Denver Comic Con

After coming home from Comicpalooza in Houston, I started writing a new novel last week, THE DRAGON BUSINESS (more details in a forthcoming blog), managed to get the prologue and three chapters written—then it was back to packing up numerous boxes of books, suitcases, posters, promo cards, loaded the car, and then Rebecca and I drove off to Denver for our first Denver Comic Con.

Wow!  The last time I was in the Denver Convention Center was for the World SF Convention in 2008 (about 5000 attendees), so Denver Comic Con was a pleasant, and overwhelming, surprise with about 60,000 attendees.  We arrived Friday before noon with our car full of books, checked in to the hotel, then made our way over to the convention center loading dock, where we were ably assisted by Amber Peter, Leigh Harkin, and Peter J. Wacks (who will henceforth be called Backup Evil Genius, or some other similar title to be determined). Peter pulled off most of the details of our appearance.  We had a marvelous end-cap table, with extra room in the middle…and barely enough time to set everything up before the hall doors opened and the mobs came in.  We were delighted to have our table immediately adjacent to the renowned Mike Baron.

Steven L. Sears, co-executive producer of Xena: Warrior Princess, and (more importantly) my coauthor on STALAG-X, our new graphic novel from Gestalt Comics, flew in from LA to be a guest at the con.  Steve and I spent a lot of time at the table, and we also did a major launch of STALAG-X issue 1 at DCC.  Every attendee got the code to download a free issue #1, and Steve and I autographed collectible cards for the launch. We gave a panel debuting some of the artwork and a new video trailer put together for the launch (we’ll post it in the next few days).

Steven L. Sears and Rebecca Moesta at our table before the doors opened.

The crowds were incredible. DCC was sold out all three days, the fire marshall turned many fans away, people waited for hours to get inside. William Shatner was a surprise last-minute guest (I spent more time chatting with Wil Wheaton and Peter Mayhew). I got to hang out for a while with local author friends Peter J. Wacks, Guy Anthony deMarco, David Boop, and James Sams (all Superstars Writing Seminar alumni!), and other-side-of-the-world friend Ben Templesmith (artist-creator on 30 Days of Night).  I had four panels, Rebecca had two, but we spent most of the time at our table—which was a whirlwind. Our sales were so overwhelming on Friday afternoon alone that I got up at 6:30 Saturday morning to drive all the way back home (a 2-hr roundtrip) to load up the car with more books.  Our Clockwork Angels, Terra Incognita, and Dan Shamble books were almost gone!

The crowds were so dense on Saturday that even rest room breaks were nearly impossible.  Fortunately, when I was clogged in the crowds trying to make my way to answer a call of nature, I happened to be stalled next to the booth for the Mountain Garrison of the 501st Legion. They ably assisted me by sending out Darth Vader and a stormtrooper to clear a path through the crowds: Much appreciated!

The mobs at the table! (photo by Steven L. Sears.)

Amber Peter helps draw attention to STALAG-X

We were ably assisted by our crew of Leigh, Liz, Zoe, Amy, Jessyca, and Gordon.  I also met many fans I knew only through email or social media.  One big surprise was to meet Alec Pannebaker, who had won the highest bid in a charity auction, in which I agreed to name a character in The Dark Between the Stars after the winner.  Alec had won last fall, and I’d spent months with his name in my story…so much that I even forgot, so I was startled to meet the “real” version of one of my characters.

with the “real” Alex Pannebaker from The Dark Between the Stars

And I also met artist Jeff Herndon, who had painted all of the international covers for the Dan Shamble, Zombie PI adventures, Death Warmed Over, Stakeout at the Vampire Circus, Unnatural Acts, Road Kill, and Hair Raising—and Todd Jones, the cover model who portrayed Dan Shamble.

with Todd Jones (cover model for Dan Shamble, Zombie PI—see below) and Jeff Herndon, cover artist.

Most of our books were gone by the time the show closed; I was exhausted, “peopled out” and ready to go home.  Rebecca and I drove away from the Denver Convention Center and headed south as dark fell on Sunday night.  Back home for less than two weeks before my next appearance, at the Campbell Conference in Lawrence, Kansas.

Not too many days to get writing done…and THE DRAGON BUSINESS is due on July 1.