I'll be at Stumptown Comics Fest in Portland this weekend, sharing table D-03 with my friend Mark Monlux. Here is a convenient map Mark made that will lead you to our table and/or the ladies' room!
If you see me there, give the secret password "EMO EMU" for a free Conspiracy Friends promo comic!
I repeat: "EMO EMU."
Norwescon is a weird, wonderful convention, people. It's four days long (which is insane), and they've been doing it for 36 years, so at it's foundation it's one of these old-school science fiction cons. But over the years it has continued to blossom, attracting new generations of fans from all over the geek spectrum, so it's bursting with all this sci-fi / fantasy / comics / LGBT / gaming / furry / science / etc / etc / etc energy that never fails to blow me away. I'm not even going to try to summarize my Norwescon experience this year, but instead will leave you with a hodgepodge of some of the amazing creators I met and got to hang out with. (And I'm DEFINITELY forgetting a whole bunch of you, so all I can do is plead overall debauchery and sleep deprivation, and beg your collective forgiveness for the omission).
Mark Monlux was my boothmate (who was kind enough to sell my books in addition to his own for the huge stretches of time that I was on panels or just trying to enjoy the convention outside the dealers room). Mark does movie reviews in comic strip format, and hustles like crazy at these things, so he was the best possible sales buddy!
I also got to meet Tiger Gray and Vivian Weaver, the authors at the table next to us. They write urban fantasy in a shared universe over at Hard Limits Press, and I'm pretty sure they said this was their first con selling in the dealers room, so it was awesome to watch them blow through pretty much their entire inventory over the weekend. I totally bought both of the their books, and you should too (plus Mark posted this picture of them on his facebook page, which is like the most adorable photo EVER.)
Also camped out with the dealers was Muffy Morrigan -- when I introduce her to people as "my good friend Muffy," it's not like one of those things where I've met her a few times and had a drink with her once. Muffy and I worked together for years at a newspaper in Tacoma, and have spent at least hundreds of hours in rambling conversations about our books, or whatever movie we just saw, or just geekery in general. Muffy is one of my best friends IN THE WORLD, and is also a force of nature at cons -- if you ever get the chance to attend her panel about Victorian medicine at a steampunk convention, do not hesitate! Her latest is the Tall-Ships-and-Dragons-in-Space epic The Sail Weaver, which you should also pick up if for some reason I have not previously talked you into doing so.
I got to catch up with Clinton Boomer, plus hear him read from an upcoming novel, share a seat on a couple of panels with him, and sell some copies of his metaphysical/noir/insane/profane masterpiece, The Hole Behind Midnight, at my table. Plus, the drinking (OH LORD THE DRINKING) with Clinton and his publisher Scott Gable. Scott is also a writer in his own right (he runs the gaming company Zombie Sky Press as well as Broken Eye Books, where he puts out novels from Clinton and other gaming luminaries). The truth is, he lives like four blocks from me so I get to drink with Scott all the time. But it's still nice to see him.
I also remember a lot of drinks with author Katie Cord (particularly at that vodka thing Thursday night -- thanks Pearl and Felice!). Katie and I met at Norwescon a couple of years back, and have since tabled together at several cons and shared many delicious sushi lunches. She's currently expanding her publishing company, Evil Girlfriend Media, with a series of short story collections which I'm pretty sure I am contributing to (I'm slow, Katie, but I AM writing my story, I swear).
I did two comics panels with blogger, media critic and marketing guru Lola Colleen. I had never met Lola before, but she proved insightful and charming, and showed remarkable restraint by not punching a fellow panelist in the neck when he was repeatedly dismissive about the idea that a significant number of women read comics. And I caught up a bit with urban fantasy author J.A. Pitts (his third Sarah Beauhall novel, Forged in Fire, came out from Tor in June, plus his daughter is my facebook friend!) I spent some time with author and mad scientist Jeremy Zimmerman, who is a friend and member of a writing group that I attend super half-assedly. We discussed the challenges of marketing a novella of an original superhero property, published bundled together with novellas from two other writers in a shared universe (my contribution to this discussion can be roughly boiled down to "sucks, buddy.") Jeremy also introduced me to Norwescon artist guest of honor Lee Moyer, who is as delightful as his artwork is gorgeous (I'm not just blowing smoke here, Lee is one charming son of a bitch).
Who else? Northwest Press publisher Zan Christensen had a conflict on Saturday so he couldn't make our panel together, but I did manage to corner him Friday night at a party and pick his spectacular brain about Kickstarter and stuff. His Kickstarter for Anything That Loves, a comics anthology about non-binary sexuality, is going on right now! I am a proud supporter! I also got the chance to meet comics luminary and Bitchy Bitch creator Roberta Gregory (she's contributing to Anything That Loves, btw), who I've been a fan of for DECADES. Mostly we talked about Wordpress, I guess?
In conclusion: Norwescon is spectacular, all these people are awesome, and I maybe need to take a hard look at my drinking habits? (Ooh, on that note, if any Vancouverites or Portlanders will be at Fan Expo or Stumptown, TELL ME WHERE THE PARTIES ARE).
I'll be at Norwescon in Sea-Tac all weekend, splitting my time between the dealers room and various panels and festivities. Catch me when I'm at my table and give the secret password "frienemy anemone" (you don't have to pronounce it correctly) to get a free Conspiracy Friends promo comic!
This is the fourth year I've done Norwescon, and it's become kind of my home base con. It's a good sized (usually around 3,500 people) science fiction con with a really expansive take on what sci-fi is. And the programming is always phenomenal. They have programming tracks for sci-fi, fantasy, hard science, writing, comics, and various elements of fan culture -- there are like a dozen panels going on at any given time so there's always stuff to do.
Here's my schedule if you want to watch me talk about stuff:
Noon, Cascade 8
The last decade has seen an explosion of comics being made into movies, T.V., and videogames. Do these live up to the comics they are inspired by? Have we really reached the saturation point, like Spiderman, where comics directors are also using the old story reboot? What are some of the best and worst of these?
I'll be moderating, and the panel features Lola Colleen, Lee Moyer, and C0splay of Death*Star
5pm, Cascade 12
WONDER WOMAN VS. LOIS LANE
Did Superman and Wonder Woman just make out? What about Lois Lane? I think we know who would win if these two fought, but how do fans feel about this? Is this forever, or will Lois Lane make a comeback? What are the potential repercussions in the JLA and DC universe?
With Ashley Cook, Jenna M. Pittman and me.
1pm, Cascade 5
DECONSTRUCTING THE SUPERHERO
How has comics' oldest genre matured? No longer mainly read by 12 year olds, mainstream comics have had to change with their aging fans, not to mention indie comics being affected by the age old stereotypes they encompass. How do newer comics treat the idea of a superhero? How have superheros saturated other media? Are they becoming diluted due to overuse?
With Charles "Zan" Christensen, Lola Colleen, Mark Rahner, and me (moderating).
2pm, Cascade 3&4
SCIENCE FICTION VS. FANTASY: FIGHT!
Who would win in a fight? Captain Picard or Jack Sparrow? Come vote and defend your choices in the battle to end all battles. Two brackets, one for Science Fiction the other for Fantasy until only one character reigns supreme!
With Jesse “fish” Simpson, The Reverend En Fuego, and me.
3pm, Grand 2
Come meet me and about half of the Norwescon attending professionals (they split these into two groups, so for the other half show up an hour earlier at 2). Since I'll also be selling books in the dealer room, there will be plenty of other chances to get books signed by me, so maybe use this time to focus on some of the other authors. I'm just saying.
5:30, Cascade 1
CHOOSE YOUR OWN BOOK READING
I signed up to read from the upcoming Time Travel Dinosaur, but since I haven't actually written it yet, I'm thinking I'll read from Zombocalypse Now or Thrusts of Justice instead (sorry).
8pm, Casdcade 7
ARE YOU AFRAID OF SCARY GOOSEBUMPS?
In the 90s horror for children was easy to find but despite the imagery and themes horror for the under 13 crowd seems nonexistent now. Why?
With Alisa Gray, John R. Gray III and me (I'll be moderating this one too).
It's a super fun gaming convention, and I'll be in the dealers room shaking hands and signing books and eating sandwiches (lunch has to happen at some point I guess). If you happen to be in Portland, Oregon this weekend (or, technically I guess Vancouver, Washington which is right across the river) you should totally go. And if you find me give the password "drunken monkey," I'll give you a free promo item to promote a secret project I'm working on! Unless I run out. Which I might, so you know, act fast.