ConnectiCon 2009 1

Holy cow.  So much happened during the weekend that it’s hard to figure out where to begin!  So I’ll start on Thursday, when my epic journey kicked off.

Connecticut is an 11 hour drive from Columbus, and I ended up having to drive the entire way on my own!  While not the worst drive in the world to undertake by one’s self, it was a very long day.  I left at about 4:45 AM.  The first several hours weren’t bad, temperature-wise (my car’s air conditioning needs to be upgraded, but I didn’t have the money to do so before the trip) since it was overcast and foggy until I was well into Pennsylvania.

This trip takes me directly through Scranton, PA, and I entertained the idea of stopping in town at the Steamtown Mall for lunch, to take in the Office-y sights, but as I got closer to Scranton, it seemed a bit too complicated to get to the mall from 84 East, so maybe next year.

Driving by myself had a certain zen about it.  I could drive at my own pace and only stopped when I needed to.  I would also get very excited when I crossed the state lines.  I hit some rush-hour traffic when I got into Hartford, but I got to my Thursday night lodgings, the Super 8 Motel, at about 5.  I immediately took a shower, since the last half of the drive had been sunny and warm, but then I went back downtown to the convention center for Thursday night Artist Alley setup.

I purchased a 4-day parking garage pass, and I’m so glad I did, because it took me about three tries to find the convention center’s loading dock.  So the pass practically paid for itself that very night.  My left-hand neighbors were the team behind Pop Culture Anime, who were nice enough to watch my table for me over the weekend during the times I had to be off and about at panels and such!

My neighbors to the right were People @ A Table, a couple who were selling these very neat little shotglasses and drinking glasses that were decorated with colorful decals.  I fell in love with their Sailor Moon shotglass.  They don’t have a website yet, but I wish them the best of luck since they have a pretty cool product.

People @ a Table Sailor Moon Shotglass

Since I’d been up for about 20 hours, I went back to my motel and totally conked out while I watched the Food Network.  ^_^

Friday morning, I got to the con bright and early.  And it was a pretty good day!  I dashed around a lot getting another Cartoon Library & Muiseum t-shirt signed by as many webcomics as I could find, since that was my item to be auctioned off at the Webcomic Auction the next day.  I also had a panel with Pete Tarkulich of Bardsworth called Webcomic Creation 101, which I think went really well!  In the audience was a guy who worked in internet marketing, so it was interesting hearing the things he had to add here and there.  Also in the audience was Robert Howard, of Tangents, the webcomic review blog.

There was also an awesome girl cosplaying as Neirenn, a character from the fantasy webcomic Inverloch! I realized who she was dressed as in mid-sentence.  ^_^;

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After the panel, I got checked in to the hotel.  I roomed with Rosscott and his brother, who were a pleasure to meet and hang out with the couple times that I got the chance over the weekend.  There were two other girls who were supposed to room with us never showed up, or called me, or anything, which still kinda pisses me off.  They contacted me through the ConnectiCon forums all gung-ho, and I’d sent them my cell number earlier in the week, so what the hell?  Very lame.

Friday night, I joined lots of the webcomics folks at the City Steam brewery for dinner and drinks.  I’m not much of a beer drinker, but I can generally get into specialty beers that have different flavors than the typical beers that I find at parties.  In other words, beers that don’t taste like butt.

I first tried the Naughty Nurse, since it was their most popular beer, and since my mom is a nurse and probably would have ordered it herself.  ^_^  It was quite tasty.  The second beer I tried was the Pugnacious Porter, which had lots of fruity and chocolatey flavors.  I had Pete finish mine since it was a bit rich for me, but it was quite good nonetheless.  For dinner, I had their Hickory Burger, which was a huge burger topped with BBQ sauce, cheese, and fried onion rings.  SO GREAT.  After dinner, I joined Pete and Co. back in their hotel room to watch some Kids in the Hall.

Saturday, I rose a little later than the day before, but I think it’s good that I got the sleep.  My main event was the Webcomics Auction, where my autographed t-shirt sold for $55!  This was NOT the t-shirt I’ve had since last year, since I like that one too much to part with it.  It was another Cartoon Library t-shirt that I got before I stopped working there that I collected for this very purpose.  It was a very surreal feeling, watching the Webcomics Auction from the other side of the stage, since I’ve been an audience member for the last two years.  And while a bit intimidating, it was very cool to share the stage with so many webcomic people I admire and respect!

Continuing the bitter rivalry between Brian Wilson and Chris Malone once again, Chris Malone stole Brian’s website, and Brian stole Chris’ guinea pig.  Both very impressive feats!

ConnectiCon 2009 7

I passed the rest of Saturday at my table, doing Dollar Drawings and all the other arty things I do at my table.  For the first time, I actually had freebies to give away.  I made temporary tattoos of Garanos’ tattoo using special inkjet printer paper that I got at Michael’s.  They were a big hit!  As the weekend went on and new people would stop by, a few of them saw the tattoos on the table and said, “Oh, so THIS is where those people got the tattoos!”  So I guess they were getting noticed, which is awesome!  This guy, the internet marketer who was present at the webcomic panel on Friday, went the distance and actually put it on his forehead!  Rock on, dude.

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Saturday night was the Artist Alley networking party, put on my my neighbors, Pop Culture Anime.  I contributed some drinks and free buttons to the party, which was quite fun.  There was lots of drawing and drinking and pizza, and I must’ve had a good time, since my recollections of the evening are a tad fuzzy.  ^_^;;  After that, I once again joined Pete and his crew in watching some Kids in the Hall.

I know I was up way too late Saturday, because I didn’t get to my table again until noon on Sunday.  I may have also given myself some mild food poisoning from eating cream cheese that I’d accidentally left out for several hours the day before, because I was rather stomachachey all day.  ^_^;;  I felt fine the next day, so I’m figuring the cream cheese did indeed go a little bad.

Surprisingly, the foot traffic on Sunday was really high, and I’m really impressed at my Sunday sales.  The Artist Alley closed up at around 3:30 or 4:00, so I got my stuff packed up and stowed away in my car soon after.  I heard about the con afterparty, which was open to webcomics people, so I got directions to the place and headed out that way at around 5:30.  It was at a bowling alley in Newington (I think?) called Bowl-A-Rama, but when I poked my head in, I didn’t see anybody familiar, and it occurred to me that I didn’t know when the party started.

So I killed some time at a McDonald’s down the road, where I used their  free wireless to check in with Chris and get directions to my relatives’ house in Baltimore, where I’d be spending the night, since I didn’t feel up to driving all the way back to Ohio that night.  My parents were actually on vacation there at the same time, so it all worked out.  ^_^

Back at the bowling alley, the party had already gotten started when I got back, and there was a catered spread of amazing food and everything.  It was awesome.  I sat down with Ross, Obsidian, Blondie and Kevin, Ben, Darren, and a few others whose names escape me at the moment.  And then I got invited back to Kevin and Blondie’s place for Rock Band!  Despite being all tired and such, I’m glad I stuck around, even if it did mean I wouldn’t get to Baltimore until the wee hours.

And that’s how I did ConnectiCon.  Here’s the rest of the list of shout-outs!

The Prime of Ambition
The Paul Reveres
Knit Princess
Evil You Know
White Rose
Kitsune Kiki
Ultimate Nonsense
PM Creations

(If we met and I forgot to add you to this list, shoot me an email and I’ll fix it!  ^_^)