Another year, another Archon! And even with the changes — both good and bad — wrought by bringing the formerly Illinois based convention to St. Louis, it was an overall positive experience.
The multimedia presentation on Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell was a lot of fun, even though I did manage to break my cane in a moment right out of a Marx Brothers movie. (thank goodness it didn’t fly through a window!) Attendance was greater than I could have asked for, and the post-presentation Q&A was lively and intelligent. I couldn’t ask for a better start to a convention.
During the off peak hours, I commited myself to stalking Kevin J. Anderson and Selina Rosen. I had a mission to find each of them. But with an intimate convention like Archon, I didn’t have to stalk for very long, nor did I have to fight crowds — all the attending talent was so very accessible, you almost forget after a few minutes that these are some of the superstars of the SF genre! Taking pictures, spending loot in the dealers’ room (acquiring MORE loot, like a Very Fine copy of ADVENTURE COMICS #354), was the preferred way to spend time between panels.
Saturday, I had another early panel, and despite the late Friday night partying, faithful conventioners still managed to pull themselves out of bed just to hear me read. I started with ALICE’S JOURNEY BEYOND THE MOON, and was prepared to just do a bit of that, a bit of THE SIDEWAYS DOOR, and a short story, THE STORY TREE. But an hour later, with a bit of chapter skipping, we were turning the last page on ALICE — just in time to end the panel.
The ALICE magic didn’t end there! The costuming this year included a few Mad Hatter hats (yours truly included — mine being a Disneyworld acquisition, adorned with pins from both The Hunger Games and Vladimir Tod, which somehow earned me the exclamation from those who saw them, “YOU! ARE! AWESOME!” (Although I’m sure their excitement was more about Heather Brewer’s and Suzanne Collins’ novels than about me, but hey, I’ll take it!) And some young lady had simply outdone herself wearing a handmade replica of one of the dresses worn by the Alice character in Tim Burton’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND. It was absolutely breathtaking!
Saturday wrapped up with a 2-hour long Mad Hatter’s Unbirthday Party in the children’s programming area, where we decorated cupcakes, played Pin the Grin on the Cheshire Cat (for copies of Tim Burton’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND), and even a Caucus Race (which you may know as Musical Chairs) for more copies of the same.
I’m already counting the days to Archon 35!