Even a week and a half later I’m still recovering and reflecting from my experience over those (very) long four days. I went up as part of Terminus Media‘s 3-man team. Our goals were to sell some comics, do an interview with the kind folks at Comic Con, and just begin to get the word out about our books. In the coming weeks, I’ll get a little more into Terminus and our books, but for this post I wanted to share a handful of moments/stories from the convention (or just from those four days).
When you are passionate about something in the “Geek Culture” you want everyone else to know it. Maybe you love dropping obscure knowledge or quoting the movie/tv show/book/comic/whatever on some unsuspecting person. But the biggest thing, is that much like a Superhero, it is your solemn duty to stamp out any perceived ignorance about your LOVE. This means that you must constantly be vigilant for anyone who might take this LOVE’s name in vain. I mean Heaven help those who might get something wrong about that thing you LOVE.
So the comic book that I’m currently working on… the thing which has sprung forth from my little brain is The Gilded Age. Now this is a Steampunk book (at least according to me… the creator). That is an important piece of information. I’m at the table and this guy comes up dressed in a Steampunk inspired costume and the following conversation happens once I give him my 30 second spiel about The Gilded Age and he begins to flip through the comic.
Me – So I want to build things through the characters… from their eyes before I throw you in the deep end with dates and everything.
Him – Well that’s not really Steampunk. You know, that’s what people want, they want all of that information and then they’ll want even more from you.
Me – Well I guess that’s what I like about the genre is that it is open to various ways of telling a story.
Him – Yeah… no, people want it all at once. That’s what Steampunk is about. <pause> What’s your Point of Divergence?
Me – Sorry?
Him – Where the timeline breaks off?
Me – Oh, well, I haven’t gotten into it, but it has more to do with DaVinci and his inventions than something like Babbage.
Him – Hmm. <takes a moment to flip through the issue again> This isn’t Steampunk. This is really Arcane Punk.
Me – Ok.
Him – Do you know what <some art related criticism> is?
Me – No, sorry, I’m not sure what that is.
Him – Of course you don’t. You’re just an artist. But it is done wrong in this book.
Me – Well, actually I’m not the artist. I’m the writer.
Him – Oh.
During the whole conversation I’m alternating in my head between channeling Samuel Jackson and just smiling. It took some self-control, but I kept smiling.
He bought a copy though.
After the con was done we had to head back to Atlanta so we got to the airport way early… like your Dad gets to the airport early (three hours early). I’m fine with it even if we had to abandon our booth a couple of hours early, but I’d rather have a moment to grab a little food and rest.
Of course, the flight was delayed 15 minutes to start. We finally get boarded and then promptly sit on the tarmac for another 30 minutes. It was at this point I found out/remembered that Airtran may possibly have the least about of leg room of ALL TIME.
A little about me: I’m 6′ 5″ tall which means that I have long legs. Now I have come to grips on the fact that the world is built for much smaller people (on the way up I somehow lucked into an exit row seat – glorious leg room!). However, I’m ready to say right now that sitting on the runway for that long amounts to a form of torture and by the Geneva Convention I think I have a case against the airline.
Really. Kissing your knees is not a fun way to spend the evening.
Phones have not been invented yet
We get to the hotel to check in. Go up to the front desk and give the concierge our names, but alas the room is not under Tony or my name. Mark (head of Terminus) had reserved the rooms for us. No problem. We get Mark on the phone in an effort to get all of this resolved.
Tony – I’ve got him on the phone. He can give you all the correct information.
Concierge – No! I can’t take that phone. I can’t do anything over the phone.
Tony – But he’s right here. He can tell you.
Concierge – No, I can’t do it over the phone. What he will have to do is FAX me his information.
At this point Tony and I turn to each other, dumbfounded.
What year is this? FAX? 1993?
Do they still have dial-up modems?
Do dinosaurs still walk the Earth?
Tony – Can he email it to you?
Concierge – Yes.
So wait… he knows what email is, but he can’t take the EXACT same information over the PHONE? In case you were wondering that would be where a person SPEAKS to another person. It’s like texting, but Ma’ Bell thought it up about 100+ years ago!
But he can take it through a FAX which uses the PHONE LINE. Good lord!
Our Booth Location
Terminus was situated just across from the Intel gaming area which actually was a blessing in disguise as we weren’t cramped up in regular aisles. Instead there was plenty of room in front of us.
It also meant that we had a front row (figuratively speaking) to the Starcraft Tournament they were running. Now the last time I played Starcraft was over a decade ago. I liked the game, but my Xbox 360 pushed it out, and I haven’t really thought about it until the con. Where they played.
On the big screens.
For hours on end.
Never-ending battles of Terrans vs. Zerg vs. Protoss.
Feature matches on the big screens.
At night I would dream of those units moving back and forth across the screen. My brain slowly trying to figure out which board might give an advantage to a certain army.
It may have been too much.
Since I’ve gotten home though I do feel like something is missing in my life. And that old game has begun calling my name.
Excuse me while I download the latest version for my machine…