The blue sky was peppered with fluffy cotton ball clouds. Snacks and drinks were close at hand, Fear Factory pulsed from the car's speakers, and the excitement was high. It was time yet again to cruise across the state to Spokane and Lilac City Comicon. We set out on that warm morning last weekend not knowing what was in store for us.
The trip over the mountains and across the bare, sparsely-populated middle of the great state of Washington went well. Finding civilization in the east and entering that city so foreign to us also went well. The convention itself went surprisingly well considering last year's debacle. Goody Good issue 1 had its first public appearance and was well received. Brandon and I saw some familiar faces and made a few new friends. It was a good con and a good trip; and at no point during the three days of travel and lodging did we meet with any kind of adversity or obstacle. But at just about every turn we were presented with a lesson. There was much to learn. And it's in those lessons that we find the real story of Lilac City Comicon 2017.
Lesson 1: When Brandon and I are alone together with nothing to do but talk to each other we are incredibly creative and funny. Not only did we conceptualize an entire rock opera based around a Hammerfall album but we also discovered the most funny two word combination in existence. I can't repeat it here but if you DM us on FaceBook or Twitter I will absolutely share.
Lesson B: Central Washington has seagulls. Lesson B version 2: Central Washington seagulls are not afraid of cars. B version 2.5: Central Washington has the flattest seagulls.
3: When pulling into your motel, if there are a) three or more cheap places to stay on the same corner, and b) there is not a restaurant anywhere around... you are in fact in a bad part of town. The worst part (according to the locals we spoke to) in our case.
4: The Motel 6 just off the highway in Spokane, right there near the airport is a hotbed of crime and strange individuals. During our stay we saw drug deals, prostitutes, and cops busting drug deals and prostitutes. My personal favorite "strange individual" was the guy who was clearly out of his mind on drugs and/or strong drink walking around shirtless and wearing only one shoe (that's one shoe and one bare foot) asking everyone around if they had found two hundred dollars on the ground. Because, in his words "I loss ma cashhh. Ishh abou two hunnet bucksh." I never got his name so I nicknamed him Pete... I miss you Pete.
Lesson #E: Spokane is some kind of magnetic anomaly where GPS cannot function properly and will guide you several different ways between the same A and B locations.
6: Cons are filled with people who are Seinfeldian caricature memes. I wont claim to be some convention veteran yet. I've worked one, attended four or five as a member of the media corps, and sat behind a table at three. Those first five or six weren't even comic conventions either. But I am assured by actual comicon vets that my observations are correct. 1) The Table Side Sneaker: This interesting fellow is so afraid of human interaction, or possibly so jaded by the "hard sell" that he will stand at the side of your table looking away acting completely uninterested with hands in pockets. Then, just as you begin to ignore this stander-by, his hand will extricate itself from its denim prison and snake around the corner of your table to snatch up whatever you're offering for free and then briskly walk away. 2) The bored background parent, aka The Most Miserable Person in the Room. This individual is clearly not at all interested in the amazing things all around him/her. No, they are only there because of the six to sixteen year old standing between you and them, the minor they are accompanying. They stand there staring down at there feet or spacing out, eyes glassy and empty aimed just over the heads of those around them. 3) Stare at the Table and Ignore you Lady (not always a lady). Much like the Table Side Sneaker this person wants nothing to do with you or your pesky eye contact. They want only to quickly browse your table, touch nothing, see nothing, scoop up whatever freebie you have to offer and be on there way. 4) No Respect For Other's Property Kid. This inevitably bowl cut wearing miscreant is my personal favorite. This unaccompanied minor wanders the show floor touching everything. He treats each and every table as his own personal fidget spinner. He's interested in nothing but must touch it all. Disorganization follows in his wake leaving those affected to wonder, "where is that kid's parents?"
The final lesson: Guys wearing tight fitting cosplay costumes have either never heard of or simply don't care what an athletic supporter is. Guys! We know you looked at yourself in the mirror before heading out in that spandex body suit. If you can see it, we all can see it. Your giblets are out there bouncing around on full display and you need to do something about that.
Before we knew it, it was time to pack up and leave. The show and the trip had come to an end. The blue sky was peppered with fluffy cotton ball clouds. Snacks and drinks were close at hand, Fear Factory pulsed from the car's speakers, and the exhaustion was closing in. We were ready to yet again escape Spokane. Screaming across the state, a flat-out burn toward home.