I had a great time at this year’s Phoenix Comicon which is unsurprising, since I always have a great time at this con. But this being my third year, I felt I had finally reached a groove with the BOTreaders, convention and town, much like the groove I feel at the Emerald City Comicon in Seattle. I have regular readers at PHXCC now that I look forward to seeing every year, so even when things get slow, I know I can look forward to familiar BOTpeeps showing up and speeding things up again. The first couple of days of the con (a preview evening on Thursday and a full day on Friday) seemed a bit more sluggish than previous years but things were in full swing by the time the weekend hit. Here are a handful of highlights:

I had more BOTpeeps than ever this year coming by the BOTbooth to check out the new stuff, buy merch and/or to hang out and chat. Like I said above, these peeps made the days go by crazy fast and the weekend was over before I knew it. If I didn’t have the JEFbot readers supporting me at these conventions, the events would truly be an all-business affair, but familiar faces (and many new faces!) and enthusiastic readers coming by the BOTbooth to give kudos and support makes my day every time it happens. So, if you were at the show and came by: THANK YOU! You ladies and gents are the biggest reason I do these things.

I SOOoOOo dig the cosplayers! They make conventions fun, exciting and weird, and I love all the creativity and craziness they display each and every day. There are so many of them that they actually become the norm, and one begins to feel a bit like a muggle dressing in “normal” clothes. Because of this, I like to say I’m cosplaying as jefbot, and since I pretty much wore my assortment of camo longshorts all weekend, I somewhat fit the bill. Doctor Who had to be the most cosplayed property all weekend as there were countless variations of Doctors, TARDISes and Daleks wandering about.

Babylon 5
PHXCC was celebrating the 20th anniversary of one of my favorite science fiction shows of all time: Babylon 5! Although I didn’t get to see any of the panels or meet any of the guests as I was tethered to my booth all weekend, I did hear stories of people meeting many of the cast members (sadly, Bruce Boxleitner couldn’t make it, but I heard he showed up via phone to at least one panel) and the creator of the show, J. Michael Straczynski, was there for panels and signings, too. Even with all the B5 celebrations going on, truth be told, the real star of the con seemed to be John Barrowman, who plays Captain Jack Harkness on Doctor Who, and was constantly being announced on the PA system extending his signing and photo ops. I know just his mention elicited literal squeals of excitement from (BOTbooth helper and friend) Tiana who got a picture with him, then a signature on that picture later on. I knew the guy was popular, but not that popular. Gods only know what would have happened had an actual Doctor shown up.

I was extremely happy to hear how many readers have been loving the “Return of Musashi” storyline and Mu in general; I can’t tell you how many people asked when I was going to release t-shirts, plushes and other merch featuring the little guy. While I was already considering such things, this feedback really lit a fire under me to make these things happen! And speaking of our favorite hamster, check out this AMAZING pre-evolution Mu that my friend, BOTpeep, and yarnslinger extraordinaire, Shanna (you may have seen her in the comments), crocheted! She had sent me Mu a while back, during the time when he was missing from the strip and presumably on the alien ship, but sent me the Pride scarf accessory recently, and I had to have ’em both on display during the convention. Now, can we all just let her know how much we want to see her create a POST-evo Mu!!? Would be awesome, just sayin’.

Special thank you to Tiana for getting to the con a day early to help me unload and set up the BOTbooth and for staying late on the final day to help me take down the booth and get the BOTmobile packed up again. She also helped out during the show and was just an all-around superstar and I hope she can make it to future shows as she’s a welcome fixture at the BOTbooth anytime.

That’s the debrief! It’s just been over a week since the convention closed and I’m already missing it. Especially my booth neighbors, Don (Skullastic) and Daniel & Andrew (Steamcrow), and my partners in mayhem Denis (ALT comic) and Ali (Destined Legends) who I went out eating, drinking and decompressing with nearly every night. Next convention isn’t ’til both the Anime Expo and San Diego Comic Con in July and I’m hoping to get some new items in the BOTshop before then, so expect those to be announced shortly. Hope to see you at a convention near you soon! (And if you have any suggestions for conventions near you, list ‘em in the comments.)

like that,