I am home again, thank the grim green gardening gods, and should remain home until sometime in late August. Nearly two months of being in my usual routine, and lord, do I need it. All that travel was awesome and I hung out with wonderful people and saw glorious sights and had a great deal of fun—but at the end of the day, I need a lot of time to recharge and garden and also to finish 160+ Dragonbreath illustrations, which will not draw themselves.
I’m tired. I’m…humbled, honestly. I know that sounds weird and cliche, but at Anthrocon, people kept coming up to me and saying “Congratulations!” (on the wedding, on the Hugo, on the Kickstarter) and I kept thinking “Good lord! How did I get to know all these cool people? How is it that they know I exist and care what becomes of me? Why do they keep giving me bottles of wine and painted plates and naughty stained glass? What did I do to deserve so many friends?”
(Very little, of course, beyond babbling about wombats and lawn crayfish. But as I am slowly learning, the glorious thing about life is how often we do get things we don’t deserve.)
(Honestly, it’s not low self-esteem, I swear, it’s just that I keep thinking that I haven’t spent nearly enough time with these people for them to give a rat’s ass about me. I forget that the internet sometimes means that people spend time with you even if you’re not in the room.)
Anyway. I’m sounding like a maudlin drunk here, and I’m not even a half-inch into my Limoncello. So, onward! It was a pretty good con, better than last year—prints kept selling, which was surprising, and jumbo prints kept selling, which is quite unusual. (I was this close to just phasing them out at cons.) Old art, too, which is unusual—stuff that’s been there for two or three years and suddenly I was selling out of it. Art show was generally slow, but I did pretty well for having not-very-many medium sized pieces (those tend to be where the bulk of money is) and the stuff I brought home, I wanted for the October gallery show anyway.
Kevin has been thoroughly assimilated by Security and is now being Mostly Patient Bald Man for them, meaning that I relied very heavily on Taliabear at the table. (And if you come next year, let me know and I shall draft you as my dealer’s assistant and pay for your membership!)
It was good to see all my artist friends again, all of whom seem to be still themselves, only moreso. I got some very snazzy art, including two masks sculpted by Missmonster and painted up by Sigilgoat.
No significant table weirdos. Did get one guy who began flipping through the print book and telling me how the goal of the environmental movement was to kill all us pissants and leave the world for the elite. Did I know that at least one English lord was an environmentalist? It wasn’t because he cared about the planet, no sir, he just wanted his ancient prerogatives back!
Partway through this screed I became very interested in the sketchbook I was working on. (I did briefly consider saying “Actually, I’m planning to be one of the elite survivors, thanks,” but that seemed like it would prolong the situation.)
I also—I will now shamefully confess—for the very first time, used the Hugo thing to win an argument. I am somewhat ashamed, as this is frankly a dick move, but I still feel a sneaking justification.
So I was at the table and a guy comes up in his…mid-to-late twenties? Hard to tell with some people. Dude studies the Biting Pear intently for a minute.
DUDE: So how does it feel to know that’s the most famous thing you’ll ever do?
DUDE: Like, no matter what you do, that piece will be seen by more people than anything else, ever?
DUDE: For the rest of your life!
DUDE: To know that that pear is what you’ll be remembered by, forever?
ME: Actually, my comic won a Hugo.
(Strangely, that ended the conversation.)
It was a dick move. I acknowledge that. Doubtless I shall regret it later. But I confess, I’m having a hard time summoning up much remorse.
Anyway, it was great to see everybody, I love you all, and now my Limoncello and I are going to take a hot bath and then perhaps I shall play a little Civ 5 and contemplate that life is sometimes glorious and sometimes strange and very much worth sticking around for.
Tomorrow, I tackle the weeds.