a break from the bruhaha

I was thinking about all the stuff I could write about this week…new books on the end of tenure, the continuing downward spiral of the housing market, the reports on student loan debt, the looming debacle that is the debt ceiling…oh what else is there? Sarah Palin’s rewrite of history (and her fans’ attempts to rewrite the Wikipedia page to prove she’s right.  Sorry, history doesn’t work like that) and Anthony Weiner’s…well, weiner.

In fact, this last week has been filled with so much political and academic Chicken Little’ing that it’s all rather …too much for my little dissertating brain to deal with.  Okay, that’s not true. I *could* deal with that, and even go on a nice little rant against Paul Ryan’s use of ‘demagogue’ as a verb, but instead, I thought I’d reflect a little on the escape from reality that is a Comic Con.

Memorial Day weekend, me and The D went to Phoenix Comic Con.  While not the giant behemoth that is San Diego (or DragonCon, for that matter), it was pretty damned respectable; somewhere near 25,000 people attended. Me, I volunteered to moderate panels. Had a blast doing that, by the way, and one good thing about Phoenix is that because someone like, say, Johnny Depp (or gods and goddesses forfend) the Twilight cast isn’t running around, there are far fewer handlers, agents, blah blah blah. So I got to meet some pretty cool people. Max Brooks was there (and suddenly, that haunting familiarity I felt every time I looked at his image made sense…he’s Mel Brooks’ son.  Next time, Max, bring Dad. I wanna chat with him, too!).  Adam Baldwin was there (and despite what he said, I’m still hoping for that Firefly reboot).  Aaron Douglas and Paul McGillion were damned funny.  And if you ever have a chance to go to a Con and listen to George Takei, I highly recommend it. Articulate, funny, and tells the best damned stories. After all, It’s Okay to be Takei! (and I do wish he’d brought the shirts with him…I’d have bought one!)

But even better than the famous people (damn, Stan Lee looks good for his age!) were the artists, writers, and fans who made Phoenix Comic Con such a wonderful place to be. I never worried that The D, at 15, was in any danger, and after a bit, told her to go wander. She had a blast, hooking up with fellow fans of Hetalia Axis Powers and other anime, and meeting Vic Mign…something!, one of the voice actors. We attended the Steampunk Ball, and the Geek Prom (which raised over $10,000 for Kids Need to Read, an organization dedicated to getting books into the hands of kids…a worthy, worthy cause!).  I met Jacques LaGrange, a native American comic book author with a native American hero. Albert Morales, who works with the HERO Initiative, which helps comic creators get access to the help they need, such as medical services and housing in their old age (for those who didn’t know, many of the creators of the classic comic books were paid next to nothing, and had no insurance or benefits).  Cherie Priest, who really is one of the nicest authors I’ve ever met, and was lovely enough to sign my copy of Boneshaker as she waited for her panel to start. The Moderators, a group of excellent, hard working folks who really do love helping out. The vendor who gave me tips on what household items in thrift stores provide the best gears for steampunking, even though I didn’t buy a thing.  My friend Galen, who fed my kid one night, and walked her to the Con Saturday morning. All the people who saw my Volunteer badge and assumed I knew something who were incredibly cool when I said ‘sorry, but let me walk you to the info booth.’  Randy Milholland, Danielle Corsetto, and Spike Trotman, who made moderating the panel on webcomics beyond easy…has anyone seen Randy’s beard? It’s awesome. The guy who bought me a soda because he saw my badge and thought it was cool I was volunteering. Louise Bourgeois’ Art is the Guaranty of Sanity.  In fact, it was a wonderful weekend, and a wonderful time.

Now back to your regularly scheduled program.


Published in: on June 8, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. M! You didn’t know Max Brooks was Mel Brooks’ son?! And you lived next to me for HOW many years while I was teaching World War Z?! I feel as if I failed you.

    And you make this Comic Con sound very tempting, even if it’s in Phoenix, even if it’s right at the end of the blighted quarter and a bad time to travel…

  2. No, I had no idea. But I don’t think we ever talked about it. It’s a horrible time to travel, I know. But it’s just so much FUN! (and so much less…Hollywood than SD!)

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