CONduit XVII: Day Two

Sandra came along with me on Saturday, and the moment we arrived we hijacked a table with the help of Kevin and Karen from Abuquerque. Maybe it was the location, and maybe it was the resulting company, but the day was much more entertaining. I don't necessarily need to do business to be entertained (though there was enough business that we've broken even for the whole show, assuming I don't order the lobster on Day Three). I just need to talk to people. Our area was shared, invaded, and cohabited in turns during the day by Brandon Sanderson, James Dashner, Julie Wright, Bob Defendi, Dan Willis, Kevin Wasden, and crowds of fans and good friends like RJ Price and Janci Patterson. Brachiosaur Eating BugsWith an appropriate public space secured, I was prepared to move on to panels. Drawing Dinosaurs was fun, if sparsely attended, what with it being 10:00am on a Saturday morning. At left you can see one of my contributions, in which I demonstrate that water-waders are easy to draw since you can hide their legs. Also, it is a little known fact that they accidentally ate pterodactyls from time to time. Below you can see the picture inspired by our discussion of "what happens when dinosaurs fall down." Naturally we had to establish WHY they fall down. Also, in our discussion of the mystery of dinosaur skin-coloring... did they have tatoos? Why? T-Rex and a Banana PeelHoward Power-Naps with Goggles on Much of my day was spent at the table selling stuff. At one point, however, I put on my Girl Genius goggles and took a nap. They're nice, even if they do make me look a little bit too much like the Vin-Dieselesque Grease Elf on my t-shirt. They're dark enough that I could stare right at the overhead lights and doze off. The nap was short, but critical. I've been sick, and needed to power up a bit for my reading. Yes, I read some of my comics (as well as a special, super-secret, seventh-anniversary project) to a small, intimate room of fans and new friends. It went quite well, though I'm not sure I'll do it again, because it's weird trying to convey the humor in my strip without using the pictures. The beautiful (and married, and expecting) Michelle Z. stopped by and made my day. She'd been in line for a commissioned caricature two years ago, but I ran out of time. She came back this year to get it. She looked great in her costume, and I assured her that four months of pregnancy might be hard to hide from a camera, but pencil and pen would easily afford her some pre-conception time-travel. My only regret? I forgot to photograph the picture. We were both very pleased with how it came out. Evening arrived, and most of the table-jackers decided that food was in order. Hungry, in a hurry, and unable to make wise decisions, several of us ambled a few blocks west to Gateway Plaza (an outdoor shopping mall) and ate at the food court. The company included L.E. Modesitt, Julie Wright, James Dashner, Jim Van Pelt, Eric James Stone, and Sandra. Food was provided by Edo, Panda Express, Subway, and Taco Time. Ah, variety. On the walk back we stopped for something a little tastier -- ice cream at the Ben & Jerry's store. As we were walking back to the hotel the Utah Jazz game ended. The arena is directly between the hotel and the Gateway plaza, so suddenly we were part of a big crowd of enthusiastic sports fans. It had the potential to be nerd hell, but we were careful not to say anything too obviously alienating, like "you mean a jazz concert?" or "were there any home runs?" We made it to the hotel intact, and camped in the lobby where we could talk for another hour or so before driving home. We missed the traffic crush, and with Sandra in the car we were able to enjoy the commuter lane. Ah, swift travel, broad highways, and a beautiful evening.