I joked yesterday, but it sure is a weird moment to be looking back not only on this story, but on my whole history with conventions and, to some degree, Phil’s as well. I don’t think we’ve really seen the end of nerd gatherings, but we may see them evolve. Personally, I like the “indie vibe” Ulak’s talking about here. I’d like to see more focus on that and less on the Disneyopoly-fied monster shows in California, New York, and whatever city Wizard deems worthy.

(Armagedda-Con, though, is a weird fusion of indie and giant, since it’s the only thing around for Cultists but has to be somewhat disorganized because of government crackdowns.)

My first officially published comics story had both its first scene and climax set in a con, so even the genre of “convention fiction” is like an old friend at this point. I think the key is to capture both the sense of wonder and acceptance you felt at your first show (“My people! MY PEOPLE! I AM HOME!”) and the disillusionment that’s gonna set in sooner or later. Phil was a decade fresher than me, so he was better able to capture the former, but the emotional labor of producing Guilded Age was giving him an early taste of the latter.