Tag Archives: matt nelson

A 2017 Lilac City Comicon Debriefing

A 2017 Lilac City Comicon Debriefing

It’s time for a con debriefing! Last weekend, I spent a couple of wonderful days at Lilac City Comicon in Spokane, Washington. This was my third year at LCCC, and like previous years, I shared a table with my good friend Josh Montreuil. This time around the con not only expanded, but it’s now two wonderful days.

[Left] My table setup [Right] An awesome Negan cosplay!
[Left] My table setup [Right] One of my readers sporting an awesome Negan cosplay!

Last year, I sold out of every copy of The Stars Were Right, so I doubled down and brought more with me this time around. Well, Spokane was insatiable, once again I sold out of every copy of The Stars Were Right. Yep, all gone! It was incredible. Easily one of the best two-day stretches I’ve had while running a table at a convention which means a whole lot of new readers have begun to experience The Bell Forging Cycle.

[Left] Josh speaks with a T-Rex [Center] The Log Lady! [Right] A pair of ninja 4 hire
[Left] Josh speaks with a T-Rex, his target audience [Center] The Log Lady! [Right] A pair of ninja 4 hire

Time for the highlights:

  • Friday night’s LCCC Pro Drink & Draw was great. Met some good people and I was able to circle up with some friends. It was a relaxing way to go into a busy weekend.
  • Once again (as the pictures prove) Spokane really went all out with the cosplay. Amazing work by everyone participating, you could see the time people had dedicated to their costumes. I took a ton of photos, and it was tough narrowing it down and picking favorites to share. Great work everyone! (Sgt. Slaughter, see below, was a particular favorite, but that’s the Joe fan in me coming out.)
  • My mom, dad, sister, and my nephew Derek came out to say hello! It Derek’s first convention and it was amazing to see the excitement as he strolled around in his Pikachu costume. He also left with the desire to be a Roader, which I appreciated. Gotta start ’em young. Right?
  • Likewise, Kari-Lise’s cousin Lou and his son Damon also came out. It was great seeing them as well. It’s nice to have a supportive family in the area. (You can check out a pic of Damon below dressed as a ninja.)
  • It was good to hang out with Josh. He had a new comic this year, Triceratots, and a load of prints. People were really excited to meet him and check out his work. Especially giant monster fans. I highly recommend you follow him. He’s got big plans for the coming year. If you want to meet him, I know he’ll be at Coeur d’ Con in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho in August. If you live nearby check his stuff out.
  • The volunteers were fantastic. It needs to be said over and over. Big thank you to them and to Nathan O’Brien for working so hard to make the convention so successful.
  • Several times I had readers drop by and ask about the status of book four. Knowing there is excitement building gets me excited. I really appreciate knowing there are those eager to join Wal in another adventure. I’ve heard it’s going to be a doozy. After all, “He is coming. Can’t you smell it on the wind?
  • Once again it was good to spend time with Matt Nelson, Peter Foglesong, Jennifer Foglesong, and Lars Brown. All our tables were next to each other, and it was great being able to hang out and chat during the downtimes. If there is such a thing as your ‘convention family’ they’re definitely a part of mine.
[Left] Captain America [Center] My nephew Derek as Pikachu and me as an author who only wears black [Right] Geralt of Rivia
[Left] Captain America [Center] My nephew Derek as Pikachu and me as an author who only wears black [Right] Geralt of Rivia
  • I also had several readers come up just to meet me and tell me how much they loved my books. It was amazing and surreal, and it’s interactions like that which really made my LCCC experience. Writing is a solitary gig, and when people take the time to come up and say they appreciate the hard work, it makes it all worthwhile.
  • Since the con was two days, the Post-Con Decompression Dinner became a Mid-Con Decompression Dinner. It was still as great as always. The food and drink hit the spot, the conversation was lively, and it was a pleasant respite in the middle of the festivities.
  • Josh’s sketch commissions were as wacky and wonderful as always, from Daffy Duck as The Scarlet Pumpernickel to a giant antlered bear armed with a great ax.
  • I enjoyed seeing all my old friends who came by to say hello, Angie, Curt, Carl, and Mike (who surprised me from behind his King Kong mask.) It was nice seeing them, meeting their partners and children, and catching up a little bit.
  • I got to nerd it up with a bunch of horror fans. We talked about Lovecraft, Chambers, The Void, Get Out, The Mist, and so much more.
  • I met some new friends as well. In particular, Rob an illustrator who creates some great Lovecraftian illustrations, Devin who was hanging out across from Josh and me, and Michael another illustrator who ran a table next to ours.
  • Did I mention I sold out of EVERY COPY of The Stars Were Right? EVERY. COPY. Seriously. I did. (I have more on order.) It’s awesome to see so many people starting their journey into the world of The Bell Forging Cycle. If you’re one of them, I hope you enjoy the ride.
  • When I got home late Sunday night I was greeted by the nicest email from a reader who had picked up my books and took a moment to drop me a line to tell me she was already loving them. After a long afternoon of travel, it absolutely made my night.
[Left] Sgt. Slaughter [Center] Rebel Pilot [Right] Kari-Lise's second cousin Damon as a nunchaku spinnin' ninja
[Left] Sgt. Slaughter [Center] Rebel Pilot [Right] Kari-Lise’s second cousin Damon as a nunchaku spinnin’ ninja

The expansion from one to two days was excellent, and other pros enjoyed it as well. Clearly, Spokane is hungry for a world-class convention, and Lilac City is stepping up and providing. I’ll most certainly be attending in 2018. I would love to see LCCC expand into open gaming and more panel tracks as well, but I am sure both are coming. Make sure to follow them on Instagram and Twitter.

Want to read about my past experiences? Check out my debriefings for Lilac City Comicon 2016 and Lilac City Comicon 2015. Next up for me in 2017 is OryCon in November! Remember, You can keep track of where I’ll be and check out my previous conventions over on my Upcoming Appearances page.

Thanks for a great con Spokane, I’ll see you next year. 🕶


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Three Quotes on Libraries

Three Quotes on Libraries

“Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.”

Ray Bradbury


“I have found the most valuable thing in my wallet is my library card.”

Laura Bush


“Don’t join the book burners. Don’t think you’re going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed. Don’t be afraid to go in your library and read every book.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower


There’s intent here, a reason why I selected libraries as today’s topic. Consider this a passionate plea in support. Why? Well, yesterday, Seattle Review of Books shared a proposed Republican budget from Texas Representative Bill Flores, chair of the Republican Study Committee. Within their Blueprint for a Balanced Budget (read it at that link) it proposes cutting federal funding for Libraries (less than 0.01% of the budget.)

Appalling as that may sound, it’s a serious proposal and one that could end up on the desk of our new President. I shared it yesterday unsure of how to react. I was stunned and shocked and disappointed. Especially knowing how important the library system has become for our country. The library meant so much to me as a child and remains crucial to me as an adult. In an era when non-profits are struggling to make ends meet the Library system remains a vital institution in helping enrich our communities. Cutting funding is an ignorant and dangerous step in the wrong direction and it baffles my mind that defunding would even be considered.

This morning, my friend Matt Nelson (creator of the wonderful Catbeard the Pirate) joined me in an impassioned plea for the support of American libraries. I highly recommend you read his own thoughts and experiences. You can either start reading using the tweet below or check out this easy to read Storified version. It won’t take long and it’s worth your time.

My Reading List for 2016

We’re nearing the end of the year, and as tradition dictates now is the time when I compile a list of the books I have read (to see previous years: 2013, 2014, 2015). I’m not the fastest of readers, but I try to remain consistent. This usually correlates alongside my Goodreads reading challenge. The books in this list are books I read for pleasure; I don’t count research material. Likewise, graphic novels and short stories get counted separately in their own list.

This year I was offered up another challenge, this time by my friend and fellow author Steve Toutonghi. He challenged me to read more classics than anything else this year, and I accepted. By the time I had finished, over two-thirds of the novels I had read where from the classic or modern classic category. Not bad!

Since this list tends to be long, I forgo reviews, but you’re welcome to follow me on Goodreads where I do occasionally review books. At the end of each list, I will call out some of my favorites of the year. As before, all links will go to Amazon as a default, but if one of these books sound interesting to you, then I would encourage you to visit your local independent bookstore and purchase through them. It’s important for your local economy to buy local whenever you’re able.


Novels:

  1. Join
    by Steve Toutonghi
  2. Partials (Partials Sequence, #1)
    by Dan Wells
  3. The Great Gatsby
    by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  4. Slaughterhouse-Five …again.
    by Kurt Vonnegut
  5. Wise Blood
    by Flannery O’Connor
  6. Brave New World
    by Aldous Huxley
  7. The Aeronaut’s Windlass (The Cinder Spires #1)
    by Jim Butcher
  8. Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse #1)
    by James S.A. Corey
  9. The Old Man and the Sea
    by Ernest Hemingway
  10. Beta Reading
    by REDACTED
  11. Life on the Mississippi …again.
    by Mark Twain
  12. Beta Reading
    by REDACTED
  13. Dracula …again.
    by Bram Stoker
  14. This Census-Taker
    by China Miéville
  15. Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire #1)
    by Mark Lawrence
  16. Labyrinths: Selected Stories and Other Writings
    by Jorge Luis Borges,
  17. The Illustrated Man
    by Ray Bradbury
  18. Great Expectations
    by Charles Dickens
  19. Iron Council (New Crobuzon #3)
    by China Miéville
  20. The Scar (New Crobuzon #2) …again.
    by China Miéville
  21. Hondo
    by Louis L’Amour
  22. The Hell Bent Kid: A Novel
    by Charles O. Locke
  23. Ravencroft Springs
    by Logan L. Masterson
  24. Perdido Street Station (New Crobuzon #1) …again.
    by China Miéville
  25. Dark Matter
    by Blake Crouch
  26. True Grit
    by Charles Portis
  27. Animal Farm …again.
    by George Orwell
  28. Lord of the Flies …again.
    by William Golding
  29. The Handmaid’s Tale
    by Margaret Atwood
  30. Kindred
    by Octavia E. Butler
  31. The Gunslinger …again.
    by Stephen King
  32. To Kill a Mockingbird …again.
    by Harper Lee
  33. Call of the Wild …again.
    by Jack London
  34. 1984 …again.
    by George Orwell
  35. Wuthering Heights
    by Emily Brontë

When selecting my favorites, I decided to disregard any books I had previously read from the running. (Twain’s Life on the Mississippi, Miéville’s The Scar, and King’s The Gunslinger are some of my favorite books of all time and it’s really not fair to compete with those.) I read so many good books this year it made picking my faves tough. While there were many I enjoyed, I settled on three. All were new to me, and they all not only challenged me but lingered in my mind long after I had finished.

Favorite Novel of 2016:

Kindred by Octavia ButlerKindred
by Octavia E. Butler

This book is stunning. Bulter is one of the preeminent science fiction writers of our time. Her prose is sharp, her plot intense, the portrayal of the slave/master relationships in antebellum South shook me. I found myself dwelling on Kindred weeks after I finished it.

Favorite Novel Runners-up of 2016:

The Handmaids TaleThe Handmaid’s Tale
by Margaret Atwood

There is an art to writing a book so captivating and yet so simple. The regressive dystopia of Gilead is terrifying in its believability. It’s strange to think this book was written in ’85 yet its criticisms of gender relations, religion, and power are still as poignant as ever.

Join by Steve ToutonghiJoin
by Steve Toutonghi

My friend Steve’s debut novel, like the others, stuck with me long after I had finished. His examinations on individualism, mortality, gender, and consciousness were thought-provoking, engaging, and whip-smart. I knew when I finished that Join would end up here.


Short Stories:

  1. Last Boy in Aster
    by Drew Gerken
  2. Binti (Binti #1)
    by Nnedi Okorafor
  3. Ravencroft Springs: The Feast of ’69
    by Logan L. Masterson
  4. A Study in Emerald (Currently available in Fragile Things) …again.
    by Neil Gaiman

Four isn’t enough to rank favorites, but Drew Gerken’s story stood out. It lingered with me more than the other three and I continued to think about Kacee, Fin, and Aster long after I had finished. Seek it out. It’s very much worth your time.


Graphic Novels:

  1. Prophet Volume 2: Brothers
    by Brandon Graham (Author & Illustrator), Simon Roy (Author & Illustrator), Farel Dalrymple (Illustrator), Giannis Milonogiannis (Illustrator),
  2. Black River
    by Josh Simmons (Author & Illustrator)
  3. Wytches, Vol. 1
    by Scott Snyder (Author) and Jock (Illustrator)
  4. Bitch Planet, Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine
    by Kelly Sue DeConnick (Author), Valentine De Landro (Artist)
  5. Saga Volume 6
    by Brian K. Vaughan (Author), Fiona Staples (Illustrator)
  6. Penultimate Quest Vol. 1
    by Lars Brown (Author & Illustrator)
  7. Penultimate Quest Vol. 2
    by Lars Brown (Author & Illustrator)
  8. Penultimate Quest Vol. 3
    by Lars Brown (Author & Illustrator)
  9. Catbeard Vol. 2
    by Matt Nelson (Author & Illustrator)

Favorite Graphic Novel of 2016:

Bitch PlanetBitch Planet
by Kelly Sue DeConnick (Author), Valentine De Landro (Artist)

From the get-go, Bitch Planet sets out to be subversive, and it’s not apologetic. Playing off the women-in-prison exploitation films the comic twists the genre to be a smart satire about modern culture, feminism, and humanity.

Favorite Graphic Novel Runners-up of 2016:


Penultimate Quest Vol. 1Penultimate Quest
by Lars Brown (Author & Illustrator)

See! I don’t always read serious/dark comics. Occasionally, I step outside of my comfort zone and read something lighter. Lars Brown’s writing is witty and fun, and the characters are memorable. A must for role-playing game fans and people who like jokes.

 

catbeardbook2

Catbeard Vol. 2
by Matt Nelson (Author & Illustrator)

Yep, it’s back! I picked up and thoroughly enjoyed the second Catbeard book. Attentive readers remember that the first book was one of my favorite graphic novels from last year and Vol. 2 was even better than the first.


So there is my list for 2016, a lot of amazing books and some fantastic short stories and graphic novels. For the next year, I’m returning to my roots and focusing on primarily science fiction and fantasy. In particular, books I’ve passed by in my stack on my quest to read classics. I could use a little escapism right now, and it’d be therapeutic to get lost in another narrative for a time.

Are you looking for a good book? Want to see my reading lists from previous years? Check any of the links below and see what I was reading in bygone days.

 2013 • 2014 • 2015 

Next year, why not join me? Goodreads does a reading challenge every year, and I am an active participant. First, follow me on Goodreads (leave me a review while you’re there), and once the New Year arrives, participate in the Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2017.

My Reading List for 2015

My Reading List for 2015

As is now a yearly tradition, I share my reading list for the year. Last year I surpassed my goal of thirty books with thirty-seven. This year I had a goal for thirty-five and ended up with exactly that. (I’m not the fastest of readers.)

Since this list is so long, I tend not to fill it with reviews, but you’re welcome to follow me on Goodreads where I do review books I read from time to time. At the end of the list, I will call out some of my favorite books of the year. As before, all links will go to Amazon as a default, but if one of these books sound interesting to you then I would encourage you to visit your local independent bookstore and purchase through them.


Novels:

  1. The Mirror Empire (Worldbreaker Saga #1)
    by Kameron Hurley
  2. Blightborn (The Heartland Trilogy #2)
    by Chuck Wendig
  3. Dune (Dune Chronicles #1)
    by Frank Herbert
  4. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
    by Erik Larson
  5. The Hour of the Oxrun Dead (Oxrun Station)
    by Charles L. Grant
  6. The Martian
    by Andy Weir
  7. The Slow Regard of Silent Things (The Kingkiller Chronicle #2.5)
    by Patrick Rothfuss
  8. The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard #1)
    by Scott Lynch
  9. Something Wicked This Way Comes
    by Ray Bradbury
  10. Annihilation: A Novel (Southern Reach #1)
    by Jeff VanderMeer
  11. NOS4A2
    by Joe Hill
  12. The City of Ember (Book of Ember #1)
    by Jeanne DuPrau
  13. Changeless (Parasol Protectorate #2)
    by Gail Carriger
  14. The Wind Through the Keyhole (The Dark Tower #4.5)
    by Stephen King
  15. The Well of Ascension (Mistborn #2)
    by Brandon Sanderson
  16. Karen Memory
    by Elizabeth Bear
  17. The Flight of the Silvers (Silvers #1)
    by Daniel Price
  18. Southern Gods
    by John Hornor Jacobs
  19. Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances
    by Neil Gaiman
  20. Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive #2)
    by Brandon Sanderson
  21. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland #1)
    by Catherynne M. Valente
  22. Black Chalk
    by Christopher J. Yates
  23. Redwall (Redwall #1)
    by Brian Jacques
  24. Chapelwood (The Borden Dispatches #2)
    by Cherie Priest
  25. The Alloy of Law (Mistborn #4)
    by Brandon Sanderson
  26. The Tombs of Atuan (Earthsea Cycle #2)
    by Ursula K. Le Guin
  27. The Dunwich Horror
    by H.P. Lovecraft
  28. The Harvest (The Heartland Trilogy #3)
    by Chuck Wendig
  29. A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic #1)
    by V.E. Schwab
  30. The Hero of Ages (Mistborn #3)
    by Brandon Sanderson
  31. Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking
    by David Bayles, Ted Orland
  32. The Spirit Machine
    by Robert Hazelton
  33. A Witch’s Feast (The Memento Mori Series #2)
    by C.N. Crawford
  34. The Gap Into Conflict: The Real Story (Gap #1)
    by Stephen R. Donaldson
  35. The Deep
    by Nick Cutter

If there is one takeaway I have, it’s that I read way to much Sanderson. He’s on the list four times. While I’m not discounting him as a writer (his books are a lot of fun), that’s way too much for me. So next year I vow to be Sanderson free (even if the next Stormlight book comes out.)


Favorite Novel of 2015:

Flight of the Silvers by Daniel Price

The Flight of the Silvers (Silvers #1)
by Daniel Price

It would have been easy for me to select Dune or Something Wicked, both classics and both books I love. However, I wanted to pick something that was a new favorite, something that stuck with me after I put it down. Flight of the Silvers was that book. Daniel Price wrote an amazing world with incredible characters all struggling together and against one another. A fresh new sci-fi series and I cannot wait for the sequel.

Favorite Novel Runners-up of 2015:

Chapelwood by Cherie Priest

Chapelwood (The Borden Dispatches #2)
by Cherie Priest

The sequel to last year’s runner-up, Maplecroft. This book exceeded its predecessor and was easily one of the best books I read all year. Priest’s take on new mythos is both fresh and familiar, it’s dark but is still heartfelt and incredibly engaging. I loved every minute of it.

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard #1)
by Scott Lynch

I didn’t know what to expect when I sat down to read this book and even a few chapters in I was dubious. I’m glad I stuck with it. I loved this book. The world is familiar but feels fresh and fully realized, its characters are well-crafted and real, and the plot was amazingly complex. I found it impossible to anticipate and quite difficult to put down.


Graphic Novels:

Unlike last year, in 2015 I read a whole swath of great graphic novels and a handful of some pretty terrible ones. As with the previous list, at the end I’ll pick my favorite graphic novel from 2015. (I’m not going to pick Saga… I’m not going to pick Saga… I’m not going to pick Saga.)

  1. The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act
    by Kieron Gillen (Author), Jamie McKelvie (Author, Illustrator)
  2. Prophet, Vol. 1: Remission
    by Simon Roy (Author), Farel Dalrymple (Author), Giannis Milogiannis (Author), Brandon Graham (Author, Illustrator)
  3. East of West Volume 1: The Promise
    by Jonathan Hickman (Author), Nick Dragotta (Illustrator)
  4. Moon Knight Volume 1: From the Dead
    by Warren Ellis (Author), Declan Shalvey (Illustrator)
  5. Southern Bastards Volume 1: Here Was a Man
    by Jason Aaron (Author), Jason LaTour (Illustrator)
  6. Trees, Vol. 1: In Shadows
    by Warren Ellis (Author), Jason Howard (Author, Illustrator)
  7. Saga, Vol. 5
    by Brian K. Vaughan (Author), Fiona Staples (Illustrator)
  8. Catbeard the Pirate, Book 1: Keelhauling & Kitty Litter
    by Matt Nelson (Author & Illustrator)
  9. Sex Criminals, Vol. 2: Two Worlds, One Cop
    by Matt Fraction (Author), Chip Zdarsky (Illustrator)
  10. The Manhattan Projects, Vol. 1: Science Bad
    by Jonathan Hickman (Author), Nick Pitarra (Artist)
  11. Neonomicon
    by Alan Moore (Author), Jacen Burrows (Artist)

Favorite Graphic Novel of 2015:

Prophet, Vol. 1: Remission
by Simon Roy (Author), Farel Dalrymple (Author), Giannis Milogiannis (Author), Brandon Graham (Author, Illustrator)

I didn’t pick Saga! But seriously, there was something so engaging about this reboot of Prophet (a former, and awful, Image character from the 90s) that I loved. It’s Conan in space, the artwork is beautiful, the stories bizarre. Prophet, Vol. 2: Brothers is already on my list for next year.

Favorite Graphic Novel Runners-up of 2015:

Catbeard The Pirate Book One: Keelhauling & Kitty LitterCatbeard the Pirate, Book 1: Keelhauling & Kitty Litter
by Matt Nelson (Author & Illustrator)

As you can tell from my list, when it comes to comics, I usually am not drawn to comedy. However after a recommendation from a friend, I picked up Matt Nelson’s fantastic book. Catbeard is charming, witty, and was a delight to read. What else would you expect from a book with cat-beard voodoo curses, dinosaur riding heroes, and strange pirate adventures? It was the perfect respite between some of the darker graphic novels I was reading. Ready for the next one.

Trees

Trees, Vol. 1: In Shadows
by Warren Ellis (Author), Jason Howard (Author, Illustrator)

Trees is one of those books I wish I thought of, the setting is simple, but the ramifications of its simplicity are complex. What would society do if strange and enormous aliens arrived on Earth? Ten years after that event, Trees seeks to explore that idea, with what appears to be terrible ramifications, I can’t wait for more.


So that’s my list for 2015. A lot of really great stuff, and I’m looking forward to new books in 2016. I was also given a new challenge! If you recall, in 2014, I was challenged to read more women authors, and I ended up doing just that. Well, my friend Steve Toutonghi, author of the upcoming sci-fi novel Join, challenged me to read more classics in 2016. So that’s my plan. First on my plate (after I read my advanced reader copy of Join) is to dive into Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges and then it’ll move onto Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain.

How about you? How does your reading list compare this year? Did anything stick out? Did you find a new favorite book or favorite author? What are your plans for 2016? Is there any new book you’re excited to read? Are there any classics I should visit in my 2016? Leave a comment and let me know!

Godzilla by Josh Montreuil

#Kaijuly Is Here

Who doesn’t love kaijū? From Godzilla to King Kong, giant monsters are a mainstay within science fiction and fantasy. Literature has its share of famous giants. We have the shai-hulud in Dune, the avanc in The Scar, and even to the balrog in Lord of the Rings. There’s something incredibly engaging about enormous creatures.

Onibaba by Matt Nelson
by Matt Nelson

Well, last year, some of my more artistic friends decided to celebrate these giant creatures and have taken to Tumblr for an event they call #Kaijuly. It’s a celebration in art of all things giant monster! Each day artists post new and original pieces starring creatures from film, movies, books, television, and myth. It’s a lot of fun. I’d highly recommend checking it out and if you’re the artistic type… perhaps participate yourself?

by Josh Montreuil
by Josh Montreuil (Josh also illustrated Godzilla above.)

Hit the links below and check out the fun:

Joining in the #Kaijuly fun? Why not link some of your own work in the comments? I’m sure all of the readers of this blog would love to see your work!

K. M. Alexander at Lilac City Comicon

A Lilac City Comicon Debriefing

Over the weekend, I attended Lilac City Comicon with my good buddy, illustrator Josh Montreuil. Of the three conventions I’ve attended this spring, this was the shortest, being only a single day. This was also the first solidly comic-focused convention I’ve attended as an exhibitor, SpoCon, Norwescon, and CthulhuCon tended to be more varied. Going in I was unsure what to expect.


Overall, I was stunned by the response. I came in with two-and-a-half boxes of books and only left with one. The crowd was great. The people were friendly and excited. In one day at Lilac City I got to meet more new readers than I did working a table for three days at SpoCon. An incredible and flattering response.

LCCC_02
Since the convention lasted only one day things were somewhat hectic and harried. So let’s get right to the highlights…

  • All. The. Cosplay. Seriously, some really incredible work. It was tough to narrow it down for the images with this post, and I’m leaving a lot out. I should throw more of my pictures somewhere so you can see everyone’s hard work. It blew me away.
  • Having my family come in to hang out. Thanks for the coffee, mom!
  • Spending time at the table with my friend Josh Montreuil. I’ve known the guy since college, and it’s always a good time hanging out with him. He had a great convention as well. He sold out of a few posters which is always a good thing.
  • Selling so many books, obviously.
  • Talking about The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath with a fellow Lovecraft fan. Underrated work, I highly recommend it.
  • Having a new reader buy The Stars Were Right, and then come back later after he read the first few pages to pick up Old Broken Road. That was a pretty cool moment for me. It’s awesome to see readers enjoy my books so much. Makes me excited to get Red Litten World out there.
  • Picking up a signed copy of Vol. 1 of Matt Nelson’s Catbeard the Pirate. Matt’s a great guy, and his books are really fun.
  • My selfie with Odin.
  • Watching Josh create some incredible sketches for his fans. Everything from a smirking Loki, a Black Lantern Batman, to a goalie version of Superman. Fun stuff. (You can see some of his work below.)
  • Late night pizza and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.
  • Did I mention the cosplay? If not… the cosplay.
  • Watching a friend of the family experience her first convention. It’s always a bit overwhelming when you first walk in, but everyone remembers their first convention. It’s cool to see.
  • Seeing and catching up with some old friends from Spokane.
  • I was really impressed with the new addition to the Spokane Convention Center. It’s a lovely building and really perfect for a convention the size of Lilac City Comicon.
  • The Z Nation fans. The show is filmed here in the Pacific Northwest, and the crew was at the convention so there were a lot of fans among the attendees and they were all great and very excited about Z Nation.
  • Seeing some folks from SpoCon! It’s nice to see a little community across conventions. Was great seeing people.
  • Me embarrassingly being adamant that a bearded individual had changed out of his costume, despite him having never worn a costume. (After going through my photos I realized I was super wrong. Not all white beard-having men look the same, K. M., jeez.)
  • Going to see Mad Max: Fury Road with Josh the night before the convention. Seriously, see that movie. It’s incredible.
  • The decompression dinner with some fantastic Spokanites: Josh, Matt, Lars, Peter, Jen, Kevin, and Curt. Was fun to chat and hang out in old haunts and talk about our Lilac City Comicon experience. Everyone had a great time.

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I came away from Lilac City Comicon feeling pretty happy with the result. It was a great weekend, and I’ll definitely be back next year. Going into this I had expected LCCC to be my last convention for 2015, but I’d wager there might be a few more conventions in my future. More on that later.

DON’T FORGET: The Red Litten World cover reveal happens this Thursday! If you want a sneak peak ahead of everyone else, click here to sign up for my newsletter. Subscribers get to be first in line for special events and announcements. I’m looking forward to the big reveal, and I hope you are too!