The Big Show (Killercon 3, Part 2)

We’re taking things back to Saturday. I reported on Thursday and Friday in the first installment of this series, Party All Day And Every Night – Well, At Least Until 11PM! (Killercon 3, Part I). Now I’m gonna finish up with Saturday and Sunday of my Con coverage. Lots of pictures and links to follow…

(You know how we do… Brains all over the wall!)

Killercon 3 was a huge success (congrats to Wrath James White and crew). It was well-attended and fun. I made out with eight new books (ready? let’s go: CRIPPLE WOLF by Jeff Burk, URBAN GOTHIC by Brain Keene, THE FAGGIEST VAMPIRE by Carlton Mellick III, DEMON by Eric Williams, DOUBLEJACK by Gene O’Neil, a chap book by Sam W. Anderson (the name escapes me at the moment…), SARAH’S STORY by John Little, VANISHING HOPE by Tobin Elliot, THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE by Nate Southard and a very cool Jason Dark reader by Guido Henkel).

The readings were lively, the forensic blood splatter panel rocked, and the dealer room was filled out by none other than Jack Ketchum. Manning a table of his wonderful work, the man was accessible and down-to-earth. I admire the guy.

(Read this book.)

Same for Gene O’Neil. Gene is in his seventies, but he could pass for forty-five. His indomitable spirit makes me feel…right. We seem to understand each other and I learn so much every time we talk.

The list goes on and on and if I don’t mention all of them I’ll feel bad. I can’t rank each experience and I can’t write about all of them either. Many folks made my weekend special and you know who you are. I just wanted to give you a virtual hug and say thanks for the killer time. I mentioned some of them yesterday sans links. Let me fix that. Search out Weston Ochse and John Palisano and Lisa Morton. They jam.

(Me and my pal, Lisa Morton. Our combined writing abilites have the potential to destroy the planet.)

Lastly, but certainly not least, I gotta give a shout out to Monica and Burning Effigy. They hosted an incredible party (with incredible poster art) and did an exquisite job on 7BRAINS.

So then, Saturday began a little late. Michelle and I slept in until about nine. I wrote my blog (after calling the crappy, intermittent Internet service) then the two of us went to a buffet for breakfast with my writer buddy, Benjamin Kane Ethridge, and a few friends who came out to attend the convention with us.

(Who says reading isn’t fun?)

I got to the convention for Gene O’Neil’s reading (in which the man doesn’t read a thing – he donates his time to talking other writer’s works – he helps the new guy/gal get a little coverage – that’s supercool). After Gene tore it up (charisma for days), Mr. Ethridge read a story about a rising tide of mean, old, stinky, alcoholic sludge and the furious regrets that follow us from this world to the next. Loved it. I almost won a shirt (Ben raffled them off), but alas, like all forms of gambling (examples coming soon…), I didn’t win. Damn. That’s okay, I plan on buying one once they go on sale (and you should too).

After that, we checked out the forensic blood splatter panel then sat in on the mass signing. I signed lots of 7BRAINS and even a few of my older works. It was nice to meet a few fans and collectors who I’ve seen on line via Facebook posts, but have yet to meet in person. I had a blast.

(Brad Hodson gets his kill on at the forensic blood spatter exhibition.)

(Weston Ochse is the King of Cool.)

Michelle and I took about an hour off and relaxed in the room. Then we reconvened with friends and went to see Penn & Teller’s show at the Rio.

What do you know, Loyal Reader? In my Killercon report you also get a quick show review. The always entertaining duo did their thing very well. They’ve been playing the Rio for ten years(!). Their act is a well-oiled machine.

The pacing is just right. The show doesn’t feel short or long. Some of the magic set-pieces (The Magic Bullets) have been done before on some of the team’s television and cable specials, but there were lots of subtle, understated stuff – particularly Teller’s wordless finesse (the man is a slight-of-hand master) – that were new to me. Watching Teller wow the crowd without a word while Penn played a nice, noirish, jazz jam on an upright bass worked really well. Same for the bits where Penn broke down the elements of magic while Teller illustrated the trick step by revealing step.


Penn & Teller have always been magic comedy’s subversive, bad boys. They insist that you understand that magic has nothing to do with magic. Magic doesn’t exist. But tricks do. Same goes for psychics and magicians who pretend what they do is real. Penn rants (on TV and in the show) about clairvoyant and psychics, pissed off that they play on people’s weaknesses and pretend to contact dead loved ones.

I’m with the big guy. I agree 100%.

The entertainers hung out after the show and took pictures with the crowd. A few of my buddies got pictures (including fellow writer Brad Hodson) with Penn, but I held off. I figured I would look like a small child next to his 6′ 7″ frame.

All-in-all the show rocked. Recommended.

We followed the show with some sushi and a place called Sushi Samba at The Palazzo. It was freaking expensive, but really, really nice. We had a great meal.

(Me and my girl.)

It was 2:30AM by the time we got back to our room. No time for a blog. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ…

Michelle and I got out of town pretty quickly. We packed then checked out then went to Caesar’s Palace for their Sunday buffet. $26.95 a person later we tried to enjoy every bit of it as much as we could. It was nice.

I played a few slots (some of the new machines are way high-tech – this one particular STAR WARS video slot kicked butt), but lost money so quickly I had no choice but to throw my hands in the air with frustration and sulk away.

(Loser. The force is not strong with me.)

At long last I’m back home in my comfortable recliner bashing away on the keys. I’m so excited to post this and then watch something on the DVR and relax.

Oh, and Loyal Reader, don’t forget… Killercon 4 is only twelve months away. You best start training now.


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