The Grand Opening Of Gods & Monsters – 6/13/2015

They were waiting outside by nine fifteen in the morning in the middle of a Florida June, a crowd of black t-shirts patiently shuffling on the pavement where it was already 85 degrees. They were waiting in line even as I pushed a heavy hand cart loaded with copies of my novel through the doors in front of them; they were there even before the artists and guests had set up. They were waiting for their Gods & Monsters.

By nine thirty, Gods & Monsters had brought the growing line indoors to the Artegon Marketplace concourse, where they could check their available credit on their cell phones and dream about graphic novels and Batman statuettes in the air conditioning.

Gods & Monsters is big enough to store a squadron of Snowspeeders for perimeter defense of an Alliance base. It holds an art gallery, a noodle bar, a gaming area, a stage, a row of cabinet arcade games (for Amish visitors, apparently) and lots and lots of games and comics, with toys and collectibles coming soon – everything you want to feed and reaffirm your geekiness. By ten minutes to ten, the local artists and cosplay models were ready at their tables, including this writer. The crowd in the concourse outside the security gate had grown and grown, and their voices were rising.

At 10:00 AM, the gate was raised, the dancing minotaur welcomed them in, hundreds of geeks moved at speed, and for the next twelve roaring hours, it was like sitting in a corner of Megacon. They had silk acrobats, body painting, artists, cosplay adepts, one novelist, and the theater troupe Phatasmagoria. Gods & Monsters has big plans for hosting events, parties, and celebrity appearances, not to mention retailing the coolest geek accoutrements available. If they can keep up a tenth of the energy they had on opening day, they will be a sea change in geek culture in the City Beautiful.

They sold out of my novel, The Berlin Fraternity, in the first two hours.

Legacy Aerial Arts went straight up in the air.

Legacy Aerial Arts went straight up in the air.

A minor after dark disturbance was quickly put out of the way.

A minor after dark disturbance was quickly put out of the way.

This author at the table with my assistant,  Sarah Shoulak of Kalouhs Cosplay. Boy, did people buy up my book!

This author at the table with my assistant, Kalouhs Cosplay. Boy, did people buy up my book!

G&M out front

Kicking it with a very casual Clown Prince of Crime.

Kicking it with a very casual Clown Prince of Crime.

The art of the living canvas.

The art of the living canvas.

Prowling with the Wolf Pack down at G&M. This man was not a cosplayer.

Prowling with the Wolf Pack down at G&M. This man was not a cosplayer.

The gaming hall.

The gaming hall.

I believe in Harvey Dent.

I believe in Harvey Dent.

G&M Montage

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Brian Downes
Author: Brian Downes View all posts by
Brian Downes is a writer who lives in Orlando, Florida. His novel, The Berlin Fraternity, about a man who hunts vampires for the Third Reich, is available on the Kindle and through Amazon.com. He enjoys pen and paper roleplaying games and geek culture. He clearly remembers waiting for The Empire Strikes Back to hit theaters, and vindicate his opinion that of course Vader was not Luke's father. You can't trust Vader's word!

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