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John 'Flanker' Clemens writes...

Gathering Report:
I want to thank the Con Staff as well as Maui and Abe Wintersmith for working their asses off. I was anticipating this event since NYC last year, and my expectations were far exceeded.

Pre-Con: NYC 03 was my first con. I chat once inawhile online with folks, but I dont think I was too well known. Once the con was over, I decided I should contribute and participate more, in return for such an awesome weekend. I'm too lazy to be staff or volunteer, but hosting a panel appealed to me. Alot of them are about writing or art. I have no business telling anyone in this fandom how to write or draw. But I know alot about fighting, so maybe I could explain combat to people. So I offered to host a panel about combat, focusing on modern firearms. I was embarrased to see my name listed on the guest section under Greg and Thom for so long, since the I wrote my bio in seven seconds. Over in Bosnia, I submitted a story for the Phoneix Gate Anthology. I thought it was a shot in the dark. It was accepted, and when I saw my name in the list of the greatest fan writers ever, I was totally floored. Then I spent more time editing the thing than I did writing it! I still think its one of the weaker stories in the book, but no one spat on me at the con, so I guess its not that bad.

Also, I ended up getting a room with Abe and BrooklynX, two guys I've never seen. Well BrookX briefly in NYC. And I offered to pick up Wingless and Gabarus/Titanic in Ottawa. Then I haphazardly packed the day before the con.

The Con:

Thursday: This year I did the hard core nerd deal. One day early and one day late (not counting stay overs in Ottawa). We picked up Wingless and drove to the hotel with only a few extra turns. They checked in their room while I stalked the lobby for gargoyles fans. (alot of us really stand out. Ten year old see through t shirts of Goliath are a dead give away). I followed BrooklynX into an elevator after I heard him mumble to someone that he was looking for me. It was funny. I spent the rest of the day wandering around old montreal with Sarah The Great (she really is!) and Abe. Then I pretended to sleep while Maui and Abe discussed the clan olympics, for which I was the only guy to pre register a team.

Friday: After breakfeast and some schmoozing, I had to get ready for my panel. Sarah helped my lug my bag of show and tell items from my car to the room. I waited out the round robin folks and started to set up. Just when I though the dry wipe markers were the coolest thing ever, Greg (I forget you last name dude, sorry) comes out of nowhere with a projector that plugs straight into my laptop with no hassles. Amazing! I think my panel went pretty good. Folks were asking alot of good questions. No one wandered away, and I think I won the approval of the leather trench coat clan. (they didnt make me their cheif...). My panel went over time, which I think is a good sign, and I ended up taking questions in the hall outside.
Then the opening ceremonies started and Abe and Maui succesfully hijacked it. It was the first and last time the team I registered actually came together. 3/4 of us are PGA authors, 3/4 are hosting panels, 3/4 of us were in the radio play. I ended up with most of Montreal being on my team at one point. My team did pretty good, we ended up being in 2nd.

I only had one question for Greg W at blue mug a guest, which wasnt as blue as NYC. (Some of you are very imaginative and/or perverted. God Bless!)Then Whitbourne and I snuck out for a drink. He was witness to the horrible verbal abortion that is my attempt at French. We talked about basically everything until O'Dark stupid.

Saturday: I was pretty busy with the olympics (I had to borrow from Arno's team, then I made her our hostage. I love you Cleo!!) SCA thingie, more olympics and then the radio play, then the banquet (I registered back when I had money...) then the masquerade. Somewhere in there I squeezed in looking at all the awesome art. You people rock.
Everyone seemed to like my Renassaince Hunter costume. I must confess that its actually recycled parts from a Star Wars fan movie I made. I spent a few minutes sewing red slashes on the mask. I figured Keith would get a kick out of it when he mentioned being trained in stage fencing. I got 3rd place, which was very exciting. I ended up yaking all night with Robert and Denis.

Sunday: As if I dont need my ego fed anymore than it was already. All of the PGA authors and artists got to sit behind tables and sign people's copies. I dont think alot of people had a chance to read as far as mine, so I made it through unharmed. We all got good seats for Keith's Q&A. That was awesome. A copy of the anthology was passed around for Keith, we all signed it. The closing ceremonies were exciting. I got Keith to sign my Platoon DVD. Syrth claimed me as her last minute Con Boyfriend. I got all psyched for Vegas. I found out that hideous 'Dark Fighter' backpack I found in Croatia sold at the auction for 46bucks or something crazy.

Robert aranged a laser tag trip that was beyond succesful. I dont think I've ever played with over 30 people, let alone over 30 exceptional garg fans! It was crazy. I had no idea how light Jade Griffon was. I had to toss her from room to room so the green team couldnt shoot her.

Half of us invaded Reubens after the game and they were great, letting us order food and be crazy weirdos even though they were about to close. Back at the hotel I fired some quick sketches into some books. Anything Rivendale tells you is a filthy lie. I ended up in Maui's room playing some insane singing game while drawing silly pics for Beedoo and Arno.

Monday: The end of the con always sucks. All of the cool people you got to meet are leaving, and you're only going to see them a year from now, if you're lucky. Sigh.

I ruined Wingless' tradition of nightmarish trips home. I pulled up front, he hopped in and I drove him to his house without incident. I crashed overnight in Ottawa and got back on tuesday around dinner time. I will now commence staring at the calendar for next years con.

Greg responds...


I also think it's interesting that the MORE involved you become as a fan, the more you get out of it. It's certainly true from my point of view.

Hope to see you in L.A. in June '06 for the Tenth Annual Gathering of the Gargoyles!

If you're reading these journals and are intrigued, check out...


Response recorded on February 23, 2006