I’ve been to several different conventions – NecronomiCon, Readercon, BizarroCon – but nearest to my heart is the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival & CthulhuCon here in Portland, Oregon.
It’s my hometown convention, the first convention I ever attended, and the one I’ve attended most of all (maybe 6-7 times now). It’s the first convention that ever featured me as a guest, the first place I did a public reading of my work, and the first place I sat on a panel discussion.
Usually we spend a lot of time wandering around, talking with people on sidewalks and in the dealer room and in bars. Actually, we usually spend most of our time in Columbia River Brewing and that held true again this year, though we also passed some hours in Sam’s Billiards on the same block.
We watched a few movies, including several blocks of shorts. The highlight was seeing Reanimator introduced by our guest Pete Rawlik, and followed by a Q&A with Jeffrey Combs who told funny, smart and interesting stories.
Combs also did a dramatic reading of Lovecraft’s story “The Outsider” to a packed room, and talked briefly after. He was an excellent Special Guest, and everyone seemed to enjoy having a chance to see him speak.
I read the beginning of my story “The Slipping of Stones,” which appeared in last month’s issue of Strange Aeons, in a reading block with Scott Nicolay and Peter Rawlik. I also moderated a panel on “Mythos and Music,” sort of a sequel to a panel held at CthulhuCon in April, but with several different panelists.
Last and most surprising, at the film awards ceremony (where they usually give prizes for best feature, best short film, best screenplay and so on), this year they had 2 special awards for “Patron of the Arts.” The first went to long-time HPLFF volunteer Greg Lowney and the other went to me and Lena Griffin.
Our award was for hosting many visiting guests at our home over the years. Of course this was not quite as altruistic as it might sound, since all the people who stayed with us were friends, so it was fun for us. Still, we really appreciated the recognition!