Let's lead off with a picture, shall we? As I mentioned in an earlier post, I provided all of the Denvention newsletter comics. They're all in this post after the "Read the rest of this entry" link... I had a great time creating these. I think my favorite was probably the most self-serving of the bunch... The newsletter editor wasn't a Schlock reader, so he probably had no idea that I was parading my own characters across the comic. Most of the convention attendees were similarly oblivious, which made it even funnier to me. The fact that this exact scene has played out in real life (or at least in my imagined version of real life) is irrelevant. I ran into one of my LaserMotive friends, Jordin Kare (who is also something of a luminary in the SF and filking community, too) at the show. LaserMotive is one team of guys working on space elevator technology. I was thus very pleased to have sent this piece in without knowing Jordin would be there... Oh, and for the record, "surprising-yet-inevitable" is a term that we've bandied about over at Writing Excuses as a way to talk about perfect plot twists. Yes, this punchline is actually literarily significant. This next one aired on the afternoon before the Masquerade. I was worried when I sent it in. I'm 100% sure this joke has been told before in other ways, or perhaps even exactly this way, but nobody called me on it. It's such an obvious gag, though. The only twist here is that I loosely modeled the host after the host from this year's Comic-Con Masquerade: the inimitable Phil Foglio. Although I suppose if he really were inimitable I wouldn't have been able to imitate him in this picture, would I? Here's the comic that ran in the installment before the Hugo ceremonies... Ah, the elder, world-ending god Cthulhu... always good for a laugh. The last of the comics that were purely my own was inspired by a mixture of mad science and good writing: I carefully researched "avoidance conditioning" to make sure I was using the correct term. Of course whether or not it's actually the correct term depends on how that mallet gets used. Feel free to discuss amongst yourselves. Finally... I provided a comic with no caption, and invited people to provide their own and enter them in a contest for free merchandise. Sadly, the newsletter did not correctly print the location for dropping off submissions, so I only got about half a dozen. Of those, most took the tack that the character on the left is a mad scientist or a space-captain, and the character on the right is his wife. The winner, Jeanette Kalb, took it in a different (and much funnier) direction: This version is computer-lettered, but the one that aired was not. Since I didn't have my Photoshopping machine with me, I had to hand-letter on the original artwork. I then photographed that with my cell phone, and sent the image to David Willis, who cleaned it up for printing (in about three minutes... wow, that was quick.) He then sent it on to the newsletter editors for publication. We couldn't have pulled off the contest without David's help. Jeanette walked away with what I call the "Schlock Mercenary Fangirl Package:" she got copies of all the books she didn't already have, I sketched in them, and she also got a shirt. The runners-up each got $25 worth of merchandise (though one of them still needs to collect... Mister Gardiner, you need to check your email...) Now then... if you're reading this, and you run a science-fiction convention, you might be thinking these comics (or new comics in this vein) would play well at your event. If I'm your Artist Guest of Honor, I can definitely pull that off. If you want reprint rights, email me, and we can talk about it.