Wyvacon 2021 AAR — The Unnamed Virus of Unspecified Origin Edition

Wyvacon 2021

Okay, so first off, it’s Why-vuh-con and not Wiv-uh-con like I thought. Yeah, English continues to bully me, even when I try to speak it and claim to be one of those writer types as my full-time job.

I had a lot of fun at Wyvacon this year. Granted, I always have a good time, but this year — thanks to being the Guest of Honor and a pretty flexible schedule — everything went very well and I had fun. And that is the key to enjoying a convention, in my humble opinion. Fun.

Since Wyvacon didn’t have anything going on Friday, we rolled into our hotel late Friday night in order to prepare for the following day’s activities. Interestingly enough, it was race weekend down in nearby Bristol, and a lot of good ol’ boys were sitting outside their rooms at our hotel, drinking beer and watching the freeway from their lawn chairs. I hate the heat and humidity here in the south but damn I love the people.

Saturday morning came early and, since the convention was being held at the nearby Wytheville (pronounced With-ville, just to confuse me further) Community College, we got dressed at the hotel. Well, she got dressed up for the con while I just kinda wore my usual shorts and shirt. She decided to dress up as some sort of gypsy queen (complete with a crown) and left the room like that and headed over to the car.

Remember those good ol’ boys I mentioned earlier? Yeah, so, apparently it only dawned on us once we were in the car and one our way to Wyvacon proper that she kinda/sorta looked like a very high end “lot lizard” (i.e., truck stop groupie, aka prostitute). I knew she’d get looks (she’s pretty) but I’d thought it would be more like appreciation. I never thought that they would say, “Damn, I wonder what she costs?”

At the convention I was greet by Scott Martin, who runs Wyvacon with a group of amazing volunteers. Well, they’re all volunteers (Scott included), but still… they were helpful and kind. Someone ran up and grabbed my books (I’d brought some for sale) and hustled them off to the dealer’s room for me while someone else ran to get us drinks (non-alcoholic… it was a college, but not that kind of college). Oddly enough, nobody was too concerned about me getting to Opening Ceremonies.

One of the really neat things about this weekend was that, though the unnamed virus of unspecified origin had chased off a lot of potential attendees, those who did show up had way more energy and were ready to do stuff. Unfortunately for me, this meant not sitting around in panels and instead participating in the activities like Magic tournaments, Mortal Kombat, and the Great NERF War of 2021.

More NERF darts were expended on Saturday than artillery during Somme. I think. It was pretty close. And to be fair, I know I can’t compete when it comes to full-on NERF warfare.

With lots of free time on hand, I hung out in the dealer’s room and made a killing. Like I said, a small but enthusiastic crowd who wanted to spend money. I was not about to say no to this, even though I did kind of want to do a panel on Saturday. Hey, my delicate ego, man! But still, CORRUPTOR sold surprisingly well, and everyone wanted to know more about this FOUR HORSEMEN UNIVERSE thing. Pretty sure I recruited a few new fans into the fold.

One of us… one of us… one of–

Ego aside, I had fun and got to meet almost everyone who attended the con. The costume contest went smashingly and there were a lot of good cosplayers there. One kid had a gold Miles Morales Spider-Man suit on that rocked. I wish I’d gotten a picture of that. It was good. Didn’t hurt that the kid even resembled Miles.

Another neat thing about Wyvacon that I’d never been able to participate in before was their mid-con After Hours Party on Saturday night. This is because I’m usually staying with Pat and Jay in Blacksburg, which is about 35 minutes away. However, since I was in a hotel about 0.3 miles away, I was all for partying and went to the 7 Dogs Brewpub in Wytheville.

If you ever have a chance to visit the place, you should. Not only do they not brew every beer in the place with enough hops to make you a rabbit, but they also have some of the best burgers around. Seriously, inexpensive and delicious. Plus, lots of beer. Even though I’m not a beer drinker, they had a Scottish ale I really enjoyed. Then it was time for Star Wars Against Humanity.

The event details at the pub have been redacted to protect the guilty innocent. Needless to say, it got very inappropriate in a hurry. As God and the makers of the game intended, I’m sure.

It was getting late and I’m a wimp, so we headed out around 11pm to head back to the hotel. I crashed pretty quickly and thus ended Day 1 of Wyvacon.

Sunday morning came and, with the promise of donuts, I arrived at the convention early. Donuts were procured and I gave a panel on publishing, indie vs traditional, and helped an aspiring writer out with some minor details for his book. It sounds interesting as hell and I hope I get to read it one day. Didn’t hurt that he was one of those super-smart guys I like to hang around with.

Sunday was a little slower with the congoers but I made a very interesting new contact for something I’m going to get all secret squirrel about. But if this pans out, this will be the absolute coolest thing I’ve ever done. Considering the amazing crap I’ve already pulled off over the years, that’s saying something.

Eventually though, all good things must come to an end. Starving at this point, we called it a weekend, packed everything up, and headed out to a highly recommended Chinese place called Peking. It was as good as advertised. Seriously, get the sesame chicken if you ever go. That was the best sesame chicken I’ve had, hands down.

One insane drive with the same semi truck almost killing us six times later, and we were home. The cats didn’t seem to miss us much, but that’s okay. I’m used to it by now.

Thank you once again to Scott, Don, Josh, and the other volunteers whose names I did not catch (because I’m horrible with names) for all of their hard work. Wyvacon might not have had the numbers of past years, but it had an energy that was undeniable and it seemed like everyone had a good time. I’ve already confirmed for next year, though I won’t be the GoH again. I’m popular, but not that popular.