Monday, August 11, 2014

Put Yourself in Context.



We’re coming up on just about a month before this Year’s Context (September 26-28) and I would like to try to coerce you into coming. Nope, I am not directly involved in the convention (though I will appear on a few panels) and have very little to gain by getting you there. At the same time, I am a big fan of things that kick ass and very much enjoy sharing those experiences with others.

Don't think Ben Thompson will be there, but, come on, it is a book called Badass!


1.)Books are badass. Meeting other people equally into them is more badasser. Hanging out and talking about their badassness with those people is the badassest.


2.)That brings me to The People. Over several years of attending Context, I’ve met a large number of great people that I consider myself privileged to be able to hang out with. Yes, that includes the authors and publishers and artists, but it also includes the regular schemes like me who are just there because we are huge dorks and being huge dork is kinda fun sometimes. The organizers do a great job of making a comfortable environment for that to happen and it has always turned out well for me.


3.)However, if we are going to mention the talent on hand: Jonathan Maberry’s pretty fucking cool to have on tap. So is the newly roboticGary Braunbeck. And the slightly filthy, but I mean that in the most complementary of fashions, Lucy Snyder. Let’s not forget the Penguin Queen herself, Mrs. Janet Harriett, fresh off a recent sale to Weird Tales (the jerk). Sarah Hans is usually a boatload of fun and smiles and pretty snappy outfits. I have a well touted crush on Catherine A Callaghan, for very good reasons. Jason Sizemore will be bringing his soft voiced southern charm that is always well balanced against Maurice Broaddus’s exuberance. There are more. Many, many more. But I don’t want to spend too much time listing names.


4.)The lack of prima donnas. I’ve never met anyone at Context, regardless of their status, that acted like they were above anyone else. This isn’t one of those conventions where you have to pay, or even buy a book there, to get an autograph or picture with someone. Hell, I’ve had several times where I’ve been able to grab a beer or burger with people I’ve considered to be heroes. If nothing else, everyone is willing to hang out and bullshit.


5.)You don’t have to be a writer (or aspiring) to enjoy yourself. Yes, a good portion of the panels and all of the workshops are geared at writers. However, there are discussions about homebrewing, classics we may have missed out on (finally, I get a chance to tell everyone how sad I am that they are reading Stoker, but not LeFanu), the ways in which comics are changing and a slew of other geeky topics. Plus, there’s a coloring contest. 


6.)I have been told that the Funky Werepig himself, Greg Hall, will be there, promoting his new book from Stygian Press, Everyone Hates a Hero. There are rumors circulating about a live opportunity to pet that piggy and a possible return of the Big Boy Dance-Off, a spectacle not seen for at least four years.


7.)Did I mention that I will be there? If none of these other reasons convinced you, that should. Right? Please tell me I’m right. Now I’m feeling defensive and lonely. Hug me!