Report back by Andrew M. Reichart
Had a great time at NecronomiCon in Providence, Rhode Island, August 17-20. I was on the fence about flying across the country for this, but I won a contest for a free pass on The Outer Dark podcast, and that tipped the scales. Thanks, The Outer Dark podcast! All weekend I had compelling conversations about literature, publishing, art, and politics, and saw great panel discussions (and regretfully missed many more) about Ligotti, Aickman, small press publishing, editing anthologies, the trajectory of weird fiction… plus recordings of The aforementioned Outer Dark podcast, where I maybe might’ve posed one of those rambling questions-from-the-audience, and the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast, where I wanted to do so but couldn’t manage it ‘cause I’d just stumbled in off a redeye.
I lived out of a canvas knapsack the entire four days and nights, including clothes for two different climates and 99 chapbooks I brought to distribute. Through supreme force of will I managed to rein in how much stuff I picked up, pacing incoming swag to match the outgoing zines, ultimately carrying out exactly the same weight as I arrived with. (I have just a few copies left of that limited edition, by the way.)
Things I couldn’t resist picking up included the swag pictured above, such as: a grip of of Mike Bukowski‘s super-limited-edition Illustro Obscurum zines-I-thought-I’d-never-see… the new Dim Shores anthology Looming Low, not pictured ’cause it’s on my nightstand, though there’s a print of the cover next to…: a print of the Alert by Jason C. Eckhardt (which appears in Leslie S. Klinger’s The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft… and Fufu Frauenwahl’s wacky zombie-themed “memory” variant, Zombory (with some really clever advanced rules, actually). Worth mentioning that I was only able to resist Nick Gucker’s amazing “The Cats of Ulthar” print thanks to (a) his assurance that he’d have plenty for mail order and (b) dread of it getting destroyed in my aforementioned bag.
The main thing drawing me to this event was my sense of the level of discourse I’d find there. I hoped to encounter interesting discussions of weird literature and art (and perhaps a bit of political analysis), and hear some good practical advice for writers & publishers. The event sure did not disappoint. Weeks later I’m still riding high on these panel discussions, hallway conversations, and pub rants.
(By the way, speaking of politics, I have to mention that this event really won me over by making Nnedi Okorafor a guest of honor. Here’s her blog post from 2011, which afaik catalyzed the final push to redesign the World Fantasy Award: http://nnedi.blogspot.com/2011/12/lovecrafts-racism-world-fantasy-award.html…. I remember reading this post when it came out, on my phone, at the Occupy Oakland encampment, and finding it hella righteous lol.)
Finally, I must offer my deepest gratitude to Skeleton Camera for his friendship & for the finest conversations of the weekend, including introductions to an inimitable four: the aforementioned Frauenwahl; Brandon (who inspired me to finally get on instagram and, oh yeah, start drawing again); and Greg & Max of (among other things) Feral, my new favorite north american black metal band.
Really inspired. Looking forward to 2019.