CoastCon Returns!!

After its two-year hiatus, I attended CoastCon 44 this past weekend. Leaving a convention is often difficult, and this past weekend was no exception. This was a family reunion. It was rejuvenating to see old friends, fans, guests, or vendors. No con is complete without making new friends along the way. You are a part of my extended family. As with any family reunion, there was a darker piece as we shared the grief of many we lost and the opportunity to mourn a person who stood out among a community filled with outstanding people. Many felt they received the closure they had needed. 

As a presenter, a responsive audience is what makes it fun. When you can share your passions with a room full of people, and they respond in kind is quite a rush. Fans are the soul of a convention, and the CoastCon members were great this weekend. 

My favorites were a panel Vampires, Elder gods, and things that go bump in the night about writing horror, where I had the honor of sharing the panel with Julie Wetzel and Annette Miller. We had a great conversation with each other and with the audience. 

Supervillains: The reason for the story is a new panel I wanted to try out. My thanks to “THE” Rob Cerio for being at the table. It was an entertaining panel, and we had a spirited discussion. 

Another new panel, Staples of horror: Religion and Mythology, started well. I was unable to print notes before the panel and used my laptop. Midway into the panel, the laptop dies. Dead battery. 

Jen Mulvihill helped cover until I regained my composure, and we went on to have a panel. I may try it again. I may not. 

Probably the funniest of the weekend was “Debate This:” topics are chosen randomly, as are a pair of real or literary/media characters. 

My favorite debate was Edgar Allen Poe versus Stephen King, and we debated who would be better at interrogation. It went in favor of Poe. He, after all, described several ways to actually torture people in his writings. King scares you, and then something – a car, an industrial laundry machine, a dog, or some ancient evil just kills you. Don’t jump on me for it. That’s just the way it went that time per the audience vote.

A convention is a great deal of work and can eat up a lot of your life. The team running CoastCon is always professional. I want to thank all of you. Pauline, Tiffany, Unity, Gabby, and so many others made this look easy. You ran a fun convention. Working with everyone associated with this convention is always an enjoyable experience. A special thanks to the volunteers. You kept everything running and seamless.   

Every convention, I try to learn something new, a technique, a way to make being a vendor a little easier. Many are the lessons I have learned. This year’s lesson? Old friends are never forgotten, and Save the Cat. 

Thank you for reading,

Ernest Russell


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