A Station Eight Fan Web Site
The Con, Day 1 and Day 2
FRIDAY, JUNE 27TH
The 1st day of the con. It went hella fast.
I didn't really do much, aside from poking around the Dealer's Room, auditioning for the Radio Play, (where I had read for
both Brooklyn AND Hudson) and attending the mandatory Opening Ceremonies. Nothing really new to say, if I may be frank,
since it was the same material (Bad Guys leica reel, early Gargoyles pitch, etc.) that seems to show every year, but I was
Went to the bar afterwards for a beer. My 2nd or so that whole day. Drinking it outside, even. What a great idea, Ed.
Bought a bitchin' $15 Yama shirt. Also put a bid on the 'Gargoyles Vs. Predator' piece.
SATURDAY, JUNE 28TH
Found out I wasn't cast in the Radio Play. Damn.
Oh, well. Can't win 'em all, right?
Sat through Keith David's Mug-A-Guest. He talked some about his acting. Answered various questions from random fans and
signed an autograph for my ex-boss (being a Keith fan, she'd been begging me for months before the con even started) and
another, for myself, (on my 'There's Something About Mary' tape) as well.
Had dinner with A Fan, VidTheKid, Patrick, (new guy named Patrick, not Patrick Toman) Chyna Rose, and... whatever his name
was. Nearly burned my mouth (even after letting it cool for a few minutes) on a meatball sub, and had more Garlic Bread
then there was room for. Chyna Rose's appetite was ruined after she found a small piece of glass in her food. Can't say I
blame her. Glad I never have to eat there again. Would not want to, after THAT. Damn.
Went to the library across the road from the Orrington to catch up on my email.
Radio Play was fun. As I had suspected, (I was probably not alone in my suspicions) the play was about Gargoyles issues #7,
#8, and #9. The hail outside made things a little difficult, but it didn't last long and definitely didn't ruin it.
Keith was Goliath and Thom was Lex, of course. Jen 'CrzyDemona' gave a great turn as Shari. Greg requested a vow of secrecy
for the events of #9, which, just like last year's rendition of #3-#5, I'm keeping. At least until issue 9 is out and the
RP footage ends up on YouTube.
Blue Mug was... okay, though far from 'blue'. Tried to ask a couple raunchy questions, but I was overtired and my brain was
fried, so I couldn't even be coherent. Yay. So, I wasn't entirely in a 'Blue' mood. After 2 failed attempts, I caved and
went with the non-blue flow, asking Greg W. why he'd chosen to place 'Gargoyles' in Manhattan instead of L.A. or Chicago.
Eventually retired to my room for the night, hoping to catch '28 Weeks Later' on HBO. But, wouldn't you know it, the
eastern time zone had screwed me up and I'd ended up missing the first hour of it. Dammit. Returned afterwards hoping that
the Blue Mug was still going. Nope.
So far, luck has not seemed to really be on my side at this year's con.
I returned to my room and went to bed. Really needed sleep at that point.
NEXT: The Conclusion Of My Con Journal.
Sleep is always good.
2008 Gathering Journal:
5 am comes way too early, more so when you only had about 4.5 hours of sleep. After getting up at that way too early hour, I ate breakfast, took a quick shower and headed out to the airport for my 7:55 am flight. This year, I flew out on Southwest for the first time in 9 years.
I managed to take a short nap on the first hop of the flight, which was into Lost Wages, eh, Las Vegas. Of course, I noticed that my plane landed at Terminal C and my flight into Chicago-Midway Airport was at Terminal B. To get there, I had walk down a flight of steps to the bottom of the terminal and take a shuttle bus. So I got to a mini-tour of the flight line.
My flight out Las Vegas was delayed about an hour because they decided to change which runways the planes where using for taking off. According to the pilot, we would get in nearly 25 minutes late. Well, that was a bit too optimistic. We landed around 50 minutes late.
After finally got off of the plane, I turned on the cell phone to call Mandolin, only to find her plane had taken off late. After getting my bags, I found a place to wait and she finally arrived around 6:30, about 2 hours late. From there, we tried to find the shuttle to get to the hotel only to find out we were supposed to call and reserve the day before. And for some reason or another, they had lost Mandolin's reservation.
We decided to snag a taxi and after some confusion and about an hour, we finally got to the hotel. After checking in, the hunt was on for some badly needed dinner. We wound up at Chile's where talked about some of the various BS going on at our jobs.
I picked up some Gatorade at the CVS before going back to the hotel. Mandi and I talked a bit more before finally going to sleep around midnight.
We both got up just before 8:30 and learned Merlin Missy would be joining us in about 45 minutes. Just after we both finished ours showers, Merlin called again and met us at the room. From there, we headed to Panera Bread Café for some breakfast. I got a chocolate chip bagel with butter and a lemonade.
Went back to the hotel and decided to find out where the registration desk would be. Found a few other fans waiting around and decided to take a seat. After it opened up, I ended up helping at the registration desk once again.
Around 2 or so, a number of us took off for lunch at Chile's. It was Revel, Mara, Mandi, Kayote, Lynati, 8 others and myself. Like the night before, I had the cheddar bacon burger. On the way back, we ended up talking for a while before getting ready for Opening Ceremonies.
And we all sat through Greg Weisman's usual spill. Of course, Greg nearly forgot to do the Team Atlantis: The Last part. Tsk, tsk, Greg.
Once all of that was done, a small group of us decided to go find dinner. We ended up at Celtic Knot. I got the soup and sandwich, which was grilled cheese with bacon. After that, Sarah The Great wanted to get some liquor. Once that was taken care of, all of us wound up at the Ben & Jerry's for some ice cream
I got the triple caramel. It was rather delicious. Back at the hotel, I decided to join Jen, Patrick, Mara, Gorebash and a couple others. After a while, we ended up in Susan's room about various things until 2:30 am.
I woke up around 7:15 or so and tried to get back to sleep. I think I managed to doze off until 8:30. Took a shower and then went off to Dunkin' Donuts for some breakfast. Also got a Mt. Dew to drink.
Around 10, I helped Patrick and Missy Merlin set up the registration desk. Also got to say hello to Siryn and sometime later, he husband Adam. We got a number of walk-in registrations.
We ended up talking for quite a while before closing down for the radio show. This year I decided to take nap since I didn't get as much sleep as I wanted, but told Mandi to give me a call when they were done so we could go get dinner.
We ended up at some Italian restaurant and got a pair of pizzas for our 8 person group. One we had on a deep dish wheat crust with sausage and the other was on the regular deep dish crust with pepperoni.
The food was pretty good and we wandered back to the hotel. While the rest when drink some wine and watch Dr. Who, I decided to work on my con journal and do some writing. It didn't work out too well since I ended up watching Shrek, the end of Miami Vice and some other random stuff.
I think I called it a night around 12:30 am.
All of us woke around 6:45 when Mandi's phone rang, but went back to sleep shortly afterwards. We dozed off until just before just 8:30. Missy ran off to get breakfast for herself and Mandi. I decided to browse the net before jumping in the shower and running off to get breakfast.
Once again I got Dunkin' Donuts and picked up a strawberry filled donut for Mandi. After eating, I decided to hang out with Y2Hecate in the art room after voting on the art.
As folks came in, I told them to vote on the art since by that point we only havd 4 votes counting mine. At one point, our Con chair Susan decided to buy on the comic ink pages and said "I'm not tiddly-winks with Greg Bishansky anymore." This got a pretty good laugh.
We ended chatting a while before closing down for the banquet. While Mandi and Missy changed into dresses, I changed my shift into something a little more formal. All of us join Siryn and her husband Adam at one of the tables. There were two others there, but I didn't catch their names. Dinner was salad, chicken and a fruit tart.
After we were done eating, they had a trivia contest and we blew it on the first question. Oops. Of course, this cost us in the end, but oh, well. The sudden death round took while since a few of the tables took a while to get eliminated.
After that was over, we headed back to the room for a little before the masquerade started. Mandi and Missy headed off to Sarah's room for some wine while I tried to work on my writing and journal.
There were some pretty nice costumes this year. Managed to take a number of photos and forgot who won what. I ended up circulating and getting some more photos before Thom, Flanker, Missy, Madni, Jillian, and I headed down to Thom's room to play some Uno. After a little while, Ethan and a couple others joined us. We played several rounds before calling it a night around 1:30
All of us woke up around 8 and started to pack up after showering and getting breakfast. One again, I went to Dunkin' Donuts. Got my usual marble donuts with a bottle of Mt. Dew. How I miss them in California. I ate in the room before heading up to the 9th floor to chat with others.
I chatted with Revel and Gside a little bit before helping write out receipts for folks paying for the artwork they bought. I picked up "Lucy as Sekhmet" by Spike. Around 11:30, Mandi and I went down to the room to get our suitcases out when we discovered the keys had expired before the noon check-out time.
After getting the keys fixed, we went back and got our stuff. I went back upstairs to help for a little bit while Mandi finished the checking out. I managed to chat with Y2Hecate and a couple others before we had to leave at around 12:30. I hate having to leave from another great Gathering before it totally wrapped up.
Our shuttle was a few minutes late and we got to spend the next hour winding our way to the airport. Both of us got through check-in and security rather quickly. Both of got lunch while waiting for our flights. Mandi and I said goodbye to each other around 3:40 before she boarded her 4 o'clock flight back to Baltimore.
Having a bit of time to waste for my 5:30 flight, I decided to browse one of the newsstands/ bookstores. I picked up a Chicago shooter glass to add to my collection at home. I also got a Dale Brown book, "Dreamland: Satan's Tail." It's been a while since I've read any of his books and I figured if I can't get out the laptop during the flight, I could read something.
After that, I still had a little over an hour, so I decided to dig out my laptop and watch some of Futurama season 3. A little after 5, they started the boarding for my flight and we took off on time.
Since the plane was fairly packed, I decided to read "Dreamland: Satan's Tail." The good news about the book was that it was just long enough to kill of the flight time into Las Vegas. And I'll admit that while I'm fan of military thrillers, this one wasn't all that impressive.
After the plane landed, I discovered that once again, I got to take a shuttle bus from Terminal C to Terminal B. And of course, I just had barely enough time to get a quick bite to eat before the final hop into Sacramento. There ended up being a 10 minute delay in leaving since there another flight connecting with this one was late.
Strangely, this happened to be the only flight during the entire trip for that was full. I spent most of the short flight staring out the window or reading the in-flight magazine. My trip came to an end when we landed around 9:45, thus bringing my 2008 Gathering trip to a close. And the brought about the start of saving for the 2009 Gathering.
See, gang, follow his example. START SAVING NOW!!
Con Report continued...
Set the alarm for 9 and headed on out to the radio play auditions. I was way more nervous than I thought I was so I didn't do anywhere near as well as I could have. I wound up not making the cut but I don't mind too much. It has made me determined to make it next year though. After that I pretty much just hung out in the dealer's room. If I recall correctly a bunch of us from the dealer's room went out for sushi as well. The radio play was hilarious and tons of fun. I'm not going to say more than that since it involved the next comic. The blue mug was later on that night and it was hilarious and a lot of fun.
Had to wake up kinda early yet again so we could get set up for the day in the dealer's room. After that I hit Thom's mug-a-guest where he was adorable as usual. He's just so damn sweet I can't help but go a little fanboy. *grins* The iron artist was "interesting" lol Macaroni boobs *snerk*. After that I ran out to the local comic shop to see if I could snag any of the comics and I was both disappointed and pleased. They did carry both the comics and the trade but they were sold out! =) I was able to get the scrapbook pages signed instead. As a lark I bought a figure for a couple bucks. It's out of the box so I don't feel bad playing with it. Heh The banquet was great fun although we didn't win the trivia contest. Thom sat at our table which was a fabulous treat. The masquerade had quite a few great costumes and was a treat as always. Hung out, danced, schmoozed, snapped pics. After a bit Thom invited a bunch of us up to his room for Uno. That was wonderful and something I'll never forget.
Morning had us working on getting out of the room and checking out early so we wouldn't have to worry about doing it closer to noon. After that I went to the Blue Mug Productions panel. Let's just say I look forward to seeing what comes out of that. Heh heh. Closing ceremonies were bittersweet but I greatly look forward next year.
So that's it. All in all, out of the four cons I've attended so far over the years, this was my favorite.
Our hope is that each one is better than the last...
2008 Gathering of the Gargoyles
Gorebash's Con Journal
Friday, June 27, 2008
I arrived at O'Hare to find my luggage missing. So it goes. I hopped into a shuttle and headed for Evanston, Illinois where this year's con was being hosted. The ride was less than an hour and I spent the time staring out the window. It felt like you could graft the landscape onto areas around my home town and you'd never notice the difference.
The hotel is right in the middle of the city with lots of shops and restaurants within a couple blocks. I figured I could go about picking up some new clothes the following day. I checked in and ran up to registration on the ninth floor where I was greeted by many familiar faces. It was late in the day and opening ceremonies were about to begin. I killed some time hanging out around the registration desk and the dealer's room nearby before heading over to catch the official start of the con.
Opening ceremonies was the usual affair. We met this year's con staff (who, it cannot be said enough, did an amazing job) and heard about next year's con being held in Los Angeles. We watched the pitches for Gargoyles, Dark Ages, and New Olympians as well as the leica reel for Bad Guys. We also watched the latest version of "The Last", which had quite a bit of new material added since last year. Very cool. But before any of this, there was the Gargoyles music video contest. Unlike past years the videos were shown during opening ceremonies so we all got to watch them. The videos were great, although I was a bit disappointed by the focus on Demona/Goliath/Elisa. There's just so much depth to the show that I think it might force the video producers to focus on one or two characters only. I'll have to put my money where my mouth is and see what happens.
After the show a bunch of us grabbed a bite to eat at a nearby restaurant. I had a pizza which was apparently bathed in vinegar before being served. Later on a group of us retreated to Susan's suite (one of the organizers of the con) and laughed ourselves silly for a few hours over glasses of a maple liquor that I decided tasted like pancakes. A bit of physical violence, a dash of tomfoolery and a heaping spoonful of debauchery insued, however no one got their goop in anyone else's hair.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
The pancakes were still there when I awoke in the form of a pounding headache. So with breakfast already sorted out I made my way to the radio play auditions still wearing the clothes in which I'd arrived. The funk did not detract much from my audition as I was able to air things out a bit on a rather large balcony next to the audition room. From there I could see that a couple streets around the hotel had been blocked off with white tents lining the street. It turns out that there was a street fair going on right next to the hotel.
Once the audition was over I went out in search of clothing. A nearby Gap store looked to be my savoir. I then disocvered that this Gap store (and perhaps its sisters across the country) are unaware that there are people who weight over 100 pounds. Any attempt to wear these clothes in public would result in certain wardrobe malfunctions that might generate the same kind of visceral reactions as those from "Man Faye".
I asked the front desk about nearby department stores and was told to grab a cab and tell them to go to "Target on 2-E". At least that's what I heard. The cabbie seemed to know what I meant. At first. $25 worth of cab fare later I asked him to just pull into a Wal-Mart we were passing, at which point he expressed that there had been several Wal-Marts much closer to the hotel and wondered why I'd picked a store that was so far away. He waited while I made a mad dash to grab all the essentials including several flowery Hawaiian shirts that were on sale and in "over 100 pounds" sizes.
Back at the hotel and in fresh clothes (sporting that New Clothes Smell) I found a room where episodes of Gargoyles were being shown. I thought this a nice way to kill yet more time until the Radio Play rehearsals. There were a few others there as well eating away at various fast foods from nearby locations. This immediately reminded my stomach that I was hungry and it would not shut up until food was within its grasp. A half hour later I was back watching Gargoyles armed with an assortment of fried foods. My stomach commented on its preference of onion rings to fries and my inability to reflect this in my food order, but it was satiated.
A small stage with a big cast meant many in the radio play would have to hold two or more roles. I was an exception. I'd been cast in the role of Coldsteel and we would be performing issues seven, eight and nine of the comic book (even though issue nine has yet to hit the streets; a sneak peek!) in chronological order. I tried to do my best, although it seems the way I read the lines in my head (which were perfect readings) were the exact opposite of how I would read them aloud, which frustrated me to no end.
After a twenty minute break we assembled back outside the auditorium to perform in front of everyone. Keith David (voice of Goliath) and Thom Adcox (voice of Lexington) would reprise their roles. They were both introduced to thunderous applause and I immediately challenged myself to steal even greater applause for no reason whatsoever. It's amazing what you can accomplish by playing to the crowd.
As the radio play started, so did a very strong rain storm. The dimensions of this hotel, at over nine stories tall, could still be considered "squat". Even so I believe I felt the whole building sway back and forth as the wind pounded it with incredible force. The noise alone was so great we had to virtually yell our lines out at times. And as the play ended, so did the storm. This is the power of Greg Weisman's written word.
After the play I went outside on the balcony to get a first-hand view of the storm and was in for a bit of a shock. It turns tarp and canvas supported by light, aluminum frames make excellent sails. Unfortunately the tents along the streets were never told they were not sails. There were several fire trucks and ambulances and tents strewn across the streets of Evanston, Illinois. It was so bad that all of the local news stations made there way out to cover the destruction. Later that night there would be a large pile of bent and broken aluminum structures collected at the intersection of the roads the street fair was on.
That night I was in for a treat. I had conned my way into a trip out to a nearby steak house (http://www.petemillers.com) with several of the con staff and special guests. This was not an entirely inexpensive place to eat and while I was expecting that, the eighty bucks I had brought along would barely cover my end of the bill. I'd overheard one waitress explaining how the filets were the least flavorful of the cuts offered, however they were the cheapest and that's what I ordered. Three small filets, each topped with a different spice (horseradish, parmesean, and one other that I can't remember). These were, and I'm not joking, the three tastiest pieces of meat I have ever had in my life. The garlic mashed potatoes were like buttery silk draped over wisps of air.
The dinner conversation was what I now consider "normal for the con" and almost entirely unprintable, but I think everyone had a really good time. A friend of Susan's was there (I believe her name was Nicole, although it sounded far more exotic than that) who, I was told, needed help finding the hotel and would I help. The logic behind this choice wass very flawed. We got into her car, she asked which way, and I said whatever direction in which the car is pointed. Through sheer luck this turned out to be correct and about 100 yaerds later we were at the hotel. Certain it would take the others many seconds to walk this distance I suggested we grab a drink at the hotel bar and wait for them to arrive. We did. And they did, but we didn't notice and got to talking for a bit, until I reminded via text message that our lack of presence had generated some questions. So up to the ninth floor we went for the blue mug.
The con's special guests were there to take any and all questions about any and all things that might not otherwise be appropriate to ask in mixed company. It's hit or miss each year and this year seemed between both ends of the spectrum. After an hour or two a group of us left as we were all starting to feel the later effects of the evening's beverage consumption.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Dressed in another of my recently purchased loud and obnoxious Chicago flair I made for the dealer's room. It was becoming habit that whenever I had time to kill I would hang out in the dealer's room/registration desk area. Usually I'd wind up just pestering Rebekah who was managing the artchicks.org table. I took the time to browse the art gallery and fill out the voting slip that BrooklynX was pushing on people like a man with a handful of pamphlets on the Vegas strip. Tucked away in one corner were the works of Y2Hecate and one in particular caught my eye. It was of Fox done up as a sort of Japanese fox spirit (with fox ears and several tails). It was up for sale and I put in a bid of $25. The following day this piece of art would go home with me.
The registration desk was selling tickets to a raffle in which two cels from Gargoyles were put up as prizes. Twenty bucks got you thirty tickets and that's what I bought. One of the cels had been framed and the other was not. My kind of logic immediately identified all the problems there would be trying to carry this long, framed thing onto the airplane, so I dumped all my tickets into the decidedly non-framed cel.
It was about this time I was drafted. The Gathering auction would be held later that day and they needed some auctioneers. So Seth (IRC Goliath) and I were pulled into the fold. Seth taunted me with his ideas on how to extract bids from people at the expense of my dignity (which at this point had been worn down like a bar of soap so that all you're left with is a little sliver just before you finally decide it's not worth it and replace it with a new bar). Several others offered their support of Seth's ideas. I did not.
I took some time to head over to a nearby outdoor/wilderness store which sold, among other things, bags. Specifically luggage bags. I had bought all these clothes and I needed to bring them home in something. And like the Gap, where a plain white t-shirt will run you twelves bucks, this place was more expensive than I needed. However I was in no mood for another cab ride and settled upon a very simple backpack laced in tags that advertised this was an eco-friendly bag made of weeds and berries so that you could, in a pinch, simply eat the thing if you were hungry. Funny, that, as it'd be a more expensive meal than my previous night's dinner.
Back at the hotel I threw down a bid of three dollars on a Gargoyles clock that nobody had bid on. This too would go home with me. It was then time for the auction and we had a bit of a rough start as we worked out the logistics of what was up for auction and what was not. Anything with 1 or 2 bids from the silent auction went to the person who palced the bid (like my clock). Anything with none, three or more bids went into the auction. With that settled we began.
The auctions can be interesting affairs. Usually I'll see new stuff every year that I never knew existed. We had several hard-wired Kenner action figures, but it turns out they came in a couple varieties: American and international. The international figures have slightly different decals and the print on the packaging was different so that it could include Spanish and French versions of the text. Both versions, however, contained many brightly colored plastics. A point of value I made many times throughout the auction. A point of value many seemed to agree on as well.
Seth and I tried to make our best effort. I tried to be funny where I could. I tried to be desparate to the point of being funny where I could. I tried to be obnoxious and loud to the point of being funny where I could. It seemed to help a little bit. We sold every item up for auction, but a few are worth commenting on. First was a talking Goliath bank. These are hard to find and Keith David was going to have one. When he showed up the bidding began and quickly rose to over $150. In the end Keith won out and the bank is now his. There was also a set of four mugs with the faces of Brooklyn, Broadway, Lex and Bronx on them. Thom Adcox was after this set as he (I believe) lost his Lex mug. He eventually turned up and bidding on this item went to nearly $100. Thom eventually backed out and these went to someone else, although rumor has it a deal was struck for Thom to buy the Lex mug off the winner. Also up for auction was a complete set of the Gargoyles Applause figures which are really hard to find. Bidding for these nearly reached $300! But the big ticket piece for the evening, and the last to be auctioned off, was a framed lithograph signed by the artist and embossed with the Gargoyles logo. I had bid on a similar piece at the 2006 con except that had been just a print and it wasn't signed by the artist, nor did if have the logo embossment. This was something special and it went for a special price reaching $400!! All totalled we pulled in over a thousand dollars from the auction, all of which goes towards next year's con. After the auction we got ready for the evening banquet followed by the masquerade.
The banquet had a new feature this year in the form of a trivia contest. Tables were pitted against each other in Gargoyles trivia. My table hung in there pretty long, but eventually fell to a questiona bout Alexander Xanatos' job prior to the Space Spawn invasion. This is information you could only get from having read Ask Greg, which makes it all the more embarrasing that I didn't get it. The winning table received a bunch of prizes to divide among themselves including a bunch of nice looking Gargoyles calendars. The food itself was good, but nothing will ever be great after my trip to Pete Miller's.
After the food there was a break while the place was setup for the masquerade. A group of us went down to the hotel bar for a beer and a bit of Cubs/Sox action while we waited. The costumes were awesome. Karine had a sweet Robyn Canmore as the Hunter costume. Best in show went to a gargoyle tourist costume (complete with straw hat, Hawaiian shirt, and camera) and the Thom Adcox memorial award went to an Odin costume which included a bit of cosplay and a line about Lexington and Odin using his (Lex's) one eye. It was an appropriate award.
But while the judges worked out the awards I went back down for another beer and completely missed the raffle drawing. Upon my return, however, I was accosted by several people using words like "lucky", "rigged" and several vulgarities. It turns out that I'd actually won the cel I'd put my tickes in for. It's a scene from "Eye of the Beholder" where Goliath is fighting Fox in here werefox form with Elisa in the background holding her gun trying to get a shot. This was the very definition of awesome.
Then everyone started dancing. Some found a laptop with two controllers and a fighter game installed on it and a corner of the ballroom in which to play. Others found a guy who had just won a cel and thought he'd be better off dancing even if he was in disagreement with that particular evaluation. Who would, at one point, find himself grinding with a couple ladies in a fashion that may have resembled the beginnnings of a conga line to the daughters of one of said ladies, who immediately lined up behind their mother, along with their friends, and started to mimic what she was doing. And this cel-winning gentlemen, of high moral content, was quite certain, as the camera bulbs flashed away, that he would soon be in jail.
Late into the evening a group of us retreated back to Susan's room to finish off some spicy wines and continue from where we'd left off Friday.
Monday, June 30, 2008
The shuttle back would pick me up at about 12:30pm so I had just enough time to catch a panel on something called "Blue Mug Productions". It is to be an organization, led by a man named Edmund, which would endeavor to produce litterature and art high in quality as it is in depravity. Samples of which I was able to catch throughout the con, some of which were put on display at the panel. The one-eyed Edmund and his angels of the arts announced their works would soon be available online for a fair price to those that might wish a bit of distraction. We were shown the first few pages of the first issue of this online comic and, unlike Black Cat, the main character did get goop in her hair. So it goes.
Twelve-thirty arrived and so I departed wishing Edmund and his angels good luck.
This time my new bag, with my new clothes, made the trip without getting lost.
And it turns out my old bag, for one brief moment at 12:30pm on the very Monday, just as the Blue Mug Productions panel was in full swing, made a brief appearance at a baggage claim area in Syracuse, NY. I was left a message about this at my office and have since called them back only to find the bag has since gone missing again. Who knows where it will pop up next. China, perhaps?
Despite this, it was an awesome time that I wish could last a few weeks rather than a few days, but I'll take and enjoy every second that I get.
And no Gathering would be complete without the Gorebash!
The day of Thor:
Like last year, the Gathering is a family affair for me. My mom, sister, and two brothers all went to the con. ROAD TRIP!!!
My clan headed out at around 10:30, which was kinda surprising considering that usually when we say we're going to leave at a certain time, we leave 2 hours later, but this time we only left an hour late.
We knew we were on a tight budget from the get go. We could only stay at the hotel one night, but fortunately: I'm an Army Brat. We used to live near Chicago, and we were able to crash with an old friend. It was to her house we were headed.
Even though we were tight on money, we splurged at an Arby's on the trip down. Tris and Kathleen (or Phoenix-Talon as she prefers to call herself whenever she can find an excuse) slept part of the way, whilest my mom and I took turns driving. I expected the trip to take longer than it did, so did my mom. We arrived at Marty's (our friend)house after only about 4 hours, though the Yahoo map took us there through a lot of back-roads.
We got there and talked a little about the con with her, showed her my Grimorum Arcanorum Anthology from the '06 gathering, where I had a story as well. She'd set up the guest room for Kat and my mom, and the camper for me and my brothers. I tried to sleep in the camper, but the mosquitoes decided I was an all-you-can-eat-buffet and wanted to test the "all-you-can-eat" part.
I grabbed my pillow and the blanket I bought in Madagascar (hand-woven, high-quality, and very warm) and crashed on her couch. I couldn't get much sleep, so I spent most of the time watching TV, and thinking in full gargoyle-ish mode. I couldn't wait.
MORE TO COME:
The family that gathers together...
TUESDAY, JUNE 24TH.
Left the house with David A.K.A. VidTheKid at around noon. Got gas and then an oil change (also need to replace the air filter soon) at a local auto repair, followed by lunch. Then we finally hit the road. Arrived at Arlington Heights around 8 PM and checked into a La Quinta. Tried to call my cousin, who lives in Chicago, to make plans, but no go. She was going out of town for a friend of hers who was due to give birth within a day or so. Disappointing for me, but congrats to the new mother.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 25TH
Bought some books at Border's and non-perishable food items (plus the new Futuama: Beast Of A Billion Backs) at Meijer's before
Did some basic exploration of downtown Chicago. VidTheKid tried to take me up to the 103rd floor of the Sears Tower, but I disappointed him (and myself) when my fear got control of me, and I just couldn't do it. Dammit. I HATE that I am afraid of heights. Oh, well, at least we saved $13. Just gotta think positive. Anyhow, when he'd gone up without me, I kept myself busy (and quickly grew bored) at the gift shop in the basement, trying (and failing) constantly to work up the willpower to go join him up there.
THURSDAY, JUNE 26TH.
Visited Woodfield Mall. Bought a 7 inch screen portable DVD player at Radio Shack for $69 (plus a $30 rebate) and some cheap (4 for $12) DVDs at FYE. Found 2 video games (but I only bought 1 to save $$$) that I'd been looking for at a GameStop. Had a pepperoni Pizza lunch at Sbarro's. Eventually, VidTheKid and I drove to O'Hare airport to pick up A Fan, and the three of us headed out. Stopped at this 50's styled diner (the atmosphere and the employees were 1950's-like. The customers weren't.) and then drove around trying to find the Orrington (I guess even full fledged roadgeeks like VidTheKid can get lost, even if he would say the contrary). Having already checked out of the La Quinta, of course, we let A Fan check in (we paid him for our share via a check later) before going to our room for a night of relaxation.
Went downstairs for a beer, and made the bad mistake of trying to say hello to some of the guests at what I didn't KNOW had been a private party, which I would hear some about later. Damn. *sighs* I can be an idiot sometimes. A friendly idiot, but still a little naive at times. Oh, well, just something to learn from, right?
End transmission. Cobra out.
NEXT: The Con, Day 1
Saying hi is fine. Don't sweat it.
Thursday - I had school so I had to get a ride home from Kerry Boyd so we could go ahead and start packing her car for the drive from GA to Chicago. Shortly after 11pm Vox Mortuum got home and we headed out for the 11+ hour drive to the con. Getting there was pretty uneventful.
Friday - We made it to the hotel shortly before noon so we were able to go ahead and check in and get set up in the dealer's room. We gave Karine her commission and she literally bounced over to get her. It was so cute. =D
Hung out in the dealer's room helping my girl and schmoozing. After a bit we were able to give the con mascot dolls that were made to the con-chair (doing so has become a bit of a tradition and our way of thanking them for all their hard work). The best part though was that we were able to give the other guests theirs. Seeing Greg Weisman, Keith David, and Thom Adcox squeeing over the dolls that my girl created made me very proud. It was wonderful seeing everyone loving her work so much.
Eventually Opening Ceremonies started. They showed the entries for the music video contest which made me want to do one or two of my own but aside from one idea which I'm not divulging yet, I don't know what I'm going to do. The three of us were starving so we slipped out during Greg's presentation of pitches and such because we'd seen them last year. Went out for dinner then staggered back to the room and pretty much just fell out.
To be continued when I'm a bit more awake.
Take your time. I'm always here.
Saturday: After only sleeping a few hours I woke up and was still feeling the effects of the 6 hour liquid heart attack drink. In fact I would say I was feeling more so. I rarely bolt of bed all hyper. I tried to ad some finishing touches on my presentation (which was sloppily thrown together a few days before). I auditioned for the Radio Play. The play is one of those things that sort of don't want to do, but when I sit and watch it I regret not participating. I love the auditioning part, I get a weird thrill out of it. Even though I've only done it a couple of times, all the material was super familiar, so I did Al Pacino reading Brooklyn. The guys laughed and I got a part. Thankfully not as big as last years. I went to Josh Silver's panel on careers in entertainment. He was a really cool dude to talk to and I hope he keeps coming to more Gatherings. I had lunch with Sarah and Aaron, and I got nervous that I would be late for my own panel on weapons. I changed into some more formal attire, grabbed my laptop and at the last minute realized there was no way to hook it up to the large flat screen monitors in the room. So I would load up an image and pass my laptop around. Overall I was very dissappointed with my panel. I didn't have any firearms or other weapons to show people, my material felt very dry. The room was full and noboby left, which was great, but the energy wasn't there. Jenn sounds interested in having me run the panel again next year. If I can make it to LA it'll be much better. Fourth time's a charm...right?
I was talking with Ed and Phil after my panel and suddenly it was time for the Radio Play. I had two smaller parts this time around. I won't get into details but I really think I bombed out on my first part. Sorry Greg. Sitting behind Keith and hearing him read Goliath was definitely my fan nerd freak out moment of the weekend. So was finally getting caught up on the comics and seeing Karine's amazing work.
After the Play I had dinner. A bunch of us went to this fancy steak joint with an over energetic waiter. Being the luckiest nerdy fanboy in the world, I got to sit with not only Thom, but Karine AND Keith! Okay brainfart time: sitting across from me, we talking about Japan and stuff. I'll remember your name as soon as I turn this computer off...
I ate a giant steak and tried to act like an adult and ordered a vodka martini. There was a tiny dead fly in it when it arrived so I asked Thom 'where's Pupert these days? Look he's in my glass!' I guess child celebrities always turn out like that.
By the time of the Blue Mug I was super tired but managed to show everyone that Navy ad on youtube that compares a Japanese recruiting video with one of Keith's. Then I fell into a small coma.
Sunday: Another great breakfast in the hotel's diner then I took in some amazing art and panels. I want to get Greg a military dress uniform and those blue curtains with the Pentagon logo behind him and he can sit there and go 'I'm not answering that...I have no information at this time...I'm not answering that...a wizard did it...'
I thought the Iron Artist competition sounded like fun, only to learn I would be subjected to horrible cruelties under Karine's menacing gaze. Macaroni art? TABERNAC!!
I was too disgusted with my entry and fled for safety afterwards, but I found out that I got honorable mention for use of boobs. At some point I got some comics off Karine and had her and Greg sign them.
Much like Saturday, it was suddenly the evening which meant the banquet and masquerade. I skipped lunch and really enjoyed the food. Karine's modern and Aaron's medevil Hunter costumes were phenomenal. I didn't know I would be attending this year until the Wednesday before the Con, so I didn't prepare any kind of costume. I never really care until I see everyone in their get ups having an awesome time. There's always next year.
Monday: I pretty much got up, ate, packed and ran around trying to make sure I said bye to everyone. Which sucks. I always hate this part of the Con. I had a long drive ahead of me and I wasn't looking forward to it. My car made me nervous when it failed to start after fueling up in Evanston. I stopped at my friend's place in MI again. If wrestling with a hyper black lab puppy doesn't improve your mood nothing will. My trip was again longer than I expected but it was worth it, I'd do it again in a heartbeat!
Overall (Cons are listed first because I'm not ending on a sad note):
Cons: Not much one on one with Greg. Next year there better be an air hockey table because that's a reliable way to get his attention.
I can't remember everyone's names and I feel stupid.
I was dissappointed with my panel, and my performance in Greg's Play.
All that driving was horrendous.
Pros: Got to spend more time with Karine, Susan, Jennifer and got to know them a bit better. Meeting Josh and Keith again is always a pleasure. Oh yeah and that Thom guy is kinda cool I guess ;)
My panel was pretty full and everyone seemed (mostly) awake. Got to meet Phil who had some insights as a Navy Corpsmen. Nobody's complained about my panel...yet.
Susan ran a f***ing great Con. The hotel was beautiful, the area was great (lots of food choices, easy to find everything). Good job Susan!
Lots of first and second timers. You guys are all super. Vicky flew from the UK! That is so awesome. I hope you guys make it out to LA next year!
I'm always up for a little air hockey.
Honorable Mentions and Corrections- (otherwise known as things I forgot to put in my con journal.)
BrooklynX was also with us at Chilli's on Friday afternoon.
I had a nice conversation with guest Josh Silver at the Masquerade and I really wish I had spent a little more time talking with him. Maybe he'll come back as a guest soon.
There were some AWESOME first-time Gathering con goers. Arazia, Ranmaru, Jillian, VickyUK, and I think she was a walk-in so I don't have her name written down, but she had short brown hair and I wanna mention her too even though her name is escaping me. I hope they had a good time. I really liked them.
After I said goodbyes on Monday, we waited just outside for Aaron. Now, in order to escape what we call in my family 'Puerto Rican goodbyes' (The phenomena of saying goodbye to everyone, giving them a kiss and then getting caught up in conversation so you have to say goodbye AGAIn, and that repeating three or four times- so really you never actually LEAVE. The PR part is by virtue of BEING Puerto Rican, but what have you... I guess other cultures have those sort of goodbyes too.)
But I got a wonderfully warm hug goodbye from Keith (so many hugs this convention!) AND he sang a song for me. It was fitting and lovely- and while it's obvious that Keith can sing/talk powerfully- it's the delicateness of his singing voice that really drives home how TALENTED he is. T'was blissful.
Also, Keith needs to learn 'The Old Man of the Mountain'- which was a song Cab Calloway did for a Betty Boop cartoon in the 1930's. I was a little surprised he didn't know it- but there's always stuff to learn.
Was REALLY spoiled this year.
Chicks are always falling for guys with... talent!
Friday: Friday was great in that I spent large chunks of Thursday preparing for it. Had the car ready, had all my travel paperwork completed. I planned on grabbing food on the road but had to wait for laundry to finish...by 1230 I had reached escape velocity and was on my way to Chicago from Meaford Ontario, (google map it, it's bloody far).
I stopped in Battle Creek MI to have dinner with a good friend I haven't seen in awhile. That ended up eating almost two hours! Once back on the road I drank one of those supicious 6 hour energy shots. They work. I got to the hotel around 1130 or midnight and couldn't find my roomie. So I talked a guy at the front desk into giving me a pass card to the room. I showered and met up with Susan, Jenn, Karine, Thom, Greg, Mara and all the usual suspects in Susan's room who seemed to be running their own Blue Mug.
Gotta run, post more in a bit...
That's Flanker for ya. He's there. He's gone. Like the wind...
Thursday- We left for the airport around twelvish- our flight got minorly delayed and then we got delayed in the air A LOT. Luckily, we had not anticipated Chicago traffic so Lyn and Erik were delayed too- which means we met somewhere in the middle.
Tangeant: From above, Chicago looks like Broccoli. The trees are plentiful and round and the land is mostly green. Like broccoli. Las Vegas looks like a Borg cube at night, from above, because of the strict square configuration of its streetlights. San Antonio is a patch work of earth colors and construction. New York from above looks like... well, home. But Chicago is pleasantly vegatable-like.
We stopped off at an Ihop before reaching our hotel- which was about three blocks away from the con hotel. We were tired, we were frustrated by traffic. We slept muchly.
Friday- Got in before reg desk was open. There was the minimal 'ice breaker' awkwardness that always is just before reg opens. But it melted REALLY fast. I stole lots of food from the con suite. (Well, just two apples one orange and two waters- but a LOT of the tea, and the tea is going to be my best friend for a while now as I am home.)
Set up in the art show.Hung with Hecate, Jenbob and her boi (Why is it I blank on his name? I can see his face clearly in my mind- and they both give the best hugs.) No one else had entered in the Adult art section- which was to my benifit later on.
I did a quick sketch freebie for Patrick (I like drawing for Patrick as he likes a lot of the same subject matter I like) and mainly relaxed in there before Opening Ceremonies.
Met and spoke with the camera crew- who were very nice people. Went to Chilli's with Ckayote, Harvester of Eyes, Jillian, Kimberly, Mandolin and Carmine (Carmine is a serious flirt, btw) as well as the people I usually hang out with, Spacebabie, Revel, Erik, Lynati and Aaron. I had Chicken Crispers (my standard at Chilli's) and a Mango margarita. All was yummy.
(The irony being that in regular every day life I don't drink since there's no cause to socially, so I imbibe a touch more casually at the con.)
I was REALLY congested the WHOLE convention and I think it's because I had not smoked the whole time I was there. It's healthier, sure- but not being able to smell sorta makes the transitional period not a happy. Saw and spent time with DTaina and Leo and A Fan, and (Drat, what is your name! You had the gargoyle ragatone music last year) and Chyna Rose and.. and... DrAT! I need a better memory. It's like a sieve.
We had Opening Ceremonies and, to my delight, the podium was set up so that you could see the people's side view through the mirror behind them. Visual fun. More visual fun with the Gargoyles Music Videos (YAYE LYN, we love our present! Demona would SO be a Joan Jett fan)
After opening I went to dinner with Karine, Jennifer and Greg to discuss Blue Mug Productions- we had pad thai and crab ragoon and other delicious things. Our waiter was ultra nice. After that we had ice cream at Ben and Jerry's. I don't know WHAT most meetings are like that Greg said we were very productive. Maybe my standards are higher than reality? There are benefits to not living the 'we have meetings' lifestyle.
Soon I found myself hanging out in Susan's room with Gorebash, Patrick, Susan, Karine, Greg, GxB, Jen, Flanker, Thom, Sammy, Seth, Rebecca.. and? I think I got everyone there? It was fun. And many hours passed and I nearly ended up bunking with Karine and Jen and Rebecca because I didn't feel comfortable walking the street at night by myself. (I do in NY because that's *my* city and , perversely, it's safe to walk at night if you know where. This was a college town with some unsavory elements thrown in.) But I called my Aaron and he is a supportive wonderful gentleman who knows the cardinal rule about walking a lady home. So I waited downstairs and had polite conversation with a very drunk and angry young man.
Now, on principle I believe in hearing people out. So I sat politely and kept my eye on the security guard who kept walking OUT OF LINE OF SIGHT. Way to keep a girl safe, bro! But it was alright as he was soon distracted by his drunken friends (as it became obvious he was a guest of the hotel drunk and not some random drunk) And not only did Aaron show, Erik and Lynati did as well and we had some great conversation on the walk back. We went to bed, and slept quite nicely.
I got up around six, even though I was asleep around three or four. (I can sleep eight hours, but it is normally in two hour increments.) I went back to sleep. Eight o'clock. So I took a shower and got dressed and did make up. (Another 'con special occassion thing') I didn't audition for Radio Play for two reasons- one, I had panels directly in conflict with it and, two, more importantly, I was talking funny THE WHOLE con. Seriously. Do I sound like that? Lyn and I walked to the hotel, and I bought a dragon puppet at the art fair next door. I got in I social butterflied. (Or social multitasking, whatever you like to call it.) Spent time in the 'lobby' area, the con suite and art show. I caught the end of Karine's panel and then it was time for mine.
Really, it's just an excuse to draw naked people. But I had fun and I hope people learned something or found it interesting, or just took something away from it like the idea that beauty is where you see it. (I kinda ranted a little about curvy girls and their under-ratedness and I got good reaction from that. For it is true.) Then there was radio play.
What can you say about radio play? Other than, you should go see it if you have never? Everyone was really good and Jen called up a storm as she told the story of the Stone of Destiny as Shari. I wasn't surprised, magical convergence or whatever Macbeth calls it in 'Pendragon'. Not gonna spoil it for you. You shoulda been there or you were.
Then.. time passed. Did I show Greg art then? I did a LOT that weekend but the time is fuzzy to me. Eventually dispanded to eat at a pub and I had a delicious pot pie and I also tried clams on the half shell for the first time. Not as bad as I had feared- perhaps sushi makes you ready for anything. At the table was the usual cast of characters, and two or three first-years. I can see you clearly in my head, but the names are elluding me. But I mean you! Eventually there was Blue Mug-a-Guest.
It started not so Blue got Blue, not so Blue- etc. Always a good time.
Directly bed and then sleep.
I dressed up for Sunday, after having debated it with myself, but in retrospect I am glad I did. I'm not always blue jeans and t-shirts. Greg got it right away- but it is those early imprints that affect later preferences so much. Lynati and Kimberly and Greg did an awesome Biology and Culture panel, and I am still really impressed with Lynati's essay on gargoyle eye glow. I hung out more, did more commission work in the art room. I was going to do the Iron Artist competition but it involved a weakness that I cannot overcome- pasta.
I have clear memories of sucking at pasta art as a child and I was a little intimidated.
Saw the tail end of the auction, and then went back to our hotel room to change for the banquet. I wish more people had- it was a GORGEOUS room and I really think there should be some taking advantage of the elegance availible. We had the trivia contest and we were lucky to be sitting with (among other really nice folk) Matt from Station Eight. The competition was fierce, but our table won. Yaye!
We went down to Rebel and Spacebabie and GxB's room and hung out and we changed into our Masquerade costumes. Lynati and I were cat girls and Aaron was The Cheetah Pimp. (Cheetah print is a thing in our household. Love it.)
I have two complaints of that costume- I have a third degree jawline, which means my bottom teeth are slightly ahead of my top teeth. Which means with artifical fangs I can't close my mouth. Which means I can't pronounce words like 'physisists at Caltek' or 'Foggy Bottom'. Which means I am asked to, because I can't. (It's a 'The West Wing' reference.) On top of the congested, I varied from sounding stupid to sounding baby doll stupid. Actually, that's my only complaint, but I'm counting it twice.
We got a LOT of attention. A lot of positive attention. And, I hate to admit it, but I ate it up. And boy did we DANCE. I don't remember the last time I danced like that, if ever. The hip shaking, sure. But the full on dance steps? Must have been the cat girl costume. Very liberating. I danced with Lynati and Jenbob, and Karine, and Jen and Vox-I will take the time out to declare here and now, Vox is INCREDIBLE on the dance floor. She's a beautiful woman to begin with, very delicate features, and she just let's GO dancing. I was happy. I told her boyfriend Ethan so.
I even danced, a teensy, with Keith. Yaye. Most of the guys sat in a corner playing video games- but that didn't mean some weren't watching the huge amount of sheer female beauty on display on the dance floor.
Eventually, again, I found myself in Susan's room. To which I will say Ben Affleck > Matt Damon. Spent a very pleasant time with most of the group from Friday night- though numbers dwindled as the siren song of sleep called to them. A lotta love in that room.
Saturday: Caught the end of the fanfic panel, which had really good discussion, I felt, especially from Merlin Missy who I don't know if she knows if she is a THE in this fandom- but she is. So there. Then we announced, talked about, etc, at the Blue Mug Productions panel. I was smart and sat on Edmund's (the write) right. Well, mostly smart. I'm not usually that bratty though, honestly. I just work here.
Closing ceremonies was bittersweet as it always is for me, but we got through goodbyes like a bandaid- quick.
Thank you all for a wonderful time and for all the nifty ribbons I won. You can win ribbon too if you enter the art show. Come to the con! They spoil you there. (At least I felt spoilt.)
Erik, Lynati, Aaron and I, before we parted at the train station, went to the Field Museum and saw the Ghost and the Darkness- the infamous man-eating lions of Tsavo. They were beautiful and beneign and my heart went out to them. I don't see maliciousness in efficient predators. That's just nature. And I hear human is yummy.
We got home safe from a fast and uneventful flight.
Really- consider going to the Gathering next year and if you already know you can't afford to make it- start SAVING NOW for the next con after that! This is an experience that is worthwhile and even if you don't buy a coffee once a week that you normally would, you CAN afford it. You just have to commit to the idea and plan for it.
Now I sleep. Stay safe.
And the cake is a lie.
I like how you have a second Saturday after Sunday. I gotta try that.
Mr. Weisman, I am a journalist/reviewer for http://www.ComicMix.com and a big fan of your work. I will be attending the Gathering of the Gargoyles convention in Chicago and I wanted to ask if there would be anyway I could snag an interview with you for our readers. For your review, you can check out the kind of work we do at ComicMix.com and you can find previous interviews I've conducted at this link: http://alankistler.squarespace.com/journal/2007/11/20/alan-kistlers-interviews.html. My personal web-site is http://KistlerUniverse.com and my e-mail is KistlerAlan@gmail.com. Thank you in advance for your time.
Of course by now, the Gathering is passed-- but of course we did have that interview. Thanks!!
CON-ODYSSEY: GATHERING & CONvergence - Monday, July 7, 2009
12am - The Memorial Panel for those who have passed officially made the con a 5-day event. Chocolate Fish.
1am - A bunch of us hung out for hours. Chris, Ken, Lex, Tim, Windy and others.
5am - Back to the room.
5:30am - Sleep.
10:30am - Wake-up. Five hours. Not too bad for me.
11:30am - Packed up with some difficulty. All those extra t-shirts and the crochet'd Goliath made it tough to fit everything in. Lex and I headed to Axel and I had gumbo, an Onion Ring and an Axel burger.
4:20pm - My delayed flight finally took off.
6:20pm - Just barely made my connection to my L.A. flight.
9:30pm - Arrived at LAX.
10:00pm - Home.
And that's that. Finished just in time, because tomorrow I leave for Con-Odyssey II: San Diego ComicCon!! More when I return.
CON-ODYSSEY: GATHERING & CONvergence - Saturday, July 5, 2009
12am - Lex and I met up at COF2E2 and hung out chatting for hours, joined by James toward the end.
5am - I returned to my room and pretty much went right to sleep.
9:30am - Wake-up.
11am - I had a Buffy & Angel panel. Yeah, yeah, what am I doing on that panel? Just being a geeky fan.
2pm - Comic book panle w/Terry Beatty, Chris Jones, Mark Evanier, Marv Wolfman and Len Wein.
3:30pm - A panel on Continuity with Chris Jones and others.
4:30pm - Took a nap.
7:30pm - Dinner at Vantage with Lex. Coke, Bread, water, Tomato Soup, Edimame, Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans. Good food.
9:30pm - Comics as Movies Panel w/Terry.
11pm - Mature Comics Panel w/Hank, Damien and Eve. This was probably the one dud panel of the entire Con-odyssey. It should have been fun and raucous and raunchy like a blue mug. But we got off to a serious start and never quite found a rhythm, though Eve tried when she arrived. Felt strangely on the defensive -- for no particular reason. But I did pimp BlueMugProductions.com.
MORE TO COME...
CON-ODYSSEY: GATHERING & CONvergence - Friday, July 4, 2009
5am - Finally went to sleep.
9:30am - Wake up.
11am - An animation panel with Mark Evanier, Wally Wingert and Matt Waterhouse. We covered a lot of ground about the business. (Some of it pretty disheartening, I'd think.)
12pm - I toured the art show.
12:30pm - Dr. Jim Kakalios, author of The Physics of Superheroes, gave a talk on the costumes and accessories of superheroes, including unstable molecules (although as I pointed out to him later, he really only dealt with how they worked for Mr. Fantastic, not for the Invisible Girl of the Human Torch) and Captain America's shield. It was great.
2pm - I had a Gargoyles panel. Always fun.
3pm - Lex and I went to Dairy Queen for "lunch". Had a cheeseburger, fries and an Orange Julius. Got a chance to talk with Ken Hite and his wife Sheila. Ken's the only guy doing more panels than me. I shrug it off... for now.
5pm - I have a signing alongside Marv Wolfman and Wally Wingert. I have nothing for people to sign. But I learned some lessons from Marv about this that may prove useful at CopperCon later this summer.
6:30pm - Matt Waterhouse, David Margosian, Jennifer Menken and I have ANOTHER animation panel ("Cell vs. Chip"). It starts out as a bit of a struggle to make sure it's not just a rehash of the panel earlier in the day, but it winds up being pretty fun and unique enough. It helps that I have an ENDLESS quantity of showbiz horror stories.
7:30pm - Went out to Olive Garden with Mark Temple, Mark Evanier, Jody, Chris Jones, Marv Wolfman and Len Wein. Had breadsticks, minestrone and angel hair with shrimp.
11pm - A panel on "The Rebirth of the Heroine" with Charlotte Nickerson and Jen Manna. This was a fun one too. But I missed Soylent Blue because of it, which was a bit of a bummer as I remember them being really, really funny the last time I was at CONvergence.
MORE TO COME...
CON-ODYSSEY: GATHERING & CONvergence - Thursday, July 3, 2009
4:30am - Finally went to sleep.
10am - Wake up.
11:30am - Went out to breakfast at the Edina Grill with Uncle Joe. (Joe is my wife's father's brother.) We mostly talked about the crazy industry I work in. I had Eggs, sausage, hash browns, sourdough toast.
2pm - All the con's special guests (over twenty of us) had a photo call. After that, I went to check out the Dealers' Room.
5pm - I had a panel on the Spectacular Spider-Man.
7pm - Opening Ceremony.
9pm - Lex took me for a comparison Juicy Lucy (this one w/Blue Cheese that didn't quite get liquid), Lemonade, Cheese Curds and Onion Straws.
10pm - We got back to the hotel in time to see a pretty good fireworks display in the distance. I toured all the cabana parties, but I wasn't into it, so...
11pm - I went back to my room.
MORE TO COME...
CON-ODYSSEY: GATHERING & CONvergence - Wednesday, July 2, 2009
3am - Went to sleep.
12:30pm - Wake up. Yep. I was pretty tired.
2pm - Lex and her husband James and I go to Matt's for Juicy Lucys and fries.
3pm - Lex and I go to a mall (not THE mall) and grab some Cherry Garcia before...
3:55pm - We saw Wall-E. Which I thought was just great. Really liked it.
7:10pm - Went to the Guest Reception at the hotel. They served cake. But "NO FORKS!"
10pm - I was back in my room and a bit restless. Just started watching television. See even when I catch up on sleep, I wind up blowing it the next night...
MORE TO COME...
CON-ODYSSEY: GATHERING & CONvergence - Tuesday, July 1, 2009
4:30am - Finally went to sleep.
9:30am - Wake-up.
11:15am - Car took me to the airport. Grabbed some McDonalds: Quarter-Pounder w/cheese, fries, coke and an apple pie.
2:15pm - Flight departs for Minneapolis. Had some tomato juice on the plane.
3:45pm - Arrived in Minneapolis.
4pm - Lex Larson, my CONvergence guest liason picked me up and took me to the Sheraton in Bloomington to check in.
5:30pm - We arrive at the amazing new (to me) Guthrie Theater. We had dinner at Cue, the restaurant there. The food was amazing. Breadsticks and bread, Salad, Flatiron Steak, potatoes, green beans...
7:30pm - We saw THE SECRET FALL OF CONSTANCE WILDE, a play about Oscar Wilde, his lover Bosie and especially his wife Constance. It was a great production. Very creative. Amazing performances... and PUPPETS!
10:30pm - Back to the hotel.
MORE TO COME...
CON-ODYSSEY: GATHERING & CONvergence - Monday, June 30, 2009
12:30am - After the ballroom dancers went their separate ways, a few of us (Susan, Jennifer, Mara, Gore, GXB, Patrick, Karine and I) went up to Susan's room to hang out, talk, laugh, debate the virtues of Twizzlers vs. Red Vines, etc.
4am - Back to my room. Had another apple.
4:30am - Bed.
8:30am - Wake up call.
10am - Had breakfast with my cousin Alex and her friend Tobin. Orange Juice, Begniets, toast, potatos, eggs, bacon.
11:30am - Took a break, but as I understand it that one-eyed pig Edmund Tsabard had a panel with Jennifer, Karine and Mara to talk about Blue Mug Productions and show some samples. For more info, stop by BlueMugProductions.com.
1pm - Closing ceremonies. Always bittersweet.
3pm - Goodbyes. Pretty much everyone took off, except myself, Patrick and Susan and her family. Susan took Patrick and I to her house, where we met her many, many, many, many dogs and saw her many, many, many cells. Very cool.
5pm - Susan, Rob, Carly and Chloe took us to yet another great dinner. Had shrimp, clam chowder, coke, steak, lobster tail, rice, slaw. Then Rob and Chloe took Patrick and I back to the hotel.
7pm - I was back in my room. And pretty darn tired.
9pm - Sleep.
11:30pm - Knew it was too good to be true. Woke up. Had another apple. Watched some television and read some Ross Macdonald.
The end of another FANTASTIC Gathering... and yet my trip is only half over!
MORE TO COME...
CON-ODYSSEY: GATHERING & CONvergence - Sunday, June 29, 2009
1am - Returned to my room and ate an apple.
2am - Went to sleep, which for me is early.
8:30am - Wake up call.
10am - Had the Gargoyles and Bad Guys panel with Karine. Fewer questions about Gargoyles #9 then I would have thought, but it was fun.
11:30am - Gargoyles Biology and Culture panel w/Lynati & Kimberly. A perrenial favorite of mine. Not sure anything quite as revelatory as last year in Tennessee, but it was fun.
1pm - Spidey panel w/Keith, Thom and Jennifer. Again, no major revelations, but I like talking Spidey. Next year we're probably going to do a series of Spidey panels at the L.A. Gathering 2009.
2:30pm - Went for stir fry lunch with Sammy, Jennifer, Thom, Adam and Laurean. Good stuff. Afterwards, a couple of us went to Jamba Juice.
4pm - Though we were told we didn't need to get back to judge the Iron Artist competition until 4pm, by the time we arrived it was all over. The medium was macaroni and the theme was the Ultra-Pack.
4:30pm - Sat down to watch the end of the auction, and then we had our signing.
6pm - Banquet: Salad, roll, Chicken, potatoes, carrots, asparagus, tart. I sat with constaff mostly: Nikki, Seth, Sammy, Susan, Jennifer, Karine, Patrick, Greg, Rebekkah. During the Trivia Contest, Matt led his table to victory.
9pm - Masquerade. Fewer entries every year. I hope we can reverse that trend. But what was there was pretty cherce:
1st: J.W./Jennifer Rynmoor
2nd: Gypsey/Noel Leas
Cutest Couple: Ranmaru & Arazia
Thom Adcox Memorial Award: Justin as Odin
No Gorelisa award this year.
Best in Show: Patrick Fisher as the Tourist Gargoyle
Also, Karine had a kick-ass Hunter costume.
There was dancing next. I even swing-danced Jenn-Bob right off a table.
MORE TO COME...
CON-ODYSSEY: GATHERING & CONvergence - Saturday, June 28, 2009
2:00am - Back to my hotel room.
4:00am - Finally went to sleep.
8:30am - Wake up call. I showered, etc., and went down to the ConSuite, where I had a Danish and OJ at the tail end of the staff meeting.
10:00am - We held our second set of auditions.
11:30am - Over a catered lunch of a French Dip Sandwich, Broccoli Soup and fruit, Keith, Thom, Jennifer and I cast the Radio Play.
2:00pm - I was interviewed for an article by Alan.
3:00pm - The Gathering Players had their one and only rehearsal.
5:00pm - The Radio Play. This year's script was a chronological retelling of Chapters VII, VIII & IX of Clan-Building (i.e. "The Rock", "Rock & Roll" and "Rock of Ages"). I think the performers were terrific, but I don't think the script worked chronologically. Oh, well... A highlight was the massive rainstorm that nearly overwhelmed Shari's storytelling. Here was the cast:
THE GATHERING PLAYERS - 2008 Edition
NARRATOR - Greg Weisman
MACBETH - Erik Mambu
SHARI - Jennifer L. Anderson
COLDSTEEL - Eric Tribou
LEXINGTON - Thom Adcox
STONE OF DESTINY - Justin Summerhill
HUDSON - Jordan Mann
DAVID XANATOS - Jaret Morlan
ARTHUR PENDRAGON - Patrick Fisher
CONSTANCE/COCO - Laurean Leigh
STAGHART/AMP - Seth Jackson
GRIFF - Chip
THAILOG - Keith David
COLDSTONE - Revel
COLDFIRE - Sarah the Great
GOLIATH - Keith David
COYOTE 5.0 - Jaret Morlan
PEREDUR - Seth Jackson
COLDSTREAM GUARD - Chip
ELISA MAZA - Phoenix Talon
JAY SATO - John/Flanker
BLANCHEFLEUR - Laurean Leigh
CUSTOMS OFFICIAL - Patrick Fisher
BROOKLYN - Jae
DUVAL - John/Flanker
FOX - Phoenix Talon
BROADWAY - Lucas McClain
HOLY GRAIL - Lucas McClain
LUNETTE - Phoenix Talon
VINNIE GRIGORI - Jae
AIRPORT INTERCOM - Lucas McClain
OWEN BURNETT - Jae
MAGGIE THE CAT - Sarah the Great
TALON - Revel
SCOTTISH PATRIOT - Jordan Mann
7:00pm - Dinner at Pete's, w/Josh, Susan, Nicole, Eric, Greg, Rebekkah, Patrick, Laurean, Keith, Thom, John, Sammy, Seth, Jennifer, Nikki, Karine and me. Fantastic meal: Iceberg wedge salad, amazing bread, NY Strip Steak, Garlic Mash Potatos, Creamed Spinach, mushrooms, Berries. Raced back to be on time for...
10:00pm - The Blue Mug. Fairly raunchy this year. (Though not with every single question.) Teased Blue Mug Productions a bit. At some point, I took a bathroom break. Discovered that the self-flushing urinals in the hotel SCREAMED like the Green Goblin's pumpkin bombs! Freaked me out! Later Nikki gave me a colored sketch of a Green Goblin screaming urinal.
MORE TO COME...
CON-ODYSSEY: GATHERING & CONvergence - Friday, June 27, 2009
10:30am - Wake-up call gets me up. I slept for nearly twelve hours. Guess I was tired.
11:30am - I head up to the con to collect my box of RadioPlay scripts. Say hi to some people. Tour the dealer's/art room, which is a work in progress at this point.
12:00pm - My first panel of the con(s). Thom and I hold the Voice Acting Seminar that we've done in previous years. Phoenix gets up to play Demona and does a great job. We also do the Griff, Leo, Una, Goliath scene and a couple different runs at a Peter Parker, Spider-Man, Symbiote, Uncle Ben scene. Everyone does pretty darn well.
1:30pm - First round of auditions for the Radio Play, w/Keith, Thom, Josh and Jennifer helping with the casting and Sammy manning the door. Vox stops by to give me the crochet'd Goliath she made for me. It's pretty amazing, as is the Hunter she's made for Karine and all the rest. Tthe one that makes me laugh the most is the Owen... which was the last to sell. No accounting for taste.
3:00pm - Mug-A-Guest. I remember having fun, though none of the questions stand out in my memory at the moment.
5:00pm - Opening Ceremony. (It's been pointed out to me that it's a Ceremony not multiple Ceremonies.) We opened with a full hour plus of music videos. Susan then stepped up to offer opening remarks and intros. Jen pitched G2009 in Los Angeles (check out gatheringofthegargoyles.com). Susan thanked her staff, including Nikki, Jennifer, Greg and Patrick (who am I forgetting?). Then I went up to do my schpiel and show the now-familiar pieces: the pitch, the promo, the New Olympian and Dark Ages pitches, the Bad Guys reel (much of which is now canon thanks to the comic) and "The Last". The fans have made great progress on "The Last" - but there's still more work to be done. If you're interested in helping, contact Vashkoda.
After opening ceremony, it was time for a Blue Mug Productions Dinner. Edmund Tsabard, was out whoring, so I sat in with Jennifer, Mara and Karine (who has since had to bow out of the project, much to our sorrow). We got a lot done/decided in preparation for the Monday panel. Plus the food was great: Edimame, Rangoon, Dumplings, Miso soup, Shrimp Pad Thai. Then a stop at Ben & Jerry's after dinner for a Banana/fudge/Cherry Garcia sundae.
I stopped by my room to call home, then came back downstairs to the bar (Indigo... I think the restaurant I mentioned yesterday was called Blue or something). Later a small group of us (Susan, Jen, Mara, Karine, Seth, Sammy, Rebecca, Gore, BrooklynX, Patrick, Thom & John) went up to Susan's room to hang out and laugh.
MORE TO COME...
CON-ODYSSEY: GATHERING & CONvergence - Thursday, June 26, 2009
5:00am - I stop watching Dexter with three episodes left to finish the season. (Still have one left as I write this.) Time to start my day and take a shower.
6:20am - Jennifer, Rebecca and Thom Adcox arrive to pick me up. They're early and I'm not quite packed. But I hussle and we head to the airport. In the parking lot we meet up with Seth and Sammy and take a shuttle to the airport, where we meet up with Josh Silver... and my kids Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Leakley (how weird is that?). I buy a water and a Snickers and a can of Pringles, saving the latter for the plane.
10:00am - The plane leaves for Chicago a mere half hour late. I have tomato juice and Pringles on the plane. I read the L.A. Times, and then continue reading THE ARCHER FILES - The complete short Lew Archer stories by Ross Macdonald, edited by Tom Nolan. Good stuff. I'm sitting with Jennifer and Thom and across from Rebecca and Mrs. Leakley. Josh, Seth and Sammy are further back. Thom sleeps through most of the plane ride.
4:00pm - We land... but are kept aboard waiting for a gate for an hour.
5:00pm - We finally disembark, meeting up with Keith David (who was flying in from New York) in baggage claim.
5:45pm - I didn't check any bags, but others did, and it takes 45 minutes for the bags to come out. We meet up with Patrick, Susan and Rob outside and pile into three cars. I think Josh and Keith went with Susan. Jennifer, Sammy and Seth went with Rob. Thom, Rebecca and I went with Patrick. Traffic was a nightmare.
7:30pm - We finally arrive at the lovely Hotel Orrington in Evanston, Illinois, just outside Chicago. This is a great area for a con, with lots of walking distance food nearby. I go up to my very nice room, where cheese and grapes are waiting for me. Then it's back downstairs for Dinner at the hotel's restaurant (Indigo?). I'll probably forget someone, but I think it was me, Karine, Jen, Greg Bishansky, Thom, Keith, Maelee, Josh, Dionne, Ruby, Susan, Rebecca, Patrick, Seth and Sammy. Also saw Ellen, Fan, Nikki, Jenn-Bob, etc. I had Sushi, Tempura, pork dumplings, Beef asparagus rolls and a couple cokes.
10:00pm - I went back to my room, leaving dinner early, exhausted. I called home, did just a bit of channel flipping, and...
11:00pm - Crashed.
MORE TO COME...
And so begins my conjournal, which I'll serialize over the next few days...
I was gone for nearly two weeks to attend two terrific conventions. I had a great time at both, and really the best aspect of both was just hanging out with people, fellow pros and fans. I'll try to be complete, but I'm bound to make mistakes, skip over some people, etc. So I beg your forgiveness and indulgence in advance.
Wednesday, June 25, 2009
Still a work day for me... as I tried to frantically get everything done and ready for my trip.
10:30am - I had an Attended Edit of Spectacular Spider-Man episodes 125 and 126 with our editor Terry over at Studiopolis. This is the point where we take our voice recordings and edit it into a natural pause tape that the board artists and timers can use to get the feel of the flow of dialogue. Last two episodes of the second season are now completed on the writing and voice side before I leave. (Note: I find out today 7/9 that the board artists and directors never got these dialogue reels. GRRRRRR.)
12:00pm - I arrive at my office at Sony's Apple Building, i.e. the grim warehouse where we produce Spidey. I'm trying to clear the decks, since I don't plan on bringing my computer on the trip and/or checking e-mail.
7:00pm - I stop by Golden Apple to pick up a few comics before I go. Some Amazing Spider-Man (Brand New Day) and Justice League, which I buy for work-related reasons and Angel, which I buy for Whedon geek-out reasons.
8:00pm - I get home and sleep for a couple of hours.
10:00pm - I say good night to the kids and Beth. Then I do some more prep work for the conventions. Printing out my itinerary, etc. Then I watch a bunch of episodes of Season Two of Dexter (even better than Season One). No point in going to sleep tonight - I have to get up too early...
MORE TO COME...
I posted this in the comment room, but Todd suggested I repost it here...
Sometimes I just don't have anything Gargoyles for us to do. And I'm not sure if just doing old episodes is all that interesting. And the other things have been fun... at least it seemed that way to me.
Here's a history of the works of the GATHERING PLAYERS...
1998 - RAIN OF THE GHOSTS (an unproduced pilot I wrote)
1999 - THE ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES (a rejected pilot I wrote)
2000 - ROUGHNECKS: THE STARSHIP TROOPERS CHRONICLES (the last arc of the series, which I story edited, half of which was unproduced. Written by me, Jon Weisman Lydia Marano, Cary Bates and Michael Reaves.)
2001 - GARGOYLES: "Hunter's Moon, Part Three" (Note: this was the first time that we actually did something gargoyles related for the radio play. This included scenes that were cut for time from the original. Written by Michael Reaves.)
2002 - TEAM ATLANTIS: "The Last" (Unproduced episode featuring Demona and Fiona Canmore, written by me)
2003 - GARGOYLES: "The Reckoning" (Performed in honor of Gary Sperling, who co-wrote the script with Lydia.)
2004 - GARGOYLES: "The Journey" (my uncut version of the script)
2005 - DOC SHAKESPEARE (An unproduced pilot written by myself and Sam Bernstein)
2006 - GARGOYLES: "The Mirror" (written by Lydia Marano and Brynne Chandler Reaves)
2007 - GARGOYLES: "Clan Building, Chapters III, IV & V: Invitation Only, Masque & Bash" - (from the comic, premeiring chapter V before it was published. Written by me...)
2008 - Geez, I should probably figure this out soon...
Anyway, you can see that traditionally, we've only done something gargish about half the time. For me it's fun to get to see my unproduced work performed, and it does give the fans a little insight into the biz. In any case, I've never heard any complaints from the folks who attended.
OFF TO CHICAGO... ON A WING AND A PRAYER...