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Marvelman writes...

What exactly is a blue mug convention? This one really has me scratching my head.

Greg responds...

We've never had a blue mug convention. We've had blue mug panels AT conventions.

Going backwards, many conventions have panels with names like "Mug-A-Guest". The idea behind these "Mugs" is to hold a more intimate panel. One or two guests with about a dozen or fewer attendees signing up for an hour or so, for a Q&A in a smaller room or conference room setting, so it feels more like a conversation than a lecture class. The term "Mug" is a play on the idea that fans sometimes corner guests to ask questions while the guest is, say, going to the bathroom or something like that. It's taking a negative encounter and turning it into a positive by making it a scheduled event. It's also a play on a coffee mug, because these were often intimate little talks with coffee or tea served.

At the Gathering of the Gargoyles conventions, we also held late night "Blue" panels, for adults only, where attendees could ask questions about non-PG stuff, like the Gargoyles' sex lives, etc. "Blue" has traditionally been a euphemism for adult or off-color topics.

At some point, we began scheduling "Blue Mugs," which combined the two ideas of a more raunchy R to NC-17 rated fan panel with the intimacy of a Mug-A-Guest session.

At some LATER point still, a few collaborators - Edmund Tsabard, Mara Cordova, Kalia Sartre, Jennifer L. Anderson and Gorebash - teamed up to create Blue Mug Productions and produced a couple issues of LAST TENGU IN PARIS. It was never popular enough to generate its own convention.

Response recorded on November 17, 2021

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