Monday, February 16, 2015

Radcon Wrapup

Oh dear, where do I begin when it comes to Radcon? I mean... it's kind of hard to sum up a con, as anyone who has ever been to an SF/F con knows.

So Friday, we get there and set up our dealer's room to sell books and crafts and such. Those people there have good taste, too. I all but sold out of my copies of The Park while I was there. And the rest of the authors did fairly well. We even managed to drag in Frog and Esther Jones, two of my favorite people who I talk about a lot, if you haven't noticed. So that was fun. Then, from that moment on, I was running full tilt almost the entire con. Got to moderate my first panel, gabbing about multiple pen names, and then sat on a panel on tropes in fiction with the totally awesome Jim C. Hines and Keffy Kehrli. And then, of course, I got all made up to do The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Probably the biggest highlight of that con was when I got one of my favorite people (and a woman who intimidated me for a long time... and kind of still does) up on stage with me: Alma Alexander, the Duchess of Fantasy.

Saturday wasn't much calmer, talking inclusive fannish communities and gender/sexuality. And I ended Sunday with a cryptozoology panel with Sam Knight and a couple of artists who, though they claimed to know nothing about cryptozoology, I found out later wrote a whole children's book on it... which I cannot find a for sure copy of, right now, but it's called The ABCs of Cryptids, Meg James and L. James.

All in all, this is one of the most peaceful cons I've ever been to. Which was surprising, because it was one of the biggest, if not the biggest Radcon to date. They ran out of supplies Saturday night on some things, we had so many attendees. But there was a very chill vibe. I might be able to attribute that to the fact that I've done this several times, now, but it felt like it ran deeper than that. It felt like things have finally settled and, after a lot of hardship, the con has finally found its center again. And I like that, not just because it sounds like new-age bullshit.

And now, I really do have to get back to work on the next book. Working on the sequel to The Park, so that should be out this half of the year, hopefully.

Voss

Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Conning I Shall Go... Again

It's that time of year again. Normal people are buying chocolates and roses and pretty cards.

Which means I'm packing up books and clothes and makeup and all sorts of other things I'm going to need for Radcon 6C. Yes, I do need the makeup. Why?

Because I'm bringing Rocky to Radcon this year.


Yep. That Rocky.

And on top of all that, the ConCom's got me running ragged this year... mostly because I kind of asked them to. And I don't have much to complain about, I suppose. Frog Jones has, if I counted correctly, 14 panels to attend to this weekend. He also brings this on himself... but it puts my six in perspective.

So Friday, I'll be chatting it up with folks on what it's like to write under multiple pen names (courtesy of The Other Me), then later be going over one of my favorites: tropes. That panel's a bit terrifying, because they stuck me on it with the writer guest of honor, Jim C. Hines. Yeah. But I'll manage. And then, of course, Rocky that night, which promises to be amazing.

Then comes Saturday. Myself and some others go over tips for including more minority, QUILTBAG+, and female fans into the still largely homogeneous geek community. Should be entertaining, at least. Then that night, I'm back for a talk on gender and sexuality. I guess Saturday is my social justice day this con.

And of course, Sunday is a nice, light workload. A single panel, talking about cryptozoology. Which I love, if you didn't know. Hopefully a good end to what looks like it might be a really good con.

And just like last year, me and mine will be in a dealer's room, trying to schlep our word-monkey output to the masses. If you're at the con, bychance, stop on by and take a look at the Moses Lake Muses shop.

And now, I fear I must away... because I still have a lot of crap to pack up, and some serious wordsmithing to get to so this week isn't a total bust. Tata, for now, my lovelies,

Voss

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Webcomic Roundup: Top 3

I've been very productive this week. Wrote up a short story for Swords v. Cthulhu, did a couple or three rounds of edits on Silverfall for The Other Me (18+, please!), and got more stuff ready for Radcon 6C.

I also, you know, couldn't walk for a couple days, but that's not part of me being productive.

Now, along with my productivity came... well, let's call it a shock. Shock seems good. See, I've written a lot of words... but I've also actively slacked off for quite some time, too. And I have one person to thank/blame for it.

Frances.

Pauli.

See, she got me into Homestuck.



Now, I tried to read Homestuck about, oh, a year ago. My nieces were (still are) slightly obsessed, and I figured what the hell? Problem was, it made my eyes bleed. It was so slow and boring and had absolutely nothing to do with trolls, which was part of why I gave it a shot. I had that issue with Harry Potter, too. I was promised phoenixes and shit, and instead I got some old cat lady.

But, just like with Harry Potter, I've become a fan. Although I'm still a much bigger Potterhead than I probably ever will be a Homestucker. But Homestuck got me thinking, too. And not about trolls. About webcomics. I read anywhere from 5-10 pages/panels of a webcomic in an average week, and lately it's been more as I try to catch up with Homestuck. I really do love them. So I thought I'd gather up my top 4 webcomics to share, in the hopes that you, too, will grow to love them.

Note that this list includes those webcomics with long-running stories. So sorry, no XCKDCyanide and Happiness, or The Unspeakable Vault of Doom.

3: Homestuck
See all that stuff I talked about above.

Now, why do I love it? The story is incredibly complex and far-reaching. Above anything else, that's the real reason I'm sticking with it, even through the parts that drive me nuts, like Andrew Hussie's meaningless self-insertions.

2: Earthsong Saga




Earthsong is an interesting one. I got turned onto it by SJ Tucker, who is far and away my favorite singer. I know, it's weird to take a suggestion for a webcomic from a singer. Listen to her music and it might make a little more sense.

Anyway, I started in. And it was actually quite fascinating. I've been with it for more than a year, now. It's brilliant worldbuilding, and Crystal Yates does a pretty good job on the art, too. The story is also fairly solid.

Where Earthsong falls down? The dialogue can be a little questionable, at times, but that's forgivable enough. But the schedule is brain-rakingly slow. Once a week. Some comics can do that. But Earthsong is often so reliant on what happened on the last page, or God forbid, two pages ago, I find myself having to go backwards and recap.

But even that's not a big deal. It's well-worth the read and, if you find that you jut can't stand the schedule, we're in the last chapter now. So wait and read it all in one go.

1: Gunnerkrigg Court
For once, the order of my list actually mattered! Woo! Gunnerkrigg Court is, in my opinion, the best webcomic out there.


(Sorry. I had to go with a Coyote picture for this one.)

A combination of fantasy and science-fiction, with just the slightest dash of 'what the actual fuck' mixed in for good measure. Like with the old 90's kid's show, Gargoyles, everything is up for grabs in Gunnerkrigg. Reynard the Fox and Isegrim. Old Man Coyote (obviously). World War II. Robots. Reality-warping mind powers. Alchemy. I could go on for paragraphs, here, but there's so much more to talk about.

The art has definitely evolved over the past 10 years, although it took me an embarrassingly long time to notice. However, I would never say that the art was bad at any point in the run of the comic. And today? Breathtaking.

Now, it's not complete, and I don't know when or even if Tom Siddell plans to end it. And, at almost 1500 pages to date, it's a bit of work to get caught up. But if ever reading something long and intense has been worth it, it's Gunnerkrigg Court. I can't sing the praises highly enough.

So seriously, go start it. You'll thank me.

What are your favorite web comics? Let me know so I can procrastinate even harder next week.

Voss