Tuesday, September 3, 2013

WorldCon Post # 1: Kudos

The 2013 World Science Fiction Convention (aka LoneStarCon3 & WorldCon) held in San Antonio, Texas, from August 29 to September 2, was one of the most positive experiences of my writing life. I'll blog more about my personal experiences in future posts. For now, I want to share some kudos for another. 
Gabe Guerrero, a good friend and great writer, spent the last year sculpting his body in preparation to cosplay his orc creation, Tarbuz. He lost weight (I'm not sure how much, but I know he long ago surpassed the number of lbs I've dropped). He bulked up by following a strict weightlifting regime. He crafted his orc costume with care, and all of his planning paid off. I can say without reservation
Gabe looks mean, but under
all that green paint he's really
a big softie.
As Gabe describes it, he couldn't walk two feet without someone asking to take his picture. There were other non-SF&F events happening at the same time in the convention center and those people flocked to Gabe as much as the geeks did. Little old ladies wanted their picture taken with him. Small children screamed "Shrek!" and some even hugged him. (I guess little ones can't tell the difference between an ogre and an orc. Actually, many adults couldn't either. Gabe educated folks on the difference.)
As great as that is, it gets better.
Locus Magazine, the major trade publication for the SF&F industry took Gabe's picture. At first, they intended to use it on their blog. Now, the photo will possibly appear in a future issue. How cool is that?

His photograph is the artwork for an online article in The Austin Chronicle. (Gabe looks great, but I think the article's author got lots of things wrong about WorldCon).
A local Spanish language television station asked to take Gabe's picture. Using Spanish, they discussed among themselves how to pose him. When Gabe responded in Spanish that he'd do whatever they wanted, they were shocked.
"You're Latino?"
Apparently, it amazed them that people of Latin descent were fans of SF&F. How silly is that? The crowd at WorldCon was very diverse. I saw people of all genders, races, and nationalities. For all its shortcomings, SF&F is inclusive.
Finally, Gabe also won a Hall Award for his costume. Several of us encouraged him to participate in the Masquerade, but with no success. However, Gabe says he will participate in the Masquerade at FenCon in October 2013.
As I said, I'll blog more about WorldCon later. So much good happened, one post can't capture it all.

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