Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Special Report: WhimsyCon 2018

Some of you may have noticed that there were no posts over the weekend, dear readers. That was on account of WhimsyCon 2018! A full account:

Denver’s WhimsyCon kicked off its first convention celebrating Steampunk and Victorian culture this past weekend It did not disappoint. I arrived scared to death. I had 4 talks to give, an advance run of my newly published book and the oracle cards that go with it to sell, and had spent about $400 printing merchandise for the weekend. Being in business has gotten me over panicking when I see big numbers like $400, but still. GULP.

Added to that, the uncomfortable last years and death of the former steampunk event known as AnomalyCon had left a bad taste in my mouth. Nasty fights and scoldings I and friends had gotten courtesy of a couple over zealous folk and the general air of mutual distrust in the last years had tarnished the experience, and I was carrying a charm against discord just in case that mess had carried over.
My hands were shaking when I was setting up, let's just leave it at that. But then my art was beside the work of Pinku of Root and Branch comic fame and Wandering Jotun Crafts' wonderful spell books and their rocking pronoun pins for fluid folks (seriously, go take a look, you need these spells and pins. ), my booth was set, a cadre of my oldest and dearest friends started arriving and all the panic started to ease. What the hell, I'd budgeted for what I could lose. At worst, I'd go home with stuff and good memories.

We started hitting panels, because that's the kind of geeks we are. Sorry, no pictures of panels because I'm too well mannered. The programming was packed full of joy such as Friday night electric teapot races, Sunday tea dueling, special guests author Milton Davis, costume queen Kitty Krell, and illustrator Tawny Fritz. Fans enjoyed musical performances, workshops, and even a Victorian style pie eating contest.

I had some wonderful (and some very bad) whiskey. I sang wonderful (and VERY VERY BAD) Victorian songs. I gave my talks on writing in the Victorian era, Victorian etymology, the Language of Flowers and bawdy music of the Victorian Era. Much to my surprise, they were (gasp) fun!
Attendees soaked up the information shared in all of the fabulous panels. People had their schedules circled and highlighted to ensure that no events were missed. There were panels with titles like “Putting the Punk in Steampunk”, “Feminism and Inclusiveness in Science Fiction fandom,” and more. There was a “Refinery of Victorian Tea” where panelists walked the audience through the process of properly serving and drinking tea. There was a self-defense panel, tarot readings, and- thankfully for some guests- some instruction on meditation and mental health. The roster was particularly fine for writers, including 'Self Publishing 101', 'Ow, My Spleen!' 'We Don't Need No Stinkin' Mentors!' and 'Fighting The Day Job'.
Best of all, the vigor and the sheer joy of the early Anomaly years were back in this phoenix of an event. The talks were clever. The time with old and new friends was soul food. The events were good. The turnout was great. It just the thing for a new panelist and vendor.

Oh, and about the new vendor? I sold everything I brought. Not only did I cover my print costs. I covered my room. And my table. And when a con goer posted about all the books he'd bought and loved so far, my book was in that pile with authors I admire.

This is the start of a very, very good thing.

Better pictures in this article: http://www.westword.com/…/whimsycon-2018-is-denvers-new-ste…

Wandering Jotun, who I shared a table with, has works that can be ordered here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/598555621/preorder-dry-erase-name-or-pronoun-pin?ref=shop_home_active_1 and the lovely Root And Branch can be found here http://rootandbranchcomic.com/comic/root-branch-page-1/

No comments :

Post a Comment

Drop us a line!