Every year there are a few conventions I make a point of attending.
I go to Worldcon because the paneling is really top notch. I go to World Fantasy because it gives me the chance to hang out with other authors I’d never get a chance to see.
And, of course, I go to San Diego ComicCon for many, many reasons.
But I also make a point of going to a few other conventions every year. The main reason I do this is so I can get to different parts of the country and meet readers I might not get a chance to see otherwise.
Which is why, just a couple months ago, I was Guest of Honor at a little convention called Stellarcon.
Whenever I’m GOH at a con, interesting things happen. So for those of you who don’t get to attend, here’s the highlight reel from this year’s Stellarcon.
- I got to meet Mark Poole.
I’ll admit to having a terrible green-eyed envy of artists. (And by artists I mean people who do art. (And by art, I mean taking something out of your head and making a picture out of it.))
That said, the modern artists I can name off the top of my head I can probably fit on two hands. Mark Poole is one of those artists, because he was doing art for Magic Cards back at the beginning. Back when I used to play it. Back before it was cool.
Yeah. Okay. I’m just kidding. Playing magic is never cool.
So I was surprising when we sat next to each other at the opening ceremonies and Mark turned to me, introduced himself, and said he was a big fan.
I was a little shocked. I still think of myself as the new kid on the scene, publishing-wise. It knocks me for a bit of a loop when other professionals know who I am.
For the record, Mark is a really nice guy.
- I didn’t get to meet John Kovalic.
I’ve known about John even longer than I’ve known about Mark, because I grew up reading his comic in his the Wisconsin State Journal. We share Madison, Wisconsin as our home town, so it seemed a little odd that I’d end up traveling to North Carolina before I finally got to meet him….
And you know what? I didn’t get to meet him. We sat two seats away from each other at opening ceremonies, and that’s the closest we got to each other over the space of the whole convention.
The Moral of the story? I end up being really busy at cons most of the time. I used to try make plans to meet with my friends and hang out, but these days I know better. Between readings, signings, panels, and occationally running a tabletop game, I just don’t have a lot of free time left over.
But this story had a happy ending. John and I ran into each other in the Madison airport and got to chat there. Small world.
- I had an… intimate signing experience.
When I got home from Stellarcon, Sarah was in the kitchen, feeding Oot some dinner.
“How was the convention?” she shouted to me.
“I got to sign a boob!” I said.
“A naked boob?” she asked.
“A gentleman doesn’t speak of such things,” I said.
Which is a total lie, of course, because I wouldn’t shut up about it for a week. Someone asking you to sign their boob is one of those mythical things that everyone jokes about, but it never really happens.
Except it did. It totally did.
To say I was surprised is a bit of an understatement.
But you know what? It was cool. Because for a brief moment, I got to feel like a rockstar.
Truthfully, I wasn’t very suave about the whole thing. I couldn’t stop laughing. And as you can see in the above picture, I was more than a little blushy and flustered by the end of it.
Luckily, the young lady in question was very forgiving when I explained it was my first time. (It was her first time too.) Who knew that signing a boob would actually prove to be pretty tricky?
By the end of the experience, the two of us were good friends. What’s more, Pikachu stopped judging me so harshly, and Sarah really didn’t mind at all.
Honestly though, I think Oot was a little jealous.