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Ok, first up is my 2007 Gathering con jouranl. Yeah, I know it is a year late. Sorry about that Greg.
Gathering 2007 Report
Wednesday, June 20th:
I got up at 4 am for my 6:10 am flight to Baltimore. I read my usual round of web comics, ate and packed up the last of what I needed for the trip. I got to Sacramento International Airport (which oddly doesn't have any international flights) around 5. After finally getting through the check-in line and security check point, my first task was to find the gate and then track down some over priced caffeine.
After getting some gum, I boarded the plane and we took off pretty much right on time. A little over an hour later, I finally got to experience the Salt Lake City airport. Oddly enough, the plane I had flown in on was the same one I had to get back on for the hop into Baltimore. While sitting around, I kept reading "Conquers Legacy" by Timothy Zhan.
Around 9:45, I was back on the plane and around 10:45, I was in the air again. Like the previous short flight, I pretty much stuck to reading the book while occasionally looking out the window. I finished up the book about 20 minutes out and I thought it didn't live up to Zahn's previous work on the Thrawn triology (Star Wars books).
Landing on time, I first called home to say I safely landed. And then I called Mandolin to see where she was. She was going to be a few minutes later, which was fine with me. Finding the luggage claim, it started up as I got there. Maybe 20 bags came out as Mandolin joined me. Waiting, we watched the same suitcase go around about 6 times before the conveyer stopped. About 20 minutes later, it started up again, this time with the rest of the luggage.
After getting my bag, we headed over to her place to drop it and my backpack off. From there, we got dinner and then went to a couple stores to pick up some sandwich material, bottled water and a few other little things for the drive down. Around midnight, we called it a night.
Thursday, June 21st:
Mandolin woke me around 9. We packed up the car and then headed to Dunkin' Donuts, where I got some breakfast. From there, she stopped by a friends house to see if she had left her wrist brace there. No joy. After that was Sprawl-Mart, eh, Wal-Mart for a pillow (mine was not comfortable) and ice for the coolers.
The drive started off fairly well until we hit the Harper's Ferry Crossing over the Potomac River. They were doing some sort of bridge work, which cost us half an hour since there was only one lane open (two lane bridge). After getting into Virginia, we got onto a different highway. And then we crossed into West Virginia and then back into Virginia. We stopped for a short break before getting onto I-81.
After a couple more hours, I took over as the driver after taking a late lunch break. I spent the next 3.5 hours driving. I'll say this, driving along I-81 is as boring to drive along as I-5 between Stockton and the Grapevine; just more trees and hills. After swapping again, I went back into navigator mode for what was left of the drive.
After finding the needed exit in Tennessee, the directions got to be a bit more confusing. Mainly since some of the turns it told us to take didn't exist and it was off when it came to the number of miles. Finally hitting Pigeon Forge, Mandolin and I agreed the main street was similar to the Strip in Las Vegas, Orlando, and a couple other places… lots of lights on the buildings to confuse and distract the drivers. It nearly worked, since we almost missed the light.
We made contact with Kathy, who I asked if I could crash on her hotel floor for the night. As we pulled around into a spot closer to the room, we ran into Gorebash right as he arrived. While going to the elevator, we saw Jen, Karine, and Patrick briefly. Getting rid of our stuff and having a late dinner, Mandolin and I watched a little TV before walking to Walgreens. I bought some Coke and cookies to drink and munch on during the con.
Getting back to the hotel, we watched some TV for a while before calling it a night around 11.
Friday, June 22nd:
Around 7 or so, Mandolin and I got up and decided to shower and go get breakfast. I went for the pancakes and had some Coke to help wake me up. We ended up chatting for a bit before trying to find our badges. All three of us got a quick taste of the rather… odd elevator.
After getting my badge, I was dragged by Gorebash into Karine's art panel. After that, I helped watch the registration desk (yet again). At some point, Flanker and Sara the Great arrived and I got a room from them. I quickly moved my stuff from one room to the other and went back to help out at the reg desk until opening ceremonies.
After Greg's usual spill, Norcumi, Quidnar, Conna and I went to get dinner at the Japanese Steakhouse that was across the street (the name escapes me). I have to agree with Patrick's earlier comment about the crosswalks. Its faster to drive across the street than walk. The food was pretty good and once done, we went back to the hotel and talked for a while.
Saturday, June 23rd:
Flanker, Kathy, Sara, Gside and I decided to go over to the Red Rooster for breakfast. We talked about a variety of things and noticed that a few other fans had shown up there as well. For food, I decided to have the bacon waffle. Eh, it could have used more bacon.
While some of them headed off to the shooting range, I went back to the room for a shower before handing out the forms for folks to fill out for the radio show auditions. There was a small bit of a crowd and at one point, I had to run after somebody because they left their form in the stairwell. Ooops.
Once again, I circulated upstairs and talked with a variety of others before helping with the registration desk for a while. Once again, we got some walk-ins. I had something for lunch, but can't remember what. At one point, I had to grab one of the radio play lists because Greg forgot to write down a couple on one of them. Later on, I watched one of the doors again while the radio play rehearsals occurred. And to fight the boredom, I made an attempt to write.
And when the radio show was set to start, I got to direct folks to go up one floor and and come down the other set of stairs (since the radio play folks were in the way). The show was pretty impressive. After it was over, Conna and I decided to go get dinner. On the way, we stopped at the nearby book store. It was not very impressive. The Science-Fiction section was rather small and it seemed to be more geared for religious themed books.
We went to Hardee's for dinner and the food wasn't all that impressive. We talked for a while before she had to go return something. On my way back to the room, I ran into Flanker, Thom and Sara as they were getting ready to go get dinner. I decided to tag along despite just eating a little earlier.
While they ordered the food, I found a table for us to sit at, which proved challenging since it was rather crowded at the Pizza Hut. We talked about Thom's new commercials, among other things. After that, we headed back to the hotel for the blue mug.
Blue mug had some interesting questions and answers. Granted I can't remember what was asked. I just know at some point it broke up and I went to bed.
Sunday, June 24th:
I had a bowl of cereal for breakfast before heading up the registration desk once again. Did some chatting before heading off to the Bad Guys panel. Of course, Greg didn't want to reveal much, so we only got to learn a little bit and some biology was discussed as well.
The rest of the day was a blur until it was time for the banquet. I sat with Conna, Norcumi, Quindar and I forgot who else. After discovering the tea was way too sweet, we kept trying to dilute it with the ice water. And the food was pretty decent, though the mashed potatoes could used far less butter.
The Q & A was also pretty decent, though one person kept asking tons of Owen/ Puck questions (if I remember right). We kept exchanging looks with another table and started to hope some other folks would ask questions. After a while, it broke up so folks could get ready for the masquerade.
There was some pretty good costumes this year. I don't remember who got what award, other than Flanker getting the Thom Adcox Memorial Award. Per Duncan's and Guan's requests, I tried to take a number of pictures. Some of us moved into the other room while others danced.
Going back to my room, I got my Scooby Doo deck of playing cards and Scooby Doo Uno deck as well. We played a few rounds of Texas Hold 'Em before playing Uno. We had quite a bit of fun playing and at one point, Thom joined us. After a while, I doubt he liked me dropping draw twos and fours on him.
After a while, the game broke up and I went to get money from the ATM to pay Flanker for the room. Naturally, it was raining and none of the ATMs close by were working. After heading back to the room, I decided to pack what I could and fell asleep.
Monday June 25th:
I got up early to take a shower, pack and eat breakfast. A quick check found that the ATMs were still down, but Mandolin was able to loan me the $30 I needed to pay off Flanker. Mandi and I said goodbye to a number of folks before starting our 9 hour drive back to Baltimore.
The drive was rather uneventful, though we ran into a pair of thunderstorms along the way. And amusingly, we noticed that US 11 crisscrossed I-81 around 26 times. After managing to avoid most of the bad traffic, we arrived at her house. We dropped off our luggage, turned on the A/C and went out to get some dinner. In this case, we went to a pizza place and it was pretty good.
Back at her place, we decided to unwind by chatting and watching some anime. I don't remember what we watched, but it was nice getting to bounce some writing ideas off of her.
Tuesday June 26th:
Mandolin and I spent part of the day trying to see if we could find a window A/C that would fit in her home office. Didn't have any luck since most of them were big to either fit or the cover for the hose (unit that sat on the floor) that fit into the window was too large.
Stopping off to get some food and going to an ATM, I paid her off before we ended up back at her place to decompress for the rest of the day. Once again, we spent it talking and watching anime, this time "Trigun."
Wednesday June 27th:
Mandolin went to work while I finished packing for the flight home. I finished watching "Trigun" and watched the end of an "Outer Limits" episode. At 11:15, she dropped me off at the airport where we said goodbye. Check-in for the flight took forever and so did the security line.
Before headed down to my gate, which was at the far end of the terminal, I got some cash from an ATM and picked up a shot glass to add to my collection. Seeing that I still had about 20 minutes before they started boarding, I got Wendy's for lunch.
For the flight down to Atlanta, I pulled out Tom Clancy's book "Without Remorse." I spent most of time in Atlanta reading while waiting for the flight into Sacramento. On this plane, their were TVs in the seatback. The choices weren't all that great and the music selection could use some work. Spent more time reading and realized that I had picked up a cold somewhere along the line.
The flight landed a few minutes early, bringing another Gathering trip to a close. And it started the quest to save up for the 2008 Gathering.
You have an amazing memory for detail, a whole year later!
I posted this in the comment room, but Todd suggested I repost it here...
Sometimes I just don't have anything Gargoyles for us to do. And I'm not sure if just doing old episodes is all that interesting. And the other things have been fun... at least it seemed that way to me.
Here's a history of the works of the GATHERING PLAYERS...
1998 - RAIN OF THE GHOSTS (an unproduced pilot I wrote)
1999 - THE ROSWELL CONSPIRACIES (a rejected pilot I wrote)
2000 - ROUGHNECKS: THE STARSHIP TROOPERS CHRONICLES (the last arc of the series, which I story edited, half of which was unproduced. Written by me, Jon Weisman Lydia Marano, Cary Bates and Michael Reaves.)
2001 - GARGOYLES: "Hunter's Moon, Part Three" (Note: this was the first time that we actually did something gargoyles related for the radio play. This included scenes that were cut for time from the original. Written by Michael Reaves.)
2002 - TEAM ATLANTIS: "The Last" (Unproduced episode featuring Demona and Fiona Canmore, written by me)
2003 - GARGOYLES: "The Reckoning" (Performed in honor of Gary Sperling, who co-wrote the script with Lydia.)
2004 - GARGOYLES: "The Journey" (my uncut version of the script)
2005 - DOC SHAKESPEARE (An unproduced pilot written by myself and Sam Bernstein)
2006 - GARGOYLES: "The Mirror" (written by Lydia Marano and Brynne Chandler Reaves)
2007 - GARGOYLES: "Clan Building, Chapters III, IV & V: Invitation Only, Masque & Bash" - (from the comic, premeiring chapter V before it was published. Written by me...)
2008 - Geez, I should probably figure this out soon...
Anyway, you can see that traditionally, we've only done something gargish about half the time. For me it's fun to get to see my unproduced work performed, and it does give the fans a little insight into the biz. In any case, I've never heard any complaints from the folks who attended.
OFF TO CHICAGO... ON A WING AND A PRAYER...
Family's good, thanks.
Camouflage... I don't know. Maybe that helps, but you don't need it to explain stone sleep evolution."""
True, but I'm the kind of guy who soaks this kind of stuff like a sponge. I guess I was pseudo-inspired by that Animal Planet documentary 'Dragons: A Fantasy Made Real', where they figured all the dragon stuff out from Evolutiary relatives(crocs and gators) to Fire breathing.
"""Stone sleep is a huge protection against predators in the pre-tool age. Claws and teeth don't bite through stone (or rather the organic stone-like substance that Gargoyles turn into). Even scent is altered. A stone gargoyle is of little interest to and in almost no danger from other animals. It's not until Humans developed tools -- thousands of years after Gargoyles evolved -- that stone sleep became a liability."""
Yes, I figured as much. Though the scent thing is surprisingly new to me. Why, I do not know. *shrugs*
I find this stuff fascinating too. The Gargoyles Physiology and Culture panel was SO much fun at the last Gathering. We have smart fans.
We missed open story reading because Dad had some shopping he wanted to get done. But because I'm SUCH a good daughter, I didn't complain. The fact that he bribed me with a chocolate milkshake didn't hurt either. Pigeon Forge is like one huge, open-air mall; it's amazing what they can cram into three miles of land.
Dad and I got back in time for the Gargoyles Physiology and Culture Open Discussion. I think that may have been my dad's favorite part, he was impressed how much thought went into the scientific and cultural aspect of the characters. I was particually intrested in gargoyle customs, but by the end, I also was convinced the common ansestor of gargoyles and gargbeasts must have been pretty creepy looking. I like creepy.
I think I was hyperventilating when the Bad Guys Panel came up. The animated preview was fun to watch because we could hear the actors' voices again. We didn't get to learn a whole lot, but we were really pumped up. I think that was the point.
By the way, I will be rooting so hard for Yama.
At the banquet, there was some REALLY good food and a table full of nice people to talk to. I was the youngest person stting there, but I kept up pretty well. Most of the questions that came up I hadn't even thought of. Greg had to remind the guests at a point that it was not a 'blue' Q&A, by the adults who were laughing I guessed I had learned a new term. Anyway, we had a lot of fun and I was saddened when Dad and I had to leave early to go back to the cabin. I doubt I'll be able to make it to Chicago, but if I can, I will!
Creepy is in the eye of the beholder, I think.
We do hope to see you again!
Sorry it's so late, the computer ate my fist copy. But better late then never I suppose.
My mom had already left for work when I got up and, thank God, so had my brother. Dad and I had a quiet couple of hours before hitting the road. We actually went along the mountain range, so the scenery was pretty, but nothing too remarkable happened. We stopped by VA Tech so my dad could say hi to an old student, and show me the lamp post he ran into during a foot race. The memorial was still in the works when we got there.
It was almost sundown when we arrived at the cabin we would spend the night in. Dad pulled out a guide book and the convention schedual, explaining to me he had a few things he wanted to see and that I should prioratize when I wanted to be at the Gathering.
"Why didn't we do any of this today?" I asked.
"Because we're staying here tonight, and these are about 300 miles away in Tenessee."
"Oh, good point."
"But aside from that minor detail; we're on the same page, right?"
We left early, and despite spending hours in the car, I was suprisingly patient. Until we were only fifteen minutes away. There might still be finger marks where I gripped the door handle; I'll have to check.
Dad and I actually went to the convention before checking into our hotel. Our first lesson: Never, under any cercumstances, use the elevator!
We wandered about in the registration room and met some really nice people. Even Dad was impressed by the artwork and I was uncharacteristly talkative when I met the other con-goers. Dad tapped me on the shoulder...
"Hey, Rach, that guy in the t-shirt-- Isn't that your hero?"
I looked over my shoulder. Yeah, my dad was right, that was Greg Weisman.
"Go on, get his autograph," Dad urged. I stepped up to the table, greeted him, and managed to stutter something close enough to 'Could you sign this please?' that Greg could understand me. Heh, ^^;
I regained my composure in time for the Radio Play Auditions. I could do the Southern and Scotish accents okay, but after doing the Scotish, I couldn't make the British accent work. Dang. In line a met another girl close to my age who also had an autism spectrum disorder, it was easy to talk to her, so that was fun.
I got to stay through Opening Ceremonies, but had to leave before the music video contest.
The Team Atlantis episode was really cool, even if it wasn't all animated.
We missed the Radio Play Casting by a little, but I found out I was in it. The Mug-A-Guest with Greg was fun, and I asked a few questions my mom wanted to know too since she couldn't make it. Dad went out for lunch during the Radio Play Rehearsals, and just made it back in time for the Radio Play itself. I was Maggie the Cat; I got a little nervous, and the reason the grunt when the debris fell on her sounded so weird was because I acctually choked for a second. It work well though.
When Dad and I came back from having chili dogs, we ran into Greg and a group of con-goers by the crosswalk. I got really happy when I was told I did a good job, and I looked forward to telling my family they could see it on You-Tube soon. I kept my lips sealed about the content of issue 5 though.
End part one
Glad you had fun.
And you're right -- better late than never.
We had been traveling for about a week before the convention, camping in the Smoky Mountains area and south Kentucky, as well as taking in the scenery at Nashville. Anyone who finds my journals insanely entertaining and wishes to see more of my stellar wit (including a hilarious account of getting hopelessly lost in rural Kentucky at night) can go to www.freewebs.com/jurgan6, where I'll have the rest posted in a few days. And now, to slide this in under the deadline.
Note: Heather = Yami Raven, Rob = Jurgan
Friday, June 22
Given as it was the second longest day of the year, we were on the east edge of Central Time, and we were in a tent, the sun woke us up at 5:30 A.M. We'd planned on getting up at 7:00, but when I saw the light, I thought it might be 7:00. But we had a long drive, and we were pretty well awake, so we decided to just get up and get a move on. We bought some donuts at a gas station and drove east across a national forest in Kentucky, then south to Pigeon Forge. Fortunately, after five days of travel we'd gotten past all of our wacky driving mishaps and had a fairly uneventful trip. Our directions had gotten lost, so there was no chance of Mapquest screwing us up again, but we'd seen the Grand Resort when we drove through on Tuesday, and we were able to find it again without much trouble.
We got to the hotel at about 1:30, and they said that they wouldn't have our room ready until 2:00, so we drove down the street to a Chinese buffet. The food was pretty good, and the TV was playing a loop of some bizarre Chinese acrobats performing feats of superhuman precision (wow, I sound like an ad). We then went back, checked into our room, and carried our stuff upstairs. Typically, Heather wanted to make our first stop the dealer's room, so we checked in to the con and then looked at the goodies. I immediately spotted an RPG related shirt that was utterly hilarious and perfectly fitting with my RPG personality, so I didn't even try to resist the urge to buy it.
Shortly thereafter, it was time for opening ceremonies. Learning our lesson from last year, we both went to the bathroom beforehand. When we got down, we saw that the TV was too close to the ground for everyone to see from their chairs, so we quickly moved the chairs to the sides and sat on the floor. Hey, we're an informal bunch. After announcements, Greg started his usual spiel, calling it "The Rocky Horror Gargoyles show," an apt comparison which I'd never thought of/heard before. Last year, Greg kept trying to encourage people who'd already seen it to leave, but I think he's accepted that that's not going to happen. So we saw the usual fun stuff, heard some good, or at least possibly good, news about the comic and DVD's, but by the time it was over it was too late to show the music videos. I never got to see any of them. I guess we ate dinner and went to bed, though I can't for the life of me remember what we had- probably something informal like sandwiches. Heather fell asleep unexpectedly, and so did I a few minutes later.
Saturday, June 23
I got up by 10:00 or so because I wanted to audition for the Radio Play. I ran to a "quaint" old-time diner and brought back lunch (note: I may be getting when we ate which meals mixed up, but it doesn't really matter. If you're accused of a crime, though, I may not be your best witness). Heather stayed in the room, because there wasn't anything she was interested in, and after a week's camping, a bed is hard to say no to. At the auditions, I was a bit intimidated, because I still remember trying out in 2002 and bombing terribly. A large crowd sat on the stairs, and we had a lot of fun talking, though we only had a couple scripts to share. I argued with some girls about how Inuyasha would have been better if it had taken lessons from Gargoyles. At one point, I made some joke referencing a certain character from TGC whose name must not be mentioned (let's just say it was mentioned over forty times in one episode). A few people felt my faux pas had to be punished, and started discussing whether it would be more appropriate and/or efficient to decapitate me or simply remove my larynx. That's the sort of conversation I find very amusing. I was one of the last to audition, and I feel I did a lot better than before, reading the part of Brooklyn instead of Xanatos. Greg said I did "great!"
I went back to the room for a while, and either went to get lunch or ate some leftovers (I honestly can't remember when I got the food). I went back down at 2:00 for the world-building for fantasy/sci-fi fan panel. I almost always go to the fan panels, except for the art ones. We talked about a lot of good stuff, though I can't really remember much of it now. I was also spending the entire panel wondering if I'd made the Radio Play cut, since I hadn't had time to check beforehand. Once the panel ended, I quickly ran to check the casting sheet, and was thrilled to find I'd made it! Of course, it turned out that there were more parts than people, so I made it by default, but I like to think I did well enough to merit it. I ran back to the room long enough to tell Heather, and then ran back down for rehearsal. Greg had us set up the chairs in a very specific pattern, and then had us sit in an even more specific arrangement. Once we were all seated, we found out that we were performing issues 3, 4, and 5 of Gargoyles comicbook. Of course, we were all thrilled by that revelation, and I'm sure many of us were tempted to flip to the end to see what happened, but I stayed with the cast. I was Matt Bluestone, and my scene was early on in the play. Greg had to give me a note, calling for "Matt," and it took me a minute to realize who he was talking to. Apparently "Tri Chung" is pronounced "try," not "tree." Huh. Anyway, we went through the play, and sat on the edges of our chairs throughout act three. When we found out about the Illuminati's triangular structure from 1 to 36, as a mathematician I immediately set about calculating how many total members there were, although I didn't expect it to be significant. I could have done it in my head (18*37- half the last number times one more than the last number), but it was distracting me from the story, so I pulled out my phone calculator. 666. Hmm, maybe it is significant. The "Andrew Johnson" line got a big laugh at rehearsal, though less of a response in the play. And, of course, "Nine." When we finished the rehearsal, we were given a twenty minute break. Heather had been unsure of whether to come, but when I told her what we were performing (without spoilers), she decided to come. Then I ran back downstairs, where several cast members were mulling over the revelations we'd just had. The conversation led me to come up with a theory for who number 1 is (this is why I love fan speculation- together we come up with better ideas than we would individually; whole vs. sum of parts). Obviously, I can't put speculation in an Ask Greg entry, but I convinced a number of people, including Greg Bishansky.
The play itself went very well. The audience was barely larger than the cast. Heather got a couple pictures of me reading my lines, but I don't think they came out. Fortunately, Youtube has the whole thing. Thom Adcox got people rolling on the floor every freaking time he opened his mouth. We got laughs at the right moments, and a very satisfying gasp at the end.
After the play, Heather and I went to dinner at Kinkaku, a sushi/hibachi restaurant across the street. We had just sushi, and it was pretty good. Still not my all-time favorite (that'd be Toyo, in Rock Hill, SC), but it was a good meal.
We hung around for a while, and then went to the Blue Mug. On average, the questions started out pretty dark blue and gradually paled as the night went on. I had a couple terribly mild questions, including one Heather wanted to ask, but she left before she got a chance. Thom pulled his pants down to show his tattoo and repeated his infamous "Monsigneur Nelson" joke. I'm still not sure I get the joke, but it's fun to watch.
After Thom left at about 1:30, most of the people scattered. My favorite thing to do at cons is just sitting around talking to people, so I gravitated to the small group sitting around Greg. Jen Anderson was there, and I think Gorebash, but I can't remember any others. Next year I should really write this stuff down immediately, instead of trying to remember it a month later. My biggest regret is that I can't remember who all the people I met were. Anyway, we sat around telling stories. I mostly just listened, since I'm still relatively new to the cons and didn't want to butt in to other people's conversations. All the others knew each other pretty well, and I did feel a little intimidated at first, but it was pretty easy to talk after a while. We had one conversation about which was worse: hurricanes, tornados, or earthquakes. Jen told a story about getting on a plane by pretending to be engaged to Thom. Greg lay down on some chairs half-asleep, waking up occasionally to tell people who called him that he was not a taxi company and they needed to enter a different area code. Eventually, Greg decided he was going to bed, and the rest of the group broke up.
That evening summed up the con for me. Although there were far fewer guests and events than last year, I felt like I really got to know the people who were there a lot better. I'm really starting to feel like I'm part of these cons, instead of just a guest watching them. I got to meet some new people, whom I'll hopefully see again next year.
Part 2 in another post, assuming I get it done before the queue closes.
Well, the queue will open again when issue #6 comes out (sometime this month) so post part 2 then!
So, here was Matt, enjoying his evening, finishing up dinner and dishes and about to settle down to a good book before bedtime when alas he decides to peak into the Comment Room and realizes the Ask Greg queue closes in mere hours (so he gathers) and he has forgotten to post his 2007 Gathering Journal!!!
So in a mad rush to finish he begins to type. Without further ado...
After barely arranging to get Friday off work and saying the goodbyes to my Jason (the boyfriend who will probably attend G '08 with me) I hit the road around 5 AM CT. It had been a while since I had a nice road trip and there is always that fun feeling about leaving when it is still dark outside. Long (and boring) story short, I arrived in the town of Pigeon Forge at about 3:15 PM ET. My first impression of the town was that it seemed to be brimming with traffic and pancake houses. I was relieved to discover the hotel without incident (aside from the aforementioned traffic) and checked in. I quickly found my room, threw down my stuff and made my way to the convention area. I found it a good sign that right after checking in at the Staff table, I ran back to my room to leave some stuff there and on my way back ran into Greg Weisman himself. I was amazed that Greg seemed to remember me by face alone (or maybe he read my badge, but he seemed like he knew me). I wish I had his talent of face/name recognition. I'd only met him once before briefly in 2002. Anyway, Greg tried to convince me to try out for the Radio Play. I had considered it for months, but I greatly enjoy listening to the production so I opted out. Perhaps next year. I'll think about it. Greg seemed in a hurry for something and I made my way back to the art room/dealer's room area. On the way I ran into Harvester of Eyes. We hadn't met before and chatted about Putt-Putt golf a bit and how he dislikes it and then I finally made it back to the main convention room. As I was looking around the wares, I noticed one space left on the sign up sheet for Mug-A-Guest with Greg and I eagerly signed up. I went to examine the art, which was naturally quite good. There were a few really fun pieces, kudos to those who submitted art. I was happily surprised to see a few sample pages for Issue #5. I felt almost guilty seeing Brook's costume, Dr. Sato and Mary and Finella. Of course, at the time I didn't know that I was going to soon learn much more about Issue #5. Ran into Greg X and chatted about the comics, the Comment Room and other silliness for a bit.
The time for Opening Ceremonies came around and I eagerly found a good seat... of course, not long afterwards I found myself sitting on the floor. It was all very kindergarten story/naptime-esque.
I don't care how many times Greg has been through the Opening Ceremonies stuff, I loved seeing and hearing it all. However, I guess Greg felt that he needed to add something new to the routine, so he proceeded to destroy the hotel podium to the delight and amusement of the con-goers .
After the end of Opening Ceremonies, I was famished and made my way to dinner at Shoney's across the street. I went back to my room and laid on the bed and enjoyed that "I'm on vacation" feeling for a while and then, feeling fat, went swimming to burn off the Shoney's. Exhausted, I went back to the room and passed out.
Slept pretty late. Reveled in the feeling of not waking up to an alarm. Took my time getting ready and went down to the complimentary breakfast. Finding no fruit in sight, I shrugged and gorged on biscuits and gravy like I hadn't done in years. Vacation, right?
I made my way back to the con and attended the "Fan to Pro" panel with Karine (and Samuel). I felt guilty again when Karine accidently let slip Quincy's name, but that was nothing compared to later. Anyway, the panel was great, I really enjoyed listening to Karine and there were some great questions. Even though I'm not much of an artist, it was fun. After that I had the Mug with Greg. This was a lot of fun and it really made me realize why the Gathering is so great. When a group of people can sit in an (ever growing) circle (in person!) and chat about Gargoyles, it makes me feel a great sense of community which is only faintly felt via the internet community. Somehow Greg revealed to us that the Jogger is Billy and Susan's uncle. Not sure how we got that out of him, but I thought it was a neat tidbit.
After the Mug, I decided I needed/wanted a walk so I wandered down to Taco Bell for lunch and ended up counteracting the purpose for the walk there when I got a big ole quesadilla thing... ugh, I ate too much on this trip.
I waddled back to the hotel with enough time to get a great seat for the Radio Play. Wow, that was fun. To have brand new canon material revealed to us as a big group like that was just awesome. Something I haven't felt since I was watching the episodes as the came out 11 years ago with grade school friends and talking about them at school. So much fun. Thom Adcox was hilarious as Brentwood (great casting there, ha!), but I was also impressed by a lot of other people, namely Phoenix-Talon as Elisa. Honestly, I can't read the line "I'm a part of this clan. Nothing will ever change that." without hearing Phoenix-Talon. I should be hearing Salli Richardson, I know, but her Radio Play counterpart deserves a round of applause. Great job.
After the Radio Play I congratulated Greg on a great job and then excused myself to call my friend Ryan (another Gargoyles fan who couldn't attend due to med-school) and told him exactly nothing except that I heard the script for Issue #5. He was good about it, but I couldn't stop gushing about how great it was so I decided to spare him (and spot tempting myself) and just get back to the convention. [On a side note, I happened to witness the most interesting scenario involving a baby duck and a fisherman in the stream behind the hotel during this phone conversation. But that, as they say, is a story for another day...]
I went back and made my way to MGT3K, which was one of my favorite events at G'02. Had a lot of fun making fun of the episodes (and Greg's intros for the eps). I truly do feel, however, that the Goliath Chronicles was made for MGT3K, and hope to see TGC in that (and only that) venue at future Gatherings.
Next came the Blue Mug. Never attended that before and I was not disappointed. Goliath's genitalia, Thom Adcox removing his pants and humping a fan (separate incidents of course), and lots of pornographic Gargoyles art and video clips. And I hear this was a MILD year. Yikes. Lot of fun though. I didn't want to miss a minute of it so I remained even though I was very sleepy. Found myself attempting to flirt with Thom from across the room (can't help it, he's cute) but nothing came of that (truly for the best) and after the Mug broke up, I went back to my room to sleep. Instead, on a whim, I jumped in the pool and swam around until the thought of swimming in the dark had me totally freaked out ( I was actually getting "the shivers" imagining monsters below me in the darkness). Well aware of my exhaustion, I went to my room and slept.
Woke up early and got things packed up. I needed to be on the road asap, cuz I had to get back home for stuff on Monday.
Fortunately, I had time for a quick breakfast at that Rooster pace next door. Finally had some fruit for breakfast, although the restaurant insisted on immersing it in some sort of sugary fruit syrup. Went back to the con and listened to a couple of the open-story stuff. Some people had some pretty good stuff, and the stillness of the room and the singular voice was refreshing after the Blue Mug the night before.
Next attended a panel I'd been waiting for all weekend; Gargoyles Physiology and Culture. Though I certainly disagreed with a lot of the ideas floating around that panel (especially involving Gargate evolution), I had a great time. It was nice to actually be able to have that conversation outside of the Comment Room. And we all agreed, for various reasons, that gargoyle eggs do in fact need to be turned. I felt that this consensus, minor though it was, was a good place for us to move to the culture part of the panel. I was surprised that I ended up enjoying this part of the panel even more. Greg really inspires me when he talks about Gargoyle culture. It really was fascinating and wonderful stuff, and Greg explained his thoughts so well. It made me feel I got a glimpse, for a moment, into that universe Greg is always tapping into.
After the panel, most of us moved on to the "Bad Guys" panel. Turned out that Greg, naturally, wasn't ready to reveal much there and the panel turned into a Marketing seminar. Not much I can say about that that others have not already.
After the so called "Bad Guys" panel ended, I realized I needed to hit the road. I said my goodbyes to Greg and a few others and made my way back home. I arrived in my apartment in St. Louis very very late Sunday night (Monday morning?).
It was a great trip and I'm thrilled that the Gathering next year will be even closer! Hopefully, I'll be able to bring my friend Ryan and boyfriend Jason along next year, but I know I'll be there at least.
Now, I need to get this posted before the queue closes again.
Thanks Greg, Thom, Karine, the entire Gathering Staff and everyone who came! It was a lot of fun!
Thank you, Matt. I'll admit I did cheat and glanced at your nametag, but now I swear I know your face. (It usually takes me a couple of Gatherings to nail a name and face together on anyone.)
I really enjoyed the Phys/Culture panel also. I'm such a science moron, it felt like a great crypto-education. And, as I'm sure ALL of you know by now, I LOVE talking about this stuff.
Thurs, June 21st
I got into Nashville about 7:30 Central Time. I hope Southwest fun flights or whatever they're called connect to Chicago next year, cause it was cheap as hell and best of all there weren't any delays!
I waited around for a couple hours for Kirsten (Babyfey) and Demona Taina, who was on her first trip to the continental US from Puerto Rico. We all flew into Nashville, so we rented a car and drove to Knoxville. For some reason I was surprised that they only had country music stations in Tennesse.
Taina was amazed at how big everything was. Apparently the 3 hour drive was longer than it took to cross Puerto Rico.
Kristen had made reservations for us at a motel outside Knoxville. It was right off the highway, and I was really happy when I saw the the nice looking place with the big banner that read "Free Breakfast". But she had booked us at the seedy motel behind it. The sun never seemed to go down that night (turned out it was the solstice), and considering the kind of place we were in, I kind of felt like we were in a Twilight Zone episode. Somehow I managed to get a good night's sleep on the cardboard mattress.
Fri, June 22nd
We got up early and picked up Kristen's friend at the Knoxville airport, ate pancakes for breakfast, then drove to Pigeon Forge. The place is like Vegas except without all the stuff that "stays in Vegas". Traffic was terrible but we managed get to the hotel eventually.
I hung out in the art room for awhile, then got lunch with some other people (I can't remember for the life me who- I think it was Aaron, Lynati, Jade Griffin and Leo) at this pizza place that they had coupons for in the art room.
Opening ceremonies was fun as always, and it was good to see so many new people had showed up.
We went to the minigolf place down the street after that, and had our asses throughly handed to us by the course. Thank for doing the math for me, cause we would have been there for another hour if I had done it myself.
Then we ran across the street en-mass (felt like we were playing real-life Frogger) and got dinner at the restaurant where we couldn't find the door. They had some great catfish.
Then we ran across the street again, and we hung around in the 2B room. Hudson ranted about random subjects, which was hilarious. I can't remember the guy's name, but man did he do a good Christopher Walkin impression. We tried to have him order pizza in that voice. Mara, Lynati, and yet another person I can't recall know all the words to Rent. All I knew was the words to the Simpsons parody of it. Some people got pizza from the place we'd eaten before (we recommended it and still had some coupons left). The delivery guy ripped us off majorly and the pizza wasn't that great either.
Sat, June 23rd
I got up early, and walked downstairs in a rather zombiefied state, ate some pancakes and went shooting with Flanker, Sarah, Leo, Dtaina, Sadisitc Cow, and some others. It was a lot of fun and Leo is a killing machine. Someone made the mistakes of trying to explain what a gargoyle is to they guy who owned the shooting range.
I went to a few panels after that, then the radio play which was great! Thom Adcox will never live now down "Thailog Smart!"
I went to minigolf with some people who's names I, again, can't remember. That was a mistake. It kicked my ass worse then the night before, and I missed MGT3K, which is my favorite panel at Gatherings.
The Blue Mug was fun, but I'm starting to think that we're running out of 'adult' questions ask (particularly after last year-wow!). And we didn't get kicked out of the room this year- a first for as long I've been going to Gatherings!
Sun, June 24th
I woke up early again and had pancakes (detecting a trend?). I went to a few panels, and then ended up at the banquet, which was very good this year, and there was plenty for 2nds and 3rds this time! Some how I got the impression though, that most of people wait staff there were children of Hotel employees who were being forced into helping. Somehow we started talking about the masquerade, and I ended up being dragged to Walmart to buy stuff for my Severius costume. The Masque was alot of fun- the guy in the full-body gargoyle suit was amazing. I offered Hudson $5 to say "Luke, I am your father" while he was dressed in his full SWAT gear. People kept having my throw my head back and kackle (I have no idea how to spell that and neither does the spellchecker) so they could take pictures. And then there was that other stuff (highlights of the masque!) which I'm sure is now on YouTube.
I ended up talking fanfiction with Lynati in her room (I wish I had the time to be as detail obsessed as she is), and working on the Myst (I don't really know what that it, but it was fun to work on) for somebody's new fanfiction.
Mon, June 25th
I slept in a little, and well, are pancakes the legally mandated breakfast food of Pigeon Forge or something? Seriously.
I wish had rained that night (or that the roof hadn't leaked), because i didn't get a chance to vote on the art show.
I don't recall to much of closing ceremonies (I was too tired). Kristen and I left shortly afterward and drove back to Nashville were caught our flights out.
All in all, even after leaking roof and such, it was still the best gathering I've ever been to.
And I apologize to everyone whose name I forgot. I can never remember people's names when I need to.
Glad you had a good time. Hope we see you in Chicago. And the Blue Mug doesn't have to be blue. It's just that it's okay if it is.
My Con Journal 2007
Note: I was feeling sick pretty much the whole time, so I didn't really do much...
June 22, 2007
We drove for about 7 hours before we got to the hotel. We went to lunch at a Chinese buffet down the road. I went to the dealer's room right after we got our badges. I bought a zombie shirt and a plush Anubis. Then, Rob and I went to the Opening Ceremonies. It was fun to see all the new people who came this year. After the ceremonies were over, we went back to the room to rest and eat dinner.
I again went and bought nice stuff at the dealer's room, then Rob and I went to the radio play. Rob got to play the part of Matt Bluestone. Everyone did a wonderful job! There was a spoiler for the 5th issue of the comic. It just goes to show that there are perks to coming to the Gathering. After that, we went to get some sushi at Kinkaku down the road. After dinner, we came back to the hotel for the blue mug. Thom humped a guest and showed off his tattoo. I wasn't feeling well, so I left the mug early and went to sleep.
Today we went to the Physiology panel and talked about how gargoyles raise their young. It was very interesting. Afterwards, I went back to the room to rest and have lunch. Later, I went to the dealer's room yet again and bought a sushi charm bracelet. We went to a steak buffet place for dinner, which wasn't very good and definitely not worth the money. On the way back to the room, we saw Greg and Thom playing air hockey. Rob played against Hudson, and I played against Flanker. Rob lost his match by one point. I beat (or according to him "slaughtered like a spring lamb") Flanker by one point. It was so fun to be able to go against someone new for a change. After the match with him, I was exhausted, but Greg asked me to play, and you just can't say no to the MF Garg Master. I had my ass handed to me, but that was because I was tired. Assuming we make it to next year's Gathering I would like to take him on again to see what I would do when I was at my best. It was so much fun! After our matches, we watched a few other people play, then went to the Masquerade. There weren't many contestants this year, but all the costumes were wonderful. I especially liked the Gargoyle costume that took Best in Show. After the contest, I started feeling sick, so I went to bed.
Today was the last day of the Gathering. The first thing we did was go to the auction/signing. I got Greg and Thom to sign the cover of my program. After that, was talked to some people in the art room while we waited for closing ceremonies. We were encouraged to come back next year. We will do that if we have enough money. We are getting married 7 days before the Gathering. We will be the only people I know who have had their honeymoon at a convention! So, the next time you see me, I will be a happily married Garg fan! ^_^
And I hope you're feeling better now.
This be my con journal for the year:) A bit abbreviated since I don't want to snore anyone out:)
I travel every year I can make it, from Reno, NV to wherever the con happens to be: from Montreal, Canada to my home state to Williamsburg, WV to Fort Worth, TX. Why? Read on:)
I was approached by email by the wonderful Eden asking if I could be on the Con Staff this year. Boy, would I! No, I am not insane:) So I told my husband I was going and got my tickets and travel plans. The Gathering of the Gargoyles 2007 would be in Pigeon Forge, TN. I would fly to Memphis, TN and drive the 6 hours on a mini road trip with three other great people: Admiral Trimm, Beedoo!, and Arno. And that's exactly how it happened. As soon as I got off the plane, I jumped in Trimm's jeep and we were off! It actually took 8 hours, given the dumb construction. Bah. Silly humans.
Arriving at the hotel, which was a lot less than we anticipated it would be --- in size, not price -- I got fed up w/ them and headed over to the main hotel to find the con suite and my fellow staffers (we had been moved to a hotel across the street due to some overbooking or some such nonsense). Got my registration packet, shirt, badge, etc. and headed back for sleep around 12am local time.
Day one was setting up the art show and sitting in the art room for most of the day. This would be the majority of my task while the Art Show Coordinator this year: babysit the art room. No biggie. Most of the Con I am either in a panel or in the art room anyway drawing up a storm. I learned the hard way being the Art Show Coordinator left little room for actually drawing while most of it went to coordinating, lol.
Boy, did we have a lot of new people this Con. So many new hands raised at Opening Ceremonies, it was awesome!! Met some neat new people, too:)
I hosted three panels while at the Con: Gargoyles Physiology and Culture with Greg Weisman and Lynati, Mystery Gargoyle Theater 3000, and an Open Writing session and discussion panel (i won the writing contest this year. Wee!!). It was a blast, despite hassles with elevators and hotel personnel. And me, Beedoo!, Trimm, and Arno finally got a room in the right hotel. Yay!
We basically ignored the bad hotel stuff until it culminated into a bit of a fiasco. The Masquerade and dance is a big event at our Con. Earlier in the day, the women's restroom next door had flooded. The hotel staff was fairly prompt in coming to dry (and not clean) the carpet but it was still a bad event... In the midst of our costumed frolicking and boogying, someone ran in and said they needed volunteers because the art show/dealer's room roof was leaking-- on top of everything in the room! We ushered our decked out behinds up to the art show/dealer's room and lo and behold, the ceiling was leaking! It had rained earlier that day. It being around 10pm local time and the dealers all gone to bed, plus the hotel staff unwilling to send anyone to help us move our stuff, we took matters into our own hands! Hudson coordinating this awesome march, approximately 25 con-goers (and yes I mean fans!) hupped to it and moved all of the dealer's merchandise including thousands of dollars of comic books to the room next door. Bad on top of worse... Though our move occurred in about 10 minutes, we learned that the next room also had a leaky ceiling!! Egads, people! So, improvisation among such brilliant minds as ours isn't hard to find. We took every table stacked the merchandise on one, and put another table over that table to shield it. All but the comic books. Someone brought in their own tarp and someone got some drop cloths to put over the rest of the delicate merchandise. Saved! As for the artwork, the set-up was promptly broken down, the artwork sorted by artist, purchased, auction, etc. and taken to the safe haven of the blessed con suite. All hail the snacks!
Did such dark moments hamper our most awesome Con? Naw:) You cannot believe the aura of goodness from this convention. It is truly the best experience anyone will ever have of a fandom. We pull together like we've known each other for decades, good friends who've known each other face to face forever, and some of us have just met:) It makes fun stories to tell each other afterwards. It really was a great Con despite the ... interesting... hotel. Hanging with the rest of the fans, our wonderful guests, hosting a panel beside Greg Weisman, laughing all night with Arno, Trimm, Beedoo!, and so many others... Oh, and of course the Blue Mug;P You will not find a better group of people drawn together under the banner of fandom and that's the truth. So, join us, won't you? It's a family reunion where you don't hate any of your relatives. It's great and you GOTTA come. That's my soap box:) Gargs forever! And don't forget to get the comic books!!
Thanks, Jade! You did a great job and were always such an enthusiastic presence on the staff!
Gathering Journal - Monday, June 25, 2007
Got up a bit earlier than the previous days, so I could take advantage of the "all-you-can-eat" pancakes coupon I was provided. It turned out "all-you-can-eat" wound up being four. But they were tasty and filling indeed.
My next stop was the auction, in which many delightful items were offered, although much of the early bidding seemed a smidge subdued. I only bid on one item, as most of the items I wanted moved out of my range. I was tempted by a few items in particular - a Phoenix Gate medallion, and the promo posters for the Gargoyles trade paperback and the first issue of Bad Guys.
As the auction ended, it seemed no one had anything in particular to do until closing ceremonies (save Greg, who went off to work), so most of us hung around chatting. (I had some nice conversation bits with Greg B., Fan and Kathy Pogge, myself.) While I'd already signed up for G2K8, I decided to take the opportunity to snag a promotional shirt, which I may be wearing to an upcoming convention (although, it was suggested I write the URL for the Gathering site on there first - my fannish loyalty is conflicting with my collector's instincts there). As closing ceremonies neared, Hudson took over the microphone for a pseudo-rant; after a bit, I ducked out to my room until the actual closing ceremonies were due to begin.
The ceremonies - as usual - felt very much like a cool-down; which, of course, they essentially are. Various thank yous, and well-deserved applause, and awards were distributed. But the original post-ceremonies plan - a visit to Dollywood - was nipped in the bud by a brief but notable downpour. So new plans were made to head to a local laser tag parlor for a game.
A group of 20 people, including Greg W., Greg B., Hudson, Chloe, GSide, King Cobra, Vid the Kid, Kathy Pogge, Halloweenking, Brant Wells, IRC Goliath, myself and several others headed to Ultrazone. We were split into two groups of 10, and while we waited our turn, another ferocious air hockey competition got underway with Greg and company. Me, I decided to play some skeeball and practice my shooting before I headed in.
The actual game itself was awesome - very atmospheric, with lots of cover and sniper positions, and a mist that doubled as concealment and a means for the lasers to become visible. In something that seems unusual for laser tag, this was a free-for-all match, where everyone was out for themselves. My group included Greg W., Greg B., GSide, Kathy Pogge, Halloweenking, and three non-Gargoyles fans: a mother and her two young kids (who, unlike everyone else, worked as a team). I'd only played one game of laser tag before this, and this vastly surpassed that game - I had great fun, and I suspect others were as well, judging from the smiles. To my vast surprise, I won the game, earning the most points if not the highest accuracy (my codename: "Super Nova").
However, the exertion of the game immediately sent Greg W.'s group out for some drinks at the Walgreens, where we encountered a clerk who was also a fan of the show. (999 to go, as one said.) Greg decided he wanted to seek out a Baskin-Robbins a good ways down the street, in the expectation that we'd all be hungry enough by then for dinner. At that point, the other group of ten, who were nearly left behind, caught up. We settled on a BBQ place called Corky's, where our group's size left the staff a bit stunned at first. Split between two tables, I sat nearest to, and chatted the most with, Brant Wells and friend (whose name I missed, sorry!), Vid the Kid, King Cobra, Halloweenking and GSide. My dinner was a delicious hickory burger.
Our ice-cream plans were scrapped when Greg W.'s table got dessert following their dinner. Heading back, I nearly went with Hudson's go-kart-seeking group, before deciding to go back to the hotel instead. We said our goodbyes to Greg W. and one another, and went our separate ways. To me, these moments felt like the true end of the Gathering 2007.
I found ways to kill the time - namely, a visit to the nearby Book Warehouse for some, well, books, as well as a road atlas. Also snagged some dessert - a moon pie and an ice cream sandwich - and coordinated the return trip with my dad (who suggested an alternate route home through Harper's Ferry) and Greg B. (while we watched a rather odd episode of South Park). Packed my bags, and prepared for an early day Tuesday...
Bittersweet, I know...
Gathering Journal - Sunday, June 24, 2007
Got up, went out and ate, then went to the con suite to hang out. Showed off my card game to A Fan on his request. A Wii was set up and running, so I played a few rounds of Virtual Console Super Mario Kart 64 with various people. My next stop was the Gargoyles/Bad Guys panel, which apparently replaced a previously planned Spider-Man panel (which fell apart after the owners banned nearly every topic Greg could discuss).
- Bad Guys began with three characters: Dingo, Matrix and Fang. To fill the role of a "hardcase" female character, they almost went with a new character, before settling on Robyn Canmore. Lastly, they figured a gargoyle would be good, so they added Yama.
- In terms of Illuminati ranking, Mace Malone was somewhere in the high 20s before he died. Xanatos has been an Illuminatus for a few years; Greg won't reveal how long Castaway was a member.
- The first six issues of Bad Guys take place in late 1996 to early 1997. They start in 1997, before flashing back to 1996.
- Matrix's potential power level would become an issue in a second series of Bad Guys. Greg actually conceived of this plotline before the first series.
- Yama wants to redeem himself, but the Bad Guys' bosses are still blackmailing him into service, which he resents.
- Eventually, the Bad Guys may meet Jackal and Hyena, but not in the first series.
- Vinnie will appear in Bad Guys.
- Although Greg would love to do more than one comic a month, he can't financially justify it.
- They briefly considered doing a "Gargoyles Classics" title that would adapt television stories into comic form, but ultimately rejected it.
- Although Gargoyles is SLG's most successful title (before you factor in the expense of the license), it's "not safe" or stable. The delay between the early issues, he said, "killed us." The title will probably run through issue #12, but there will probably be a financial re-evaluation at that time. The license is strictly limited to comics (no T-shirts or such).
- Disney owns everything created for the Gargoyles comic.
- Someone proposed making a Gargoyles tabletop role-playing game, but Greg thinks it'd require a major developer to work.
- As with the Blue Mug, there are a few bits I can't reveal, as they would spoil issue #5.
Next, after a failed attempt to play the Lethal Weapon pinball game, I played some air hockey against King Cobra (who kicked my butt). Went back to the art show, saw some new art (including Transformers stuff mentioned to me by A Fan), and bid on a few silent auctions (none of which I ultimate won). I also registered for G2K8, and got a few more comics, then headed back to my room for a bit.
The banquet was nice- the food was good, the iced tea perhaps a little too sweet. My table included (if I recall correctly) Mandi, Ethan Gilchrist, Brant Wells, and a few others. Then, we had the Q&A.
- One fan asked a lot of Puck questions.
- Puck will not appear in the first 12 issues of the comic.
- In "City of Stone," the humans were real stone, not organic stone like the gargoyles.
- Greg may have bet he can get Demona to say "Jalepena."
- The Weird Sisters vary in which sister is ascendant at which time.
- What Titania said calmed Fox down. (No, Greg didn't say exactly what.)
- The "four tricksters" story would involve a competition over which would be Alex's tutor. Puck considers all of them rivals, and some of them friends. There are more than four tricksters.
- Favorite colors: Night sky blue for Greg, blue or red (it alternates back and forth) for Thom.
- Greg really wished that scene with Vinnie from "Hunter's Moon" could have stayed in.
- Which character would you remove from the show, if you absolutely had to? Greg would remove Lois. Thom would remove Owen, just to annoy people.
It was also revealed that Thom and seven fans got Phoenix Gate tattoos prior to the banquet. (From what I hear, Greg wasn't sure what to make of it...) As the group dispersed, I asked Norcumi and Quindar what the backstory was to the whole "Gargles" thing. I had assumed one or both of them were dentists or somesuch, but actually, they were just capitalizing on a common misspelling... also, I learned they actually have a gargles-fans.org!
Heading downstairs, I was witness to an awesome series of air hockey games involving (among others) King Cobra, Greg, Thom, and Flanker, with Flanker narrowly winning the impromptu "tournament." (Greg is really good at that game...) King Cobra asked if I wanted to play, but, now understanding why I lost so badly earlier, I declined. (No masochist, me.) Then, it was time for the masquerade. Halloweenking had an amazing gargoyle costume, and there were great showings from the other contestants as well... after that, I honestly didn't do much. (My wallflower tendencies kicked in.) The party broke into two areas, one with dancing and such, and one with quieter events. In the latter, I saw some interesting card games running, and in the former, I saw some dance numbers. Managed to chat a little with Harvester of Eyes, Greg B. and others... but ultimately, I just opted to leave. As the con suite was closed, I merely headed back to my room and turned in for the evening.
Oh, there was one brief interruption before I went to sleep - someone came by looking for the fellow selling the comic books, to tell him of the roof leakage. (They were checking every room on the second floor, it seems. Unfortunately, I couldn't help them find him...
I think Thom and I are going to get together for more Air Hockey this week.
Gathering Journal - Saturday, June 23, 2007
Repeating my pattern from yesterday, I lazed about before heading out to the dealer's room. This time, I ran into Greg B., then bought a substantial stack of inexpensive comics (thus patching some holes in my collection). After hauling them back to my room, I headed on down to the Con Suite, and sat through the tail end of "Eye of the Beholder" and all of "Vows" before going back upstairs to get a replacement for my badge (it had suffered some water damage). Back to the con suite again, where I sat through 98% of "City of Stone", chatted with Mandi, then worked on the Gargoyles "Krossword" for a long while before going upstairs to see the radio play.
The radio play itself was excellent - based on "Clan-Building" Parts 3-5 (which, yes, includes the as-yet-unreleased July issue). Good performances all around. The best thing is, the play will be posted on YouTube in August... I'm not allowed to describe the plot of the July issue, but suffice to say it's got some great moments in it.
After the play, I wound up hanging out with Mandi, Kathy, Emambu, Stephanie, Lynati and Mara in Mandi and Kathy's room, where we had pizza. I didn't really find any good ways into the conversation (not their fault), so after they headed to MGT3K, I opted to go back to my room for a little while and have a little snack. I headed back upstairs for the Blue Mug, arriving just after MGT3K finished.
Notable bits from the Blue Mug:
- Greg won't reveal if Brooklyn is a virgin when he meets Katana; if Delilah is sterile; if Lexington will meet his future mate before Brooklyn TimeDances; or if Coldstone is present in 2198.
- Gargoyle males are born circumcised.
- Hudson apparently wears pants instead of a loincloth because he feels he needs more dignity.
- Thailog designed Delilah to be a proper companion, not a mere sex slave - more than a minion, but less than an equal. Her diction has always been better than that of her fellow clones.
- Greg may consider doing a Blue short story, but he makes no promises. He suggested an auction for it may be in order, if done...
- Greg once contacted Phil Foglio on the possibility of a XXXenophile-type work featuring gargoyle-like characters. Although Foglio was intrigued, he was too busy, not to mention getting away from that sort of material after joining a local school board...
- Gargoyles and humans besides Goliath and Elisa have fallen in love, but it's extremely rare. It's so rare there isn't even a cultural taboo against it. Sometime between c. 3000 BC and 2199, there is only one other human-gargoyle relationship - and no, Greg isn't telling.
- Now that Puck is stuck as Owen for the long haul, we may see some changes in Owen's behavior.
- When Puck becomes Owen, there is a psychological transformation as well as a physical one. However, this does not mean Puck and Owen exist as distinct personalities in one form- when he's Puck, he's just Puck, and when he's Owen, he's just Owen.
- One issue of the comic is about equal to one act from a TV episode. Greg admits he's become used to writing for television rather than comics, but he hopes to break that pattern with Bad Guys.
- Greg chose not to have a fictional president, because - outside of the obvious fantasy elements - he likes to make the Gargoyles universe as close to reality as possible.
- It's important that sales of the regular comic not lag due to the pending release of a collected edition. If the regular comic doesn't sell, there might not be collected editions to buy... Greg also hopes to have some bonus material in the trade paperback (including a foreword by Wendy Pini), and possibly also a trade paperback of Bad Guys.
- A very complicated spell could enable the reattachment of a severed limb during stone sleep (assuming the gargoyle didn't die from the shock of the damage).
- The TimeDancer miniseries will be a "fragment" from his 40-year trip.
- Thom thinks Lex's pick of the litter would be Coldstone. He also never saw Lex as a monster, but just a 17-year-old guy.
- At this point in the comic, Lex is not sure of his sexuality.
- Coldstone does not age, but he is subject to normal wear and tear.
- Greg may eventually cover Molly/Banshee again.
- There were occasional squatters at Castle Wyvern between 994 and 1994, but no one stayed, as it was too creepy (not to mention the discouraging presence of Hakon and the Captain's ghosts).
- Judge Roebling's dialogue in the comic is indeed inspired by Foghorn Leghorn.
- In terms of Trio literacy - Lexington knew how to read in the 990s; Brooklyn knew how to read a little in the 990s, and improved under Lex's tutelage in the present day; Broadway chose not to learn until after "Lighthouse." When they were naming themselves, Lex probably read street signs for them, or they overheard the names.
- When Hunchback of Notre Dame was being developed, they stopped by the Gargoyles production area to compare their gargoyles with their gargoyles. They were pleased they bore no similarity to one another.
- Favorite reading material: Greg regularly reads the Los Angeles Times, as well as detective fiction; Thom is a "complete freak" for true crime books (and he also likes self-help books).
- When "Dominique Destine" was forming a relationship with "Lennox MacDuff," she presented herself as a good Catholic French girl.
- Macbeth probably spent years drunk, but he's not so suicidal anymore. By 2198, he is a hermit.
- Fox could be trained to use her mystical powers, but it'd be much more difficult for her than it is for Alex.
- Greg's career: Greg considers himself a good boss, but a bad employee. He's starting to run into executives who are Gargoyles fans.
- Greg told a rather lengthy tale involving why Nana Visitor was not the voice of Fox, and why Jonathan Frakes was briefly not the voice of Xanatos. Suffice to say it involved a lot of errors and office politics... Frakes never let Greg forget that he was temporarily fired, and humorously brought it up whenever possible.
- The ten-year gap between the end of the animated series and the beginning of the comic allowed Greg a lot of time to refine his ideas.
- Despite Atlantis: The Lost Empire not being part of the Gargoyles universe (due to various contradictions), the Praying Gargoyle still has an Atlantean crystal at its core. Greg would like to use the Team Atlantis characters in an adaptation of the story in comic form, but if he can't, he'll use analogues.
- There were also some bits related to comic issue #5, but I can't speak of them...
With no more questions, Blue or otherwise, the session was ended. I hung around a little, but quickly realized there was little point. So I went back to my room and slept.
It was a fun mug.
Gathering Journal - Thursday, June 21, 2007
Transit day. Greg B. (having stayed at my apartment overnight) got me up a bit after 8. (I'd already been awake, but I'd been trying really hard to avoid getting up before my alarm.) In about an hour, we were on our way, with me driving the first five hours, and Greg the second four. Greg came prepared with various CDs, including America: The Book, The Sopranos soundtrack, and the Kill Bill Vol. 1 soundtrack. There were a few minor navigation problems on the way down, but overall, it was a rather tranquil trip. (And may I note that Greg has an impressively gas-efficient car? I envy it.)
After 6:30, we got to the Grand Resort Hotel; after checking in, we parted ways for a time while we settled into our respective rooms. I did a bit of exploring, and got some supplies from Walgreens, before re-contacting him about possible dinner plans. Arriving at his room, he showed me the front-page below-the-fold story from the local paper on the con, with its surprisingly positive view; then we ordered some pizza.
About that time, a group strolled by which included Hudson, Eric "Gorebash", Chloe, Karl, and (I believe) Dancer, who stuck around for a good while in varying recombinations of discussion. Greg wound up sharing about all of his pizza with the lot; I left mine out for public consumption, but no one moved on it (probably 'cause I didn't make it obvious). Emambu and his girlfriend, Stephanie, walked by as well, but they were already on their way to somewhere else. The group moved to Hudson's room, where we mostly watched his roommate play Resident Evil 4 for a bit on the Wii. Having seen the game through before, I chose not to stick around, made a supplemental Walgreens trip, then headed back to my room for the night.
Sounds like you were off to a good start.
Thanks to Patrick Toman, the Gathering 2007 Radio Play has been uploaded to YouTube. Because YouTube has a new rule that permits videos to be no more than 10 minutes long, Patrick had to split the 42 minutes of footage into five segments in order to also include titles and credits. Here are the links:
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j63pDlPaKnQ
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRkv56AC-F4
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s58H_Tdi09E
Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6PUx6GsdFA
Part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wkurc-TW99o
Wednesday - Thursday
For all intents, the Gathering started on Wednesday, when my mom and I began the first half of the drive up to Tennessee. We thought it best to split the six hour drive into two parts, and ovenight somewhere halfway up. Thankfully, the drive was uneventful and we arrived at the hotel Thursday afternoon without any problems. Upon check-in, I found out that the hotel was pratically booked solid, with only a handful of rooms left. Turns out that the Gathering was one of five or six other groups staying or using the hotel that weekend. Whoa.
This was the first official day of the Gathering, and I split from mom that morning so she could do what she wanted while I was occupied with the events. I got my badge and got a one-day pass for my mom to use that night at the opening ceremonies. I looked at the available dealers and the art that was up so far in Artists' Alley (I got a Metal Man comic from the comics dealer there, a plus for me). The first panel I went to was the basic arts panel, to which Karine eventually managed to make. It was fun, a review in part for me, but still great to attend. The next panel I attended was Grimorum-making, taught by the wonderful Jenn-Bob, who also modeled for the life-drawing session we had afterwards. Finally came the opening ceremonies, and I was rather nervous about this particular event. I was one of the volunteers who provided animatics for the reel for "The Last", for which I dragged my mom to see. I listened and cheered through Greg's remarks and news, enjoying the promo reels and the little bonuses that have happened over the last year. It was with a lot of butterflies that I watched "The Last" animatic, but once I saw my part up on the TV, I was relieved. It had turned out rather well, and I was glad to have added my part to it. Unfortunately, my mom couldn't stay through the whole ceremonies and had to miss it. Ah, well. I stayed for the music video contest (sorry, guys, not one of the ones who did the mini-golf). And that was it for me that night.
Went to the life-drawing panel first thing in the morning, which provided a lot of nice gestures and drawings. Next was Karine's Fan to Pro panel. Samuel liked to squirm during it. He's so cute! Back to the panel: Karine gave a lot of information about her work in the past, how things went in the industry, and what she was enjoying about working on issue 5 of Gargoyles and so far for Bad Guys. After that, I hung out for a while in Artists' Alley and got to talk with Mara while she drew, then caught the last part of the Worldbuilding panel. Mom and I went to have a late lunch / early dinner before the radio play.
Okay, for me, and I'm sure a lot of others, the radio play this year was a highlight. For one, it's possibly the largest one so far, with the cast -- even with a few doubling roles -- that was about equal to the audience. Second, it was a performance of issues three to five, and we had to promise to keep our mouths shut about what gets revealed until the final issue comes out. Needless to say, it rocked. So much gets answered in issue five, and so much more. Let's me say this much: there were a lot of laughs, a lot of "Ooohhs" and "Ahhs" and at least one "Squeee!". When it comes out, I am so buying it.
After that, I checked out the MGT3K for the first time, which was fun, though I don't think I contributed much. Lastly for the night was the Blue Mug. It was rather tame this time around, which isn't to say we didn't have our dirty moments. Greg got to show off his custom shirt. Thom pulled his pants down to show his tattoo, which was cool. At least two animated gifs were shown to them, and Mara's own oh so wrong but oh so funny pic got passed around, which prompted another revelation that drew a collective "Ooohh."
I opted to attend the costuming panel, which became an open discussion and tip trading. I followed this up with the Garg physiology and culture panel. Because it was mentioned in the weeks prior to the Gathering, I decided to ask the question whether Katherine's excuse towards Constantine had any validity. We came to the consensus that yeah, the eggs needed to be turned, and various reasons why. Taxonomy was discussed, genetics, as was the interesting, to me anyway, topic of the "castle" as a concept of home and duty to Gargoyles, and to Goliath specifically. After that came the Bad Guys panel, that was part discussion of the upcoming comic and part brainstorming session about what we as fans can do to help get more notice for the comics, DVDs, and next year's con. All very cool ideas, and a few I plan to follow up as well as I can. We also got to see the posters for the upcoming trade of issues 1-6 and for Bad Guys #1. I disappeared for while to eat until the Masquerade, as well as watch the really strong summer storm that went through that afternoon. It was fun to see all the costumes, and at least one dance perfomance (whoever you are, I'm sorry I don't remember your name). Prizes were handed out, and then we partied. I enjoyed dancing and talking with everyone. Especially the performances to songs from Rent and Rocky Horror.
Monday was a short day. I attended the re-scheduled marker panel while listening to the live auction in the next room. I came over to say goodbye to Karine and Jen. After that, I went to help my mom with her stuff, and we were off.
Overall, it was a rather fun con. I signed up for next year's in Chicago, and plan to get to Vashkoda a better version of the animatic I contributed, as well as participate in the art show. Hope everyone else had fun, and I hope to see you guys next year.
I really appreciated your contribution to the Garg Phys&Cust panel. Thanks!
OK, I'm told this is where con reports go, so here goes... Gathering 2007 only, not the camping trip that preceded it.
So Thursday we woke up in North Carolina at a very nice little motel about 5 miles west of Cherokee. We took our time heading out, and just had breakfast out of what we had with us, which was plenty. We actually spent the first part of the day in the park, looking for a couple waterfalls we had managed to miss the first time through. Finally sighed and headed back to the craziness that is Pigeon Forge, and since we'd spotted the hotel on the way down had no trouble finding it. Shan checked us in, we hauled our stuff up to the room they gave us, and whoops... It was very definitely a smoking room, and reeked accordingly. Since Shan had specifically requested a NON smoking room, we called the desk and got put on hold. For way too long a time. Finally we got fed up and just walked back down to the desk, where the putz on the counter just rolled out the old "Oh no, that IS a non smoking room (despite the lack of sign, odor, and ASHTRAYS on the tables) we have no room to move you to, sorry, go spray air freshener." As he was finishing up his little memorized rote a manager comes up behind him, hands him a paper, and says "This is where we're moving them to" and boy did the putz clam up fast. Twit. Guess SOMEone had been working while we'd been on hold after all. Ah well, we had much much less room trouble than the rest of the clan, so we can't complain too much.
Anyway, got up to the room, which was RIGHT across from the con area, which would have been more marvy if we didn't have to wait for and take the elevator that whole 10 feet... *L*
Settled in, cranked the AC up high, and went back to the desk to get directions to the airport, since we were planning to go pick Rob and Maui up at about 11 pm. Nice clerk gave us a map and directions, and we walked across the street for dinner. Finally managed to get a hold of the rest of the clan, who were riding in from Memphis with Trimm - They were running late due to flight delays of course, so we re-confirmed I'd go get the other bunch that night, no problems. I called Rob to make sure everything was still OK with his flight just after the buggers cancelled it for a 10 minute thunderstorm. As far as we knew Maui was still on time, but we had no idea when Rob was gonna get in now. Finally he gets rescheduled, to the NEXT DAY. So poor Wobby spent a crappy night at the airport, but at least it meant Shan and I could BOTH go get Maui (we were gonna leave Shan behind before because of lack of space - remember all my camping stuff was taking up the entire trunk. :P ) That worked really well, because there was construction blocking all the routes we knew of to get BACK to the motel from the airport - so we got brave and after picking Mau up without a hitch, we grabbed the atlas and map the hotel gave us and fumbled our way back to PF in the dark. Made it, though,and got to the hotel not that far behind the rest of the clan, who'd gotten stuck in the construction traffic we'd detoured around. They'd reserved a suite, but I guess there were none left, so they got thrown across the freaking street to a even more ghetto hotel owned by the same people. Sure, it was technically a suite, and I admit I never saw it, but I heard stories. And 'overcharged' doesn't start to cut it, I also heard. Still, I'll let them blog that little mess... We got back, Mau went over to visit them for a few minutes, then came back and we all slept.
Next morning, Friday! I woke up and everyone else was still asleep (or half awake and just not getting up yet, who knows) but it was rapidly approaching 9 am and I finally said screw it and got up and wandered a bit, looking for people I knew. Walked next door to the BP station and got breakfast, then ran into con staffers on the way upstairs. Asked if they needed help and got told no, not really, but I went and butted into the room anyway because I saw JG in there setting up the art area. Said hi to her, and volunteered to help with art panels, and that time got a 'yes please!' *L* Helps when people can recognize you without a nametag. :P Finally the rest of my room got up and moving and wandered over, and promptly got put to work, because that's what Arcadia does... we get drafted easy. :P I grabbed my badge in there somewhere, but we hung out until all the art we had was hung and labeled, and by that time the rest of the clan had arrived and hugs were exchanged. About noon Shan and I headed back up to the airport to get Rob, and we took a different route that was more scenic, had less construction, but was much longer. Still got there just at the right time, though, and grabbed Wobby without much trouble. Grabbed lunch on the way back, and zoomed back to PF... I was still about 15 minutes late getting to the 3pm lifedrawing session though. Life drawing was fun, I always like it because the con is the only place I can do it in anything like a formal setting. They were also cool about taking pics, so I snagged photos of some of the more complex poses, too. ^_^ The clan waited patiently while I finished that up, then those who wanted to went to opening ceremonies, which Shan and I skipped in favor of being lazy in the hotel room and eating our leftovers from lunch. After the ceremonies finally wound up, we all met up downstairs, picking up a few adoptees of course in the process, and went to dinner (Shan and I just got desserts) and then walked a couple blocks to a laser tag place. I'd never done it before, but it was fun. I assume part of the fun was the group, though. We got the whole session to ourselves, which rocked, too. I came in next to dead last for points, go me! ;P At that point it was getting late, so it was back to the hotels and bed -eventually. *L*
Saturday!! We all slept too late but I hauled my butt out of bed for the 10 am lifedrawing. They were really the only con things I did, so I'm glad I did that much, at least. *L* The poor across the street people finally managed to get a room in the con hotel, another suite, which was much nicer but still too expensive in my opinion. *L* Hung out there a bit and goofed off a lot, (pic is DE, Arno, and Maui) of course. There was not much going on that we really needed to go until the MGT3K at 8, so some of us went swimming and Mau and DE wandered off shopping or something, I think. We ended up driving to TGIFridays for dinner that night, which was nice - I usually don't get to see much of the people who stay in the other clan room, so getting to hang with Trimm, Beedoo! and Arno for the evening was awesome. ^_^ I didn't do the radio play as usual (I still have -never- sat through one of those. Some year, I guess) but a lot of the clan wanted to go to the MGT3K, and the rest of us went swimming again. Well, Rob came and played with his camera and let us pick on him, and DE couldn't swim because of her bum knee, but the rest of us swam. Well, ok, all 5 of us. But still. After that there was much confusion and trying to find Arno and the others, which was finally given up on and sleep happened. Eventually. :P
SUNDAY! I... have no idea what happened Sunday? Oh! Wait, yeah, we went to breakfast at the pancake place next door, and then split up again. DE had to leave to head back to work Monday, most of the clan went for mini golf and Shan and I went up to the outlet mall because I was looking for things for my nephew's birthday. I didn't get a darn thing for my nephew and ended up only getting some hand soap for myself. But it's nice soap, darnit. ;P Met up with the rest of the group and did a lap of go-cart racing, before we headed back to the hotel and picked up the cars and went to Golden Corral for our non-banquet clan dinner. *L* Got back and headed to the Masquerade! Most of my pics are semi-random Masquerade pics, so I'm not gonna detail them here again, sorry. pic folder is here again if you missed it the first time.
Hung out after wards, got in the conga line, and then went over to take the traditional clan pic. Two weird things happened, first people kept jumping into the pic with us who we barely or didn't know at all, and second, people we didn't or barely knew kept taking our pictures once we finally got posed. It was like we were famous or something? *L* But I was the bitch and kicked everyone else out (except for the guy with the kick ass costume, I wasn't complaining about him) and got the pic - Arcadia Clan Gathering Pic 2007! and my thanks to whoever shot the pic for me. It's a decent photo of everyone except me. *L* Back row is Arno, Trimm, me, Robert, and the gargoyle, Delphine is in the middle, then Beedoo!, Maui, and JG are in the front. DE had already left. After that we noticed the room we were in had handy tables, so we got into a weird card game Beed had brought until JG came back in and told us about the problems with water leaking in the dealers/art room. So the clan pitched in and went to help take down the art show in a hurry, and we were just finishing that up along with the staff when the whole CON showed up and started helping us move the dealers' stuff to improvised high ground. I was very impressed with how we all worked together, and seeing who ended up in charge and who was actually getting obeyed and who was doing what was interesting. *L* Still, that little exercise seemed to pretty much kill the dance ( it's funny, the one time I've been there that we were isolated enough that we could have stayed more than a few minutes, and everyone left - maybe it's habit at this point? ;P ) so we went back to our card games. I finally left when I noticed that the noise in the room was making me literally cringe every time someone said something, and the game was such that everyone was yelling and being loud, that was part of the fun - but I couldn't take it anymore and had to beg off and head to bed before my head exploded. o.O Since I knew we were heading out first thing in the morning, I did manage to get re-packed most of the way, and then went back to donate some of the food we had left from camping but didn't want to haul home over to the card players... But finally I got a shower and some sleep and the headache went away.
MONDAY! Basically just got up, found the clan, and said goodbyes. We had set ourselves a strict goal of 10 am departure, based on how long a drive we had, and we made it almost on the nose. It was the LONGEST damn drive through Kentucky ever, I swear it was all downhill once we got to Ohio, but still it seemed like such a damn long drive. *L* But we had the Arcadia CD to keep us company and we finally got home about 7:30. After which we promptly crashed, since Delfy had to be at work way too freaking early the next morning.
THE END! Yes, I'm planning on going to Chicago, though I didn't have the money to pre-reg yet.
Then I hope to see you in Chicago... maybe next year you'll see the Radio Play. You're missing out, I swear, by skipping that.
Gathering Journal, Part Three
Slept in until ten, then woke up and went downstairs for biscuits and gravy. After breakfast, I hit an ATM, and then my brother and I decided to sit in on the Gargoyles physiology/culture discussion. Greg was very animated during this one, especially towards the end when talking about how a gargoyle might define "the castle". The main thing I took away was that gargoyles and humans have one very key thing in common: the men are idiots, and the women are crazy.
After that, there was a panel on Gargoyles/Bad Guys. Right before it started, I went down to the second floor, found a vending machine that didn't hate me, and got my Mike-and-Ikes at long last! Vengeance is mine (or at least artificial fruit flavors were mine)! The comic panel turned more into a motivational speech on spreading the word. But in all fairness, Greg had said that it was because the panel had been thrown together at the last minute, and he was unable to answer too many questions about the story (for which I couldn't blame him).
I went upstairs after that, and perused some of the items up for silent auction. I had already bid on some art, otherwise I would have put some bids in on a few other things. I didn't even know Tiger made an LCD game for Gargoyles. I tried to get some soda from the third floor vending machines after that, but they refused to give me any love. So I gave up, and went back to the room to shower and shave. I still had time to kill after cleaning up for dinner. I chatted with my brother for a bit (he went to Gatlinburg during the comic panel, and he described it as a Swedish town in the middle of nowhere). Earlier, I had offered to front him some money to go on the waiting list for the Banquet, but he kept saying no.
Went down to the second floor after that, and finally scored some Coke from THAT soda machine. They must have grouped all the working machines on the second floor. I also had a nice chat with Jonathon and Kristen (whom I'd met Friday night), and also with Susan Leonard. My memory was hazy on just what we talked about, but hunger usually puts gaps in my memory.
The Banquet was a lot of fun, though I was confused as to why the chicken appeared to be served over rice with some mysterious yellow gravy. I thought the menu said it would be Southern Fried. Ah, well, it was still good. The potatoes and gravy were awesome. The Q and A afterwards was also very enjoyable (if Greg was annoyed with me asking if he took the Mrs. Smith's apple pie out of the box before eating it, he didn't show it). Overall, it was a lot of fun. If my brother actually comes with me again next year, I'm fronting him the money for the Banquet. He went to KFC.
A wicked storm kicked up after the Q and A let out. My brother and I smoked pipes on the balcony, until the wind picked up and started blowing the rain into our faces. When that happened, we decided to abort. I bumped into Brooklyn X and a few other people not far from my room, and got some pictures of a table upside-down in the swimming pool. Shortly after that, my brother and went to grab seats at the Masquerade.
The Masquerade was wild. I don't know if my brother enjoyed himself, but I did. Sadly, I was sitting under the fluorescents, so I didn't get too many good pictures. I got some great ones after the judging, though. My brother went back to the hotel room shortly after the awards were given out, and I tried to get him to come hang out with us. He came over for about five minutes, and then I lost track of him. I think he went back to the room to drink some more and pray for my soul. It's funny. I'm usually the antisocial one, and this time he was the one drinking in the hotel room. ( ;
Lots of general insanity after that. Managed to have some better, lengthier chats with Greg X, Kelly, and JEB. Kelly and I discussed the possibility of doing something Quarrymen-related at next year's Masquerade, an idea that took better shape as the night progressed. Watched some kareoke, and wound up doing some of it myself with a few other males in the room (that was fun. Haven't belted out a good rendition of "A--hole" in years), but not too long after that, there was a bit of a buzzkill from the rain, which caused a leak in the Dealer's Room. From what I heard later, everything was okay, but a bunch of people needed to go buy tarps because the rain picked up again.
Kelly, Leo and I did our own search for the comic book dealer, but we wound up back in Leo and Kelly's room, drinking coffee and bitching about the hotel. Despite all my belly-aching, I still liked the hotel. It had personality. I went upstairs after that, and hung out a bit more. Had another chat with a girl named Tiffany about tattoos. All this talk has gotten me thinking about getting one at the next Gathering. I eventually wound up in the hotel lobby with Thom Adcox and a group of other people (names are, again, sadly a blur) watching dirty videos on youtube, as well as a short film someone made based upon an internet comic. I went back up to my room about a quarter after midnight, watched "Venture Brothers" with my brother, and then slept.
Woke up, and started to get breakfast. Once again, the line in the lobby was too long. And honestly, my brother and I were tired of biscuits and gravy. So we went to McDonald's and grabbed coffee. We went back to the hotel after getting coffee, and I bumped into Mandy and BrooklynX as they were checking out. Said goodbye to them (BX and I wound up chatting a few times over the weekend when he was pulling guard duty for Radio Play auditions and rehearsals). After that, we went upstairs to where Greg, Thom, and Karine were signing things. Got them to sign a copy of Gargoyles #3 for someone whose wedding I went to over a year ago, and I still hadn't gotten him a gift. Thanks, guys! He's a massive fan of Gargoyles, so he'll appreciate it a lot! Hopefully, it won't take as long for me to mail it out to him, and I'll be sure to mention Chicago in the letter.
Said goodbye to Greg X and JEB, then stopped upstairs to the Dealer's Room to pick up some art. Bought a very nice Demona piece from Revel. Said some more goodbyes after that, and then my brother and I hit the road. I decided to forego stopping at a fireworks outlet, since we got a late start and my brother had a longer drive than I did.
Made the trip in seven hours, and saw more roadkill on the way home. The final roadkill count was:
Bird - 1
Deer - 3
Fox - 1
Opossum - 2
Raccoon - 7
Unknown - 8
Unpacked the car and started to upload the Gathering pics I took so my brother could copy them onto a portable drive. Only problem was it was taking too long. So he told me to just give him a CD next time we saw each other, and he started off again. I unpacked my stuff, had a beer and some leftover enchiladas, and vegged out until I got sleepy.
Overall, it was a blast. Hope to do it again in 2008.
Hope to see you in Chicago!
Gathering Journal, Part Two
I slept longer than I had in a while, but I was on vacation. Wasn't very hungry when I woke up. Had a lot of nervous energy, which usually deprives me of my appetite. Went down to the lobby with my brother, drank some coffee, ate some biscuits and gravy (which were surprisingly good). Tacky as everything was, the people of the town were very friendly. After breakfast, we attempted to find our way upstairs to claim our badges. We wound up going outside to the Convention Center by mistake, then back inside, then down a few dead-ends until we found the stairwell we wanted. Lots of dead-ends in this hotel. It had so much character, I'm amazed that the fire warden hadn't condemned it yet.
After we got our stuff from the Dealer's Room, my brother and I split up. I ran across the street to Walgreens for more supplies, and then sat in on the Fanfic 101 group discussion. Stopped back in the hotel room afterward for a cold slice of leftover bacon pizza. I initially was not going to go to Thom Adcox's voice-acting panel, but my brother was going, so I went with him. I'm glad I changed my mind. Thom is a very funny guy and had some very amusing stories to tell about his experiences in the business. I did manage to take away the sense that voice-acting is tough (the business aspect of it). Plus, he also mentioned that the Gargoyles voice cast looked upon the Goliath Chronicles as a paycheck, which made me laugh.
Had time to kill before Radio Play auditions, so my brother and I went for a drive to see what was in the direction of Gatlinburg. It's weird, because you eventually reach a point where the tackiness of Pigeon Forge just seems to stop abruptly, and you're in the middle of the woods again. We followed that road for a bit, and then turned around, and got back to the hotel with time to spare.
Never made it to auditions, though, because I ran into Kelly (Sadistic Cow) up in the dealer's room. I wound up following her back to her room, where she introduced me to Leo, DTaina, and Doppelganger. For some reason, they were watching "Lois and Clark" on DVD (and I joined Leo in annoying Taina with Superman jokes. Can I make a good first impression or what?).
Fortunately, the episode was just ending, so we all went down to see the ducks. They have these freaky looking ducks that swim in the river next to the picnic area behind the hotel. They're like these mutant duck-turkey things. I got some pictures of them. We chatted for a bit, fed some Chex Mix to the mutant ducks, and then went inside to avoid getting sunburned. I lost track of my companions on the stairway between the first and third floors, mainly because I started chatting with Carter (Alex Garg) and Seth (IRC Goliath) about movies and the tackiness of Pigeon Forge. After that, I ran into Matt on the way back to my hotel room. I told him that I wasn't going to enter the mini-golf raffle, because miniature golf infuriates me, and I wanted to make a good first impression.
Opening Ceremonies were shortly after that, and they were a lot of fun. Most of us wound up moving onto the floor shortly after we got there, so everyone could see the TV, but I didn't care. There was also some trouble with the video, but again, everyone was in good spirits about it. I'd never seen the "Bad Guys" demo reel before. It was more hardcore than I'd been expecting. I also enjoyed watching the "Atlantis" episode. The unfinished scenes were actually very entertaining, even though the finished scenes looked great. Greg Weisman broke the podium and took it in great stride. And apparently, going only 20 minutes over is good for him (I spoke to someone later who advised me that his average is 40 minutes over).
My brother and I went to Wendy's after that (Spicy Chicken sandwich, the only thing I ever get from them), and wound up missing the first few music videos. But that was okay. I'd already seen a few of them on youtube. I hung out in the Atrium after that, which was fun. I have to remember to bring my chess set to Chicago next year. I love to play, but no one in my family will play with me anymore. Chatted with the comic book dealer, who apparently has been in his chosen field since 1983. Told me about what a few of his oldest comics were. I went downstairs after that to see what Cow, Taina, and Leo were up to. Hung out with them, Doppleganger, and Carter for a bit. Watched the last hour of "Army of Darkness," and wound up reciting most of it (hopefully, I wasn't annoying anyone).
Went back upstairs after the movie to see what was happening in 2A. Someone (I think it was Mara) did an amazing sketch of Delilah using only Crayola markers. I chatted with JEB for a bit about gaming while I watched. Lost track of the picture after she finished (there was talk of slipping it under Greg Weisman's door. I spoke to her the next day, and she didn't know what happened to it, either).
After that, Hudson started ranting. It was all highly offensive humor, which is a guilty pleasure of mine. I managed to get my brother out of the hotel room for some of it. Pity we never got around to the Jalapena contest (that sounded fun), but Hudson's rant more than made up for it. Got tired around midnight, so when Hudson stopped to use the restroom, my brother and I went back to our room for rest.
Overslept, which means I missed Radio Play auditions (after I swore I'd set my alarm for them). My brother and I went down to the lobby, and but the line for breakfast was too long. So we decided to go elsewhere. We ran into a Fan as we were leaving, so he asked if he could tag along.
Despite what Thom said during his voice panel the day before, we did wind up eating at the Red Rooster. I didn't get the pancakes, though. Just had cornflakes and coffee, the breakfast of champions. A Fan and my brother did a lot of the talking (my brother's pursuing a master's in History, so he loves to hear people talk about themselves). We split up after that. I bought some provisions from Walgreen's, as well as something for my stomach, since I felt a little queasy. Bought the least drowsy thing I could find. By early afternoon, I felt like my cynical old self again.
Perused some art up in the Dealer's Room after dropping the stuff off back in the hotel room. Saw some things that caught my eye, but didn't bid just yet. Figured I'd stew on it while I sat in on Karine's panel. However, I did buy a T-Shirt for Gathering 2008 in Chicago. I'll be doing my best to make it there. Showed up for Karine's panel early, so I chatted for a bit with Mandy and someone whose name I can't remember (I'm sorry. I've always been better with faces than I have names. Takes me a few tries to remember someone's name). Karine's panel was very entertaining. I was very impressed with her energy. People were asking some very good questions, and she sat and patiently answered them all while juggling her infant son. The way people have talked about it, I'm very much looking forward to seeing Issue #5 of the comic now (the preview pages looked great). Went back to the Dealer's Room after that, and placed a bid on some artwork that caught my eye.
Didn't get a chance to sign up for one of the Mug-a-Guests (I meant to yesterday, but got sidetracked), so I had time to kill before the Radio Play. My brother and I went down the road to a country record store. Got some postcards, and came very close to buying a redneck cookbook. I do like hushpuppies. After that, we drove back to the hotel, and went up to the Dealer's Room. We hung out, chatted with some people, and I wound up flipping through some... interesting... comics that Kelly bought.
Took a nap before the Radio Play, got up ten minutes before it started, shotgunned half a lukewarm Pepsi, and then my brother and I took the long way around to 2A. The cast for the Radio Play was great. It was not what I expected: Issues 3, 4 and 5 of the comic. To anyone who wasn't there, all I'll say is: buy Issue #5 when it comes out. If your comic store doesn't carry it, get them to order it through any means necessary. It is well worth it.
I was expecting the play to go on a bit longer. So I had a chunk of time to kill. I smoked a pipe by the river, and had a little chat with Cow and Leo. Then went back to the room for dinner, which my brother and I had purchased earlier. We were tired of eating fast food, so we scarfed some Oscar Mayer Lunchables (not to mention some fresh blackberries, which tasted great) and watched Jesus Talk Live for about five minutes. Less said about that, the better.
After we ate, I went to MGT3K. I ran sat next to Matt, and had a lot of fun. We all did our best to tear into "Lighthouse in the Sea of Time," "Outfoxed," and "The Price." Oh, and Greg, even though you weren't there, thanks for letting us roast your intros. ( ;
We had time to kill after the main event, so Jade Griffin put "The Mirror" on for us to watch (and rip apart). Pity they didn't have the script for that one. I probably cracked my best jokes during it.
Blue Mug-A-Guest was after that. I jogged downstairs to try and grab some sugar, but the vending machine ate two of my dollars and gave no love. I had my eye on those Mike-and-Ikes, too. Ah, well. I ran back upstairs, and found a seat right before it started. Man, was that wild! I think we scared my brother away with the second question. He went back to the hotel room before eleven. Thom told some interesting jokes, and I also have a vague memory of some youtube videos being passed around. By 12:30, I was falling asleep in the chair, so I went back to the room for sleep.
To be concluded...
Roasting my intros sounds a bit like shooting fish in a barrel.
Gathering Journal, Part One
My brother and I actually left on time, or at least when we intended to, which was between 9 and 10 AM. We made good time down Route 64, and drove through a lot of counties with funny names: Fluvanna, Louisa, and before that, Goochland. Sadly, after Fluvanna, the county names stopped being funny (that, or I just stopped paying attention). We passed a lot of trucks as we drove through the valley, in the right lane with their emergency blinkers on. I would have been feeling better if we hadn't seen an Audi commercial last night that had to do with car crashes. Ah, well, good thing I don't believe in omens.
We tried to play a game where we count all the roadkill we see. But wouldn't you know it? After two hours on the road, we hadn't seen a single dead animal. Saw a living deer, but that doesn't count. Well, at least it started to pick up when we got closer to the Tennessee State Line.
When we came off the exit for I-40, we followed signs for Pigeon Forge and started to get the feeling that we were crossing into another dimension. How many dinner and show services does one place need? Or helicopter-related things, for that matter. Not to mention the fact that I saw more electronic billboards in the last 20 minutes than I have for my entire life! They probably cause more accidents every year than drunk driving.
We found the hotel more easily than we thought. Checked in, and grabbed a shower. The table I sat at in the room when I was writing this journal had several amusing pamphlets, including the Black Bear Jamboree, and the Dixie Stampede Dinner Attraction. I took the pamphlets with me. The place was so much like Vegas: it's so tacky, it's a joke. But it knows it's a joke and doesn't care. I love it! I also grabbed a complementary newspaper that had an article on the Gathering with a hysterical typo in it.
My brother and I went for a walk after that. We saw a bunch of humorous stores as we took a walk down the sidewalk. We passed this one overly tacky store where a person could feed live bears, and also purchase joke novelties, NASCAR merchandise, and a variety of fried dough. We took some humorous pictures of the tackiness. On our way back to the hotel, we ran into Carl, aka Cuddly Dominion. Had an interesting chat with him about the town, and also about designing costumes. The three of us ran into Greg X outside the hotel. He recognized me by my homemade Demona shirt. Couldn't chat too long, but it was nice to finally meet him in person after talking with him online for almost two years.
My brother and I went back up to the room after that, ordered some pizza, and watched a few episodes of "The Office," which I had never seen before but enjoyed. When it started to get a little dark, we went out to the picnic tables behind the hotel and smoked pipes. Even at nine-thirty, it was still dusk out. God, I love the Solstice!
Went back to the hotel room after smoking, and it was too cold. Had a merry time trying to get the climate controls to work. It was too hot outside, too cold in the room. Went to bed not long after that.
To be continued…
The Office was an acquired taste for me. But now I'm addicted...
Well, I'm a little bummed out today. Went to Golden Apple after work to pick up a copy of issue #5 of the comic, but it was sold out. Damn you, Blaise!! Just kidding. I'm bummed because I've learned that Golden Apple -- my own local comic book store -- only ordered three copies of the book. Way to support your local writers, huh? It's very unclear to me whether they plan to order any more copies. But I know I'm not the only one who went in asking for it and came away disappointed.
But... sigh... that's not why I'm here.
As promised, now that the book is out, the staff of the Gathering 2007 has permission to put the Radio Play on YouTube. Don't know when that will happen, but in the meantime, here's the cast list:
Sarah Browne - Airalana
Alex Xanatos - Bridgette/Igiebay & Samuel Davis
D.J. - Kerry Boyd
Jason Canmore - Emambu
Bronx - Bridgette (Igiebay)
Terry Chung - Rebekah
Burbank - Tris Coffin
Hollywood - Amber Garrity
Malibu - King Cobra-582/Ed
Fox - Karine
John Castaway - Emambu
Susan Greene - Elenna Wolfen/Jennifer Branton
Brendan Quarters - David Brown
Anton Sevarius - A Fan, David
Billy Greene - Tiffany Taber
Ian Roebling - Revel
Margot Yale - Ashlee/Norcumi
Maggie the Cat - Rachel (Grey Wolf)
Jeffrey Robbins - Jonathan Francis
Amanda Chung - Cati Brantan
Jay Sato - Shawna Garrity (Nashoba)
Matt Bluestone - Rob "Jurgan" Dukes
Broadway - Greg Bishansky
Morgan Morgan - Chip (Gryphin Wyrm 7)
Delilah - Sarah McEvoy
Quincy Hemings - Mike Canavan
Owen Burnett - Mandi Ohlin
Shari - Abbie
Lexington - Jae
Hudson - Tris Coffin
Al - Alex "Carter" Checnkov
Talon - Anthony Zucconi (Archangel)
Brooklyn - Seth Jackson
Martin Hacker - Eric "Gorebash" Tribou
Angela - Jennifer Anderson
David Xanatos - Roberto Rivera
Goliath - John Clemens
Elisa Maza - Phoenix-Talon
Thailog - Emambu
with Greg Weisman narrating...
and Thom Adcox as Brentwood
[Note that the names of the cast reflect how they filled out their audition forms.]
Big cast, huh?
The Grand conclusion
Sunday was also a bit of a sleep in day, but there were many things I wanted to do later. Breakfast was with Spacie and GregB again and once again I went for the eggs and hash because it was just that good. First panel I attended was the Othercon creative positions. Without going into many details it was a lot of fun. It ranged from the interesting to the totally bizzare. We had a raunchy good time. I definitly knew I wanted to attend th eBad Guys panel, I am really stoked about its up coming release. I always liked the concept and the art is in good hands with Karine. The panel was interesting, even when it branched into tangents. This was of course about the time the rain moved in at full force. It even blew a table into the pool. Water was leaking from the floor above in front of our room but I could not tell if any got in there.
Okay, about the banquet, I was unprepared because I was not aware she had reserved one, so I was under dressed compared to some but at least it was a polo shirt. The food was very good and I had a slice of acake. The fun thing about Banquet and Masquerade are not only the costumes but how some dress fine. Greg was wearing a nice suite, aron had his pimp suit and cane, Tony Zucconi looked very sharp. and the women, just, WOW. Spacie had on this very hot red dress, Lynati, Mara, and many others looked great. I danced a little and joined in the singing of Denis Leary's "A$$hole song" The fun was abruptly halted however when many of us had to run up stairs to rearrange the art room and dealers tables to protect them from leaks in the roof including a LOT of comic books. After we were certain things should be safe we ended up in a small circle talking about work stories and religon of all things, but it was interesting, Legacy was very interesting to listen to. Not sure when I went to bed but it was about 1am, I had talked to Flanker and he was organizing a second group for the gun range and I didn;t want to miss out again.
Woke up about 8am and grabed a quick shower before breakfast. I went with the bacon belgian waffle this time, was ok, but the eggs and hash were better. I knew today was going ot be a short day so I tried to make the most of it. We met up with Flanker in the lobby, Kathy was there reading and others passed by, There would end up being 8 of us for this trip, Myself, Spacie, Lynati, Gside, and a few others whose names are currently slipping my mind.
We took two car, my Mustang and Flanker's Charger, yes yes we are such guys, but it was a fun drive. Flanker was more than happy to fly over the mountain roads of twists and turns and my pony car kept pace. It certainly cured me of wanting to go drive go carts. *geeeek*
The last time I had been to a range was at school. it was an outdoor range and they were very strict about fire control of only one shot per second. This place on the other hand, while strict in a safe way was more than happy to let you empty and entire magazine into your target as fast as you liked. It was a lot of fun and I did decent. In fact everyone did very good. At one point I nearly shot my target right off the hanging clips and the retractor was scared of me, was odd. The drive back was slower thanks to an old person in a mini van from Florida and we were short on time. We packed up, got the car loaded and said our good byes to every one we could find. I knew more rain was coming and wanted to get to the airport on time. We were flying Continental, and one of the flights to Houston was cancled, that was the one Winterwolf was on, having arrived at the airport right after he did. Lucky for us we were on a very small plane (I could not even stand up in the aisle, had to hunch) it was delayed but we made it in. Later I fould out that Winterwolf bounced around Denver and got delayed there too. Greg Weisman also got marrooned at an airport so we were fortunate, made it home safe and sound just after 10 pm local time.
I had a wonderful time it was a fun if too short weekend and was very glad I could make it, from cars to guns to golf and of course the gorgeous women of our fandom.
PS Buy the DVDs and the Comics. Doooooo it!
Come to Chicago next year, start saving now because it will be more pricy and start finding roomies. Remember, you only sleep in the room, it never hurts to bring a sleeping bag and grab the floor. (I have a small blow up matress I can bring)
Pimp it dude!!!!
To begin with I had a great time, it was a small con but we had a good time. Due to time constraints I had a short con of Friday through Monday and had to miss out on a road trip, but I will give the best details I can recall.
The day began very early. Spacie had to work the night before and I, like usual, waited up for her to come home. We left for my parent's house at about 5am because I am paranoid about leaving my car at the air port and the plane left at roughly 7am. There were no delays or hold ups on the way to Nashville and I had ea muffin and an OJ in flight.
So why Nashville when the con was in Pigeon Forge bellow Knoxville you say? Mostly financial. I had originally wanted to land late thursday so as to not have to worry about missing things, but not flights left late enough, after 8 pm in Houston so I had to settle for early Friday. Knoxvill was a much smaller airport and had limited times available for more expensive plus all the flights transfered through Nashville. Since it was cheaper to rent a car and drive it I just did that. I figured since it was just the two of us I;d get a fun car and we ended up with a new Silver Ford Mustang and it was FUN! Just a 6 cylinder but she would fly.
First stop once on the road was to get food, I grabed a Mc Griddle egg and a cheese and didn;t stop for anything else. We made good time, would have even been better if I was not a bone head and too the 441 through down town Knoxville which had stop lights. It then becomes a country road with almost NO road signs and I often cursed wondering if I had missed a turn I needed. Nevertheless we made it to the hotel with no problems. Met of with Greg Bishansky who already had our key and got things stowed away. My first priority was to get my art set up and to get my con badge. I only had 4 pieces but two sold so I call that a success. Hung out talking with Emabu, Steph, eventually Alex Garg came in Gside, many others. I believe we made our way over to the Radio Play auditions, I knew I wanted to give that a try again.
Opening Ceremonies was cozy. They didn't have a projector only a large TV so most of us ditched our chairs and sat on the floor like a big kindergarden class. Once again there were many Con virgins, almost half I'd venture to say, which is shameful from a veterans stand point but still fun. I missed the musice vids, sorry, but I was voraciously hungry by that point and some how found myself in charge of a small group looking for food. Ultimately we found a fish and fry place that had an excellent Chicken fried steak, hush puppies and I took one of Greg's Gator tail bites. After we got back to the hotel we ended up in our room just chatting and hanging out, always one of my favorite things to do, Greg B, Spacie, Winterwolf and Wolf's newbie friend Legacy who was from Nashville, he was fun to talk to. We had the curtains open and Jen walked by but not before pressing her breast to the glass and giving us kisses. I houted out thankyou to her for fun : )
Bed time soon followed.
I slept in Saturday, after staying up late talking it is always good to do. There really was not much going on, I had already auditioned so it was mostly time to catch up with people I had not seen in a year, some more.
Breakfast was over at the Red Rooster, a little diner within easy walking distance that had really good food, I didn't eat in the hotel at all. Actually I'd like to take a moment to talk about the hotel. Apparently they had assured Nikki that their renovations would be done by the time con rolled around. Well, they had lied. It was not bad but the design was very odd with the way the floors worked, having to use different staircases for con and room areas. The elevators were acomplete waste of time, I could walk to the top and back down before the elevator would open for someone and from what I head they didn;t always open to a floor or between floors. Water was a problem, I mean the jacuzzi in the lobby was cool, but the water fall on the rocks was and asnine design, it splashed right on the floor ensuring a slick entry all the time in the side lobby. Then there were the leaks, lots of them.
Anyhow. Breakfast was eggs and hash with biscuits, it was THE BEST eggs and hash I had had in a long time, was good and inexpensive. Next I checked on my art bids and bought a Jayne: Let's be Bad Guys Serenity shirt, I like it : ) I believe I ended up hanging out pretty much the rest of the time on the 3rd floor talking with people as they came and went, mostly Gside and Flanker and Alex Garg about what ever comes to mind. Was esentially waiting for the Radio play cast list, which came out about 2 in the afternoon. I had done well, there were several parts I would have loved to have had but I was pleased with what I got. Spacie and I squeezed some alone time in here somewhere.
The Radio play was awesome, I can't say enough about how wonderfully talented Emambu is, playing three characters each well done. I am so jealous ; ) In addition to that, buy the Gargs comics, play catch, find a dealer, order online but get caught up and I mean NOW. You so want to have number 5 in your hands when it comes out, it will have it all.
After Radio play I had a desire to go put-put golfing and we had plenty of time before blue mug that night. A group walked over to the Papa Johns and we each pretty much got our own or shared pizza. I got a pepperoni and black olive, hot and fresh.
To be honest it was a very well designed mini golf course, lots of ups and downs and drop thoughs. This also made it very difficult and I think i got a 28+ over par or some pathetic number like that.
Blue mug, there were a few nice questions, some were even blue! And for those wondering I got Greg to agree to that some gargs are Ribbed for pleasure, it is so wonderful having guest who are as perverted as the rest of us ; )
bed time was a little after 1am.
to be concluded...
Gathering Photos HERE -------> http://members.tripod.com/revel8/id502.htm
Who you calling a perv? Me? Oh, well, never mind.
I Went to Pancake World and What Did I See?
Well, first I went to the airport and picked up Greg. And then I went to Pancake World aka Pigeon Forge where they just happened to be hosting the 11th Annual Gathering of the Gargoyles. It was good to see people I talk to but don't normally see in person. And it was good to meet some new folks too.
Open Ceremonies is not without its nostalgic charm. I missed out on all the late night stuff due to a string of crushing headaches and inexplicably having my body clock reset to somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. But I did enjoy a trip to a shooting range where I got to actually try some of the gun-related activities I normally only write and/or read about. (which was extremely educational). And I played laser tag, which was fun in its own cathartic sort of way. And of course there was lots and lots of GARGOYLES - episodes to watch, stories told, and the irrepressable Thom Adcox.
I hosted a writing seminar which was well received. And since it wouldn't actually be a Gathering without talking about writing at least a little (and more likely a lot) that was also of the good.
And there were pancakes. And rain. And a leaking roof. And a whole lot of people pulling together to make sure Kerry the Comic Book Guy's stuff didn't get ruined. Which was cool.
But then it was over. And people went home. And I drove Greg back down the mountain (getting lost slightly in Maryville, because I always do) and when I got home I packed my lunch and got ready to go back to the real world, thus ending another Gathering weekend.
You forgot the late night call when my plane was delayed...
Thanks again for everything!
Hey, I was a guest this year. Yeah, listed in the con book as a Guest next to Thom and Greg. It was strange and weird and cool and fun all at the same time.
I took very few photos, and none of them during con activities. I blame it on Samuel. All his fault for having my attention!!! So you'll just have to go look at other people's photos.
Samuel and I were dropped off at the airport by Adam and Matthieu on Thursday morning. I like the self-check-in terminals, they make things fast and easy. As I was told that Pigeon Forge was a dry county, I went to the duty free store to pick up some good mixer booze and some Sortilège (maple syrup whisky liqueur) to bring, but as they have changed the rules on bringing liquids on planes, the alcohol had to be put in luggage that would be checked. And since I'd packed very tight, there was no room for bottles, and thus I could not buy anything. (poo)
Sam was very well behaved on the plane. Once arrived in Chicago, we met up with Jen and Thom at the gate for Knoxville; Thom was litterally sedated, so Jen and I shared some lunch while he snoozed. Susan (co-chair of G2008 in Chicago) joined us, and then they changed our gate, so we had to wake up Thom and make our way there. I had to work, but there was no room on the plane to have Sam in his car seat, so Jen offered to take him; however, due to placement of oxygen masks, I had to keep Samuel with me. No biggie, it was a short trip, and he slept most of the way (mommy's milk is an effective narcotic sometimes).
In Knoxville, we piled up in the car Susan had rented, installed the GPS, and drove to our hotel. Except that the GPS couldn't find the hotel at first, and then when Jen reprogrammed it with an intersection, it brought us PAST the hotel into the following town. We joked that it brought us to the booze, as it made us pass a very well stocked liquor store. We got, among other things, a TUB of margarita... it was good. Wish I could find that here, it's great for parties. We drove back into Pigeon Forge (aka OMG Tacky Town, aka Vegas Light) and found our hotel.
As far as hotels go, this was on the not good side. It wasn't awful, but for those who've been to the Orlando Gathering... yeah. Like that. Water problems from torrential rain included. Although we'd find that out on Sunday... The thing about the hotel is thaty at first it seemed "not as bad as it seems", if you understand what I mean, but it progressively got worse. The room that I was sharing with Jennifer, Samuel and Eric (aka Gorebash) stank of cigarette smoke. The hotel staff did not have any non-smoking rooms, so they offered to clean the room and change the sheets. Why they don't do this between every stay is beyond me. The room was okay after that, thankfully.
Guests and staff met up in the lobby, and we made our way to the Japanese steak house across the street. Good food. Good performance. Good company. Sam was zerberted by Greg W, cuddled and snuggled by several people, and was a happy camper throughout. When we got back to the room, he went to sleep pretty easily, and we grownups had a relaxing evening chatting before turning in.
Sam woke up around 4:45 AM, and since I'm a light sleeper, he woke me up. I took him into my bed before he could wake up the others and nursed him. We both fell asleep shortly, only to all wake up around 8:30 or so.
We went to the hotel restaurant for breakfast. The deal was that you could get pancakes and syrup OR biscuits and gravy for free as long as you bought a drink. Starch and Carbs, anyone? I mostly passed on the biscuits and gravy thing. Not my thing. So after the pancakes, I made my way to host my first panel... or at least I tried! I was looking for the room like an idiot. My phone rang and I was told, "You know you're supposed to be in 3B now, right?" I said, "Yes, I know, and I'd BE there if I KNEW how to GET there!" After a few elevator rides, Sam and I finally arrived in the room. Nikki and I hosted the Basic Art Tips discussion. I taught perspective and backgrounds, Nikki and I explored character design, we explained more about how perspective affects characters, and the like. It was a good panel.
I went back to the room for Sam to have a nap. While he slept, I whipped out my laptop and continued working on the Bad Guys comic. After he woke up, I printed a bunch of stuff in the ConSuite, then we made our way to the third floor atrium again. I went to set up in the art show, chatted with some people there, and took a look at the stuff posted. Then it was Opening Ceremonies, and Samuel was getting really fussy after a while, so I had to cut my presence short and make my way back to the hotel room to have him nap some more before dinner. He had a really hard time settling down, so I skipped on the mini-golf because I would probably have been spending my time looking after him rather than playing. Plus, I was HUNGRY. I figured the stroller ride would help him get some sleep. We went out to dinner, but I ended up getting really worried and upset at the amount of noise in the place, which did wake up Samuel. However, he ended up being okay after he calmed down. Sammy took Samuel at one point, and my Sam was finding this arrangement quite pleasant! Sammy is awesome with him. Seth also got a truckfull of smiles and giggles out of him. These two would make wonderful parents. After dinner, we made our way back to the room, and Sam was put to bed. Eric went to get some ice and I prepared the margarita tub. We had some drinks and chatted the rest of the evening.
It was around 7ish that I woke up, I think. I got up after a while, unable to sleep anymore. Everyone else was sleeping -- yes, even Samuel! I checked on him, then went to take a shower, got ready, then looked back in the room and saw that everyone was still sleeping. I lied down next to Jen again, and dozed a bit before everyone finally got up around 8:30.
We got ready and headed down for breakfast. Pancakes again, and coffee. Starch and Carbs. Wheee. Jen was holding Radio Play auditions, and I decided to audition for the first time since the beginning of Radio Plays. After that was done, I hosted the "From Fan to Pro" panel, where I answered several questions about working on the Gargoyles comics, and some about breaking into the business. It was a busy panel, which I hosted with Samuel in my arms. I had brought the Cocoa Warriors book to show (the Aztec comic that had me stressed out and which I hated, and when I received the final product a few weeks ago was quite proud of, and again very grateful for the help I got to get it done), but forgot all about bringing storyboard samples. As I chatted with someone about his art, Samuel was giggling and squealing on my shoulder, and it took me a while to realize that it was Gore playing Peekaboo with him that had him so excitedly happy.
I had a couple of hours free before finding out if I was cast in the play, and so I went to post my silly Kanthara drawing I'd done during Opening Ceremonies (and coloured in the evening) in the Art show. The drawing was an apology for not having any art for sale in the show -- I'd only posted pages from Issue 5 and one of the pages from the test I did to get the gig in the first place. Samuel was sleeping in his stroller, so I was able to leave him with JennBob and Jade so I could get some lunch; after I returned to the Dealers' Room, I took advantage of the babysitting to chat with people and look at what was for sale. I was wowed by the crochet-made dolls that Vox Mortuum had for sale. I ended up being cast in the radio play, after goofing off for a while longer, I went to the radio play rehearsal.
Rehearsal went very well. I think Samuel slept during most of it. He spent it with Sammy, who was sitting at the far end of the room. He woke up just as we finished, and I ended up nursing him at the beginning of the actual performance. This worked out fine, as he got cast as Alex (someone else provided the voice, though ;)) and was cooperative due to a full tummy when it was his turn to act. The play was an adaptation of issues 3, 4 and 5 of the comic, so everyone who was there got a SNEAK PREVIEW of the issue that's going to come out in July! MWAHAHAHA! Anyways, we put on a good show. It was a lot of fun.
There was an expedition to the tattoo parlour across the street, because a bunch of people wanted to get a tattoo. lybell designed a Phoenix Gate drawing, and everyone decided where they wanted it. I didn't want to get a tattoo, myself, but I did toy with the idea of getting a cartilage piercing on my left ear. I finally decided against it, because doing it would have only been a spur-of-the-moment thing, not something thought out; plus, the last piercing I got caused all my piercings to get infected, and my body became allergic to several metals. I'm afraid that I'd end up with an inflamed ear. So anyways, back to the tattoo: the shop didn't have time to do them that evening, so that plan got cancelled, with a rescheduling for the next day.
Dinner happened next. We went to a seafood-type place across the street, and I wasn't in the mood for fried fare (I swear, it's almost all there is to eat!) so I ordered a pasta and shrimp dish instead. And it was the. Blandest. Food. Ever. Andrea had the same thing, and agreed with me. Blegh. I had a beer, and it was American Budweiser... almost like drinking a glass of water. It was that or Bud Light, Coors Light, Michelob Light or Corona... I'm a Canadian Beer Snob. :P
We tried to go swimming before the Blue Mug (which I ended up skipping because I had to put Samuel to bed), but the pool was full of excited kids, so we cancelled that idea too. When everyone went off to the Mug, I put Sam in the playpen, let him fall asleep, and then I had a nice phone chat with Adam. I also did some drawing for the comic, designing a new character. I turned in around midnight, but had trouble falling asleep. I was merely dozing when Jen and Eric came back from the Blue Mug. We chatted a bit about it, and then I tried to sleep... and it took me a good long while to finally drift off.
Again with the late getting up. I'm so grateful that Sam is turning into a late sleeper. We had breakfast, and since I didn't think I could stand pancakes again, I went for the eggs and meat buffet. Protein and Fat instead of Starch and Carbs. And coffee.
Since there were no panels we needed to be at until 2PM, we headed out to the tattoo parlour again. Honestly, given the tackiness and run-down look of the town, this shop was amazingly clean, and even classy. The tattoo artists were great, too. They are very professional, and fun. Jen got marked first, and then it was one after the other for the rest of the time. I went back to the hotel room to get Sam to have a nap before I needed to be at the Bad Guys panel. I nursed him into submission, then was able to work some more on the comic before I printed out the updated page 2 and headed to the panel.
Well, instead of being a panel on the comic, it turned into a marketing meeting on how to promote the comics and the show. I felt pretty useless in the discussion, and Greg felt like he was a broken record, but there were so many NEW people at the con that to them, it was all new stuff. After the panel, I went into the art show to post the six first pages of the Bad Guys comic (only page 1 was finished, page 2 was nearly there, the rest was very rough, but readable), and watched as people filed in to look at the pages.
Jen, Eric, Sam and I went back to our room and changed into nice clothes for the banquet. Samuel fell asleep in his stroller, and slept through most of the meal. Nikki, Thom, Greg and I were seated at a Head Table, which honestly, was kind of weird. Still, we had a good time, and when Samuel woke up, he nursed, then played on the floor between Greg and me, laughing up at us. Greg held Sam and zerberted him some more. Then came the Q&A. At one point, I asked people to ask questions about Bad Guys, since they hadn't at the panel, and eventually we got asked silly things like what kind of pie we like. :)
We headed back to our rooms to get changed for the Masquerade. Jen and I had agreed, just for fun, to wear our medieval outfits (corsets and all), much to our straight male friends' delight. We got back to the room for the Masquerade, and I sat with Greg and Thom to judge the costumes. It amuses me that some people will wear costumes but not participate in the competition, but oh well. It was a fun show. Hal the Gargoyle was FREAKING AMAZING. It was his first con, too. Holy crap. Anyways, I wheeled a sleeping Samuel into the next room with Greg and Thom, and we chose the winners. I ended up leaving Samuel in the quiet part of the room, and then when the party got started, I goofed and did some cancan dancing with JennBob, Nikki, ChynaRose, Jade (and maybe others? I just know the line was getting long). I mentionned to friends that I was going to put Sam to bed, and to come over for our small room party -- I am so grateful that Samuel can sleep through this, because otherwise I would not have been able to spend evenings with anyone, and Jen and Eric would have been kept out of their own room. Anyways, mixers where brought, the Margarita tub was taken out, and we shared drinks and watched silly online videos and generally had a great time. People started trickling out around 1AM... we must be getting old or something.
By the way, I made up a drink that evening, which people called a Green Jolly Rancher. Here's the recipe: in a tumbler with ice, add 1 shot Midori, 1 shot Vodka, and fill with Mountain Dew. Hey, it's what was there, and it worked really well.
I can so get used to Samuel not waking up until 8AM or later... And that morning, when I got him from his crib, I nursed him, and then he just fell asleep again. We all got ready and packed, and as he was still sleeping when it was time to go, I just put him in the stroller with his blanket to go to breakfast. He only woke up in the middle of our breakfast, so I changed his diaper and clothes down there, and then I realised that I'd have to be at the autograph panel (kept forgetting I was a Guest) and rushed upstairs to the panel with Greg and Thom.
So I signed autographs, then they held the auction, and then I signed more autographs on things won at the auction. Before long, it was time for Jen, Thom, Samuel and me to leave, so we said our goodbyes, picked up our stuff, and Patrick drove us to the airport. We got checked in, and as our planes were leaving from the same gate, we were able to have some more time together before we all had to say goodbye. I really wanted to bring Jen back with me.
On the flight to Washington, I was able to get a free seat for Samuel to be in. As our flight was delayed, I was worried that I'd be missing my plane to Montreal, since the layover was a mere 25 minutes; that plane ended up being delayed too, for which I was grateful, as it allowed me to grab some lunch, and notice that Samuel had more than overflowed from his diaper... again. Thankfully, I still had his PJs from the morning in the stroller. The (not so) funny thing is that in the Knoxville airport, Samuel's diaper had overflowed and I decided to purchase a onesie at the airport because I thought the PJs would be too warm... and he ended up in the PJs anyways. Anyways, the second flight was full, so I had Sam in my lap. He slept right through. Landing in Montreal was uneventful. Customs were easy, getting luggage was easy, and then my boys picked me up and we went for pizza. Well, I had pizza. Adam had a sub, and Matthieu asked for spaghetti, and we shared a poutine. Matthieu told me all about his weekend (with some prodding from his dad) and Sam got to tell his dad all about his trip, in the way only a four-month-old can. And later that eveing, after the boys were in bed, I got to snuggle with my husband. It's good to be home.
I'm pre-registered for next year. Chicago! I don't know if I'll get the whole family to come with me... it depends on vacation time and on money, and also on what there is to do family-wise in Chicago. I'm sure I'll find stuff. :)
"zerbert" must equal "flauble". We call 'em flaubles in my family.
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