I went to IFC as a dealer, performing face and body art, and selling my book. So this was a different event for me. Only my fourth convention ever, it was my first time working at a con, and my first Furry con. I had a blast. I didn’t make any money, but that is ok, I was learning, meeting new people and cultivating fans. I’ve decided that is what I’m calling it. I’ll water them with smiles and chit-chat, and feed them with stories until they grow into… ok, I have no idea what.
When I arrived on Friday I couldn’t find the convention at first, the lobby was all but empty. Then I heard a buzz of voices on the second level, and headed up. As soon as I could see the crowd, I knew I had found my people. There is something about geeky congoers that I find very recognizable. And, I was in the right place! Hours from home, all alone, and Cedar is not a happy camper. So it was a relief to check in with registration and Dealer’s Den. I was doing the con in conjunction with Mystik Waboose’s Road Crew, but he had not yet arrived, so I took the time to haul in my gear, set up, and then go out and hunt lunch.
Friday after opening I smiled, watched the crowd, and talked a lot. I painted a couple of faces, handed out book cards, and got to know what was going on. A furry con is a bunch of people having way too much fun dressing up like cartoony animals, and it’s a very artistic Dealer’s Den, with some art being created all around me I enjoyed very much. I can paint on skin – I can’t draw. Mostly, the con was about what all cons are for – seeing old friends and making new ones.
Saturday I was given a subtle push (ok, not subtle. The man is one of the most assertive people I have ever had the pleasure of watching work) toward scheduling a reading of Vulcan’s Kittens. The con found a hole in their program and put me into it, and I was both excited and nervous. For the rest of the day I painted a little, henna’ed a little, and talked a lot about my book, inviting everyone in sight to my reading. Meanwhile, the crowd flowed through the room, some looking normal until they turned and revealed a tail, others in full fursuits that made it like being in a child’s dream of stuffed animals come to life, with hugs and pats and lots of laughter.
I took a break after the Den closed, to eat in the Zoo, where one of my new fans came and sat next to me and talked at me non-stop until I fled to set up for my reading. And here I must mention Merrick Swiftfoot, who was quietly supportive and even protective, despite having just met me that day. A true gentleman, and I really appreciated the back-up when he came with me while I did my huckster call in the main hallway to attract con-goers to the reading. The short red-headed female gets more attention with the kilted marine carrying a shillelagh behind her! Also, I have decided that he and KilteDave are long-lost brothers separated at birth.
Between the hallway cold-call, and people I had spoken to during the day, I wound up with ten people for the reading. I read a chapter, then answered questions about the book, indie-publishing, and writing. We wound up talking, four or five of us, long enough to be displaced by the next panel and finished in the hall. It was a lot of fun, meeting people with shared interests in both writing and reading material. I’m looking forward to doing it again!
Sunday was quieter. I actually ventured out of Dealer’s Den a bit, and met a talented chain maille artist in Artist’s Allery. Slayazar was good enough to drop in on me later and show me how his lovely scale flower was constructed and we talked about hair sticks – he gave me some fun ideas! Talking to Amy of Misc Etc. was great fun – I will have to find her at a non-event and pick her brains on moulage sometime. Er… maybe I need to rephrase that, given the zombie topic of part of our conversation!
I packed up tired, but happy. I knew it wasn’t a profitable weekend financially, but I felt like I was enriched by the people I’d met, the things I had learned, and the time spent with a friend, and making new ones. I’m going to do a few cons a year, I think, and maybe I’ll see you there!