I decided to go to Phoenix ComiCon this year because of Mark Sheppard and Laini Taylor, mainly. The former is, of course, Crowley from Supernatural. The latter, well, if you’re reading this book blog and DON’T know who she is you’re not allowed to talk to me. I waited until the event to buy DREAMS OF GODS AND MONSTERS so I could have her sign it. That was a long wait. Throw in the potential for Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride, Robin Hood: Men in Tights) and Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead) and it was enough to buy tickets. For Sunday, because from my past experiences at various horror conventions Sundays are the slowest days.
Ha! From what I was told Sunday was the second calmest but, you know, still a wall of people that gave me anxiety.
I bought us Sunday only passes and the crowd wasn’t too bad when the floor opened at 10. There was still plenty of space to walk around and check out the vendors. Oh, the vendors! I’m not big on comics, really, and I don’t do the collectible stuff unless it’s The Lost Boys or Labyrinth, of which these places never have anything for them but there were BOOKS. Angry Robot had a booth and was doing a con special of eight books for $20. I WILL FIND TITLES I WANT TO READ. That’s the sign of an addiction, isn’t it? I mean, how can ANYONE pass up new books for a little over $2 each? I, most certainly, cannot.
Then I found this guy –
That, kids, is Frank Beddor, author of THE LOOKING GLASS WARS series and HATTER M. The former is quite possibly some of my favorite reading and I’m really liking the latter so I picked up a copy of volume two in the HATTER M series and had it signed. Glorious! I should have grabbed ARCH ENEMY too, the third book in TLG series, because I haven’t read that yet but I didn’t think of it until after we got home. Still, he’s a totally cool dude and if I could have bought ALL THE ART and the books I would have.
I ended up skipping the morning signing sessions I wanted to go to in favor of walking around the vendor floor and getting my bearings of the place because that really fucks me up if I don’t know the ups or downs or anything. I was the same way with BEA when I first went in 2009. It was still spread over two floors then and Javits is huge with way too many staircases and it took me about half a day to really get the lay of the place down. I just feel really discombobulated until I can get that. Same thing here. I figured since it wasn’t SUPER busy in the morning then it shouldn’t be bad in the afternoon and I’ll just get in signing lines later . . .
Big mistake. It filled right the hell in later on and I REALLY don’t like crowds. I start getting anxious and it doesn’t help that SOME people have a tendency of being far too lenient with the deodorant at these things and it’s just a mixture of not nice. So by the time I did start heading toward signing lines I was ready to leave. Luckily Mark Sheppard’s line was short. I think he rearranged his signings at the last minute but I was in and out of that in no time. Super nice dude and he called me beautiful. I’m a sucker for compliments, what can I say?
Laini’s signing was at the table next door so I didn’t have far to go at all but because I got through Mark’s line in about 20 seconds I had a half hour to kill before Laini’s signing. Fast forward time and a rather scatter-brained event staff member later and we’re getting this done. Poor woman was seated next to Jim Butcher. It’s all part of the author’s life and this WILL happen to everyone in the same situation, no matter how hard you try to avoid it. It sucks but you do what you have to do. Still, Laini was all smiles. It was weird that I couldn’t get an actual photo with her behind the table despite me being the last person in line. Legit, there wasn’t anyone behind me. Still, no.
And I’m SUPER SPECIAL and got a limited edition signature by her adorable daughter –
Welcome to my awesomeness. I know you’re jealous.
Of course I got DREAMS OF GODS AND MONSTERS signed too, but I only got Pie’s grace the one time.
Cary Elwes’s signing line formed while I was in line for Laini and there were far too many high octave screams going on for me to even consider standing in that line so nope. Pass. And Michael Rooker’s afternoon signing wasn’t until 4:30 and it was only about 1:30 so no again. We were done and headed out the door. It was just too crowded and there wasn’t anything else we wanted to see. Plus my sickness was starting to creep back and I hadn’t eaten anything since before we left hours before so it wasn’t the best combination. Anxiety plus sickness plus sickness anxiety and I actually nearly ended up repainting the inside of Steve’s car with my insides so it was nap time when we got home. At least my body was able to hold that nasty shit off until we were done with the convention. Thank you, body, for that small reprieve.
My book haul was far more than what I should have gotten because my TBR shelf is starting to bow under the weight but, you know, books. And I have an addiction. Must keep that fed.
Seriously, I need to stop buying Chuck Wendig’s books until I can get an actual copy of freakin’ BLACKBIRDS. It’s the first book in that series and I meant to grab it at the Tucson Festival of Books. Grabbed CORMORANT instead, book #3. Got MOCKINGBIRDS this time around. Book #2. Some day, Chuck. Some day. And yeah, LABYRINTH? Saw that walking in the door the second I came into the convention and beelined right for that baby. SO EXCITED. It’s the re-release of the movie novelization with Jim Henson’s notes and Brian Froud’s goblin drawings. I already have an original novelization of the movie that I pet lovingly every once in a while and now I have two. Hooray! That copy of V Wars? Hardcover on con special for $10. Yes, please! Loved the book. Why not get myself a copy at less than half of cover price? Done.
And I also wandered along these two gems at the same table as the Labyrinth novel –
If you’ve never watched Night Breed or read Clive Barker’s CABAL, the novel the movie is based on, I’d highly recommend getting on that. It’s an excellent movie about monsters living under a graveyard called Meridian and their bite can turn you into one of them. The movie was made in the early 90s so it had some rather apt cheese associated with it along with bad hair and clothes but it’s totally worth the watch. Repeatedly. The comics are prequels and go into the history of the monsters and Meridian more. Sweet baby Jesus YES. Want. Don’t have to tell me twice.
So Phoenix ComiCon did wonders for a book haul. I will never get through my TBR pile at this rate. I’ve consigned to that fact. The vendor floor was pretty neat and there were a lot of interesting vendors but the swarms of people made it difficult for me to really get to enjoy much of it. Too crowded. I need to drink before doing that again or something. And the celebrities, well, Mark was worth it. I’d pay to get a photo with him again but goddamn, some of these celebrities charge an arm and a leg for a signature or a photo op. I’d have to be REALLY into the celebs to do that again. I’m actually considering going in for a guest liaison spot next year because I have done it before but we’ll see. I wouldn’t want to do anything else. I was talking about it with a friend of mine and we’re already planning on splitting a hotel room in the area just for ease of access. She’s way more into this stuff than I am and goes to more panels and whatnot but that’s time consuming so she shorted herself time on the vendor floor since she only got a Saturday pass. We’ll make it work a little better next year. And I’m sure I’ll come home with another pile of books. I can’t help myself.