Thanks to everyone who came out to AwesomeCon this weekend — and special shout-outs to the people who came to our panel on writing fantasy in novels and comic books on Sunday afternoon.
That’s you guys:
We will all spend the rest of our lives telling people we were at the first ever AwesomeCon DC. And that we saw this:
That is some good Boba Fetting right there. Awesome Leia, too. Can’t wait to see her Sansa Stark.
Speaking of Game of Thrones, we did a lot of that yesterday — speaking of Game of Thrones. Our panel was very George R. R. Martin-friendly. The panel, by the way, was made of up of our inimitable leader, Alma Katsu (The Taker, The Reckoning), Tom King (A Once Crowded Sky), comic book writer Justin Jordan, Allison Pang (of the Abby Sinclair urban fantasy series — which features a unicorn named Phin!), me, and Meagan Spooner (Skylark and the upcoming Shadowlark and These Broken Stars). On the panel we talked about: working for the CIA (which several of the panelists had done), breaking into comics, why we love fantasy, Game of Thrones, where we think fantasy is heading, Game of Thrones, women in fantasy, Game of Thrones, and self-publishing.
A lot of questions about self-publishing. It was actually pretty interesting because the book writers on the panel had only a marginal amount of experience with self publishing (I’ve done a few reprints of short stories and my FDSTS prequel), but according to Justin, self-publishing is how most comics writers get their start. It’s a bit more like, say, being a musician, where first you’re busking on street corners, then playing small gigs at coffee shops, etc., then graduating to bigger and bigger gigs and record deals and etc. So now you (and I) know.
After the panel, we went and signed books for a while. I met a bunch of girls dressed like Camp Half-Blood characters, but totally failed to take a picture. There was an Annabeth and a Hazel and another one from the new series I don’t remember. I really need to catch up on my reading.
I also saw an Amy Pond in the red plaid shirt with the hatch marks all over, an old Who with the scarf, a new Who with the fez (and a girl in a TARDIS outfit), and a Where’s Waldo with a Carmen Sandiego, but the highlight of the costumes for me was a little girl about three years old who was ROCKING OUT a full on Batman regalia (well, except for the blonde pigtails and the black leggings with little pink hearts all over them).
Then I took a stroll around the dealer’s floor. Went back toward the hall of fame and thought I might as well catch a glimpse of Nicholas Brendon (Xander on Buffy) while I was there. They’d put him at the very end of the row, so I’m strolling down, catching glimpses of Billy West, Phil Lamar, and Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters). He’s got a big crowd around him, but I figure if I just walk past the end of the row I can see him, right? So I do, and as soon as I’m in his line of sight, blatantly staring, he smiles and waves at me…
And I walk into a wall.
You guys, I want to DIE. Nicholas Brendon is laughing at me, because I walked into a freaking wall.
So, points for Nick for being cool, and no points for me for completely losing mine. But, as Scott Tracey pointed out on Twitter, I can just call it an homage to Xander, because that’s totally something he’d do, right?
I mean, especially once he stopped having stereovision.
So that was Awesome Con. I wish I hadn’t been so flustered after that whole wall incident that I’d remembered to take pictures of the quilting booth, where someone had made these gorgeous quilted renditions of like, the TARDIS, and Serenity, and all sorts of cool stuff.
Bu I guess there’s always next year. Go Awesome Con, go! And next year, you all who missed it this time around (I’m looking at you, mother-in-law) can come with me and check it out.
In far less joyful news, I have learned that author E.L. Konigsburg passed away on April 19. I loved her Newberry Medal winning book, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. I read it many times growing up, and most recently, last fall, because it was a big inspiration for one of the projects I’m working on now. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend. It’s what would probably be called “lower middle grade” these days — it’s the story of a girl, Claudia, who takes her brother Jamie and his card game winnings and runs away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City to have an adventure. And an adventure they have! It’s about independence and New York and art and Michelangelo, and I was more than a little like Claudia at that age, and I used to try to figure out how long I’d last in that place and what I’d spend money on (I tell you, I’d not be as obsessed with baths as she was) and to this day, whenever I’m in a restroom at a museum, I think about the whole “standing on the toilet seat and ducking” trick. Also, the whole thing is this beautiful nested epistolary narrative, and y’all know how much I love those. Rest in peace, Ms. Konigsburg. You brought this young reader much joy, and I can’t wait to read “Mixed Up Files” with my own daughter.