Thank you for hosting me for three amazing weeks. I have always wanted to see Australia, ever since -- yes, I'll admit it -- since Crocodile Dundee. And while your country is not like that movie, I've spent around 25 years hoping someday I could go and visit. Thanks to Swancon and Supanova, I got that chance, and it was frickin' glorious.
I spent three weeks here, and did not meet a single person I did not like. Not one. Sure, I was mostly in touristy areas and spend most of my time talking to Junkies (or making new Junkies), but still, not a single person I did not like. The Aussies and Kiwis that I met were all crazy nice, smart, funny, clever, and will start giving you a ration of good-natured shit almost as soon as you introduce yourself.
There is no way I can mention everyone by name, but if you stopped by a booth to chat with me, came to a seminar, worked at a hotel, served me coffee, shared a beer, worked for any of the cons, or were that random stranger that stitched up the cut in the back of my head, I say "thank you."
An extra-special thanks to the Reef Experience guys that hooked me up for scuba-diving. I did not drown, so, thanks.
I saw Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Cairns and Melbourne. I didn't get an outback experience, but that will be for next time because I'm definitely coming back. Melbourne is possibly the most beautiful city I've ever seen.
Americans, if you have ever considered vacationing in Australia, do it. Tourism is a prime industry for them, and they take that job very seriously. There is no language barrier, and the cultures are very similar. I have vacationed in Scotland, England, Ireland and France, and while all were amazing, Australia takes the cake.
And to Aussie Rules Football -- you fucking rock. What a fantastic game to see on TV or in person. Thanks, Ian, for the kick-ass game between Collingwood and Hawthorne.
And to Rugby League -- you are fucking insane. Seriously. And I mean that in the nicest possible way, because I'd really rather not piss these guys off.
As for my fan-boy side, I had a few good chats with James Marsters (most famous for being Spike on "Angel"). Super, super classy guy. I met Corin Nemec of "Parker Lewis Can't Lose" fame, which was fun as I was a fan of that show. Didn't get to chat with Corin that much, but a real charming cat.
[img_assist|nid=3766|title=Mary McDonnell & The Walking Cadaver|desc=I admit, this part was frakin' awesome|link=none|align=left|width=250|height=214]And the capper -- I got to meet Mary McDonnell. As a huge BSG fan (yeah, until the last episode), this was an awesome thrill. She wins "best hair of all time" award, and is just crazy-nice. It was bitchin' to meet a few famous types and find they are extremely nice people.
Not a fan of the Twilight movies, but met actor Alex Meraz (who is in Twilight: New Moon). Total class act, and I think he's headed for big things.
Then there was comic book author Marv Wolfman and artist George Perez, who made a comic book called "The New Teen Titans" that I used to read when I was a kid. They've done a ton of other things as well, both are legends in the comic book biz. A big thrill, both of them were kick-ass, and their wives were mega-nice.
I made some new friends as well: Tara & Yuri (who I will blog about later as they have a great book about voice acting), voice actor Liam O'Brien, and comic book author Paul Jenkins, who is a walking party made of inappropriate comments and win.
I met a trio of Aussie authors, Ian Irvine, Jennifer Fallon and Marriane de Pierres. Smart, smart, smart! I read Marriane's scifi novel "Dark Space." Ian's and Jennifer's novels are next on the list.
That's it for now. Once again, thank you, Australia, for one of the best experiences of my life.