I’m back from PhauxCon! I had such an amazing time, and I’m already teasing out ideas for a panel next year. I was lucky enough to meet Jim Butcher (author of The Dresden Files) at NY Comic Con last year and found him to be all the things you’d hope a favourite author would be in real life: affable and funny and down-to-earth. But getting to hang out with him and his wife Shannon (also a published author) in such a relaxed atmosphere was an entirely different dynamic! The Butchers are such great people, and they’re even more fun when they’re not exhausted and stressed out by the grind of a huge convention or a signing tour!
Friday night, we watched the unaired, 67-minute Dresden pilot, and Jim merrily heckled the entire thing. It was HILARIOUS. Heckling bad Sci-Fi channel movies is a tradition in the Butcher household, and the incomplete special effects and temporary voice overs in the pilot made for a lot of easy jokes. One of Jim’s running comments was to repeat the text of the cards on the temporary effects in an excited tone with “Trust Us!” added, like “Bianca’s face is burned! Trust us!” He also shared a bunch of cool behind-the-scenes facts about the series, such as “This is where the stunt guy broke both his legs.” Poor stunt guy.
Saturday, Jim and Shannon each did a Q&A session, and as many of the attendees are writers, they were able to share their experience dealing with the writing process with us. Shannon wore my Maeve tiara during hers, as she is Queen of Estonia. Jim also talked about his experience with the various Dresden media spinoffs–the TV show, the comic, and a few potential projects on the horizon. Coooooool!
The other panels were excellent. Steph continued her “Flashcard Fandom” tradition with Torchwood, Deb made an extraordinary presentation I wish I’d recorded on public perception of fandom, Nikki talked about anti-heroes (and why we love them), Steph and Eurydice talked about the transition from fan fic to pro fic, and another woman whose name begins with an L but completely escapes me talked about the significance of alleys in Buffy and Angel. It was fascinating stuff, and it generated some great discussions!
At the three dining events, the Butchers joined us in geeking out over various nerdy pursuits and regaled us with stories about their son, J.J., who is quite clearly the coolest kid in the history of the universe (and is also goin’ to Utah!). At the signing, Xionin gave Jim a set of the Serenity Alliance Currency Money Pack that hadn’t sold in the silent auction, and he joked about “Gettin’ paid in cashy money,” quoting Mal, then amended this statement to “Gettin’ paid in cash and coke,” referring to the seemingly bottomless supply of Coca-Cola Xionin provided for him. I took home the other money pack and the Tenth Doctor and K9 action figure set. Now Ten and Illyria and the cast of Mirrormask can have wacky escapades on my desk at work!
The Shindig was all kinds of fun. As readers of my blog know, I came as Maeve, and I was delighted at how well it turned out! I got all kinds of praise from both Jim and the other con-goers. Most of the group didn’t come in costume, but we did get a wonderful Michael, a Charity, a hybrid book cover/TV Harry, a vampire, a 70’s dude, and a pair of ladies in Ren Fest attire. Jim joked that was dressed as Dr. Chao, the cameo character he played on the TV show. He showed us concept art from the upcoming comic (including some images I hadn’t seen yet!) and read from one of the Dresden books, doing so in the most energetic, geeky, delighted voice imaginable. He was having SO MUCH FUN as he read to us, and we laughed and cheered and winced right along with him. It was like reading it again for the first time! Crazy fun. A splendid time was had by all!
I’m mostly relying on Xionin and Rob for photos, but here are a few that were taken with my camera:
Me and Jim
Me, Jim, and Rob
A very blurry shot of our Carpenter couple
And here’s the wig alone again, as I am so freaking proud of how it turned out!
I’ll post more pictures (and a link to the video of Jim’s Q&A session) as soon as they’re available. Hopefully Xio and Rob will upload them sometime this week, after they recover from the con and perhaps take a three-day nap. :D And note that Jim and Rob are not short, I’m just wearing six inch platforms, making me 6’3″! And I didn’t break an ankle! Win!
I have no hat, so I will say that my wig is off to Xionin for putting together an absolutely extraordinary con experience. I’m in awe of all the work she does for PhauxCon, and I’m so grateful. I had such a blast! Love to all the returning members, and I hope I can hang out with some of you again before PhauxCon 6!