Fandomfest Post-Mortem

Jason Sizemore and Bruce Campbell

As this picture shows, our chins are no more than two feet apart from each other.

Here is a convention report in which not much happens. Except for the part where I drank half a gallon of zombies and nearly rubbed chins with Bruce Campbell.

Hitting the “Let’s Live Our Past Nightmares” button, let us first remember Fandomfest 2011.

Hot. No A/C. The type of heat and desolation that inspired Frank Herbert’s Dune.

I had no intention of ever going back to Fandomfest. I even fired off an angry email to the convention organizers sharing this intention. I used lots of sweaty swear words. I didn’t expect them to want me back.

But then there is this really nice guy named Stephen Zimmer, and he’s a friend and he worked his ass off to put together a solid literary track… and instead of Hotel Hell, the convention was being held in the legendary Galt House Hotel (no, it has nothing to do with John Galt, objectivism, Ayn Rand, or Atlas Shrugged).

Zimmer + Galt House = Why the Hell Not?

Friday was a fiasco from start to finish. One of the family vehicles decided to have an A/C malfunction, so on my day off I had to get my lazy ass up at 6 a.m. to take the van to the repair shop. I spent the whole morning packing about 200 pounds of books into my car. Running errands. Rushing to grab a loaner from the repair shop. Having a 70 minute drive to Louisville take 3 hours due to an accident and road work. Taking an hour to get registered. Waiting another hour while Zimmer found me a vendor table (the convention organizers forgot to assign me one). Waiting another 30 minutes while Zimmer found me another vendor table after Larry Elmore staked a claim to the first table for a friend named Tim (Who showed up for all of two hours on Saturday while Mr. Elmore used the table as additional display space. I don’t suspect any foul play on Larry’s part, just that a table in a high traffic spot was wasted on some guy who barely bothered to show up). Toted all the books and merchandise in three trips from the car across an expanse of parking garage, up an elevator, across a bridge, down an elevator, through the mass of people in line for registration, to the table.

By Friday, 6 p.m, I was exhausted and near death.

Dinner was pleasant, but taken at almost 10 p.m.

Saturday was much nicer. I had lunch with Jerry Gordon and Maurice Broaddus. I got to have a picture taken with Bruce Campbell. I got a hug from the hottest red head in Lexington (Heather Price). Scary clowns were running around putting a fright in Rhonda Wilson. Went to the naked painted ladies show. Drank ten zombies at John Horner Jacob’s book release party. Good times.

Sunday was pleasant, if a bit anti-climatic.

Will I go back to Fandomfest?

Sure, why not? it was pretty fun. Just not as a vendor.

And because I’m giver, here are a few free tips for the Fandomfest organizers.

1) It is a bad idea to create a bottleneck by placing the registration window right in the way of walking traffic.

2) It is a bad idea to not use signs.

3) It is a good idea to promote all tracks. This includes even the literary track.

4) Make sure all your vendors have been assigned a table.

5) Provide the vendors an area to unload their vehicles.

6) Teach your security not to be such assholes.

It’s all common sense stuff.  Everybody wants a great conventions. And you’re welcome.

Now I must go and write Bruce Campbell another letter…

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