Monday, March 23, 2009

Back home from Coastcon 32

This photo makes me smile. Check it out. This is the marquee of The Shed, the barbecue joint where Traci and I ate this past weekend in Mississippi with Mark Van Name and Jennie Faries, who were two personal highlights this past weekend at Biloxi's Coastcon 32. The Shed is out in the middle of nowhere and when you roll up to experience some of the best barbecue of your life (no joke), you see this sign that translates to "Yes, you've arrived in Meat Heaven." Not only is this the kind of legendary barbecue joint that attracts a blues god like Buddy Guy, but I love, love, love that they've got Trent Lott's name flipped over like a voodoo curse against all things bigoted and backward. Epic.

On to Coastcon -- madly catching up here in studio now that I'm home. I was Coastcon's Artist GoH this year and it was a memorable weekend with friends new and old. It was my first trip to Mississippi and I didn't know what to expect post-Katrina, since the town is still recovering from the brunt of one of Mother Nature's toughest punches three-plus years ago. Biloxi's on its way back though, and Coastcon's doing the same, which is doubly admirable in a soul-crushing recession. The con committee really busted its tail to create a successful con under tough circumstances, and I thought they largely succeeded. Highlights:

Enjoyed every moment hanging out with Michael and Linda Moorcock, two of my favorite people on the planet. Mike and I presented a slideshow called THE ART OF ELRIC and it was a real pleasure to look back at the history of Elric art with him. We did a few signings together as well. It was gratifying to meet Elric fans new and old, and hear that my Elric artwork fires them up.

As always, I had a blast with my pal Chris Roberson. Drank and traded laughs poolside with he, Diana Rowland, and the aforementioned Mark Van Name, and Jennie Faries. Ate great seafood. Ate my first Waffle House meal. Walked the beach with Traci and threw some frisbee shoreside. Had a great time meeting diehard Southern sf/fantasy fans of all varieties, costumed and uncostumed, who are the warmest people imaginable. On the way home, Traci and I spent a few hours in the airport with Virginia Hey of FARSCAPE fame who was also a featured Coastcon guest. She's terrific and I wish we would've crossed paths sooner at the con.

Shoutouts to a few concom folks who outdid themselves: Ray Boudreau (who may have cloned himself being in so many places at once. Thanks for everything -- take a bow, Ray!); Leanne Allen (who never stopped having fun even when juggling twelve things at once); Jason Fisher (who did a terrific job with tech -- thanks, man!!); Alexis Tucker (who took good care of me and my work in the Art Show); Michael "Scotty" Scot (who gave me and Traci timely car rides with tourguide excellence); Frank and Claire in hospitality who gave me timely internet access when I needed it (thanks to Scotty too for that); and Randolph Allen (who managed the toughest job of all, which is programming). More good folks, much appreciated: Lindsey Hooten, Cheri Slaughter, Rob Cerio, Ken Grimes, Wayne Trovinger, Wayne Hergenroder, Mike & Tiffany Brown, Pauline & John Grigsby, Amanda & Jeremy Lepoma, Matt Duprel, Don Fallo, Stephen Gill, the art auctioneer (his name escapes me at this moment), and of course, the Chairwoman behind it all, Rebecca Smith. Thanks to all, and to any I've regrettably forgotten, thanks to you too for a memorable Coastcon weekend.

11 Comments:

Anonymous JaniceG said...

Glad you had a good time! I am both depressed and amazed to realize that my first CoastCon was exactly 30 years ago... It was at a small beachside motel that we shared with a fraternity weekend, not a match made in heaven, and was mostly populated with gamers from the nearby Air Force Base. The few literary fans in attendance got to be very good friends with each other and the Author GoH over the weekend :->

5:25 PM  
Blogger Anarcathartic said...

You've never eaten at a waffle house before? How about Denny's?

6:57 PM  
Blogger John Picacio said...

Hi, Janice -- There was a real can-do spirit amongst the Coastcon con com team and I tip my hat to them. I think the majority of fans at the con were gamers, but I definitely saw a few more literary fans on Saturday than on Friday.

Anarcathartic -- Definitely eaten at Denny's before, but no, I've never eaten at a Waffle House before this weekend. As Diana Rowland said, it was decent comfort food. Surprisingly tasty.

11:20 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

John, looks like a blast! Hope to see you at Wroldcon and/or Mile High Con -- both of which I will be attending.

2:35 AM  
Blogger John Picacio said...

Hi, Jack --

I will definitely be at Worldcon. Already had my membership, but now that I'm officially a Hugo Award finalist again, I wouldn't miss it for the world. :) See you there!

And I'll not only be at MileHiCon this year, but I'll be the Artist GoH this year. Barbara Hambly and Nancy Kress will be the Author GoHs. I've received word that a lot of author friends will also be there, so I'm looking forward to this one....

9:34 AM  
Blogger sinister_n_evil said...

Thanks for the call out! I am so happy you enjoyed the BBQ. I really did enjoy the time I did get to socialize with you. Thanks again for everything...

~Cheri

7:45 PM  
Blogger John Picacio said...

The Shed was everything you guys said and more. A definite highlight of the trip.....'great to meet you too! :)

9:54 PM  
Blogger Adhaincroi said...

Thanks for the shout out Mr. I am glad you had fun and it wasn't too inconvenient to be without your computer and have to work at the Con..that's what you get for being Mr. Mega Important HUGO dude..Super Super Congrats again on that I have my fingers and toes and some other stuff crossed for you...My Bad that I didn't get you guys and Introduce you to Ginny earlier who knew you would hit it off so well..Suffice it to say I wont make that mistake next time...Of course it almost goes without saying that you and Traci were a joy to have and I cannot wait to have you both back again Ray and Randolph voiced the same delight to have you and we all look forward to having fun another time Much Love to you both Leanne

12:06 PM  
Blogger ici1011 said...

Glad you enjoyed yourself. I also enjoyed meeting you and spending time. Look forward to seeing you again.
Yes, this is Frank from Hospitality.

2:29 PM  
OpenID whtknt said...

Thanks, John. If we helped make your Con more enjoyable, then we have succeeded in our duties. And may I say, thank you so very much for the artwork on the badges. The badges are beautiful every year, but this year they were particularly so! This is John from Registration, part of Mike's crew.

2:40 PM  
Blogger John Picacio said...

Leanne, Frank & John....

Much appreciated. :) Thanks for everything and stay in touch....

3:47 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home