Outside of fighting traffic on the D.C. Beltway, it was a fairly uneventful trip to Roanoke, VA. Registration for the convention was a piece of cake, and caught up with Danielle and Mike McPhail, who were nice enough to let me room with them and picked up my room key. Almost within minutes, I started running into friends like Stuart Jaffe and Davey Beauchamp. Took advantage of the fact that my first event (a signing) wasn’t until 8pm on Friday evening to wander around and sit in on a few interesting panels (and grab some dinner).
Saw Peter David, who was the author guest of honor, at the table next to the McPhail’s booth and had fun catching up with him. Peter and I have known each other for nearly twenty years now. We started out hanging out on Compuserve, then we were in an Incredible Hulk anthology together, and then we’ve been bumping into each other at cons ever since.
The signing tables are across the hall from the dealer’s room and I had quite a few people stop by to visit during my turn at the table.
After my signing, I went in for the Anime Girl Fight panel, not knowing exactly what to expect. Kevin McKeever from Harmony Gold was the moderator and what he had done was to select a number of anime characters and the three judges (of which I was one) had to determine who would defeat their random opponent. The audience was encouraged to “help” us and some of our decisions were hotly debated , especially the final round.
I made it to several room parties after the panel that were promoting their conventions and then retired to the room, listened to some Phillip Marlowe episodes and called it a night.
Day two at Mysticon started well. The panel on Role-playing for the Unititiated was well attended and my fellow panelists were a pleasure to visit with. The majority of the panel centered around gaming ettiquette and learning what your gaming style is.
After the panel was over, I caught up with April and Mark MacDicken and had a nice chat. While Mark hurried off to do his children’s programming panel, I ran into Rich Sigfit and the two of us had a great conversation over lunch. Caught some panels to include “Ending stories with a bang or a whimper”, before having an early dinner with April and Mark before Mark had to get ready for the masquerade.
The day finished with the Media Mash-up panel with Kevin McKeever and Drew Meyer. We were afraid there wouldn’t be anyone there because we were against the Masquerade, but we wound up with about 12 people in the audience. We discussed media tie-in work, converting games to books, comics to movies, games o movies, and using other people’s IP rights (both the right and wrong ways).
Afterward, met up with April and Mark and then made it to the DC 17 World Con bid party before calling it a night.
After the signing, I had one more panel, “Updating 19th Century (and earlier) Stories for a 21st Century Audience”. We talked about steampunk, the “Pride, Prejudice and Zombies” craze, Vampire stories, updated fairy tales as well as discussing ideas from the audience about stories they’d be interested in seeing updated.
The weather back home was worsening, so I was a bit apprehensive when I left Mysticon on Sunday afternoon. However, my worries were needless. Only took me a bit over four hours – roads were outstanding until I reached Centerville, VA, and then they were only wet until I got to the MD-32 exit. Local streets are slushy to icy, but not impassable and Joni did a great job of de-icing the driveway before I arrived. The front stoop was still a sheet of ice, but going slow and checking the footing was the way to go.
Mysticon was a ball and I look forward to doing it next year.