Running a convention is similar to the old Vaudeville routine of spinning a series of plates atop sticks and keeping them all going without letting any fall and crack. When Robert Picardo couldn’t be on hand to screen his movie on Friday night, they bumped it to Saturday. What I didn’t learn until Saturday morning was that my personal spinning plate was going to jump sticks a few times.
Since I was going to do my usual Trailer Park gig in the auditorium at Noon, followed by Picardo’s solo hour, it was decided to screen his movie and go right into his time, since there was an empty hour after him. That would mean shifting the trailers to the Hilton where I was scheduled to do comics-related panels from 2-4. I agreed but insisted that proper signage go up to make certain people knew what was going on for both the movie and me. As it was, the schedule merely listed me in the auditorium, nary a word about the trailers was mentioned, which experience tells, is a selling point to some fans.
As a result, I did my hour at 11 on myths and Marvel, sitting with a rather knowledgeable high school teacher who nicely retold the classic myths for a cute but bored eight year old dragged there by her grandfather (who I first met in 1983 when I was down for the short-lived Acadianacon). After that, Alan Chafin and I were asked to escort Picardo from the Hilton to the theater and he immediately remembered Alan from July’s Mystery Trekkie Theater skit which was nice. The movie was enjoyable on many levels although Picardo was the best thing in the film, cast opposite a relatively weak bunch of performers. The fantasy sequences suffered from budget constraints and the script tired to be universal in its themes but there were too many missing specifics robbing the characters of depth. Overall, though, it was very entertaining and I’m glad I saw it.
Once the lights went up, I ran back to the other hotel, checked out (don’t ask) and ran down to show my trailers to the 6-8 people who came by. That is, we got them running once the computer was brought to the room and then was properly set up to the projector so the trailers, nicely assembled for me by Glenn Hauman (thanks Glenn!) would project. Once we were done, no one came in for either schedule comics talk so I chatted about general themes and issues related to getting material optioned for Hollywood, trends in audiences’ tastes and the like. At some point, a woman came in with her portfolio and I snagged it, flipping through her work and holding it hostage so we could chat about it when I was free.
Shortly after 4, we ceded the room to the next programming and I was informed the masquerade and charity auction had been canceled (a general lack of attendance plagued the animation festival, which was charging admission for the first time) so I was suddenly done for the weekend. I was also starving having never had lunch.
I hung out in the hallway, briefly chatting with Kelsey about her work while Alan talked up her boyfriend, Ben. Before I knew, they came over and announced we were all going to an early dinner so artist and editor could properly talk about her work. We piled into Alan’s car in search of dinner but it became clear, most of the restaurants closed early so everyone could tailgate for that night’s LSU game (even if they were playing Monroe, a minor threat at best). We headed out of town until we found a Lebanese/Greek restaurant where we got to know one another over some fine food. After dinner, I spread open her portfolio and we went through her work which had a nice fluid quality to it, with nice body language. I gave her tips, we discussed the digital comics she wanted to produce and I think it helped her.
We dropped them off for the con’s Video Game/Musical Performance evening event while Alan brought me to the Belle of Baton Rouge, where I checked in. Once in my room, I settled in, checked work stuff and then watched two episodes of the wonderful Sherlock (a review of which runs over at ComicMix on Monday).
And now I am headed for home, where my Stat test awaits followed by more project editing and the rest of reality. Overall, I’m very glad I came because those who attended seemed to enjoy my talks while I got to see a plantation, relax with an old friend and meet some new ones.