Post-MAGFest Lift

In which RVA discusses the best convention ever…

MAGFest has come and gone.  MAGFest 2020 was not, despite some beliefs online, the twentieth MAGFest, though it seems like it.  MAGFest began in 2003 (…I think?), so this was like the seventeenth or something.  Plus it was originally in September, then it moved to January.  Plus there have been other MAG-events, so the actual number is…well, it involves some algebra.

What has not changed is how amazing and wonderful of a time it was, and is.  If you haven’t been to MAGFest, start making plans to attend the next one.  The whole four-day experience is like nothing else I have ever known, and I think I’ve attended just about every type of convention there is (except a furry con). Continue reading “Post-MAGFest Lift”

Conventionless Life

In which RVA talks about life without cons…

So, Sand Diego Comic-Con just wrapped up.  Along with some of the usual staples of the convention world – Otakon, Dragon*Con, etc – I’ve been getting inundated with stories about con life and narrated events of the con-going experience.  In some ways, they make me lament the loss of conventions in my professional world.  In other ways, they make me glad that I have no conventions currently slated.

To clarify, I haven’t retired from conventions.  I’m honestly not sure what my current convention dynamic is.  I just know I have no conventions currently scheduled, I have no plans to make any major convention pushes, and I’m strangely okay with that.  Conventions are a LOT of work.  Even discarding the panels – which can take a surprising amount of time to put together – a convention weekend generally involves about a week’s worth of work in either direction after the convention.  Whether it’s arranging travel, organizing supplies, orchestrating the whole process, it may happen in bite-sized chunks but it adds up.

Conventions have never been that big of a deal for me, commercially.  I sold a fair number of books at conventions, but what conventions really did was push my name into the spotlight (such as it was).  I might move a few dozen books at a convention, but that number would be dwarfed by the online sales that would follow in the days and weeks after.  But the thing is, that movement was likewise dwarfed if I could actually get somebody to write a review on Amazon.

I stopped prioritizing conventions chiefly because of burnout, and because a convention very near & dear to my heart really did me wrong.  But what made it so easy to stop pushing to do conventions was the decreasing gains from them.  Not unlike fanzines in the 70s and 80s, conventions were once the staple for artists and authors wanting to promote themselves.  Now?  Now, I’m not entirely sure what conventions meaningfully offer to creators.

The scary thing is, though, I’m not sure what’s taken their place.

In which RVA asks some questions…

“Is that the moon, or just a light that lights this deadend street?” – Metallica, The House That Jack Built

 

I have been struggling of late to get some bearings.  I feel like a lot of us have, for many reasons.  The easiest reason is the 2016 Election.  I think many people in this country are shocked by the turn that has taken place and are surprised to learn about our neighbors what we have.  It makes sense that many of us are wondering just where to go to next, and how. Continue reading “”

Katsucon and Responsible Presence

To paraphrase a personal icon of mine: ‘To Business!

Katsucon was, summarily, amazing.  The panels were huge hits, and then some.  I was really delighted by how the panels filled up and how engaging they were.  In years past, it’s been hard to guess how a specific panel might be received but every event this weekend was pretty much standing-room only.  It was a delight and thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who came out. Continue reading “Katsucon and Responsible Presence”