Comicpalooza Day 2: Heinlein, Graverobber, and Mech Warriors

Read the coverage of Day 1 here.

As we prepared to enter the George R. Brown Convention Center for Day 2 of Comicpalooza, we ran into Houston model and regular member of the Gothic Council, Sarah Hill on her way out. In complete defiance of the 100-degree-heat, Hill was decked out in satin from head to toe, and resembled nothing so much as the lead character in a remake of Mary Poppins helmed by Tarantino... a resemblance made even keener by her purchase of a bloodstained katana she cheerfully displayed for us.

"Today," we thought, as we made our way up the escalators, "We'll take in some panels. Maybe learn something." That was the plan, but a quick glance of the program revealed little we had any interest in. The comedic possibilities of watching a guide to live-action roleplaying for Vampire: the Masquerade were simply staggering, but after an hour of watching people make funny hand movements pretending to be vampires we were pretty sure we'd end up asking Hill to scratch an itch we had on the back of our heart with her blade.

So we made our way back into the dealer room in an effort to see what other avenues of geeky innovation we could take in... and what other free swag we could wheedle.

The first booth we swung by was that of author A. J. Scudiere. Scudiere specializes in a genre she defines as science faction, but that's not what makes her work unique. Though she does release regular print novels, her true passion is producing what she calls audio novels.

Books on tape are nothing new, but there have been some truly innovative things happening in the field. Take Max Brooks' World War Z for example. Mostly made up of interviews woth survivors of a soon-to-happen zombie apocalypse, the audio book featured a huge cast of celebrities like Henry Rollins and Mark Hammil. You could also look at the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Societies production of At the Mountains of Madness as an audio play for inspiration in the realm of audio prose.

Scudiere utilizes actors and full soundtracks in an effort to recreate the novel experience as close to a film as possible (minus the film). She's also begun to sell the files on flash drive as well as CD, making the transition to one's iPod fast and easy. Now that we've fully entered an era where transporting an audio novel is actually less burdensome than transporting a normal-sized paper back the medium may actually have a chance to dominate.

However, if you're a fan of the regular world of reading then Virginia Edition Publishing has something you'll really like. Our eyes were drawn to huge and unique posters advertising novels by Robert A. Heinlein. Stranger in a Strange Land has been in our top five books of all time since the seventh grade, so we just had to pop over and ask what this was all about.

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Jef Rouner (not cis, he/him) is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner