Was a bit of a wreck when I finally got up on Thursday so I could go to my panel. I was supposed to meet Jackie Kessler, Caitlin Kittredge, Diana Rowland, and Sean Speakman for an early breakfast before the ladies had their own panel at 10, but I was too draggy and my sister and her boyfriend were a little disorganized, so we didn’t get out of the hotel and down to breakfast until nearly 9 a.m. Sadly the heat and delay had started one of my headaches and I gobbled up the last of my Tylenol on the way down to breakfast.
Food was quite good and cheap at the Broken Yolk, just two doors south of the Solamar–and there was no line. In spite of the name, I was able to get chilaquilles with chicken and no egg–have I mentioned that I love this dish? Then we trotted off to the convention center and I went looking for a few people while Beth and Tagh went off to find other interesting things. Eventually I found, my editor and her booth, the Mysterious Galaxy booth next door and a few other things before I had to trot up the stairs and get to my panel. Being me, I went in through the back door.
And back out the front and around and back in… because I was the only one there and I felt a little nervous about sitting down alone. But soon Max Allen Collins arrived and we were seated together at the end of the table. Little did I know what I was in for…
Now, Max is lovely–he’s quite a sweetie, very clever, and was very nice to me–but he is among the big names in crime fiction, be it prose or graphic novels and this is a bit intimidating to little moi. The rest of the panel were much heavier hitters than I, as well. And they were all guys. So I felt a bit like the tail on the dog, but the panel went well enough under the moderatorship of Maryelizabeth Hart of Mysterious Galaxy–I even got in the last word, something about how I thought Jane Austen, who is one of my favorite social writers, would have made a great crime writer if, instead of having him marry her, she’d had Wickham kill Lydia and leave her in a shallow grave. (Although in the heat of the moment, I think I said “Lizzie” O teh Noes!) I never liked Lydia anyhow….
Then we were off to sign books–of which I did sign a few–and got to chat with a lot of nice folks about what else I’m up to, including the sadly-neglected graphic novel–then I ran around a bit on the conference floor until I ran into Jackie Kessler and Diana Rowland. We went running around like crazy people to the Random House booth and back and forth all over the floor near the publishers booths. After ward, Jackie and I had lunch and a chat at the Marriott, which was nicely relaxed, though Jackie had to leave before I did.
After I finished the Ceasar salad, I went out to stalk the exhibit floor and find out what there was to see… well… it was a lot…. though I did find a lovely old-school moment when Adam West-style Batman and cohort (I’m afraid I don’t recognize the female character–yes, I’m bad) were caught tousling this kid’s hair at the back of the DC Comics booth:
I didn’t even make it to the far end of the floor until my sister (yes the same sister–I only have one) paged me and told me to come down to the Darksiders banner in the game area. Which is where I saw this:
We were getting a little tired and the exhibit hall was not going to stay open much longer, so the three of us decided to mosey out for food that wasn’t twenty-dollar sandwiches and five-dollar bottles of water. We passed by the Hard Rock hotel, whose cafe had been taken over by the SyFy group and remodeled into Cafe Diem from the series Eureka. Sis paused to plant one on Colin Ferguson while Joe Morton looked on in approval:
The irony was that we saw the real Fargo (Neil Grayston) in the elevator of the Solamar several times–apparently the Hard Rock and the Solamar were SyFy’s hotels–but being jaded gals from LA, we ignored him. Or maybe we were just too tired to get all fan-grrly on one of the coolest geek-characters in TV. What would that have done for our geek-cred? Maybe we should have anyway: he’s cute!
So dinner was unexpectedly tasty and cheap Chinese food at the Panda Inn in the Horton Plaza, followed by a leisurely walk back to the hotel by way of the local CVS drug store, in which we found Tylenol (for me), batteries (for Tagh), and some beer and chocolate cookies (for later.)
It being Thursday, I stayed up to watch Burn Notice on the hotel TV, which is a treat for me who has no TV and must usually watch it a week late in poor quality, slow buffering digital video on Hulu.com. Then something I wasn’t paying a lot of attention to came on and eventually we hit the sack, three beers down and one cookie each.
Day three started earlier because we had to pay for more parking at the garage Beth had found ($10 instead of the hotel’s $35/day) and I wanted to be in the Exhibition Hall by 10 to harass Victor Gischler. Alas, we had no luck with breakfast, hoping as we were to get into Richard Mark’s Pancake House. But when we got there, the line was huge, so we settled for coffee and cheese croissants at the Local Grind. I rushed off after guzzling my (very tasty Hawaiian Hazelnut) coffee and ham-and-cheese croissant, leaving Beth and Tagh to their own devices while I stalked Vic.
Luckily, I found Victor right where he was supposed to be. His first issue of Deadpool was doing well, and while he wasn’t swamped with fans like some of the guys at the Marvel booth with him, he was busy. I managed to slip him my business card so he could call me later and then I skulked away to explore more of the Exhibit Hall.
Friday (day 3) was my “slow” day with no required events until a dinner in the evening, so I thought I might catch some panels, but everytime I thought I would, I ran into someone cool that I wanted to hang out with, or trotted off to a booth to catch up to someone I wanted to meet. I was able to finally meet Mike Mignola (who is also incredibly nice and with whom I shall cower in newbie fear at DragonCon this Labor Day) this way as well as Victor, but I couldn’t get past the massive collection of people waiting for Bruce Campbell’s Burn Notice panel, so no successful Bruce stalking, alas and no underhanded “here’s my card, big boy; whyn’t you call me sometime” for him.
I did, however, manage a shoot-and-run photo of Adam Baldwin signing 8×10 glossies for the fans willing to stand in line. I, however, just think he’s nifty without needing a signed photo or candid (at $10 a pop.) Is he not nifty?
I was also made a Prisoner of the Village and given my official Prisoner ID Card. So that I can render information when asked, I assume. Or just bedevil #6. Being a massive fan of the original series created by and starring Patrick McGoohan, I wasn’t too keen on the remake upcoming from AMC this fall, but then I noticed…
But now the hour was growing late and I needed to hot foot back to the hotel to catch up to email, Tweet a bit, take a shower (did I mention it was 86° and humid in San Diego?) and get ready for dinner with the Penguin Publicists Plus Authors. Needless to say I barely made it, what with all the twittering and so on, but I did and was the first to arrive.
Lovely tapas were had with my publicist, Roseanne Romanello and her boss Jodi, as well as fellow authors Majorie Liu and Seanan McGuire and her friend Jenny. Num! Afterward I was off again, to catch up to the sister and her boyfriend and drag them to the Hyperion party for the launch of Eoin Colfer’s new Hitchhiker’s Guide book And Another Thing, at which many Pan-Galactic Gargleblasters were consumed and a great deal of silliness went on as well as Tweeting the Galaxy! And I was there. *sniff* makes y’proud it does….
Alas, I was feeling too tired to take photos, but suffice to say the amazing folks at Hyperion Voice really know how to through a book launch! (Many thanks to Colleen Lindsay for inviting me and to the rest of the Hyperion booth staff.) We finally toddled off to bed and didn’t get to sleep until after 1 a.m. due to a very loud party on the J6 bar terrace below our window. (We should have crashed it.)
More Comic Con shenanigans when I get back from PNWA….