We arrived in Toronto a day early with some of the other guests, and so it was that Chris Golden, Kevin J. Anderson, Rebecca Moesta, Sandra and I all found ourselves at loose ends at dinner time... and it was Kevin's birthday.
We piled into a taxi van and ate out, celebrating with Kevin, and talking about business stuff. It was very, very educational for me. I contributed anytime we touched on teh intartubes, but Kevin, Chris, and Rebecca don't pronounce it that way. We ate at The Keg, and I had the very delicious prime rib. It's good to be a carnivore.
Back at the hotel we got to meet the rest of the ConCom, and Sandra and I had a great conversation with Liana K. of the "Ed and Red's Night Party" show. It's not every day you meet a charismatic, buxom redhead who confesses to collecting comics, and creating her own roleplaying game (so that all of her friends favorite characters could all come together under one roof.) Sorry guys, she's taken.
It was a reminder of how lucky I am to have Sandra, who is similarly geeky, every bit as beautiful, and (most importantly) sticking with me through the best and the worst of the last fifteen years.
Anyway, I bounced the idea for the "Filler Strip" April Fools' gag off of Liana, and she thought it was a fantastic idea. Sandra and I were both a little trepidatious, but it turned out Liana was right. She and I and the late-night remains of the ConCom talked and talked until about 2am, discussing the things we'd cover on our joint panels, and basically revelling in group nerd-dom.
Friday was a rest day. Sandra and I both slept in a bit, and then had breakfast with my friend Jim Zubkavich ("Zub" if you collect Udon comics like Street Fighter or Exalted). We made arrangements to do dinner with Jim just before opening ceremonies.
Fast-forward through a couple of naps, some badge-collecting and schedule-memorizing, you know, the basic "just before the convention starts" drill...
The evening with Jim was awesome. He drove us to downtown Toronto, and we got to see the very webcomic-friendly comics store called The Beguiling. They have Schlock books in stock, and I've defaced the backs of them. Be warned, however... there are only two of each!
After buying some swag there at The Beguiling, we went for sushi a few blocks up the road. Mmmm... sushi pizza! Good stuff. Jim's girlfriend Stacy joined us, and she and Sandra hit it off right away. More hardcore nerd-fu among the ladies... it became something of a recurring theme for the weekend.
We got back in plenty of time for the Opening Ceremonies, at which I got to meet Yvonne Gilbert and Danny Nanos. Yvonne was the Artist Guest of Honor (I was the Sequential Artist GoH), and had never been to an event like this before. I tried to explain fandom to her, but I'm not sure my explanation took. I worry that she may have spent much of the weekend worrying about whether any of these people were sane.