There are very few things that can get me to San Francisco because it's not a city I get along with, but helping out at one of the shows run by CCI is one of them. To my surprise I had a great time last year! I wasn't sure if I would due to it being in SanFran and a small show. So this year when I said yes I'll come work, part of the trip was to see if the first time out was a fluke. It wasn't! Once again I had a great time, and I got to see almost an entire panel, which never happens at the big show. Which means in the future, if I'm needed to help out I'll happily go up to that cold, miserable, expensive, high maintenance, wet city to run around the Moscone in Worker Bee mode.
(But despite the threats of Princess Baldie, there's no way in HELL I'll let the CCI Overlords slap one of those shiny stickers on my staff badge. 'Cuz I know what those shiny stickers really mean. Heh.)
This time the fantabulous Lark Pien had a new batch of Long Tail Kitty puppets, which she hasn't in a while. They are handmade by her sister (or some other relative...I forget). I had one for several years at the big show until about three years ago when I lost it somewhere on the exhibit floor. Since my tradition at CCI is to first hit up Lark Pien's table to get hold of whatever new comic goodness she's come up with,*** I was thrilled to see a tribe of Long Tail Kitty puppets in the mix this year!
And so I bought one. Actually, I bought two. Keep reading. Explainers ahead. I also bought two books that were older that I didn't think I had. Turns out she was right, I did already have the one with the grey cover. How scary is that? A creator who deals with who knows how many hundreds of people a year can remember what you've bought from her in the past?!
So, Long Tail Kitty and I spent most of our days going up escalators
and down escalators
in the execution of my Worker Bee duties, which involved doing things like this,
along with similar things not photographed with the CrackBerry because I was either busy doing them at the time and forgot, or because the Blackest Night doll line looks just like any other line, so why take a picture of them all when just the one will do?
By the way, men who buy dolls don't like for you to call them 'dolls'. They prefer 'action figure'. Typical exchange:
Me: Blackest Night doll line here, Resident Evil autograph line here, Kick Ass movie autograph holding area over there.
Man Who Wants To Get In The Right Line So He Can Have A Chance To Buy A Doll: I'm not here for the dolls? I'm here for the action figures?
Me: Blackest Night?
MWWTGITRLSHCHACTBAD: Yes. The action figures.
Me: Yeah. That's this line. Step on in. This is the line for the dolls.
MWWTGITRLSHCHACTBAD: It's not a doll. It's an action figure.
Me: And this is the line for it.
I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed having that conversation over and over and over again. A few times the girlfriends/wives of these men who wanted a doll but don't want to say the word 'doll' stepped to the side and turned their heads away so they would not be caught laughing. I quickly learned not to make eye contact with them because if I did I would also break down into a fit of giggles. Different vibe from last year, when I pointedly avoided eye contact with wives/girlfriends for reasons of I Am Not The One You Need To Be Having This Conversation With. This time the significant others weren't pissed off. That's nicer!
Anywho, quite often duties involved running errands or delivering things on the floor, providing a chance to photograph Long Tail Kitty with a few various and sundry people or things I like:
Okay, that first picture wasn't taken on the floor. Whatever.
When the floor closes, which means you're officially off duty, my tradition is to go drink and eat with my friends. If there's no energy left for eating, then I just stick with the drinking as that's more efficient. This weekend some were at bougie places, some were at dives, some were in the hotel bar, some were in rooms. Long Tail Kitty came with!
The Stormtrooper head/awesome pirate guy tickles me to look at it again. So we're in the hotel bar, and there's a group of 501st, pirates and other guys drinking, singing drinking songs and generally having a great time. It hits me that you never see a 501st in partial uniform, and you certainly never see them in partial uniform drinking. I have to document this!
So I get up, wobble over there and approach one of the headless troopers as he's lifting three beers to take to the table. Just as I lift the CrackBerry, something makes me pause. Because it just didn't seem right.
Here's that slightly reconstructed exchange. Note that I was drunk and he was still sober:
Me: I want to take your picture? Because you're, like, headless! And drinking! Beer!
501st Guy <who, I am required to note in accordance with the bylaws of the GHC, was hot>: I am.
Me: So I want to take your picture? With this puppet. But you're all without your head and everything. Which you guys never do.
501st: I am out of uniform.
Me: And you're drinking. And singing! So I want to take your picture? With this puppet. But -
501st: I don't have my helmet on, and I'm holding beers.
Me: Yes! Three of them! That's so awesome but it's weird! So can I -
Me: ... Can I take a picture of your helmet with the pirate and my puppet?
So I did!
Careful readers have noticed there are two different Long Tail Kitties in these pictures, one with pink thread, one with yellow thread. There's a reason for that - a Vast Conspiracy that stunned me with delight once I started to work out on Sunday just how vast it was.
Next: My Second WonderCon Part The Second: Criminal Acts
*** At the big show, after Pien I typically hit up Top Shelf's booth for Eddie Campbell latest, which I always wait to buy at CCI sometimes wait to buy at CCI, and sometimes I buy ahead of time at my local shop and then bring to CCI so that he can sign it, and now I have added Larry Marder's table to the Shop Before Work Hits list since he's back on the other side of the line. Those three I need to hit up first because if I wait I might not have time to get onto the floor due to Worker Bee duties, or I might accidentally drink away my shopping funds. Once I get those three down I can then roam artist alley for indy creator shopping if there is money and free time available to do so.