The Convention Thread


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This whole thing has been pretty sweet, even though the signature theme of the weekend was lack of sleep and meals so huge you couldn't eat anything else for the next 24 hours. The convention was pretty awesome too, I got a ton of cheap books on the last day and saw loads a really interesting stuff, especially from Marvel, who seem to get the idea of pleasing their audiance at these things WAY more than DC do. I'd do this again, it was awesome to meet up with everyone, put some faces to namee. Thanks guys!

I also got to hold creators accountable for some stuff, such as Dracula's abrupt costume change. Dinnerwear FTW.

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I'll totally take a week of my 2 weeks' vacation next year to come up there.

:yes:

As for Will's convention report, here goes. After a few delays during the trip on Thursday, Peter and I got into Chicago, checked into the hotel and got settled. That done, exploring until I was able to get a hold of George W and we hooked up with the Brits. Let me honestly say that Ian is as British as you all believe though I was disappointed he wasn't sitting by a picture of the Queen sipping tea when we met him. Oh well. Adham did welcome us with a resounding, "She had it coming."

Many of us were hungry so we went out in search of booze/food. We hit up a Subway, one of about 50 we would see during our travel. Seriously, people make jokes about Starbucks being everywhere BUT Subway and Dunkin' Doughnuts, there were so many more of those. I got a club, the smallest thing I would eat the entire weekend, and then we hit up a little bar for a drink (Gin and Tonic if anyone is interested) and hit up a grocery store to get some things to drink back at the hotel. We continue to do this until Hannah, Preston, and Michelle show up. Hannah sticks around, Preston and Michelle go to their room, we drink some then pass out.

Friday, most of us, with the exception of the Brits, get up early and head to Union State to pick up Dubs from the train station. A fun trip with the exception of Preston and many of us wanting to beat up annoying Girl Scouts. Walk back is uneventful. Just a slightly boring breakfast really. Then off to the con where we met up with Mike, saw The Cinema Snob walking around, and that's the most eventful part of the con for me that dayat the con. After the con though, we decided to walk and pick up some pizza before hanging out some more back at the hotel. On the way, we might have witnessed a robbery. Yeah, we're walking along and two guys run past us. We don't think anything of it until a woman yells for us to stop the guys when they're out of distance from us. When we pass by after getting the food, she gives us the stinkeye while she's talking to the police. We drink, minus Preston and Michelle, plus Mike.

Saturday, we did Yolk for breakfast. Fucking awesome, food wise, one of the highlights. Then it was off to the con for some fun. Busy day, best panel for me was The Middleman Reunion panel. Such a fun show and just from talking to the cast, we could tell they had loved working on it. Afterwards, we hit up Eleven City Deli for dinner then met up with Mike in search of a bar. Eventually we end up at a shitty bar that charges too much for drinks. We have one then head back to the room. A few hours of talking. We get to talking about the site, Mike teases some things that I can't mention, and I get drunk. I mean seriously drunk. I go to bed.

Wake up in the morning, I'm hungover which means my stomach feels like shit. I get Yolk again for breakfast, going pretty standard this time. My hangover lasts all day and makes all the goodbyes less than stellar. It's also a rainy day which sucks even more. On the way back, sandwich and soup from Bob Evans and I'm starting to feel better when I get home around 11.

Overall, a great weekend. Next year I might try to go easy on the alcohol, might try to do something crazy like run a short D&D game for anyone interested. I'll post my loot list later on but yeah, fun time guys, definitely the best con I've been to. Like last year, I'll try to get everything organized or something. All together, woo!

And now for pictures. There's a lot so putting them in spoilers. Not putting anyone on the board's picture here since I never know if someone wants to be private/keep their mystique. If you're friends with me on Facebook, you can see the pictures there.

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The entrance queue line.

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The convention floor.

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A slightly dirty lamp.

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Breakfast from Yolk. Yummers. A Mediterranean omelet, Sourdough Toast, and roasted potatoes.

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Space Channel 5 LIVES!

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Princess Giselle!

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Stan Lee Kid.

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These guys did some awesome costumes.

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Grand Moff Tarkin.

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Home at last!

I won't write down my account of the holiday though, as I'm planning something different. Those who were there will know what's coming and are probably a tad worried about the finished product! [/tease]

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So, here's my con report. Will just copy/paste from Will's where applicable.

Thursday, I meet up with Preston and Michelle, and we drive down to Chicago, making remarkably good time mostly due to the lack of traffic thing. After a brief confusion over whether or not the apartment next door was the hotel, we get parked and I get settled and meet everyone. Adham greets me with a CD of FYEO outtakes (which I need to add to my iTunes soonish). We drink (a fair bit), we schmooze, and then we all go off to sleep.

Friday, most of us, with the exception of the Brits (what with the whole sleep dep time change thing, despite Will's phone being left in their room and the alarm going off), get up early and head to Union State to pick up Dubs from the train station. The Girl Scouts shill, and we all debate bloody murder once the parents are gone, and actually tell off some ones selling them on street corners. After shuffling back and forth between the two concourses, we end up at the opposite concourse of where we want to be, and finally obtain +1 Dubs. Walk back is uneventful. Just a slightly boring breakfast really. Then off to the con. Found some cool cosplayers, was able to find a sonic screwdriver right off the bat, and met up with Mike before heading to the Food and Comics panel with Will (I totally should've thought of a question to get a cupcake!), and then to the X-Men panel (which I was actually interested in, suprisingly enough). After the con though, we decided to walk and pick up some sexy Giordano's deep dish (because most of the party has shockingly never had deep dish, wtf) before hanging out some more back at the hotel. On the way, we kind of witnessed a robbery. Yeah, we're walking along and two guys run past us. We don't think anything of it until a woman yells for us to stop the guys when they're out of distance from us. When we pass by after getting the food, she gives us the stinkeye while she's talking to the police. Not much we could've done though, really. Still, awkward, much. We drink, minus Preston and Michelle, plus a Mike, who notably downs two consecutive glasses of whiskey straight after being told that Snooki was wrestling at Wrestlemania as a face.

Saturday, we did Yolk for breakfast. Fucking awesome, food wise, one of the highlights. I will include pics of the red velvet french toast at some point soon. Just not tonight. Then it was off to the con for some fun. Busy day, met up briefly with friends, some of whom I hadn't seen in a while and played a bit of catchup with, and one of whom got a portfolio review with DC and was told to head to the Vertigo panel to meet up with Bill Willingham for a critique. So, we walk around the floor for a bit and then head up to the Vertigo panel, which includes Willingham and Jill Thompson, and is pretty damn awesome. Bill, due to being DiDio's butler for the day, has to head early, but friend schedules a meeting with him for the next day. I head out a bit early to go to the DC Icons panel, which is quite fun, as we all know. I then check out MvC3 at the gaming room, warm up on the console with a kid, and then Dubs teaches me how to play with a fighting stick (insert joke here). I then get in line with Mike and Tom for Cup of Joe, which had the most insane line in the history of ever. It's a pretty fun panel, if only to see Loeb, Quesada, and Bendis try to outdouche each other at times, and the Ultimate Spidey footage is pretty solid. Afterwards, we head back to the hotel at different times, meet up, hit up Eleven City Deli for dinner (holy shit huge salami sammich) then met up with Mike in search of a bar. Karaoke bar falls through due to being too small, so then we continue the search. Eventually we end up at a shitty bar that charges too much for drinks. We have one then head back to the room, minus Preston and Michelle. A few hours of talking. We get to talking about the site, Mike teases some things that I can't mention (and may I say they are AWESOME), we suggest things and discuss a certain upcoming show, and things come up that causes me to chug some drinks a bit and scare Ian with how well I can chug, given the right sort of prompts. The Brits and I get a bit drunk, as does Will. Mike is given Jaeger at some point, which I am convinced contributed to his tiredness the next day. Cause, fuck man, Jaeger. We all pass out around three in the morning.

Sunday, I finally finish off the Giordano's that's been sustaining me for most of the weekend, and end up rolling out of bed pretty early to finish up packing and get stuff to the car to make getting back easier. We all are in varying states/times of awakeness, and end up going to the con on our own timing. Dubs and I hang out for most of the morning, checking out deals (or lack thereof) on the floor, playing MvC3 (after he amps me the fuck up on Vault, thanks for that again :P), and inadvertantly finding his future ex-wife (and no, sorry man, I didn't find her again to get a picture of her :(). We then head to the Brightest Day panel (boop! boop! boop!), and the Next Big Thing after that, and then Preston and Michelle and I wander the floor for last minute deals before saying goodbye to the folks we could find (sorry if we missed you!), and heading back on the shuttles and out of Chicago and back home again, jiggity jig.

At some point, we go past the Marvel booth, and we find out, oh shit, my friend didn't get a review yesterday, but surprise, she's got one today. After this is communicated, and the trains are delaying things, I end up having to be her liason and asking whether or not it would be okay if she came in a bit later. The guy who eventually does the review is a bit douchey (candleflame sticky uppy hair is never a good sign, just saying), but we successfully get it pushed back. I eventually find out that the guy didn't want to bring out her portfolio from the back (lazy), apparently never even looked at it (lame), and asked her to recap her review last year so he didn't have to do much work (again, whut). She is told that they'd love her, but they don't accept anybody who hasn't been published by someone smaller. Which is pretty damn stupid, but not quite the whole story. After this, she goes up to meet with Willingham, who by her acocunts, is pretty damn awesome and perfectly willing to joke around about DC's editors with her. He apparently really likes her work, and gives her a few pointers on how to make the mess that she has to work with a bit better (seriously, this script, what the hell). He then clarifies that as soon as she has the physical copies of her final work on the ashcan, she should send off to Marvel and DC, as this will then be enough for them to consider her "published", and will get her in, most likely with Vertigo, or at least he'll push to have her on Fables. He even noticed the room on the cover art for the logo! And that's something the editors had criticized in previous critiques! So, yeah, that's pretty awesome, and looks like it's going places quite quickly.

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I feel utterly horrible today. Something to do with my trip back making the trip out look like baby frolics because I got a 4 hour stop in amsterdam and then by the time I got back I'd gone straight through the need to sleep and couldn't if I tried. Total time awake- estimated 7am chicago time to midnight the next day in the UK. About 36 hours, minus about ten minutes I got on the second plane.

Gotta say that one of the highlights as far as I'm concerned was a combination of two moments. When Ian saw Preston and realised the task ahead of him in the drinking contest, and when Ian suddenly realised he had a way out by declaring that since Preston wasn't there that evening he had forfeit. Complete mix of joy and utter relief.

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Well, I guess Preston is going to have to get a second bedroom for his ego next year. Don't tell this friend he does podcasts, otherwise she might have to have her earbuds surgically removed.

She's already asked me to see if I can get Preston just saying stuff in a loop. Maybe I can get her suggest a book she'd like read out to her.

Problem is that on the podcast the verbal spanish fly of Preston is cancelled out by the audio cold water of Mike or Des. Shame. :P

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I've just started working on the travelogue (which, hilariously, doesn't feature Preston whatsoever!) and all I can say is that I'm SO glad that I recorded as much as I did! I've got a special guest narrating the prologue and will be filling the interludes between audio clips with music. I also fail at play-by-play video game commentary!

In short, this may be the best thing I've ever submitted for the site.

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Problem is that on the podcast the verbal spanish fly of Preston is cancelled out by the audio cold water of Mike or Des. Shame. :P

I really can't counter this without making someone's ego go insane (and maybe saying something too much about myself) so I'll just quote Michelle, Preston's Girlfriend:

"I find Des's laugh one part terrifying and two parts sexy."
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You know, Tom, if your friend is interested in a guy that has a comparable voice and a penchant for English ladies, I'm not hard to find. ;)

Alright, now that I have the ability, I can finally comment on the trip, and the great people I was able to finally meet.

It's safe to say that I would have been lost if Hannah wasn't there. Not only was she the person I hung with the most, but she kept me informed of everyone's plans and when to be where. Might not sound like much, but I'm a terribly unorganized person, and it was highly appreciated.

George - Couldn't have asked for a better roommate. Super easy-going. Can't thank him enough for taking the time to give me a ride to the station. I'd probably still be walking there now if he hadn't.

The thing I'll remember most about Will is his generosity. Within 5 seconds of meeting me at the station, he had a Mello Yello for me, then a full 12 pack later, so I'd have something to drink whilst the drunken shenanigans occurred. Then, one of the only times I see him at the convention on Saturday, he has a box of Pocky for me. This isn't even mentioning the trade that I saw him get for Hannah, the huge tip he gave at breakfast, or the assortment of bums that all received something from Mr. Ackerman. My greatest regret was not finding a gift to repay him with when I walked the convention floor a final time. Also easily the most entertaining drunk of the lot.

I shared an awkward 3 seconds in a rotating door with Adham Fisher. I also saw him perform what I will call the "Adham Fisher Hop". He's exactly what everyone thinks he is.

As for the other Brits, I consciously tried my hardest to not annoy them. I had much more in common with Tom than I thought and my personal highlight of the trip was Ian's impersonation of Edge and Christian's impersonation of Triple H's theme song on the kazoo. Also, he hooked me up with my new favourite shirt. Great bunch of lads.

The only con is that I didn't spend nearly enough time interacting with Preston, but I know I'm not alone there. Mr. Audio Chocolate had enough people competing for his attention, and there's always next year.

All in all, a great time, and I hope I didn't come off as socially inept as I feared I would.

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You know, Tom, if your friend is interested in a guy that has a comparable voice and a penchant for English ladies, I'm not hard to find. ;)

Alas, she is Welsh and taken. So close.

Glad you had fun dude, and totally agreed on Adham. He is exactly as advertised.

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You know, Tom, if your friend is interested in a guy that has a comparable voice and a penchant for English ladies, I'm not hard to find. ;)

Alas, she is Welsh and taken. So close.

Well there goes my interest....

Glad you had fun dude, and totally agreed on Adham. He is exactly as advertised.

I think there's an extent that he knew he had an audience that only knew him through FYEO, so that might have made him play up his persona slightly. But ultimately, that is what Adham's like. One of my abiding memories is silently despairing at something Adham was doing on Thursday night and Preston said to me "there's a lot of hatred in your eyes!" - that's what the majority of 20 hours of travelling with Adham will do to someone!!

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Damnit, Dubs, stop making me blush, I wasn't that much of a help.

Also, Ian, I think that was right about the time Adham started handing out FYEO outtakes or when he was detailing his plan to ride the Metra. Or when we got into that discussion about types.

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Damnit, Dubs, stop making me blush

Agreeing with Hannah. I'm glad I was an entertaining drunk since I am vaguely having trouble recalling all the details of Saturday night. As for me being generous, ehh, it's me making up for being a douche most of the time. I figured you'd need caffeine after the trip, would want something to drink while we're being alcoholics, and as for the bums, they caught me when I was in good moods. Also, Will on vacation tends to tip well since I tend not to eat at places where the food is shit.

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