There’s always a bit of a debate about CONduit taking place every year over the Memorial Day weekend. Me, I love it; I can do the con Friday, Saturday and Sunday, then take Monday to recuperate and drain my kidneys before dragging myself back to the day job on Tuesday.
This year my schedule was light:
Tom Carr, Dave Butler, Steve Diamond and I did the obligatory Lovecraft panel (no, really, that’s even what it said in the program book). With the former regular panelists Paul Anderson and Eric Swedin in the audience, it was just like a reunion! We did the mix of intro material for the newbies and deeper questions like How is Lovecraft particularly twentieth-centuryish? and Can racism still be admirably scary?
Then Tom Carr (again), Steve Diamond (again), Blake Casselman and I were on a panel entitled, “It’s called ‘horror,’ not ‘gore-or,'” in which we discussed the place of gore and graphic violence in horror media (Tom and Blake spoke mostly from a film viewpoint, and Steve and I represented the literary side).
And finally, Saturday afternoon, Larry Correia and I did a live MST3K commentary on the immortal Charles Band turkey classic, Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn. And just to toot my own horn, my favorite line (which I uttered) was given after Jared-Syn escapes (whoops, spoilers) in what must be the most optimistic sequel set-up in the history of ever: “Jared-Syn escapes? The movie’s called ‘The Destruction of Jared Syn!’ You had one job!!!”
The rest of the time, I spent in the dealers room hawking Cold Fusion Media books and the various creatures I’ve been showing y’all as I finish them. Sales were… cool. I’m not alone in that; overall con attendance seemed down (official figures haven’t been released), and no one saw the sales they were expecting. Plus, as more than one vendor friend (“friendor?”) commented, my creatures might be too big-ticket for CONduit — I might have more luck at an artist’s alley table at the upcoming Salt City Steamfest at the end of July, where attendees go in part to support a lifestyle. As I had been contemplating a few creatures that were more biomechanical in presentation, this looks like the perfect venue to get those ideas out of my head and into meatspace.