As WonderCon 2013 is the only big Con I’m likely to attend this year, this is likely the only Con blog you’re all going to get for a while–enjoy!
For the first time in 13 years, the boy and I had the same Spring Break, which happened to fall during WonderCon, so the boy accompanied me down to Anaheim.
I have to say, after a couple of years of doing these things, the most exciting reason to go is to see my friends and super-geek acquaintances.
Thus, shorty after we arrived, we went to see Barry, one of my favorite bartenders in all the world. After a ridiculously expensive dinner (just assume that every meal I mention is ridiculously expensive–bottles of water at the Convention Center are $3), we headed to bed so we could get a good night’s sleep. I think we slept for 11 hours–we both needed it.
And then it’s mostly a blur.
One day I was Zuul, the next I was Gaiman’s Death, and I ended up in my TARDIS dress for the last little morning. We saw some amazing costumes–including one little girl dressed as Death (her very lanky father was Dream), lots of Doctors, tons of Star Wars characters, a great spider, etc. etc. etc.
And I’m going to apologize now for not having many pictures. Neither the boy nor I are particularly bright about having the camera out and ready to go. (Selfishly, I would have wanted more pics of my costume, but getting the boy to take a picture of me is difficult for some reason.) However, the other reason for few pictures is how annoyed I get by the way traffic stops about every 10 seconds on the floor because of people taking pictures. No exaggeration. People ask someone in costume for a pic (a pic with the woman if the costume leaves little to the imagination–just a pic if it’s not a particularly revealing costume), the person always agrees, and then there’s the camera fiddling, the backing up to take up the entire aisle so you can get every inch of the person in the pic, etc.
Casual gathering of Star Wars costumes
I got to see my old friends–cartoonist/writer Lonnie Millsap, cartoonist/writer/co-founder of ComicCon Scott Shaw, Anthony Del Col, one of the authors of Kill Shakespeare, all the guys who work at Bongo Comics, etc.
And I got to sit in on some amazing panels, including both of Scott’s (one is his “Oddball Comics” routine; the other is the improv cartooning panel). There was also a writing panel with Jane Espenson (writer of Buffy etc), Amber Benson (Tara on Buffy), Patrick Rothfuss, Frank Feddor, and Ashley Edward Miller. Best piece of advice for writing science-fiction or fantasy? Set up your whole world–know it at an atlas/encyclopedia level–but show the audience about 10% of that. They don’t want to read an atlas or an encyclopedia.
Amber Benson also confided that she was so glad she’d gotten into writing/producing, so she didn’t have to spend her days down on the exhibit floor signing autographs.
I got to meet Jane Espenson on the last day, which was amazing. I basically fawned all over her. There was a little less fawning, but no less excitement when I got to meet Terry Moore and a very nice Canadian who’s going to be making an educational video-game to go with Kill Shakespeare. He’s moving to America (SoCal) soon, so he may come up when I teach Kill Shakespeare in my graphic novel class.
The coolest I played it was when I found myself sitting at the same communal table at the bar on the last night with several people from Dark Horse Comics. One of the guys had just hosted the Buffy comics panel. When it was finally revealed through conversation that I was a fan and had been to the panel, I had to admit that the only reason I hadn’t squealed already was that I was trying not to be a big ole fangirl.
My own panel went well. When “regular” geeks (as opposed to academic geeks/professional geeks) wander into the academic panels, they have a tendency to wander out again. However, none of the 40 or so people in the room while I was talking left, which means a lot there. (People will even leave a room when Joss Whedon is in it, which I can never quite understand–maybe they’re so excited that they’re shitting themselves?)
Speaking of Joss Whedon, I got to be in the giant arena room when they had the panel with Joss and several of the actors, and the cinematographer for Much Ado About Nothing. The movie looks fantastic–the props are modern (there are cell phones), but the dress/style of the piece is an old-fashioned screwball comedy, including the film being in black and white. Can’t wait.
I got a shout out from the Bongo Comics panel–during the Q&A, they introduced me to the rest of the audience and mentioned my book. And that was awesome!
But one of our very favorite things was a quiet dinner with Lonnie and Scott. Scott is a survivor of a different time, when there weren’t really girl geeks, when ComicCon was in a basement and mothers escorted their sons there to make sure they weren’t getting diddled by the counter-culture artists. And he’s one of the sweetest, funniest, most remarkable men I know. He spends an awful lot of time at conventions looking at the work of child cartoonists–he remembers them from year to year and encourages them to keep drawing, before drawing them something original to take home. Lonnie is a friend I know through Denise. (She can totally pick ’em!) Watching him get better and more famous every year is a great honor.
I left a little early so I could prep for my brand new Spring quarter–only to get home to a dark house. The power was out; my prepping plans were thwarted, but there was wine and Vanessa and Kevin and candles, and so we made it through.