So those who watch the blog know, we recently went to St. Louis Comic Con. I was going to do a wrap up post as soon as we got back, but was struck down the dread ed Con Flu*. So now, let’s catch up on what happened while we were in St. Looey!
We got our booth set up at the end of Artist Alley, where Ed graced me with his best Grumpy Cat impression.
We had actually driven down with a Mr. Brad Jones of Cinema Snob fame in tow, who was only two booths down in the PR area.
Which was good, since that meant we could spend the majority of the time at the convention harassing each other’s booths. And eating funnel cake — they were selling funnel cake in the food area. Did I mention I love funnel cake? I love funnel cake.
The funnel cake actually ended up being the highlight of the convention, thanks to a plague of spectacularly bad luck. Don’t get me wrong, we had some fun hanging out with team Jones and meeting a few fans. But man, this was one tough trip. So what happened?
Well, at first things went fine. Just the usual madness being a vendor, trying to find the loading dock and setup. Oh wait, no, this was not the usual madness because this event was in downtown St. Louis. You ever drive in downtown St. Louis? Those of you grimacing at your computer know what I’m talking about. It is pure madness, especially for out-of-towners. St. Louis is the scariest city I’ve ever driven in — which means I’m saying it’s worse than Chicago.
Anyway, we managed to get to the convention center and get unloaded after much stress, so we were on the right track. Until…the Dark Maze debit card got hacked. Yeah, that made life fun. This entire trip was Dark Maze endeavor, and on Saturday night we found out the card was being declined because someone had helped themselves to all the money! And of course, being a Saturday night the bank was closed. But oh! we thought, we’ll just call the “after hours and weekends” number on the back of the card and they’ll take care — oh, that number says it does not support this card. Well, there’s this other numb — nope, same thing.
Turns out none of the customer service numbers on the card or on the website actually, ya know, worked. So that was stressful. All the con expenses, including hotel, were on that account so we had to do a lot of last minute scrambling while we hoped that things could get straightened out on Monday without too much debt rung up. We’ve got it sorted out now what we’re back in town, so that’s good. As for the wrong numbers? Apparently those are no longer the right numbers, but are supposed to be forwarded to the correct ones and, in the exact words of the bank employee, “there must have been a glitch.”
Reassuring. Hopefully there are no more glitches.
So that was Saturday’s fun. The convention ended on Sunday. and Sunday started off looking like this:
It was crazy cold and super snowy. Which, unsurprisingly cut down on the number of folks walking blocks from their hotels to the convention center. See, just like me, folks had assumed that March was going to keep getting warmer, not colder, and had failed to bring freakin’ parkas to wear. So, we were pretty glad to get out of there and head home.
But it wasn’t that easy.
This is the after picture, once we were finally towed back onto the road.
The highways were insane. Between St. Louis and Champaign, I counted 48 cars off the side of the road and in ditches. Not including us. Our spin off was pretty darn epic, with the nose of the car buried in snow up to the hood. Good news: we have AAA. Bad news: It was going to be a three hour wait to get to us. Good news? A guy who just finished towing someone else out offered to pull us out as he was passing by — saving us three hours on the side of the road watching it get dark. Bad news? Guy had some major plumber’s crack going on.
We did make it though, with a lot of close calls and a normally 3.5 hour drive turned into a tense 7 hour, 20 mph slippery crawl.
So yeah, a lot of bad luck on this trip. But still, we met some fans, sold some DVDs, ate some good grub and had an epic tale of winter driving. Not too bad.
And now, back to the regularly scheduled madness here at Dark Maze.
*Con Flu: the mysterious and vague illness one often catches from attending any type of large Convention, brought about by mixing large amounts of people in a confined area for three days. Symptoms include coughing, sneezing, fever, and wondering why there are always a few fans who stop showering whenever there’s a convention.