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Greg Bishansky writes...

The Gathering 2009 - Con Journal - Part Five...

Woke up on Monday to find one of my roommates was in the shower. I had the staff breakfast to get to, but I wanted a shower. So I waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. When I was fifteen minutes late, I took off for breakfast. After waiting forty-five minutes for the shower. Aw well. I got one after breakfast.

Breakfast was short and fun, I forget what I ate, but I remember we called Laurean and sang Happy Birthday to her. I guess we owe someone some royalties for that song ;)

After that, I helped clean up the art room a bit before attending the "Gargoyles" and "Bad Guys" comic book panel. We got some cool question in there. Greg confirmed there was indeed a connection between Duval and Brother Valmont, but wouldn't confirm or deny if they were one and the same. Also, on the subject of Duval, the topic of his identity came up, since the presence of Peredur fab Ragnal seems to have thrown us all for a loop. Still, Greg refused to comment on whether Duval is or isn't Percival. Now, at the moment, I do have a very strong theory on who Duval really is. If Blanchefleur is one of the two people Peredur loves most in the world, who would logically be the other? Chew on that for a while.

Among the topics, Greg said that Dan Vado and SLG are still our best bets. But who knows what will happen with Disney buying Marvel. Speaking of, funny how that happens days after that Radio Play. Guess Greg could make that canon if he wanted to. LOL!

After that, it was the Biology panel, which I've never attended before. To quote Greg, I am a writer, not a biologist. There was a lot of interesting stuff discussed there as well, but I will admit, a lot of it went over my head. Math and science were never my strongest subjects in school. English, history, and art were. I was called out early, but I forget the reason why.

I did get a phone call from my brother, who couldn't make it. So, I briefly put Thom Adcox on the phone with him. While they're talking, Thom motions me to come closer and then he lightly slaps me. My brother asked him to. LOL!

Finally it was time for Closing Ceremonies. And, well... let's just say it was one of the most emotional hours of my life. I'm just glad it managed to be bittersweet and not just bitter. Prizes were handed out. People got up and shared memories. I wanted to, but I was too busy trying to keep it together, I don't think I could have spoken without breaking. There were a lot of tearful good-byes.

Once that was over, we tore down the art room. Karine had a comic book page there, and I told her that if I had the money, I'd take it off her hands. But then she turned around and gave it to me. It was from #5 of "Gargoyles" where Goliath and Elisa kiss and declare their love... thank you Karine. That was awesome.

We eventually retired to the staff suite where Chris bought the entire staff pizza. That was very generous. We all laughed, and enjoyed ourselves. Eventually Greg had to leave, and we all hugged him good-bye. Well for some of us, it was more of a see you later, but I'll get to that in a bit.

So, we partied. Jenn-Bob showed up on her webcam since she couldn't attend the convention. Bra-clad boobs were involved.

Later on, we all took a walk up to City Walk, where Cat and I shared some fries. Flanker and I talked about his time in Afghanistan. Eventually Thom Adcox came to pick Flanker up so they could go hang out, and we all piled into Thom's car... just to mess with him. We all got out, and said our laters to Thom as well.

Then we went back to the suite and just hung out until it was time to say good night.


I woke up to all my roommates gone. Grabbed a shower, and then went downstairs to check out. Patrick came down with Karine to take her to the airport, and I hugged Karine in a see you later way.

I refused to say good-bye to anyone. It was all "see you later." Because, as far as I'm concerned, I will. I think a lot of us forged lifelong friendships at these conventions that will continue even if the convention does not.

I then called Revel, because he and Michelle couldn't make it to the con. They had just gotten back from her ultrasound. It's a girl. As I got the news, Jen and Mara came down to drop Mara off at the airport. I briefly handed my phone to Jen so she could congratulate them.

Went upstairs to the suite and hung out with Jen's kids, Fox and Sydney, and we watched a mockumentary on the Weather Channel about a Katrina sized hurricane hitting NYC. I couldn't tell if this was trying to be "The Day After Tomorrow" or not.

Jen came back, and we chilled, finished off the last of the pizza. And when Patrick came back, we all checked out, and loaded up the cars. I hugged Jen and we talked about how if we ever won the lotto we'd have another one. So, she got into her very full car with her kids and took them home. Patrick then dropped me off at the house.

And so the Gathering came to an end... for most. But for me, it continued... because fatigue, stress and friends are a part of it.

Having no time to recover from the convention, I had to pack up my car, and prepare myself for another cross country drive. I had left the hotel at noon on Tuesday. By 4am on Thursday, I was on the road... for a very long drive. But I had twitter and a few texts with Jen on the way to keep me sane. I stopped off to sleep in El Paso.

The next day I hit the road, I had a meeting in San Antonio. Now, I expected to be there at 1:15. But, my GPS didn't account for timezones, so after switching it manually, I had to update the plans. Finally, at 3:15, I arrived at Antarctic Press in San Antonio, and met, for the first time, my last good friend in the fandom I never met in person. Robby Bevard. I got him to sign my copy of Clan Building Vol. 2 and Bad Guys. David Hutchinson, who drew #11 was there, and he signed it too. So, overall, my book is signed by Greg Weisman, Greg Guler, Thom Adcox, Marina Sirtis, Keith David, Robby, and David Hutchinson.

Aaron showed up, he couldn't make the Gathering. But the three of us went for lunch at Chile's. It was fun. A lot of fun. We hung out for five hours before I had to hit the road again. I was off to Conroe, which is forty miles north of Houston.

So, I ended up spending a week at Revel and Michelle's place. They are still working on baby names. We went out and bought a crib with Revel's mom... who threatened to kick Michelle's ass if she doesn't take Revel's last name before the baby is born. LOL, come on, it's the 21st century... wives never take their husband's last names anymore. Look at every married woman in "Gargoyles" ;)

Seriously, it was a lot of fun. We went to this great Tex-Mex place at one point which had, and I kid you not, the best salsa I have ever eaten. I need to get that place's info, and call them for a recipe, or something.

Thursday rolled around, and I left... later than I should have. I drove, and drove, and drove, and then I got caught in terrible traffic in Louisiana. Along the way, I discovered that in Louisiana there is a strip club called "Road Kill."

The traffic was so bad, I stopped to sleep in Mississippi. I didn't cover as much ground as I wanted to. It happened again the next day in Virginia. God... when I drove down to Conroe, two years ago, I did in two days as opposed to three. But then, I had Aaron as my second driver.

So, yesterday, I finally arrived in New York. Only temporarily. I'm heading back to California. My career is out there. A career I would have probably never considered if not for these conventions, and meeting and greeting so many people. And it will happen. This is one of many things that the Gathering has given me, and it will live on in my memories.

And I will say this, if there is ever another one, I will be there. I will staff it. I will help make it happen. Until then... it was a blast. I mean, thirteen conventions... that's not bad for a small fandom dedicated to a series that hasn't had new episodes since Bill Clinton's first term as president.

And out of those thirteen, I attended eleven. After missing 2000, I promised myself I'd never miss another one... and I didn't. I kept that promise. After 2003, I promised myself I'd never staff another one, but that's one promise I am glad I broke.

Never the end...

Greg responds...

From your keyboard to God's eyes...

Response recorded on February 10, 2010