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Camp 2019, Until Next Year

And then #ComicsCamp was all done until next year; breakfast on Tuesday followed by an all-hands closeout session, followed by packing up and clearing out. Most everybody that attends is on a midday flight from Juneau to Seattle, and then onwards. Some few people will be on flights around 6:30 or 8:00pm, and a handfull of unfortunates¹ won’t fly out until 5:40am on Wednesday, generally because we’re making our way east across three or four time zones.

Those that need to be on the bus get their stuff together and say goodbye and help clean and pack up common resources until they have to leave. The dozen or so leftovers and locals stay until noon or so, sweeping and cleaning the main lodge and bathrooms, mopping the kitchen and packing out leftover food. By 1:00pm we’re checking into our hotel for the last night, and making plans for lunch and hang-outs in town.

The thing about 78 awesome people in close proximity is it can sometimes be hard to interact without a constantly-shifting population of participants, and a desire to pull ever more people in — it’s the usual convention Who’s going to dinner? problem writ somewhat smaller. But with a half-dozen people at The Rookery for lunch, or maybe ten at In Bocca Al Lupo for dinner (divided into tables of four), it’s easier to have a small conversation².

Thus, questions that have nothing to do with comics or creative careers come to the fore: If you won the fuck-off huge Powerball jackpot, where are you going first? If you were stuck on a desert island, what three books would you take? What one movie prop would you like more than any other?³.

Also, beers, and an invitation back to Rob & Pagan’s place to catch that week’s Game Of Thrones — the battle at Winterfell, y’all — with a big screen and an Aperol Spritz close to hand. If you ever have the opportunity to watch like your fifth GOT episode ever in a room full of enthusiasts and then have to go back to your hotel and immediately pack up your stuff to squeeze in 4.5 hours of sleep for a 4:00am taxi, I encourage it.

Coincidentally, as I was wrapping up this year’s Camp recap, Los Angeles resident Dave Kellett shared his recollections of Camp, in the form of the latest Comic Lab podcast. I think that the infectious joy in his voice (which is hard to convey with words on the screen) is matched only by the infectious nature of his Ursaphobic Stan Lee impression (ditto). If I have to hear it in my brain until I die, so do you.

¹ Hi, how ya doin’?

² Or to share tater tots with those whose lunch order tragically does not include them.

³ My answers:

  • Portland, to make legal arrangements with Katie Lane so I don’t fuck up my life.
  • The Great Outdoor Fight, the collected Digger, and the Seamus Heaney translation of Beowulf.
  • The dress jacket worn by Kenneth Branagh in his version of Much Ado About Nothing, which set off a lengthy discussion of the various versions of that play between me and Molly Muldoon, leaving Tillie Walden thoroughly bemused that we each knew so much of the text by heart.

    That Molly, though — she’s got opinions on Claudio (which I thoroughly agree with).

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