Saturday came after Friday, as it usually does. Saturday I couldn't drag my butt downstairs to the treadmill; in fact, I didn't even get up at the time assigned to the alarm clock, which is why I missed my first panel.
That say I costumed as one of my favorite superheroines- though she's partly my favorite because she has a costume that isn't made of spandex or particularly slutty-looking. Mary Marvel is the twin sister of Captain Marvel, and if you want people to yell “Shazam!” at you all day, wearing a Marvel Family costume is the way to get it done (there is also Captain Marvel, Jr.). Now, I wore her original costume from way back when- and by that I mean the 1940's- not her white costume from The Power of Shazam or her black latex costume from when she accidentally acquired Black Adam's powers. It's simple, comfortable and shockingly recognizable- last year I was surprised and pleased how many people professed to be Marvel Family fans. This year was not different. I posed a LOT and got to talk to some very cool people, including one guy who was taking pictures with all the superheros he saw to show his nephews that he really knew superheros, then asked me to sign a card for them as Mary Marvel!
(and only one person called me 'girl Flash'...I can forgive that since the Marvel symbol and the Flash symbol look very similar)
The panel I missed was The Business of Writing. I actually hate the business of writing. I like writing, but I hate submitting, researching, networking, reading contracts...all that practical crap (which is probably why I needed the panel). I did attend the same panel last year, though, and if the other panels were any indication it probably wasn't going to tell me anything I didn't already know (but didn't want to hear).
My next panel was Big on Small Press. I am already big on small press; in fact, I decided some time ago to skip the big presses and market my stuff solely to small presses. I like the tight relationships between editors in the small press world, the way everyone seems to know everyone else, or at least their names. I like the fact that there is less bullshit (less money too, but if you write for the money you're better off selling your body. You get more money that way, at least if you're reasonably attractive and have a generous pimp). I also ran into Steven Saus of Alliteration Ink. I knew Steven from Millennicon a couple years back, and Gen Con 2011, and Fandomfest 2012. I was the only person to show up at his Read & Critique panel at Fandomfest, and he read the beginning of a novella I had. Then he generously offered to read the rest of the novella (he does this for cash money, so it was quite a generous offer). We did the exchange, chatted a bit, and then I skipped my next three panels in favor of the siren call of the dealers' room and lunch.
First, let me explain something about my feet at this point. My Mary Marvel boots have three-inch chunky heels and are just slightly too large. Last year I put on socks over my nylons, preventing my feet from sliding too much. This year I forgot (!) and instead spent hours wondering what was different about this year.
At any rate, by 10 a.m. my feet hurt. A LOT. I have had a c-section and I think walking in these boots was roughly equivalent to walking the day after my surgery, the pain was just in a different place. I was literally limping but hey, I'm a stoic. And a huge attention whore. No way was I taking off the costume on the busiest day of Gen Con.
And it was fortuitous that I didn't. Because while I was wandering the dealers' room, I caught sight of something amazing.
“Oh my God!” I shrieked to my husband. “An Uncle Marvel!”
In the old comics, Uncle Marvel was a man who pretended to be one of the Marvel Family- but when it came time to swing into action, he always had 'shazambago' and couldn't fly, so the others would give him a lift. Amazingly, he sometimes did things to really help out, like tricking Black Adam into saying the magic word so he turned normal again. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would see an Uncle Marvel. I RAN to him (not easy in those boots) with a huge fangirl squeal. We got several good pictures. Sadly, I didn't see him again that day. But from other people's galleries I saw that Uncle Marvel was in the costume contest, and now we're blog friends, and he's an awesome guy. That pretty much made my Gen Con right there.
I also found some new dice. I LOST my old set, which made me really unhappy as they were a gift from my husband and a very pretty blue. The new ones are red and blue and shiny. The Husband calls them my Superman dice. When we got home I tied my blood-red bag to his bag of dice so they won't be lost. My other acquisitions were a Hello Kitty shirt (surprise...), a Hello Kitty figurine, a Jesus Loves Gamers sticker for my laptop, and a stuffed goblin for the man-child. I very nearly fell prey to a fuzzy hat with fox ears but instead was beguiled by the artwork of Meg Lyman. Meg Lyman loves cephalapods almost as much as I do. And I really, really love them. I bought a postcard-sized piece (cuttlefish holding a rose...so romantic).
The Husband and I had lunch with three friends at a place called Scotty's Brew Pub. I don't drink (they were all trying different beers) but they had Arnold Palmers there, so it was A-OK. I had some kind of enchilada (that sadly came with black beans, which was not mentioned on the menu, but I managed to eat around them). Our waiter asked us about Gen Con and said he had recently begun playing D&D with some friends. Of course we gave him a big tip- gamer solidarity- and it wasn't until several hours later we considered the possibility that he just said that to people with Gen Con badges to get bigger tips. Not like he even needed to- gamers are some of the most generous people I have ever come across.
I made it to my 2 p.m. Panel- Writing Excuses Recorded Live. Writing Excuses is a podcast partly hosted by the Gen Con Writer GOH, Brandon Sanderson. It was entertaining to see other podcast hosts doing interviews and talking about stuff while actually staying on topic, something we at The Yellow Menace Podcast can't do to save our lives.
After that it was seven hours of people-watching, hall-wandering, picture-taking, Husband agonizing over whether to buy a shitload of Warhammer 40K stuff, and dinner at Johnny Rockets (it was all right but it did have places to sit, unlike the rest of the mall food court). Our server's nametag said “Kentucky” but when we asked what part of Kentucky she was from, she said she wasn't really from there and her manager had randomly put it on there. Strange. I had pictures made wit Powergirl and the best Phoenix I've ever seen, AND met a guy who showed me a picture of the Black Adam costume he wore to a local comic convention, but HADN'T worn to Gen Con. It was terribly disappointing, we could have had epic photos with Uncle Marvel. Dude, if you read this, wear it at Gen Con 2013 on FRIDAY.
At this point I was in such horrific pain that I had to go back to the room and change into tennis shoes and my Game of Thrones Clegane t-shirt. Oddly enough, the first day of the con I had seen a man wearing the same shirt. I almost yelled “I have that shirt!” at him, but he was talking to someone so I didn't.
I had bought tickets to the Tom Smith concert at 10 p.m. Tom Smith is the only filker who consistently makes me laugh and who seems to hate fairies as much as I do. We had to walk to another hotel about a block away. The first song he performed was actually Smash the Fricking Fairies, my favorite! There followed a mix of old and new for an hour, including new songs about how watching Death Trap turned a redneck onto his potentially homosexual side (seriously, it's not even that hot of a kiss) and the Mighty Thor's version of John Denver's “Rocky Top”.
We later stopped by to see the ruins of Cardhalla, which had been speedily cleared away so there wasn't much to see. Then, bed.