Man, what a great con. Probably the best con I’ve ever been to! And not just because Portland is the best city ever: Because the people were all really nice, the programming was fabulous, and most of the films were excellent.
It’s been over a week since I left, but I’ve been in and out of hospitals and trying to help my mother as much as I can while my dad’s going through some challenges with his pancreatic cancer. So rather than doing an articulate, fresh-off-the-high-of-awesomeness post, here were the highlights:
- Meeting people. I know I’m going to leave someone off and feel bad, but here goes. I got to meet my editor Ross Lockhart from Night Shade, my editor Cameron Pierce from Lazy Fascist, his wife Kirsten (who’s my copy editor for A PRETTY MOUTH and she is fabulous), and various sundry people I’d only met online before, like Andrew Fuller (the programming chair for the con), Wendy Wagner, who is even more amazing IRL, which I did not think possible, Gwen Callahan, who runs the Arkham Bazaar and also the con itself I believe, Wilum H. Pugmire, a writer I’ve respected for many a year, Cody Goodfellow, who is a hoot, Jay Lake who I met but briefly whilst we were co-paneling, E. Catherine Tobler, who is a Colorado local who I met in Portland for the first time, Jeff Burk, a fellow Bizarro person, Rose O’Keefe, the publisher/CEO at Eraserhead, and Silvia Moreno-Garcia, my editor at Innsmouth Free Press. Whew! But seriously, they were all amazing and fabulous and I loved meeting them, getting drinks and eating foods, and generally having a good time. Thanks all of you for making me feel so cool and welcome and one of the group!
- Watching Stuff. Stuff like Wilum’s reading (fabulous!), stuff like the Editors’ Panel where I got to see Ross, Silvia, E. Catherine, Jeff, and a few other people talk awesomely about publishing. Oh, and movies of course. So many movies! I got to watch The Whisperer In Darkness, which was goddamn fantastic. Wow wow wow. Everyone should see this, it was well-produced, beautifully scripted, the special effects were great, the music was amazing, wow. I was genuinely creeped out at times, and while Lovecraft is great at cosmic horror, he doesn’t really give me, you know, the heebie-jeebies so that’s an accomplishment. I also saw a lot of the shorts, which were on the whole awesome. I liked Coda, a short film the aforementioned Andrew worked on, Re-Animate Her, Black Pharoah, GAMMA, Bedtime for Timmy, The Shadow out of Time, and the fabulous (if baffling) clip from The Evil Clergyman, part of an anthology that is being released later this year. I had mixed feelings about Monsters, I guess, because of a lot of reasons, but it had fabulous special effects so I came away feeling neutral about it. Really the only total dud for me was It’s In the Blood, which I watched because it had Lance Henriksen in it, but oh, dear. Full disclosure: I’m never going to be won over by the premise of “father and son go into the woods to figure out their feelings and talk about dude stuff” so maybe the film just wasn’t for me, but the graphic rape of the only female character, and menacing non-Caucasian villain didn’t help me come away with many positive feelings. Extra points taken off for Lance pretending to be a girl having an orgasm for maybe five exceedingly uncomfortable minutes, and the line “if you want to become a man you have to kill the boy inside you.” Or something. Close enough. But you know, it won an award, so maybe it just wasn’t for me. Fair enough. Anyways, my meh over that film aside, the movies were by and large excellent. John got to see Die Farbe, which he said was awesome, so yay!
- Foods. Voodoo Doughnuts. Sizzle Pie. Hungry Tiger Too. Sweet Pea. Blossoming Lotus. Some coffee shop with fabulous sandwiches that I can’t for the life of me remember the name of. Some pub with great beer and, unexpectedly, a vegan pot pie. More Voodoo Doughnuts. Fuck yes.
- Miscellany. The VIP reception. Getting to hang out with everyone at The Moon and Sixpence and Tony Starlight’s and the Lovecraft Bar during afterparty stuff. Hanging out with Bizarro peoples. Getting a Miskatonic University t-shirt. Signing stock at Powell’s. And doing it all with my husband. John had never come to a con with me before, and getting to introduce him to people was amazing.
I want to come back to the Lovecraft Film Festival every year I can. It was so, so fun, and I feel so lucky and honored that I was invited to come speak and read and just simply hang out with such fabulous people. Thank you everyone who was involved in making it such an amazing experience. I miss you so much already—but hope to see you next year!