Talk Amongst Yourselves

This is where Kotaku readers go to talk about the stuff we're not already posting about. Think of it as the official unofficial Kotaku community forum.


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    Pax tickets 50% sold out. Freaking heck.
    Not sure if Numbers will be able to make it with them selling out this fast D=

      Have you got your tickets? I'd hate to not have another opportunity to be all silent and socially awkward around you.

        Yeah, same as last year. I make someone a cosplay and they buy my tickets =P
        This year, Nob is the one getting the cosplay

        Also sorry i didn't talk too much. I should think of better conversion next year

        Last edited 12/11/13 8:19 pm

          Nah, you were fine. I'm the one who sucked. Real time conversation is just not my forte.

            It was also really cold. Still, i should have made you talk by engaging in conversation with you

              Next time, eh? That'll be my goal for PAX next year: have a proper conversation with Scree.

                We should discuss games. I imagine that shouldn't be too hard, right?

                  So have you heard about these new video games? I hear all the kids today are playing them.

                  Yeah. That should work.

                  @dire_wolf
                  So I'm playing style boutique! It's...probably something you're not interested in...

      No need to worry, PAX tickets are a go!

      Hotel Accommodation, notsomuch...

      Wow, how do you know? Now sure if I should pick some up tonight, or wait until 9-10am ...

        Do it now, man. They tweeted that it's 75% sold out now.

          D: damn son. Alright, peer pressure got to me, I got Fri/Sat tickets.

          Peer pressureeeeeeeeeee.

    Dad: There was a fight at the fish and chip shop today

    Me: Really?

    Dad: Yeah, 2 fish got battered. #dadjokepagesix

      What's the cheapest meat you can buy?

      Deer Balls. They're always under a buck!

    Just entered the PS4 comp Sony emailed out and totally botched it cos I know so little about those launch games.

    Not one FFXV question...

    What's the difference between Paris Hilton and the Titanic?

    Only 800 people went down on the Titanic!

    For those who are looking to do Pax on the cheap, I found this.
    http://www.wimdu.com.au/outer-west-melbourne
    I was checking west because I live there so I can tell if they're near public transport. Otherwise you still have northern, eastern and southern suburbs to choose from.

      Better link
      http://www.wimdu.com.au/melbourne

    God dammit, I was hoping I could hold out on the PAX tickets for a few weeks, since I've got my car rego/greenslip/insurance etc to pay out of this pay. But since the 3 day passes are already half gone I guess I will just do it.

    So yeah. Just got a 3-day PAX pass for myself and my brother.
    Wow. Such meat. Much TAYbies. Awesome.

    So how about that PAX thing guys? Yeah, not attending!

    Been home for almost an hour now. Holding out okay, have completely avoided all contact with the dogs, but now they're so upset with me that they won't get up. (Newfoundlands will do that) Justin (the older one that I like the most) looked heartbroken :(

      @dc keeps talking about PAX North, maybe we could do PAX South.

        We had that Game On thing a few years back, I think that's the closest we'll ever get to an event :P

          MAICon isn't too bad, gives an opportunity to cosplay and geek out a bit. Game On was good though.

            I have a (sorta) friend who went to that last year, and according to the Facebook event page a fair few of my friends were invited (not many actually from Launceston though... Mostly from Burnie)

            Never really been into that kinda thing though

    Hmm, question. Do I try and organise a new cosplay for next year PAX, or do I take scree's amazing Journey outfit and use that again. Seems a shame for all that hard work to only be used once

      Wear the Journey costume on one day, and something else on another!

      Since I now have a plan with Rocketbuddy I need to think up something I can do by myself...

        smother yourself in toothpaste.

        Edit: what are we talking about?

        ...oh. cosplay. nevermind then.

        Last edited 12/11/13 10:13 pm

      eh, make another one.

      Been wondering the same thing. I don't really like reusing my costumes too much, particularly to the same event like that. But on the other hand, people really liked the Manny one plus it's easier than figuring out something new :P

      If I can figure out a Pokemon cosplay before PAX with minimal effort, that's what I'm wearing!

        Pip is seriously considering Team Flare scientist. Which means I'd probably have to try the admin. The bald one I guess.

          Oh that would be awesome! And not that hardof a costume to make!

            First step to making it a reality would be making the scientist headgear, I guess.

              Oh, I was thinking of the grunt costume. The scientists may be a bit more difficult to make :P

    Finished Breaking Bad.

    I'm not entirely sure how to feel about the ending. So conflicted.

      It's what you wanted just not how I think you wanted it. I thought it was a very good ending.

        I thought the ending was pure fanservice in a good way. I think the episode before (walt dies alone in a cabin, Jesse is a Nazi slave, Skyler is disgraced and ruined) is the true Tragic ending.

        I was spending so much time genuinely hating what Walt had become but he seemed to have grown past that by the last episode. Seemed genuinely remorseful and seemed kind of anticlimatic the way he died. It was kind of a hero's death without the blaze of glory or the hero. I really don't know what I wanted. There's nothing to tie up so it was a good ending.

    http://www.twitter.com/PAXAus/status/400225926278938626

    PAX is 75% sold out for three day pass. If you're on the fence, I'd commit soon. XD

    Last edited 12/11/13 10:52 pm

      Hurry up and commit already.

        I've committed to not going!

          You should come so you can exact vengeance for every horrid joke and pun I've ever made.

            You know who you should take! Sketchbook Climbing Girl after an unfortunate (?) transporter accident!

              Well, I guess Climbey does have that whole "secret shame" of having attended Supanova this year...

              But yeah nah "taking" someone interstate is a bit much I think. Plus between you guys and my forum friends and probably even Cosplay Girl again... yeah no :P

                You'd have a convention full of wing men! (No women, though. They can't be trusted not to sabotage and steal you for themselves. *glares at scree*)

                  By that logic, couldn't the wing men not be trusted not to sabotage and steal the target for themselves?

                  Poorly vetted wing men, maybe!

                  *looks suspiciously at DC*

                  You're off the team.

                  @mrtaco as if you need a team, you seem to be doing pretty well by yourself. If anything, we should use you as a lure.

    What did Cinderella do when she got to the ball?

    She choked.

    Shane's trip to Brisbane. All 4700 words of it.

    Here's the bit you already read.

    Wednesday. Out from Canberra airport.

    The portable bag weigher I bought has paid for itself; my suitcase gets checked with 200g clearance. No excess baggage charges this time around.

    I don't like the default seat I've been assigned, so change it up a bit and opt for a window seat. As it turns out, there's no one sitting next to me. Pretty good decision, that one. Spend the trip alternately reading East of Eden and wondering how the bloody hell planes stay in the air. They're huge metal tubes full of heavy people and bags. Start thinking of landing as a partially-controlled plummet, and can't get the image out of my head. Only mildly nervous. Return attention to book.

    I'm staying with Joe and Linda, two friends from a previous life who I haven't seen in way too long, since about 2008 actually.

    Who watches the watchmen? Actually, it turns out that I do. Having not seen the Watchmen movie before, I spend my Wednesday afternoon watching it. Good film, though not much more than a dumb action romp. Probably a good move to jettison all the claims to literature that the comic aspired to, but still... it left a void.

    Chinese food is on the menu tonight, and I share a lovely meal with my congenial hosts. We play a little Injustice, which I haven't played before. Addictive brawler.

    Thursday. I don't know what I'm doing.

    When I come out of my room in the morning, this is waiting for me. #misery

    A promise is made to 'stage' an actual hobbling photo, but this never takes place. (Which is to say that the hobbling goes ahead, but with no photo).

    I've caught the bus in to what is apparently Queen St Mall. The bus driver helpfully points me in the right direction, and I dutifully walk. He drives away, my lone and only safety net (such as it is) whisked away from me in a cloud of stifling petrol fumes.

    I arrive at Hungry Jacks, see no sign of @dc or @strange, and immediately attempt (and fail) to look nonchalant as I lean against the wall and check my phone. There's a message from DC that says "Let us know when you're around." I reply very sociably: "I'm around" and as I hit send, I see @strange and @dc standing about ten metres away.

    I don't really want to say too much about @dc here, because it could quite easily veer into Scrubs-esque-guy-love territory, and no one really wants that. But I'll say this much: he doesn't disappoint, and the way he talks is reassuringly similar to the way he types.

    As we all know, @strange is pretty awesome. She has made this fantastic quilt for Mrs Shane, and presents it to me at about this point in the story. Her son is a cool kid, and funny. At a later stage today, he will get a balloon and proceed to chase me around JB with it. We keep playing the game right up until Strange starts yelling at us to stop. I feel like a kid who's just been busted eating the teacher's chalk or lighting matches behind the desk (ummm.... neither of which I did ever as a kid).

    I think I might have overstated the extent to which I freak out over socialising because both @dc and @strange treat me like I'm about to burst into tears.

    @jimu and @beardymcmuttonchops make it for lunch! They are both very friendly, cool guys, so naturally I don't say much at all. DC very proudly announces that Jimu is white, and not Asian. Thanks, DC.

    Beardy's Kickstarter starts soon (or might have started, I don't recall, sorry), so we should all support him!

    Because I have already had a big Hungry Jacks breakfast, I elect to consume just the $1.20 thickshakes for lunch. I order a Red Velvet one and a strawberry one, and for the life of me, I cannot tell which is which as I drink them.

    DC asks me who I am most nervous about meeting tonight, and without hesitation I single out @dkzeitgeist and @transientmind. DC then proudly tells me (for the first of several times) about the meat where he and Transientmind were the only attendees. It's not a particularly reassuring story, the way he tells it.

    He walks me back to my bus stop, but tries to send me underground. I know that at least that much is wrong, and manage to foil his attempt to sabotage my travelling plans.
    By the time I've returned to Joe and Linda's, more guests have arrived: Linda's sister, niece and nephew.

    Thursday II. C-words

    I am desperately fashionable in a high-vis vest as I set up my stall.

    My banner is up and looking pretty schmick, even if I do think so myself. Given the Game of Thrones focus on this con, I'm kicking myself for not including the "Game of Thrones - galactic version" review quote on the banner.

    By the time it's done, it's 6:30, and there's no time to shower, no time to change, nothing. Just jump on a bus with some books and head to the meat.

    Realising that in my haste, I have books but no pens, I lug the bloody things all over the Queen St Mall looking for a place that sells pens. I have to hide as I pass the Hungry Jacks where we are all scheduled to meet. No one mentions it later on, so I think I get away with it. After weaving my way through a rabbit warren of corridors, I find a Target, and buy 8 pens for five bucks. Now I can return to the group, sweaty yet triumphant. I think I'm even vaguely on time - if not, no one is petty enough to mention it.

    @dkzeitgeist, who proudly introduces himself as my biggest fan (or maybe was christening me as his, I'm not entirely sure. Actually, in retrospect, it was probably this one, because I don't think he owns one of my books at this point in the story) presents me with a present that manages to be simultaneously funny and thoughtful: a cassette recording of the Zeitgeist episode I would be missing tomorrow due to Supanova. It actually legitimately feels kind of cool to own some Zeitgeist merch, and I realise that I'm not so far above the compulsion to collect things as I thought I was.

    Within five minutes of meeting DAN!, I've managed to imply that he ejaculates prematurely (at the sad expense of his partner's satisfaction), and when he leaves at the end of the night, I call him a cunt. I'm pretty sure I make the very best of impressions.

    @transientmind is everything he has been hyped up to be. He conducts himself with an effortless-seeming suave charm that is somewhat awe-inspiring and jealousy-inspiring, but somehow retains an approachable air that prevents him from being entirely intimidating.
    I keep the promise I made to him earlier, and we each purchase a glass of milk from the bar at the Beach House. This costs us four dollars apiece, and I make a secret vow never to keep another promise to another human being ever. A valuable lesson indeed.

    As I have met @freezespreston previously, I shall only focus on the bad points this time around. When my massive burger arrives, he suggests that I cut it in two to help me eat it. I realise now that this was a masterful troll, as the god-awful mess that results causes me to spill burger bits out of just about every bite I attempt. Pretty sure my eating put everyone else off their food. Sorry, gents.

    @sernobulus is there, but we don't get a chance to talk too much. I use my ace-in-the-hole way too early, shouting out "DARK SOULS" \o/ the moment I meet him, and running headfirst into uncomfortable silence territory. Pretty sure he wisely avoids making eye contact with me after that.

    @sughly is there. That's all I can say about the man at this stage, because he carefully sits as far away from me as possible when we go for dinner.

    @beardymcmuttonchops sits up the other end of the table with DAN! and Sughly. I think he might have had enough of me. Fair enough, too.

    @dc is a monster. He wants to elbow the people sitting at the table to his left. For no reason. Or maybe it's because I tell him to. Whatever.

    I offload more books with a carefully targeted range of approaches, including "Does anyone want a book before they go?" and a more individual approach: "Do you want a book before you go?" As you can see, my creativity is on full display tonight. No one wants me to sign their book in pink, and I am disappointed.

    @dkzeitgeist disparagingly refers to himself a C-word as he makes for the exit, but decides to buy a book from me before he goes. So, in DAN!'s book, I write "Keep up the good work, cunt" (@dkzeitgeist, I hope this was actually funny to you, because there's still a part of me that says "Too far, man. Too far." Let me know, and I'll send you a more PG13-rated personalisation. )

    When I return to the house, I kick everyone's ass at Injustice except the 11 y.o. boy.

    Here's some bits I forgot to mention from Thursday:

    * Legend has it that the temperature in Canberra today is hotter than in Brisbane. I pretend to be nonchalant about having one less thing to complain about. You might even say I play it cool (#DadJokePageSix).
    * @dc did give me a punch in the face. He did. @strange is witness. Everyone had a good laugh... though I think you had to be there, so I won't explain any further.
    * DAN! says I sound like Richard (edit: Kingsmill). I have no idea if it's a compliment or not, but at least I have a fallback option impersonating JJJ hosts if things get really rocky.

    And without further ado, Friday through Monday.

    Friday. Supa...

    Anyone remember Samurai Pizza Cats? It's on DVD, and my hosts have it. I loved that show when I was a kid, but there's no way that it can measure up to those fond memories, right?

    WRONG.

    Oh man, it was fantastic. So crazy funny. We suspect (without having done even a lick of research to verify) that the English dub is entirely unrelated to the original Japanese content, and was written on the fly to accompany whatever was happening on the screen. It is genuinely batshit crazy, but self-aware enough to be winkingly funny. I really enjoy watching one point five episodes before the day kicks off.

    I'm never too sure about competitive etiquette, especially when facing off against people half your age. But anyone who really knows me knows that when I'm given an opportunity to compete, I am fierce, determined and absolutely unyielding. Also I'm a desperately ungracious winner. I whoop the kids (and adults) at Injustice many times. Eventually I get the distinct impression that my merciless winning is causing me to overstay my welcome, so I hand the controller away, and go to have a little alone freak-out.

    Soon, it's time to get moving.

    I spend way too long thinking about the answer to a question that no one was ever going to ask me: "What's your favourite thing about Brisbane?" My response: "The way that people say 'thank you' as they get off the bus, even if they're getting off through the rear doors."

    I don't know why, but of everything that's going on, and excepting the absence of my family, that's the thing that reminds me most that I'm not in Canberra anymore. I guess the little details matter after all.

    At Supanova, no one I speak to is expecting too much to happen today, so I'm expecting a slow afternoon. It's what I get. In the six hours the convention is open that day, I sell six books (and three of those are to someone I know from Canberra).

    That night, the comics folks wander down to a nearby Chinese restaurant, and I order vegetables. After having eaten nothing all afternoon but sugar-coated dried pineapple chunks, I feel I owe my arteries something. One last hurrah. Especially if the weekend ahead is anything like previous cons.

    After some confusion with the Translink journey planning site, I discover (by using my feet and eyes) that the bus stop I need is right around the corner from the restaurant, outside the 'gentleman's club'. I make eye contact with nobody and catch the bus back to Joe and Linda's.

    Saturday. Nova... (hi @novacascade)

    SHIT. I've slept in. I never sleep in. I haven't slept in in years. Not this late.

    No time for breakfast. No time for shower. I throw on some clothes and charge out the door.

    I'm stressed and already a little grumpy by the time I even reach my table, but I make it with time to spare before opening. Indeed, I'm actually one of the first people to arrive on artist alley. I should have stopped to get some food. Too late now, though.

    Anyway, the doors open and people enter. Lots of people. A huge, pulsating mass of nerds with cash to burn. I want all that cash to be mine. I know this is not going to happen.

    The morning is as slow as yesterday afternoon. I sell a book an hour. It's pretty demoralising, to be honest. I try to keep a positive attitude, but it's hard. I feel the defeat sinking into my gut, although I refuse to let it show on my face. A sullen demeanour is not going to sell books, that much I know for sure.

    Here's something I've picked up from the various cons I've done so far. I'm not sure how this is going to come across, so I'm going to preface these observations with the following disclaimer: I'm not bitter about it - this is just what I've observed.

    It's a relatively quiet Saturday afternoon. I am trying to keep an eye on the stalls around me, trying to see what gets the attention of con attendees, and what doesn't.

    What sells:
    Fads. These days, anything with zombies is a surefire recipe for success.
    Doodads. A lot of stalls, even comic ones, fill out their tables with little plastic gizmos and such. They were cheap, and seemed to move pretty well.
    Craft and crafting. The guys at the table next to me had a pretty constant stream of customers, and plenty of excited people charging across the building, drawn by word of mouth to check out their cute hand-made (3)DS cases and hair clips. The table at the other end of my row selling markers also had a strong show.
    Fan art. Attaching your work to a more popular segment of popular culture is a good business strategy. Folks selling professional prints that venerate popular shows and movies (Star Wars/Firefly/superheroes/Transformers/lots of stuff I know nothing about) apparently do very well this weekend.
    Bright, short and snappy. It's pretty hard to convince someone on a limited budget to splash out $18 or more on an author they've never heard of (even if it is a decent price for such a large book, it's still a large risk). On the other hand, a small hand-stapled sample comic selling for the cost of a hamburger is a tried-and-true road test method. If it's in colour, even better, because it will attract eyes from a distance.

    What doesn't sell:
    The Lesser Evil. The Lesser Evil is none of these things. It doesn't easily draw the eye, it doesn't appeal to the wallet, it doesn't latch on to established popular culture. If I can get someone to pick up the book and have a decent look at it, I have a decent conversion rate to sale.
    But it's not something that's immediately engaging at a place where everything is happening in a rush, where time and money is limited, and there are a thousand brighter, louder, shinier and cheaper things vying for a punter's attention.
    I don't mean to suggest that the other things on offer at other tables are devoid of substance, but the only thing my books have going for them is substance. They can't compete in any of the other arenas mentioned above.

    Mitigation
    Because my books can't compete on any of the above arenas, I have to work hard to sell each and every copy. I can't just hope they'll catch someone's eye; I have to be standing, engaging with every person who walks past, holding out my book in the hope that they will take it, flick through it, and be impressed enough to take a gamble on me.

    Every person who walks past is a potential fan, and (with all due modesty) a hefty percentage of them might even be likely fans, given half a chance. I want to give them that half a chance. I have to sell my books, because they won't sell themselves.

    I'm so far outside my comfort zone that I don't even recognise the guy standing there trying to sell books.

    At around lunchtime on Saturday, I am feeling particularly alone and insignificant in this place.

    I take semi-regular sitting breaks all through today, and especially in the morning - I just don't feel enough enthusiasm to keep up the pressure on passersby all day. I subtly clear out my 3DS streetpasses as regularly as I can, and by day's end, I have 103 of them. That's enough for the 100-in-a-day achievement, and I realise then that it's the only achievement I really wanted to get. I might even be just about finished with Streetpasses now.

    Things pick up in the afternoon, though, and I sell about twenty books in the space of three hours. There's still about eighty books sitting on the ground behind me, so it's not quite the landslide I am hoping for... but it's something. It's enough for now.

    Before I leave for the night, I drop the price of the 3-book bundle from $45 to $40. Hopefully that makes a splash tomorrow.

    That night, the awesome and friendly folks at Geek Speak invited all the creators out to a local hotel for drinks, and put on a very generous bar tab. I initially intended to take it easy, but after flubbing my drinks order and accidentally winding up with two drinks instead of one, I realised the cards were stacked against me. I had no choice but to slam down the first drink at top speed, so that I didn't look like some weird free-food-hoarding moocher when I returned to the group.

    I don't recognise the guy who goes around tonight, chatting with everyone, getting to know as many people as he could get to. Alcohol has never given me that kind of social confidence before; I guess this is the first time I've had drinks on a stomach that's had no meals for twenty-four hours though. Still, I have a great time, and get to meet a whole bunch of other comics creators and artist alley vendors. It is a great night, and I get uncharacteristically tipsy.

    The nearest bus stop is, again, the gentleman's club bus stop. I hope that the detective Mrs Shane has hired to follow me has actually been following me, and isn't just hanging around places like this hoping I'd show up. I'm so uncomfortable waiting here that when I realise that there's still 25 minutes till the bus arrives, I head back to the bar and say goodbye to comics people once again.

    As I haven't eaten anything all day and am feeling kind of muzzy in the head, the BBQ cheeseburgers I buy from Hungry Jacks when I hop off the bus that night taste as good as satin feels.

    Sunday. ...aaaa? It's still going?

    I'm so exhausted. You wouldn't think standing still for three days is particularly tiring, and you might not think that talking rote lines to strangers is especially draining, but there's no way I could be more completely wiped, physically, mentally, spiritually.

    But there's still a whole day to go, and so I screw this doofy smile of confidence-faux upon my face, and grind out the day.

    It turns out to be a good decision. More than fifty books are sold today. The new price point of $40 seems to be a big draw card, and the words "Can I tempt you to get all three books for $40?" have a success rate of greater than 50%. Seriously. I don't know whether the word 'tempt' has some secret magic powers, or whether the price point descended past some risk threshold, but the books start to sell really well as bundles.

    By the end of the day, I have only three copies of The Lesser Evil remaining, and quite a few of the two volumes of Peaceful Tomorrows. Still, I've done a huge amount better than I thought I would.

    The day has passed in a blur. I can't account for it; all I know is that I've eaten nothing, and drank only about a litre of water. I barely remember the bus trip in this morning.

    Joe has finished the replica sword he has been working on for months, and intends to give it to his client this morning to complete the guy's cosplay. He smuggles it in early morning with me. Also coming in early is Linda's nephew Liam. I like the name Liam, and the kid seems cool too. I think he might not have much of the liking for me since I only lost to him once in Injustice, but he's polite enough not to show it. We get in very early and wander around the marquee, which I haven't seen yet. A separate area for the retail stalls, and they all get AIR CONDITIONERS. I remark rather unwittily that if I had just one of those up near my stall, I would get rich. It's probably true, but after some thought I decide that I probably couldn't get away with theft like that.

    I do recall meeting a few TAY people today. @freezespreston, @sughly, Mini-sughly, @popdart5, and @dc all come by the stall. @popdart5 is a cool guy - and I was the first TAYbie he met. Poor guy - could have done so much better. He's also a fellow public servant! I wheedle $40 out of him, and send him on his way.

    I forget which order everyone else comes in, but Freeze and Sughly miss DC by a few minutes, and everyone misses Popdart by a few minutes, and eventually Freeze and Sughly track down DC (with a little guidance from yours truly).

    DC looks so freaked out by the thick crowd here that he looks like he's about to cry. He hops nervously from one foot to the other and is looking around as if expecting someone to inadvertently touch him at any moment. I think that he's pretty brave to hang around a place like this all day with that kind of anxiety weighing on his back, but of course I don't say anything complimentary like that.

    I also get to see some old SerenityOZ friends, Brendan and Diana, and their small offspring, CJ (who is absolutely named after the iconic West Wing character). It's good seeing them, as I haven't seen them in years, and I let them have the book bundle at mate's rates.

    The late afternoon and evening part of the day is DEAD. No foot traffic at all. Half of artist alley has already packed up and gone home by the time the doors close at 6pm. I've never seen anything like it. I must admit, though, I'm kind of jealous that they feel okay breaking their stalls down early, and kind of wish I felt the same.

    At day's end, Popdart and DC have returned to assist me in breaking down my stall, as has my host Joe. Everyone meets, and makes with the chitchat while I pack up my stuff, and send folks on bin runs. I am so exhausted by this point that I can barely concentrate, and I worry I might have been a little gruff and/or ungrateful for the help and company. Just in case it didn't come across, @popdart5 and @dc, I really appreciate it, guys.

    I leave the guys for a few minutes to give out some copies of my books to the folks I bent elbows with the night before. They are all grateful, and most offer up some excess stock of their own as compensation. At the risk of sounding like a complete jerk, I am at best only mildly interested in most of the stuff offered, but I take it and will read it before passing final judgement.

    Everyone asks me if I'll be at any more cons; I proudly tell them that my wife is pregnant, and that I'm a homebody for the foreseeable future. I thought I would be a little disappointed by this, but I feel absolutely okay with it. Home is my place. Cons - even ones that go well - still feel like weird and alien places for me.

    DC goes to hang out with his Space Pyrates pals, and Popdart leaves as I exit with my suitcase of stuff. I wander down to Joe's car with him, and pile all my crap aboard. He offers to drive it back to his place and leave me here to do whatever social thing is planned.

    There are indeed plans for the comics folks to meet out at a pub at a place called Milton. As directions start to make themselves known, it becomes clear to me that getting out there and back before the buses stop for the night will be a MAJOR hassle. At the eleventh hour, DC whisks me away from those problems, and we go on a brief mandate to the city instead and binge on Hungry Jacks. The lady at the counter thinks we are a couple because DC sneakily buys two pink milkshakes for us and tries to put his hand in my pocket.

    This is the most relaxing part of my day to date, and it's pretty clear to me that this was a much better choice than trying to figure out the train to Milton and back again. Thanks @dc, you are indeed excellent company. Really needed that decompression. I feel a little guilty that @Popdart5 is long gone by the time this decision is taken, because this was something he totally could have participated in.

    I send Mrs Shane a picture of a train to show my daughter, but the message doesn't arrive on her phone until about two hours after she's picked me up from the airport the next day.

    When I get back to Joe and Linda's that night, Joe and I spend about four hours listening to cool music (including the entire James Flamestar album!) and looking at photos from a previous life: the annual Brisbane SerenityOz shindigs (of which I participated in 2 out of 3). It's a great way to wrap up the day, and the weekend.

    According to a Facebook post made by Supanova on Tuesday night, around 34900 people visited Supanova over the course of the weekend. Huge numbers. By far the biggest con I've ever attended. Of that huge throng, I only like about fifty people. The ones who bought my books. They are the true elite, the 0.1 per cent, the ubermensch.

    Monday. Leaving, on a jet plane...

    I wake up more than 10 hours after I went to sleep. Amazing. That's twice as much sleep as I usually get. I must have been so wrecked.

    Holy shit. The Lesser Evil track on James Flamestar's unbelievable album Stargazers is an epic track even on the tinny speakers I've been listening on. But in a room with surround sound and subwoofers... man. Oh man. It was HUGE. I don't know what's beyond epic on the scale of awesome, but this reaches whatever mythical peak you can imagine.

    If you don't own this album, shame on you.

    And all too soon, it's time to be heading home.

    Being home is great. I missed my wife and kids so much. Spending five days apart is harder than maybe it should be, but I'm okay with that.

    Better than it being easy.

    THE END.

    Last edited 12/11/13 11:24 pm

      Linkdump:
      #1: Desperately fashionable: https://twitter.com/GrumpyOldGamer_/status/399355389164003328/photo/1
      #2: What I got from DAN! https://www.dropbox.com/sc/fde4hu4vjdj1nqq/346zOSOGmn
      #3: What I wrote for DAN! in return https://twitter.com/dkzeitgeist/status/398407932976443393/photo/1

      Linkdump2:
      #4: GeekSpeak Facebook http://www.facebook.com/geekspeaktv
      #5: James Flamestar album http://jamesflamestar.bandcamp.com/album/james-flamestar-stargazers
      #6: Leaving on a train https://twitter.com/GrumpyOldGamer_/status/399730445442510848/photo/1
      Oh and FYI @Strange, this picture depicts me wearing a clean, fresh shirt. It just happens to resemble the one I wore on Thursday, as I bought about eight of them at the same time, each with a slightly different colour.

        Haha! All my lumberjack shirts look the same, so she should be used to Sleepy Hollow-like lack of costume changes from TAYbies.

          I have half a dozen plain black shirts and blue/grey/faded-blue jeans, so yeah, that's going to hold pretty much true here, too.

      And, of course, Guy-Love http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lL4L4Uv5rf0

      And because I'm terrible at telling people how I feel about them, I should add that all the Brisbane folk live up to the hype. You're all awesome people, and it was really great meeting/seeing you all!

        You too, man. I'm sorry I didn't swing by more than once on Saturday. But after Garry's photo at 12:40 I was ready to bail.

      Really glad you made some big sales- I remember you were a little disappointed after Adelaide.

        Thanks!
        It's pretty much all about adjusting expectations. On reflection, I did all right in Adelaide too.

        Last edited 12/11/13 11:57 pm

      Home is my place.

      Main reason I didn't hang around afterwards. I was thinking of it since it is probably going to be a while before I see you again but I really just wanted to get home and see the wife and kids.

        It's all good, my friend. Pretty much what I assumed.

      I really hope you didn't mind me hanging around your booth Sunday afternoon. Hope I didn't cost you any sales. Also, I was incredibly stressed at the crowd. I guess it showed. XD

      Shane, it was so damn awesome meeting you. I was nervous, the kind of nerves you get when you're meeting someone you respect like crazy and I've said it before but I'll say it again: you live up to the hype. (You might even exceed the hype and I was already expecting big things.) Before these meats you never know how an online friendship will translate to the offline kind, but I'm proud to call you a friend man. Possibly one of the best I've ever had! But, uh, that's enough feelings!

      Space Pyrates folk totally respected your ability to stand for three days too. What a trooper! They also had nothing but kind and nice things to say about you as a person as well.

      Last edited 12/11/13 11:41 pm

        I feel pretty much the same way, dude, but as I'd much rather those feelings be implied than directly expressed outright, I'm just going to post a link that I forgot to embed in the original post.

        SAMURAI PIZZA CATS
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXiJYcK4-GU
        (As soon as someone finds the script, we might begin the show!)

        Last edited 12/11/13 11:54 pm

          That was totally screening upstairs in the Mad Men Anime Theatre. XD

          Also, you going to post non-Kotaku edition to your blog too? TOTALLY SHOULD!

          Last edited 12/11/13 11:57 pm

            UGH. So much work. It never ends, does it? :P

              Fine, wait until you're back on the governments dime. :P

        Possibly one of the best I've ever had!

        Uhn. That hurts man. Hurts deep.

          You and Sughly are like brothers, man....

          Oh man, too many feelings tonight. Haha.

        By the end of Thursday's Meat with you and @shane I felt like an awkward third wheel. Kind of like when I'm with you and @sughly. :P
        I told you you'd be fine, you doofus. :D

          Wait... that's not good :(

            Wait...yes it is! I just mean you guys were getting on fine and didn't need me as a buffer anymore.

          But don't you see, Strange. We were all feeling like awkward third wheels. XD

      Heh. Totally feel guilty reading about that sales stuff, because I'm one of those guys who just wanders around the place with zero intention of buying anything :P

      Glad it went well for you all up though. Epic tale.

      tl;dr Thanks for the tag :P

        Ok fine, I lied. I did read it all. Sounds like an awesome week. Glad it went so well for you

      You've done well! The write-up is appreciated too!

      And a slightly revamped version here with pics:
      http://shanewsmith.com/blog/2013/11/brisbane-supanova-2013/
      cc @dc

      I think you mean Richard Kingsmill, Shane.

      You gent, you.

        I have a feeling that the word "gent" might end up becoming a running joke here.

      8/10, needs more jimu

    Streetpassing is one of my new favourite things in the world, second only to Lady Gaga's new album!
    https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/1441186_10201783812428596_46519768_n.jpg
    I'm deriving far to much enjoyment from this greeting! I feel I need to point out however that I am not a psycho or anything!

      My greeting is "shanewsmith.com". Yours is an appropriate response to that. :P

        Mines an appropriate response for all occasions!

      Did I get your friend code?

        Yeah we are friends, I appear as my real name though, not as Liondrive :)

    i wonder how many people are gonna buy PAX tickets & not turn up coz they forgot they bought PAX tickets a year ago?

      Except when they get them in the mail a month before

        hush you. this is no time for your logic.

        In which case they pull a @rocketman and have to arrange flights and accommodation at the last minute and cause themselves excessive stress
        (Love you Rockets :D )

      One of my friends this year only went on the Sunday because he forgot that it was on on the Friday, then had work on the Saturday.

    So I just reluctantly bought a 3 day PAX thingo. Kinda sorta really annoyed how early this is. The fact that the tickets sell so quickly just makes it worse.

      At least you know they'll be easy to ditch on Gumtree if you change your mind. 90% sold so far.

    Ok, so if I don't multiply the FOV angle of the perspective matrix by two, I get an image that doesn't (seem to) distort as it moves towards the outer edges of the screen. But then everything appears to be much closer and things don't look right. Plus it still screws with the barrel distortion in the end anyway so things look wrong.

    This is too hard and I just want to give up already,

    Oh God. Past 90%... Freaking out that Anton wont get a ticket now :(

    SO MUCH MONEY SPENT THIS MONTH!

    Had to buy Pax tix this morning as they were 90% sold out :/

    Also getting a launch US PS4! Despite it only having as many games as the Wii U at launch. *rimshot*

    How's you guys?

      I woke up this morning to find one of my monitors isn't displaying a picture anymore. Thanks monitor, it's not like I spent $300 on PAX tickets yesterday.

      Last edited 13/11/13 8:53 am

        Yeah, the money I was going to put towards a new graphics card went towards buying PAX tickets yesterday.

        Admittedly I'll get all but $155 of that money back but I really wanted the GTX 780 :(

    New TS server details:

    27.50.70.3:10527

    Usual password.

    @negativeZero
    Don't know if you saw but we finally have a release date for The banner saga. Looking to launch on the 14th of Jan. Looking to be shaping up pretty much along the lines I expected when I backed.
    Maybe you can get your games back and launched total up to 2

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