So I added another appearance to my 2014 schedule: GEEK CON, here in my lovely little Madison, in late August.
Geek Kon a terrific show that’s growing by geeks and bounds, and I’m chuffed to be back. I’m particularly happy that I’ll be hanging with co-Guests and Team Blink co-conspirators Chris Jones and Joseph Scrimshaw. Indeed, there’s a chance we may be able to assemble the entirety of Team Blink for the show, which would be stupidly awesome.
(Sadly, two other local shows, OddCon and Game Hole Con, clashed with my travel schedule, but I highly recommend both).
I also updated my “Appearances” page, but thought I should take a moment to explain some of it. Because upon reading it, it seems a bit, well, presumptuous, that’s for ding-dang certain.
With all the projects that John is working on, his schedule is a bit hectic. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get out to as many cons as he once did.
JOHN SEZ: This is true. I love cons, and find them (mostly) fun and relaxing. But between drawing like a maniac, trying to make sure Munchkin rocks, art-wise, Dork Tower is updated regularly, and Dr. Blink finally gets some new comic books – to say nothing of my own games like ROFL!, and DOUBLE FEATURE, as well as projects like KOBOLDS ATE MY BABY, and some books I’m working on – there’s really very little time for anything else.
Mostly, when the weekend rolls around, the main thing I want to do these days is just hand out with my wife and daughter. That’s very, very important to me.
Currently, confirmed appearances are:
ORIGINS Game Fair
Artist Guest of Honor
June 11-14 2014
August 14-17 2014
August 22-24 2014
LUCCA Comics and Games Festival
October 30-November 2 2014
JOHN SEZ: I’m tremendously excited to be going to all these shows. I may have room for one more yet, this year. But I’m trying to limit myself to six, so that things don’t get out of hand again, like they did in 2004, when I burned out totally.
If you’d like John to attend a convention, please contact his business manager via the form below. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, John’s travel time is limited.
JOHN SEZ: Seriously, I can’t stress enough how limited my time can be.
The main things needed to allow John to leave his drawing table are:
- Travel, lodging and food expenses for two (minimum) or three (preferable)
JOHN SEZ: This is simply so my wife and (hopefully) daughter can come along, as well. If a con offers to bring along one or both of my favorite girls, there’s a far stronger chance I’ll try and fit it in the schedule. I really like traveling with my girls. I’m funny that way.
- Advance notice, preferably six months to a year
JOHN SEZ: Awfully, awfully important. That said, most cons these days are so well-organized, this is not a problem. Heck, there are some trying to pencil me in that are still two years away!
- Location of convention
JOHN SEZ: If a con is being held someplace really, really interesting, or is close to family and friends, that’s an added incentive for me (or most pros, I’d wager). For example, Australian cons would allow me to visit my Sister in Brisbane. European cons often mean I can fly through London, and visit friends and family. This kind of thing definitely goes into the decision-making process, even though it’s out of a convention’s control. John has family in North Carolina? St. Louis? Friends in Portland? Who knew?) I’d love to get back to France or Spain, and I’ve yet to hit South America. And my entire family loves Canadialand!
Are you listening, Cons in Australia, Europe and Canadialand?
- Requirements of John’s time as an attendee or guest
JOHN SEZ: Again, an important consideration. Every pro has their own level of comfort at cons. With me, three or four panels a day, a signing, and some down-time seems to work just fine. This is probably on the light side, for most con guests. I know pros who’ll fill up entire days with panels and talks (yaaaaay for them!), and others who just want to hang out at the bar (um, OK, then, I suppose). Cons can be exhausting – as anyone who’s ever worked at one well understands. But it’s also a huge privilege, meeting one’s readers. It’s finding the right balance that’s important.
Please do not take “No” as a personal slight. Most people would agree that they’d prefer John focuses on creating new comics and games than have him doing something silly like relaxing at a fun convention and enjoying himself.
JOHN SEZ: This is the really, really important take-away from all this: If it was up to me, I’d probably be at a con every weekend of the year, dragging my wife and child along with me. I love meeting folks who follow my work, and like most pros, I’m just a huge geeky fanboy myself. I wanna stumble around the dealers room, deliriously drooling at cool stuff, or sit in on amazing panels, or get stuff signed, just as much as anyone else.
I’ll admit to feeling a bit jealous, when I read of some friends who seem to be able to do con after con after con week after week after week. I know what I’m missing out on, and I envy them.
I miss the con circuit, and I miss seeing my friends. I miss the stories you take away from great cons, and I miss the general feeling of camaraderie that comes from the these peculiar little tribal gatherings of ours.
But I don’t miss the burnout, from when I was doing twelve or fifteen or more shows a year. To say nothing of there extra week needed to prepare for a show, or the week after to recover from it.
I think six or so cons a year is enough for me, these days. It’s just where I happen to be in life. It seems to be a good balance.
I do hope to see you on the road, though!