- Black duster (I need a longer one to get the look just right, but this one will do)
- Staff (carry one often anyway due to bad back)
- Black low-crowned hat (Stetson calls this style a "gambler's hat," and I wear one anyway)
- Being tall (can't help you with that one.)
Anyway, ComiCon had a skeptics' booth, which I didn't expect, held down by Kyle Sanders and his wife in Ghostbusters uniforms. Kyle illustrates SKEPTIC magazine and writes the webcomic Carbon Dating. Great to meet you, Kyle.
There were panels on NASA and space in general with utility for SF writers, like how to construct believable planetary ecosystems. There were good panels on writing (Peter Wacks of Wordfire Press was especially full of good advice for freelancers). There was the usual bewildering assortment of elaborate cosplayers, including a Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy in a suit so well constructed to look like an organic whole that I wondered how he want to the bathroom. Carole Hightshoe had the Wolfsinger Publications booth up with my horror novel, The Dolmen, which was handy since the opportunity came up to give a signed copy to Dresden Files author Jim Butcher. The enormously successful Butcher treated a writer he'd never heard of as an equal, and I won't forget that.
I also met Mitch Pileggi of The X-Files, who gave me a tidbit on the upcoming reboot: When I said Skinner should be retired and writing a management book about dealing with an incredibly difficult employee, said, "I can tell you this much: Skinner's not retired."
My oldest daughter had a good time meeting Lou Ferrigno, the original Hulk (he publishes advice she uses in the gym), and both daughters enjoyed exploring the exhibit space.
Anyway, a great time was had. My advice for next year: arrive early for parking. An estimated 80,000 nerds overwhelm both public transit and parking lots. And keep some MREs on your person in case the food lines break you.
Here's to 2016!