AnomalyCon Report

fierystudiosClockwork Game, Comix, My better half, Nerdery, Steampunkery, Vogelein

Paul and I just returned from AnomalyCon, and boy, was that trip worth it. The con was just the right size, with friendly attendees. The costumes were astonishing, the panels wonderful, the show well-run. And I got to Tea Duel for the first time (current record: 1-1, with a dirty-nom victory, and a belated clean-nom loss)!

I had initially been very nervous about my panels, so I made up handouts, which the panel attendees snapped up, so I must have done something right. My fellow panelists were both knowledgable and welcoming, and made me feel right at home.

AnomalyCon also prides itself on being open and accepting of all its attendees, and has a superlative Anti-Harassment policy to back this up. I’ve been to some pretty sketchy conventions in the past, and this was not one of them. I felt completely safe and had a wonderful time, not a single problem and nothing but good things to say about my fellow guests and con-goers. What a fun time!

But of course, the very best moment of all was when Rebekah W. of Wandering Rabbit Cosplay surprised me with her Vögelein costume. I was completely floored seeing it in person. I fangirled my own fangirl. It was amazing. I am told that I squealed so loudly that other con-goers turned around to check on my safety, and so high that I hit a register usually reserved for dolphins. I also may have frightened Rebekah a bit in my rush to meet her, though she graciously forgave me. I am nothing if not enthusiastic.

Seriously, though — it’s hard to think of a higher compliment to pay an author than to dress up as one of her characters and drive across the state to meet her. I’d blogged about Rebekah’s costuming before, but seeing it in person was so incredible, and I’m so flattered that she took the time to make a special trip out just to meet me. I’m so lucky.

My only regret about this trip is that it wasn’t long enough! I had such a great time, and I hope that I can get back to Denver again soon when I can tack on a few extra days and go hiking in her mountains, rather than staring at them longingly.

Thanks again, Kronda, for inviting Paul and I out to AnomalyCon, showing us such a great time, and making us feel so welcome. You run a great show, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone in the Colorado area, steampunker or not.


fierystudiosComix, Nerdery, Signal Boost

This coming weekend, Paul and I have been invited as guests to AnomalyCon in Denver! This is the first time in nearly twenty years that I’ve been invited as a guest at a SciFi con, and I’m super excited. Though I’ve been going to cons for ages, I’ve never been to a Steampunk-centric convention before, let alone one with such an impressive guest list. I’m really looking forward to seeing all the costumes and attending some of the writing-focused panels. I’m also impressed by AnomalyCon’s straightforward policies: they have separate, well-defined statements on anti-harassment, cosplay respect, and accessibility, all of which are vitally important and necessary to create an environment where every attendee can feel safe enough to enjoy themselves.

When I’m not helping Paul man our table in the Vendor’s Room or studying up on writing tips, I’m going to be speaking on several panels myself. I spent a big hunk of the weekend preparing… anybody want handouts?

Fri 4pm Chasm Creek B

Indie Comics You Should Be Reading
Artists discuss the best comics you haven’t read yet.
D. Edwards, D. Harris, J. Irwin, K. Hearne


Sat 12pm Wind River B
The Future of Steampunk
Steampunk isn’t dead, or even plateauing. New fiction, exciting ideas and where the genre is going beyond the world of written words. M. Tanzer, S. Adina, J. Irwin, M. Davis

Sat 1pm Chasm Creek B
The Critic and Me

Ever felt like something was terrible about three seconds after you finished it? This is about controlling your control freak and making things even with the doubt.
P. Sizer, J. Irwin, D. Malki, N. Maslakovic, S. Tatroe, G. Mulowayi

Sat 5pm Main Events
AnomalyCon Celebrity Tea Duel

The grandest excitement on stage! Our biggest guests battle each other for the best cuppa!
S. Rahmsdorff, C. Wendig, D. Dawson, L. Mantchev, E. Jackson, B. Dornbusch, Frenchy and the Punk, S. Adina, E. Bear, S. Lynch, M. Davis, J. Irwin, D. Malki, P. Sizer, B. Yovanoff, K. T. Okopnik


Sun 3pm Chasm Creek B
Digital Art

If you’re still using pencils and paper, you might be missing out on a world of easy erasures.S. Yan, S. Menzel, S. Schafer, J. Irwin, G. Mulowayi

Thanks again to Kronda Siebert for inviting us — I can’t wait. If you’re in the Colorado area, I hope to see you there! gets a makeover

fierystudiosMy better half

Nearly a decade ago, I built a custom WordPress theme for my husband Paul. The intervening years of web advancements left the site looking outdated — but being a web developer forty hours a week, by the time I got home from work I couldn’t stand to do any more updates. Last month I took advantage of my employer’s incredibly generous holiday vacation and finally gave the site an upgrade, this time using a pre-purchased theme along with some custom code, just in time for Paul’s biggest design news in a while.

Paul’s site now features client spotlights, upgraded galleries of his work, and an online store where you can buy all his comics, and soon, his posters, too. Go take a look around! Paul’s work has come up by leaps and bounds in the last couple of years, and I’m really glad that his site’s finally a match for it.

As an added bonus, I learned enough about WordPress development that I was able to take on some additional WordPress theme / php development at work — all the more reason to keep up my after-work studies.

A most successful ComiqueCon

fierystudiosClockwork Game, Comix, Friends, Girly, Nerdery, Vogelein

ComiqueCon was a huge success! Organized by Chelsea Liddy, with the help of Dan and Katie Merritt from Green Brain Comics, the first-ever all-female comics show drew over 350 attendees — and national coverage.

Reports from the press, exhibitors, and attendees were overwhelmingly positive, and I sure hope this turns into an annual thing, because I had a fantastic time, as did Paul. The panels I attended were excellent, and I really enjoyed hearing Mikki Kendall speak, as I’ve been a fan of hers for ages. My panel went pretty well, too, judging by the number of whoops I got out of the audience (talk about affirming experiences…) and the folks who came up to speak to me afterwards.

This article from the Press and Guide has a nice writeup and some great photos, and the ComiqueCon Twitter feed links to a bunch of podcasts if you’d like to see and hear more about how the show went.

Thanks again to everybody who made the show happen, and here’s to another year! I’m so glad I got to be a part of ComiqueCon’s inaugural year.

Radio Wolfgang

fierystudiosClockwork Game, Comix, Signal Boost

A few months back, I was contacted by a pair of radio producers from the UK to see if I’d be interested in contributing to an audio documentary about Wolfgang von Kempelen. They’d read and enjoyed Clockwork Game, so how could I say no? We spoke a few times over the phone, and they liked my passion (read as:nerdery) for the subject, so they asked me to record myself answering a few questions.

Over the summer I took to the audio booth at my job (working for an advertising agency definitely has its perks!) and recorded a pair of long audio tracks. Never having done this before, I fear that my contribution came out a little mannered (or what I refer to as “NPR-y”) in an effort to get my words to come out clearly and not all in a jumble. Still — they liked what I sent enough to include big portions of it, and you can now listen to the entire, 40-minute documentary here.

(I am a bit sad that they cut out what I had to say about the politics of the era, but documentary focuses on von Kempelen’s speaking machine, not the automaton, so it wasn’t directly relevant.)

The documentary is part of the launch of Radio Wolfgang — also named for von Kempelen —
Here’s some background on the radio station, from their site:

Radio Wolfgang is an independent online and app-based radio station offering members a live stream of music 24/7, plus on-demand documentary, talk and entertainment content.

It’s £3.99 a month to subscribe and get access to all our content (£1 of this goes to the Wolfgang Foundation, which donates the money raised by the end of the year to causes voted on by you).
There is also a free version of the app if you want a taster, but unlike the members’ version it will have ads.

I think the documentary came out really well, and I’m excited to share the stage with others whose lives have been touched by von Kempelen, like a scientist who researches electronic speech emulation, and Lost Voice Guy, a comedian who speaks with a voice synthesizer. Go have a listen!