ConBust or bust! Again!
Tomorrow evening I begin my weekend at ConBust, the smallest and most intimate show I do all year. It is also one of my favorites because it has unbelievable heart, soul, and character. While the bigger shows may be good for my wallet, some of them have left my soul feeling empty and drained. ConBust has always been fuel for my spirit, for numerous reasons:
I mean it when I say that ConBust is a small show. The entire convention takes place in a single building on a college campus. The dealers room, artist alley, and panels are all located in cleared-out classrooms. This is one of the many reasons I adore this show. It not only adds to the intimacy of a small convention, where one-on-one interaction with attendees can be had at greater lengths, but it holds true to that do-it-yourself spirit that so many of us embraced when we were just starting out in the world of webcomics. In a scene increasingly dominated by corporate conventions, it’s nice to remember your roots in such a charming place.
The panels at ConBust are second-to-none. With the exception of hosting the Death Match at ConnectiCon, I have consistently had the most fun doing panels at ConBust. I’ve been privileged to not only sit on panel talks with big-name webcomickers like Jeph Jacques, Erika Moen, and Randall Munroe, but I’ve been side-by-side with authors Jane Yolen, Bruce Coville, and Holly Black! But more importantly than any of that, the real stars of ConBust’s panels are the attendees. I’ve been more engaged by the interaction and the questions of ConBust’s panel audiences than anywhere else. I am always educated and entertained, sometimes humbled, but always eager to see what a new year of panel talks will be like.
ConBust was also my son’s first convention. We brought him there when he was just under a year old, and the staffers were kind enough to give him his very own baby badge. He won’t be joining me this year, as a 2-year-old is a difficult thing to keep behind a table for three days, but the memory remains.
I was initially unable to make it back as a Guest this year, and the prospect of missing a ConBust for the first time in many years left me very sad. With the exception of ConnectiCon once again, I don’t think any other convention has that kind of power over my emotions.
If you’re in the area, do come by and say “hi.” ConBust is wholly unique and wonderful.