Geek Confessional: I’ve only been to one comic book convention

So this is kind of a minor thing, I suppose, but it’s something that’s bugged me. I’ve only ever been to one comic book convention.

That may seem like an odd thing to confess. I suppose it’s been on my mind lately because a bunch of my friends have gone to various cons around the country. I’ve been seeing pictures on social media for the past couple of weeks and it’s made me a bit wistful. While I could share lots of them, there’s one that really got me:


That’s author extraordinaire Mary Weber on a panel with the Brandon Sanderson at Dragon Con. I’m extremely jealous of that last one, specifically since being on a panel with Sanderson is one of the top things on my author bucket list right now.

Why is this a big deal? Well, call it geeky jealousy. My brother-in-law Joel goes to several every year, including the big one out in San Diego. He’s been in Hall H. He’s seen all the big name panels. Thankfully, he’s willing to share. Every year, he brings back swag and other fun stuff. He’ll even take special orders for me if I really want something. So that’s cool and all, but I’ve always wanted to see the hype and the hustle for myself.

It hasn’t worked out yet, although not for lack of trying. One year, Joel got me in on their ticket-buying group in the hopes that I would be able to eventually go. Someday, maybe, I’ll make it to San Diego. In the meantime, though, I was able to go to the next best thing.

About two years ago, a friend of a friend pulled some strings and got fellow author and good friend Jill Williamson and I invited to the Salt Lake Comic Con. We got a little booth space and were able to sign up to do some panels. Both of us got the chance to sneak out onto the floor every now and then. But mostly, we stayed in our booth and tried to convince people to at least check out our books.

It was my brother-in-law Chris figured out the key to getting people’s attention. He targeted the cosplayers. We would shout the name of their character and tell them that they needed this free ebook we were giving out (Kynetic: On Target, in case you were curious). I don’t quite remember how many we gave away, but it was dozens.

I didn’t get to go to any panels with really big names. But that was fine, because part of what I really enjoyed was seeing all of the cosplayers. They were awesome.

But most awesome of all was Chris. He decided to cosplay as Failstate.

Failstate noogies John

When he didn’t need to man the booth, he went around and posed with a bunch of the other cosplayers. I have dozens of great photos of him with various big name heroes and heroines, all as the superhero I created. But by far, the best picture he came home with was this one:

Failstate and Stan Lee

Chris paid for a private photo with Stan Lee. I figured that he would want to, you know, actually be visible in it as himself. But instead, he went in as my character. Which is kind of awesome.

So will I ever make it back to a con? I hope so. I know that there are a few in the Kansas City area, and that’s now become my stomping grounds. But if I make it, I’ll be there as myself. I’m not that great at cosplay.

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