigal sons—Edgar Allan Poe, David Goodis, George Lippard, David Lynch, Duane Swierczynski and Paul Wendkos. Philadelphia’s pedigree helps NoirCon attract lovers of noir from all over the world, making NoirCon’s panel discussions eclectic, informed and exciting.
At each NoirCon, we celebrate individuals who have made a difference in noir. We’ve honored the evocatively dark works of Ken Bruen and George Pelecanos with the David Goodis Award for Literary Excellence.
We also recognize our responsibility to those less fortunate. At each NoirCon, we contribute to one organization helps those in need, such as the Awassa Children’s Project helping Ethiopian orphans battle AIDS and Project H.O.M.E.
What is NoirCon?
It is an opportunity to have a helluva good time with old and new friends while bringing light to a world entombed in darkness. Join us. You know you want to. You know you need to!