Well C3 was a major, unmitigated, all mighty, tear jerking success. As the cynical, conservative Treasurer I thought we’d be lucky to see 350 people come to the con. Well that total was blasted out of the waters before the doors even opened on Friday. While I can’t be sure yet, it looks like the con generated over 440 people – and that doesn’t include the 30 or so people that had free passes.
Right now, I’m in the process of making the books reconcile. Ha! A nightmare task. But a joy as well as I get to count all the nice, pretty money.
As for the con, well… let me put it to you this way. Danny and I started the con on the Friday with a Doctor Who panel. Weeks before, the two of us had joked about the fact that maybe 10 people would turn up. The panel was at 1:00 on a Friday afternoon and people would still be at work.
I nearly collapsed when I saw that people were lining up for the panel. The room fit about a 100 people and those seats filled up in seconds. It was, literally, standing room only. Oh my! At that point, I knew C3 was gonna be huge.
And then there was the Masquerade Ball. My experience of these things have never been positive. People turn up, have a look, then go and you often end up with 20 people on the dancefloor. Not this year. Oh no, not at all. First off, people actually dressed up in the most amazing costumes you have ever scene. And they danced, all 350 of them, they danced their collective bottoms off. When the Ball finished at 12:00 there were still 200 people on the floor – including little old me. (I was very drunk at the time).
Opera Macabre can be thanked for the great Ball. And Sean Williams brilliant DJing. And Aaron’s great organising. And Sarah and Gene’s great work behind the scenes – putting the lights up, making sure the sound system worked. And I think Neil Gaiman as guest played a part in some of the costumes we saw. Especially the girls who wanted to make sure they left an indelible impression on Neil’s mind. All that cleavage. We heterosexuals were in heaven. And if the girl in the armour and chainlink get-up is reading this… WOW!!! Oh, and the girl in the little black dress… drooooool etc etc etc.
The guests were also amazing. Neil Gaiman is a God. Honestly. If I wasn’t an orthodox Jew I’d worship him. Kill goats and virgins in his name etc. The man signed like there was no tomorrow and answered question after question. He couldn’t go two paces without someone shaking his hand. I adore Neil Gaiman, it was a pleasure to have him.
Poppy Z Brite is gorgeous on a completely different level. She comes off as shy… at first, but her guest of honour speech was amazing – especially when she read one of her short stories, perched on the table with legs crossed looking like someone in deep meditation. I was swept away by her narrartive and was reminded by how brilliant a writer she is. And then there’s the birds. Can Poppy talk about birds, and when she does her face lights up and her eyes become all childlike and it’s so damn wonderful. She loved Melbourne for all it’s variety of birds and right now she’s in QLD (Cairns I believe) checking out more aviary life. And then there’s food. Wow… does she love her food (her husband is a chef in New Orleans). Watching her speak to Aaron about food was brilliant!
I didn’t have much to do with Robin Hobb, I’ll be honest. But the word around the con was that she was fantastic. And she seemed delighted to be at the con, and really liked her presents.
Talking about delighted to be at the con – Richard Harland looked like he was souped up on aphetamines throughout the weekend. But that’s Richard for you. Even when he’s not a guest he gives 1000%. The guy is not only a great writer (for all you non Aussies out there, Richard is the author of two of the best surreal novels I’ve read – the Vicar Of Morbing Vile… out of print for the moment and The Black Crusade – definitely in print. He’s also the author of a children’s book series and Sci-Fi detective series) he’s also a top bloke. Richard is a legend and very little else can be said.
And Jocko, our fan guest. Well Jocko seemed to be in seventh heaven. I didn’t really catch up with him enough, but I know he had fun.
The vibe at the con was also amazing. So many smiling, happy people. This was brought to the fore when Kirstyn was told the most amazing story at the end of the con. Two people, a guy from Melbourne a girl from Perth come to the con with no-one but themselves. Neither has been to a con before in their lives. Nervous as all hell, they happen to bump into each other on the Friday and find they have a whole bunch of things in common. They have dinner on Friday night. By Saturday they are engaged to be married.
I am not lying. Kirstyn gave the couple two complimentary tickets to C4 and hopefully they’ll relate their story to the people who attend next years convention.
Mitch and I, as organisers of C4, have big shoes to fill. But as I said at the closing ceremony: It takes two incompetent men to replace one competent woman. K, you did an amazing job. You got the best out your team and not a single one of us went insane. You are a natural born leader.
That’s enough, my fingers hurt.