I spent the weekend signing books at table 823 at Granite Con. My table was over by the Delorian from Back to the Future III, which was a huge draw and brought over nearly everyone who attended. My perspective on the con is limited by the fact that I didn’t wander much, as I wanted to be available to anyone who stopped by my table. Books don’t sign themselves (well, maybe if you don’t personalize them …), so if I’m not there no one gets their books.
I got to sit and watch the con-goers go by. Many of them stopped to check out my table, but a lot were just on their way to see the Delorian (or the restrooms, which were also right in the area). The ones who stopped were enthusiastic, and I’m sure I’ve made a bunch of new fans – one even brought a few other people over to my table to recommend Firehurler. I got a lot of practice with my elevator pitch, explaining the premise to people. Of course, this was made easier by having a crowd who “gets it”. Fans of Marvel, Dr. Who, Star Wars, etc. don’t really have trouble relating to a story with a tagline:
One world of magic. One world of reason. Two lives intertwined in connection mistaken for a dream.
I’ve been to other venues that aren’t comic or speculative fiction focused, and in a more general-knowledge crowd I get a lot of weird looks. GraniteCon and other similar events are where the people who are used to getting weird looks get together to redefine the norm for a weekend.
Of course, there were a lot of people who were there for the experience and the atmosphere of the con. Most of those were either there to cosplay or to take pictures of the people who were. The costumes were great! I don’t know how far many of the cosplayers traveled from, but I’d like to think that it was my fellow New Englanders representing. There were the usual supermen, batmen, and wonder women, but there were a number of other eye-grabbing costumes out there. There were a couple convincing Captain Jack Sparrows, a few Deadpools, a great ensemble cast of Teen Titans, and a solid showing by the 501st Legion.
The more elaborate the costume, of course, the less likely someone was going to be stopping to talk about books. I’m not sure where the cutoff point is, but by the time you’re wearing a full mask or carrying multiple weapons in hand, you’re there as a wandering photo-op, as much a part of what people go to the con for as the exhibitors and panels, if not more.
Of course, there were other attractions there as well. The Ghostbusters had a strong presence, as well as the New England Brethren of Pirates. There was a huge Jabba the Hutt, signings by a number of voice actors, an a row of vintage arcade games sponsored by the American Classic Arcade Museum (including the faux-vintage Fixit Felix).
Also, I must admit to some obliviousness. There were some last-minute table rearrangements at the show. I was on an end, and the end of the row was extended to add another table just as Saturday was getting underway. The extra table was just to my right, and the artist who sat down had a bare table with a few prints and a set of markers. He still drew a great crowd, so I finally puzzled out that he was a “known” artist, not one of the aspiring or independent artists who predominated. It turns out it was Ethan Van Sciver, who has been drawing Green Lantern of late. I saw quite a few people stop by and totally fanboy (or fangirl) out on him, and he was totally cool about it. I can only hope I need to develop that skill someday.
Before I knew it, it was the end of the day Sunday. GraniteCon was over, and it was a great experience.
Thanks to everyone who stopped by, and everyone who picked up copies of Firehurler or the whole Twinborn Trilogy (including pre-ordering Sourcethief, a GraniteCon exclusive). Look forward to seeing everyone there again next year!