This past weekend was Cincinnati Comic Expo. It’s the city’s biggest con, and I’ve been fortunate to have a booth for the past three years. This year I got to present a writing panel along with my writing partner Jeri Fay Maynard, and the feedback we got made all the preparation worthwhile. Here are a few of my favorite moments from the con.
Moment One: At the end of our presentation, “Writing for the Beginning Creator,” a young girl rushed up to us and said that it was the most helpful and informative writing panel she’d ever seen. She later stopped by the booth and told us all about her own writing, and bought a copy of our book, Five Minutes to Success. Enthusiasm like that goes a very long way to keep us going.
Moment Two: A young boy ran up to the booth pointing at Horizon Alpha: Predators of Eden. “That’s the one! I got it last year and I love it!” Of course this year he bought Transport Seventeen. Repeat customers are the absolute best.
Moment Three: Similar to Moment Two, but this time the actual kid in question wasn’t there. His dad and sister came up to the booth and said he loved Predators and kept re-reading it to the point that he didn’t want to read anything else. Now he’ll have two books to keep re-reading.
Moment Four: Meeting John Hammond. He says he’s working on a cool new amusement park that’s right up my alley. He’s hoping for my endorsement. Sure can’t wait to see it. Bet the rides are awesome.
Moment Five: Well, this one is a lot of moments. It’s all the girls who were drawn to the booth by the Flamewalker cover. They were looking for a book about a badass woman, and I was happy to have one for them.
Moment Six: This was maybe the best one of all, and it’s not even my moment. A good friend of mine publishes the popular comic book series The Confectionaries. It’s an adorable comic about a bunch of living dessert-creatures brought to life by their pastry chef creator. One of the main characters is Yuck. Among all his super-sweet friends, he’s a Tofu Puppy. He gets bullied a lot because he’s, well, tofu in the pastry kitchen. My friend has a team-mascot-type suit of Yuck that he wears at cons.
Here he is with T-rex:
Super cute, right? So a little girl came running up to him and threw her arms around him. She hugged and hugged him. Last year she had gotten the first issue of the comic and read about Yuck. This is what she said to him while she hugged him.
“I get bullied in school too, just like you. And I want you to know that I love you, Yuck. No matter what anyone says, don’t be sad. Always remember that you have one friend forever.”
Hang on. Something in my eye.
People sometimes wonder why I’m willing to spend so much time on my books. I’m not getting rich. Probably never will. But this weekend I got to meet a kid who waited all year to read the sequel to Horizon Alpha. And my friend got to hug a little girl who deals with bullies by remembering how a comic book character does it.
That’s why we write, and that’s why we Con. See you all next year at the Expo.