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Bristol Comic Expo 2007 - Con Report - budgie's squawks
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Bristol Comic Expo 2007 - Con Report
It's less than a week until Bristol's Comic Expo and to save time - and since I'll probably be too drunk busy to post anyway - it seems sensible to post my Con report in advance. Any resemblance between this report and the one I wrote for Going Cheep two years ago is, of course, purely co-incidental....

Friday
So it's Bristol again and I'm [really looking forward to it/quite looking forward to it/obliged to go, really]. Got my gear together and [shut the empty flat/said goodbye to my loved ones/dropped off the cat at neighbours].

I got ready to leave and found that [to my surprise/inevitably/unexpectedly] I was leaving home [earlier/later/the same time] as I had anticipated leaving.

I knew how to get there because I [had been to Bristol before/spoken to the hotel/looked it up in advance] and as I hit the road, the traffic was [heavy/light/non-existent].

Although I [hit some traffic later/stopped off for a coffee/broke down], I eventually made it into Bristol, and thought it was [nice/a relief/depressing] to be back. I was staying at [a different/the same/the convention] hotel and when I drove into the car park found a space [immediately/after some time/eventually].

Checking in was [easy/a pain/interminable] and I nodded at [name dropped in the hope that it'll make me seem more important]. He nodded back, [pleased to see me/sympathising/wondering who the hell I was]. We promise to [catch up later/ignore each other/pick on the French]. So that was [nice/cool/unpleasant].

I got to the room and [had a shower/lit up a the first of many cigarettes/changed rooms immediately].

I [grabbed some sleep/went for a swim/started drinking] and all too soon, it was dinner time. I'd decided to eat [at the hotel/out/to get some food inside me before the heavy drinking] and I returned to the bar to find [a pro you've never heard of, so don't sweat it, but maybe if I mention him, I'll get a sketch off of him next year].

Arriving [a day before most people/with so many others/at a pub] gives me the opportunity to [grab some fresh air/get my bearings/drink lots]. There are [only a few/some/many] people milling around and although I realise that they're there for the comics festival, they're [professionals, chatting about work they're doing/hangers on/members of message boards].

The [launch party/seminars/drinkup] swings into gear and various comics [pros/wannabes/pundits] arrive. I see a familiar face and [want to punch it/scrounge a drink/exchange gossip]. The evening [passes speedily/drags/becomes mildly interesting] as I grab the opportunity to [talk comic books/strip/get drunk] without feeling the slightest bit embarrassed. It's a [strange/nice/usual] feeling.

Besides which, embarrassment is impossible to maintain when [three people on stilts enter the room, dressed in leather with bat-wings... /that bloody T-shirt is doing the rounds/people are sniffing dandruff through straws].

Later, I see [name drop] talking to [name drop] and [name drop] and wander over [to introduce myself/ask for an autograph/embarrass myself]. We stand around, [chatting/feeling stupid/watching everyone else] and [name drop, but this time I use his first name, so I really do know him, ok?] [tells me to go away/lets me buy him a drink/tells a story that could be an amusing anecdote if he didn't kill the last line]. He introduces me to the other [fellas/strange people/comics professionals] he was talking to... [name you've never heard of and another name you've never heard of] of [comic book company that is attending Bristol just to say 'please like me'].

Around 1:20 the hotel staff start to [shut the bar/beat up the stragglers/give up] and I head for bed...

Saturday
As I wake up, I'm [disoriented/wide awake/not alone] and it's a second before I realise [where I am/that I'm conscious/who she is]. I have a quick [shower/shave/...] when it suddenly occurs to me that I have no idea [whether the cost of the room covers breakfast/if I ordered a newspaper/who she is].

I'm wearing [the item of clothing with a logo that I think everyone recognises, but in reality no one has a clue about] deliberately so that when I get to the [publisher] table, I can see their reactions... [insert smiley icon in the hope that a cringe-worthy moment will be transformed into a hugely amusing item].

So what are my plans for today? Well, obviously [you don't give a damn/I have a panel to attend/I wish to buy enough comics to fill the grand canyon]. As always at Bristol, it's best to [get drunk early/get drunk even earlier/take a trek around the dealers' rooms]. I walk into the main dealing room. The first thing I notice is [a huge piece of artwork/the noise/the smell]. I see artwork for [current huge comics related movie] and think that I'd love that piece. Then I look at the price. It's unbelievable that it's that [cheap/expensive/price] and I [buy it/pass on it/shrug] before moving on.

The next thing I see is a desk with [current hot comic] and a man standing behind the desk with an [engaging grin/outstretched palm/elephantine nose]. I introduce myself to [creator who really wishes he was working on X-Men] and we [shake hands/ask each other who else we've seen/agree to get drunk later]. I notice the [famous publisher] table and walk over to it only to see [famous creator/a crowd/the background artist for one issue on a title that didn't make it past issue #6].

I say hello to them and although [name drop] remembers me, there's [only a faint air of recognition/contempt/joy and strewning of petals] from his companion.

The [famous publisher] crowd all look at the [item of clothing] and then studiously ignore it.

I continue around the dealing room, still hoping against hope that I'm going to find some of this week's or even this month's books on display. I'm disappointed. Not one dealer has recent books out. I'm more than disappointed; I'm staggered, but not staggered enough not to pick up a couple of [cult title that I got into six months after the cool kids had left it] trade paperbacks.

I wonder back around the room and see that [famous artist] is doing some sketches. I'd already seen some of his work in the black-and-white photocopy of [let's be honest, it doesn't matter what the title is - I got sent a preview copy and you didn't, ha ha ha ha], so ask him to do me a sketch. He's [surprised/more than happy to do so/sketching before I can finish the question].

I wander in and out of [a few panels/the bar/who the hell is she? It's beginning to bug me now] and see nothing that grabs my attention and the [morning/hour/rest of the day] passes with me saying hi to [people who have no idea who I am].

[Someone who's a legend in his own lunchtime] and I literally bump into each other as I'm saying goodbye to [name drop] and we remember that we've agreed never to discuss [controversial comic book title] with each other, since our views differ so much on it...

The awards dinner is [just starting/tonight/over] but I'm not attending. I know there's nothing more [rewarding/humiliating/excruciating] than watching [friends/enemies/both] getting awards and receiving [boos/bows/booze] but I just can't [deal with that/be bothered/stand up straight] right now.

The bar shuts around [1/2/6]-ish and once again I head for [my bed/someone else's bed/another bar] before the dawn comes.


Sunday
I wake up [early/late/again]. I look at [my watch/the television/the remains of the packet of 200 cigarettes I brought with me] and [smile/wince/try to remember who I am].

I realise that I've got two and a half minutes to get [downstairs for breakfast/dressed/sober].

There are a couple of people from last night still around downstairs and it looks like they're [barely human/still drinking/both] and I wish I felt as good as they looked.

After breakfast, I don't even bother to look at the panels I might be missing. I don't care - I'm too tired and I go upstairs for another hour's sleep.

As I'm walking to the convention proper, I see [the organiser of the convention]. We get to talk for five minutes when I realise that [he hates me/he really hates me/he hates me with a passion that can only have come from me having murdered his pet]. So that's nice..

I drop [another tab/my bag/by another couple of panels], but nothing memorable happens.

I go back to the dealer room and see some [regulars/old hands/convenient name drops] there. [Insert feeble in joke which maybe six people might get, and only then if they know in advance that I'm doing it.]

Oh looks like I've [said all I have to say/run out of time/couldn't give a damn any more, what time's Simpsons on?].

More next [time/post/week] if I can [remember what I did when I was drunk/be bothered/get the blackmail negatives back].

There, that should do it.
33 squawks in response or squawk at me
Comments
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emmav From: emmav Date: May 8th, 2007 06:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I just guffawed at some of that! ^_^
arcana_j From: arcana_j Date: May 8th, 2007 07:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Woo! The last con report I ever need to read!

Thank you, Budgie!
budgie_uk From: budgie_uk Date: May 8th, 2007 08:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
My pleasure. :)
divalea From: divalea Date: May 8th, 2007 07:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
You have saved people like me who hate doing con reports HOURS.

You've also saved Heidi MACDonald hours updating The Beat as well. (j/k)
budgie_uk From: budgie_uk Date: May 8th, 2007 08:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the plug. ;) Feel free to circulate. :)
mrtonylee From: mrtonylee Date: May 8th, 2007 10:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
I dare you to send this to the PULSE for their 'Pros and Cons' convention report...
budgie_uk From: budgie_uk Date: May 8th, 2007 10:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
PULSE already have/had it; remember, it was done originally as a GOING CHEEP two years ago...
proz From: proz Date: May 8th, 2007 10:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Excellent. Had this forwarded to me. Now I can save myself hours/days of work and any unnecessary phone posts filling up my friends list because now I just fill out a simple to use template.
budgie_uk From: budgie_uk Date: May 8th, 2007 10:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Indeed - glad it serves your purposes.
o_bunny From: o_bunny Date: May 9th, 2007 04:43 am (UTC) (Link)

SF fan, not really a comics fan...

...but that was [very funny/very true/incomprehensible] and [translates exactly/has no relation/something in Klingon] to science fiction conventions everywhere.
mattbayne From: mattbayne Date: May 9th, 2007 04:59 am (UTC) (Link)
OH SNAP! YOU BUSTED CON REPORXXORZ FOREVERZ!
gevron From: gevron Date: May 10th, 2007 12:16 am (UTC) (Link)

I wonder...

I wonder if a simple Perl script can be created to auto-generate these for different cons? :)
budgie_uk From: budgie_uk Date: May 10th, 2007 07:48 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: I wonder...

Oh, I have no doubt it could... but it was written specifically about comic cons. To be honest, it was written about the Bristol con, but of course, it applies right across the entire con system...
tesseracting From: tesseracting Date: May 10th, 2007 02:58 am (UTC) (Link)
crap! I love it, but all the conventions I go to are four days long!
budgie_uk From: budgie_uk Date: May 10th, 2007 07:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I think you could just say repeat Day 3, and no one would probably notice. Thanks for dropping by...
elaynetoo From: elaynetoo Date: May 10th, 2007 03:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Very good, Budgie. Congrats on being Gaiman'ed. If I have a free moment tomorrow I may link to you from ComicMix as well.
budgie_uk From: budgie_uk Date: May 10th, 2007 07:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, surprised the hell out of me. But delighted me. :)
soon_lee From: soon_lee Date: May 10th, 2007 06:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Also here via Neil Gaiman's journal. Very well done sir!
budgie_uk From: budgie_uk Date: May 10th, 2007 07:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Many thanks - glad you stopped in...
foresthouse From: foresthouse Date: December 14th, 2007 10:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, I know I come late to the party, but that's what I get for clicking from link to link on the internet, ending up on an old Gaiman post, and finally appearing here with no recollection of how the trek started.

Anyway, that was hilarious and I am definitely going to have to link it. So accurate for any con! Thanks for the laugh. :)
budgie_uk From: budgie_uk Date: December 15th, 2007 05:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sincere thanks - it's always great to read that someone new enjoyed it.

By all means, link away...!

And thanks again.
acciochocolate From: acciochocolate Date: July 1st, 2009 01:56 pm (UTC) (Link)

re: Bristol Comic Expo 2007 - Con Report

Very, very amusing! Came this way via Neil Gaiman's blog. :)
budgie_uk From: budgie_uk Date: July 1st, 2009 02:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Bristol Comic Expo 2007 - Con Report

Glad you liked - been a while since anyone new's read it, I think...

Welcome to my random ravings.
elissa_carey From: elissa_carey Date: July 1st, 2009 04:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hello! Also here via Neil Gaiman. I have to say, definitely sounds like the cons I've been to, and those've been the roleplaying game cons (Origins & GenCon, mostly). That would definitely include the drinking, the name drop, the avoiding of people you've disagreements with, the awards... fantastic, sir. You've really managed to make the report that fits every con. :)
budgie_uk From: budgie_uk Date: July 1st, 2009 04:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks - glad you liked it... every so often, I take a look at it and see whether I need to update it, but to be honest, with the possible excepton of referring to people drinking through the night, I think not...

Thanks for saying hi...
orchidblack From: orchidblack Date: July 1st, 2009 05:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
To be honest, the photos are what really caught my attention. Well done!
budgie_uk From: budgie_uk Date: July 1st, 2009 05:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, sorry that one was slightly out of focus.
33 squawks in response or squawk at me
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