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JEB writes...

Gathering 2005 Journal - Day 3
July 31, 2005

I woke up in time for the Eye of Odin signing, but fell back asleep. Woke up again about two hours later and got myself a Starbucks chicken caesar salad (I figured after two days of scones and Burger King, I owed my stomach something a little healthier). Took the salad with me to the con area, where I registered for Gathering 2006 (I will get to Los Angeles), sat down and ate it, then wandered... before sitting next to the con registration table. Talked with Greg B. for a while about politics and other matters, before leaving to find the Webcomics panel. I couldn't find it- it'd moved to make way for banquet preparations- but fortunately Garrett was going there, so I followed him.

The Webcomics panel featured Shan (of Flying Glory and the Hounds of Glory), Silver (of Ravenwood) and Eden (of Naomi Lewis: Demon Hunter). They had a lot to say, albeit in a sort of disorganized fashion (which, I thought, worked well for the panel). First the gave an overview of webcomics in general. One particular point they made early is that webcomics require a lot of self-discipline (you have to be your own biggest fan, they noted) and that they don't tend to make a lot of money- although certain comics have tried ways to change that (paid access, etc.). In webcomics, it's also true that popularity does not mean your work will be seen as quality.

When making a webcomic, they advised that you make sure your art style matches your story style, and that you need to figure out what your target audience will be. You also need to really, really want to tell your story- you can't just make the webcomic to get attention. You should be absolutely immersed in your universe- if you can sprinkle your stories with the minutest of details, they really give your world a sense of depth. You should have an idea where your story's going, but don't give away all your secrets- and keep in mind that stories sometimes take on a life of their own. They recommended you make a journal, and just write down every idea for a scene, an action sequence, or dialogue that comes to mind. And if you even suspect your story might resemble something pre-existing, check it out to make sure- that way you can tweak your idea to avoid accidental copying.

There are several ways to host webcomics- services like Keenspace (which they advised should be avoided), on blogs, making your own site or using a friend's. You should have a good idea about your skill level, which will tell you how large your individual installments oughtta be and how often you should update- in general, though, more frequent updates should be smaller and less frequent updates larger. It's also good to have someone as an editor or sounding board, to give you different opinions on your work.

The webcomic panel ended, and so I satisfied my newfound love for cinnamon scones by buying yet another, before going to the Radio Play- Doc Shakespeare. Looks like it would have been a neat series, with all sorts of subtle and not-so-subtle Shakespearean and literary references, plus a touch of magic. Too bad it didn't get picked up. The actors all did a great job- very entertaining!

While most of the crowd scattered, Garrett, his friend Ed and I waited for the banquet to open up. A half hour of waiting ensued, during which I looked at parts of Garrett's cool RPG wiki, before they let us in.

I sat at a table with two groups- Echo and her parents or grandparents, and Tumiaus and her father. Tumiaus and Echo's relatives seemed slightly off in the setting, but we made nice small talk. As a nice touch, there was a tiny gargoyle candle at each of our places at the table. Our table might have jumped the gun a bit in getting food (I guess they were particularly hungry), but no one seemed to mind. The banquet was good- I had a scoop of caesar salad, a scoop of rice, some sort of beef and a dinner roll. (In retrospect, I suspect I should have gotten myself more. But oh well.) We found out, too late, that we had a gold star on one of our gargoylettes, indicating that we should have gotten a guest. Tumiaus' dad got a blue star, so Tumiaus got to keep the larger gargoyle statuette in the middle of the table.

Eventually, Echo and her family left so she could get dressed for the Masquerade. Tumiaus and her Dad stayed a while longer, before leaving as well (they had a plane to catch that evening). Strangely, there never was a Q & A- maybe because the guests sat among the attendees? Our table had some extra gargoylettes, so I handed them out to people as the lot of us left. As I headed out, I ran into Greg B., and we talked about the upcoming comic and pondered the implication of a third season as Greg Weisman intended. We were joined by Gside, then Darklord, before we all headed back to our rooms. I read the first two stories in Eye of Odin, then returned to see the Masquerade.

While waiting for the Masquerade, I wound up shorting myself on dessert again- I got one slice of cake, while it seemed everyone else got multiple. I guess I need to be greedier. A bit late, the parade of costumes began. Some of the more memorable ones included Shara as Future Tense Brooklyn; the Weisman kids as Ali (Erin) and Goliath (Benny); Eden as Banshee; Onyx (whose wings were at the cleaners, according to his sign), Revel as Jackal, Noel Leas as the Werefox, and Echo as Azure (with intricate wings!).

The winners were:

1st Prize Canon, Junior: Benny Weisman as Goliath
1st Prize Noncanon, Junior: Erin as Ali
1st Prize Cosplay, Junior: Fusion Demon as Fusion

1st Prize Canon: Eden as Banshee
2nd Prize Canon: Revel as Jackal
1st Prize Noncanon: Onyx as Onyx
2nd Prize Noncanon: Echo as Azure
1st Prize Cosplay: Noel as the Werefox
Honorable Mention Cosplay: Jade Griffin as Elisa as Belle (from "Eye of the Beholder") (for her "I'm outta here" after seeing the Werefox)

Cutest Couple: Tony Zucconi and Thom Adcox
Thom Adcox Memorial Award: Andrea Zucconi (so she won't hurt Thom!)
Gorelisa Award: Shara as Future Tense Brooklyn

Best in Show: Shara as Future Tense Brooklyn

After that, Brother Abe presented the awards for the Clan Olympics, and the results of the Poker Tourney were announced (Chris Rogers won $600 for the American Red Cross, with lesser amounts to the others' charities). They also gave a well-deserved special award to Carol Wagner for her years of work getting guests for the Gatherings. In the art show awards, Jade Griffin won the most in a variety of categories, with Kythera a close second. (Or at least it seemed that way.) The best in show was Sara Berkeley's extensive Gargoyles Zodiac; Kythera won the "Most Insane Detail" Award. Thom Adcox won a pair of shorts with "Lex Machine" on them- but they couldn't persuade him to put them on. The awards ended with the editor's choice in Eye of Odin- Allaine's "The Most Dangerous Game."

With the Masquerade finished and the awards given, some left for parts unknown. Others congregated in groups, including one table with Greg Weisman, Dave and (later) Thom. I stood on the sidelines, and had a lengthy chat with fellow old-school fan Blaqthourne (and Crimson Fury) about the earlier days of the fandom (as well as the fact that Mae Lee, who organized the first Gathering, almost came to G2K5), computers, old video games, and movie and TV soundtracks, among other topics. After that lengthy chat, I headed back to my room, read more Eye of Odin before going to sleep.

Greg responds...

Farewell, my enemies!

Response recorded on December 05, 2006