Yes, it's true... They Came and Shaved Us has run its course!
First, some thanks are in order...
Thanks to the following people for their invaluable help with getting the convention off the ground, donating ideas, helping out before and during the con, and generally being lovely (apologies to anyone we missed)... James Brophy, Cardinal Cox, Rev. Jim deLiscard, Eugene Doherty, John Higgins, Graham Hill, Lee (Psycho) Justice, Chip Livingstone, Peter McCanney, Tim McGregor, Maura McHugh, James Peart, Liam (Probing) Proven, Flick, Sally Rankin, James Shields, Douglas Spencer, Sprout, Anne Stokes, Wag. Not forgetting... John from Third Place, Robert from Sub City, Rory Lennon from Dandelion Books, Cliff and Kev from Forbidden Planet, Jo Fletcher of Orion, Fran Dowd of Paragon 2, and Dominic Preston of Rebellion.
Thanks to our guests... Glenn Fabry, Paul J. Holden, David Lloyd, Betty Mayler, Pádraig Ó Méalóid, Robert Rankin, SMS, John Young.
Thanks to the ladies who have put up with us and helped us get through this... Marianne Blackham, Leonia Carroll, Alix Langridge, Katie Tyler
Thanks also to... Sinead, Paul and all the members of staff looking after us at the Fairways Hotel, and to Martin Connolly for our discos.
Special Extra Thanks from the Editor to... James Brophy (front cover of the ReadMe thingie) and Peter McCanney (front cover of the programme book).
And of course MANY Thanks to our attendees... You’re the only reason we do this sort of thing, you know!
But the most special of extra-special thanks must go to Dave "Elvis" Elder.
Right now we're all pretty much wiped out, so please forgive me if I ramble on a little; I'm very, very tired and in a kind of emotional daze. You know the sort of daze you get when you're a famous movie director and you've spent ages working on your movie and then you have no choice but to release it and all you can do is sit back and hope that the public enjoy it and that the critics don't tear it to shreds? Well, that's kind of how we feel right now. Or at least I do - it probably wouldn't be fair to speak for the others. I'm your committee member Mike, by the way. Your other committee members Stef and James will undoubtedly want to write up some post-con notes of their own, and I'm all for that; it's a good idea and nobody has to die over it.
Except Bill, of course.
Tragically, our chairman Bill Tyler had this mortal coil shuffled out from under him shortly before the opening ceremony. Bill was due to arrive at the convention in spectacular fashion: always something of a maverick inventor, Bill had carefully designed and built the world's first open-topped helicopter, a wonderful device that will surely one day be recognised for the work of pure genius that it was.
Okay, okay... So the truth is that Bill Tyler didn't exist. We made him up. He's a fake, a fraud, an ersatz chairman. Everything attributed to Bill was done by me. Why? Because none of us wanted to be the chairman, that's why! Also, if anything went disastrously wrong we were going to blame him and say he ran off with all the money. So I'd like to take this opportunity to apologise to everyone who was taken in by out little ruse, especially all those publishers who were so impressed with Bill's irregular columns and wanted to offer him a contract, to all the kind folks who brought pressies for Bill, and to Bill's wife, Katie, who was as shocked as anyone to discover that her husband was imaginary.
It's been a week since the con ended, but I still can't remember most of it. Or much of it, really. I have vague memories of appearing half-naked in public one more than one occasion. I think there was something going on that involved roller blades and sprouts. And I might have been a clown, too, though I'm scared of clowns so it doesn't seem too likely. There was definitely three or four times at the discos when I had to intercept interlopers and ask them to leave, that was lots of fun. Plus I got to meet a large number of wonderful people whom I've previously only known through reputation and / or internet stuff.
And the Sproutlore party was a blast, too, even though I missed part of it because my metabolism was acting up a little (over-exposure to sprouts, if you want my considered medical opinion).
Best of the lot was the closing ceremony, though: not only did Stef, James and I get lots of praise, we also received a lot of great pressies! You are all far too kind! We really didn't think that anyone would go to the trouble to buy us stuff; we thought that most people would give us stuff like old socks or that plastic thing that you have in your kitchen drawer that you don't know what it's for. But no! We went away with tons of great stuff: sweeties, books, comics, toys, drink, whips (yes, really!), disposable razors, and much, much more!
Anyway, time for bed now. More post-con stuff will be forthcoming, but in the meantime, feast your eyes on some great photos from David Stewart!