So, the Winkie Convention is a little over a month away! And yes, I'm going. Sam is not, unless he's been a sneaky guy and tricked us again.
This is Winkie Con #50, and it is going to be HUGE. All of the three-day convention tickets (which includes the exclusive evening programming) sold out, but passes can still be purchased for daytime activities.
The program is jam-packed this year, and they've posted an interactive schedule online. I'm still trying to figure out everything I want to try to attend!
I'm also taking part in the convention. As winner of the Standard Quiz last year, I'm presenting it this year. In addition, I got invited to take part in a couple of the programs. As "Oz and Ends" compiler for The Baum Bugle, I'm joining editor in chief Craig Noble for a discussion about what we do for the Baum Bugle and some hints about the future.
Also, John Bell, Paul Dana and I are going to be having a panel about the boy heroes of Oz that Baum created, such as Button-Bright, Ojo, and possibly others such as Woot the Wanderer, Inga, Zeb, and maybe Tip.
Paul and I will be manning a table with another author, offering Oz books for sale. This year, I'll have a Winkie Con exclusive: a picture book edition of The Way of a Lion, the short story I wrote that won the Fred Otto Award for best fiction last year. It was also printed in Oziana 2013, but this edition contains several lovely illustrations by Sam Milazzo that were not in Oziana. In addition, some of the pictures are not the same ones used in Oziana. Sam put additional touches on some, and completely redrew at least one. This is the only time this book will be available in this format. Any leftover copies will be available after Winkies via PayPal payment. Supplies will be limited and sold only on a first come, first served basis. No pre-payment or holds.
Also, Winkies will have a new feature this year: a video room that will show many Oz video offerings from over the years, from a new color-tinted version of the 1910 Wonderful Wizard of Oz silent film mastered from a 1080p enlargement, to an exclusive new trailer for Barnyard Studios' L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Also included is a print of Steve Stanchfield's new restoration of the 1933 Wizard of Oz cartoon (available on his upcoming Blu-Ray/DVD set Technicolor Dreams and Black and White Nightmares) and Rob Roy MacVeigh's Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz slideshow. There will also be many Oz music videos and song performances, as well as some longer pieces, such as selections from The Oz Kids series, Shirley Temple's The Land of Oz, Dorothy Meets Ozma of Oz, and some other surprises as well! If you just want to kick back at the convention for a moment, the video room will hopefully offer some entertaining options.
And there's the costume contest, show and tell, the auction, and a special one-night revival of The Tik-Tok Man of Oz. And of course, you'll get to meet some amazing Oz fans and make some new friends. See you there!