My panel arrived, and true to the day-old Fandomedia tradition, it was a subject I knew bugger-all about: cartooning. (Actually, I know a leeetle bit about it, and one of the better things about F05 was convenor Mynxii’s skill in putting people onto panels that took them out of their Con comfort zones. Let’s be honest, did anybody in Perth need to see me talk about short stories again?) It was hard work: my co-panellist, Tamara Carmichael, is a skilled artist (check out Spooky & Tinkle: the artwork is hers) but unused to talking head stuff. Between us we got through, and I enjoyed the chance to talk about influences I don’t normally get to espouse. If one person walked away with a urge to check out Charles Addams, Gahan Wilson, or Kliban, my work was well done.

Originally, it was planned that I would say a few words about Chuck McKenzie and the madness contained within his new collection Confessions of a Pod Person. But when fellow Guest of Honour Simon Haynes grabbed me and asked me to say a word or two about him and his Hal Spacejock novels, well, the Simon & Chuck Launch Hour looked an awful lot like this…

Well guess where I keep mine!

There may be a template for launching books. Three loonies taking the piss out of each other for an hour and ignoring the crowd may not be that template 🙂 We had fun, though…. Later in the day, an audience member admitetd to Chuck that he’d originally read the book title as Confessions of a POO Person, and well, that was that for the rest of the Con. Chuck’s fate was sealed. Thank God it was Chuck: the man has a sense of humour with no limits. Not even my tactic of sending people up to him to tell him how much they enjoyed his Hal Spacejock novels seemed to faze him.

Goddammit, it does say Poo Person!

If there was a way to describe the tone of the convention, the closing ceremony would be it. Firstly, the crowd greeted Chuck with a chant of “Spacejock, Spacejock”, and Simon with the Poo Person equivalent, and halfway through Mynxii’s convenor speech, broke out into a spontaneous rendition of Happy Birthday when it was revealed that it was indeed that happy occasion. Finally, the guest lineup for next year’s convention was revealed, to mucho applause-oh. To whit:

Fan GoH: Elaine Kemp
Flying in From Other Climes Guest: Marianne de Pierres
Driving in from her house in Clarkson guest: Luscious Lyn Battersby!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do I see your name on this poster, fat guy?

How cool is that? It’s a well deserved honour for my darling wife, who is going to knock people back on their heels this coming year with the depth and range of her work. It’s a very exciting time for her, and I couldn’t be prouder. I might even buy a ticket and go along to see her 🙂

As usual, the con was finished in the bar, where cake and nibblies were brought out to celebrate Ju’s birthday. Much imbibing was done, and by the time Luscious and I left, the con had been marked down by most present as a top 5 ‘best ever’. And deservedly so.

And special mention must be made of our new dead dog fun buddy: John Robertson is a frighteningly Lee-in-his-mid-20s kind of guy: stand-up comedian, uber-fan, sartorial dyslexic… (beginning to sound familiar?). He and I spent a rather large part of the evening attempting to find the worst possible opening to a joke that could be perpetrated upon an audience, (Two paedophiles walk into Auschwitz…), before performing a medley of show tunes and 80s pop songs as either Rammstein or Mahatma Ghandi, as the mood took us. You’ve not heard Nina Simone until you’ve heard her done by 2 drunk Aussie guys putting on deeeep German heavy metal accents. You just haven’t.

And to finish off, well, I was going to explain these Chuck Mc photos, but naaaaaaaaahhh.

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