I was planning on having an interview with Mark Waid up this weekend. Let me tell you, transcribing an interview takes a lot of work. Luckily I’m more than halfway through it, so the interview will definitely be up by next weekend. This week you’ll have to be satisfied with my Megacon report!
I live in Tampa, FL so driving out to Megacon in Orlando for a day was a no-brainer. It also happened to be right after my birthday so I even had some extra money! In fact, thanks to the kindness of Rusty over at Cosmic Comix I also ended up with a free pass! Then, to make the trip even cooler Chip Mosher was nice enough to line up a meeting between myself and Mark Waid. All in all this was looking to be a fantastic Saturday.
Of course this was also the Saturday I had an essay due in my 8am English class. This wouldn’t have been a problem except that it meant we (my boyfriend and I) didn’t leave for the con until about 10:30am. Now, this had been planned to work out this way – it takes an hour and a half to get to Orlando and lunch with Mark wasn’t until 2pm at Café tu tu Tango (which is right by the convention center). We would have time to get our passes, meet up with a friend, and meet Mark on time. We didn’t count on the INSANE traffic though. Wow, I have never seen the convention center so backed up. We were right by the exit for 45 minutes, it was terrible. The result was that I got dropped off at the restaurant at 1:40 while my boyfriend went to find our other guest in the sea of cars. They both ended up joining Mark and I for lunch.
Meeting Mark was a lot of fun. He’s a really nice guy and despite the fact that I was a bit worried about making an idiot out of myself, I managed to keep my fangirlish gee squelched, and act like a mostly normal person. What was really neat was that Mark being a Legion fan (of course) was happy to talk about some of his work on the LoSH relaunch. We even share the same favorite Legionnaire, Brainiac 5.
By the time we made it to the convention it was nearly 4pm, which meant we had two hours before the exhibit hall closed. We easily acquired our passes (I was so grateful that there weren’t any lines) and made our way into the hall. One of the first people we found was Darwyn Cooke. I felt bad for the guy; the person in front of us had his entire collection with him which he was carting around on a dolly. Poor Mr. Cooke had to sign a giant stack of comics for the guy. I’d have been somewhat annoyed, but Darwyn just smiled and made polite conversation.
After that I tracked down Brian Clevinger, as in addition to being a fan of Atomic Robo myself, my friend Mike is an even bigger fan so I wanted to get a book signed for him. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Scott Wegener was there as well! Not only did I get Mike’s book signed by both of Robo’s creators but Scott actually knew who I was. He asked me what site I was from, and when I said Comics And he recognized the name right away! He even said how much he liked our reviews :)
I also got the chance to meet Gina Biggs in person. She seems like a really sweet person and was busy helping out her fellow Strawberry Comics creator, Robin Edwards, with promoting her work. I bought both of the Red String books while I was there and had a lot of fun being able to read the story again without sitting at the computer.
Some guy kept telling me how much he liked my messenger bag. In fact I started to wonder if he was going to try and swipe it. Creepy.
I tried to find Jason Becker, the creator of Killing Pickman, but I’m not certain he was there. At least all three of us looked in the area he was supposed to be and couldn’t find him.
We also ran into the guy who played Chewbacca. He was REALLY tall. Really.
All in all, despite traffic, it was a fun day. If we go next year we’ll either leave for the con super early or drive down the night before and get a room. In some ways I enjoyed Gencon more, but I think that’s because the geeks weren’t so young there. At Megacon there were comic book geeks, which was fine seeing how I am one, gamers, otaku, trekkies ect – but tons of the otaku looked like they had only just hit puberty. There was a mixed crowd at Gencon too but people kept to their areas of interest (the anime people were off watching movies and the gamers were gaming, ect) and most were over 18. The only reason I cared about this was because the anime people kept trying to hug us. They also carried around signs that said ‘glomp me’. I don’t know what a glomp is, but I certainly don’t want to glomp someone I don’t know (or someone I do know for that matter, depending on what a glomp is). I mean, I used to go to anime cons back in high school, and that wasn’t how we were then, but at Gencon people seemed more respectful of the fact that everyone around you isn’t nessasarily into the same things you are. At Megacon a whole group of people tried to force hug my boyfriend (he escaped, narrowly). So I don’t know, I think it helps when there are more activities for all the different geek crowds because then people have better things to do then try to ‘glomp’ strangers minding their own business. Of course the funny thing here is that my friend who’s really into anime would have avoided these kids like the plague, so maybe it’s just Orlando.