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At the end of the month, I’m off to Chicago to guest at the WizardWorld Chicago comics convention.  The name is a bit of a misnomer: it’s actually held in Rosemont, some way outside Chicago, basically just a convention-centre compound.  I will never actually get to see Chicago.  The experience will be not unlike a forty year old man visiting the city in LOGAN’S RUN.  Only without the sex and the mass suicides at the end.  That would be a fine way to end a comics convention — everyone into Carousel so Warren can watch you explode.  They ought to lay on that sort of show just for me, and I am therefore disappointed that they don’t show their guests of honour the correct volume of love.  There are never enough exploding people at these things.

As is usual when I do my annual American show, I’ll be doing a late-night talk on the Friday. The way these things work is that I am helped to a stage and then take questions from the audience until everyone gets sick of me. These gigs are sometimes curtailed by the fact that you can’t smoke in most of America anymore. Though I did light up during my San Diego talk anyway, and probably narrowly missed being arrested as, I don’t know, a lung terrorist or something.

This year at Chicago, Avatar Press (who arranged my appearance) have beaten expectations. They have somehow gotten my Friday night talk accredited as Performance Art. And it seems that under Illinois law performance artists can smoke on stage in pursuit of, well, the performance. And there’s a bar in the hall.

This means that, since I can remain drunk off my arse and wreathed in smoke for the entire gig, I will probably be talking well into Saturday. And probably to myself.

But if you’d put yourself in the situation of having to answer questions in front of several hundred people, wouldn’t you want to be shitfaced and chainsmoking too?

The only drawback to the plan is that my signing schedule is, to put it lightly, punishing, and the press time will go on top of that. So the chances of my actually seeing anyone outside convention time are minimal to forget-it. My schedule usually commences at 9am and finishes out around 1am.

Please don’t be offended if I don’t shake hands with you. I shook with every proffered hand at my signings at Heroes Con a couple of years ago, and by Saturday afternoon I was having to ice my hand down. And since I use that hand for typing and earning bill money, that’s not good. I sign for literally thousands of people at these things now, and it turns out a thousand handshakes a day just pulps my right hand.

You may kiss the hem of my garment instead.

Last year I had singing zombie girls, but this year I kind of fancy a call to prayer before my signings begin. What do you think? Too much?

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  1. […] Warren Ellis ยป Chicago “This means that, since I can remain drunk off my arse and wreathed in smoke for the entire gig, I will probably be talking well into Saturday. And probably to myself.” (tags: warrenellis) […]

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