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July 16, 2007


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Post Connecticon Update

July 16, 2007

The Detailed, Day-By-Day Breakdown

So, this past weekend was Connecticon. Things got off to a shaky start, no fault of the Connecticon folks, but turned out well.

Thursday

Thursday Rinny and I were s'posed to drive down to set up our table in the Vendor's area. Rinny had been away on work and was in Texas. Around one pm I got a call from her stating she's missed her original flight and was stuck in Atlanta's airport. Now, I've been stuck in Atlanta's airport MANY times and it's a little slice of hell. She was waiting standby for the next flight to Boston but was definitely going to be arriving late. At this point we agreed it was just important I get to Hartford and set everything up - she'd find a way there. Thankfully, she managed to get the next flight out - which ended up landing in Ohio because of storms.

Yeah, she had a great day of flying.

A plane trip and bus ride later, she arrived in Hartford and all was well.

Friday

The next day was opening ceremonies and manning the table. By the way, if you're ever looking for us at a convention, look for the Choo-Choo Bear table cloth Rinny made - it's pink and has his face on it. It's a little hard to miss a pink tablecloth that smiles at you. There were a lot of free sketches handed out, questions answered, and even a couple of things sold. That night was the great comic books panel with me, Mookie of Dominic Deegan, Brian Clevinger of 8-Bit Theater, and Garth Graham of Comedity. What did I learn? We're very opinionated jerks and ever we die-hard DC Comics fanboys can't stomach Countdown. It's like DC looked at Marvel's "Civil War" and said, "Sure we can do something with writing just as bad and as many required-reading tie-ins that no one wants to deal with." Way to shoot for the stars, DC.

Saturday

The next morning at 10:30am was the Web Comics Panel/Auction - it was really more of a webcomics auction than panel. Everyone was there. It was pretty insane. The auction benefitted the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a worth cause. A lot of the cartoonists auctioned off time with themselves but I saw no point in this. I'm not as attractive as them and didn't want to be embarrassed by a $2 pity bid. So I auctioned the shirt off my back quite literally. I was wearing a Clockwork Pussy shirt which sold for $65. I drew all over it with a silver marker. I'm sure the horrifying topless photos of me will surface soon. Oh well - I made sure to bring a spare shirt. I probably should have done a little dance or something but why bother? I couldn't have competed with the dance done by Christi Johsnon (a.k.a. the hottest woman in webcomics, period) of In the Puddle.

The rest of Saturday was just the usual work - sketches, answering questions. Rinny finally got to do her cosplay of Gaz from Invader Zim and she was quite excited about that. Also, I don't normally take pictures of people's cosplay at cons but when a guy walked by our table dressed as Dr. Forrester from Mystery Science Theatre 3000, I had to whip out my shitty camera phone.



Also, a guy came by and dropped off a cocker-spaniel he made for us - I'll post pictures of it later (Rinny's asleep and I don't know where her camera is). It was the awesome, hands down. Oh, and Tim Buckley of Ctrl+Alt+Del stopped by our table. Tim's had a lot of good fortune the past few years. I wasn't jealous of him when he got his books out. I kept my envy in check when his comic got animated, something I'd LOVE to happen to S*P (or New Gold Dreams, which would probably be more interesting)... but motherfucker, I will kill Tim for his dogs. When he showed me the pictures of them all I could think was, "Invite him outside for a smoke - then one strong blow to the head and those Yorkies are yours, Randy." But Tim is safe... for now.

Also, Jamal Joseph of Chugworth Academy (not currently up) gave me the explanation as to what happened to the comic. I want to get Chugworth back online. That comic always makes me laugh and I miss it a lot.

I also did interviews with Digital Strips and ... uh... someone else I've forgotten. Otaku Life I think? (I can't find a URL)

That night was a mass webcomic dinner, but we were too large of a group and were split into smaller groups. Rinny and I enjoyed dinner with the always delightful Jeph Jacques of Questionable Content and his crew, Chris Hastings of the amazing comic, Dr. McNinja, and the awesomely British Lem Davies of Bunny. Once again, however, the powers that be saw fit to keep Jennie Breeden of Devil's Panties away from me. There's a goddammned conspiracy afoot, people.

Sunday

The next morning at What-The-Fuck o'clock was the Business of webcomics panel with Chris Malone of Blue and Blond and Mookie. All went well. The rest of Sunday was spent watching Rinny have a rubberband fight with Applegeeks (who are, honestly, some of the coolest guys in webcomics), the ever-sweet Claire Barry of Kittybot, the Erfworld crew, and the trouble-making Brian Clevinger. I also went over and bugged Jennie a lot, as well as her table-mate, Brooke Spangler of A Girl and Her Fed, who's a total sweetheart and gave me kind words about when she bought adspace on S*P back in January. She's pretty awesome even though she draws a koala (koalas are awful creatures as far as I'm concerned. I would totally punch out a koala). Also, James Hatton of In His Likeness was kind enough to drop off a copy of his first 100 strips book and Alex of Mongoose Publishing dropped off a copy of the new edition of the gaming classic, RuneQuest.

We were also visited by Trish of Mine's Bigger, who's had a HARD year with her domain being stolen from beneath her (but she's gotten it back). But she's just graduated school and is preparing to move back to upstate New York. I'm glad things are picking up for her.

A bit of excitement happened on Sunday when Rinny was talking to one of our table neighbors. The vendor looked up and said to her, "I think that guy just stole some of my cds." Immediately, Rinny swept around the table, tapped him on the shoulder and boomed, "Can I help you?" Without hesitation the guy handed the cds back to her. Then she demanded to see his bag - full of stolen stuff. Apparently he had a couple more bags of stuff. Cops were called. Arrests were had. It's not a reflection on ConnectiCon - there's always some asshole who comes to a con to steal (more on that in a bit). As far as cons go, ConnectiCon's very secure and they took care of the guy immediately. And, of course, I was rather proud that Rinny snapped to action so fast.

Sadly, she wasn't able to catch the person who scampered off with my shoulder bag. The bag was empty save for parts of the next few S*P's, some dice, pens - but the things of value they DID get were three tobacco pipes - two meerschaum (one of which has great personal value to me because it was a gift from one of my closest friends), and a hand-carved pipe I'd bought a few years ago from Dreamlair which I won't be able to replace. Y'know, even if you "found" my bag, there's a goddamn Lost and Found at every con. Most likely it was picked up by some asshole who thought, "Free bag!", emptied it out in the garbage and wandered off. Fucker.

Overview: Was It Worth Going To?

Business-wise, ConnectiCon was good. I'm coming back with extra money in my pocket (just about a first this year). The people who ran the con, especially Brianna and Larom, were great (especially after my bag went missing, which again is something that just happens - it's not the first time I've had stuff taken at a con and there's not the con's fault but they did their best to help). ConnectiCon's a good convention that's doin' it's best and if you're a fan of webcomics, it's one of the one's to go to. It's one of the few cons interested in a strong webcomic presence (a lot of anime cons have them but seem to do so grudgingly, sporting the attitude of, "Goddamnit - we hate putting up with these hacks but we want access to their audience.") It's a great con for webcartoonists, especially those just starting to promote themselves and wanting to meet others doing the same stuff.

My only real gripe was the panels - it would have been nice to have a few more webcomics panels than there were, especially with the number of webcartoonists present. But if that's my main gripe about a convention, that's fucking awesome. Matt Daigle, the con chair, asked if I'd be willing to run games at future ConnectiCons and I don't see why not. A lot of people were asking about my Bunnies & Burrows games that it might be a necessity next time.

So that's it - it was a great experience and a convention I'd readily return to. I was really glad to see so many readers drop by and I thank you all for saying hello, getting a sketch, and just spending some time with Rinny and myself. Hopefully we'll get to see you all at future ConnectiCons. Thanks, everyone. If I forgot to mention you, I apologize. I'm a bit frazzled and have to redraw a few days of strips. - R.

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