Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention

IMG_1779From the desk of W. J. Onufer…

(Yes, I know, I look like I have resting grouchy face in that picture. I’m actually a lot more friendly in person than what that looks like.)

Last weekend was the Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention. It was my very first con and my first major venue displaying Hadley’s new book, Beckman’s Folly: Tales of the Vampire Hadley Price. And I have to say it was a lot of fun, but definately sensory overload- in a very fun sense of that. There was so much cool Sci-fi/Fantasy merch and cosplay and Stream Punk, on a massive scale. I’ve never been surrounded by so many like-minded people, all of whom were civil, friendly and open to conversation.

This introvert needed some down-time to recover from such a enjoyable weekend. Which may explain why it’s taken me so long to post about this. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

My thanks to Allan Gilbreath and his staff for a well-run convention. A true gentlemen in person and great conversationalist. Elvis and John in security. (There were others in Security but those two were the ones I interacted with most.) Brian, the on-site medic and his “little sister”, Laura. Brian was pro-active in introducing himself when he noticed that one of the people on my Tales of the Vampire Hadley Price team has mobility challenges. And member of his team- Laura, Edward, Ian -made sure that person in my crew was hydrated by periodically delivering bottled water to our vendor table. Then there was Charlie, the friendly gal who was the door guard closest to our table. To all of you, we say, good work and thank you.

I had the pleasure of meeting artist Mitch Foust and novelist James Crawford and The Simpsons animator Chance Raspberry and Make Up artist A. G. Howard and Writer/Editor Alex Brown (-who invited me to participate in my first pannel. Thanks!) and artist Samatha Hughes.

I also enjoyed meeting Marc Meeker from Red Skull Alliance Cosplay. The first time I met Marc was in the hall way. He was decked out as Dr. Doom. As an old Fantastic Four fan, he indulged me to have pic taken with him. The next day Marc was strolling the vendor room and came to my table. He was dresses as some other character. (Forgive my bad memory. I don’t recall, specifically which character.) I asked him if he was Marc, because I couldn’t see his face. He said yes. So Marc was one of the people who made this con so much fun for me. But the truth is- I never saw his face. I don’t know what the guy looks like.

I was there primarily as a vendor to promote and sell Hadley’s first book. But I will say I did have bouts of fanboy nerdgasm. One- of many -was when I spoke with Chip at his vendor table, Famous Collectables. Escape from New York is may favorite movie off all time. I was looking for a Snake Pliskin action figure. Chip didn’t have one, but made some calls and got me one by the next day. Thank you, Chip! Yes, I’m a grown-ass man and I purchased a doll.

It was fun to meet people who have been my Facebook friends, but I’ve never actually met in-person. I got that in-person opertunity with Mitch and Allen.

And then there’s Tammy.

Tammy Westphal and I have a mutual friend in Kelly LePlante from Gemini Dreams Designs. Kelly and I go way back and Kelly and Tammy are tight buds. As such, Tammy and I became Facebook friends. I’ve seen Tammy’s image on Facebook for a while and instantly recognized her when she first came into my line of sight. The reality of Tammy is that she’s a total sweetheart, a very friendly woman. But the truth is, Tammy lives there in Memphis. In my Massachusetts, Northener bias, it never occared to me what her voice would sound like. Tammy and Kelly and Keith and Grace and I had dinner at a Panera the night before the Con’s first day. For the first hour or so of conversing with Tammy, I was taken aback by the fact that she spoke with a charming Southern accent. It never occured to me that the image of Tammy on Facebook would speak that way. Yes, Northern bias. Like being with anyone with an accent (Ros), that accent disappeared (subjectively) the longer I talked with Tammy. In either case, this wasn’t Tammy’s first con, so she was very helpful to Grace and me for our first time out. Thank you Tammy!

Oh- and I forgot to mention Lake, who, along with Tammy, is one of Kelly’s helpers and Katy, one of Keith’s helpers. Nice folks.

And then there were the fans, people who weren’t involved with the Con or vendors. People who attended this event. Now I’m going throw out some some names. If I met you at my table, if you bought Hadley’s book or not, please forgive me if I don’t mention you. Feel free to email me at: hadleyred@yhoo.com to remind me who you are. There was: Tom, Brenna, Merlin and Tracy, Gwen, Jasper, Steele, Tabitha, Tom and many more. At my table, I’ve also met Charlene and Veronica from WDNG radio out of Anniston, AL. Again, if I spoke with you at my table and I didn’t mention you here, please email me at hadleyred@yahoo.com .

I may or may not get this wordy when I post about the next con I go to. But this was first time. I can’t tell you how many times I was called a virgin over that weekend. But the Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention was a lot of fun. Thank you to everyone who made it a great experience.

(For more pix we took of this event go to: Tales of the Vampire Hadley on Facebook.)

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