This was the third year of Hal Con, and through all three years there have only been two things in common: Hal Con was awesome, and Conor McCreery was there. I don’t think those two facts are mutually exclusive.
In my mind Conor is the biggest writer at this or any Con, because he’s the only one of us who can actually claim to have done something totally and completely original. His update of the Shakespearean mythos is incredible to read. He just needs to write more now, because I’ve already got them all. I wanted to support the man and was reduced to buying a shirt (which Ellen later stole). To add insult to injury, he calls his line of shirts “ShakesGeare” (see left for proof). I don’t even know what to say to that. I’m starting to believe that his partner wrote the whole series and that Conor is just a corporate shill to sell the books. He is and will always be the Ben Affleck to Anthony’s Matt Damon.
On a more serious note, Conor is one of those few people that’s become more than a colleague or a person we see at the cons, he’s a friend. We met him up at this year’s StarGazer Soiree, and he did what Conor always does: he made it fun. And by “made it fun” I do mean: pulled off his wedding ring and exclaimed “I just can’t keep it on!,” then used it to propose to Valerie Gent.
We went out for a drink on Saturday, which was fun and too brief (our fault, not his). Walking around downtown Halifax with a guy dressed in a bloody vest is an interesting way to draw attention to yourself, by the way. I think he eyed me and knew I was the type of person that had to order whatever the other man at the table ordered, because he ordered some sort of Irish potato vodka for himself. That stuff was… wow. And wow. Potent isn’t the word. I’ll never look at a potato the same way again 😉
You can’t tell from these pictures, but I cosplayed as him this year. And by “cosplayed as Conor” I mean: “Wore a vest and ran around acting like a fool.” Which amounts to the same thing. And I can’t wait for the next segment of Kill Shakespeare material now. It’s gonna be epic.
Actually, the REALLY funny anecdote happened half-planned, half-out-of-the-blue. We decided to break from our traditional panel lineup and do one called “The Most Dysfunctional Writing Panel Ever” where Ellen and I teamed with Jay Paulin and as many other writers as we could to talk about writing… but not to talk, to argue. Writing panels tend to be very polite things, and sometimes I think that’s a bad thing. Sometimes I think we need to say that our peers are being ridiculous, but to do so in a safe environment. The panel went well.
ANYWAY, I invited Conor to it while at the Stargazer Soiree and he agreed, because he thought the idea sounded like fun. We’ve done panels together before at Hal Con 2010 with Ken Tam, so we know we can be in a room together without killing each other. Later the next day he realized there was a scheduling conflict and asked we what we should do. I said he could always come in half way through and crash it.
… Big mistake.
Conor burst in half way through an answer at the mid-way point of the panel and screamed “LeDrew you idiot! All these people are going to die!” To which I screamed back: “You don’t know what you’re talking about, McCreery!” At that point we both ran at each other and tackled each other to the floor, unplanned, and he started pretending to hammer me in the ribs. At which point I bent his arm around and climbed onto his back and rode him down the hall like a pony.
Yes, that all happened. People were recording it. If any people out there would like to come forward with the footage, I’d appreciate it.
We then found Conor’s glasses under the table and continued the panel, until the organizers told us our time was over. But I had trouble wrapping up my thought, so Conor picked me up and carried me out (again, unplanned).
They have hospitals filled with men like Conor McCreery. Not that I can say much.
In closing? Conor McCreery is awesome. When I said I think he’s a part of what brings the fun energy to Hal Con every year I wasn’t kidding. Can’t wait to see you again, man. Keep in touch.
Never Look Back