A Station Eight Fan Web Site
Ten years after the start of the Amzing animated series "Gargolyes", I was sitting at my friend Topmans house when I suddenly thought of "Gargoyles". I asked Topman if he had ever seen the show and he replied that he didn't. This was an absolute shame of course and after assuring him that this was and amazing show he proceeded to download the episodes. After procurring the first five episodes Topman soon discovered that I had indeed been right. This was one, if not the best animated series ever made. All of this led him to search the web for fan websites and it was then that he stumbled upon the 8th Annual gathering of the gargoyles. It was to take place in our home of Montreal, Quebec so we of course had to attend. We had no excuse not to. We quickly filled out the registration sheets taking the whole package, including the awesome t-shirt, and cut a check. Soon we were able to revel at the sight of our names on the registered people list, thingy.
We were so excited about it that we could not contain our excietment as August 6th quickly approached. All we had to do was sit back and wait.WRONG! Topman had the brilliant idea of making a canon costume. And ,well, Topman being Topman had to pick one of the most difficult characters to make a costume for. "Thailog". Now don't get me wrong "Thailog" is an awesome character, but making a costume of him. Not my idea of easy. And I am really lazy. But of course I had to help Topman because he's my best friend. We started a good deal in advanced because we knew it would take us forever, but we are both huge procrastinators so... Needless to say we only Really started working the week of the con. It took awhile, but after lots of glue, velcro and sadly enough staples(?) we managed to put together what I thought was an awesome costume. I however have vowed to never attempt feet on another costume again. Throughout this whole costume ordeal we watched "Gargoyles", which made it a little harder to work on the costume, but hey, we got to see some "Gargoyles".
Well I guess that after all of this rambling I can get started on my actual Con journal. I just thought that it would be a good idea to explain the interesting events that came befor the big day.
The notion of waking up in the morning has always disgusted me, but after having worked on a costume for the last week and getting about an average of five hours of sleep each night, the idea of waking up is just horrendous. However I forced myself out of my sleeping bag, (I had crashed at Topmans the night before due to working on the costume into the wee hours of the morning) so that I couldprepare myself for a weekend of what I was sure would be non-stop fun.(I turned out to be under-estimating the con). So Topman and I piled into the car and his dad drove us downtown. We would have taken the bus, but I needed to find out how to get to the delta hotel because I had to drive there the next day so that we would have a place to store Topmans costume. The wings I made were not the most sturdy of wings.(That's what I used the staples for). When we arrived we were a few hours early so we decided to go to Tim Hortons where we had a sweet, sweet french vanilla(Our favorite drink). After that we decided to go see if anything had started. We had like a half hour befor anything started. When we got there we discovered that the registration desk was open and we shyly approached, but just stood there. we waited untill one of the staff asked us if we were pre-registered. we replied yes and gave our names. We in return received our package which included an amazing name tag with this years mascot, "Riel", one of the gathering t-shirts and a program.
Now that we were at the con and had our name tags and everything it was time to mingle. At least that would have been the normal thing to do. Topman and I decided to take refuge at one of the empty tables and browse our program so that we could decide what we want to do. While doing this Sarah came around recruiting people for the clan olympics. Topman and I were a little apprehensive about joining in seeing as we were not to keen for anything involving athletics, or trivia so we put our names down as a maybe. Later on we thought, "ah what the hell. We're here to have fun lets do it!". So we told Sarah and she said we had to be in teams of four. Well seeing as Topman and I did not know anyone we had no team so Sarah said that she would find us ones. After this Topman and i went to put on our t-shirts.(We were practically the only ones wearing them the first day. we felt kind of wierd, but it was a cool shirt.) When we cam back Sarah had found us a team. A couple of loners like us named Nez and david. They turned out to be an amazing couple of people. Topman and I couldn't have asked for a better clan. The only problem was we had to think of a clan name. Well after having chatted for a good while with Nez and David, we discovered that Nez was fromTexas, but was right on the border of Mexico. With that in our minds we came up with the name "Mexanadiens". It would have been more appropriate to be called the "texanadiens", but well I guess we were a little to excited to think straight. Then came the start of our ongoing joke. When Abe asked our name we told him, but then he asked for a team motto. we had no idea that we were suppose to have a motto so we all groaned. We then decided that we were too lazy to come up with another motto so a big groan in unison was the start of a beautiful thing. After a talking for awhile we went our seperate ways. Nez and David went to a live drawing thing and Topman and I went to the "con Virgin.
It was here that we met Sapphire and Chameleon girl. Two very awesome peole. we spent a better part of an hour drawing random things on the white board and just talking. It was really fun. Topman and I got to really act like ourselves here. That would be acting like complete morons. Ah, good times. After that we went to the voice acting seminar with Greg.
We arrived and found that most of the seats were taken so we sat all the way in the back. Greg then started giving tips on voice acting and it was really interesting. The only bad thing was that Keith david was not there yet due to him finishing shooting a film. No problem, he would be there later. Soon greg started asking for volunteers. I was not too keen on the idea seeing as I always make an ass out of myself when I do something like that. I was however trying to get Topman to go up because hes a really ggod actor and has been an extra in a few movies and has done a few commercials. He was not too keen on the idea. In the middle of all this the disney film crew arrived to shoot some stuff for the Gargoyles dvd. Thank God. It took long enough for them to put the show on dvd. Anyways the last skit that greg was doing required five people and only two put their hands up. I finnaly managed to persuade Topman to do it and he went up. we however still did not have enough people so I volunteered. I knew I would regret it. I ended up with the part of Hudson.(My least favorite character.) I soon discovered that I could not wink with my voice.*Wink*. However it was really fun. I got some applause for being a girl with the part of Hudson.
Well after that was done Topman and I didn't really want to visit the other seminars(seeing as the radio play conflicted with the clan olympics) so we just hung around the tables. Soon Nez and David joined us and we decided to go to the underground mall to get some food. We decided to get some McDonalds. This was the biggest mistake ever. the service was terrible. I wanted the salad with the crispy chicken. The woman there asked me twice about the chicken so I felt confident that they would get it right. Mistake number two. It took about twenty minutes, after she told me that it would be ten, and they got the chicken wrong. At this point I just wanted to eat something seeing as we had like fifteen minutes before the opening ceremonies. During this twenty minutes they burned two batches of fries, messed up Davids double big mac and forgot to give me the salad dressing and a fork. I had to ask for them and at that point they still did not have davids food ready. I had to eat quickly so I went to sit down. Unfourtunatly, they don't know how to cut chicken at this McDonalds so I had to go ask for a knife. And when I did this I was given a fork. Let's just say that this was not the most pleasent experience that I've ever had. We arrived just in time for the opening ceremonies which were awesome. Karine welcomed us all and Greg played us a tape from people who could not attend the convention.(Even though Keith David was on the tape.) It was really awesome. Greg then proceeded to trick us all by stopping mid-sentence and announcing, "Keith David everyone". we all turned to see... Nothing. Now that was cruel, but it was really cool to see what a great sense of humour Greg has. He then played us the pitch for gargoyles and a few other shows he had been working on. They were pretty awesome. Then while one of the staff was talking the clan olympics took over. We were not expecting this and topman and I were terrefied that we would have to make fools of ourselves in front of everyone. It turned out to be really cool. David had to put on a shirt full of holes so that Nez could fill it with plastic balls that Topman and I handed to her. It was really fun. And at the end it turned out that we were not in last place. This was exciting news. After that we concluded the opening ceremonies.
Topman and I then decided to attend the Mystery Gargoyles Theater 3000. We didn't know what this was, but after an episode we really got into it. It was also here that we met Annie and Katherine. They were so cool. we had a blast saying random coments abouot the episode we were watching. Topman and I were however kicked out early so that they could prepare for the next portion of the clan olympics.
Within ten minutes "shot in the dark" had started. We were the third to last group to go and the game ended up being throwing three koosh balls at targets that had point values and power ups on it. At the end we ended up being in third place and first in that event. Not bad at all. After finding out these results Topman and I went home to sleep and prepare for the big day.
Once again we had to wake up Early, but this time I had to drive there. This was nerve-racking, seeing as I had never had to drive downtown, but we ended up at the hotel with no trouble at all. The first event of the day was the clan olympics "trivia torture". It turned out to be the best torture ever... Seeing as David was the one to be tortured. Their were three forms of torture, 1-toothpaste and O.J. 2-getting your hair dyed or 3-chocolate dipped in blue cheese dressing. The only thing that I learned from this trivia was that none of us could write really fast. Thankfully we were not the first ones to get out so we still ended up in third.
After that we went to the weapons demonstartion, which I found to be really entertaining. nothing beats some good old fashioned sword fighting. This laster for about an hour. we had to leave early for some more Clan olympics.
The fourth event turned out to be really hard pictionary. I was volunteered by the rest of my clan to be the one to draw. I love how we did not choose the artist of the group which was nez. Well we ended up being first in this event after having passed on a few of the things like new and improved. How the hall am I suppose to draw that. Well whatever we were doing well and there was only one more event to go.
The last thing we attended befor the banquet was the radio play. It turned out that it had a cast of like thirty people. The episode turned out to be journey. All the actors were great. I especially liked the person who got to play Elisa's cat Cagney. Brilliant stuff. They all got a rousing applaud at the end and now we had time to kill befor the banquet.
We ended up in Nez and Davids hotel room decorating our box for the clan olympics scavenger hunt the next day. It turns out that Nez and david had gone to the dollar store and bought random stuff like balloons and road sign stickers. So we finished decorating the box with crazy little sayings that corresponded to the road sign stickers. Topman and I then left for the banquet. Unfourtunatly Nez and david were not attending.
At the banquet Topman and I were back at square one, sitting alone at a table. Flanker then came and saved us by joining out tables. he was a really cool guy and we had alot of fun talking to him about random stuff. Then Annie and Katherine joined us. Flanker then got Sarah to join us and brenda decided to have pity on us and joined us too. We know had a full table,(Still leaving a spot open for either Greg or Keith David). It turned out to be an awesome table. Even though we did not get Greg or Keith. Sigh. Well it was still an awesome table. When the food came we had a blast making fun of it. the best was the vegetables that came with the main meal. They were cut in the wierdest shapes. We figured that one of them was cut in the shape of Quebec. Whether or not this was intentional we have no idea, but it was hilarious. I even took a picture of it. The food was not bad, but we hated the stuffing inside the quail. Oh well. Apparently everyone had fun watching my expression as I ate the fruit desert. It was so gross. Apparently the bavarian cake was fantastic, but I was stuck with the gross fruit thing. Lets just say there are probably some really good photos of my facial expressions. Finnaly the big moment arrived. Keith David. he walked into the room to great applause. It was now time for the Q & A.
Greg started it off to give Keith time to eat something. I didn't really have any questions so I just sat back and listened. Then Keith got into it. He was a great guy and it was really intersting to listen to him. There was one problem though. the room next to us was doing Karaoke. It sonded like a dying giraffe. Topman and I were having serious problems trying to hold in our laughter. I felt so bad that I was laughing while Keith was talking, but man were they bad. Sadly Topman and I had to leave so that we could get his costume cause he needed time to change into it and put on the body paint. This was too bad cause we missed the part where Keith said "will somebody shoot that horse", referring of course to the people attempting, and failing, to sing "My heart will go on".
Topman went to put on his costume in the mens room. When he came out about an hour later, I had to help him put on the fragile wings and those stupid feet. Never again.
When the masquerade started I got myself a seat on the side so I could take pictures. There were a lot of amazing costumes. But what I really liked was the cosplay done by sapphire, chameleon gril and some guy who I don't know his name. Sorry guy. They performed the opening monologue to Gargoyles using bristol board and a lot of crazy things. It was fantastic. Then they started the parade of costumes. They were all really good. I will not try to name them all cause I know that I will leave some people out. All I can say is I loved Jade griffins costume with the rip off skirt like Elisa's in "eye of the beholder". I got a lot of great pics so I will always have these great memories. Once the awards were given out all the people who were dressed up went outside for people to take some pictures. I got a lot of really cool ones. After all of this awesomness, it was time for Karaoke.
Topman had to go take off the costume so I was wondering around listening to the other people sing. Thankfully the costume held up till the end of the masquerade. After that the feet started to self-destruct. At the Karoke Keith David serenaded us with a wonderful song. He was so good. It was also really sweet how he had his kid up there with him. That was so nice. There was also this guy you did a rendition of "Blame Canada" with different words so that it was "Blame Gargoyles". When Topman returned we talked to Annie and Katherine for a bit, but then we were really tired so we went home to try and get some sleep.
Sunday started off with the last event of the clan olympics. It turned out that Topman and I were really bad at this. We were always the last to get the things that were on the list. The only thing I can say is that our box was, I think, the best one there. Nobody else had a sticker that said 80 into the official groaning emoticon.(Look at it sideways) We all had this written on our hands that day. It didn't help us, but we had our Groan powers unite by putting all our fists together and groaning. I have to say I had a really great time with the clan olympics.
After the event was over we decided to show Nez one of the great things about Canada, Tim Hortons. She was a little skeptical, but she soon learned the error of her skeptcism. We also met up with a bunch of other con goers and took over a corner of the Tim Hortons. It was really awesome.
After our delicious lunch Topman and I went to check out the artwork. We were so jealous of all the people who could draw better then us. The drawings were really amazing. Topman and I then each bought some Gargoyles trading cards. These included the pop up ones. Those are really cool. I currently have them all sitting on my window sill. I am looking at them right now as I type this. Man they are cool. Anyways back to the con. We then each bought a copy of the Phoenix gate anthology. We also got this side by most of the authors. I got a lot of neat little notes from them. It's a great little momento. And from what I've read so far I'm really loving it, so great work you guys.
Now it was time for the mug-s-guest with Keith David. He was a really open guy and he told us a lot about what he felt about the show and other things like what cologne he wears. It was really cool to just listen to him talking. he has such an awesome voice. I believe Gorbash said it best in his con journal, "He could read the phone book and we would all be hanging on his every word". Unfourtunatly Keith had to go eat something befor the closing ceremonies so that was over.
The closing ceremonies were so sad. I didn't want it to end. There were a lot of thank you's said to all the people who made this amazing event possible and then Chris went over stuff about the 2005 convention in Las vegas. This was really sad cause I'm pretty sure I won't be able to make it. Oh well ther's always the one after that. We also found out the winners for the clan olympics. We came in third tied with some other clan who's name escapes me at the moment. oops. After all the talking Keith David was signing autographs and I got him to sign my Program. He was so nice. he asked me how I got my nickname and posed with me for a really cool photo. That was so awesome. I must of shown everyone I know that photo. I can't believe that I got to meet Keith David. This con was the most fun I hav ever had. I hope that it keeps going for a really long time and I hope that Disney see's what an impact this show has made on a lot of people. Well the only thing left now was La Rode tomorrow.
When we finally left the hotel to go to La Ronde I was so excited. I hadn't been there in a few years so the fact that I was going there again with a bunch of really cool people was really exciting. When we got on the metro Sapphire led us in reciting the opening monologue. It was so funny. I wish I could know what was going on in the other passengers head. they must have thought we were all crazy, but it was worth it. When we got to La Ronde we split up and the group I was in went to the cobra. The line didn't look to long, but they only had one cart running on the track so it was really lonk. Topman,Chyna Rose, and I passed the time by singing songs from Rent. Once again I'm sure people thought we were nuts. We then decided that just befor the drop on the cobra we would scream out "Gargoyles on dvd December 7th". We were all suppose to do it in unison, but the rest of the gang could not hear us, but it was cool none the less. we had a great time on all the rides and it was just so much fun to be there with this great people. It was a sad time when we had to leave, but there will be a next time. Of that I am sure. Topman and I wished all the other con goers on the metro a safe journey home and told them that we hoped we would see each other in the near future. for now it's just e-mail and chat rooms. Oh well I guess thats good enough.
well I want to thank everyone who took the time to read this lengthy con journal. I hope you enjoyed it and I apologise for any spelling and grammer mistakes. I'm doing this really last miute. As I said at the beginning I'm a really big fan of procrastination. I also apologies for missing anything important. so much awesome stuff took place that my brain is swamped with fond memories.
Hopefully I will see all you cool people at a future con.
Glad you had a good time. Hope to see you at another Gathering soon.
Note: The following is just a quick and dirty version since I only have a few minutes left
Saturday, August 7th: Gathering, Day 2
After eating breakfast (a less expensive breakfast this time), I went "Thrill of the Chase" panel hosted by Spacebabie, Ellen Stolfa, and Christine Morgan. Then I went to the art room to pre register for G2005. They were trying a new computerized registration system this year, so there was a delay while they got the software configured.
After finally registering, I realized that I had used up most of the lunch break. So I went to the auditorium and waited for the Auction to begin. Has anyone else noticed the shrinking quantity of merchandise available each year? Anyway… This year's big item was a cell of Goliath carrying Elisa - I think it might have been from "Double Jeopardy" - that went for over $400!! I won a puzzle an a "golden book" version of "Awakenings."
I brought the items I won back up to the room and checked out my equipment, to make sure everything was working. I still needed to get audiotapes to record Keith David at the banquet. I also had a request from Demona Taina, who wasn't able to make this years gathering, to record Keith David saying a specific naughty bit of dialogue in Goliath's voice. *groan* That would have to wait until after the radio play though, because my Nikon SLR decided to jamb on me. *$@#!!!!* I had intended to use THAT camera to take pictures of the masquerade/cosplay because my digital camera has a slow shutter. [insert more unvocalized expletives] So I spent the rest of the time before the radio play trying unsuccessfully to manually rewind the film so I could put in a new roll. *sigh*
The radio play this year was an extended version of "The Journey." (Greg had added a few scenes back in that were cut by the "Goliath Chronicles" people to make room for Goliath's monologue.) This was the largest cast ever, at 31 performers. Keith David was originally scheduled to play Goliath, but he was still delayed. Rob St. Martin did a pretty good Goliath in his place. The rest of the cast did a superb job as well, especially Zehra's performance of Elisa (she almost sounded like Sally Richardson in some places.) Of course, the DVD crew was there taping.
After the radio play I ran to the Office Depot (I think that's what it was, the sign was in French) and bought a 10 pack of 90min cassettes. (I would only use two of them)
Went to the banquet. Ate Quail. Keith David showed up. he talked about Gargoyles, They Live, Men at Work and his other movie experiences. After the banquet I got him to say the lines requested by Demona Taina.
Went upstairs to put tape recorder away. Keith David stepped out of the elevator. His room is 2 doors down from ours. Went to Masquerade. Lots of costumes. Took pictures. Went to the bar with Ellen and a few others after. Missed the Karaoke with Keith David. Then went to bed.
Sunday, August 8th: Gathering, Day 3
Went to "Gargoyle Biology" panel. Then I got my Phoenix Gate Anthology signed by all the authors. Listened to Keith David's mug-a-guest. After Closing Ceremonies I got Keith David to autograph my DVD's and Demona Taina's drawing of Thailog hugging Goliath. Then Kelly got the 6-frame screen grab compilation that we collaborated on autographed. He just stared at it and laughed. Then he asked for his own copy. So we ran across the street to the Office Depot and got a color copy. After hading it to Keith I took Kelly's picture with him.
After that excitement we walked up University Street and ate at a sandwich place in the underground mall, then headed back to the hotel.
Ellen took Alex, Kelly, and me up Mount Royal. It was a tiring climb, but it was a nice view. I took many pictures until my camera batteries wore out. We took the long way back down with a short cut through the university. Ellen then treated us to a drink at a pub, one of her old hang-outs. We got back just in time to meet her husband, who had arrived just a few minutes before we got back. Then we went to bed. Alex and Kelly had to leave in the morning. I stayed an extra day so I could go to LaRonde and maybe do a little more touring, before heading back home
And you posted your journal right under the wire. Thanks. It's really appreciated.
Con Journal part 5
Slept well, very deeply, and was woken up by a voice in the room that wasn't expected there; Siryn, in search of her missing wallet. It was later recovered, although not in the room. Being of no help and knowing it, I let sleep drag me back down right as she left. The second time I wake and there is an extra someone in the room, it turns out to be Ellen Stolfa, whom Emambu finally hunted down to sign his Anthology. There are about two seconds where I think, "oh good, nothing is on fire, I can go back to sleep" before recalling I really wanted her to sign mine as well…and I'd already packed it. Besides, I wanted to talk to her- I'd managed to miss her pretty much the entire con, and the same thing happened at '03- and so managed to wake up enough to do so. I think I was officially up after that, and due to the one miscommunication in the Travel Plans side of things, I'd only gotten the room until Monday morning anticipating leaving that afternoon. We'd already taken care of that, having worked out with Revel and Spacie to crash their room for the last night, and so I started trucking my bags and boxes down to their room on the 7th floor.
At some point during this move, Mara and Aaron woke up enough to pack, and with Emambu we got everything moved with no mishaps. Oh, I did have to spare a good 15 minutes to finish cleaning up the bathroom. The paint was the easy part, actually; it was the soft pastels that had turned to powder everywhere that were the problem.
I go check-out, and more or less stumble into Kathy then- she amidst a crew of her own, who tapered off while we talked until we were the only two in the walkway. Now, I hadn't gotten to talk to Kathy much, outside of what con matters she helped with in 2003. Definitely my loss. Anyway, there was again a moment of "let's move out of the middle of the walkway". Talk at this point was focused on con stuff and the position the DVD might put Vegas in. She went off to do something, and I wound up talking with Flanker and IRC Goliath, whom we shortly learned the origination of "Team Canadian Body Massage" 's oh-so-original name from. For the unenlightened, it is from one of a collection of amusingly re-dubbed GI Joe Public Service Announcements. (He was nice enough to post the link in LJ for our perusal; it's I think sixth or so down on the list. http://www.fenslerfilm.com/?sec=video )
The group doubled in size somehow, and next thing I know Emambu and I were giving Kathy a back massage. I got to talk to Flanker for a bit, and after Aaron showed up the conversation with Kathy turned back to con stuff for a while, but rapidly moved to fic. And lo, we were struck amazed, for here was someone who not only remembered what happened during season 1 of TGS, but *remembered why things were done the way they were!* A bloody revelation to those left with the chore of writing the last seasons of the Gargoyles Saga as we prepare to close down the project. Somehow Chris and Hudson and Kael materialized amidst this, along with Norcumi and Quindar, and suddenly there were umpteen conversations going on. I was pulled out of chat by Dancer for a twenty minute discussion, only to return and find the conversation was just returning to the point I had left it at. Surreal.
Hunger takes up, and those of us who are going out for food offer to pick up McDonald's orders for those who aren't. We make the mistake of ordering our own food to sit down instead of takeaway, and are an hour or so later in returning with feed for the others. …ooops…
We move up to the loft of the lobby for a bit, Aaron and I dragging Emambu into the ficcy talk with Kathy, until Chris and co. have to leave and the rest of us are too exhausted to stay awake much more. All of us opt to go back to the one room and hang out there for a while, and offer Mandi the same when we run into her, which she took us up on. We gather there for a while, lots of random storytelling, especially things involving cars and a great story Emambu has from a time his brother inadvertently caused the start of a mile back-up on both sides of the highway.
A good time was apparently had by all, although Kathy's expression at nearly the whole room singing along- and keeping pace- with the entirety of Dennis Leary's "The Asshole Song" was quite amusing in its own right.
But we couldn't keep up the pace forever, and one by one people begged off for the night or fell asleep where they lay. A perfectly dead-dog way to end a wonderful weekend, and I only threw up twice during the con, which makes this the least vomitous Gathering I have been to.
And now it's time to prep for staffing 2005; I've already started by updating the "tips for running a small con" advice piece that Aaron and I wrote after 2003; unfinished, it's already blossomed into website proportions and has been accorded such. Con Planning 101 can be found at: http://lynativerse.artchicks.org/Fic/CP_TOC.htm
Aug 29th, 2004
Really, until we can get it down to NO vomit, I won't really consider it a victory. ;)
The con journal that wouldn't die, part 4 (of 5)
Wake up to my own alarm clock and skiddadle off to co-host "Gargoyle Biology 101", a sort of lesson in applied science. Or applied reality, as the case may be.
Mara got me a muffin, which I managed to nibbled the top off of while waiting for more people to show…we had a scant room at first, but fifteen minutes into the presentation the ranks had swelled to something respectable. Yggdrasil started off with a power-point presentation on genetics, a very well done one at that. It moved to me next, and my short focus on basics of anatomy, with an emphasis on gargoyle wing structure. (I'd like to see- or host- a panel some year that caters to the art side of how gargoyles are built.) It was also an excuse to show off some of my art, which I'd created for this very purpose (in school) in the first place…and the research of other knowledgeable fandomites I'd collected, Like Shadowriders's "Gargoyles and Flight" document. The latter half was more opting answers to the audience's questions, which were very good; Dylan fielded most of them, since he of all of us has the strongest (actual medical) background. Topics ranged from social aspects of the species impact on their biology to speculations on "real" causes of eye-glow, to…all sorts of stuff. Some slightly more earthy than I expected, but it was all fun. And I learned a few things myself. All three of us agreed that we'd like to see it relived (and improved) at Vegas, provided all can make the con.
I find it a bit amusing, in an odd fashion, the number of people who've referred to this as "Whit's Bio Panel" in their con journal, especially after his own admission of not having time to do any prep work…not that I did much new for the con either, beyond grabbing the vast notebook I'd put together over the last school year. (Actually, until I got my schedule at registration, I wasn't wholly sure that we were even going to *have* the panel.) Yggdrasil was definitely the one who was best prepared…
No, my "amusement" had far more to do with the fact that my name was left entirely off the header, when the panel was inspired by my running around last semester trying to draw people into discussing gargie bio to help me come to realistic conclusions for a project I was doing for school (Basework for my Senior Thesis, actually) and the panel partially my idea…Okay, it irks me. Yes, I *know* it wasn't deliberate and there was far more to contend with than such a minor detail. It still irks. ; )
I can't remember what happened between the end of the panel and closing ceremonies. I recall briefly looking in on both Kathy's writing panel and Liz's art one…wait, no, I remember. I spent it in the art room, which I had not yet seen, participating in the silent auction. (I won the only two I tried for, shocked that neither had bids; one was Kythera's "the Storm" - both a print and original sketch- and a lovely watercolor Liz did of the three named Ishimuran clan members and their beast.) I also picked up a copy of the Phoenix Gate Anthology and a pin, and headed for the signing table. Talked to people, Liz and Eden and Karine some, and the signers, but mostly with Dylan and Stormy.
Closing Ceremonies came on, and then the guest signing. I ran up and got my Montreal Con shirt for Mara to get signed, and wandered around the room talking to people. (Again, mostly Dylan and Stormy, since I am nearly as fixated on their work and ability to write as I am on Cyrway's, and they as people (and not just authors) are both imminently cool.) Mara grabs me to ask what I want Keith David to sign on my shirt, and after a minute of blanking on anything, ask that it be "munchies??" I drift off, and come back to find Mara had been asked to explain the context of such an odd quote…and Keith had been much humored by the story. (This being the "true story behind the Goliath CHRONICles") I am talking to Karine at the back of the room, wavering over presenting the Montreal Puppy to Keith, and manage to just miss his initial reaction to Aaron's tattoo, which he was again convinced to show. Around that point I go up, hand over the glass with a fairly brief explanation, and leave with Aaron before I can hold up the remainder of the line for too long.
The Official Meeting was after that; strange experience. (I agree with Quindar that KGB meetings are more entertaining. ; ) We're gathered en masse for talkies a bit, and then came time to say goodbye to Cat, Rika, Heccy, and Dave, who all had to leave then. : (
Hudson and Aaron and many others decided to play laser tag, which I have always wanted to try, but really didn't feel up to; I was assured everyone would be back in an hour or so. (It was five.)I spent the first two hours packing up my art mess and trying to convince Mara that she wasn't wearing pants, and should put some on. (The fact that she was entirely clothed was a logic I simply ignored on the grounds that I was bored and she- being very tired and thus susceptible to my inanity- was entertaining.) I finished most of the clean on up and took pity on Mara, letting her nap, and wandered off to, well, wander. I ran into Norcumi and Quindar some time later, who had just left a note for me at the room. We circle the lobby several times before landing in the big comfy lobby chairs for me to wait for the return of the laser-taggers. At one point we pass Keith David and his wife coming out of the elevator, and I managed to put on a less-grumbly expression just in time to return his greeting.
The three of us sit and talk, eventually joined after an hour or so by Mara, and Emambu- who was crashing in our room that night. Ckayote and Greg Bishansky materialized and joined us until, an hour or so later, Aaron and the others showed up. And he brought pizza! We swapped stories with Norcumi and Quindar, who randomly took pictures as the night went on.
Decompression days can be good.
con Journal Part 3
I wake up, and it is Not Good. My usual con sickness- collectively caused by the sleep deprivation, food deprivation, running around, stress, and relationship issues which seem to come together EVERY Gathering- has made it's first appearance. And then some. I beg off for the morning, asking Mara to send my regrets down to Chris, as I was supposed to help sit pre-reg. I got back to sleep, curled around the maelstrom in my guts, and when I finally get up things haven't improved at all. And on top of that, one foot had settled itself into a pediac fetal position, and refused to straighten out; I couldn't even feel half my leg at first. Some feeling crept back into my largest and smallest toe…unfortunately, that feeling was pain. I limped off to find Cat, only to find her not only sick herself but also at a loss of what to do when it comes to leg problems. She suspected I had pinched a nerve in my hip, and stretches of muscle groups besides my calf and foot did seem to help. I still spent most of the day feeling like I was doing an impression of Verbal Kint.
I manage to make it downstairs eventually, in time to meet up with Aaron and Mara as they went to be interviewed by the Video Crew. The interview is winding down when Aaron adds in, "…and I know Greg Weisman wanted me to show this…" and peels off his shirt to reveal the 8" color Demona he had tattooed there when he was 19. They wrap up, and Aaron helps me stumble off in search of food that I can keep down, and on our way out we run into Cat's crew returning from brekky, and I somewhat brighten upon seeing Dancer still with them. We wind up in the train station next to the Tim Horton's, at a passable sandwich place, and notice a Office Depot-type store nearby, and head over to it as I am looking for stands to hold some art (cast-glass versions of the 2004 mascot, which I referred to as the "Montreal Puppies") that I'd made with the intent of giving to Karine and the special guests. We found something I figured would work, and bought a couple to try out. (They worked. I went back the next day and bought more. Montreal rain tastes awesome.)
After that was the great search for the home depot; Karine had given us good directions that Montreal's one-way street deal utterly confused us on. The less said about that trip, the better, only thank you Revel for the loan of Hyena, and the HD people were actually very helpful.
So we get back to work on my costume. And…yeesh, I don't want to even go into it. Emambu, Mara, and Aaron wound up doing a metric buttload of work for me, and injuries on the side, and I gave my uber-staplegun to Aaron, who had successfully managed NOT to staple the fabric into me through the small amount of plaster strapped to my back.
Thank you guys, thank you thank you thank you. And I promise I'll be done with my costume months in advance from now on.
By the time I make it down, half-finished, the masque itself is over…well, the judges are out for decision-making. However, my arrival seems to catch much attention, and I was stopped for a mass photo time, which pretty much made the whole thing worth it. As did my "best late arrival" honorable mention from Greg Weisman. Awards for the rest are given, and then someone dressed as the Hunter (Flanker, as it turned out) had me strangle him for a photo op. (I have no clue how those pics came out.) I talk to Loopy about his costume, muchly jealous… I think I'm pretty much going to have to cross-dress as Brooklyn for 2006 in order to beat that. (Yes, 2006. I have something else in mind for 2005.) Hung around, and met up with Norcumi and Quindar, once again promising that I'd shortly be available for them to kidnap away for a few hours. First there were a couple things I had to take care of…giving Greg one of the Montreal Puppies…and then there was a little incident with Emambu singing a filk I wrote, at the start of karaoke.
Scooted off after that- missing the YMCA thing, which after spending 2 months straight every summer for 11 years at a YMCA camp which considered that song (heh) something of a theme, I could have probably managed the lyrics decently- and spent the night talking to Norcumi and Quindar in their room. That conversation starting off with me being asked to explain the differences between the reality of First Born and real life. I suppose those of you who follow the comic might have been wondering as well, so I'll just clear the air right now…yes, it's true.
Cat really IS dating Cthulu.
Got back into the room a little after four in the morning, realized that I no longer had to work on a costume, and was happy. Then I realized I was skedj'd to co-present a panel the next morning, re-checked the time, and whimpered at the ten am slot. (why ten am? why Sunday morning? whhyyyyyyyy??? ; )
Face it. The Gathering is not sleep-enducing.
Con Journal Part 2
Was woken up by Mara getting back to the room from a venture out, and the notification that my reputation as a Scary Fangirl (tm) had apparently preceded me. I, naturally, took this entirely out of proportion and spent the morning avoiding two of my fanfic heroes less I do something to confirm the fact. (Easy to do with the whole "incognito" thing; I had to pass within two feet of them on a couple occasions in the crowd). We hit registration and got our con goodies; and as further proof that Chris has the powers of mesmerism, Aaron was convinced to sign up for the Clan Olympics 2005 staff team. (If there is one thing he hates more than participating in a sport, it's participating in a team sport.) They needed a fourth, and I'd already begged off for the fact I had a costume to finish (again). So Mara wound up in the last position, whereupon I think something along the lines of "Well, I guess you're Staff now" was then said. We haven't eaten yet, and as we run into Hudson's group and Cat's Crew we learn they have not either. So we all decide to go out for lunch, with a few other random fandomites also in search of sustenance. About seventeen of us arrive at this café, see that they are packed and turn to leave when (the manager?) comes out and says there is room enough for us all at the outside tables, and the service is fast…won't we stay?
We do, and the service was fast, and the food was good and inexpensive. I had a gyro, and sat and chatted with Chris while Cat pulled my arm out at a funky angle and spent about ten minutes fixing the carpal tunnel that had started to develop in my right hand. (Thank you again, Cat; I haven't had so much as a twinge since.)
Emambu and I and a couple other slipped back to the con early, wanting to catch the Voice Acting Seminar (another panel I have never quite made it to.) It was good; Emambu and Revel were great reading out Lex and Brooklyn's lines from one scene, and whomever did Griff's lines from that bit of M.I.A.
I'd almost worked up the courage to volunteer for a reading when the camera crew showed up. Now, the thought of making the attempt in front of the crowd was already enough to give me a minor difficulty in breathing; there was no way I was going to embarrass myself on film to boot, even with the general assurance that it wouldn't make it onto the DVD.
It was a good panel; I'd like to see what it's like with more presenters. It ends, and I am temporarily stunned by the fact that Ethan seems to have sprouted a smaller, paler, female version of himself, and hadn't noticed. I go over to the girl because reality demanded it, and tap her on the shoulder. This turned out to be White Avator, one of the fandom's artists. I sneak off then to work on my costume (I have a very strong memory here of chipping off an extraneous chunk of glass in time to Mellencamp's "Rain on the Scarecrow" playing on my walkman) and remain there until I am dragged down to Opening Ceremonies. (I knew what time it started; I just didn't realize that time was already upon me.) Three seats were supposed to have been saved by our friends in the second row; somehow things got mixed up, and there were only two. Mara opted to sit in the row directly behind, so I sat between Aaron and a girl who turned out to be Mercedes.
Didn't take me long to realize that the two people sitting almost directly in front of me were Dylan and his fiancée, Stormy. Attempts to return a greeting were dismembered by Aaron suddenly attempting to display his sense of humor with something that involved a Vulcan pincer grip and the back of my neck…and then the show, as it were, was on.
Current Staff was introduced, leaving not a few of us deeply impressed that Karine could Chair a con while THAT much pregnant. Greg Weisman got up to talk, which resulted in a quote from the con that seems to live in infamy right next to "mommy, what's a con virgin?"
Greg had made a comment about how after this many years, he doubted the fandom had anything left that didn't have his signature on it, but if anything was left…
Cat's immediate response was, "Sign my Grandma!"
Greg looked at a loss for words, which was funny in its own right even though he didn't deliver what I thought was the obvious response of: "Bring her to Vegas!" ; )
About then Abe and MAui stepped in with a surprise first event for the Gargie Olympics. About the time the walkway had cleared and they were counting balls, I slip off to the other side of the room to talk to whom I hoped (correctly) was Norcumi, whom I'd been keeping an eye open for. Kythera popped up minutes later and took the seat next to me, and…I cannot remember that conversation at all. um. *^_^*
About that time Chris is tapped to pitch 2005, and introduce his staff…which I get a surprisingly illustrious inclusion into. (hee, I felt special…) I watched Quindar (Norcumi's s.o.) during most of this. He, heretofore, had been very much in doubt of some of the 2005 intentions and the staff's ability to pull them off; by the time I got to speak to him about it that night, Quindar admitted to being impressed by the speil, as did Norcumi. (Both are shockingly cynical once you get to know them, and not terribly easy to impress. They are very helpful people to have playing the devil's advocate for ideas.) My one odd-note-out about it was that, from where I was sitting, with the reddish long sleeves and the sharp claws and my inability to clearly see his facial features, the mascot looked unnervingly like Freddy Kreuger.
I get back to my original seat right when the lights are turned down for the "home videos" part of OC, and watched the faces of those around who, while hardly new to the fandom, had never attended a Gathering before. It was strangely gratifying to see their expressions; maybe it was knowing that I am not the only one drawn so deeply into the show. After that was the Atlantis ep "The Lost", which I'd yet to hear. I liked it, although I had the misfortune of sitting in front of Rika as well as Mara and Cat, and…I think she tried to crawl into her own hat at one point. I could almost keep a straight face through the, er, more innuendo- accessible portions…but I couldn't help but turn to see how Rika was handling it, and I just lost it after that. In front of me at the staff table, Siryn didn't look like she was coping much better… ; )
(Of course, it wasn't until after the con that we realized that "…all the grunts, groans, and gasps of combat being taken terribly out of context by our collective filthy, filthy little minds" (as Christine Morgan put it) the script actually *directs* the Voice Actors to sound that way at points, when we had a chance to sit down at Greg B.'s house and look at a copy.)
Opening Ceremonies end, and Aaron and I wind up talking to Mercedes for a bit. Enter here the discussion shifting to fellow writer Cyrway without Aaron or I directing it there. Sayeth Mercedes, "It's good to know she still has fans as dedicated as you. As far as I know, there's only one person out there who still writes to her about her Gargoyles fic."
Mercedes: "Yeah, there's a girl she found who does filks about her universe,"
Me : (thinking) oh cool, there is someone else writing Cyrway filks?
Me : ~ pause as reality kicks in ~
Me: "You mean…someone *besides* me?"
Mercedes : "What name do you post under?"
Mercedes: "Yeah, that's the one."
So. Yeah. She's read them. And apparently doesn't hate them. The One deigns to notice my work in Her name! (…ever had a running gag that lasted so long that you and your friends lost track of the line between the joke and reality? It's a scary, scary thing. On that note, there really isn't a 30-ft tall statue of Eddie of Winslow in Aaron's backyard.) (Yet.)
I get rather distracted at this point, and miss/don't recall much of the conversation that she and her brother have with Aaron at that point. I'm too busy bouncing around like the hyperactive fangirl I am.
I meant to work on the costume more from after OC to the start of the Blue Mug, but this wound up not exactly happening. First off, I was distracted by conversation with Hudson and Kaelyan in lower level for a bit, throwing in a "actually, I have a pair of pliers" to Kael's comments about the so-far failed attempts to get the DVD player hooked to the TV. I promised to send them up; I had also promised to drop by to visit Cat's Crew and have them around to chat to while I worked. I head upstairs, when I notice a fandomite drifting by herself; being someone who 1) values her own solititude at times and 2) has been left wandering for lack of anyone to hang with, I decide to by a good con-goer and strike up a conversation. This is Dancer, whose friends took off for dinner without her; I offer to let her come hang with me if she has nothing better to do, after I run a few errands. We head to Rika's room first, were she and Cat are quickly embroiled in a metal-working conversation as I talk to Rika and Heccy. Eventually those still awake- ie, not Sammy or GE, who were also sharing room and ride- come up to my room. Dancer mentions wanting to call home but her phone not working, and I mention Hudson wanted it known that his satellite phone was available for such calls. I send her up with my pliers, which struck another thing off my list. Unfortunately, Dave and Heccy realize they are more of a distraction to my work than a help only 20 minutes before the Blue Mug, so I really only had about that much time for the costume. *sigh* Then again, I come to the con primarily to see my friends, not to be awed over at the masquerade. (Although I really do enjoy that, when I happens.)
I head up to the consuite, and have a chance to talk to Liz around then about turning in my AMV's for the contest, which I was advised to do the next morning, early. (As it turned out, I wasn't capable of upright motion for most of that morning, so I missed entering them entirely. Eh, for those who care- and have windows media player- they are posted at:
and the one I was forced to render in two parts:
I found myself staring again at the aptly-named White, who has hair so beautiful I could not resist asking to be allowed to pet it. (I'm not usually that touchy-feely with people I don't know very well. The conventions have really helped improve my ability to handle social situations.) I liked the conversation; after all, the blue mug doesn't *have* to be raunchy; it just is allowed to be. I managed a couple decent questions. (Forgetting one that came as a follow-up to one I'd recently gotten response to at Ask Greg; At the time of The Last, did Demona really believe she was the last gargoyle alive?) It ended late, and I again worked later- about 5am- on my costume, and gave myself my first hot glue burns of the weekend. (my only second degree burn from a glue gun, ever, would come the next night...along with Mara's. :\ )
It's the people, isn't it? I like to think I contribute, but really the thing that makes the Gathering work year after year is the family it has become. Squabbling family on occasion, but family nonetheless.
Am I the last one to post a journal?? (Hope not...)
2004 Journal for Alan (Torvik)
I'm doing this all backwards.
It seems like most people get involved in the fandom, and *then* attend the Gathering. Not so in my case. My sister and I attended because we loved the show, and now here I am, looking to be connected to the fandom throughout the year as well. Funny.
I thought the con was great. It took a while for us to find our niche and the rhythm of things, but that didn't really dampen our fun at all.
I was drawn to the con for a couple reason, one of which was the acting aspect (voice and otherwise). I had put a big circle around the voice acting seminar on my schedule, and felt confident that we'd get there in time for it. However, because of our hour long flight delay, and trouble getting to our hotel (we stayed at the Days Inn down the street - $40/night cheaper AND we got a Shrek 2 theme room ;) not only did I miss out on the seminar, but on the RPG Panel and the first auditions. Disappointing.
Opening ceremonies were alright. I wanted to ask the pregnant lady who she was, and what her role in the weekend was. The first half didn't feel so much like a ceremony, as much as it felt like the ref laying out the rules before a wrestling match…
I enjoyed what Greg had to share, especially the pitches he had prepared. I liked the idea of Gargs 2198 (or whatever the year was) and Dark Ages. Bad Guys seemed a little contrived, and the rest seemed like an ever bigger stretch. (The Gate was 'just out of reach' for 40 years?? Reach a little farther man! Come on! ;) Still, it was a great glimpse into all the workings that boil below the surface that we never really get to see.
MGT3K (don't ask me to write it out) was fun, especially since I had found myself heckling episodes over the past half year since I had dusted off my tapes. I appreciated Jade when she invited Jackie and I to sit closer on the floor. I was like, 'Hurray, acceptance!' I gotta check the site out sometime to see if any of my lines got picked up.
We left after that, since we were kinda tired and weren't too interested in the Blue Mug. It was a nice walk back to our hotel. Only twenty minutes (downhill), and three Tim Hortons on the way. We felt far safer walking downtown Montreal at that hour than we would have in Winnipeg.
Jackie wasn't feeling so hot the next morning, so I caught a cab and went by myself. First off, I went to audition. The form I was given asked if I wanted only large part, only a small part, or whatever. Now I naturally WANTED a large part, but I didn't want to jeopardize my shot at getting anything by saying I ONLY wanted a large part, so I put 'whatever'. It also asked if I could speak with an English or Scottish accent. I didn't know what to put, but I knew I didn't want to limit myself, so I put a yes for both of them. Afterall, it didn't ask if I could do them *well*. (The back of the audition bundle had an early concept pic of Angela! Just another one of those fringe benefits of attending the con!)
I read Hudson's part for the audition. Since I started watching Gargs, I had adopted little Sottish hints to me speech, and I think that helped. I had also spent two months in London, but that didn't really help at all. My attempt at an English accent sound like an Irishman trying to sound Scottish.
From there, I went up to the ConSuite and watched Hunter's Moon 1-3. Good stuff. Good stuff.
Jackie and I were going to attend the SCA demo (whatever that meant) but we decided to help Mug Greg instead. I finally got to ask my question that had been sitting on 'Ask Greg .com' for half a year, and received a satisfying answer. (When he lead the clan, everyone probably called Hudson 'Mentor', not as an official name, per se, but a respectful handle all the same. After Goliath took up leadership, some still called the older gargoyle 'Mentor' but it wasn't as common, and had pretty much slipped away my the time they had reached NY.)
After that, were rehearsals. I checked the cast list, and sure enough, I was on it! Once we were all assembled, Greg called out each person one at a time, and announced which part they had. I tried not to get my hopes up. I really tried, especially since Kieth David wasn't going to be there to read the part of Goliath, and I knew that my voice had a certain resonance to it.
Finally, Greg reached the end of his list, and asked "Who still doesn't have a part?" I put up my hand, as did a guy in the front row. "Oh," Greg said, "So-and-So, you're Owen." Everyone clapped. "There must be someone who still doesn't have a part." I raised my hand again, and Greg announced that I would play Hudson's role, which I was pleased with. Then he said that they had seen Ed Asner (the original voice of Hudson) in LA, and they got him to sign the script, which I would be able to keep after the show! This made being Hudson *especially* ok. ( http://www.geocities.com/_zith/script.jpg Sorry about the horrible quality of the scan. I'm using my parent's computer right now X-(
The Radio Play was lots of fun. Sure, I only had 4 lines, but Hudson was mentioned often. When I heard the person read Castaway's part, I suddenly remember what an English accent was *supposed* to sound like. It'd obviously be fun to be a part of a Radio Play with a smaller cast. Maybe next year…
After that, it was the official time to watch the music video entries. A bunch of us crowded into an elevator and headed up to the ConSuite. Sadly, only 3 video actually worked on the laptop. Luckily, one of them was mine. I thought the other two were kinda cheesy and boring, while mine was fresh and punchy. (Well, what else am I supposed to say about my own video?) Yet, I saw that votes were also piling up for 'Learning to Fly' (despite the fact that Gargoyles clearly don't fly… ;) We cast our votes and left for our hotel.
Jackie and I skipped the banquet, because a) it was very expensive, b) we both wanted to take a nap before the long evening started, and c) we needed time to get our costumes ready. So we slipped back to our hotel and did the above.
We were going as Fox and Xanatos from 'Eye of the Beholder'. I had suggested the idea to her a few months ago, expecting that I'd have to do some major wheedling to get her to go along with the idea. To my surprise, she was excited about the idea right away. Lucky me.
Her costume was simple. I went to Value Village and found the longest trench coat I could find as well as an old, gold necklace I could take sections out of. I went to Michael's to get Fimo and some half marbles to make the Eye of Odin from, and I already had body paint to 'tattoo' her eye with.
My costume was a little more involved. I picked up some sleek black sweat pants from the aforementioned VV Boutique, as well as an equally sleek black t-shirt which would be worn over a dark purple long sleeve sweater. A pair of black socks and a dark brown pony-tail extension rounded off the simple part of the costume.
The tricky part was the jet-pack. I had grabbed a few screenshot of David wearing it, but still struggled in figuring out what exactly it looked like, since the shots weren't that clear. I went to Home Depot, and wandered around their duct-work section trying to put it all together in my mind.
It ended up being simpler than I thought. The only noticeable modification I made was changing the suit to dual-thrust from single-thrust. I found two duct-elbows that were big and wide enough to do the trick. I also bough four duct straps (2 for the belt, and 1 for each arm strap), and one plate to go across my chest. I used ordinary duct tape to hold it all together, and shiny waterproof tape to cover it.
The finishing touch was the easiest to overlook. I went to Radio Shack and bought two red lights, a switch, some batteries, and other little do-das that are required for electrical work. The guy working there was very helpful since I had never done anything like this before. I rigged up all the lights together, and they worked great, except they were a bit on the dim side, and the lights in the ballroom already had a red tinge to them.
That night we finally assembled all of our costumes together, and I think we looked great. Sure, I didn't have the goatee, and Jackie didn't have strawberry blond hair, but we were close enough. (I even put on extra clothes under my costume, just so I'd look more buff ;)
We arrived back at the con on time, but the dinner went long, so we spent time waiting around. Since we were participating in the costume contest, they asked us to wait in another room with the other competitors. We were an interesting look crew, to say the least. What I really like is that even though there were tones of people dressed up, there was only one overlap in costumes. (Double the Dracon means double the trouble, eh?) There were four Foxes, and even tow from Eye of the Beholder, but they were all different.
Once everyone was seated in the ballroom, we lined up outside the doors and waited to be called in. Jackie suggested that I carry her in to the stage. I was hesitant (afterall, my buffness was only because of the extra clothes I was wearing) but decided to give it a shot. I picked her up, and as we walked down the aisle I whispered to her, "I've never felt more heroic in my life."
I think it was our entrance that secured us the 'Best Couple' award. I was so very pleased with the outcome. Jackie and I enjoyed the rest of the ball, listened to some karaoke. I really enjoyed getting our photo taken with Jade. She was dressed up as Elisa from Eye, who of course was dressed up as Belle. It was SO prefect. I couldn't have planned it better.
I also pulled Greg aside and thanked him for casting me as Hudson. I think the role came with a certain mantle, and I appreciated having it placed on me. I also told him that everyone at home loved my voice, but I wanted to know what 'people from his world' would think of me. 'Would I be just another voice?' He said that I had a good sound, and that doing accent work might be good for me, but ultimately I had a Canadian sound, and if I wanted to work in an American market, I would need to learn how to turn it on and off. It was advice I could understand. Jackie and I left not long after.
The next morning we were back, ready for our last day of the convention. Jackie decided to sit in on the Garg Bio discussion (since she's majoring in it) and I went to help Mug Keith David, who had only arrived the night before, just in time for the end of the banquet. A couple of us had been sitting there for almost an hour, when someone announced that Keith had not been informed about the session, and would not be there until after lunch. Disappointed, I left to join the end of the Bio session.
The Mug-A-Guest was pretty good (although I did get bored with it after a while). The biggest highlight was Keith's answer when I asked 'What, other than perseverance, do you most attribute where you are at to?' Without batting an eye, he said "God". Apparently he had wanted to go into ministry, and decided that this was the best kind of ministry for him to be involved in. I found that real encouraging. It was a refreshing contrast from the 'go where the work is' and 'perfect your craft' advice.
The Closing Ceremonies were nice. They announced the art show winners for a while. I still wasn't sure if I had won the Best Music Video award. I had hoped as much, but I felt there were enough votes for 'Learning to Fly' to give me a run for my money. After the art awards, they gave the floor to the Las Vegas people for a bit, and said a bunch of 'Thank You's. I began to wonder if they had eliminated the music video contest because of low turn out. Then, just before they were going to finish everything off, Liz stopped the proceedings, and asked if the creator of the music video 'Faint' was present. And I was! I went up and collected my ribbon, well contented again.
After the official closing, Jackie and I got in line to get Keith's autograph. I took that opportunity to thank him for his words that afternoon, stating that it helped me remember the role my faith needs to play in my career. Once we were done with that, we headed out to make our way to the airport.
Jackie and I had a great time at the Con. We went, wanting to spend some time together before she got married, and we had an excellent time doing so. Our costumes were GREAT, I won the contest, I got to be in the Radio Play, and received good advice about voice acting.
I probably won't be in Vegas next year, but I think I'll get a supporting membership and try to enter another video. The year after, who knows? I'm also finding a number of people who have said to me 'Oh yeah, I remember that show. Whatever happened to it?' At which point I give them the big Dec. 7th speciel. (I hope it goes well…)
Well, it's almost Sept. 1st, so I had best read this over, and post it. Thanks again fandom for helping keep this going. Looking forward to being more involved in the future.
Alan/Torvik/Xanatos in a jet-pack/the music video contest winner/…
Know what? Just call me Tor.
Hey Tor, glad you had a good time. What exactly is a "Shrek 2" theme room anyway?
2004 Montreal Con Journal
My con experience, as with most who travel by caravan, starts a bit before the actual con dates.
It started with a couple small problems; I can't fly on an airplane until I get this little "has seizures and blacks out on planes" thing looked at and hopefully fixed; Aaron didn't have time to renew his passport, and Revel wound up promising both him, Mara, Greg B. and Alex a ride to the con along with Spacebabie, in a car that only seats four. About that time, Emambu offered/was convinced to drive from Pittsburgh to Kansas City and pick me up. Deciding that 1) Pittsburgh wasn't too bad a place for a layover from the Texas contingent, and 2) Revel didn't especially want to navigate New York alone, never having driven in the state, we wound up using Pittsburgh as a crash point for one night (well, morning as it turned out), and both vehicles- Emambu, Aaron, Mara, and myself in the Mafia Cruiser, and Spacie and Revel in his Hyena- would travel together to get the Bishansky brothers, and take another night there before heading up to Montreal.
There was also some juggling of luggage, mostly me leaving most of my stuff- not planning to return to KC until some time in September, I'd had to pack for a full summer, and somewhere along the line decided that being separated from the hub of my communications, art, writing, and research for over two months was too long. Add in I was already traveling in a car with huge trunk space, and that I wasn't entirely comfy in leaving it alone in my apartment for two months, I wound up bringing my entire computer set-up (sans printer) with me.
So Thursday we take of from Greg's mother's house, and are Montreal-bound. Today's trip wasn't much different than the previous day, with Aaron and Emambu indulging in sports-conversations, and an uninterested Mara and I in the back seat, dozing and working on art. I'd called for a stop at the nearest home-depot-esque store to pick up a few more supplies for my costume, and indulged in a lot of wire-wrapping of sections of chicken wire together for my vastly-unfinished costume.
During the con, I wound up re-living my 2002 position of holing up in my hotel room for half the con, missing both the radio play and several panels I wished to see, working on a costume that I didn't finish nearly to my standards but wore anyway, and which people seemed impressed by. Of course, while I automatically jump to my own laziness as an excuse for this, it isn't really true. Both times I had pressing school issues- 2002 I'd gone to Germany on a school trip for credit, and had to mail my costume home as I couldn't lug it around eastern Europe. I left that trip two days earlier to make the con. This time, it was finishing up the last credits I needed to complete my double-major- with the class ending on July 28th- and packing up my apartment, since I wouldn't be back until I came through to add everything to the moving truck I'd be bringing my Maryland property with, en route to a final destination in Texas. Both, sadly, ranked ahead of my costume in things I had to focus on- and even then I'd only had time to start Ophelia on July 3rd.
Besides, there was always the next years…
Anyway, after a while the conversation shifted a bit; some was centered around the webcomic Jack, and a long debate about the nature of its anthropomorphic reality. More was fic-related, since all four of us are/were fic writers…or at least, fic procrastinators. Before hitting Pittsburgh, the Texas contingent had come up with a new game to pass the time, called "Fate", which we indulged in for a while. Each person takes a turn in picking a canon character, and each time around everyone explains what happened to that character in their own world. Eventually this dissolved into fic-talk (my favorite pastime) and some TGS-related discussions. This would not be the first time such a topic came up during the con. ; )
I, sadly, had no more chances to sing, as Emambu had given into my request for lessons on the ride up from Kansas City, and I spent a large portion of that trip butchering Melissa Etheridge and listening in awe to Emambu's talent when it came to a best-of Van Morrison album.
It was bordering dusk when we hit Canada, and the fic chatty was still going strong. We cross the border with ease- if over an hour's wait- but have to pull off at the first opportunity when it is realized that no one has the directions from the border to the hotel. Between 411 and a helpful native, we were on our way…only to be further diverted by more road construction. We reach the hotel, unload at the front, and I check in. New experience for me, and considerably easier than I was worried it could be. There are a number of our age/type people hovering about in the lobby, and I get some help in carting everything up to the room. Come back down to mingle after finding said room to be satisfactory…if tricky to get into.
I recognized Leo, and managed to correctly place another girl- whom I'd only met briefly at 2001- as Chyna Rose. She, Mara and I, and one who I absolutely did not recognize as Silver despite a long art-related chat in '02, sat down to stretch out and talk. Talk at this point mostly revolved about interesting quirks in finding the hotel, pet cats, and Wolverine. Others drifted in, most of which I'd never met in person. This included Chameleongirl, whom I know from LiveJournal, and the Sadistic Cow, who I know from the one Gargoyles fic that actually gave me nightmares as well as from Mooncat's forum. Didn't really chat with either of them much during the con; sorry guys.
About that time the caravan that included Chris, Hudson and Ethan showed up, and I wasted no time in pouncing Ethan over the matter of my furry feet, which I was forced to leave with him in New York and had been assured, repeatedly, would be returned to me at the con. I was really really looking forward to being reunited with them, my first attempt and surprising success at gargie feet, but that didn't happen; in an apartment the size of a breadbox, they had proved unfindable.
I'm really going to miss those feet. : (
And while I'm busy sulking about that, Aaron wanders away from where he'd been chatting with Chris, comes up to me and says, "I'm in".
To which I, knowing he couldn't possibly mean 2005 con staff since his insistence post-2003 that he'll never get within 300 feet of being on a con staff again and Mara's equal insistence that she would gut anyone who attempted anyone who attempted to convince him otherwise with a plastic spork, cleverly respond:
"Treasurer. For 2005. Chris talked me into it."
"I'm not sure."
I notice at this point Mara is talking to Chris, and no sporks seem present. It takes me a while to process this, so it's a full three minutes later, after I've gone back to chatting with Silver about art stuff, that I turn back to where Aaron is talking to Hudson's group and yowl a "Are you insane?!?"
Time passes, and the (rather large) group that had accompanied the con staff and Greg Weisman out to dinner return; it may have been after midnight by then. Anyway, an all new round of greetings goes on, of which I am only peripherally part of as I either don't know, or am severely intimidated by, most of those who just showed up. I should also take this time to point out that I was at the con ingocnito- as myself. About three months earlier I'd needed hair for an art project, right then, and lopped off my ponytail to use. I'd cut it back further in the tweening months, so for the first time since I was seven I had hair that didn't reach my shoulders. Second, I was wearing contacts instead of my usual (darkly tinted) glasses. It had taken Hudson until after I started talking for him to recognize me, and Kaelyan about five minutes after that. (Kathy Pogge didn't for over a day, but then, she had far less reason to than either of the guys.)
But Greg Weisman knew in two seconds flat, and gave me a hug as well. So there's a group of over twenty fans carousing in a mass of sub-groups chatting right in front of the hotel doors for about half an hour before people start begging off and heading to bed. The ones left eventually decided to move out of the middle of the lobby walkway- where everyone tended to gravitate to throughout the con- over to the couches, and all we sat down and chatted for a bit.
The group broke up, and I worked on my costume while Aaron and Mara went to sleep, and for a couple hours after that.
Hey, YAY for me. Sometimes I'm quite dense about these things, so I'm glad I wasn't that time. Usually, once I really meet a person, he or she is locked in fairly well. But it can take me two or three gatherings to lock someone into my less-than-traplike brain. And I'm sure there are many exceptions.
Da Gathering Journal.
Well.. This 2004 Gathering was a learning experience.
I learned that this con has morphed from people just coming to see cool, new things and drool over voice actors and Greg. It's turned into a mission and a family. Like in all families, not everyone gets along, but we all stick together and go to ungodly places to see eachother once a year. We take care of eachother, trash hotels together, and constantly strive to make the family a big and better functioning unit.
I learned that everything in Montreal is written in French, and detours and incredibly hard to navigate in a foriegn language.
I learned a pint in Canada is Nearly Ten Smakeroos.
I learned smokes come in packs of 25.
I learned Keith David is very friendly when tipsy.
I learned everyone gets friendlier and smilier when in ridiculous costumes.
I learned Radio Plays are cooler in auitoriums.
I learned everyone bands together when in a country where they can't read the road maps.
And I learned why I've never gone to Montreal before.
I can't wait until 2005, because I know that no matter where we are, or how exspensive a 5 inch pizza is, we are a family.
An extended family that's eager to extend even further. Tell your friends.
I have no time to do a real journal, sorry.....college is draining my soul (I have 5 seperate assignments to finish by tomorrow as I type this!), but I did want to get in a blurb before it was too late.
I had an awesome time at this past gathering, it was my third, and definately won't be my last. I saw masses of friends....those people are my family, and it makes me uber happy that I get to see them atleast once a year.
Gargoyles on DVD! I've already convinced another girl here to buy it. ^-^
And....soon back on TV? We can only hope!
Umm, like I said...it was great, I had masses of fun, and I hope everyone can make it for 2005! I'm wearing my t-shirt for it today! I'm a walking advertisement!
See you guys in Vegas!
Glad you had fun. Stick with us, the best is yet to come!
Unfortunately, with school and family madness, I've not had time to write up an actual con journal (yet). But, I did want to say a few things about it.
The 8th Gathering Of The Gargoyles, was actually my 4th Gathering. It was a wonderful experience, as always. The staff did a great job, and I thank them for all their hard work.
Traveling to Canada was a new and exciting experience for me. I'm glad I got the chance.
The Gathering itself is always fun for me, and this year was no exception. But here's some of my personal highlights.
The banquet was delicious. I was a little worried that I wouldn't like it, as I'm a very picky eater, but I'm glad I tried it.
The art show was amazing. So many talented artists! Seeing all the great pieces and the work put into them really encourages me to improve my own art.
Lots of interesting panels, as usual. I only wish I had the time to attend more of them. Radio Play, and Blue Mug were a couple of my favorite events.
The Masquerade and Ball!
The best part, however, is just hanging out, and seeing all the fans that attend; my friends, and all the new people I meet.
The Gathering is just that.. a gathering. A gathering of lots of great people from all over the world, just hanging out and having fun. All in the name of Gargoyles.
It's something I look forward to every year.
I can't wait to see everyone in Las Vegas for 2006! Come hang out with us!
(If anyone's interested: When I do finish my more detailed con report, I'll post it here: http://www.y2hecate.com/Gathering2004/ )
As many of you know, Nikki loves the Gathering so much that she's now conchair for the 2007 Gathering in Pigeon Forge, TN.
2006 SAN DIEGO COMICCON JOURNAL
Just a quick and dirty rundown of how I spent this year's record-SMASHING attendance ComicCon.
WEDNESDAY JULY 19, 2006
8:30am - Wake up at home.
10:30am - Chiropractic appointment and Physical Therapy. (Always good to get worked on before a long drive and a long weekend in an unfamiliar bed.)
11am - Massage. (I know. I live the hard life.)
12pm - Home again to pack.
12:30pm - Hit the road in the not-that-old PT Cruiser.
3:30pm - Arrived in San Diego. Drove down to the Convention Center, but even on Wednesday, parking was impossible. Wound up parking all the way up at Ash & First and walked the many, many blocks to the Con. But I like walking, so frankly that worked fine for me. Stood in the Exhibitor line to pick up badges for myself and my family. (Thanks to SLG and Dan Vado.)
4:30pm - Called my old boss Gary Krisel to tell him I was on my way. I was staying with him and his wonderful wife Jane. They live about twenty minutes north of San Diego.
6:30pm - TWO HOURS later I arrived at their house. Now that's some traffic! Gary and I went to Chilis for a Build-My-Own-Burger. Then it was back to the Krisels. Gary and I talked for a bit. Then I retreated to my room to read Faulkner's Light in August.
1:30am - Lights out.
THURSDAY JULY 20, 2006
8am - Wake up.
9am - Grabbed some fresh OJ and hit the road.
10am - Not wanting to HUNT for a parking space, I just parked at First & Ash again. Walked to the con and found my way to the SLG Booth. Discovered I was scheduled to sign for FOUR HOURS a day for four straight days. That seemed excessive at first, but in the end I found I was GRATEFUL for (a) having someplace to sit and (b) something to do. The convention was completely overwhelming to me. Better to keep busy. Ran into a few people: Perrin Klumpp (of CONvergence) and Tad Stones (of Hellboy).
11am - Started signing GARGOYLES comic books with penciller David Hedgecock. Saw a few familiar faces, including Will H., Howard Bliss and Brian Dumlao.
1pm - Dave treats me to lunch from Café Express. Just a hot dog. (I know how little this guy makes on the comic.) But it was nice to just sit and talk. I really spent some quality time this weekend with Dave and with color artist Will Terrell. Both are great guys.
1:45pm - Headed up to the Panel rooms and caught the end of Tommy Kovac's spotlight panel. He's the creative mind behind SLG's WONDERLAND comic. Dan Vado and Tommy had some funny schtick going.
2:15pm - Had my own spotlight panel moderated by Dan. Talked about my background. Introduced Dave and Stephanie Lostimolo (our cover colorist). Talked about my hopes, plans and fears for the GARGOYLES comic. Answered some questions. It was a brief panel, but a lot of fun. I saw a bunch of familiar faces including Shan & Kevin, Shara (in costume), Seth, Scott, Brian, Jerry (taking pictures of course) and Michael. Met up with Sam Bernstein who was shooting B-Roll for a project we're working on together.
3pm - Sam, Seth, Michael McAdams, Scott, Brian, Tom and I went to Horton Plaza for my SECOND lunch of the day. Had Sushi at the food court. And Ben & Jerry's.
4pm - Started my very deliberate tour of the Exhibit Floor, covering aisles 0-500.
5pm - Second signing of the day - this time with Dave and Will, who had shown up (I'm told) during my panel. First time I had met Will in person. Good guy.
7pm - Went to dinner with the CONvergence gang: Pat & Tim, Perrin & Jenni, Chris & Melissa, plus Len Wein and his wife and Bob Skir. First of course, Pat and I had to walk all dem blocks to my car. Then we drove to a restaurant called Embers. It was a fun evening. But by 10pm we had closed down the place!
10:40pm - Back to the Krisels'. Read some of the Ape Entertainment Comics that Dave had given me (that's his company), including Athena Voltaire, Teddy Scares and The Black Coat. It was all fun stuff.
2am - Lights out.
FRIDAY JULY 21, 2006
8:30am - Wake up. More OJ and then off to the con, again parking at Ash & First.
10:30am - Walked the floor from 600-1000.
11am - Signing with Dave & Will.
12:30pm - Left the signing a half-hour early to attend the Gotham Group party at Rama. Saw a ton of people - most of whom live in L.A. as I do, though we never get together here - including, Bob, Bill, Steve, Bob, Andrew, Grace, Bob, Tramm, Michael, Dean, Nicole, Duane, Michael, Megan, Ellen, Peter, Eddie, Dmitri, etc.
2:30pm - Ted Murphy of Adult Swim interviewed me on camera. Not too sure whether that's going to get used. Have the feeling I wasn't quite on my game. But it was great to meet Ted. When the interview was done, I toured 1100-2000, and was definitely on the verge of burnout. But I ran into more old friends, including Kim, Kevin, Parker and Richard & Wendy Pini. We arranged to have dinner that night.
4pm - I went to the BET Animation Panel with Reggie Hudlin, Denys Cowan and Sydney. They're in the very early stages… but this white Jewish boy would love to get on that network. Honestly.
5pm - Back to the SLG Booth for another two hours of signing with Dave & Will.
7pm - Crispin Freeman and I hiked to my car, and then we met Richard, Wendy and Izzy for dinner at Todai.
10pm - Back at the Krisels'. Beth and the kids were already there, having driven down that afternoon from L.A.
1am - Lights out.
SATURDAY JULY 22, 2006
8am - Wake up.
9:30am - Depart with Benny for the Con. This time we parked near the Baseball Stadium and for Benny's sake we took a pedi-cab to the con.
10:30am - Stopped by the Animation Writers Caucus panel for a bit. But Benny was bored. So we went back to the floor and toured 2000-2500. None of my family had ever been to ComicCon before. It was - shall we say - eye opening.
11am - Back to SLG for our morning signing. Will had bugged out to hit the beach, so it was me, Dave and BENNY, who would have happily signed anything you put in front of him. He was actually a pretty good sport. Eventually, Erin and Beth showed up. Benny and Beth went exploring, and Erin sat with Dave and I for awhile.
1pm - Grabbed some Pizza from Café Express, but there was literally NOWHERE to sit. Wound up sitting single-file on a staircase. After lunch we toured 2500-3000. And then Beth had had enough. She left with the kids to go swimming at the Krisels' (where Benny got stung by a bee - which is one of his major nightmares, but it wound up not being too bad). After they left, I toured 3000-4500. Then I ran into Dave Schwartz, his wife Nanci and their daughter Kara (who I'm fairly certain was named after Supergirl). I was glad to get off the floor and we went to see Frank Miller's panel on THE SPIRIT movie that he plans to write and direct after he's done with SIN CITY II.
4pm - Caught the end of the TV Guide Panel, mostly cause I wanted to sit down and relax and wait for the NEXT panel in that room.
4:30pm - Veronica Mars panel with the creator and a whole bunch of the cast. I'm a HUGE VM fan. Love the show. (Oh, speaking of being a fanboy, I also stopped by Phil Foglio's booth/table. Wanted to introduce myself, but chickened out - and only bought his stuff. Wound up sending him a letter and a copy of GARGOYLES after I got back to L.A. We've since had a really nice e-mail exchange. Guess I was silly to be such a chicken.)
5pm - Back to SLG for more signings with Dave. Since at that point, we didn't know Will had gone to the beach, we were starting to worry about him.
7pm - Went to THE BATMAN panel. Wanted to know what THEY were giving away about the episodes I had written, so that I'd know what was fair game for me to talk about. I think there really taking some interesting chances with their fourth season, and I'm very proud of the episode "Artifacts" that I wrote for them. Also, I can now say that Brendan Routh (SUPERMAN) is appearing in another of my episodes: "The Everywhere Man". But he's NOT playing Superman.
7:30pm - Went to the Animation Writers Caucus party at a nearby hotel. Talked with Kevin, Kevin, Nicole, Jymn and others. (Yeah, I'm name dropping, but I'm only giving first names mostly, so you can try and make a game out of who's who.)
9pm - Dean, Brian, Andy, Erika, Andrew, Ian, Nicole and I headed out to attend the Jetix Party at a way-too-hip-for-me bar named Thin.
9:30pm - We arrived at Thin. But by this time, I had a headache, so I said hi to Jermaine and Tracy and then took off.
11:15pm - Returned to the Krisels'. Beth and the kids and the Krisels were already asleep.
2am - Went to bed.
3am - Fell asleep.
SUNDAY JULY 23, 2006
8am - Wake up.
8:30am - OJ and Rye toast. Said goodbye to the Krisels and my family. (The latter were going to swim some more and then head home.)
10:30am - Parked on the street up near Ash & First. Hit the floor to finish off the 4600-5300.
11am - Signing with Dave & Will.
1pm - Had Thai food with Joey Cavalieri of DC Comics. Pitched a few ideas to him. One of 'em may go. We'll see. But mostly Joey and I caught up. It'd been something like twenty years since we last saw each other.
3pm - Our last signing. All through the con, I think we had a nice steady flow of people coming up to buy books and get signatures and sketches. Felt good.
5pm - Departed the con.
8pm - Made it as far as Irvine and stopped off at Nicole's house for dinner.
10pm - Finally made it home. That's it!
Got to the hotel the day before the convention absolutely exhausted. That airport really ain't so great. Just collapsed into bed.
The first day I attended a extremely interesting panel with John Clemens about combat. Hudson showed he was scarily familiar with weaponry of all types. :) The opening ceremonies were cool, learning the next con was to be in Las Vegas was a pleasant surprise and I definitely plain on attending. Watch the Clan Olympics take over the ceremonies was a highlight and I only wish I could have managed to see more of it during the con. Afterwards I was participated in Mystery Gargoyles Theater 3000, which was a blast. After dinner and going to my room for a while, I attended the Blue Mug-a-Guest with Greg. Am I the only one who thinks we really get a bigger room for this? The past two have each seemed far too small, this time especially. I still enjoyed the conversation and got to trade a few before hand with Whitbourne about Tim Hourtins. Got my question answered, but again forgot to ask the question I put off asking in New York.
The next day I was at I the auction and managed to buy some things I really don't need. The Radio Play was wonderful. Whoever did the voice of Vinnie really hit the nail on the head, it sounded perfect. The banquet was probably the highlight of the con (Despite the subpar food, but I was expecting that. I am SO looking forward to those Las Vegas buffets!). Listening to Keith speak was a treat, despite having to strain to hear him over the caterwauling next-door (Who the heck were those people anyway?).
The last day was sad, but it really great to get my photo with Keith and a autograph. I had planned to go the amusement park, but a mix-up of my fault prevented me. Still, it was all in all a great con and am already checking airfares for next year. See you'all there!
Short and too the point.
Note to readers; I was writing actual hard copy in a notebook while I was at the con. I've
transcribed it pretty much word-for-word, so when it's written in the present tense, that's
because I wrote about it while it was happening. Where it's in past tense, that's because I
was writing about it later on.
Airline travel was airline travel. I'll invest in a jetpack.
8-ish: Got to hotel. Ate. Talked with other gathering-goers. T-Shirts from precious
Gathering and trench coats are good indicators.
1: Finally got to bed. On the floor. Still better than the "mattress" in my dorm last year.
9:45: Awake. Went to Eat with Sarah the Great. Found out I don't like Swiss Almond Mocha
We went and registered in. Gotta buy a Shirt. Signed up for Blue Q+A and Clan Oylmpics.
12:00: Went to Sapcebabie's General Round Robin. We talked about UCF (she just graduated
from the university I'm attending).
Waited for more people to come.
Seri Wavelength, Whitbourne, Allaine showed up. We waited more. Lord Sloth showed up.
We started. Allaine taped the whole thing.
"Macbeth and Demona in the Grand Canyon whitewater rafting. Using the words "Bitch, Ropes,
Rocks, Flirtatious, Salamander, Moss, and Whisky"
1:15: Dingy! Out of Round Robin.
1:50: Went to fill out a ballot for the art show. Must take some illegal pictures. Then get
Bought a Gathering T-Shirt and Phoenix Gate anthology.
T-Shirt was too small, so I exchanged it for another one.
Got lunch with Sara the Great.
3:15: Saw a little bit of Greg's voice acting talk. He was talking about picturing the
characters in his head before making the show.
3:30: Went to costume seminar.
4:15: Wrote on the hard copy of this journal. Waited for opening ceremony at 5:00.
4:45: Made a sign for our Clan Olympics team. We purposely spelled it wrong. -> For those of
you who don't know (re: everybody), I was on Clan Chalangd, Part Duex.
5:00: Sat with my team (Me, Sarah the Great, ChynaRose, and Allaine) at opening ceremonies.
I stuffed the most balls down my shirt! So proud.
Vegas sounded great. Decided I had to find money to attend.
Enjoyed the pitch presentations. Liked the evolutions of the character designs.
Great story about 'This is meant for kids?!"
Wasn't impressed by the New Olympians presentation. Thought the design for Sphinx was
interesting. Very Gargish. I wonder why no one on AskGreg has asked if she has some ancestry
in the New Olympian Clan.
My advice (not that I'm qualified to give it) to Greg on this one is it needs to have some
plot rather than just premise.
Bad Guys ROcked!
Disappointed we didn't get to do Mystery Gargoyles Theater 3000.
Dinner: Ate a bagel at Tim Horton's.
10:00: Shot in the dark. We came in last but made 3 tic-tact-toe. Must get someone to
exorcise the "spirits".
12:00-2:00: 'Blue' (why is it called Blue?) Mug-a-Guest. Not a lot of 'Blue' questions. Was
I the only one who asked adult questions (I asked using the tail to pleasure one's self and
where little Oberon's Children came from) or is my memory bad? Probably both.
9:50: Dragged myself out of bed (re:the floor). Roomates need to wash their feet. Damn!
10:00 Torture trivia. Lots of fun. I'm surprised the other teams didn't try to get us out
But never fear! I am the holder of the magic 1up ball!
11:15: Out of torture trivia. We were down to 2nd from last. Saved the 1up ball.
I went upstairs and cleaned up. Had some bad donuts and awlful coffee (mostly water) at Tim
12:00: Sat around talking about commercials with some of the English con-goers at the
McDonald's by the Tim Horton's.
12:30: Came to the auction. Bought some stuff.
I'll see about scanning the coloring book up onto the internet.
1:37: Still at the auction. Going to buy a dangly and stick it to my forehead like White.
Damn! The Brooklyn went up to $26!
Bought the last Broadway one for $6. Probably too much. But I must suction cup it to my head
so I can take a photo and put it on the internet. Which means I need a website.
They auctioned of "The Cell". You feel the tension in the air. If someone had lit a match
I'm afraid the room would have exploded.
$41 for the "Darkfighter" backpack.
Gotta email Rita M. and congratulate her on how well her artwork sold.
2:30: Played really hard pictionary. It was really hard.
We got last and had to allow another team to die. But we still had the Hunter's Moon Dash to
make it up.
3:15: Payed for my auction stuff. Attached the Broadway sucker to head. It rocked.
Played pictionary some more just for fun. Robert was really good at it. we got all the
phrases when he was drawing.
3:30: Put in the minimum $20 bid on the Gargoyle-alien-armor-dune-worm painting. It's sort
of alot and not's Netzumi's best piece, but it's picture I stumbled upon that got me into
the fandom, so it's worth buying.
3:40: Put stuff down up in the room. The I went to attend the radio play. Was wondering what
it was going to be. I know it needs lots of people and there's about 30 sitting upfront.
3:50: We started the radio play. Had to wait for the film crew.
4:21: They did "The Journey". Going to see the music videos next.
4:30: Seen the videoes. Disappointed there was only 3. Apparently the mail-ins didn't work
or some such. Poor Siren. Trying to remember if Nickerous said he sent some in.
Think mine was the best, but I'm partial. Didn't because of it.
Went to A fan's room. Ate his pizza and watched a few episode tapes.
8:30: Banquest is over. Keith David is doing Q+A. Annoying music from next door drifting
over. But don't worry, "Our hearts will go on."
9:30: Kicked us out to prep for the Masquerade.
Gotta do something for it next year. Severius or Owen?
9:50: Masquerade's getting going. Lots of people in costumes who don't seem to be in the
contest. I wonder if the full body gargoyle guy scared them off.
Costumes were great. Ran out of pictures on my camera. Started taking them with the digital
in my cell phone.
My hands are sore and bleeding from all the clapping! And I'm finding I write with too many
11:45: Went up to Sarah's room and we made "The ONE BOX."
Came back down and took Allaine's pciture with my camera phone. I know he saw us. Wonder
what he was thinking. Will find out the hard way.
But it'll be worth it. Our characture of him is great!
11:55: Came down to karoke to see what's going on down here.
1:05: Lyric-less "YMCA" (we didn't know any of the words so we insert 'something-something'
every 5 seconds).
My hands are still sore from earlier.
1:35: My "I Will Survive" is a hit.
10:05: Sarah had Scott drag me out of bed for the scavenger hunt. Lot of fun. Bought the
knick-knacks we didn't have.
Sarah ran upstreet(and I mean literally mean up and in up-hill) to a convience store and
nearly passed out.
12:30: Saw the Keith David Mug-A-Guest.
1:15-ish: Bought the "Midori' piece I had bid on in the art show.
Bought another T-shirt too. (Later I got home to realize that the gargoyle is on the back of
the shirt, not the front like I thought.)
3:00: Closing. Looking forward to 2005. Registered for next year. Got a free T-shirt.
5:30: Swam in the indoor pool. Feel much better.
6:30: Showered. Smell much better.
7:00: Laser Tag!
KICKED @%#^& ASS!
Glad I wore all black.
9:30: Went to eat at a restaurant called Rueben's. Lousy sandwich. Fires were good. It was
decided that we will do laser tag next year in Vegas.
10:45: Siryn is a mean drunk. Enough said.
11:00: Talked with Lynati & others about TGS stuff. Aaron, Marge, & Greg Bishanky(?) showed
1:40: Went to bed.
7:30: Sarah dragged me out of bed. We walked around and saw the architecture.
Got breakfast. Good food.
9:50: We got back. Ran to the bathrooms.
10:10: Out of room. Sat in lobby and talked.
11:30: Outta there. Cuaght bus to the airport.
12:55: Finishing Gathering Journal in airport. Missing everybody already. Dang.
That was punchy! It had verve!
Thursday, August 5th: "Pre" Gathering.
We arrived at the Delta Centrville a little after 6PM. Kelly and I went with the porter and our bags to our room on the 28th floor (the highest "guest" floor in the hotel). After tipping the porter we relaxed in the room for about a half hour, checking out what channels the TV had to offer. Alex only had time to glance around the room and make a couple calls home before he had to go play "Taxi Driver" between the hotel and the airport. Lord Sloth then stopped by after checking in at his youth hostle and we let him keep his stuff in or room while he was at the con.
We arrived at the Delta Centrville a little after 6PM. Kelly and I went with the porter and our bags to our room on the 28th floor (the highest "guest" floor in the hotel). After tipping the porter we relaxed in the room for about a half hour, checking out what channels the TV had to offer. Alex only had time to glance around the room and make a couple calls home before he had to go play "Taxi Driver" between the hotel and the airport. Lord Sloth then stopped by after checking in at his youth hostle and we let him keep his stuff in or room while he was at the con.
We spent most of what was left of the evening lounging in the room or taking exciting elevator rides down to the lobby, either for Kelly to have a smoke or to see if we could catch any other con-goers as they were checking in. By about 10:00 most of the "con veterans" had arrived and we hung out in the lobby (A Fan, Mara, Aaron, Spacebabie, Revel, Liz - who is also from Virginia - Wingless, and many others) Alex Garg had arrived with Kathy, but they had to leave again to go pick up Kathy's room mate as well as Denis - the 4th person in our room. This caused some confusion when Denis arrived about an hour and a half after Alex Left.
I was under the impression that Denis had arrived with Alex. So Kelly and I brought him up to the room. We watched TV for a while and waited for Alex to come back from "parking the car". About half an hour later when Denis asked us where Alex was, I said he probably stayed down in the lobby to chat. THEN.. we find out that Denis actually didn't get picked up by Alex, he took a taxi when he couldn't find he, at the airport.
At about 1:AM, Alex comes in looking exhausted. He looks at the bed he had planned on sleeping in, sees Denis asleep in it, then looks at me and Kelly. After briefly explaining the misunderstanding we finally called it a night, with Alex sleeping on an exercise mat on the floor.
Friday, August 6th: Gathering, Day 1
The four of us (Alex, Kelly, Denis, and I) had breakfast at Chez Antoine, the "bistro" in the hotel lobby. With us were Ellen Stolfa, Kathy Pogge, and a couple other fans. Most of us ordered the buffet, which was pretty good but a little on the expensive side. After breakfast, we went up to the mezzanine and hung out until registration started. I saw many familiar faces and many new ones as well, including the "famous" Christine Morgan.
A little while later, registration opened and I picked up my package - con badge, T-shirt, Phoenix Gate Anthology, and schedule (or rather "program" - 26 pages and center stapled - kudos to Syrin for the awesome job). After our little group had registered, Ellen invited us on a walking tour of downtown Montreal. We all went back upstairs, dropped off our packets gathered our "tourist" gear. Unfortunately my digital camera needed a recharge so I had to take my bulky SLR film camera instead. On the way back down I stopped at the con suite and dropped of a couple movie contributions for the video room: "They Live" and "Men at Work" - both featured Keith David. Soon we were all assembled and ready to go.
We first stopped at the Notre-Dame Basilica. I had seen videos of this building, and I knew the interior was even more spectacular, so I really wanted to go inside. I was particularly interested in seeing the famous organ which has been there since 1891. Unfortunately we didn't have much time, and we were hoping to stop for food before getting back to the con. So I took some photos of the exterior and a couple shots of the horse-drawn carriages that were lining the street. I hoped I would be able to come back later and see the inside. We then visited China Town where we browsed a few of the shops. We then made our way back towards the hotel. On the way back, Ellen took us by McGill University, one of her Alma-matters. We briefly stopped at a bistro on University Street. Its small atrium featured a sculpture of a cow. This provided for some amusement as one of Kelly's online personas is "The Sadistic Cow." Ellen and Kathy decided to stay and eat, while the four of us from room 2816 rushed back to the hotel so we could catch the beginning of the second block of panels since we were already missing the first block.
I went to Flanker's "Understanding Combat" panel. I don't think he'll be able to do this panel in Vegas, much less set foot in an airport with his "visual aids" - which he let us play with. :-D. I then auditioned for the radio play. I never bothered to audition at the last to cons. I was hoping Keith David would be there, but he hadn't arrived yet. So Greg had brought in "Crazy Demona" Jen to assist him. I read for Xanatos and did my "angry cat" impression. The DVD crew was waiting outside the room. Being a multi-media enthusiast I had to get a close look at that camera. After that I went up to the room and relaxed a bit before Opening Ceremonies.
Opening Ceremonies started out with the usual introduction by the con staff. Gorebash was awarded the title of "Fan Guest of Honor." Then Clan Olympics "took over" with their first event: "Get Stuffed" - where one team member stands at the front of the room, wearing a ripped oversized t-shirt, into which others try to stuff as many plastic balls as possible (I took pictures). After the silliness was over, the G2005 staff pimped next years con and unveiled the mascot, unofficially named "Blue Eyes." Then Greg (after pulling his sadistic "Ladies and gentlemen, Keith David" stunt) played a tape recording of several of the production crew and voice talent involved in the show, including Ed Asner (Huson) sans accent. Basically they all said the same thing - how they loved working on the show and that if they could they would try to make next year's convention. Next came the big announcement that the DVD was going to be on December 7th (the day after my birthday.) Greg then proceeded to elaborate by reading from a printed out PowerPoint presentation (which you can read more about in his own journal). The rest of Opening Ceremonies proceeded "normally" with the screening of the two promotion videos, the Bad Guys lica reel, and the audio recording of the never animated Team Atlantis episode, "The Last."
After Opening ceremonies we retreated back to the room - I think we watched "South Park"… in FRENCH - before heading down to the Blue Mug -A-Guest, where you can ask Greg anything that comes to your dirty little mind. At least that's how it was last year. This year, it wasn't so "blue." Some say it was because we didn't have Thom Adcox there to encourage us. I think it might have been because it was scheduled before the "regular" mug-a-guest since Greg couldn't stay Saturday night. Whatever the reason, it seems more people were interested in talking about the DVD than asking naughty questions. Although I didn't stay very long, I did work up the courage to show Greg the screen shots of frames that might have been "overlooked" but the animation supervisors, as well as a compilation of screen shots with accompanying text (courtesy of the "Sadistic Cow.") These were passed around and got some amusing reactions.
To be continued..... (hopefully)
I've come to the conclusion or at least the opinion that the reason that Blue Mugs are no longer as blue as they once were is because we've already covered most of the blue bases. At every blue mug, somebody pipes up and asks a silly or humorously obnoxious question that's so out there that I don't have an answer, but serious blue discussions that we might have seem old news.
That's my theory, anyway.
Maybe the comics will encourage more blueness -- since they won't be blue at all, but may inspire blue thoughts.
Two questions about Gargoyles' stone healing:
1.) If a Gargoyle had one of its wings cut off, would the wing grow back in stone sleep or would it be gone forever?
2.) If a Gargoyle had something cut off in its stone sleep (an arm or a finger), would it wake up with or without an arm or at all?
2. It depends how catastrophic the injury was, how close to sunset, etc. as to whether they'd survive the trauma at all. But limbs do not grow back.
Seth's Con journal! (and just in time)
My Gathering experience
Wednesday (Day -1)
Before I left from Fresno, California I was really nervous about the flight:
a) I've never been out of the country before
b) I didn't have my passport
There really wasn't any excuse for me not to have my passport, I had plenty of time between The Gathering 2003 and 2004 to get one but I didn't think I needed one since I had a state issued form of identification and a certified copy of my birth certificate. Well, approximately two to three weeks prior to my scheduled time to fly out I wanted to double check and make sure I had all my shit together. So I called the Office of Vital Records to make sure I had everything in order and they explained to me that the look of the Certified Birth Certificates and the embossed stamp that is used on them had been changed since September 11th and as a result there was the possibility that an airline might reject my request to travel. So I made a mad scramble to try and get an updated copy of my birth certificate but was unable to procure one in time for my flight. I assumed as long as they let me on the plane at Fresno that I would be okay the rest of the flight and it didn't even dawn on me until I left LAX that there was the possibility they could reject me at JFK or Canadian Customs!
But despite all my worrying, things went relatively smooth. The people at the X-RAY machines always gave me a knowing grin as I proceeded to remove my keys, loose change, phones, pager, wallet, belt, etc. just to get through the friggin metal detector.
Thursday (Day 0)
So I landed in JFK on Thursday morning and that's when something really cool happened! They needed to bump one person from the 9am flight into Montreal to a later flight and offered a travel voucher for the person who would exchange seats. Since I knew my roommates weren't going to show up until 1pm I decided to be the volunteer. I could wait 3 hours in JFK and get a travel voucher or I could wait 3 hours at the hotel. So, several rounds of Mario Golf later I boarded the plane to Montreal.
Customs was... interesting. It was fairly easy in the sense that all I had to do was show them my Birth Certificate, ID, and answer a few questions. The line was LONG and I thought I was going to be there for HOURS but it moved faster than expected. The only thing that worried me was my luggage was already off the plane and off the carousel, sitting off to the side. Upon exiting customs I was greeted by not less than a thousand people. It took me a little while to remember that just because we're not allowed to greet people at the gate in America, the same does not apply for other countries. I quickly spotted an ATM machine so I could get some local money and was soon off to the hotel via Taxi.
The hotel was quiet... too quiet! Where the hell was everybody?! It took a while for everybody to trickle in (including my roommates) but eventually I began to see some framilar faces from cons past: Gorebash, Vashkoda, Wingless, CrzyDemona, Kathy, GregX, Hudson, Chris Rogers, etc. Wingless, Gaberus, A Fan, and I went in search of food after dropping my stuff off in the room and getting settled in. We chatted the night away with fellow fans before retiring to our respective rooms to get ready for the big day.
Friday (Day 1)
We woke up around 9 so we would be up in plenty of time to get breakfast and stop by the registration desk before the first events started. Good old McDonalds located down in an underground complex. Beneath Montreal is their subway system which expands into a gigantic underground labyrinth of malls and stores connecting to the aboveground buildings all over downtown Montreal! It's really impressive! I wish I had more time to explore it but, unfortunately, 90% of it was shut down on the weekends so I only had the little experience on Friday. After breakfast and getting my registration in order, I loitered around the lobby for a while say hi to old friends and getting caught up. I ran into some more friends that I hadn't seen the night before, including Greg Weisman, Lanny, and Siryn. These are some of my favorite times during The Gathering because there are so many wonderful and diverse people who attend and some of them I only get to see once a year. I also spent a little bit of time checking out the Art Show & Dealer's Room. Sans the items Disney brought from the Archives to display last year, the turn out for both artists and dealers was much more impressive and diverse this year.
Wingless and Gaberus went off to attend Flanker's Understanding Combat session while I went to attend Greg's Voice Acting Seminar. I love the voice acting seminar's as I'm a little bit of an attention whore and love the chance to perform in front of an audience, even though my voice isn't very unique sounding. And it's always great to learn new lessons and tips from people in the industry. The panel was supposed to feature both Greg and Keith David but Keith hadn't arrived yet as he was held over a day in Miami (I think) where they were filming Transporter 2. Despite the absence of Keith, the seminar was really great and Greg did a fantastic job parting advice and wisdom onto us. It was also during this seminar that I was introduced to a Canadian friend of Lanny's named Michael, who has done real voice acting in his life. Michael is quite the character and a real interesting guy... but more on him later.
After the voice acting panel it was time for me to try out for this year's radio play! For those of you who have never attended The Gathering before, Greg brings a script from episodes of Gargoyles or scripts from other projects he's worked on for us to reenact before an audience. But first we have to have auditions to try out for the various parts. This year's radio play we were able to figure out was going to be "The Journey" based on the initials of the roles that needed assigning.
After the auditions were over I had a little bit of time to chill out before the opening ceremonies so I accompanied Gorebash, Vashkoda, and Sean as they moved into a different hotel room with highspeed internet access available. We decided to check out this create your own pasta place that Vash knew about after ceremonies. Opening ceremonies proceeded as usual. The con staff welcomed everybody and presented themselves, the announcement for next year's convention, and Greg presented his usual slew of videos and stories (which we NEVER get tired of watching). There were a few major announcements:
1) Next year's convention will be held in the city of Las Vegas, Nevada!
2) Gorebash received the equivalent of the Lifetime achievement award for all of his efforts on Satation 8 and helping to keep the fandom alive
3) The official release date and stats for the Gargoyles DVD which was originally announced in 2002:
A 2 disc set comprised of the complete first season, uncut
MSRP (Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price) of $29.99
Commentary on the first five episodes by Greg, Frank Paur, and Keith David
The original pitch Greg used to sell the show to Disney
And a documentary on The Gathering of the Gargoyles 2004 as filmed in Montreal, Canada
That's right, there was film crew at the con who had been running around and getting footage of anything and everything they could (the voice acting panel and radio play auditions were no exception and I hope I end up on the DVD :D). Very, very exciting news... It was a GREAT time to be a Gargoyles fan. Greg closed with some inspirational words stressing just how much it's now up to the fans to get the word out on the DVD and The Gathering.
After ceremonies we went to the pasta place (whose name escapes me at the moment) but I think is worth mentioning because it was absolutely fantastic and I wish we had a place like it in Fresno. We all came back to the hotel for the Blue Mug-a-Guest which wasn't very blue this year due to A LOT of questions and excitement around the DVD. I tried to do my own part to help keep in on track with a few questions about Lexington's sexuality but it was still a great experience, as usual.
Saturday (Day 2)
I woke up late. There weren't many events I was planning on going to in the morning but I wasn't planning on staying up until 2:30am at the Blue Mug-a-Guest either. After buying a few items at the Dealer's room and bidding on the Art Show items, my roommates and I went down to the underground malls to try and find some food (perhaps more McDonalds). But they were closed! Everything was closed!! We probably spent close to 2 hours running around all of Montreal looking for some food! I was hoping to make it back in time for this year's auction. One of the things I'm famous for (even though I've only done it three, maybe four times) is paying outlandish amounts of money for some of the rarer pieces. This year I went to way to many conventions and took way too many trips so I was flat broke but I was still hoping to make a guest appearance just to freak people out and make them wonder what I was going to bid on (can't disappoint the fans). Unfortunately, it was not meant to be... I made it back to the hotel JUST in time for the Radio Play Rehearsals.
I've done quite a few of the Radio Plays and I must say this year's cast was brilliant. Everybody did a fantastic job! As I said, we did the Gargoyles episode "The Journey" and I was assigned the role of Owen Burnett... I swear I was type-cast!! But at least I had lines this year, unlike when I played the mute character Claw at last year's con.
Zehra as Elisa Maza (I swear she SOUNDS like Salli sometimes)
Michael as Vinnie Grigori (he really has fantastic talent and he's cute too! :D)
The sexy Jen Anderson as Fleance
Liz and Stormy doing great jobs as baby Alexander Xanatos and Cagney the cat
Vashkoda and Gorebash played the roles of Maria Chavez and Matt Bluestone wonderfully
Lanny did a great Travis Marshall
But the people who stole the show with the last lines were Cindy and Chris Rogers as Margot Yale and Lennox Macduff.
Keith David finally arrived during the Banquet and I was the first person to shake his hand coming through the door. I believe he recognized me from past conventions as I've been to every convention he's been to and I thought I heard him say "It's good to see you again" as he shook my hand. Anyway, the banquet was a fantastic experience and many laughs were had by all... especially thanks to the party next door which featured some of the WORST off-key karaoke singing I have ever heard in my life!! To point that Keith said "Somebody shoot that horse" as somebody was hitting the high note on "I did it my way."
A couple of other highlights from the QA with Keither (for me anyway) was when he was telling us how seeing Harrison Ford's Motorcycle (they were in Hollywood Homicide together) would give him a boner and the out of context quote "I hope I can whip out Thailog when I need to." So THAT'S what he calls it (I know, I know. "My dick, my dick, my dick" ... or in this case Keith's).
After the banquet came the Masquerade and Cosplay. My personal favorites were:
John as the Renaissance Hunter (I'm a little biased because I played John Canmore in hunter garb in 97 and 98 but it was still a great costume!)
Becca Morgan as Bronx.
Sapphire, Chameleon Girl and Ethan's reenactment of the second season Gargoyles theme with props
All of the staff members costumes (Siryn was SO adorable as Tom!!)
And last but not least, Loopy at Korul. It's about time a fursuiter showed up with a Gargoyles costume (complete with retractable wings that were controlled by his arms)!! He did a great skit as well as The Gargoyle who's scared of heights to the tune of rubbery ducky. Lanny pointed out to me later that we've seen costumes done better and more complex at other furry conventions but it was still awesome to see. Lanny and I spent most of the night chatting away and getting caught up as friends often do but we occasionally peeked our head back into the ballroom for some of the better highlights including listening to Cindy, Jen, and Keith sing (all three are fantastic in their own rights!), a hilarious edition of YMCA (or YMCsomething) and the filk "Blame Gargoyles" based off of South Park's "Blame Canada" (incidentally, I found myself whistling that tune all through the airport on Monday! Thanks A LOT guys… I'm lucky they didn't kill me, eh!). I said my goodbyes to Greg before heading upstairs to retire as he was leaving that morning to meet up with his family for his daughter Erin's birthday.
Sunday (Day 3)
Most of Sunday I spent gathering up a few last goodies in the Dealer's room before chatting the evening away with Jen, Lanny, Siryn, and Vash. Closing Ceremonies was sad, as usual because it means that things are unfortunately coming to an end (as is this diary). I was happy to see that many of the pieces that I voted on in the art show won awards and Cindy did an amazing job handling the whole ordeal :) I was able to get Keith David to sign my Delux Wingblast Goliath action figure and he made a note of it because he had never seen one before and thought it looked awesome (I have to see if I can pick one up for him to give to him in Vegas).
Afterwards Vash, Gore, Sean, and I ran around all of Montreal to try a find an EB Games for a Playstation 2 RF unit so Sean could play Final Fantasy XI in his hotel... Nothing is open on the weekends in downtown Montreal and I mean NOTHING. Hell, I'm shocked the hotel we were STAYING at was even open after the experience we had on Saturday and Sunday. I spent the rest of the evening in the con suite with the staff talking about the good, the bad, and the ugly for both this year's con and next and a little bit of brainstorming on how to help promote it and the DVDs. I also got a little bit of cuddle time with Jen and Alan grabbed my ass! WOO!!!
Monday (the final day)
I picked up some souvenirs and memorabilia for the people back home before packing up my bags and heading to the airport. The flight out was as smooth and uneventful as the flights in and now I can say that I've officially been to a foreign country. I always wish The Gatherings could go on longer than they do because I always have such an amazing time at them but this year I was a little glad to be back in America. Between nothing being open on weekends and not speaking French, Montreal ran me a little weary at times (and I appreciate even more how little Spanish speaking California actually is now, despite our complaints that they're taking over :D). But despite that I'm eagerly looking forward to returning to Canada to explore more of the country itself (and not just from the view of a hotel room) as what little I WAS exposed to took my breath away with it's gorgeous blending of country, history, and modernization. And I can't wait to do it all over again in Las Vegas for The Gathering of the Gargoyles 2005!!
Seth went on to join the staff for G2006, this past month. I also had lunch with him, Michael McAdams, Sam Bernstein, Brian Dumlao, Sammy and Tom at San Diego ComicCon last week. That's right. We hang.
(Below you will find my Gathering diary, as it is. In its original version it is actually more or less integrated with a multiple page photo gallery, and part of a larger diary on my visit of Canada. This entire setup makes it very difficult to post the diary somewhere without the pictures or sub-pages. I have opted to copy and much of the relevant text into the submission form in order to post it here. Existing out of its original context, the result might be a bit confusing, so please bear with me.)
Friday was the first proper day of the Gathering. It began with sleeping in late for most of us, considering the time we had gone to bed the night before. The exception was MAui. She had to get up early to work on the Clan Olympics with Abram Wintersmith. As a result most of the morning had already disappeared by the time we were up and about. By that time Robert, also our roomie, had shown up as well, swelling our ranks further.
One of our first acts of the day was to get registered at the registration desk. Again, a lot of familiar faces, and some new ones, but I have to say, I liked all the new faces I met.
We registered ourselves as a team for the Clan Olympics under the name "Arcadia International" ("We don't suck!"). Our members represented Canada, the United States of America, Great Brittain and The Netherlands. It was a team with too many members so we needed to rotate, but that turned out to work just fine as there was always some other team in need of a spare player. The Clan Olympics was a major event this year, and ended up dominating our weekend. Good thing it was a lot of fun.
At some point we decided to go to have breakfast/lunch. As we walked out ('we' being Robert, Dubble, Countess and myself) we walked right into a huge group of Gathering-attendants who all were just leaving for breakfast/lunch. The group was far too large to remember, but random names would be Hudson, Chris Rogers, Kaelyan, Cat, Mandolin, a bunch of people I know by face, not by name, and a bunch of people I don't remember at all. Awash in the sudden current, the self-appointed "Dweeby section of the group", we followed them around to a corner restaurant who gladly wanted to feed us, but only outside, where there was still room. The personel was quite friendly. It seems that for some reason, wherever Gargoyles fans go, everyone seems to like them. What is it about us? ;)
After all this the Gathering started proper, starting with the opening ceremonies, and then through the MGT3K event to the second Clan Olympics event. The second event? Indeed. The first had already been sprung at us during the opening ceremonies. A very daring move indeed.
Unfortunately Countess and Beedoo! missed most of this. Countess had to pick up Beedoo! from the airport as the opening ceremonies started and returned very late due to a delay. But with Beedoo! there at least our room was now completely present.
I recall that at one point, we went too bed. Way too late, again.
--- The registration desk, manned and womaned by BrooklynX, Rob and Siryn, was a very active place at the start of the Gathering, so much so that people gathered there for the largest part of the day. Aside from regular registration there was the seperate registration for the Clan Olympics beside it. No one could register without at least hearing of the event.
(Actually, I think the man's name was Rob. I know what his online handle is, more or less, but I can't even begin to spell it. ;) )
--- At the registration desk we also met the camera team sent there by Disney to film the Gathering. I was very pleasantly actually surprised to find that they were very open, very enthusiastic people. In my cynicism I had assumed they would just show up, shoot some film, collect their wages and leave. Instead, they really seemed to be there to want to get into the thing.
The camera team asked us to register again, so they'd have footage of registration. So we handed in our badges, then, in front of the camera, walked up to the desk, told our name and got handed a random badge and envelope. It was nothing like proper registration, unfortunately ("Arno! Hey Arno! What's you're last name!?"), and I wish they'd been there to film that instead. But we dutifully did our bit. A great actor I shall never be though.
They certainly filmed a lot of stuff. As I was talking to the camera people, signing away either my soul or my right not to want to appear on the DVD (yeah, right!) on some piece of legal paper, and suddenly I realised that I'd lost my program! But when I turned it around I found it again, under this enormous camera, being filmed for the DVD. I am so proud. Sadly, though, I lost it for real later that day.
--- As always the Gathering officially kicked off withthe opening ceremonies. In random order: we watched the movies, we listened to the stories. We listened to what the staff had in store for us, there was a fun tape with recorded messages from about a dozen(?) people involved with Gargoyles on it (as with Ed Asner's letter at the Gathering in LA, 2001, I can't help but notice what a kind man he seems to be), Gorebash received a well-deserved fandom award and at some point the opening ceremonies even got hijacked by the Clan Olympics.
After the chaos caused by this died down the opening ceremonies continued as usual. Further notable parts included the release date and further information on the Gargoyles DVD and Chris Roger's plans for the future of the Gathering which were, to say the least, fascinating.
--- During the opening ceremonies the whole thing got hijacked by the Clan Olympics. MAui and Abram Wintersmith stepped to the front of the room, stoically dropping cue cards declaring the opening ceremonies to be taken over. Truthfully, It was a hillarious thing to happen, and I must say, a brave thing to do for both them as well as the Gathering staff, who no doubt had to OK this rather unconventional idea.
So there we were, participating in the first event already, Jess and Dubble grabbing balls from a box and Robert stuffing them down my shirt for all he was worth, all this in front of the entire assembly of fans as well as the camera crew.
Sadly, I have no pictures of the actual event itself. I was too busy getting balls stuffed down my shirt.
--- Beedoo! arrived hours later than she was supposed to, but fortunately just in time to do the traditional "hanging out in our room" thing with us again.
The second day of the Gathering was the only full day of Gathering planned. As such, it was filled with activities, most of which I did not have a chance to attend.
As stated earlier, the Clan Olympics dominated our weekend, and it continued doing so. One thing it did was force us to get up relatively early (once again, even earlier for MAui), allowing us to have much more day at our disposal as we would have had otherwise. The whole day consisted of walking around, looking at things, meeting up with people, voting on the artshow, voting on the art show again only properly this time, all that fitted around the two impressive Clan Olympics events: Trivia Torture and Really Hard Pictionary.
I did not manage to visit many (or any) panels that day, though I did go see the radio show. We also, as traditional, did not go to the banquet, since some of our group have finances that will not allow such an expenditure. On the other hand, most people seem to have missed the Karaoke singing following the masquerade, and that's certainly their loss.
--- Three years ago I met young Becca Morgan at the Gathering in LA, 2001. She threw a cat at me, numerous times. This seems to have left quite an impression on her as this year, when she finally showed up again, she had insisted on bringing a cat to throw at me. As the old toy was lost a new one had to be bought for the sole purpose of being thrown at me. Believe me, the money wasn't wasted.
--- The first Clan Olympics event of the day was Trivia Torture, possible the most professionally executed one of all. MAui had worked hard (and stayed up late) designing and printing professional cards for this game, while the way this conventionroom was set up could not be more perfect for this game.
The rules were complicated when explained but simple while playing: each team assigned a team member to sit on a chair below. This team member would not play, they would be the 'hostage'. Above each hostage three circular cards with entertaining text were stuck to the wall. These acted as a form of 'points'. If the 'points' of a team reached zero, ie, all the cards were removed, the hostage would be tortured either with spraypainted hair, or various disgusting combinations of food to eat. We put Robert down there (who bravely volunteered). Surplus Arcadia International member Dubble played for another team and promptly got sat down there as well, making sure we'd lose even if we won. ;)
The game centered around questions asked (from professionally designed cards, of course) by either Abram or MAui. The question would be either Gargoyles trivia or 'regular' trivia question. A member of the first team to hold up a piece of paper with a legible and correct answer would then get to step down and remove a 'point' from one of the teams.
Intermixed with all this were bonus cards which could do either good or harm, and the Spirits, members of teams which were previously eliminated from the game and who could interfere with the game at their apparent discretion.
Arcadia International eventually won the event through Spirit intervention at the expense of the Green Dragons. There's no saying for sure whether we would not have won otherwise, but I will say this though: the Green Dragons were good. Very good!
--- The second Clan Olympics event of the day was "Really Hard Pictionary", which lived up quite well to its rather presumptious name. Really Hard Pictionary was, well, really hard. Try drawing "It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine". Try drawing "Advanced Dungeons and Dragons". Believe me, it's even harder than it might seem.
By popular demand the game was continued even after all the scores were awarded, just for fun. I'll note that Robert and Flanker turned out to be very good at making people guess the right phrase. Absolute highlight was Flanker drawing a schetchy big fat gargoyle to indicate the word "Broadway". The Gathering was probably the only place in the world where this would work.
--- After the Really Hard Pictionary event of the Clan Olympics each team was given a box and provided with a source of markers of all sorts of colours. The box was to be used in the next and final event, the Scavenger Hunt, and we were to decorate it as we saw fit.
The decorating was taken care of by the two most artistic team members available, Countess and Beedoo!. Countess did some terrific lettering, while Beedoo! drew some cute pictures of the characters of our team. To them goes nearly all the credit for a fine box indeed. Myself, I went to the radio play as it was being decorated, and thus my only contribution was the addition of the Dutch flag among the three other flags of our respective countries.
--- As the box was being decorated and I was about to make my way to the radio play, this person here walked into the hotel. I don't know his proper name, I don't even know his face, I just know that he went by the name of 'Korul' and that this was the most amazing costume I had ever seen. Needless to say, he was there for the masquerade later that day.
--- I went to the radio play expecting to find Keith David there playing the role of Goliath. Unfortunately, he still had not arrived. The radio play was still pretty fun though, because the reworked 'original' script of 'The Journey' worked well and because there was some pretty good voice acting there. Clearly after all those years people have become quite good at this sort of thing.
The people who stood out the most, though, I thought, were Chris Rogers as MacBeth and Eden as Margot Yale. They were amazing, bickering with each other. "Madam, they burned witches like you in the middle ages!" "You, sir, live in a fantasy world!" If anything of the radio play ends up on the DVD that had better be in it.
--- As not all of us could afford the banquet, we ventured out to find some food of our own. This entailed my first trek through downtown Montreal. As it turned out, almost all I would see of Montreal on the days of the Gathering I would see that day. Everything we needed was conveniently placed in one single street.
--- We finally found food in a Hard Rock Cafe, situated in the middle of a Brazilian street party of all things. With all the bustle it took them rather a while to serve us, but we had fun entertaining ourselves.
--- This year's masquerade was the most spectacular I have seen. Granted, all other years, for one reason or another, I missed the grand entrances, but even then, the quality of costumes was very high, as was the quantity. It was a very nice touch that nearly the entire staff was in costume as well. I was quite impressed.
Overall winner was, of course, the man known as Korul. The detail on his gargoyle costume was amazing, particularly the moving wings and mouth. It was very impressive and a very well-deserved win.
--- After the masquerade came the Karaoke night. Sadly, due to some apparent technical difficulties taking up a bit of time, many people had already wandered off. Which is their loss.
Sunday was the wrap-up of the Gathering, but a very busy day nontheless. To begin with there was the final Clan Olympics event: the Scavenger Hunt, a fitting finale which had us exhausted and yet hyped up before 11 AM.
After this came the closing ceremonies, which I have to admit seemed a little of an anti-climax. Greg Weisman had already left, as had the camera team. And really, what else was there to say that "we're done"? Nevertheless, the Gathering staff put together an excelent con altogether, and they deserve to be praised for it.
In between the Scavenger Hunt and the CLosing Ceremonies I happened to stumble upon a Mug-A-Guest with Keith David. Now, I'm not really one to go listen to celebreties. I'm quite sure they are interesting, just no more so than my friends who I only see once a year if that. I decided to stay and listen, though. I found there that Keith David, whom I knew next to nothing from, was a very intelligent, very thoughtful and very kind man. I was very impressed and I hope the camera team got some of it all.
Also, nearly everyone at the Closing Ceremonies will remember Robert and Jess peddling a sign-up sheet for an impromptu game of laser-tag. To those that did not sign up, or show up: you missed out. Really. Definately.
--- Once again Clan Olympics had us get up at the crack of dawn (also known as about 8:15 AM) in order to take part in the one Clan Olympics event us Arcadians actually consistently do well: the Scavenger Hunt.
The Scavenger hunt involved finding items from a list and putting them in the box we prepared the day before. Some items were simple, others were difficult, and a few turned out to be impossible: A can of Lysol, a bird, any bird, three different flavors of lip gloss, diapers, any vehicle floormat, one standard #2 pencil, a non-hotel blanket, a MALE con-goer with a 2004 Gathering shirt not from our team (who was to strip off the shirt and toss it in the box), a hardcover book, a set of balls from the first Clan Olympics event, a shotglass, three rolls of packed toilet paper, a disposable camera with no photos left on it, a plunger and a note from any hotel staff member saying "I did this for the Clan Olympics".
And then there was a list of bonus items, held by MAui who had hidden herself somewhere in the hotel. These items were for extra points: some wooden thing called the "Official 2x4 of the 1998 Hock-Fest", some bonus bags, three squishy soccer balls, as many different business cards as we could find and a special guest or Gathering staff member to stand in our box for 15 seconds.
It was a very exciting and very exhausting game which had Gathering attendants running chaotically through the hotel. We got a cleaning staff member to give us toilet paper and write us a note, I stripped in my Gathering Shirt in exchange for a vehicle floor mat and a disposable camera for another team, and then I generally ran around with no list, no team member and half an idea of what to look for. The box filled marvelously nontheless. I am only disappointed not to have been there to see Kanthara stand in our box.
Fun fact: the Gathering Hotel had only one plunger in the entire building. And they'd lost it.
--- During the closing ceremonies the winners of the Clan Olympics were announced. Considering the scores and our results at the Scavenger hunt, it was not really a surprise anymore, but Arcadia International won! Mind, with some help from the spirits, but even then, I know my teammates certainly played quite well.
So, we came forward and accepted our prizes and the honour. Our prizes consisted of a circular piece of cardboard saying we won and four Clan Olympics T-shirts to split between the five of us. Look at us showing our Arcadian pride.
After closing ceremonies I got another shirt from Chris Rogers for pre-registering. Very kind of him. Withg the Gathering T-shirt, the Evil Makes Me Sad T-shirt and the Clan Olympics prize, it was my fourth new shirt that weekend. I'd started seriously regretting bringing shirts at all.
--- The other major event of the day: Lasertag!
Saturday evening we passed a lasertag place on our way back to the hotel. Now, Robert had, at earlier Gatherings, already expressed a desire for us to play Lasertag. So, he went inside for a moment, asked for information and came out with the knowledge that a group of exactly 30 people would get a good discount.
So, he set about organising a group of exactly 30 people. He and Jess went round the lines for Keith David and pre-registering after the closing ceremonies and collected names of people who wanted to come. It took some doing, but they actually managed to fill their list. Even Keith David signed up.
Of course, around the time people were to gather in the lobby things went all pearshaped. Some didn't show up, others wanted to join after all. Some would arrive late. Keith David was still eating with his wife. In the end we left in two groups, one of twenty-one and another group of straglers that would hopefully make thirty.
Robert became nervous.
The walk to the Lasertag place was sort of an event itself. Keeping a group that size together on the sidewalks of Montreal was no small matter, especially considering that we were late and needed to keep up a good pace. Being Robert's roomies more or less automatically assigned us the task of keeping the group together a bit. Now we know what sheep dogs feel like! It was an entertaining walk, though.
It took some time for the rest of us to arrive, but when they did we were with 33, though sadly without Keith David. It turned out they could fit 32 in their maze, so Jess kindly voluntered to sit the whole game out. She really missed out for the rest of us. She's too kind (but don't tell her that ;) ).
The game itself was brilliant, and I'm sure the massive amount of people we brought helped a lot. It was pandemonium and I think everyone had great fun. There were three rounds, one with everyone against everyone, one with two teams, and one with two teams protecting two members, a king and a queen. It turned out Robert was the Lasertag champion among us. No wonder he wanted to play.
I hope we'll do this again some time.
See the fun the rest of you are missing out on?
Check out www.gatheringofthegargoyles.com for information on the 2007 Gathering of the Gargoyles. We're in a different city every year, and this year we're heading to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee!!!
Gathering Report Part I--the abridged, somewhat more relevant version
Gore navigated through the back alleys of the Bronx to pick up me and my friend Sean. It's in fact thanks to Gore's car (and his offer of floor space) that I was even going to the con, as I was otherwise still suffering from jetlag, work-guilt, indecisiveness, and a general nervousness of being filmed. But when your transportation, lodging and company is taken care of, how can you say no, especially when you really wanted to go in the first place?
So we take off on the I-87 with the general awareness that it's going to be a long drive, and that the direction will be North. Somewhere along the way, we realize that we are no longer on the I-87, nor heading exactly North. I guess that's what happens when you get distracted by long discussions about Greg Weisman's ideas for the show. So after passing the twentieth or so cornfield, Gore proceeds to make a daring U-turn right in front of the toll booth. We throw repeated glances over our shoulders as we listen to what Gore dubbed "running from the cops music". It turns out no one was following us, and we saved ourselves from paying the toll for our detour. The detour did cost us time, however, and we only made it to the border at 10 (though this did mean a shorter line at customs). I made use of my French-skills in translating a few signs, and we managed to find the hotel. There were some fans waiting in the lobby when we arrived, but all we could think about was sleep. Luckily we were shepherded upstairs by Seth/IRC Goliath and Dave/Wingless, who told us registration had been pushed back a few hours the next day. That suited us just fine. Through the elevator glass, we gaped at the view of the pool on the gym floor. Then we reached our room and crashed.
Not knowing where else to go, we decide to eat at the hotel. We fill up on omelets and buffet food to give us the energy to explore the city (by foot. Gore had his car, but due to a miraculous feat of squeezing it into a tiny parking space, he was very reluctant to take the car out again). We dash over to registration real quick to get our packets and, most importantly, the schedule of events. I begin a hunt for a laptop for a certain video project I was hoping to complete (I was almost positive either Gore or Seth would have brought one, but no luck). Seth does mention that Chris Rogers, with help from Lynati, managed to hook up a VCR to the hotel tv's (which were somehow modded to stop guests from doing that sort of thing). That gave us hope for Sean's PS2. So we go to the Staples-like store next door, but don't manage to find the remote that would let us switch the video input (this of course, assumed that we would manage to hook up the PS2 to the tv). As we're looking at the map in the con booklet, we set what may be a Multimedia City towards the top of the map. After fifteen minutes of walking what we thought was north, we see the word "ouest" on the *left* side of the map, which meant we had actually been going south the whole time. D'oh! On the walk back, Gore starts asking me to translate signs, and gets a real kick out of the "Je me souviens" on the Quebec license plates. I then teach him the opposite phrase, "J'oublies", and he amuses himself saying it throughout the con. For his impertinence, a Quebecan pigeon makes his shoulder its new roost. We only have time to explore 'North' a short distance, but we do manage to spot a "International Pasta" restaurant that I insist we go to for dinner. Sadly, the Asian-style building we'd been hoping was also a restaurant, turned out to be a Holiday Inn.
So we make it back in time for Greg's voice-acting panel. Normally I wouldn't have gone to this one, as I've heard it in the past. I was actually planning on going to the tour of Karine/Kanthara's animation studio, but that was unfortunately dropped out of the new schedule. Still, the fact that Keith David would be there made this one a bit more special. Only…it turned out Keith was delayed filming a scene for "Transporter 2". We were still treated to a unique twist when the DVD video crew turned up in the middle of the panel. [I will omit my detailed notes here and save them for my site, which if you're curious, can be found here: http://crossroads.dragonmists.org/fantasy/avalon/gathering/g2k4.html]. Afterwards, the room cleared for Radio Play auditions. Sean was as reticent as ever, which only made me less eager to try out. Gore had no problem putting himself near the front of the line. I stood back and hesitated, and then had my single personal encounter with the DVD crew, when they asked if I was auditioning. Then when I saw the crew going inside to film the tryouts (yikes!), and saw that Siryn (who I'd be embarrassed to act in front of) was going to help judge, I made a quick escape. My reasoning to everyone afterwards was that it'd be better to try out the following day, when Greg might be more desperate and forgiving.
As a consolation prize to having no PS2, Sean urges us to upgrade to a room with internet access. We go up to our new room on the 22nd floor and chat with Seth, as Sean tries to get his old laptop to boot for over an hour. I decide to give up on my project (guess it'll have to wait for 2005). Just as it activates, it's time to head to Opening Ceremonies. We manage to snag the front row right in front of Greg. I embolden myself to go up there and have a quick word with him (I really wish at some con, I'll have a chance to have an actual conversation with the guy). Then the con staff begin to speak one by one, until Maui and Abram hijack the mic to announce that the Clan Olympics' first event is starting right then and there. Greg looks bewildered and slightly annoyed (or perhaps worried about the chaos and how it would look on film), and I wonder if he had been warned of this ahead of time. I was relieved that enough people showed interest to fill ten teams. The goal was apparently to do a plastic-ball relay to fill a teammate's shirt (which had holes in it, though whether this was to allow balls to go in or to make it harder to keep them in, I wasn't sure). The team in front of us had so many balls, they had filled the sleeves and had to use their teeth to keep them up. Yet despite this, they were the losing team, which leads me to think that the goal was not the number of balls, but rather the kind of balls, as some apparently had points written on them (I really hope the rules were explained at the beginning to these people, or I consider this event to be horribly unfair). Balls kept falling to the floor, and Gore amused himself juggling them (until he was outstaged by Siryn).
Opening ceremonies then resumed with more con staff announcements. Gore ends up winning the Fandom Guest of Honor award, which was well deserved after all the hard work he put into making (and still upgrading) Station 8. The G2005 staff (Chris, Lanny, Aaron and Mara) show off their mascot and announce plans to tentatively hold the con July 21-Auguest 1 at the Las Vegas Plaza Hotel. They also want to organize a celebrity charity poker game to try to draw more guests, along with plans for a Grand Canyon trip and acquiring show tickets. Then Greg takes the mic and asks the con virgins to raise their hands (I'd say a good thirty people did-I wonder how many of them are Canadians who weren't able to make it before?). There were five people who had been to all 8 conventions. We then watched the spinoff pitches for Dark Ages, New Olympians and Bad Guys, as well as the original series pitch, and a video with interviews I don't think I've seen before (my memory is fuzzy, but Greg did mention he'd just received a new tape from Buena Vista). We also listened to the Team Atlantis crossover-episode audio tape. And as a surprise bonus, we got to listen to members of old Gargoyles cast and crew wish us well at the con. Included in the tape were Frank Paur, Keith David, Bob Kline, David Schwartz, Troy Miters, Vic Cook, Ed Asner, and Cripsin Freeman. Carol Wagner had collected the voices, but didn't have time to get any more before the con. And then of course, Greg announced the big news - that the DVD will be out on Dec 7th for $29.99, and that there would be an audio commentary for the "Awakening" 5-parter. He reminded us that he's done all he can, and that it's up to us now to get the word out and get as many people to buy it as we can if we hope to have a season 2 DVD, or even a continuation of the series. He also asked us to go to the DVD film crew and tell them how Gargoyles changed our lives (relationships, fan-writing/art, reading Shakespeare, getting tattoos, etc).
After Opening Ceremonies, we rushed to the con suite where they were showing the music videos. Apparently there was no system in place to project them, so we had to watch them on Liz's laptop. By the time we got there, they were already playing the and last one, so we forced them to play them all over again. My favorite was one to the music of Linkin' Park, mostly because the images were sometimes appropriate to the song, and because it didn't seem to drag on too long. Then I reminded my roommates about the pasta place we saw earlier (I'm a pasta-freak), and we invited Seth, Dave/Wingless, and Dan/Titanic/Gaburos to come with us. It was better than I could have imagined. It was only a small fast-food-like chain, but this place put professional Italian restaurants with pasta-combo deals to shame. You could pick from a dozen kinds of fresh pasta and 30-or-so sauces, and they would put the ingredients together and sauté them right in front of you. After skipping lunch, I needed a hearty meal, so I went with the linguini and stroganoff, though I salivated over everyone else's dishes as well (not literally, thankfully).
We were exhausted when we got back to the room, and I tried to decide whether it would be worth torturing myself trying to stay awake for the Blue-Mug-A-Guest. After assurances from Seth and Gore that they would take good notes, I finally allowed sleep to overtake me. So ends Day 2.
As some of you now know, Vash has been sheperding (sheperdessing?) the creation of the Team Atlantis animatic for "The Last". Anyone interested in helping out, by storyboarding a section or two should contact Vashkoda!
I posted this first in the Comment Room, but realized I should post them here:
Gathering of Gargoyles
August 6th - 8th
Delta Hotel, Montreal
First I have to point out: in terms of my attendance experience, this was a small convention. All conventions seem small after WorldCon, but at approximately 180 attendees, this one was a little larger than Primedia in 1999.
The big difference is: I had fun at this one.
I think it helped that this had a much more specific focus: PriMedia was for fans of all television media; this convention was solely for fans of Gargoyles, the most rich and fascinating animated show to come from Disney. As a result, we all had something in common.
It also helped that the convention was kept to 6 rooms spread over 3 small floors; PriMedia was all over a few long, empty floors of a hotel, helping it to feel like a ghost town.
I started the convention with a chuckle: when I filled out my registration form, I put my BBS alias (Thoth) in the nickname section.
When I got my registration badge, I learned it was the ONLY name listed! I don't think many there would recognize me from the name alone, but it still made for a funny thing.
I was amazed at how young most of the fans were: folks in their late teens or early 20s. The show really touched fans all over the age spectrum.
The 1st panel Friday I attended was called Perspective at 1 PM. I thought it might actually be about the show. At first I wondered if I was in the wrong room, as I was the only person there. Turned out the con chair who was hosting it was just running a little behind.
The panel was actually about drawing in perspective, something I learned in school. I stayed in case the panel speaker (the con chair Karine) needed some help. That was a bit of arrogance on my part: she's actually a working animator; I'm not.
This was the only drawing panel I attended during the con... since I can no longer draw that would just seem pointless.
We began learning just how quickly the hotel staff worked to please us: first, the a/c made the hotel feel chilly. That was fixed up quickly. Also: the speakers were blasting 'muzak' in all the rooms, making it hard to hear panelists. That too was fixed immediately.
I visited the con suite next. They didn't have snacks out yet, but the room was quite nice, and I got to enjoy some of the classic shows on tape. I'd forgotten about some of the episodes, like the one that introduced the Golem of Prague!
3 PM: RPG panel
The speakers were longtime gamers, owned a store in Seattle, and the wife was a published author. They relayed some fun "war stories" of their past games. This is something I never grow tired of.
Bringing the panel back to the reason for the con I asked what game they thought best to play Gargoyles. They mentioned how Steve Jackson has the write-ups (they were massive GURPS gamers), but can't publish them. Disney won't let anyone make money off their IP (even if they don't try) so I suspect legal reasons.
5 PM: Opening Ceremonies
This was attended by the most people I'd seen to date at the convention. Not surprising, since it was attended by one of the guests Greg Weisman (series creator and producer). ?
The Ceremonies were 'interrupted' by the first event of the Clan Olympics, a Gargoyles-themed version of the Color Wars we'd held in summer camp. The difference was again that these were fun. I got to hold one end of a dividing line rope for the first event.
Greg played an audio tape of some actors from the show expressing their apologies that they couldn't attend. The audience got very lively when Ed Asner spoke!
The Con Chair for next year had a speech. The con holds an Olympics-style city choice every year; Las Vegas won for next year. That's not a con I can afford along with Westercon. Two trips in less than a month would be too much.
Because of the Clan Olympics I had to leave before the end for Transport, so I missed some of Greg's speech. At least I was there for the most important part: the first 5 episodes (season one they call it) will be released on DVD on December 7th. Mark your calendar and get many folks to buy it, so that we can send the message to Disney that the series can be profitable. DVD sales are the reason Family Guy will be coming back next season. Maybe this could do the same thing for Gargoyles!
I grabbed some eats at a hotel snack shop. The hotel restaurant was too pricey, and breakfast was a buffet. Without someone else to carry my plate, I wouldn't be able to carry it.
10 AM Thrill of the Chase
This was my "Writer Panel" of the weekend. :) The panelists mostly were awake. One of them showed the effects of too much partying Friday night, not enough sleep.
The topic was, as the name implies, chase scenes. They spoke of the challenges to write a good one, of how a chase may have nothing to do with action, and how even Gargoyles had a show-long chase (Eliza Maza and Goliath). It was a very interesting panel.
Next was a convention lunch break. I spent it in the dealer's room. I haven't outgrown my D-R Liaison roots... the room had many more dealers, as often happens at smaller cons; dealers will save money by only being there for the longest day.
I had a neat surprise there: Emru & Tamu Townsend were both there for fps! I hung with them for most of the rest of the convention to talk shop, to share memories of my University days with Emru, etc (I just realized: he makes another APA link too!). They had past issues of the print magazine for sale and display. I was actually in more of them than I remembered: counting my online review, I actually have 5 to my credit, not 3 (two were in one issue that I own but haven't seen in many years). Counting my mini report for this con, I'll be up to 6 pieces so far.
12:30 PM Mug-a-guest : Greg Weisman
Several of us asked about a lot of things. I asked about Greg's dealings with voice actress Brigit Bako (I explain in the sidebar) and the seeming non-finish of the Avalon storyline (actually it was the World Tour. I had the wrong name). Others asked about different story points, Greg's opinion on current Disney 'toons (opinions cut to avoid hurting Greg if they come out wrong). It was an interesting panel.
Emru went aside with Greg to interview him for the magazine, and I spent the time chatting with Tamu. Afterward I had lunch w/Em. We went a short enough walk into downtown, but it was enough to leave me wiped out. We took a small cab ride back to the convention; I wanted to pay for it, but Emru did - it was his chance to expense something to the magazine. :) We came back to:
3:30'ish PM Radio play
This was Greg's final episode of the show, read by attendees. There were differences from how the show originally aired; not a surprise, since Greg wasn't the series editor by then. Unfortunately Keith David was delayed due to a film shoot, otherwise he intended to be there to read the Goliath part. Rob St-Martin, the convention Vice Chair, read it instead. It was a fun piece. Emru made a joke about the Auditorium we sat in; it was as if we were back in school!
Rob St-Martin added to the NaNoWriMo reunion of the weekend: he, Karine and the smaller Mark all ran things, while the taller Mark (I don't know his last name. Mike might) was there, and Chris Taras (who ran our NaNo-group) ran the Auction. It was very successful from what I hear.
I couldn't afford the Banquet too, and I missed both it and the Masquerade - but I still reserved my evening Transport after those events. I ended up eating supper at hotel restaurant. I tried the con suite after, but it was closed for those events as well. Fortunately I only had a 30-minute wait for Transportation after though. That's far better than a 2-hour wait!
I almost forgot: I saw our friend Kriquor at the Radio play. I saw his name on the pre-reg list, and guessed he'd be there as David Xanathos, but this was my first chance to see him. He's another friend now living in Toronto, sadly. :(
I did see one of the folks in hall costume (or for the Masquerade) outside of the Radio Play too. I wish I'd had my camera ready, because it was breathtaking.
I spent most of the day in the Dealer's Room with Emru & Tamu. The only panel I wanted to attend the most for the day would be there anyway.
10 AM'ish Mug-a guest w/ Keith David
There were a lot of people seated to wait for him... I told him how he was one degree of separation from Brigit for me. He said he may say hi to her for me, but I won't hold him to it. Unless he recalls my name, I don't expect him to remember me.
His speech turned into a long diatribe on how soldiers can't easily adjust to regular life after war, but once he began talking about his career, it was gold.
One thing that stood out: he listed Gargoyles as an animated series, not a cartoon. As he said, cartoons are now things aimed at kids (in North America, granted), whereas the series was far more sophisticated. This was very apt to many of us.
Before he arrived I passed through the art show, as it would be taken down soon after. There were some very talented artists shown... of course the primary subjects were characters from the show.
After Keith's speech, Emru had a prize drawing. He'd got folks on an fps mailing list for a chance at a prize. I won one of them: a CD of music inspired by anime. I didn't win the grand prize (a season 3 DVD set for Family Guy), but I may get it anyway... Em will try to get me all 3 seasons to do a series overview.
2 PM Closing Ceremonies
This started with another speech from the 2005 Con Chair (Vegas: I can dream...) then a long string of awards for folks in the art show. Then we got the winners of the Clan Olympics. They spotlighted the lady who had the first pre-registration to this convention. She came from Australia - wow!
I unfortunately had to miss Keith David's final words as I had to get my Transport home.
I had fun at this convention. It had a smaller set of panels, only two guests - but the fact that it was on a focused theme, that I knew quite a few folks there, that everyone was friendly... it was definitely worth the time and effort.
I'm counting the days now until the DVD comes out, and I'm hoping to get to the 2006 Gathering - the 10th anniversary!
Did you make it? Are you still around?