Finally flopping around on dry land after a total immersion weekend at DragonCon, my favorite summer camp for wayward adults. And there were a lot of us this year. *g*
Got to meet LJ friends <quietselkie> (aka Nina Merrill) and <lilithsaintcrow>, and their friend Christina, a super photojournalist. Roomed with <qnotku>, <hundakleptsis> and Bree (their granddaughter unit). Hung a little with another wonderful photographer, Milow, whose photos will be form the bulk of Crescent Blues’ 2006 DragonCon feature. Shared one of my panels with FF&P’s Sue Kearney and another with Samhain author Rosemary Laurey. Also chatted briefly with FF&P list mates Mary and Marcia. Didn’t see any other FF&P listies or Samhellions. Of course, in a stew of around 35,000 wildly partying people, we could’ve just missed each other.
I’ll cover the con in more detail for Crescent Blues <crescentblues.com> in a month or so. For now, suffice it to say the con was big. As big as I’ve ever seen it. Registration lines were around the block in front of the Hyatt mid-day Saturday and Sunday. People reported four-hour waits for tickets. Crissy Brashear, Samhain’s publisher managed to get into the back door of the con hotel Saturday afternoon, saw the lines and headed out again.
Although Crissy didn’t make it, the pens, business cards and flyers she sent did--and were much appreciated. Qnotku spent four of her five Writing Track panels in her Samhain acquisitions editor persona, and interest was high. Especially after Tor editor <claireeddy> described the Hell of Unsolicited Manuscripts on towering, industrial strength shelving she and her staff have to sift through on a regular basis. Qnotku ran through all the Samhain business cards and wound up writing her contact info on every one.
In addition to my usual running around and taking pics for the upcoming Crescent Blues feature, I managed to sit on four panels in almost as many personas. In my Writing Track panels, I either played fledgling Samhain author or crusty Crescent Blues editor.
The odd panel out was Web Comics, where I was waaaaay out of my depth. My dh runs his own political cartoon web site <haildubyus.com>, but what do I know from web comics? So I did what any good little journalist would do. I appointed myself moderator and asked other people questions. Seemed to work too. J.P. (aka Xsarthis), editor of the subculture web site All Zombies Must Die <azmd.net>, didn’t ream me a new one. Of course, it helped that I’m almost as snarky as he is. Almost.
Speaking of the panels though, big thank yous need to go out to Ray Rappaport of the Comics Track and Nancy Knight of the Writing Track. It’s always a privilege working with the programming tracks at DragonCon. They frequently surprise you, but they never screw you. And they’re all volunteers--like everyone else working the con. Much appreciated, folks!
Since one good turn deserves another, I’m going to interrupt your regularly scheduled con report for a brief plug. Nancy and photographer David Horton have a new book out, Exposing America: Photographs from August 1, 1864 through July 31, 1866. During those two years, the U.S. imposed a revenue tax on all photos. As a result, they now have a philatelic interest as well as historical and photographic. Beautiful book and an amazing resource. Check it out at <soundholepublishing.com>.
Back from the break and you’re wondering who the heck I saw and what I did that was INTERESTING. Geez, Lili and qnotku, hundakleptsis and Xsarthis aren’t enough for you? Oh, all right.
The Brobdignagian Bards provided random filking in the Press Room Thursday night. Queen of Comic Fantasy Esther Friesner told fortunes by Hamster-mancy in the Green Room Saturday night. (Yes, you will have to read Crescent Blues to find out more. I am that evil. There will be visuals too.)
The Press Gang invited me to share in their group costuming event Saturday and Sunday, so “Madame Esther” wound up telling the fortune of “Miss Jeannie”, saloon girl. Of course telling “Miss Jeannie’s” fortune wasn’t nearly as bad as lacing her into the requisite corset. That dubious honor went to qnotku. I expect to hear about it for years. (No jpgs yet. I’m hoping Milow will send a couple. Alternately, I may scan one of the Press Room pics. Bree did a great job with the make-up.)
No, I didn’t get lost in the corset…this time.
Sunday night’s harem girl group was uber popular. Don’t think I’ve ever been stopped for so many photos--even when I wore The Dress in 2000. The true fangirl moment of the con happened while I was wearing that outfit too. I was at the table--with Shannon Butcher, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Roc editor Anne Sowards and friends--when Jim Butcher caught his first glimpse of the raw dub of the SciFi Channel show based on his Harry Dresden series.
You never saw anyone so happy in your life. For Jim, it was Christmas, Fourth of July and Halloween all rolled into one. I think Ed, one of the other writers at the table whose last name, alas, I never caught, said it best: “January is too long to wait.”
Kevin Sorbo at his solo panel on Friday. Because qnotku promised to beat me if I didn’t post a photo, bad though it might be.
(From left to right) Derek Ruthven, Lili, vampire expert Michelle Bellanger and bestselling author Susan Sizemore used the Goth Track panel “Vampire: the Eternal Archetype” to discuss the different roles vampires play in fiction--from “Other” to metaphor.
Tomak Baksik of NetherCraft Statuary created a life-sized Jabba the Hut for the Motor Lobby of the Hyatt. It quickly became a con landmark--and THE spot to find the con’s many lovely “Slave Leias”.
Qnotku’s granddaughter Bree as a saloon girl. Believe it or not, she’s only 14 and so pretty qnotku and hundakleptsis have to beat guys away with a stick.
The panel title was “I Am Woman--Hear Me Roar”, and they did. Panelists (from left to right): FF&P member Sue Kearney, Susan Goggins, Samhain author Rosemary Laurey, Writers Track chair Nancy Knight, Deb Dixon, Ace & Roc editor Anne Sowards, and Eric Griffin.
Milow (left) and Peggy Mitchell pause for a moment’s reflection in a Saturday evening Writers Track panel.
The old saloon never looked so good: Press Gang bud Dorie and her friend Scott before Saturday night’s Cruxshadows concert.
For the finale of Saturday night’s Cruxshadows concert, the band invited everyone in the standing-room only crowd onto the stage. A lot of them made it too. You can barely glimpse lead singer Rogue, in the white-splashed band shirt front and center on the stage.
Jim Butcher (left), Sherrilyn Kenyon and Ed at the Sunday night Goth Track panel “Down and Out with Harry Dresden”.
For those of you with an interest in blackmail, here’s the harem shot. Everyone but yours truly works media liaison--and more--in the DragonCon Press Room. Left to right: Randi, Dorie, Andrew, Leigh and (sigh) me.
Monday at the hotel room--This was the first and only time I could get the group to hold still. And they only gave in because they couldn’t fight me any more. Lili and Bree are the ones doing the sprawl on the bed. More or less upright (left to right): qnotku, hundakleptsis, quietselkie and Christina.