So It Begins

Anyone who has been keeping up with this blog or my posts on the NSA sponsored social media information bank that is Facebook knows that I have been working on putting together the Literature panels for this year’s Penguicon.1 We are in our final push for programming as you read this. This weekend marks the official close for programming suggestions, which comes as a relief to me. I am blessed with a glut of interesting programming this year. Every time I think I have my final list all worked out, someone comes up with another great sounding idea that I decide I absolutely have to fit into the schedule somewhere.

I am not really complaining, mind you. I just don’t want to turn down any of the really cool panels that have been suggested.

Now Penguicon is not until the first weekend in May.
3 We just want to have the programming squared away as early as possible so people can start planning their weekend. This is what I think of as the middle of the Spring Con season. Between my own appearances at Penguicon and the Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers’ usual appearance at Motor City Nightmares and the Motor City Comic Con (among others) there is usually a solid month and a half where there is something going on every other weekend.4

Late Spring and Summer are usually fairly sparse as far as Con attendance. Things pick up again in the Fall building up to the craziness that is October for a horror writer.

This year the GLAHW attended (as vendors) the
Great Lakes Comic Comic Con for the first time. It is a local comic book themed convention held on the campus of Macomb County Community College. Despite the fact that we do not have any graphic novels for sale, we seem to do pretty well at comic book conventions.

I will admit that it was very weird gearing up for a convention this early in the year. Somehow it just seemed wrong to be shlepping the Con boxes out to the car when it was still bitterly cold outside. Regardless, I was looking forward to THE FIRST CON OF THE 2014.

Friday was a special Preview Night. I met
Peggy there around 3 so we would have a chance to set up. Another benefit of the GLAHW is that we have gotten very good at setting up and tearing down our displays. Unlike many of the vendors who have a hundred long boxes of comic books or huge displays for their artwork, everything we use can fit in one car (so long as there are no passengers).5

I would like to say that everything went smoothly on Friday, but I was totally unprepared. I had stopped at the storage unit on Thursday to get the Con boxes so I wouldn’t have to swing by on Friday. It is a good thing I did. On Friday I ended up making an unscheduled trip to
Detroit Comics to ask the owner’s opinion about what issues of X-men to have guest Chris Claremont sign. I then had to go in the wrong direction to the dry cleaners to pick up the vest I wanted to wear because I had forgotten to do so (for two weeks).

The actual set-up process went smoothy, once we found our table, save for one hiccup. I forgot to bring the Gibson holders (the little wire easels that we prop books on). I had attempted to consolidate two boxes we normally used into one
6 and when I did I had left them back in the storage unit. We arranged things as best we could without them, then headed up the road for an absolutely wonderful burger.

When we returned we spent time catching up with
Steve Bejma, an artist friend we regularly see at the local Cons. Any time spent with him is time spent swapping humorous stories.

The preview night was only a few hours long, so I stopped by the storage place for the Gibson holders and a few extra chairs, then headed home for some sleep.

Saturday was the main day of the Con. Peggy and I were joined by
MontiLee and Vincenzo and we spent the day selling, meeting people, and occasionally shopping. There was not as much cosplay as I had expected, but most of the people who did dress up looked amazing. My personal favorites were the female Deadpool7 who had his quirky craziness down pat (she agreed to pose for a picture, but demanded a chimichanga as payment) and another person dressed as Daenerys Targaryen complete with baby dragon.

The best part of the day was being able to spend time with the GLAHW and our other friends (Hi Peggy 2!). After a couple of months of dreary weather, it was great to be out and about in Con setting. It was also good to have our little test run as we gear up for the Cons which will come in a few months’ time.

It certainly didn’t hurt matters that we sold some stock too!

1 If you haven’t been keeping up, what the Hell is the matter with you? You need to go back through the old They Napalmed My Shrubbery This Morning
link posts and catch up. Go on. Do it now. We will all wait for you to catch up.2

2 All right, all set to move forward now?

3 2 - 4 May at the Westin in Southfield.

4 If I am lucky. If I’m not I get to play fast and loose with my schedule. Last year I blocked out a four hour window at Penguicon so I would be free to race over to Motor City Nightmares, get some autographs, and jet back before my next panel.

5 The Motor City Comic Con is the exception. Last year we had an interesting set up involving the lemonade stand from an earlier appearance, some smaller tables, and two wire spinning racks.

6 The “boxes” in this case are the giant tupperware type containers usually listed as “storage solutions.”

7 There were many Deadpools.