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Post-Convention Photo-Sick Blues

Goldens, Wizard World Chicago 2013

The next time my wife and I decide to attend major geek conventions two weekends in a row, someone needs to remind me to sleep twice as much first.

Today at the comic shop, one of the owners confirmed they and the other customers have been suffering from “GenCon hangover week”. We don’t drink, but the effects are similar. We’ve been wiped out the last few days, soldiering on in our jobs, ignoring the lingering muscle strains, and lamenting that we’re no longer surrounded by those who Get It. That last part’s always the hardest to handle.

* * * * *

For those who discovered Midlife Crisis Crossover within the past two weeks and haven’t already abandoned ship: welcome! Fair warning up front: we don’t attend cons every weekend.

The MCC “About” page will give you the in-continuity story behind the title, which was painstakingly crafted through hours of practicing the Wheel of Fortune “Before and After” method. I realize part of the title may only make sense to older comic book readers. Once it popped in my head, I latched on to it because it so succinctly embodied the most elusive quality I sought in a blog title: it was guaranteed never to be taken by anyone else.

My topicality mode tends toward “random”, albeit with the geek slant that’s pervaded my life since early childhood, with occasional tinges of my spiritual side between the lines whenever it feels on-topic rather than gratuitous. To a certain extent it means I’ll never belong to some of the best inner circles. I enjoy finding ways to thrive regardless.

* * * * *

Twelve of the last fifteen MCC entries were photo collections. MCC isn’t meant to be entirely about photos, but our last two months have been much more action-packed than normal. I prefer this bountiful photo surplus to the anti-eventful winter ennui, but I’m now a bit burnt out on sorting and editing and uploading and organizing and captioning and structuring and such.

Tonight, I relax. The “2013 Road Trip” series will resume soon, another day. I’ve also had a movie writeup sitting on deck for a few weeks now, but it’s still stuck partway in my head, like a rebar that I’d love to extract if only I could be sure the result wouldn’t be too unsightly.

(My, how I’ve missed writing consecutive paragraphs without photos between them.)

* * * * *

The composite image heading this entry was a Wizard World Chicago souvenir, courtesy of a large corporation that drove a large truck onto the show floor to hawk products that I’ll never touch with a ten-foot polearm. If nothing else, the rigmarole we underwent to earn this freebie killed a few extra minutes while we were waiting for the autograph guests to show up and assume their stations. As many couples know, it’s not easy to get photos of the two of you together if no one else is with you. If one of you is madly in love and seriously into scrapbooking, this can be a source of much frustration. On that count alone, we appreciated the large corporate gesture.

(My wife has attempted to solve this issue on her own by recently developing a habit for what the kids these days call “selfies”. I tend to let those remain on file as unposted exclusives in our personal stash because of dumb Cool-Kids reasons. They’re safe for sharing with relatives on Facebook, so that’s useful.)

* * * * *

When I said “random” up there, more often than not “random” springs forth in the form of lists. Not numbered lists, with arbitrary rankings for the sake of argumentative click-bait. Just…lists. Some collections and series don’t require an arbitrary pecking order. Sometimes it’s nice for groups of things to hang out together without fretting over who has the privilege of standing in front of whom.

The listing habit dates back to my childhood. I had my entire comic book collection listed in a notebook, later transferred to an Excel sheet as soon as those were invented and became affordable. For a short time I recorded story titles in another place, long since lost. I tracked all the writers and artists of said comics on 3×5 index cards kept in shoeboxes. I discontinued the practice in 1992 shortly after Image Comics was founded, but they’re still out in the garage. Because you never know when they might save the day. Somehow.

Longtime readers can just tell: I am made of lists.

* * * * *

I always spend more at WWC than at GenCon, but the latter wasn’t without its acquisitions. Though we’re looking at tightening our budget in light of recent family events, I had just enough fun money to pick up The Sixth Gun Vol. 2 from the Oni Press booth, a used copy of The Brak Show Vol. 1 from the Half Price Books booth, one book from Authors’ Alley, and, of course, a handful of GenCon freebies. I’ve no idea what to do with the Vanguard starter decks they gave us, though. Someone let me know when those are worth a mint on eBay.

I’m a little sad we didn’t buy any new games this year, but I have precious few opportunities for playing games with other live humans. Our relatives tend to be even busier than we are, and those whom I would label “Friend” with a meaningful capital F live far, far away from here, possibly to spite me. And there’re only so many dozens of times in a row that I can overwhelm my wife at Scrabble before our quality time turns sour.

I do have a gaming history — RPGs as well as video games, not to mention the old tabletop standards, plus a few oddball creations courtesy of past GenCons. All topic fodder for a future miniseries, I think.

* * * * *

Speaking of longtime readers: if you hate conventions with a passion and are dying to see anything else in this space, stay tuned. We’ve essentially exhausted this year’s supply of con photos, and I’m not sure how much interest there’d be in mining our pre-MCC archives from past cons. Maybe we’ll have some really cool toy commercials coming up! Or WordPress Writing Challenges! Or whatever other writing exercises come to mind.

On the other hand, my wife proposed an interesting idea for a series of convention-based entries that might make a nice weekly feature. That one’s been stalled in the pre-brainstorming stage due to free-time shortage, but we’ll see how that turns out.

* * * * *

In this year’s GenCon entries, I was tempted to name the dozens of characters that we failed at photographing during the Costume Contest, but I felt guilty at the prospect of creating too many false positives for any cosplayers searching for pics of themselves in vain. The variety of names and media was truly marvelous.

On a related note, while typing this entry I stopped for a moment to swat a fly with my GenCon notes. The unused name “Rainbow Dash” now has an ugly blood stain on it. ICK.

* * * * *

As far as I could tell, our local news outlets did an outstanding job of avoiding clichés in their GenCon reporting. One reporter even visited my local comic shop and interviewed the owners. Well done, I thought.

GenCon has been in Indianapolis for years. It’s been heartening to see locals no longer treating visitors as mind-boggling curiosities and instead rolling out the red carpet for them with intensive Hoosier hospitality in full effect. You certainly don’t lure 49,000 guests into town by giving them all brushoffs and stink-eye. Thanks for that, Indy.

* * * * *

I keep forgetting I’m long overdue for a day off from MCC, but it’s tough convincing myself to take a break when I’ve had so much gracious company this week. If I stop dancing for everyone now, the website will die!

…maybe tomorrow, then?

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