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Eric: Journalism, or Road Trip

So, I mentioned to a friend that I was swinging down to the Northampton meeting tonight.

"Isn't Northampton like three hours from here?" he asked.

"Yeah."

"So, you're driving three hours there, watching this thing, maybe saying hello to some people and buying them drinks or something, then driving three hours back... this evening?"

"Well... yeah."

"You realize this is the most 'journalist' thing you've ever done in your life."

"What do you mean? I'm not a journalist. I'm a guy with a blog."

"You're a guy writing an op/ed column who's traveling by car for six hours to cover a webcomics event. You're going to be dead to the world tomorrow, barely able to communicate verbally, and yet I'm almost positive you'll snark about the trip by lunch. You're a journalist. Own it."

I allowed as they might have a point. Now, I just need to get press credentials and use this as justification for entry into E3.

Because this is going be six hours worth of driving for a 1-2 hour event, obviously I need to make certain I'll be as awake and alert as humanly possible for the trip. To that end, I've downloaded four -- count them four -- new episodes of This American Life and the audiobook version of America: The Book into my iPod. I have things rigged up so I can plug the headphone jack directly into my car stereo, so Ira Glass and Jon Stewart will see me through to where I will sit and drink coffee and feel desperately dorky in the back of the Dumbrella presentation.

Why dorky? Well, I'll tell you. If you can look at this trip as an exercise in journalism, you can far more easily look at it as an exercise in unmitigated fanboyism. And the last thing I want to do is throw up submissively on Jeffrey Rowland's shoes.

Posted by Eric Burns-White at January 13, 2005 3:12 PM

Comments

Comment from: Darth Paradox posted at January 13, 2005 4:27 PM

Speaking of traveling a few hours for a webcomic event...

Genericon is a small (couple hundred, generally) convention at RPI, held the last weekend of January (this year, usually around then). It's been trying to gain recognition as a webcomics convention (in addition to gaming, anime, etc - hence "generic-con")... Anyway, I don't know what the guest list is like - last year we had Pete Abrams, Randy Milholland, Meredith Gran, and Ian J (I think? Maybe he was there the previous year; the cons start to blend together after a while), and there was both a panel on webcomics and a comic jam (projected onto the big screen in the auditorium).

I don't know who's coming this year, and I have to doubt it'll be as prestigious a group as last year (or as tonight's), but it may still be worth a trip (depending on what the drive is like, I suppose - I don't know much at all about Mass. geography, or where you are in the state).

Comment from: Milligan posted at January 13, 2005 4:46 PM

Hmm. Looks like I'm going to be slinking into the Haymarket too! I'm not sure if I'll have anything to contribute or ask... but there are so few chances to "run with my kind" here on the east coast that I don't think I should pass this one up. Thankfully, it's only a 90-minute jaunt for me. See you all at nine-ish. Incidentally, I was asked to Genericon last year and they never followed up. I'm easy for that one... I live across the river from RPI for crying out Pete's sake! But I haven't heard a peep from them this year. Which only feeds my ravenous doubt that I belong in the same room with Rowlands, Allison, et al in the first place... Arg! See you there!

--Matt from L&F

Comment from: Darth Paradox posted at January 13, 2005 5:38 PM

Genericon tends to be... a little disorganized about that sort of thing. Probably due to the whole "being run by a group of college students" thing. (And if I recall correctly, their guest coordinator quit halfway through planning last year...) I suspect if you gave them a poke and said "hey, what's up with this?" they'd respond.

(I have serious doubts I belong on a webcomic panel - my (until-recently-)infrequently-updating webcomic draws a readership of less than 200. And yet, they keep sending me invitations... I have no doubt at all that it's due to disorganization rather than any desire of omission.)

Comment from: MHPayne posted at January 13, 2005 6:18 PM

Re: submissive vomiting.

At least it's better than submissive urination. If, by better, one means "just as grotesque and twice as inappropriate." And I usually do mean that, myself...

Have a good time!

Mike

Comment from: College Zoo posted at January 13, 2005 7:48 PM

Journalist, eh? then you better head over to SPJ.org. Membership with them can come in handy in terms of credentials. :)

http://spj.org/ethics.asp is also very handy.

hello, I'm Byron and I am a journalism geek.

Comment from: Wednesday posted at January 13, 2005 8:45 PM

JOURNALISTA!

Oh, no, wait.

Now stop posting while on the road! You'll get run over!

Comment from: MasonK posted at January 14, 2005 1:09 PM

I just wanted to note, for the record, that you did not, in fact, post before lunch. Slacker.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at January 14, 2005 2:26 PM

Look again. I haven't eaten lunch yet. ;)

Comment from: MasonK posted at January 14, 2005 3:53 PM

Damn you, Mister Burns. Once again you have defeated me.

Comment from: RKMilholland posted at January 19, 2005 12:55 PM

I apologize for replying on this old entry, but I'm just now catching up on your blog.

Anyway, above it is mentioned:

"Genericon is a small (couple hundred, generally) convention at RPI, held the last weekend of January (this year, usually around then). It's been trying to gain recognition as a webcomics convention (in addition to gaming, anime, etc - hence "generic-con")... Anyway, I don't know what the guest list is like - last year we had Pete Abrams, Randy Milholland, Meredith Gran, and Ian J (I think? Maybe he was there the previous year; the cons start to blend together after a while)...."

Oh, Genericon had me alright - they had their way with me. I've never been so fucked over by a convention. And they smiled the whole time they did it, too. Some of the staff is really cool - in fact, one of the women on staff I still converse with on LJ - but from the get go, I was fed misinformation and walked away from Genericon about $500 poorer - meanwhile, they tapped my audience for free and made money.

Genericon isn't a con - it's a goddamn scam.

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