The Weekend Run-Down (AKA, when it feels like things are going right)

This weekend, my husband and I went to the Huntington Comic and Toy Convention (#HCTC2022) in Huntington, WV. It was a fun, interesting weekend, and even though I’m exhausted (we parked our car and walked all over downtown Huntington) I feel like it was worth it.

Fair warning — this post will have no actionable writing advice, but you might glean a little something from it if you read between the lines.

Before we left on Friday, I made one last attempt to get my husband to dress in costume for the event (he dresses as Capt. Jack Sparrow, which would have been VERY apropos this weekend). He didn’t want to do it, saying that it would be entirely too hot to wear his costume. I have to say he was right. The weather was FANTASTIC, but he would have cooked alive in costume. Huntington’s only about an hour and a half from our home, so the trip wasn’t difficult, but we chose to stay in tow for the con anyway. Our tickets gave us early entry at 9 AM (an hour before everyone else), and that would be even more exhausting to leave the house at 7 AM to get there in time for our 9 AM entrance. So, stay we did. It was the first nice part of the weekend — it felt like a mini-vacation for us, a little time away to relax and reset and unwind.

On Saturday we spent most of our time wandering around the vendor displays and spending far too much money. I’m in the process of outfitting my office, so I wanted to buy some artwork to hang, and what better place to find stuff than at a comicon? I got a few prints from Kevin Nichols, aka The Bearded Artist, which will look really great framed and hanging on my office wall. I mean, really…you can’t get much better than pencil portraits of Cary Elwes as Westley in The Princess Bride or Henry Cavill as the Witcher, right? I also found a nifty piece of jewelry that’s going to be a “daily wear” piece for me. It’s a locket in the shape of a book — The Lord of the Rings — and I just fell in love immediately.

The highlight of my Saturday, though, was a couple of conversations that I had with a couple well known and — in my opinion — legendary comic creators. First, I met and spoke at length to Jim Shooter. We talked about writing, inspiration, and creating in general, and when our conversation was at an end (not because I was finished speaking with him, but because we had a line forming behind us), Mr. Shooter said, “I’d really like to talk with you more about writing.” You could have knocked me over with a feather. We next spoke with Beau Smith of Wynonna Earp and Guy Gardner fame. He’s a West Virginia native, so we speak with him when we see him at comicons, and it’s always thrilling when someone so eminent remembers you and treats you with such kindness. We spoke with him for quite a while, as well. We got a couple of autographs from Mr. Smith and one from Mr. Shooter, and I walked away from both encounters feeling like I was walking on a cloud.

Photo with Jim Shooter at the Huntington Comic and Toy Convention on June 4, 2022.

We didn’t plan on spending much time on the convention floor on Sunday. We were both tired and ready to go home, but we also wanted to make a last few passes around the floor before we left. We were up close to a few of the guests as we stood in line — we let Michael Parè slide through the line in front of us to enter the arena, and Kevin Conroy brushed passed us once we were inside — and we decided that we wanted to get a photo and autograph with Mr. Parè before we left:

Michael Parè, of Eddie and the Cruisers fame (among A LOT of other things) at the Huntington Comic and Toy Convention, June 5, 2022.

He was such a nice guy — we talked to him about my writing career, and my husband talked to him a little about building guitars, and we got an update on the projects he’s working on now — and the interaction was 100% positive. If you get a chance to meet Mr. Parè, please do. We wanted to get a photo and autograph from at least one of the film celebrities at the con, and I can’t say that we could have made a better choice.

So, all in all, our weekend was fantastic. I bought a couple books from local authors, met up with a few of my writing group friends, and just generally had a really great time. I’m already looking forward to next year — who knows, maybe I’ll be able to be there as a vendor and not just an attendee!

So – just for fun, have YOU had any celebrity encounters that you’re particularly excited about? I’d LOVE to hear about them! If you haven’t, who would you like to meet, and why? Let’s light these comments up, y’all!

Until next time, I am…

-Linley B. Marcum

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