These shows always go by in a blur but this year there were some definite things that I took away from the con. Here’s the official report as I am both a coordinator and an author and an exhibitor. (No seriously, I was coordinating, setting up my store, and had a table in artist alley)
Thursday: We began with the set up. I spent most of the day running around trying to find out what the Canadian Border Services Agency confiscated from my last shipment before the con. Turns out it was something they considered push daggers, and we’ll fight about it later since what I ordered sits on the wall and would break if anyone tried to use it as a push dagger.
By the time evening came most of the tables, chairs, and pipe and drape were set up along with staging and sound equipment for mainstage. We had table cloths on tables and signage going up, and registration and info was being set up. Around 7pm I heard some people flipping out because there was a rumor that Ray Park had canceled. I listened to it, went to check some e-mails in the con inbox, and found no cancellation e-mail sent. I was surprised to say the least. We tried damage control but it was already done.
Contrary to popular belief, I didn’t have a hernia. I know I should have been freaking out about it but I really didn’t want to meet him personally, so I didn’t care that he wasn’t showing up. It wasn’t really the same as when Sharyn November was stuck in NYC due to weather and missed the first literary conference I went to. My heart was crushed at that point. This cancellation was more like a whatever to me.
Friday: It began too early after 4 hours of sleep. I was at Registration at 5:30am, and exhibitors were already there. The move in was mostly insane. I went and set up my table, then didn’t sit at it all day. When 4pm came around I tried to watch my stuff, but nobody seemed to care, and so I ended up dealing more with the costume contest. The Miss C4 Contest was awesome. I dressed up as the new wonder woman, and actually got judged! I didn’t do badly! We had 27 entries this year, all female participants in superhero or villain costumes and the girls who won dressed up as the Twi-lex. There was one sith, and one jedi, and their costumes were awesome. Other high scores included Codez, Sexy Female Spock, Belle and Sue Storm.
Friday night was artist night, and so I didn’t stop. I think I ate something at some point, but after the costume contest, I had to go over there to let people in with tickets to it. It was a small shindig but I got to see some of the artist friends I have like Tommy Castillo, Dirk Strangely, Nigel Sade, Amul Kumar, Echo Chernik and Sue Dawe. We mostly just stood around ourselves eating the snacks and food provided, drinking and discussing very taboo topics. They’re a hoot but I really can’t repeat the conversations. Well except for this one . . .
Nigel: Hey so we’re gonna go sing Karaoke at this cool place we found on Sherbrook.
Me: Uhhh, no you’re not and I’m not going with you, I don’t wanna get shot.
Nigel: Oh . . . come on though you promised!
Me: Getting shot wasn’t part of that promise.
Nigel: Is it really that bad?
Me: Yeah I mean I like karaoke but I’m not about to get shot.
It took awhile to get him off the idea and to go to Shannon’s Pub instead. Thanks to Echo and Tommy for talking him out of going there.
Saturday: This was by far the easiest day. I had a walkie talkie on waiting for people to yell at me and nobody did. I sat at my table and sold no books, but got some interest, I had Sam come down with the finished book trailer and began showing it to people, a lot of people watched it and liked what they saw. Everyone kept asking me if my mock copy of Surrender was for sale and it wasn’t. Another popular question was when it’s coming out. I gave away a few postcards and business cards and bookmarks but not much and then I had to get ready for the costume contest. It was insane. I mean really insane, and the people working it didn’t help with the chaos. It wasn’t really organized chaos it was just chaos. We had about 2000 people in the audience, and it took forever to pre judge people’s costumes and get them set up backstage. Honestly, I didn’t want to prejudge backstage, but that’s fine.
When it finally got going it was amazing. We had less entries than last year which was fine, but the costumes were better. The prizes we gave away were as follows:
Fan favourites: Medusa, World of Warcraft Girl, Towlie and Master Chief
Best Youth: Dalek (literally this kid was going around the con inside this robot costume. It was awesome)
Best Novice: Oogie Boogie (and it was BIG! and it SHOOK!)
Best Journeyman: Wolverine Bone Claws (He had a bike too and lost points for the horn honking)
Best in Show: Optimus Prime (The guy could transform in his costume)
The Optimus Prime was the last entry in Novice and the guy had the trailer to the truck on a wagon behind him. He came on stage, turned on some lights on his costume that flashed and then TRANSFORMED for us on stage. I was having this geek moment as was everyone else in the audience. It was insane, and that’s why he won.
Saturday night was wild and crazy. It began with a celebrity dinner, kind of a VIP meet the guests thing and then continued to the bar again where were drank, talked, listened to some celtic music and stayed up until about 3:30am. Most memorable was the new server. Damn she shouldn’t have told us she was the new girl. My husband ordered an Onion Daiquiri from her. She actually asked if they had them! Aside from embarrassing a server we had one girl come up to our table and ask us if we’d like to see her tattoo, to which she dropped her pants and showed us not only her tattoo but a lot of other stuff too.
I was glad that I wasn’t completely conscious for that.
Sunday: I sold books to people on Sunday! Most of them were people I knew but it was still awesome! Sue Dawe also handed me fanart! She did a water color on the weekend of Kaliel standing by a tree with a purple flower at the base of the tree. I had such a moment regarding that it was insane. It’s my first real piece of fanart and it’s going to be framed and put up on my wall somewhere at home.
Tear down went quickly, and then we went to the Mariaggi’s afterwards with the board and most valuable volunteers to have pizza and drinks and a wrap up meeting. Overall we were satisfied with another year gone good and actually one of our smoothest years. We even had a kafuffle with a guest not being able to get on his flight and we solved that by getting one of our coordinators to throw up a 24 inch television screen and a skype connection. So people could still talk to the guest.
We’re in the process of working with Wizard World for next year because well the biggest bombshell is that we’re no longer a ma and pa convention run by a couple and a handful of volunteers. Considering the fact that we’ve got to be the biggest fan run convention in the world, we did pretty good. Wizard World is interested in using a lot of our ideas and helping us to bring our event to the next level. Look for it in 2011!