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Penguicon
May 4, 2011

Ok, so, Penguicon news as promised! Penguicon is an open-source software and sci-fi convention in Troy, Michigan! I had a blast the first year I went, and this year as well! Brandon Sanderson, author of the Mistborn series, as well as the Most Awesome Dude chosen to complete my all-time favorite book series The Wheel of Time, was at times, within 10 feet of me. Of course, I was much too shy to go all fan-girl on him. Turns out he's quite the table top gamer! Strange, eh? ...then again, maybe not. :D

I was hoping there would be a bigger webcomicker turn out, but artist alley was kinda tiny this year. That's not too bad a thing though when you go with an intent to make money--less competition! I hung out with Alex of Alex's Guide to a Life Well-Lived, and of course, Garanos; OnyxSparrow of Prepare to Die and WAGON webcomic battle; Adam Smithee of Apple Valley; Fes of Multiple Awesome Things; Tanya of (recently) BetaPWNED; Mark Savary/Dr. Who of Autumn Lake; and very cool, got to meet Jilly Foo of Demon Eater!.

I also gave my first interview (finally?) to the Webcomic Beacon. THAT was a riot. Hahaha, Fes couldn't remember my name or the names of my comics. But that's ok, because we talked about SCIENCE! And art. And MOAR SCIENCE! Turns out that not only is Tanya a rockin' science nerd, but Dave of Slightly Off Topic, Onyx and Mark all work in Flow Cytometry! It was a collision of science! SCIENCE! And art.

I was also on two panels: Ads vs. merchandising for webcomics, and Dealing with Drama. The former was pretty informative (I hope), but the latter was just fun. Tanya, Mark and I basically told our horror stories about trolls and stuff, how we dealt with it (or didn't), and what we advised others to do if they had to deal with it (which was generally, don't do what we did).

But anyway! I sold over 20 issues of What it Takes, so Kez was very, VERY happy. I also realized that I've sold over 70 books of Not Alone, which blows my mind. I have less than ten left out of the original 80 I bought. I don't know if I'm going to print those out again, so order them while I have it!

Pics are up on my FB, they should be public. I met Dr. Who, Harry Dresden, a woman in a Cthulu bra (thankfully no photo record), Leeloo from the Fifth Element, and the wonderful 501st Great Lakes Garrison! I love those Star Wars costumers. Happy Star Wars day too. May the 4th be with you!

Now, the way back home was pretty interesting. Since I'm out of Buffalo, NY, I cut across Canada to go to this convention, meaning I have to cross customs. On the way there, entering Canada, border guard dude asks me the typical "why are you entering [the great and awesome nation of] Canada [which totally PWNS your own native country]? (I'm ad-libbing here, in case you didn't notice...).

To which I answer, "Just cutting through to Michigan."

"So you are transiting through?"

"What?" I ask, perplexed.

"You're transiting through?" He repeats.

By this time I'm pretty sure I have really perplexed look on my face as I ask again, "Am I WHATTING?"

"TRANSITING."

(Insert brain-click here.) Yes, yes, I know the meaning of the word "transit." However, I had never heard it used in that context. Now I've been going around talking about transiting here and there. Oh those funny Canadians!

The way BACK however, passing through Niagara Falls at about 10pm, that was the interesting part of the trip. I hadn't had a computer for 2 days by this point (Unplugging felt so good), and I was completely unaware at Bin Laden had been killed that day. I give the US customs officer my passport, she's about to waive me through, and then this Officer Jerk taps the hood of my car and says, "Let's X-ray this sucker." I kid you not, that is a DIRECT quote. Ok, my poor little Honda from 1997 may be old and rusty, BUT SPARHAWK IS NO SUCKER. And X-ray? WTF?

Long story short, they randomly line up about 10 cars and drive this completely unmarked truck past the row, one side, then the other, X-raying our vehicles while we stand out in the cold rain. THANKS FOR THE INDOOR ACCOMMODATIONS GUYS. I don't even want to know how many of those unmarked back-scatter X-ray trucks are driving around residential and city streets right now. Makes me shiver.

In conclusions, I can't wait to go back next year. I really need some sort of costume though. I'm told I'd pull off a great Tasha Yar. I'll have to think about it. ;P

EDIT: And welcome any new readers out there from Penguicon! I hope my shiny cards didn't detract you TOO long from typing the URL into the address bar. <3

Arc 6- Alpha Wolfe - Page 9
May 4, 2011

Intel? How did you get that intel, Peter? Maybe you should download the Arc 5 extension to find out! Right sidebar, over there. *points*

Well, just back from Penguicon this past weekend, had a blast! I'll post more on that when it's not 1am. Sold quite a few issues of What it Takes, so I am extremely pleased with myself right now. Don't worry, I'm sure that feeling will soon fade on my next thesis revision.

I'm just keeping my eye on the prize--I will have my Master's in one month! Ahhh yay!

This week was a very awesome week for my friend and fellow SFer Denise "Darwin" Randall, creator of a heck-of-a-lot of comics, including Gemutations: Plague. Darwin's SpiderForest mirror just caught up with her latest pages and will now become the main site. On top of that, she gets this week's SF spotlight! G:P follows the story of David Scott (ahaha I just noticed I named a character Scot Davidson, I think I'm going to retcon that), AKA Tigershark, a genetically modified mercenary turned partially into a shark. The story deals with a virus that is causing mutations in New Fresno, California, perpetrated by a mastermind out for revenge. Tigershark and his significant other Angelina, both Gemues themselves against their wills, are out to stop the spread of the plague before it is too late.

Darwin is also published! Yes, REAL published in print and everything. Check it out. Her stories are rated "R." Reader beware, probably NSFW.