Imaginarium was probably my last big convention of the year. Probably. There’s a slim chance I’ll show up in New Orleans in November, which would be stellar because I’ve never been and the wife really wants to go. But we’ll have to see how that all pans out.
I’ve often said that the point of a convention is to sell books, and that’s quite true, but every so often there’s an event where the business of writing is more important. Imaginarium is one of those (much like Context in Columbus used to be), and so I wasn’t nearly as worried about selling as I normally am. That said, I still think I managed to sell 6 of my books to the unsuspecting masses (or what I like to call really cool fucking people).
This was Imaginarium’s 2nd year. There were more people, more events, and more panels than last year. The first two are good things, the third might have been a detriment. I know some panels were really well attended, some were dead zones, so hopefully Year 3 can continue to improve on its draw and keep on with the stellar events, but streamline the panels and tracks so that each panel is well attended. That may entail cutting a few of the duds out, offering just a few less, or more creative time-scheduling… not too sure, since all of the above were issues with the panels.
The highlight of Imaginarium is the people, the panels, and the camraderie. I was able to hang out with the incomparable Kerry Lipp (look for new work from him real soon!), the always nice James O. Barnes from Loconeal, Violet Patterson, and Tim McWhorter, also met Rob Boley and Amanda Hard. Plus, it’s never dull hanging with my fellow Post Mortem Pressers, Jessica McHugh, Gina Morales, and the always-awesome KT Jayne. Not to mention my hometown writers: Mike, Carma, William Rayst, Nikki, and Jamie. It’s almost like we’re invading shit and what not. Maybe we are?
My panels were awesome, and the panelsts were outstanding on them all. I moderated the Q&A with Imaginarium Toastmaster Tony Acree, which was a blast. Tony’s a fun guy to talk to, with a great wit, and just an easy-going way about him. Any time you get the chance to chat with him, do so. Highly recommended for the conversation and the energy, despite him being a die-hard Marvel fan. (Ugh, I just can’t…)
That’s really all I have to say. I didn’t get out to anything but my panels this year. I skipped the concert and the masquerade ball, feeling that my time was better spent in my room writing and getting shit done. But I imagine they were both entertaining, if that’s your sort of thing. All in all, Imaginarium met the expectations I had for it.