Changes to our Planet Comicon appearance plans.

So, hey!

Kevin and I were originally slated to appear as guests this coming weekend at Planet Comicon, the ginormous pop culture convention held each year at Kansas City’s Bartle Hall convention center.

Kevin was going to be there all three days, though the bulk of his Friday is committed to working at Hallmark’s PopMinded booth. I have to work that day, but we both had tables in the exhibitor area for the entire weekend, at which I’d planned to spend the bulk of Saturday and Sunday.

Circumstances have seen to it that neither Kevin nor I will be there on Saturday. With his prior commitment on Friday and our effective absence for two of the show’s three days, we felt it only proper to contact the con folks and give up our assigned table spaces. Our understanding is that there’s a waiting list, and we hope we’ve provided sufficient time to let those spaces go to other creators looking to show off their wares.

As of now, our plan is to be there Sunday, as we’d both previously agreed to appear with fellow writers Jeni Frontera and Jason Arnett on a writing panel at 11:30am that day. Though we won’t have assigned table space that day, we’re still happy to sign books/etc. for anyone who wants to find us. If that means sitting at one of the tables outside a panel room for a bit, I’m game for that, and I’ll even be schlepping along copies of Drastic Measures for those who may be interested. If you’re planning to be there on Sunday, hit me or Kevin up on Twitter, and we’ll find a way to connect.

We’re truly sorry for the late change of plans, and we’re grateful to the gang at Planet Comicon for being so understanding. We remain huge supporters of the show and those who work so hard to bring it to life each year, and it’s our sincere hope that we can be back as guests for 2019.

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Come see me and Kevin at Kansas City Comic Con!

Awwwwww Yissssssssss.

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Thanks to the con’s own swank and rather handy header graphic, I’m left with almost nothing to tell you about next weekend’s Kansas City Comic Con, which will take place next weekend, November 10-12, at Bartle Hall in downtown KC. Why did I just repeat everything that’s listed in the graphic? Because I just know that without fail, someone will ask when or where the con is taking place.

So, here I am…covering my bases.

Expect to see a lot going on at this year’s show. For one thing, the con is hosting a 40th anniversary reunion with cast members from 1978’s Superman: The Movie. Visiting our fair town next weekend will be Margot Kidder, Sarah Douglas, Jeff East, Diane Sherry Case, Jack O’Halloran, and Aaron Smolinski.

Representing the 1960s Batman TV show are Burt Ward and Lee Meriwether, and fresh off the set of Star Trek: Discovery and his breakout role as Lieutenant Commander Saru, actor Doug Jones. You’ll also see the one and only Silent Bob himself, Kevin Smith, along with Jason Mewes prowling the premises, along with several other guests from film and TV.

On the creator side of the guest list, hometown prolific AF comics writers like Jason Aaron and Dennis Hopeless will be on hand, anchoring a large slate of comics and prose creators. There is also a sizeable roster of cosplay personalities, showcasing their craft all weekend.

Oh, and hey! Kevin and I will be there, too.

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We’ll have tables in the con’s vendor area, upon which you may find for sale limited quantities of – among other things – new and recent releases like the Star Trek: Waypoint trade paperback along with my Klingon Empire Travel Guide and Predator: If It Bleeds.

Or, bring whatever you want signed and we’ll do that for the low-low cost of Nuthin’.

So, if you’re not doing anything next weekend, such as celebrating the Marine Corps’ 242nd birthday or commemorating Veterans Day (perhaps by visiting the National World War I Museum and Memorial?), maybe we’ll see you at the con!

Vegas, baby! Post-#STLV17 catching up.

disco-con-embemSo, that big honkin’ ginormous convention in Las Vegas last week sure was something.

Five full days of high-intensity, full frontal Trekkery jiggling itself right in front of your face. You’re welcome for that visual, by the way.

And that was just what *I* endured. Some folks were there longer, as if that’s even possible. My hetero life mate, Kevin Dilmore flew out on Monday, July 31st, with members of his team from Hallmark so they could spend Tuesday setting up their booth space in the con’s exhibitor hall. Other people performing similar duties arrived on scene for their own setup. The good peeps from CBS Licensing had their hands full, constructing not one but two galleries containing props, pics, and other goodies to celebrate Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s pending 30th anniversary as well as the up and coming Star Trek: Discovery, which premieres on September 24th.

Me? I pretty much screwed around the whole time.

Continue reading “Vegas, baby! Post-#STLV17 catching up.”

Put away your breakables, Las Vegas. #STLV17

I’m coming for you, Sin City.

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That’s right, kids! Thanks to the miracle of advance scheduling, by the time you read this I’ll be soaring west in a pressurized metal tube filled to overflowing with germs, desperate hopes, and cash which may or may not be disposable as I head for the gloriously dry heat of the Nevada desert and the unending sea of neon and broken dreams that is Las Vegas.

It was just a year or so ago that Kevin and I traveled to Vegas to celebrate Star Trek‘s 50th anniversary. Five full days of fun and friends, it was one for the books. Now here we are, one circumnavigation of the sun later, and it’s time to do it all over again.

For 2017, there’s a lot to be jazzed about so far as Trek goes. First, we’re celebrating the 30th anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s premiere on television. Yeah, read that last part back again. Thirty frikkin’ years? It seems like only yesterday that I sat with some of my friends in a barracks rec room at Camp Pendleton, watching this new show with its new captain, that weird robot, and some kid they eventually let drive the ship. I mean…the hell’s that about? To help commemorate three decades of making it so, the entire ST:TNG cast will be on hand for all sorts of reminiscing and whatnot. Be sure to book your photo ops early!

Meanwhile, the other “Big News” is that we’re inching ever closer to the premiere of Star Trek: Discovery, which will air on September 24th. Rumors and gossip are running rampant, but you can be sure some juicy tidbits will drop at various point during the con.

And when you get tired of all that? You can come looking for me and my hetero life mate, Kevin Dilmore, along with fellow Trek word pushers David Mack, Robb Pearlman, Mike Johnson, Ethan Siegel, Larry Nemecek, and…of course…my sister from another mister, Kirsten Beyer. At least two editors I know of, Ed Schlesinger from Pocket Books and Sarah Gaydos from IDW Publishing, will also be on hand in the hopes of adding an air of maturity and calm to the proceedings.

Good luck, you two.

So, for those of you heading to the con, here’s hoping our paths will cross somewhere in the midst of all that insanity. Gonna be fun, right?

GoneTrekkin

My Shore Leave 39 schedule!

shore-leave-logoThrough the wonder of scheduled posting, you’re now reading something I wrote late Wednesday night, which was posted while I’m winging my way to Baltimore from Kansas City. Goodness, but technology is nifty. What will they think of next?

Anyway……

So, I’m on my way to Baltimore (and points north) for the annual Shore Leave convention, held as always in Hunt Valley, Maryland, at a hotel which has had three names in as many years. This time around, it’s the Delta Hotels Baltimore Hunt Valley, but it’ll always be the Hunt Valley Inn in my eyes. What’s important, though, is that the hotel is and remains home to one of two conventions to which I most look forward each year. This one is fun because it gives me an opportunity to connect with East Coast-based friends I see only during this frantic weekend. We’ll be cramming a lot of catching up into the three days of con shenanigans. Much of that reuniting will occur in the hotel bar. I mean…..it’s inevitable.

Aside from that, as one of the con’s writer guests, I’ll be doing my share of panel discussions and other mischief throughout the weekend. Want to know where to find me at Shore Leave 39? Here you go:

Continue reading “My Shore Leave 39 schedule!”

Comic-Con Professional Badge: The Unboxening!

The first few times I attended San Diego Comic-Con as a professional, the process of obtaining your “professional credentials” was straightforward, albeit soul-killing. Even for the years I don’t go, I always register for my badge, anyway, as it’s usually a late decision about attending, and I don’t want to get left tapping on the glass because I missed the registration/verification window.

After completing the verification process which requires hopeful attendees to fill out a few forms, and submit proof of their status as professional writers, artists, or other creators, you’d receive a letter letting you know you’d been approved, and a badge would be waiting for you at the con. All you had to do was survive the gauntlet of crowds, lines, and other obstacles until you fought your way to one of the people who would give you your badge, along with a few other goodies like a lanyard, program guide, ginormous swag bag, and so on.

In recent years, the con has taken steps to streamline this process so that it moves more quickly and efficiently for everyone involved (yes, including the recipients of said badges). The last couple of years, after the verification and registration process is completed online, credentials were mailed a few weeks before the con, in a nondescript envelope.

This year, it seems the con is stepping up their game yet again. Apparently dissatisfied with the simple envelope approach, now the receipt of one’s professional con credentials is a bit of an event!

It starts with the plain packing envelope that arrived in my mailbox, and the opening of said envelope which reveals this little package contained therein:

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Pretty classy, I have to admit. This isn’t some cheap, fragile box, either. I’m moderately convinced I might be able to use this thing as an improvised weapon in one of those crazy Jason Bourne fight scenes where he uses books, pens, and whatever else he can find.

Anyway, I can hear some of you yelling, “What’s in the box?!?” Flipping up the box’s lid reveals the juicy contents:

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Yep! Right on top, there’s my badge, sans lanyard. It seems that I’m still going to have to wait in line for that, the program guide, swag bag, and other stuff, but at least now it’s more of an assembly line process where you just grab and go, etc.

But wait! There’s more! Beneath the badge, lies other goodies:

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Actually, aside from the cute little pin, the main thing in there is a small checklist/FAQ-type doc, that can be helpful if you’re new to the con and dealing with the information overload you’re going to experience upon setting foot inside the con for the first time.

Pretty snazzy, Comic-Con. Pretty snazzy, indeed.

 

Thank you, StarFest Denver! Also? Back to work for me.

Previously on The Fog of Ward:

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Not much going on around here over the past several days. Most of that can be attributed to our road trip to Denver for the annual StarFest Convention. For those keeping score at home, 2017 marked our 15th visit to the Mile High State for this particular show. As always, we had a terrific time catching up with old friends, making some new ones, selling a few books, and generally enjoying ourselves throughout the three days of full-on multimedia nerdity.

A big part of what makes the show so much fun is the staff. Headed up by KathE Walker and her husband, Stephen, StarFest is a family affair in more ways than one. The core group of people overseeing everything are either members of the extended Walker family or else close friends, and together they’ve been doing this thing for 40 years.

Continue reading “Thank you, StarFest Denver! Also? Back to work for me.”

Come see me and Kevin at @StarFestDenver!

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It’s almost that time again!

 

Come Thursday, my hetero life mate and frequent writing partner, Kevin Dilmore, will be aiming the Mirth Mobile west as we take on the grueling, unrelentingly boring drive across Kansas via I-70 on our way to bee-yootiful Denver, Colorado. Why? Because this year marks our 15th consecutive year attending the totally fun and kick-ass StarFest Convention.

We’re talking about nearly three full days’ worth of multi-media awesomeness, including SF and Fantasy, Horror, Comics, Gaming, Robotics, and Art, and all sorts of other good stuff, brought to us by the good people at Denver-based Starland, who’ve been putting on this show for 40 years. As it happens, a little bitty science fiction film you may have heard of, Star Wars, also celebrates its 40th birthday this year, so that seems reason enough to throw a party.

In addition to having space in the vendor/exhibitor/author alley area of the con all weekend, you’ll be able to find me and Kevin in various places all weekend. For example:

Friday:

Guests Meet & Greet – Main Events – 7pm-8:30pm

Saturday:

Costume Contest – Main Events (we’re both judging) – 8pm-????

Sunday:

StarFest Talent Show  (Kevin’s hosting, I’m judging) – 9am-9:45am
“The Completely Unexpected Media Tie-In Panel” – 10:30am-11:25am

There may be other panels and activities about which I’ve not been informed, or we may just crash a few things because they sound fun. Who knows?

For those wondering, Kevin and I will have on hand copies of our most recent publications, including everything published since last year’s show, of which there are several. Check it out:

2113: Stories Inspired By the Music of Rush (I don’t remember if we had this last year)
Star Trek: The Original Series – Elusive Salvation
24: Trial by Fire
Hidden Universe Travel Guides – Star Trek: Vulcan
Star Trek: Legacies – Purgatory’s Key
Planet of the Apes: Tales from the Forbidden Zone
Star Trek: The Next Generation – Headlong Flight
our Star Trek: Waypoint comic

We’ll also have a varying number of copies of older titles.

So, if you’re attending the con, be sure to come by and say “Howdy.” Hope to see you there!

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Trekking to Ticonderoga and the Star Trek Set Tour!

Well, it seems the cat’s out of the bag on this one, as it’s been reported in different places and a couple of people have asked me about it.

Along with my hetero life mate, Kevin Dilmore, and a whole gaggle of fellow writers of various Star Trek persuasions (novels and other books, comics, even the odd script or two), I’ll be making the trek to scenic Ticonderoga, New York during the first weekend in May, to hang out at the incredible Star Trek Original Series Set Tour!

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Along with Kevin and me, fellow Star Trek wordsmiths Keith R. A. DeCandidoMichael Jan FriedmanDave GalanterDavid R. George III, Bob GreenbergerGlenn HaumanBill LeisnerDavid MackScott Pearson,  and Aaron Rosenberg will all be descending upon poor little Ticonderoga for a one-day “Star Trek Writers Mini-Con” to be held on Saturday, May 6th, from 1pm-6pm.

What originally was just going to be a friendly get-together among friends has morphed into a “Meet the Authors” event that will include book signings and Q&A sessions. I don’t know if we’ll attract all that many curious visitors, but you can guarantee we writer nerds will make our own fun.

Why? Because of the sets, people.

The brainchild and dream project of ardent Star Trek fan James Cawley, this one-of-a-kind attraction is exactly what its name implies: A full-blown walking tour of one of the most faithful recreations of the original Star Trek filming sets ever devised. Working from blueprints and photographs of the original soundstages as they appeared during the filming of the original show in the 1960s, James and a group of loyal enthusiasts have constructed bang-on replicas of all the U.S.S. Enterprise interiors.

It’s all here, including such memorable locations as engineering, sickbay, the transporter room, and–of course–the bridge. Everything is linked by familiar Enterprise corridors, and the whole smash is laid out almost exactly as it was constructed on Desilu Stage 9. No detail is overlooked, from signage to buttons to odds and ends on shelves in Captain Kirk’s quarters to those unidentified doodads and thingamajigs hanging everywhere on walls and conduits and whatnot.

Here, take a look:

And there are plenty more photos on the tour’s official website and its Facebook Page.

It’s okay to drool. I did.

Those familiar with Mr. Cawley’s work know that these sets came about as a result of his desire to create new “fan made” episodes of the original Star Trek. After creating a series of well-received episodes, he has continued to work on improving the sets, and eventually worked out a deal with CBS to officially license the tour.

There have been several recreations of various original series sets over the years, including a few created by fans for similar fan film projects. None of the recreations I’ve seen in exhibits or traveling tours have reached this level of detail, though. To this point, I’ve only seen the photographs, but I can already tell you how this is going to go down.

(Cue vids and pictures of Dayton running around the sets like an 8-year old hopped up on Pop Rocks and Red Bull, smiling and touching all of the things and maybe even himself.)

Granted, Ticonderoga is a bit off the beaten path, but hey! If you’re able to join us on Saturday, May 6th, between 1pm and 6pm, come on out! The writer gang was going to be there, anyway, and we’ll be hanging around and having fun all day.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be on the bridge.

The Official Dayton & Kevin 2017 Convention Stalking Guide.

It’s still early, but the 2017 convention season is already starting to build out for me and Kevin. I don’t typically do very many cons each year, and Kevin does a few more in his role representing Hallmark. That said, there are a couple we always never to miss, along with a few others we’re always game to attend if schedules and planets align in proper fashion.

As of this writing, this Official Stalking Guide is a work in-progress, but we do have a handful of tentative dates already slotted. Nothing’s been absolutely confirmed, but it’s our sincere intention to lower property values at the following locales during throughout the year:

Starfest 2017 – April 21-23 – Denver, Colorado
One of our very favorite cons, Kevin and I will almost certainly be making our fifteenth consecutive annual trip to Denver to hang with the Starland gang. The trip has truly become something of a “family reunion” as much as it as a convention, as we’ve made so many friends there over the years, and each new con brings with it the chance to make new friends, or put faces to names we encounter over the internet.

Shore Leave 39 – July 7-9 – Hunt Valley, Maryland
Another show we make every effort to attend, mostly because it’s one of the few media cons of this size that also caters to a large list of author guests. Pocket Books and the Star Trek fiction cabal is usually well-represented, but there are also several other writer guests who show up every year and who have loyal followings. It’s three days of jam-packed programming, after which I may have to build in an extra day or so of sight-seeing so I can get down to D.C. and check out the restored U.S.S. Enterprise model at the Smithsonian.

Comic-Con International – July 19-23 – San Diego, California
Does this con really require an introduction? Kevin will be at this one, acting in his capacity as a representative of Hallmark Cards. If the writer gods are kind, he may also participate in a book signing or two, and perhaps even the odd panel.

The Official Star Trek Convention – August 2-6 – Las Vegas, Nevada
Sin City plays host to one of the largest Trek cons going. Boasting a guest list that now routinely hits the 100+ mark, it really is five full days of Star Trek fandom goodness. Though this one is still written in pencil, Kevin looks to be heading that way to man a booth on behalf of Hallmark, and — as of now — there’s a slim chance I may make this one, too. Stay tuned.

New York Comic Con – October 5-8 – New York ‘Effin City
It’s the smaller, feistier version of the San Diego con. As with that one, Kevin will be working his ass off on behalf of Hallmark. Book signings and panels possible, depending on his schedule.

And there you go. The list is, once again, tentative and subject to change, additions, or even deletions.

So, if you plan to be at any of these cons, maybe we’ll see you there!

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