Monday, May 23, 2011

Sunday at the Convention Center with Joe Dalek

I spent Sunday helping with the FenCon table at the Dallas ComicCon, and it was an interesting experience. Some of the guys with our group built a full-size Dalek who also helped "staff" the table. Joe Dalek (yes, he has a Facebook page) was quite the star of the show. I never thought I'd find myself serving as Dalek staff, but I did some Dalek sitting, answered questions about where he was when he took a turn around the show floor and helped make sure the path was clear when Joe Dalek was leaving the building.

Spending the day with a Dalek behind you can be fun. Everyone who passed by wanted a photo with Joe, so we had a lot of interesting combinations. There was the girl wearing a Dalek dress and a guy doing a convincing Eleventh Doctor, but then there were also confrontations with a variety of superheroes and other characters. At one point when a uniformed Star Wars Stormtrooper was walking toward us, one of the guys at our table said, "This is definitely not the droid you're looking for." Yes, we know that a Dalek is not a robot or droid but rather an alien in armor, but that's a mistake a Stormtrooper might make. Later, they had speakers rigged so that the Dalek was going through a playlist of Dalek sounds, and as the Stormtrooper was being stopped for photos near our Dalek, the Dalek suddenly shrieked, "Daleks are superior!" I wish we'd caught that on video. Poor Joe, jealous when someone else was getting attention.

I also used the Dalek in a way I'm sure no one would ever have imagined: to reassure a small child. A family had paused near our table, and they had a little boy of about three who was in tears. Apparently, they'd encountered someone dressed as a zombie, and the kid was terrified of zombies. I told him that we were a zombie-free zone because we had a Dalek, and the zombies were afraid of Daleks. I'm not sure if it worked.

Sitting at that table was great people watching, seeing the various groups of people who went by. The demographics were incredibly diverse, and I think at least one myth about comic book fans was busted. I'd say that more than half of the males of teen age or older were there with female companionship, so they're not all social rejects who have never been touched by a woman. There were a lot of families there, and I can't count the number of times I heard a parent explain who the Daleks were to a small child. One cute moment was when a guy dressed as the Joker from Batman was nearby, and a little girl of about five approached him shyly, saying, "Mr. Joker?" He was very sweet with her and posed for a photo with her.

And now I'm back to work on the fine-tuning of the book. I got some good ideas for it over the weekend and am rethinking some scenes I thought were set in stone. This should be fun work. I also have reading to do, as I've realized it's taken me more than two weeks to read the book I'm currently reading, and that means I have a couple more books that will be due back at the library this weekend. I'm way behind on my reading goals for the month, but that's mostly been because I've been writing so much.

I'm going downstairs now because we're having a hailstorm and I have a tile roof. It sounds like I'm being bombarded with asteroids.

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