A few years back, a couple friends of mine suggested I consider coming to GenCon with my books.
It's hosted in my home state (Indiana) so I'd heard of the con before, but knew it as more of a gaming convention rather than a literary festival or con.
Still, they persisted. My good friend, Nick, even sent me an oh-so-subtle exhibitor application link for this year's event, so I decided to opt in. Figured it'd be at least worth a trip home, even if the venture failed.
It did not. :)
My booth neighbors were no doubt sick of hearing me say this throughout the 4-day convention, but it doesn't make my words less true. The second I walked through the convention doors, I gazed upon the fantasy awesomeness and realized I had arrived.
These are my people. I thought, staring at the various games, t-shirts, and everything in between.
I met so many incredible people over those four days and have enough stories to fill a novel, so I've whittled it down to include my fave stories and highlights. Enjoy! :)
NO SHIRT, NO SHOES
This story occurred one evening after the convention hall had closed. Nick and I, along with our good friend, Polley, decided to grab some grub downtown. Naturally, there was an hour long wait to get in and the streets were filled with hungry cos-players and convention-goers.
So as we're standing around catching up on the latest games and such we've all discovered, a muscled and shirtless cos-player/"bro" pulling off a pretty good Wolverine impersonation strides by with a girl dressed as Rogue beside him.
Without missing a beat, Nick looks at Wolverine and says: "Hmm. He's not going to find service anywhere."
Friends, I was near in tears I laughed so hard and "Boooo!" became our war cry for the remainder of the convention.
Steph was also kind enough to sign her comic for me too! If you like web comics, she releases updates every Thursday. ;)
Oh, and if you enjoy Doctor Who and poetry, check out James Wylder's An Eloquence of Time and Space on Amazon. It has a poem for every episode and Doctor Who fans were eating it up.
THE OLD MAN AND HIS KILT
I'm standing in my space behind the table when this 70+, bald man with a long white beard walks by in a kilt. The kilt was cool enough, but his t-shirt was what still has me laughing. Across the chest, it read: It's only kinky the first time.
I called out to ask him where he got the shirt, but he only smirked and nodded. Then he kept going.
Like a boss.
If you ever make it to GenCon, you gotta check out Cardhalla.
Nick revealed this awesomeness to me after the first day of the convention ended. So, from my understanding, Cardhalla works like this - GenCon provides playing cards to attendees who wish to participate in building towers, castles, you name it out of the playing cards. The structures are built during the first three days of the convention and then, on the final night around 10 p.m., attendees are allowed to flick quarters to see if they can knock the structures down. At the end, all the money is rounded up for charity.
How cool is that?
Here's a picture I grabbed of Cardhalla around 6:30 p.m., hours before they knocked it down.
Like I mentioned earlier, I could easily write a novel's length of stories that occurred and people I met throughout those four days. I had an absolute blast and will definitely be headed back next year.
For those who attended GenCon and were curious as to what games I added to my Amazon Christmas list, I've included Exploding Kittens, Gloom, and Munchkins - (though I'm still trying to decide between the Nightmare Before Christmas, Marvel, or Gloom editions of Munchkins, so feedback is welcome!)
Hope all you attendees had a great con! I'll see you next year!
Here's some more pics!
Author. Actor. Rascal.