C&DP madness or genius

Of Conventions and Comics and Other Cool Things

I just got back from Dragon*Con a couple of days ago, and it was crazy awesome! Yes, I'm a convention co-founder and a con-runner and I've been to a fair few cons over the last 6-7 years in one capacity or another, but never one quite like this (since I haven't yet been able to make it to SDCC, which has some similarities). Dragon*Con spans 5 hotels and has a whole mess of specific fan tracks, not to mention panels with TV and movie stars along with the usual fun of comics folks, writing workshops, etc.  It was also the first non-Discworld con I actually costumed for (all costumes I've worn before because I didn't have time to make anything new, but I settled on Black Canary, Seamstress, Interrupted, and The Absinthe Fairy and they worked out well). AND it turned out not only did I get to see and room with my Discworld roomie (and #1 Minion) Erica, but also laurelin_kit was there and roomed with us and is AWESOME, and several other Snarkers and LJers were there, too (one I'd met before and a few I hadn't) and were AWESOME as well. (And I finally got to meet doctoraicha!!! She is great! :D)

Anyway, despite the fact that I'm actually still (two months later!) recovering from NADWCon2011 (seriously; Chairing that con took more out of me than law school, I tell you what), I'm trying to get back to blogging a little about all the fun stuff now that things aren't *quite* so busy thanks to retirement from NADWCon organizing. So a Dragon*Con recap will be next on the list, but first, here's a bit about my adventures at Baltimore Comic Con, which I managed to get over to 3 weekends ago. It was a lot of fun. :)

In brief, things I did:

- I got to catch up with a lot of my comic-y friends, like Barry Kitson, John Tyler Christopher, Clayton Henry, Reilly Brown, Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover, Francesco and Lisa Francavilla, John K. Snyder III, Franco Aureliani, Jamie Cosley, and more, all of whom are super;

- I got to meet some new cool folks, like Charlie Adlard (stop making weird faces at the camera, CHARLIE), Ivan Brandon, Charlie Kochman, Michael Finn, and more;

- I got to chat with Stan Lee again (bless! He's awesome, not like anyone who knows who he is needs telling);

- I got to go to the Harvey Awards (and, oh yes, sit at Stan Lee's table, hahaha!) which, despite all the groans I heard about how loooong they were, I liked just fine (and the soup was excellent);

- I got to meet TWO costumed Deadpools, one of whom had an AWESOME Pirate Deadpool costume;

- I got to see all the pretty thingssssssss and wander around and just generally BE at a comic con again, which was nice because it'd been awhile. I love comic cons. They are good for my geeky soul.

Things I didn't do:

- See every person I meant to;

- Go to one single panel (I always MEAN to);

- Shop for stuff even though I meant to look around at t-shirts at least;

- Take enough pictures (I'm usually better about remembering to do that).

But I DID take these pictures HERE, and also picked up some neat art (pictured). Woo! So check that out!

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Speaking of neat art, Jen (eldest sister extraordinaire) was in town the weekend before Dragon*Con, and saw a flyer for the new creator-owned comic artist Reilly Brown is doing with writer Kurt Christenson, Power Play. She loved the Gowanus Pete character design to the point where she made me pull up one of the sketches of Gowanus Pete online. Which reminded me I told Reilly at Baltimore Comic Con that I'd check out the preview comic (the actual comic starts coming out this fall), and so, voila, on lunch break today, I did. Here are my thoughts:


Info:

The preview comic, which you can get on ComiXology and download on their smartphone apps for free, introduces the characters and the concept for the coming storyline. It's written by Kurt Christenson and drawn by Reilly Brown. Here's the blurb:

Extreme sports just got an upgrade! No more skateboards, rollerblades or BMX bikes, when these superpowered kids take to the streets, there's no telling what they can and will do in this underground, full contact, no-holds barred sports league. From all across NYC they come to do battle, pitting their powers against one another in do-it-yourself style Olympics. They fight for fame, they fight for glory, they fight to be the the Power Play champion--and in the middle of all of this is Mac, a college student looking for direction and purpose in the big city. Who will be crowned King of the Five Boroughs? Power Play, the super-powered street games starts here!


The story:

I like the concept - it's fun, it's different, and it has the potential for good character development/interaction/conflict.  The dialogue's snappy so far, and the description of Westside Flame actually made me laugh out loud.  In the preview itself, we get what seems like two snippets of different but related storylines; a glimpse at the sports/competition part of the story, and a glimpse at the personal/character development part of the story (focused on Mac), both of which look good.  The presentation is a little disjointed (going from action to introspection with little transition is a bit jarring), but I give that a pass because it's a preview comic, and I don't think the intention was to put up a complex, integrated story at this point.  Presumably in the main comic we'll get a more cohesive story, and I'm looking forward to it. I'd also love to see more background on the league, which I'm sure will come up along the way.


The art:

I love the art, but then, that's not surprising.  Reilly's one of my favorite comic book artists; I like the dynamic way he draws characters and action, and also a lot of the facial expressions.  I'm enjoying the character designs so far; I have to admit I already have a straight-girl-crush on the Ice Queen character (I can't help it, she's purrrty. And also wearing my favorite color of blue, with SNOWFLAKES. I love snowflakes. I even have tights with snowflakes on them. (See also: butterflies. :D). And I, also, am intrigued by Gowanus Pete (and want to see what else they turn Mac into). Reilly does a great job with the different character designs, matching the style to the personality (as it is so far) and/or drawing a style that exudes the corresponding personality; and I like the idea of the characters resembling the areas of the city they come from. I definitely want to see more.


The digital medium:

This is the kind of thing I geek out about, because it excites me to see the potential of the medium being explored to enhance the reading experience.  Power Play is, hands down, the best use of the digital medium for comics that I've seen to date, and this is only the preview.  In places it reminds me a bit of the Watchmen stop-animation (or whatever it's called) video comics they did around the time of the movie, only I never had the patience to watch all of those, since I'd read the book a million times already and they moved too slowly from one frame to the next.  But having the ability to read at one's own pace, and still get the animation-like effects now and again, is fantastic. Being able to see one or two panels at a time, zoomed in/close up, is great. I love the panning from one part of a panel to another and the fading from full color to monochrome for effect. Having the direction of the screen shifts follow the action is cool; or shifting to follow the narrative/captions.  Also I like how he has the characters in similar poses in a couple of frames, but shifting from one frame to the next gives you the action of a head turn or tilt like in animation.

This is truly the future of how digital comics should be read.  I definitely wish I had an iPad so I could experience it in a bigger window, but with only a smartphone (and especially given my vision issues) this is hands-down the best way to see digital comics on a hand-held device.  For comparison, I downloaded DC Comics New 52 #1 preview, which was free, and tried reading it on my Droid 2. Now, I know on a computer the usual format is fine; but on a smartphone? It's fairly unreadable.  All the zooming in and panning around necessary just to see one page is a total pain, and not something I have the patience (or eyesight) for. The Power Play layout is infinitely better.

I do wonder how easy it would be to translate the comic, as designed first and foremost for digital, to a print version; I know Reilly mentioned they are keeping that option in mind, but would be curious to know more about how much would need to be changed for print, and how much Reilly thinks about that when he's designing layout. (Gee, maybe I should ask him, duh.) My main thought being, naturally, how hard it would be for all writers/artists to start shifting their thinking towards designing simultaneously for both. I'm not advocating that, necessarily; I LOVE print books and don't want them to go away; but I do wonder.


Overall:

The preview is engaging, the art is great, and the digital format is a joy to read. I'm so getting this when it comes out.

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Speaking of comics, GUESS WHAT CAME OUT TODAY? My latest article and comic over at ReelzChannel.com. They blogged it with a link to the article/comic. wHEE! :D



Here’s the blog link: Deadpool Back on Track? We Might Forgive Ryan Reynolds After All

And the article and comic: Enough with Green Lantern, Bring on Deadpool!

Please to go read ze comic, kind friends? And to go retweet and repost and comment if you like it? The more you do these things, the more I get to WRITE COMICS, which I do so love to do. :)

And if anyone's in the mood to flip through the others I've done (with artist Marc Vuletich) so far, they're all HERE. You should at least check out this one, since it's the precursor to today's comic. :)

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Aaaaand that's enough advertising of my own things. Now I shall advertise for others, namely, Made of Fail. My favorite podcast is still going strong, and did some fun episodes recently, on Green Lantern and the DC reboot; Harry Potter 7; and more. You should really go listen if you haven't; because it's FUN (and makes me laugh out loud on the Metro, dammit!). Also, they're doing an open call for a couple of geeky singles to go on the show for geek-relationship and dating discussion. If you're an intrepid geek in need of dating advice, go volunteer!

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And in more geek things, some very exciting news about Sir Terry Pratchett and the 39th novel of Discworld, Snuff:

Sir Terry will be appearing in JUST THREE cities in the United States this October for the launch of Snuff!! Make sure you go see him if you can!

He will be in:

Seattle at the Seattle Art Museum on October 11 at 7:30pm;

New York City at the Tribeca Barnes & Noble on October 13 at 6:00pm;

Washington, DC at The National Press Club on October 14 at 7:00pm.

The Press Club event tickets are already on sale, and the last similar event sold out fast, so get your tickets now!!

I'll be attending the NYC event, and attending AND introducing him for the DC event, so let me know if you're going to go, and maybe I'll see you there!

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And in a final Sir-Terry-related-thing...I hereby announce that I recently invented authentic Scumble (aka "Suicider"):


foresthouse: Holeeee &%$=! What do you call apple brandy, apricot brandy, Grand Marnier, and orange peach mango juice? I call it delicious.

foresthouse: WORD. RT @lilyhandmaiden @foresthouse Scumble? (It's made from fruit. Well... mostly fruit.)

foresthouse: .@cutebutpsycho @lilyhandmaiden It actually IS scumble you know. http://yfrog.com/kj7tyodtj

RebeccaH83: @foresthouse @cutebutpsycho @lilyhandmaiden Even LOOKS like it should be called scumble!

lilyhandmaiden: @RebeccaH83 @foresthouse @cutebutpsycho It really does! This is a thing of beauty. Official adult beverage of next DWCon?

foresthouse: @lilyhandmaiden @RebeccaH83 @cutebutpsycho76 HELLS YEAH. I decree it to be so. The OFFICIAL scumble. #Discworld #itstasty

foresthouse: Scumble: lived up to its name last night. Zzzzzzzzz. @lilyhandmaiden @RebeccaH83 @cutebutpsycho76


Seriously, y'all; it is just like the real thing. A glass of that the night of the earthquake and I was OUT. And I think it particularly appropriate that one of the main ingredients in it is applejack brandy (100 proof), historically referred to as Jersey Lightning and made right in the county where I grew up.

I think we really are going to have to serve this at the next Discworld Con.:P  
Trixie heroine addict blue

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C&DP madness or genius

NADWCon2011: Costume Extravaganza!

Despite my being super-busy working during NADWCon, I still had a lot of fun; and one thing I had fun with (both before, in putting things together, and at the con itself) was the costuming. Now, I'm not a "costumer," in the sense of the amazing people I know who sit down and make a whole intricate Victorian walking suit out of bolts of cloth, ingenuity, and a lot of hard work (and those people are out there. There are lots more than you'd think, and they're awesome!). I'm more of a costumer in the sense of "buy a bunch of stuff you think will work together, make a few little things you can't buy, beg and borrow some help from others if needed, and put it all together in hopes it works out." But happily, often it does work out, and I was pretty pleased with how my costumes came together for NADWCon this year. Of course, I did have a fair bit of help in some of these, because due to taking over as Chair in June I suddenly had a lot less time than I'd intended to finish things up. So BIG PROPS must go to everyone who helped me, and particularly the Seamstresses' Guild. :)

The nicest thing about the costumes is that a lot of people at the con wanted to take pictures of them, and told me they really liked them (and one person even gave me a Hall Costume Token! Whee! (Yes, I know some people got many Hall Costume Tokens - but getting even one pleased me)). And that a lot of people liked them so much that they really wanted to know where I got X or Y bit of each outfit. THEREFORE!! I bring unto you all a costuming post, to tell folks where I found all the bits and pieces of my costumes, and also to maybe illustrate to others out there like me that you, too, can put a costume together without a million hours and a needle. :)

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Wow. I think...I think we're done here. WHEW. That was a lot of talk about costumes. But hopefully some of you enjoyed it!

And now, a question: which one was your favorite?
DW rise up

"NADWCon2011: A Message and Thank You from Your Chair"

I emailed this out to the NADWCon2011 Committee yesterday, and then realized that really, I should post it up publicly so everyone can see just a few of the things the hardworking committee folks did for this con. So, here, in its entirety for all to see, is a message from me to the NADWCon2011 Committee.

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Hello, wonderful and hardworking NADWCon2011 Committee!

I hope that people are home now, and getting in a bit of rest and recovery! I know that it take a while to regain one's equilibrium after a con, not to mention one's sanity and health - so please, all, make sure you are getting plenty of rest and taking care of yourselves! You deserve it!!

I wanted to say a really, truly heartfelt and giant THANK YOU to everyone on this list (and any committee members I may have inadvertently left off the list - I think I have everyone's emails on here, but if I've missed someone, please forward this along to them as well!) for all of your hard work, commitment, enthusiasm, good humor, extreme dedication, and more in the face of putting on a giant, complex event like a Discworld Con. Truly you were all amazing, and did a fantastic job of working together to run the con! I hope to see you all again at future Discworld Cons, and that you feel free to keep in touch! And now, please indulge me while I go into personal thanks and recognition for a bit.

In no particular order at all (other than the order in which my Gmail address book collated your names) because all of you are wonderful:

Missy: Thank you so much for your incredible work organizing and decorating and running the Seamstresses' Guild Parties, which were amazing and magical and fun; and for coordinating your team to help run them with such efficiency and panache. What a treat to have such a place to go each night! And thank you for jumping in to help co-run the Auction, which raised a lot of money for great causes. And for acquiring and safeguarding my wings for me, even in the face of your cat's clear desire to rip them to shreds!

Viv: You are my Queen of Communications, and I am glad to have had you to help us Get the Word Out about everything, both before and during the con. No matter what new idea or request I threw at you, you came up with a way to get it done and stay on top of things, so thank you so much for that! And for becoming a clearinghouse for all packages Discworldian. And for the Neil Gaiman newsletter headline, which makes me laugh every time I see it. :P *luffs you* *and your cute kid*

Art Ray: :) You did superb work on the Program Book, the Pocket Program, and all the art and ambience we desired from you; and a great job of getting the posters done, and working with us to get the plushies and t-shirts rolling. Your art on the buttons and more was excellently fun! Thanks for your patience and good cheer, and for the falling tortoises sign, which never failed to make me smile. And for the comic book, which I shall definitely read.

Greg: Hilariously, we got to meet for all of 5 minutes during this con, since we were both so busy. But from the short amount of time I did get to spend in the Dealers Room, I could see that it had been well-organized and was being well-looked after; so thank you for that, and for being so efficient that I wasn't even needed to help! :) I hope to meet you again at another con where we might actually have a chance to chat!

Fae: You ran a wonderful Costumers Dungeon; and though I personally was not there much, my costumes certainly were! I know Erica made use of the room several times over the course of the weekend while helping me with all of my myriad costume things, and I am sure she was not the only one who was grateful for a place to go for steamers and hot glue guns and other costumey things. Thanks for being there for people in need of a few stitches or more desperate costume help!

John K: Being At-Con Programming Director is no easy thing, but you almost made it look like it was! Excellent job of keeping things clicking along and working out glitches on the fly, and doing it all with a great sense of humor and a level head. It was a pleasure solving little problems with you and making them disappear like they'd never even been. And thanks for not playing your banjo at me. *ducks* Just kidding! Actually I'd really like to hear your work. Send me links!!

Henry: Terry and all attending were very pleased with the well-run and fun Maskerade, and when Terry says he's pleased, it truly means you've done a fantastic job! I know everyone involved had fun. Thanks for your hard work and great success in all of that, and for working out with us how to ensure everyone was as safe as possible as they participated.

Jon L: What can I say? Thanks for being everywhere at once and sometimes in two places at once at the con, and making sure that things got where they needed to be, :) and for all of your hard work EVERYwhere. I know we hit a number of snags from start to finish on this con, but you stuck with it and saw it through and kept on working for the good of the con no matter what, and that is no small thing. It was a long journey, but one with a successful con at the end. Hurrah!

Erin: Thank you for stepping in and making the art show into something wonderful and well-run in a relatively short period of time! I wish I had had more time to look around the show, but I heard great reports and really appreciate all of the work you did, both on that and as a program participant. And I loved your tiny steampunk hat. :) P.S. Please don't faint if you see Neil Gaiman again. Or at least be standing near a couch when you do. Hee.

Matthew G: Thanks for setting up/running the movie room, and for your work as part of the Seamstresses' Guild Party team! AND for making an excellent glass of absinthe!! I am glad things worked out with Ian Sharples being able to introduce the Mob movies, and am sure lots of attendees were happy to have a place to take a load off, relax, and watch a movie now and again.

Jon M: My right hand co-guest liaison man! It was excellent working with you all weekend, and I really appreciate your stepping in to be there whenever I had to take more time away from the guests than originally expected due to Chairing the con (or due to getting a costume on!). Thanks for all of your work on the ground gathering things for the gift baskets and setting those up, and chaperoning guests on outings, and getting together some reliable local folks to Guest Liaise with us. Please send them my thanks as well, because they were awesome! (And/or send me along their email addresses). I'm really glad to have met you and worked with you to take care of our guests! And thanks for the photos!

z!: Hooray, tech man! :) Thanks for your expertise in the realms of tech and staging, and for going through the trouble of pricing out options for us (the budget thanks you too) and ensuring that everything *worked* during the weekend! I was really glad to have someone who I knew I could rely on to know what was going on and to ensure that things that were supposed to have tech did, and to be able to fix any snags that came up. And thank you for your co-work on the Charity Auction as well! And for having a good sense of humor, and very easily describable hair, so that I could send people who needed tech help your way with a simple, "the guy with the half purplish-blue hair can totally help you!" :)

Nelly: I don't think I ever saw you doing anything other than working and running errands for ops, etc. Thanks for helping with ops and never stopping to take a breath. You can relax a bit now. :) (And sorry I called on you to come find me somewhere random at least twice and then realized when you arrived that I didn't need help. Heh.)

Katie: I'm sorry you couldn't make it to the con, but thanks for working on the registration needs pre-con, and making sure everything was in good order when Jeff needed to take over! I appreciate your pre-con work and hope you can make it another time!

Barry: It's nice to have people you know you can 100% rely on to take care of their responsibilities AND take the initiative when they see something else that needs doing, and you are always one of those people in my book! Thanks for stepping in last-minute-ish to do the at-con treasurer job, which was a lot of work to take on in the 11th hour, and for organizing our equipment and supplies list and putting in orders so we'd have what we needed at the con. You're awesome! See you at the next WSFA meeting (no, really! I'll be there this time!) :)

Denise: Thanks for your good advice, sharp eye towards potential issues, and excellent work in coordinating and organizing/gridding the program pre-con, which I know from experience is a major, major task; and for working with both Missy on Seamstress Parties, and John K at the con, to ensure that the parties and the programming had the support they needed from you (among the many other things I saw you helping with at-con!). I'm glad you were able to make it to the con after all, and very grateful for all of your hard work! *waves bloomers* Here's to you, my fellow Dame!

Dave L: I know running a ConSuite was a new experience for you, and that it was a process figuring out how to best approach it, but thanks for working with me and Margie through several iterations of the ConSuite Plan to ensure that we'd be offering what attendees and volunteers needed and wanted during the con, and for adjusting plans on the fly to meet people's expectations. And thanks for your excellent setup in the VIP Lounge when we were hosting Neil, and for making sure I ate something on Sunday, even if it was very mean of you to steal my wings until I ate. :P I will keep a sharper eye on them next time!

Sarah: Thanks for your excellent assistance of John K and programming and with signs and all those little things that always need doing at the last minute, and in general in ConOps etc.,; as well as in helping me with my costuming! The Ikebana stuff you got for me was great and really made the costume! Big thanks!

Michelle: Many thanks for conscientiously dealing with/handing out/selling ridiculously large amounts of merchandise (the bags of plushies were bigger than you!) and managing your volunteers so well as they tried to sell sell sell for our con! :) Every time I saw you you were super-busy, and I appreciate the time and attention you gave to managing this area, which always looked like it was being handled very smoothly..

Margie: My right-and-left-hand woman! Thanks so much for agreeing to Vice Chair in the last month, and for working with me to take point on certain areas so that I could attend to others and we could together ensure that everything that needed oversight received it. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your level head, sharp eye for detail, and can-do attitude, as well as your unwavering good spirits and abilities to help or come up with solutions to issues that needed to be solved as the con approached. And on top of all of that, you managed a huge group of volunteers, scheduled them, oversaw them and a numerous other things during the con, and, and, and...*whew* :) I wish you all the best as the new Chair of the Chelos, and am looking forward with anticipation to NADWon2013. *big hugs*

David B: David, David, David! I am so very glad that you came forward to run Ops, again at a time when the con was approaching like a runaway train and we desperately needed a steady and experienced person to help with this key position. Ops is a huge and complex area, and you did such a stellar job managing it that if I didn't know better I'd have thought it was a piece of cake! Well done, you! So many hugs and thanks. And thanks also for putting up with my random leaving-of-things-in-Ops, and my occasional silliness on the radios. :)

Game Ray: While I did not get a ton of time to stop in the Game Room, the couple of times I checked in I could see that at least 3 or more tables were full of people having fun! Goal reached! Achievement unlocked! :) And my friend Kevin reported that his GURPS game went great, as well. Thanks for providing a nice relaxed area for gamers to have some fun, and for maintaining it all weekend long.

Jeff: Our impressively tall Registration man! In a top hat! Which made you super-easy to find whenever I had a registration question. :) Thank you so much for coming in at the 11.5th hour to take over and run registration so efficiently, and for doing absolutely every single thing I asked of you in record time. From ensuring all was ready for/in the bags and envelopes beforehand, to bringing me Guest member bags in person when I needed them, I truly appreciate everything you did and the ease with which you did it. You're a star! (And high-five to Missy for roping...er...persuading Jeff into this role.)

Matt C: Thanks for taking over the hotel communications as the con approached and at the con, and ensuring that all went smoothly there, as well as for helping with non-hotel things, as I know you were running errands and helping Ops a lot as well (I heard you on that-there radio!). And thanks for keeping Terry good company at the banquet. :)

Marilyn: Much appreciation for your aid to Denise and John K on the programming pre-and at-con, and for your participating in the programming by doing things like the jewelry workshop (I so want some of those adorable beads!). Denise told me many a time how helpful your spreadsheet and scheduling skills were in getting the program done, and it's truly appreciated, as were your abilities to easily shuffle programming things around as needed as the con got closer. Many thanks!

Bryan S: Thanks for managing our message board, and for your help in Ops at the con - I know you were busily working away in there almost any time I came through, and provided me with help a number of times, too! Much appreciation for your help in one of the busiest areas of the con.

Brandon: Excellent work in ensuring that Our Con Was Secure. :) Though Discworld fans are very nice people, big crowds are still big crowds, and we definitely needed people to oversee keeping areas clear and traffic moving, ensuring programs that needed security guidance had it, etc. Thanks for being in charge of all of that!

Pat: My Discworld Hero! Thanks for being super-you, Pat, and for Mastering the hell out of our Ceremonies! No, seriously though - you are a stellar MC and front-man and I am so glad we can always call on you for these things. And thank you for the little ducky covered in hearts. He is now the center of my shrine to Ordpor. :P See you at the UK Con (I hope)!

And...big props to anyone I've inadvertently left off the list, and to all of y'alls staff and volunteers. Please convey my thanks to them if you haven't yet!

EVERYONE, GIVE YOURSELF A BIG ROUND OF APPLAUSE!!

If you can't tell already, I truly feel it's been a privilege to work with each and every one of you, and that you all worked your butts off to make this thing great.

And now, as some of you may have already seen, it saddens me slightly to say (even though it's the best choice for me) that after six years of work on the NADWCons, I have decided to take a hiatus from convention organizing, due to health considerations and other obligations. There are many others eager to take on leadership roles for future NADWCons, and that is a very good thing. :) If you are interested in my further thoughts on this, I have posted about it here:

http://foresthouse.livejournal.com/583636.html

I am by no means stepping back from the Discworld fandom, which I do love dearly; but am instead looking forward with great anticipation to attending the next NADWCon and getting to see it from "the other side." I hope I will also get to see you all there.

Until then, please don't hesitate to stay in touch!

All my best,

:) Emily

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And also, here is a link to my con photos (and House on the Rock): NADWCon2011

W00t!
C&DP monologuing

The North American Discworld Convention: A Retrospective

"The time has come," the Chair then said,
"To talk of future plans:
Of guests--events--and costumed folk
--Of Discworld Cons--and fans--
And why the Chair is always knurd(!)--
And who might run programs."

Well, NADWCon2011 has now come to a close, and all of us are (hopefully) home and recovering from all of the excitement and fun! I hope that everyone who attended the con had as great a time as I did, and from all reports I've heard, that seems to be the case! But then, what else could be expected after another successful Discworld convention? Amazing guests were featured; exciting programs, workshops, and games were enacted; old friends were reunited; new friends were made; inventive adventures were had; fascinating things were learned and discussed; costumes were admired; drinks were consumed; lively and hilarious conversations filled the air; and all manner of silliness was enacted in the name of Discworld -and that’s just as it should be!

It's hard to believe it's been six years now since I first attended a Terry Pratchett book signing and Q & A in Arlington, VA, and innocently asked Terry whether he'd come to a North American Discworld Convention if we made one happen. It's even more hard to believe, sometimes, that he said: "Absolutely!" and that two fantastic, fun-filled conventions have now taken place! But the memories, the photos, and the uniquely Discworld Convention souvenirs (Petite Quirmignon Cow! Petite Quirmignon Cow!) remind me that this is, indeed, the case.

As a co-founder of The North American Discworld Convention; as Vice Chair, Webmaster, Online Publicity Coordinator, Pre-Con Programming Coordinator, and at-con Guest Liaison for NADWCon2009; as Chair of The NADWCon Guild of Chelonavigators convention steering committee; and as Guest Liaison Co-Coordinator and Convention Advisor, and later Chair of NADWCon2011, it's been a fantastic and sometimes slightly terrifying adventure -and one that I am very proud to have been a part of. It's been a privilege to work with Terry, our other amazing guests, and all of the wonderful and talented people who have been a part of making each of the NADWCon events happen, and to witness such amazing contributions, dedication, and hard work from the Honored Guests, convention committees, staff, program participants, and volunteers. I am honored by the confidence that was placed in me and the other fans by Sir Terry and all who attended the conventions, throughout the process of putting these events on in proper Discworld style; and touched by the support and goodwill that has been extended towards myself and the rest of the convention organizers over the years. I am also very honored to have received such a high public accolade as that of being made a Dame of Discworld, and will try to do the title proud (and only show off my bloomers on very special occasions!).

It probably does not need to be said, but I shall say anyway, that I love the Discworld, Sir Terry, the convention guests, the conventions, and the fans, both those who have worked hard to help make these conventions happen, and those who have come to attend and enjoy. The fictional world Terry has created, and the very real community that has been formed around it, are entities unlike any other, and are a very important part of my life.

However, there sometimes comes a time when one must shift the focus of one’s attention and time, and I feel that after six years of volunteering my time to work on the NADWCons, I must now take a hiatus from convention organizing, and focus more intensely on my health (post eye-surgeries), and my career and other commitments. I truly wish there was time for me to do everything, but unfortunately my practical side knows that is not the case.

I also know that there are many fans eager to see another NADWCon in 2013, and willing to work to make it happen, to which I say: Hurrah! I will be very glad to see the NADWCon tradition being continued, and will do my best to pass along any knowledge or wisdom (haha!) that I might have gained through my work on the 2009 and 2011 cons and on the Steering Committee. I must admit that I am quite looking forward to the prospect of attending future NADWCons, and finally having the chance to see and enjoy them from “the other side.” If there is to be another NADWCon, I certainly plan to be there (probably in costume!) and look forward to seeing all of my Discworld friends again both at that and at other Discworld events!

And now, all that remains is for me to say a gigantic thank you and congratulations to everyone who has been or will be involved in the NADWCons! And to Sir Terry Pratchett, without whom Roundworld just would not be the same.

Much love and many hugs to Sir Terry, and to all who love Discworld as much as I do.



Emily S. Whitten, Esq.

Chair Emeritus, The NADWCon Guild of Chelonavigators
Chair, Guest Liaison Coordinator, and Convention Advisor, NADWCon2011
Vice Chair, Webmaster, Online Publicity Coordinator, Pre-Con Programming Coordinator, and Guest Liaison, NADWCon2009
Co-founder, The North American Discworld Convention
bunny! quite enough

I cannot deal with the spam anymore!

Guys, I love the idea that anyone can comment here, even if they are not yet my LJ-friends, but I can't deal with the ridiculous amounts of spam comments anymore (they just get worse and worse! What is UP, LJ? Fix this!). Therefore, I've changed my settings to only allow comments from friends. Sorry!*

More substantive entries to come!

*If anyone has a better fix for this, please let me know.
Agency X booze

Life Never Stops Just Because You Say "HOLD ON THERE!!!"

You ever have one of those times when you'd really, really love to take some time and chronicle what's going on, but if you take literally five minutes out of your day to do so, you feel like the entire world will fall on you? Yeah, that's how I feel right now.

So in brief:

- My sister is due to have her baby in TWO DAYS!!!!! (It's going to be a girrrrrrl.) *excited* So I will be going to watch Little Nephew while that happens.

- Neil Gaiman is coming to the National Press Club in FOUR DAYS and I will be introducing him for the event, which sold out to the tune of 550 people in 3 days, and over 200 pre-sold books, and so will bring in some welcome funds for our library for working journalists (woo!). Also it will be a blast. Whee!

- I leave for my two week trip that eventually lands me in Madison, WI for The North American Discworld Convention 2011 in FIVE DAYS. I am in Panic At The Disco mode, because not only do I personally have a lot to do before I go (see: sister-nephew-watching and baby; Neil Gaiman event; laundry and cleaning and getting the hairs of my precious head trimmed nicely, etc.; paaaaacking) but also as of about 1.5 weeks ago I took over as Chair of the Con, and so therefore am swamped with about 1,000,003 things to do every second. *tear*

- I don't even know what else is going on, as my whole head is full of babies and Press Club events and THE CON. THE CON THE CON THE CON THE CON CAN'T SLEEP CON WILL EAT ME THE CON THE CON THESNDFNSKDJFHNKEJRWAAKSDJ!!!!!!!

++ OUT OF CHEESE ERROR. REBOOT UNIVERSE. ++

Oh, sorry about that. Brain meltdown/overload.

So anyway, I'd better get back to work, but since I would like to leave you with something fun, here, have these links:

1) A page collecting my comics to date with Marc Vuletich. We continue to write and draw for ReelzChannel.com, and it is Much of The Fun. Next up: Captain America; and The Avengers! WOOOO.

Go look at ALL OF THEM so ReelzChannel knows how many people want to see our awesome comics and lets us keep doing them, which we want to do because IT IS FUN.

2) Speaking of Marc, I put him in touch with cleolinda a bit ago, so she could have some art done for some hilarious and fun t-shirts and things she wanted to put up on CafePress. The results are now live, and purchasable, and hilarious, and adorable. Go check it out. You KNOW you want a Team Sparklepire or Team Fursplode shirt; you know you do!

And now: the deluge.

xo
trixie window

Help the South Recover From Devastating Tornadoes

Now that the excitement of voting for me in the Neil Gaiman Audio Contest is over (thank you! still waiting for the final winner!!), I'd like to ask people to turn their attention to another thing they can help with - donating time, money, items, or even just spreading the word to help with relief efforts in the South after the devastation caused by the approximately 178 tornadoes that ripped through Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, and other Southern areas recently. The damage is immense, and so much is needed in the areas that were hit.

My friend cleolinda, who fortunately was not hit by the storms directly, but lives really close to areas that were, has done an excellent job of providing news, links, photos, videos, and most importantly, ways to help on her journal. So I am going to direct people over there for more information on all of those things. There are ways to donate money to the Red Cross, ways to buy or donate auction items for fandom and literary fundraisers, and more.

Please go and read these entries, and then if you can manage to help in some manner, please do. Our friends in the South need us.

Post 1: "Emergency post"

Post 2: As coherent as I could manage (some good "how to help" links here)

Post 3: Tornado update (more ways to help)

Thanks, everyone.
Kirby YAAAAAY!!!!!

Neil Gaiman Audio Contest: Finalist!!

HOORAY!! I ended up as #14! Thanks to everyone who voted!! :D [ETA: Actually in the final vote I ended up as #11!]

Now the Top 20 go to Neil Gaiman and 2 judges from HarperCollins, and one is chosen to win the Final Prize. I may or may not win, but I am sooo glad I have the chance to be considered, no matter what happens. :)

Here are my retrospective thoughts on the contest, in case anyone's interested: http://intersect.com/stories/0jLBgM6kBmqc

And other folks have posted their thoughts in the Storyline I linked at the top of my post.
chuck help!

LAST DAY to help me win the Neil Gaiman Audio Contest! Please vote!

Hey everyone!! Today is the LAST DAY of voting for the Neil Gaiman Audio Contest, and I really need your help to stay in the Top 20 until the contest closes at 5pm EST!! I'm in 17th place right now, but faaallllliiiinngggg, so I need lots of votes to stay in the game until 5! It takes literally one minute to vote.

You can vote for me here:

http://neilgaiman.bookperk.com/engine/Details.aspx?p=V&c=29933&s=7788356&i=1&m=X#SD

And you can follow my progress in the Top 20 here (username "emilyesse"):

http://www.loath.org/aneel/random/bookperk/latest.html

THANKS for voting if you are already, and if you aren't, please go and vote before 5pm!!