I’m sitting in the hotel’s lobby—well, I can’t really say after Further Confusion since it’s still going on, and I’ll likely be back tomorrow after work for the “dead dog” party. I’m debating whether to go to one or two of the final panels.
It’s been a good convention for me, staying pretty relaxed. I’ve met a few people I only see once or twice a year (including some locals, who I have less excuse not to see). A few random thoughts and observations:
- I don’t want to declare the print fanzine completely dead, but I think it’s on its last legs. Yarf! had no table this year, Huzzah! officially closed in 2004; South Fur Lands was still around but looking thin. Sofawolf’s serials (as opposed to their books) still nominally exist, but now they’re being at-most-annuals, similar to FurNation’s eponymous magazine.
- Furry art is continuing to get more professional, in both appearance/quality of the art and the approach of the artists. There’s still a lot of cheesecake,¹ a lot of “not ready for prime time” stuff (both skill and content), but the median level now is higher than it was a decade ago, and the high points are much higher.
- An hour ago I was talking with Mick Collins and said, “Sometimes I feel like the cons I attend now are for a different fandom than the one I started in.” He said, “They are.” Some day it could be interesting to try to catalog just what the changes are. (Maybe.)
- It’s remarkable how nonchalant the hotel staff is when a bunch of costumed characters are (mock) fighting in the lobby.
I rarely buy a lot at these cons. This time, I bought two prints from Heather Bruton, and at a bit of prodding, Michael Bergey’s novel New Coyote, which I’ve read a little bit of in the author’s LiveJournal.
I also heard through the grapevine that the artist GoH this year, Eric Elliott, liked Why Coyotes Howl, and mentioned it at a panel. Pretty cool.
At this point, I’m going to keep sitting in the lobby and seeing who comes by, I think, possibly grabbing someone for dinner. I have an arguably unhealthy temptation to go to the steakhouse here at the hotel, which is said to be quite good, but I’ll probably make my saving throw.
(1) The observant will notice that one of the two prints I bought is, in fact, inarguably cheesecake. If called on this, I can only respond: neener neener!