- Free books that I'm actually excited about and want to read! Novels include: Heir of Night by Helen Lowe, Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey, Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch (galley), The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, and Across the Universe by Beth Revins (galley). Comics/manga include: Smile by Raina Telgemeier, Black Butler Vol. 3 by Yana Toboso, and Koko Be Good by Jen Wang.
- Superstar SF/fantasy novel editors who signed the books I grew up with. Now I know the faces of the people I would grovel before. (Betsy Mitchell better watch out!) It's so rare these days that I feel pleasure in fandom, and this weekend was one of those times.
- The "Anime in Academia" panel. Organizer and moderator Alex Leavitt did a superb job of leading a conversation between Mikhail, Jennifer, and myself about how to wed one's interest in popular culture to an academic career. It was the beginning of an important discussion, and I hope to see it continued in the future.
- I understood every single word of Japanese spoken in my presence during the con. Thank you, Middlebury Japanese School!
- And last but not by any means least, old friends and new acquaintances. The great thing about cons is that they bring people together--people with both like-minded and new perspectives. Many thanks as well to Brigid, Todd, Robin, Gia, Eva, Melinda, and Lissa for great dinner conversation.
- The writhing wall of people that was everywhere--everywhere--on both Saturday and Sunday.
- Overhearing some bigwig [expletive redacted] in kids comics talking about how publishers ought to solve all of their financial problems by laying off all of their full-time employees and replacing them with freelancers. After all, you don't need to provide freelancers with 401(k)s or health benefits!
- Speaking of freelancers: An ANN panel that
didn't actually feature (Gia: Sorry!) hardly featured any of the site's full-time staff. Furthermore, what meeting was so important that Chris and Justin couldn't make an appearance at their own panel? ::snark attack::
- The "Manhwa" booth on the Exhibition Hall floor, which seemed to suggest that a single publisher's output is synonymous with Korean comics translated into English. ::snark attack #2:: (FYI: Yen Press publishes Goong, the one manhwa series the Manhwa booth was selling solely in the original Korean editions, in English translation for the United States.)
- "No one ever tells you this, but you will fall in love while on fieldwork," promised Prof. Georgie Born, formerly of the University of Cambridge. Well, I'm (somewhat) sorry to report that it hasn't happened yet.*
*I will say, though, that there are many people in this world whom I love. These are the people who have been a part of my life for years, and we've laughed and moaned and come into our own together. You know who you are. You guys are great.