Tidewater Comicon 2016

Andrew is about to be exterminated by a plunger.
Andrew is about to be exterminated by a plunger.

After a truly miserable week, during which my intestines attempted to crawl up my throat and strangle me and I got the good news that I only have minor nerve damage and not a degenerative condition, I was thrilled to spend Saturday and Sunday at Tidewater Comicon 2016. Cecilee did most of the talking and I was a lot slower than usual at carrying boxes, but this was absolutely our best convention yet.

My favorite part of attending conventions as a writer is talking to people about my books. Now, the canned patter of “this book is about….” can be a little wearying, but not because I’m not interested in sharing that info with people. I just feel like a particularly aggressive car salesman whenever I launch into the sales spiel, probably because I’m a rather quiet person who prefers to look at a book myself and, while I do like hearing people tell me their stories, I often feel too awkward to ask them. I have to say though, every time somebody came up to our table and exclaimed that they were excited to see us because they wanted to read my text book, this awkward, introverted misanthrope wanted to jump across the table and give them a hug.

I didn’t.

But only because that would have been too unnerving.

Conventions are also great because sometimes you actually get a chance to physically meet people who you haven’t seen in a while, if ever. In addition to the four or five returning customers (again, saved from bearhugs only by neck pain and social awkwardness) I got to chat with several Scouters who stopped by the booth. One of them didn’t even know who Cecilee and I were, he just stopped by because the books looked interesting. I thought he looked familiar, but after two days of Con almost everyone looks vaguely familiar. Then I spotted his e-mail address on the Offline-Kickstarter registration form and… wait… there’s no way anyone else would have that username. Is there?

Bam. Just like that I got to swap smiles and good memories with someone I hadn’t seen in at least eight years. Now, if only that sudden moment of recognition hadn’t resulted in his credit card being left on the table for nearly an hour… No worries, he came back for it, and hopefully managed to still get his photo with Brian O’Halloran.

This is a fantastic point to mention the amazing staff and volunteers at Tidewater Comicon. I’m somewhat biased, in that one of the staff is a former student (from… way too long ago…) who I’m glad to see is still just as much a comics addict as he was in middle school. Both Avery and Mike are very quick to respond to Twitter mentions, e-mails, and random questions asked by half-asleep vendors who stumble up to them at “oh my god”-o’clock on a Sunday morning. Every volunteer who Cecilee and I interacted with was friendly and helpful. Special thanks to the overworked people at the front table answering my dumb questions, guy who walked around taking photos, guy and girl who offered to help me pack up, and Star Lord, who tried really hard to help me track down the customer who lost his credit card.

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