Holy. Freaking. Shit…What a show! Dragon*Con was as good as its billing as the largest show of its kind. The place was SWAMPED! And the best part was the extraordinary amount of people in costume. Needless to say, it was a little intimidating to be releasing our first graphic novel, The Minions of Ka, at such a place.
It started rather slowly. I was invited as a guest and was supposed to have a table. But, much like an airline, Dragon*Con overbooked its guests. And since I’m a little low on the famous people totem pole (like underground low), I was among the several that got bumped. 2 days before the convention! Needless to say, I was a little freaked out, seeing as how we spent a bunch of money and made all our plans to release/sell the book at Dragon*Con. Fuck.
Lucky for us, once we got there, a good friend of mine and producer of the Minions of Ka, Christian Beranek, happened to have a table in Artist Alley that he so graciously gave us a bit of real estate on. Crisis averted. Christian is awesome. So off we went! We shared a table with Christian and his Silent Devil properties like Dracula vs. King Arthur (great book) and Death Comes to Dillinger (awesome book). We also shared the space with the legendary Tony D (“Superfrat”, “The Simpsons”) and his lovely wife. It was one big happy dysfunctional family. Thanks again, Christian. Nearly 100 copies of Minions of Ka were sold!
I had a lot of great experiences throughout the weekend. Several highlights included having people who bought the book earlier in the weekend come up to me to tell me how awesome it was (I can’t tell you how much that meant), speaking on a number of panels including Zombies 101, post-apocalyptical theory and filmmaking; plenty of drinking; and other extra-curricular activities.
But I would have to say my favorite experience came Friday night. My oldest friend and Minions co-creator/co-writer Michael Ahearn celebrated his birthday on Friday. While I won’t tell you how old he is, let’s just say he’s looks great for a 50-year-old man and leave it at that. Anyway, this was big for him because, while I’ve finished a number of entertainment projects over the course of my 13-year career, this was Michael’s first. So to have it come to fruition on his birthday was pretty cool. But it gets better than that…
We went out to dinner with a bunch of folks on Friday night to Gladys Night’s Chicken and Waffles. And because we were with the fabulous Dave and Cathy Wilbur, there was some special guests attending including real-life astronaut Rick Linnehan, who had literally just come back from space (not making this up people). While we were eating dessert, a pre-recorded version of Gladys Knight singing “Happy Birthday” was piped over the restaurant PA system.
I leaned over the table and said to Ahearn, “Did you ever think you’d be celebrating your birthday on the day you released your first novel while Gladys Knight sang you Happy Birthday and having dinner with an astronaut?”
To which he replied, “You know, when you put it like that, it sounds pretty cool.”
Oh, and before you ask, the best costume by far and away (in my opinion) had to be Darth Elvis. It was a guy in a legit black leather Darth Vader outfit complete with rhinestone lined cape, a pompadour, and the shades. It was reminiscent of fat Vegas Elvis’ comeback special and, without a doubt, one of the best things I saw all weekend.
You can get your own damn copy of Minions of Ka, not to mention sign up for your very own zombie strain and become part of the growing community of the undead, by hitting up Track the Strain right now. You can thank us later!
– Mike Furno & Johnny Butane
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