Thursday isn’t really a full convention day, even though as an exhibitor you’re working a full day; Day 1 is open only to professionals, press, and four-day-pass buyers, and the doors don’t open until three p.m. Which is great because, in The ’Warp’s case, that meant enough time for setting up the booth and getting ready to meet the attendees.
As he’s done for the past couple of years, my buddy Richard C. White—author of the novella Star Trek: Echoes of Coventry, the novel Gauntlet: Dark Legacy, and the recent e-book The Demon’s Head —came up from Maryland to help run the booth. This time he brought along his Chronicles of the Sea Dragon comic book and merchandise to see how con-goers would receive his pirate-fantasy story line.
Before he could find out, though, it was time to plant the SWC flag—or, rather, the Pandora Zwieback banner—and stake our claim to the fairly small-ish booth. Once that was done, it didn’t take all that long to put the displays together, and then—in my case—throw on my con “uniform”: black shirt, jeans, frock coat, and skull-decorated tie. The candy-corn lapel pin—actually a Halloween eraser that I superglued a pinback to—was a new addition. Then we were ready for action!
Except it was too early in the day for action. So with plenty of time to kill before the show opened, Rich and I wandered the aisles to check out the other exhibitors—a whole lot easier to accomplish without yesterday’s construction materials in the way. We found:
• The Lego island protected by the Incredible Hulk, while close by stood Gandalf and Bilbo Baggins from the upcoming movie version of The Hobbitt.
• Some nice-looking statues at the DC Comics island: (right to left) Death from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comic book series; the new Harley Quinn from Batman behind her; and Supergirl (with Wonder Woman behind her) from the DC Bombshells line I’d never heard of that line before—looks like they’re going for a 1940s pinup-girl design.
• And best of all, over at the Doctor Who Store, a replica of the World War II Dalek featured in the episode “Victory of the Daleks.” Unfortunately, it lacked the voice to tell me “I. Am. Your. Sol-dier.” And it never offered me make tea. (There you go—a shout-out to my fellow Doctor Who fans!) That TARDIS is a bit rubbish, though…
Soon enough the con officially started, and I had my first visitor: old college pal Sholly Fisch, who’s been impressing everyone (no doubt including his biggest fan, superstar writer Grant Morrison) with his work scripting the backup stories for DC Comics’ Action Comics, and the lead story in the new Action Comics Annual #1 (on sale Halloween!). Sholly also writes Scooby Doo for DC, and received some well-deserved acclaim for writing two of DC’s popular kids’ comics series: Super Friends and Batman: The New Brave and the Bold.
Not only that, but he and comics legend Ernie Colon (co-creator of Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld) have crafted a fun eight-page story for our own Saga of Pandora Zwieback Annual #1, which is scheduled for release next April. The basic setup? “A demon walks into a bar…”—but don’t expect it to be your typical horror story!
After Sholly headed off to one of the DC Universe panels in which he was participating, James Ferguson and the crew from the Web site Horror Talk stopped by to chat. They all loved Lorelei: Sects and the City, our Mature Readers graphic novel about a succubus battling a cult of Elder Gods worshipers; in fact, James had given it a four-out-of-five-star recommendation back in September. The question on their minds: Would there be further Lorelei stories? I told them that depended on sales. At the moment, Diamond Comic Distributors is mulling over whether to pick up the book; if things work out, then more Lori stories are a good possibility.
Overall con sales were slow, but the day ended with a sale of the Official Pandora Zwieback T-shirt (still available from our webstore)—a reproduction of the T that Pan wears on the cover of her first novel, Blood Feud. A man walked up to the booth, took one look at the shirts, and asked, “You wouldn’t have one in a double-XL, would you?”
I reached under the table and pulled one out. His eyes lit up. “It’s like it was waiting for me!”
Tomorrow: Welcome to Thunderdome!