I haven’t been blogging very regularly, for which I apologize. Many things have been occurring.
Konsplosion was the weekend of August 17th/18th/19th in Fort Smith, and while I was there (in my first gig as a guest speaker) for all of two hours, it seemed pretty packed. In the weeks leading up to Konsplosion, I had a bit of difficulty getting the show’s organizers to respond to my multiple attempts to pitch myself as a guest speaker; I literally didn’t know until about 72 hours out if I was going or not. My presentations were outlined but not practiced in any way (every speech or drama teacher I’ve ever studied under will no doubt be revving up to about 3,000 RPM in their grave right about now), and then, to my horror, I got up in front of a crowded room and discovered that the outline I’d printed at home about 10 minutes before leaving the house…
…was only printed on the left side of the page, but not the right side. If the outline had been printed in columns, that might not have been a disaster. But the outline was not laid out in columns, and therefore… disaster. On the one hand, I had written my own material and knew what I was planning to talk about, but going by memory meant the difference between a well-planned outline and a slightly-panicked hazy “ohshitwhatwasIgoingtosayhere?” memory of said outline. I rambled. A lot (same problem I’ve cited in doing podcasts, in fact). And yet I held on to most of the room. (My one regret: one con attendee in the Doctor Who panel was in full angel-robot-from-Voyage Of The Damned costume, and they left early, probably to hit one of the cosplay contests. I really wish I’d gotten a picture, I was just in my own private-but-on-public-display hell up there. 😆 )
What I can tell you is that, while I had the floor, I drew yet another comparison between the Steven Moffat era of Doctor Who with the John Nathan-Turner era (including my infamous refrain about how the show’s called “Doctor Who”, not “River Song”), I spent five or so minutes valiantly making a sales pitch for Big Finish Productions’ audios (keep in mind, this is a southern state in the U.S., and there were Who fans who weren’t aware that any such thing existed), and threw in a free mini-seminar on British copyright law to explain how there can be a K-9 spinoff without the BBC’s involvement. The somewhat time-crunched video game history lecture was spent comparing Ralph Baer to Nikola Tesla (in terms of the crazy number of ahead-of-their-time innovations, not in terms of mental issues), and the overall theme – though still rambling due to printer fail – was that every controversy and every ebb and flow of the video game industry is part of a cycle, with the exception of the Crash. Instead of opening the floor to questions, as I did with the Who panel (and interestingly, most of the folks present for the Who panel stayed for the video game panel), I ended the video game history panel with a question to them: when does the next crash happen, and why? Interesting discussion ensued (which was a relief, because I was well dehydrated and tired of talking by then!). Maybe all the folks who have told me I should be a teacher are onto something, or maybe those were really comfy seats and nobody except the angel robot wanted to move (y’know, with the big gold wings I could kinda see that).
I sold some books after the panel(s), and then took most of my “stock” back to the car, except for a couple of copies of each item I had available (VWORP!1, PDF, PDF Level 2), which I lugged around with me – and managed to sell one book to a couple who had been in the panel and had to run and get cash to buy a book. It was a calculated gamble – I could also see where they’d throw someone out of the vendor room for doing that – but hey, it paid off.
I think I could’ve killed in that vendor room, though, with a single table and the leftovers I brought home from Glitchcon. Most of the vendors were anime-oriented, with one comics place, one table with various pagan-and-related wares, a couple selling T-shirts with witty sayings, and so on. Again, no general sci-fi swag. Then again, I thought the same when deciding what to take to Bentonville, and came home with plenty of stuff that I took to sell.
I’ve got two more appearances lined up, both in November – the first weekend will be Darkon Expo I in Tulsa, a horror oriented con, and the second will be ComicCon-Way in Conway, AR, the following weekend, with some real comics luminaries in attendance. I’ll have an artist table at both (meaning I can only sell stuff I’ve made myself – fair enough, I’ve got plenty of books and plenty of PDF DVDs).
I enjoyed my one and only guest speaking gig of the year; it was invigorating and terrifying all at once. That people actually stuck around and interacted was really neat, especially given that I was rambling at 90mph and making some weak attempts to be funny the whole time, trying to make sure I had everyone’s attention. Again, as with the podcasts, having someone else to give me a breather would be dandy. The novelty of a little fat bald guy standing up there and reeling off rapid-fire trivia for an hour and a half surely wears off pretty quick.
And yet people stuck around for both. Maybe they know something I don’t. Or maybe they’re veteran NASCAR audiences and were waiting for me to crash and burn. 😆
More convention thoughts tomorrow.