A Station Eight Fan Web Site
We had been traveling for about a week before the convention, camping in the Smoky Mountains area and south Kentucky, as well as taking in the scenery at Nashville. Anyone who finds my journals insanely entertaining and wishes to see more of my stellar wit (including a hilarious account of getting hopelessly lost in rural Kentucky at night) can go to www.freewebs.com/jurgan6, where I'll have the rest posted in a few days. And now, to slide this in under the deadline.
Note: Heather = Yami Raven, Rob = Jurgan
Friday, June 22
Given as it was the second longest day of the year, we were on the east edge of Central Time, and we were in a tent, the sun woke us up at 5:30 A.M. We'd planned on getting up at 7:00, but when I saw the light, I thought it might be 7:00. But we had a long drive, and we were pretty well awake, so we decided to just get up and get a move on. We bought some donuts at a gas station and drove east across a national forest in Kentucky, then south to Pigeon Forge. Fortunately, after five days of travel we'd gotten past all of our wacky driving mishaps and had a fairly uneventful trip. Our directions had gotten lost, so there was no chance of Mapquest screwing us up again, but we'd seen the Grand Resort when we drove through on Tuesday, and we were able to find it again without much trouble.
We got to the hotel at about 1:30, and they said that they wouldn't have our room ready until 2:00, so we drove down the street to a Chinese buffet. The food was pretty good, and the TV was playing a loop of some bizarre Chinese acrobats performing feats of superhuman precision (wow, I sound like an ad). We then went back, checked into our room, and carried our stuff upstairs. Typically, Heather wanted to make our first stop the dealer's room, so we checked in to the con and then looked at the goodies. I immediately spotted an RPG related shirt that was utterly hilarious and perfectly fitting with my RPG personality, so I didn't even try to resist the urge to buy it.
Shortly thereafter, it was time for opening ceremonies. Learning our lesson from last year, we both went to the bathroom beforehand. When we got down, we saw that the TV was too close to the ground for everyone to see from their chairs, so we quickly moved the chairs to the sides and sat on the floor. Hey, we're an informal bunch. After announcements, Greg started his usual spiel, calling it "The Rocky Horror Gargoyles show," an apt comparison which I'd never thought of/heard before. Last year, Greg kept trying to encourage people who'd already seen it to leave, but I think he's accepted that that's not going to happen. So we saw the usual fun stuff, heard some good, or at least possibly good, news about the comic and DVD's, but by the time it was over it was too late to show the music videos. I never got to see any of them. I guess we ate dinner and went to bed, though I can't for the life of me remember what we had- probably something informal like sandwiches. Heather fell asleep unexpectedly, and so did I a few minutes later.
Saturday, June 23
I got up by 10:00 or so because I wanted to audition for the Radio Play. I ran to a "quaint" old-time diner and brought back lunch (note: I may be getting when we ate which meals mixed up, but it doesn't really matter. If you're accused of a crime, though, I may not be your best witness). Heather stayed in the room, because there wasn't anything she was interested in, and after a week's camping, a bed is hard to say no to. At the auditions, I was a bit intimidated, because I still remember trying out in 2002 and bombing terribly. A large crowd sat on the stairs, and we had a lot of fun talking, though we only had a couple scripts to share. I argued with some girls about how Inuyasha would have been better if it had taken lessons from Gargoyles. At one point, I made some joke referencing a certain character from TGC whose name must not be mentioned (let's just say it was mentioned over forty times in one episode). A few people felt my faux pas had to be punished, and started discussing whether it would be more appropriate and/or efficient to decapitate me or simply remove my larynx. That's the sort of conversation I find very amusing. I was one of the last to audition, and I feel I did a lot better than before, reading the part of Brooklyn instead of Xanatos. Greg said I did "great!"
I went back to the room for a while, and either went to get lunch or ate some leftovers (I honestly can't remember when I got the food). I went back down at 2:00 for the world-building for fantasy/sci-fi fan panel. I almost always go to the fan panels, except for the art ones. We talked about a lot of good stuff, though I can't really remember much of it now. I was also spending the entire panel wondering if I'd made the Radio Play cut, since I hadn't had time to check beforehand. Once the panel ended, I quickly ran to check the casting sheet, and was thrilled to find I'd made it! Of course, it turned out that there were more parts than people, so I made it by default, but I like to think I did well enough to merit it. I ran back to the room long enough to tell Heather, and then ran back down for rehearsal. Greg had us set up the chairs in a very specific pattern, and then had us sit in an even more specific arrangement. Once we were all seated, we found out that we were performing issues 3, 4, and 5 of Gargoyles comicbook. Of course, we were all thrilled by that revelation, and I'm sure many of us were tempted to flip to the end to see what happened, but I stayed with the cast. I was Matt Bluestone, and my scene was early on in the play. Greg had to give me a note, calling for "Matt," and it took me a minute to realize who he was talking to. Apparently "Tri Chung" is pronounced "try," not "tree." Huh. Anyway, we went through the play, and sat on the edges of our chairs throughout act three. When we found out about the Illuminati's triangular structure from 1 to 36, as a mathematician I immediately set about calculating how many total members there were, although I didn't expect it to be significant. I could have done it in my head (18*37- half the last number times one more than the last number), but it was distracting me from the story, so I pulled out my phone calculator. 666. Hmm, maybe it is significant. The "Andrew Johnson" line got a big laugh at rehearsal, though less of a response in the play. And, of course, "Nine." When we finished the rehearsal, we were given a twenty minute break. Heather had been unsure of whether to come, but when I told her what we were performing (without spoilers), she decided to come. Then I ran back downstairs, where several cast members were mulling over the revelations we'd just had. The conversation led me to come up with a theory for who number 1 is (this is why I love fan speculation- together we come up with better ideas than we would individually; whole vs. sum of parts). Obviously, I can't put speculation in an Ask Greg entry, but I convinced a number of people, including Greg Bishansky.
The play itself went very well. The audience was barely larger than the cast. Heather got a couple pictures of me reading my lines, but I don't think they came out. Fortunately, Youtube has the whole thing. Thom Adcox got people rolling on the floor every freaking time he opened his mouth. We got laughs at the right moments, and a very satisfying gasp at the end.
After the play, Heather and I went to dinner at Kinkaku, a sushi/hibachi restaurant across the street. We had just sushi, and it was pretty good. Still not my all-time favorite (that'd be Toyo, in Rock Hill, SC), but it was a good meal.
We hung around for a while, and then went to the Blue Mug. On average, the questions started out pretty dark blue and gradually paled as the night went on. I had a couple terribly mild questions, including one Heather wanted to ask, but she left before she got a chance. Thom pulled his pants down to show his tattoo and repeated his infamous "Monsigneur Nelson" joke. I'm still not sure I get the joke, but it's fun to watch.
After Thom left at about 1:30, most of the people scattered. My favorite thing to do at cons is just sitting around talking to people, so I gravitated to the small group sitting around Greg. Jen Anderson was there, and I think Gorebash, but I can't remember any others. Next year I should really write this stuff down immediately, instead of trying to remember it a month later. My biggest regret is that I can't remember who all the people I met were. Anyway, we sat around telling stories. I mostly just listened, since I'm still relatively new to the cons and didn't want to butt in to other people's conversations. All the others knew each other pretty well, and I did feel a little intimidated at first, but it was pretty easy to talk after a while. We had one conversation about which was worse: hurricanes, tornados, or earthquakes. Jen told a story about getting on a plane by pretending to be engaged to Thom. Greg lay down on some chairs half-asleep, waking up occasionally to tell people who called him that he was not a taxi company and they needed to enter a different area code. Eventually, Greg decided he was going to bed, and the rest of the group broke up.
That evening summed up the con for me. Although there were far fewer guests and events than last year, I felt like I really got to know the people who were there a lot better. I'm really starting to feel like I'm part of these cons, instead of just a guest watching them. I got to meet some new people, whom I'll hopefully see again next year.
Part 2 in another post, assuming I get it done before the queue closes.
Well, the queue will open again when issue #6 comes out (sometime this month) so post part 2 then!
So, here was Matt, enjoying his evening, finishing up dinner and dishes and about to settle down to a good book before bedtime when alas he decides to peak into the Comment Room and realizes the Ask Greg queue closes in mere hours (so he gathers) and he has forgotten to post his 2007 Gathering Journal!!!
So in a mad rush to finish he begins to type. Without further ado...
After barely arranging to get Friday off work and saying the goodbyes to my Jason (the boyfriend who will probably attend G '08 with me) I hit the road around 5 AM CT. It had been a while since I had a nice road trip and there is always that fun feeling about leaving when it is still dark outside. Long (and boring) story short, I arrived in the town of Pigeon Forge at about 3:15 PM ET. My first impression of the town was that it seemed to be brimming with traffic and pancake houses. I was relieved to discover the hotel without incident (aside from the aforementioned traffic) and checked in. I quickly found my room, threw down my stuff and made my way to the convention area. I found it a good sign that right after checking in at the Staff table, I ran back to my room to leave some stuff there and on my way back ran into Greg Weisman himself. I was amazed that Greg seemed to remember me by face alone (or maybe he read my badge, but he seemed like he knew me). I wish I had his talent of face/name recognition. I'd only met him once before briefly in 2002. Anyway, Greg tried to convince me to try out for the Radio Play. I had considered it for months, but I greatly enjoy listening to the production so I opted out. Perhaps next year. I'll think about it. Greg seemed in a hurry for something and I made my way back to the art room/dealer's room area. On the way I ran into Harvester of Eyes. We hadn't met before and chatted about Putt-Putt golf a bit and how he dislikes it and then I finally made it back to the main convention room. As I was looking around the wares, I noticed one space left on the sign up sheet for Mug-A-Guest with Greg and I eagerly signed up. I went to examine the art, which was naturally quite good. There were a few really fun pieces, kudos to those who submitted art. I was happily surprised to see a few sample pages for Issue #5. I felt almost guilty seeing Brook's costume, Dr. Sato and Mary and Finella. Of course, at the time I didn't know that I was going to soon learn much more about Issue #5. Ran into Greg X and chatted about the comics, the Comment Room and other silliness for a bit.
The time for Opening Ceremonies came around and I eagerly found a good seat... of course, not long afterwards I found myself sitting on the floor. It was all very kindergarten story/naptime-esque.
I don't care how many times Greg has been through the Opening Ceremonies stuff, I loved seeing and hearing it all. However, I guess Greg felt that he needed to add something new to the routine, so he proceeded to destroy the hotel podium to the delight and amusement of the con-goers .
After the end of Opening Ceremonies, I was famished and made my way to dinner at Shoney's across the street. I went back to my room and laid on the bed and enjoyed that "I'm on vacation" feeling for a while and then, feeling fat, went swimming to burn off the Shoney's. Exhausted, I went back to the room and passed out.
Slept pretty late. Reveled in the feeling of not waking up to an alarm. Took my time getting ready and went down to the complimentary breakfast. Finding no fruit in sight, I shrugged and gorged on biscuits and gravy like I hadn't done in years. Vacation, right?
I made my way back to the con and attended the "Fan to Pro" panel with Karine (and Samuel). I felt guilty again when Karine accidently let slip Quincy's name, but that was nothing compared to later. Anyway, the panel was great, I really enjoyed listening to Karine and there were some great questions. Even though I'm not much of an artist, it was fun. After that I had the Mug with Greg. This was a lot of fun and it really made me realize why the Gathering is so great. When a group of people can sit in an (ever growing) circle (in person!) and chat about Gargoyles, it makes me feel a great sense of community which is only faintly felt via the internet community. Somehow Greg revealed to us that the Jogger is Billy and Susan's uncle. Not sure how we got that out of him, but I thought it was a neat tidbit.
After the Mug, I decided I needed/wanted a walk so I wandered down to Taco Bell for lunch and ended up counteracting the purpose for the walk there when I got a big ole quesadilla thing... ugh, I ate too much on this trip.
I waddled back to the hotel with enough time to get a great seat for the Radio Play. Wow, that was fun. To have brand new canon material revealed to us as a big group like that was just awesome. Something I haven't felt since I was watching the episodes as the came out 11 years ago with grade school friends and talking about them at school. So much fun. Thom Adcox was hilarious as Brentwood (great casting there, ha!), but I was also impressed by a lot of other people, namely Phoenix-Talon as Elisa. Honestly, I can't read the line "I'm a part of this clan. Nothing will ever change that." without hearing Phoenix-Talon. I should be hearing Salli Richardson, I know, but her Radio Play counterpart deserves a round of applause. Great job.
After the Radio Play I congratulated Greg on a great job and then excused myself to call my friend Ryan (another Gargoyles fan who couldn't attend due to med-school) and told him exactly nothing except that I heard the script for Issue #5. He was good about it, but I couldn't stop gushing about how great it was so I decided to spare him (and spot tempting myself) and just get back to the convention. [On a side note, I happened to witness the most interesting scenario involving a baby duck and a fisherman in the stream behind the hotel during this phone conversation. But that, as they say, is a story for another day...]
I went back and made my way to MGT3K, which was one of my favorite events at G'02. Had a lot of fun making fun of the episodes (and Greg's intros for the eps). I truly do feel, however, that the Goliath Chronicles was made for MGT3K, and hope to see TGC in that (and only that) venue at future Gatherings.
Next came the Blue Mug. Never attended that before and I was not disappointed. Goliath's genitalia, Thom Adcox removing his pants and humping a fan (separate incidents of course), and lots of pornographic Gargoyles art and video clips. And I hear this was a MILD year. Yikes. Lot of fun though. I didn't want to miss a minute of it so I remained even though I was very sleepy. Found myself attempting to flirt with Thom from across the room (can't help it, he's cute) but nothing came of that (truly for the best) and after the Mug broke up, I went back to my room to sleep. Instead, on a whim, I jumped in the pool and swam around until the thought of swimming in the dark had me totally freaked out ( I was actually getting "the shivers" imagining monsters below me in the darkness). Well aware of my exhaustion, I went to my room and slept.
Woke up early and got things packed up. I needed to be on the road asap, cuz I had to get back home for stuff on Monday.
Fortunately, I had time for a quick breakfast at that Rooster pace next door. Finally had some fruit for breakfast, although the restaurant insisted on immersing it in some sort of sugary fruit syrup. Went back to the con and listened to a couple of the open-story stuff. Some people had some pretty good stuff, and the stillness of the room and the singular voice was refreshing after the Blue Mug the night before.
Next attended a panel I'd been waiting for all weekend; Gargoyles Physiology and Culture. Though I certainly disagreed with a lot of the ideas floating around that panel (especially involving Gargate evolution), I had a great time. It was nice to actually be able to have that conversation outside of the Comment Room. And we all agreed, for various reasons, that gargoyle eggs do in fact need to be turned. I felt that this consensus, minor though it was, was a good place for us to move to the culture part of the panel. I was surprised that I ended up enjoying this part of the panel even more. Greg really inspires me when he talks about Gargoyle culture. It really was fascinating and wonderful stuff, and Greg explained his thoughts so well. It made me feel I got a glimpse, for a moment, into that universe Greg is always tapping into.
After the panel, most of us moved on to the "Bad Guys" panel. Turned out that Greg, naturally, wasn't ready to reveal much there and the panel turned into a Marketing seminar. Not much I can say about that that others have not already.
After the so called "Bad Guys" panel ended, I realized I needed to hit the road. I said my goodbyes to Greg and a few others and made my way back home. I arrived in my apartment in St. Louis very very late Sunday night (Monday morning?).
It was a great trip and I'm thrilled that the Gathering next year will be even closer! Hopefully, I'll be able to bring my friend Ryan and boyfriend Jason along next year, but I know I'll be there at least.
Now, I need to get this posted before the queue closes again.
Thanks Greg, Thom, Karine, the entire Gathering Staff and everyone who came! It was a lot of fun!
Thank you, Matt. I'll admit I did cheat and glanced at your nametag, but now I swear I know your face. (It usually takes me a couple of Gatherings to nail a name and face together on anyone.)
I really enjoyed the Phys/Culture panel also. I'm such a science moron, it felt like a great crypto-education. And, as I'm sure ALL of you know by now, I LOVE talking about this stuff.
Thurs, June 21st
I got into Nashville about 7:30 Central Time. I hope Southwest fun flights or whatever they're called connect to Chicago next year, cause it was cheap as hell and best of all there weren't any delays!
I waited around for a couple hours for Kirsten (Babyfey) and Demona Taina, who was on her first trip to the continental US from Puerto Rico. We all flew into Nashville, so we rented a car and drove to Knoxville. For some reason I was surprised that they only had country music stations in Tennesse.
Taina was amazed at how big everything was. Apparently the 3 hour drive was longer than it took to cross Puerto Rico.
Kristen had made reservations for us at a motel outside Knoxville. It was right off the highway, and I was really happy when I saw the the nice looking place with the big banner that read "Free Breakfast". But she had booked us at the seedy motel behind it. The sun never seemed to go down that night (turned out it was the solstice), and considering the kind of place we were in, I kind of felt like we were in a Twilight Zone episode. Somehow I managed to get a good night's sleep on the cardboard mattress.
Fri, June 22nd
We got up early and picked up Kristen's friend at the Knoxville airport, ate pancakes for breakfast, then drove to Pigeon Forge. The place is like Vegas except without all the stuff that "stays in Vegas". Traffic was terrible but we managed get to the hotel eventually.
I hung out in the art room for awhile, then got lunch with some other people (I can't remember for the life me who- I think it was Aaron, Lynati, Jade Griffin and Leo) at this pizza place that they had coupons for in the art room.
Opening ceremonies was fun as always, and it was good to see so many new people had showed up.
We went to the minigolf place down the street after that, and had our asses throughly handed to us by the course. Thank for doing the math for me, cause we would have been there for another hour if I had done it myself.
Then we ran across the street en-mass (felt like we were playing real-life Frogger) and got dinner at the restaurant where we couldn't find the door. They had some great catfish.
Then we ran across the street again, and we hung around in the 2B room. Hudson ranted about random subjects, which was hilarious. I can't remember the guy's name, but man did he do a good Christopher Walkin impression. We tried to have him order pizza in that voice. Mara, Lynati, and yet another person I can't recall know all the words to Rent. All I knew was the words to the Simpsons parody of it. Some people got pizza from the place we'd eaten before (we recommended it and still had some coupons left). The delivery guy ripped us off majorly and the pizza wasn't that great either.
Sat, June 23rd
I got up early, and walked downstairs in a rather zombiefied state, ate some pancakes and went shooting with Flanker, Sarah, Leo, Dtaina, Sadisitc Cow, and some others. It was a lot of fun and Leo is a killing machine. Someone made the mistakes of trying to explain what a gargoyle is to they guy who owned the shooting range.
I went to a few panels after that, then the radio play which was great! Thom Adcox will never live now down "Thailog Smart!"
I went to minigolf with some people who's names I, again, can't remember. That was a mistake. It kicked my ass worse then the night before, and I missed MGT3K, which is my favorite panel at Gatherings.
The Blue Mug was fun, but I'm starting to think that we're running out of 'adult' questions ask (particularly after last year-wow!). And we didn't get kicked out of the room this year- a first for as long I've been going to Gatherings!
Sun, June 24th
I woke up early again and had pancakes (detecting a trend?). I went to a few panels, and then ended up at the banquet, which was very good this year, and there was plenty for 2nds and 3rds this time! Some how I got the impression though, that most of people wait staff there were children of Hotel employees who were being forced into helping. Somehow we started talking about the masquerade, and I ended up being dragged to Walmart to buy stuff for my Severius costume. The Masque was alot of fun- the guy in the full-body gargoyle suit was amazing. I offered Hudson $5 to say "Luke, I am your father" while he was dressed in his full SWAT gear. People kept having my throw my head back and kackle (I have no idea how to spell that and neither does the spellchecker) so they could take pictures. And then there was that other stuff (highlights of the masque!) which I'm sure is now on YouTube.
I ended up talking fanfiction with Lynati in her room (I wish I had the time to be as detail obsessed as she is), and working on the Myst (I don't really know what that it, but it was fun to work on) for somebody's new fanfiction.
Mon, June 25th
I slept in a little, and well, are pancakes the legally mandated breakfast food of Pigeon Forge or something? Seriously.
I wish had rained that night (or that the roof hadn't leaked), because i didn't get a chance to vote on the art show.
I don't recall to much of closing ceremonies (I was too tired). Kristen and I left shortly afterward and drove back to Nashville were caught our flights out.
All in all, even after leaking roof and such, it was still the best gathering I've ever been to.
And I apologize to everyone whose name I forgot. I can never remember people's names when I need to.
Glad you had a good time. Hope we see you in Chicago. And the Blue Mug doesn't have to be blue. It's just that it's okay if it is.
My Con Journal 2007
Note: I was feeling sick pretty much the whole time, so I didn't really do much...
June 22, 2007
We drove for about 7 hours before we got to the hotel. We went to lunch at a Chinese buffet down the road. I went to the dealer's room right after we got our badges. I bought a zombie shirt and a plush Anubis. Then, Rob and I went to the Opening Ceremonies. It was fun to see all the new people who came this year. After the ceremonies were over, we went back to the room to rest and eat dinner.
I again went and bought nice stuff at the dealer's room, then Rob and I went to the radio play. Rob got to play the part of Matt Bluestone. Everyone did a wonderful job! There was a spoiler for the 5th issue of the comic. It just goes to show that there are perks to coming to the Gathering. After that, we went to get some sushi at Kinkaku down the road. After dinner, we came back to the hotel for the blue mug. Thom humped a guest and showed off his tattoo. I wasn't feeling well, so I left the mug early and went to sleep.
Today we went to the Physiology panel and talked about how gargoyles raise their young. It was very interesting. Afterwards, I went back to the room to rest and have lunch. Later, I went to the dealer's room yet again and bought a sushi charm bracelet. We went to a steak buffet place for dinner, which wasn't very good and definitely not worth the money. On the way back to the room, we saw Greg and Thom playing air hockey. Rob played against Hudson, and I played against Flanker. Rob lost his match by one point. I beat (or according to him "slaughtered like a spring lamb") Flanker by one point. It was so fun to be able to go against someone new for a change. After the match with him, I was exhausted, but Greg asked me to play, and you just can't say no to the MF Garg Master. I had my ass handed to me, but that was because I was tired. Assuming we make it to next year's Gathering I would like to take him on again to see what I would do when I was at my best. It was so much fun! After our matches, we watched a few other people play, then went to the Masquerade. There weren't many contestants this year, but all the costumes were wonderful. I especially liked the Gargoyle costume that took Best in Show. After the contest, I started feeling sick, so I went to bed.
Today was the last day of the Gathering. The first thing we did was go to the auction/signing. I got Greg and Thom to sign the cover of my program. After that, was talked to some people in the art room while we waited for closing ceremonies. We were encouraged to come back next year. We will do that if we have enough money. We are getting married 7 days before the Gathering. We will be the only people I know who have had their honeymoon at a convention! So, the next time you see me, I will be a happily married Garg fan! ^_^
And I hope you're feeling better now.
This be my con journal for the year:) A bit abbreviated since I don't want to snore anyone out:)
I travel every year I can make it, from Reno, NV to wherever the con happens to be: from Montreal, Canada to my home state to Williamsburg, WV to Fort Worth, TX. Why? Read on:)
I was approached by email by the wonderful Eden asking if I could be on the Con Staff this year. Boy, would I! No, I am not insane:) So I told my husband I was going and got my tickets and travel plans. The Gathering of the Gargoyles 2007 would be in Pigeon Forge, TN. I would fly to Memphis, TN and drive the 6 hours on a mini road trip with three other great people: Admiral Trimm, Beedoo!, and Arno. And that's exactly how it happened. As soon as I got off the plane, I jumped in Trimm's jeep and we were off! It actually took 8 hours, given the dumb construction. Bah. Silly humans.
Arriving at the hotel, which was a lot less than we anticipated it would be --- in size, not price -- I got fed up w/ them and headed over to the main hotel to find the con suite and my fellow staffers (we had been moved to a hotel across the street due to some overbooking or some such nonsense). Got my registration packet, shirt, badge, etc. and headed back for sleep around 12am local time.
Day one was setting up the art show and sitting in the art room for most of the day. This would be the majority of my task while the Art Show Coordinator this year: babysit the art room. No biggie. Most of the Con I am either in a panel or in the art room anyway drawing up a storm. I learned the hard way being the Art Show Coordinator left little room for actually drawing while most of it went to coordinating, lol.
Boy, did we have a lot of new people this Con. So many new hands raised at Opening Ceremonies, it was awesome!! Met some neat new people, too:)
I hosted three panels while at the Con: Gargoyles Physiology and Culture with Greg Weisman and Lynati, Mystery Gargoyle Theater 3000, and an Open Writing session and discussion panel (i won the writing contest this year. Wee!!). It was a blast, despite hassles with elevators and hotel personnel. And me, Beedoo!, Trimm, and Arno finally got a room in the right hotel. Yay!
We basically ignored the bad hotel stuff until it culminated into a bit of a fiasco. The Masquerade and dance is a big event at our Con. Earlier in the day, the women's restroom next door had flooded. The hotel staff was fairly prompt in coming to dry (and not clean) the carpet but it was still a bad event... In the midst of our costumed frolicking and boogying, someone ran in and said they needed volunteers because the art show/dealer's room roof was leaking-- on top of everything in the room! We ushered our decked out behinds up to the art show/dealer's room and lo and behold, the ceiling was leaking! It had rained earlier that day. It being around 10pm local time and the dealers all gone to bed, plus the hotel staff unwilling to send anyone to help us move our stuff, we took matters into our own hands! Hudson coordinating this awesome march, approximately 25 con-goers (and yes I mean fans!) hupped to it and moved all of the dealer's merchandise including thousands of dollars of comic books to the room next door. Bad on top of worse... Though our move occurred in about 10 minutes, we learned that the next room also had a leaky ceiling!! Egads, people! So, improvisation among such brilliant minds as ours isn't hard to find. We took every table stacked the merchandise on one, and put another table over that table to shield it. All but the comic books. Someone brought in their own tarp and someone got some drop cloths to put over the rest of the delicate merchandise. Saved! As for the artwork, the set-up was promptly broken down, the artwork sorted by artist, purchased, auction, etc. and taken to the safe haven of the blessed con suite. All hail the snacks!
Did such dark moments hamper our most awesome Con? Naw:) You cannot believe the aura of goodness from this convention. It is truly the best experience anyone will ever have of a fandom. We pull together like we've known each other for decades, good friends who've known each other face to face forever, and some of us have just met:) It makes fun stories to tell each other afterwards. It really was a great Con despite the ... interesting... hotel. Hanging with the rest of the fans, our wonderful guests, hosting a panel beside Greg Weisman, laughing all night with Arno, Trimm, Beedoo!, and so many others... Oh, and of course the Blue Mug;P You will not find a better group of people drawn together under the banner of fandom and that's the truth. So, join us, won't you? It's a family reunion where you don't hate any of your relatives. It's great and you GOTTA come. That's my soap box:) Gargs forever! And don't forget to get the comic books!!
Thanks, Jade! You did a great job and were always such an enthusiastic presence on the staff!
Gathering Journal - Monday, June 25, 2007
Got up a bit earlier than the previous days, so I could take advantage of the "all-you-can-eat" pancakes coupon I was provided. It turned out "all-you-can-eat" wound up being four. But they were tasty and filling indeed.
My next stop was the auction, in which many delightful items were offered, although much of the early bidding seemed a smidge subdued. I only bid on one item, as most of the items I wanted moved out of my range. I was tempted by a few items in particular - a Phoenix Gate medallion, and the promo posters for the Gargoyles trade paperback and the first issue of Bad Guys.
As the auction ended, it seemed no one had anything in particular to do until closing ceremonies (save Greg, who went off to work), so most of us hung around chatting. (I had some nice conversation bits with Greg B., Fan and Kathy Pogge, myself.) While I'd already signed up for G2K8, I decided to take the opportunity to snag a promotional shirt, which I may be wearing to an upcoming convention (although, it was suggested I write the URL for the Gathering site on there first - my fannish loyalty is conflicting with my collector's instincts there). As closing ceremonies neared, Hudson took over the microphone for a pseudo-rant; after a bit, I ducked out to my room until the actual closing ceremonies were due to begin.
The ceremonies - as usual - felt very much like a cool-down; which, of course, they essentially are. Various thank yous, and well-deserved applause, and awards were distributed. But the original post-ceremonies plan - a visit to Dollywood - was nipped in the bud by a brief but notable downpour. So new plans were made to head to a local laser tag parlor for a game.
A group of 20 people, including Greg W., Greg B., Hudson, Chloe, GSide, King Cobra, Vid the Kid, Kathy Pogge, Halloweenking, Brant Wells, IRC Goliath, myself and several others headed to Ultrazone. We were split into two groups of 10, and while we waited our turn, another ferocious air hockey competition got underway with Greg and company. Me, I decided to play some skeeball and practice my shooting before I headed in.
The actual game itself was awesome - very atmospheric, with lots of cover and sniper positions, and a mist that doubled as concealment and a means for the lasers to become visible. In something that seems unusual for laser tag, this was a free-for-all match, where everyone was out for themselves. My group included Greg W., Greg B., GSide, Kathy Pogge, Halloweenking, and three non-Gargoyles fans: a mother and her two young kids (who, unlike everyone else, worked as a team). I'd only played one game of laser tag before this, and this vastly surpassed that game - I had great fun, and I suspect others were as well, judging from the smiles. To my vast surprise, I won the game, earning the most points if not the highest accuracy (my codename: "Super Nova").
However, the exertion of the game immediately sent Greg W.'s group out for some drinks at the Walgreens, where we encountered a clerk who was also a fan of the show. (999 to go, as one said.) Greg decided he wanted to seek out a Baskin-Robbins a good ways down the street, in the expectation that we'd all be hungry enough by then for dinner. At that point, the other group of ten, who were nearly left behind, caught up. We settled on a BBQ place called Corky's, where our group's size left the staff a bit stunned at first. Split between two tables, I sat nearest to, and chatted the most with, Brant Wells and friend (whose name I missed, sorry!), Vid the Kid, King Cobra, Halloweenking and GSide. My dinner was a delicious hickory burger.
Our ice-cream plans were scrapped when Greg W.'s table got dessert following their dinner. Heading back, I nearly went with Hudson's go-kart-seeking group, before deciding to go back to the hotel instead. We said our goodbyes to Greg W. and one another, and went our separate ways. To me, these moments felt like the true end of the Gathering 2007.
I found ways to kill the time - namely, a visit to the nearby Book Warehouse for some, well, books, as well as a road atlas. Also snagged some dessert - a moon pie and an ice cream sandwich - and coordinated the return trip with my dad (who suggested an alternate route home through Harper's Ferry) and Greg B. (while we watched a rather odd episode of South Park). Packed my bags, and prepared for an early day Tuesday...
Bittersweet, I know...
Gathering Journal - Sunday, June 24, 2007
Got up, went out and ate, then went to the con suite to hang out. Showed off my card game to A Fan on his request. A Wii was set up and running, so I played a few rounds of Virtual Console Super Mario Kart 64 with various people. My next stop was the Gargoyles/Bad Guys panel, which apparently replaced a previously planned Spider-Man panel (which fell apart after the owners banned nearly every topic Greg could discuss).
- Bad Guys began with three characters: Dingo, Matrix and Fang. To fill the role of a "hardcase" female character, they almost went with a new character, before settling on Robyn Canmore. Lastly, they figured a gargoyle would be good, so they added Yama.
- In terms of Illuminati ranking, Mace Malone was somewhere in the high 20s before he died. Xanatos has been an Illuminatus for a few years; Greg won't reveal how long Castaway was a member.
- The first six issues of Bad Guys take place in late 1996 to early 1997. They start in 1997, before flashing back to 1996.
- Matrix's potential power level would become an issue in a second series of Bad Guys. Greg actually conceived of this plotline before the first series.
- Yama wants to redeem himself, but the Bad Guys' bosses are still blackmailing him into service, which he resents.
- Eventually, the Bad Guys may meet Jackal and Hyena, but not in the first series.
- Vinnie will appear in Bad Guys.
- Although Greg would love to do more than one comic a month, he can't financially justify it.
- They briefly considered doing a "Gargoyles Classics" title that would adapt television stories into comic form, but ultimately rejected it.
- Although Gargoyles is SLG's most successful title (before you factor in the expense of the license), it's "not safe" or stable. The delay between the early issues, he said, "killed us." The title will probably run through issue #12, but there will probably be a financial re-evaluation at that time. The license is strictly limited to comics (no T-shirts or such).
- Disney owns everything created for the Gargoyles comic.
- Someone proposed making a Gargoyles tabletop role-playing game, but Greg thinks it'd require a major developer to work.
- As with the Blue Mug, there are a few bits I can't reveal, as they would spoil issue #5.
Next, after a failed attempt to play the Lethal Weapon pinball game, I played some air hockey against King Cobra (who kicked my butt). Went back to the art show, saw some new art (including Transformers stuff mentioned to me by A Fan), and bid on a few silent auctions (none of which I ultimate won). I also registered for G2K8, and got a few more comics, then headed back to my room for a bit.
The banquet was nice- the food was good, the iced tea perhaps a little too sweet. My table included (if I recall correctly) Mandi, Ethan Gilchrist, Brant Wells, and a few others. Then, we had the Q&A.
- One fan asked a lot of Puck questions.
- Puck will not appear in the first 12 issues of the comic.
- In "City of Stone," the humans were real stone, not organic stone like the gargoyles.
- Greg may have bet he can get Demona to say "Jalepena."
- The Weird Sisters vary in which sister is ascendant at which time.
- What Titania said calmed Fox down. (No, Greg didn't say exactly what.)
- The "four tricksters" story would involve a competition over which would be Alex's tutor. Puck considers all of them rivals, and some of them friends. There are more than four tricksters.
- Favorite colors: Night sky blue for Greg, blue or red (it alternates back and forth) for Thom.
- Greg really wished that scene with Vinnie from "Hunter's Moon" could have stayed in.
- Which character would you remove from the show, if you absolutely had to? Greg would remove Lois. Thom would remove Owen, just to annoy people.
It was also revealed that Thom and seven fans got Phoenix Gate tattoos prior to the banquet. (From what I hear, Greg wasn't sure what to make of it...) As the group dispersed, I asked Norcumi and Quindar what the backstory was to the whole "Gargles" thing. I had assumed one or both of them were dentists or somesuch, but actually, they were just capitalizing on a common misspelling... also, I learned they actually have a gargles-fans.org!
Heading downstairs, I was witness to an awesome series of air hockey games involving (among others) King Cobra, Greg, Thom, and Flanker, with Flanker narrowly winning the impromptu "tournament." (Greg is really good at that game...) King Cobra asked if I wanted to play, but, now understanding why I lost so badly earlier, I declined. (No masochist, me.) Then, it was time for the masquerade. Halloweenking had an amazing gargoyle costume, and there were great showings from the other contestants as well... after that, I honestly didn't do much. (My wallflower tendencies kicked in.) The party broke into two areas, one with dancing and such, and one with quieter events. In the latter, I saw some interesting card games running, and in the former, I saw some dance numbers. Managed to chat a little with Harvester of Eyes, Greg B. and others... but ultimately, I just opted to leave. As the con suite was closed, I merely headed back to my room and turned in for the evening.
Oh, there was one brief interruption before I went to sleep - someone came by looking for the fellow selling the comic books, to tell him of the roof leakage. (They were checking every room on the second floor, it seems. Unfortunately, I couldn't help them find him...
I think Thom and I are going to get together for more Air Hockey this week.
Gathering Journal - Saturday, June 23, 2007
Repeating my pattern from yesterday, I lazed about before heading out to the dealer's room. This time, I ran into Greg B., then bought a substantial stack of inexpensive comics (thus patching some holes in my collection). After hauling them back to my room, I headed on down to the Con Suite, and sat through the tail end of "Eye of the Beholder" and all of "Vows" before going back upstairs to get a replacement for my badge (it had suffered some water damage). Back to the con suite again, where I sat through 98% of "City of Stone", chatted with Mandi, then worked on the Gargoyles "Krossword" for a long while before going upstairs to see the radio play.
The radio play itself was excellent - based on "Clan-Building" Parts 3-5 (which, yes, includes the as-yet-unreleased July issue). Good performances all around. The best thing is, the play will be posted on YouTube in August... I'm not allowed to describe the plot of the July issue, but suffice to say it's got some great moments in it.
After the play, I wound up hanging out with Mandi, Kathy, Emambu, Stephanie, Lynati and Mara in Mandi and Kathy's room, where we had pizza. I didn't really find any good ways into the conversation (not their fault), so after they headed to MGT3K, I opted to go back to my room for a little while and have a little snack. I headed back upstairs for the Blue Mug, arriving just after MGT3K finished.
Notable bits from the Blue Mug:
- Greg won't reveal if Brooklyn is a virgin when he meets Katana; if Delilah is sterile; if Lexington will meet his future mate before Brooklyn TimeDances; or if Coldstone is present in 2198.
- Gargoyle males are born circumcised.
- Hudson apparently wears pants instead of a loincloth because he feels he needs more dignity.
- Thailog designed Delilah to be a proper companion, not a mere sex slave - more than a minion, but less than an equal. Her diction has always been better than that of her fellow clones.
- Greg may consider doing a Blue short story, but he makes no promises. He suggested an auction for it may be in order, if done...
- Greg once contacted Phil Foglio on the possibility of a XXXenophile-type work featuring gargoyle-like characters. Although Foglio was intrigued, he was too busy, not to mention getting away from that sort of material after joining a local school board...
- Gargoyles and humans besides Goliath and Elisa have fallen in love, but it's extremely rare. It's so rare there isn't even a cultural taboo against it. Sometime between c. 3000 BC and 2199, there is only one other human-gargoyle relationship - and no, Greg isn't telling.
- Now that Puck is stuck as Owen for the long haul, we may see some changes in Owen's behavior.
- When Puck becomes Owen, there is a psychological transformation as well as a physical one. However, this does not mean Puck and Owen exist as distinct personalities in one form- when he's Puck, he's just Puck, and when he's Owen, he's just Owen.
- One issue of the comic is about equal to one act from a TV episode. Greg admits he's become used to writing for television rather than comics, but he hopes to break that pattern with Bad Guys.
- Greg chose not to have a fictional president, because - outside of the obvious fantasy elements - he likes to make the Gargoyles universe as close to reality as possible.
- It's important that sales of the regular comic not lag due to the pending release of a collected edition. If the regular comic doesn't sell, there might not be collected editions to buy... Greg also hopes to have some bonus material in the trade paperback (including a foreword by Wendy Pini), and possibly also a trade paperback of Bad Guys.
- A very complicated spell could enable the reattachment of a severed limb during stone sleep (assuming the gargoyle didn't die from the shock of the damage).
- The TimeDancer miniseries will be a "fragment" from his 40-year trip.
- Thom thinks Lex's pick of the litter would be Coldstone. He also never saw Lex as a monster, but just a 17-year-old guy.
- At this point in the comic, Lex is not sure of his sexuality.
- Coldstone does not age, but he is subject to normal wear and tear.
- Greg may eventually cover Molly/Banshee again.
- There were occasional squatters at Castle Wyvern between 994 and 1994, but no one stayed, as it was too creepy (not to mention the discouraging presence of Hakon and the Captain's ghosts).
- Judge Roebling's dialogue in the comic is indeed inspired by Foghorn Leghorn.
- In terms of Trio literacy - Lexington knew how to read in the 990s; Brooklyn knew how to read a little in the 990s, and improved under Lex's tutelage in the present day; Broadway chose not to learn until after "Lighthouse." When they were naming themselves, Lex probably read street signs for them, or they overheard the names.
- When Hunchback of Notre Dame was being developed, they stopped by the Gargoyles production area to compare their gargoyles with their gargoyles. They were pleased they bore no similarity to one another.
- Favorite reading material: Greg regularly reads the Los Angeles Times, as well as detective fiction; Thom is a "complete freak" for true crime books (and he also likes self-help books).
- When "Dominique Destine" was forming a relationship with "Lennox MacDuff," she presented herself as a good Catholic French girl.
- Macbeth probably spent years drunk, but he's not so suicidal anymore. By 2198, he is a hermit.
- Fox could be trained to use her mystical powers, but it'd be much more difficult for her than it is for Alex.
- Greg's career: Greg considers himself a good boss, but a bad employee. He's starting to run into executives who are Gargoyles fans.
- Greg told a rather lengthy tale involving why Nana Visitor was not the voice of Fox, and why Jonathan Frakes was briefly not the voice of Xanatos. Suffice to say it involved a lot of errors and office politics... Frakes never let Greg forget that he was temporarily fired, and humorously brought it up whenever possible.
- The ten-year gap between the end of the animated series and the beginning of the comic allowed Greg a lot of time to refine his ideas.
- Despite Atlantis: The Lost Empire not being part of the Gargoyles universe (due to various contradictions), the Praying Gargoyle still has an Atlantean crystal at its core. Greg would like to use the Team Atlantis characters in an adaptation of the story in comic form, but if he can't, he'll use analogues.
- There were also some bits related to comic issue #5, but I can't speak of them...
With no more questions, Blue or otherwise, the session was ended. I hung around a little, but quickly realized there was little point. So I went back to my room and slept.
It was a fun mug.
Gathering Journal - Thursday, June 21, 2007
Transit day. Greg B. (having stayed at my apartment overnight) got me up a bit after 8. (I'd already been awake, but I'd been trying really hard to avoid getting up before my alarm.) In about an hour, we were on our way, with me driving the first five hours, and Greg the second four. Greg came prepared with various CDs, including America: The Book, The Sopranos soundtrack, and the Kill Bill Vol. 1 soundtrack. There were a few minor navigation problems on the way down, but overall, it was a rather tranquil trip. (And may I note that Greg has an impressively gas-efficient car? I envy it.)
After 6:30, we got to the Grand Resort Hotel; after checking in, we parted ways for a time while we settled into our respective rooms. I did a bit of exploring, and got some supplies from Walgreens, before re-contacting him about possible dinner plans. Arriving at his room, he showed me the front-page below-the-fold story from the local paper on the con, with its surprisingly positive view; then we ordered some pizza.
About that time, a group strolled by which included Hudson, Eric "Gorebash", Chloe, Karl, and (I believe) Dancer, who stuck around for a good while in varying recombinations of discussion. Greg wound up sharing about all of his pizza with the lot; I left mine out for public consumption, but no one moved on it (probably 'cause I didn't make it obvious). Emambu and his girlfriend, Stephanie, walked by as well, but they were already on their way to somewhere else. The group moved to Hudson's room, where we mostly watched his roommate play Resident Evil 4 for a bit on the Wii. Having seen the game through before, I chose not to stick around, made a supplemental Walgreens trip, then headed back to my room for the night.
Sounds like you were off to a good start.
Thanks to Patrick Toman, the Gathering 2007 Radio Play has been uploaded to YouTube. Because YouTube has a new rule that permits videos to be no more than 10 minutes long, Patrick had to split the 42 minutes of footage into five segments in order to also include titles and credits. Here are the links:
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j63pDlPaKnQ
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRkv56AC-F4
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s58H_Tdi09E
Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6PUx6GsdFA
Part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wkurc-TW99o