Saturday, August 1, 2009
San Diego Comic-Con 2009: The Highlights

I've wanted to go to San Diego Comic-con for years, but something always seems to keep me away. Two years ago it was a family vacation. Last year I was conducting a wedding.

This year was no different: I had an exciting adventure Wednesday morning. I was in the ER two hours before my plane was supposed to take off....

But while that story is a good story, exciting, full of drama and tragedy, it's not really part of the convention. So I'll pass it over for now. Suffice to say that despite many obstacles, 2009 was the year that I finally made it to San Diego Comic-con.

On Thursday, I met up with a fan called Pooka. I don't always recognize my fans, even when they contact me before the convention. But in her case, I somehow managed to pick her out of the crowd:

(I'm the one with the beard.)

You can't see her pink leggings in this picture, but you'll have to trust me on the fact that her plumage is abundant and bright. She was nice enough to show me around the convention, as she's a veteran comic-con attendee, and I'm just a newbie.

Pooka and her friends throw a party every year at the con: X-Sanguin. They invited me this year, and while I was flattered, I ended up taking a pass. I expect I'm not sexy enough to hang with the glitterati. Not even when I'm wearing my shades and pretending to be as cool as Neil Gaiman:

Pooka helped me find the room where my panel was being held. It was the only panel I was scheduled for at the convention proper, and to be honest, I was a little nervous. Not only was Jacqueline Carey on it, but Lev Grossman was moderating. Dude is scary smart.

I can't find a picture of the entire panel, but here's one of a few of the other folks, including Carey.

In the corner you can't see Lev, but you can spot a copy of his soon-to be released book, The Magicians. I got to read an advance copy a little while back, and really enjoyed it. I'll probably do an official recommendation on the blog a little closer to the release date.

The panel's topic was "The Evolution of Fantasy." I avoided making too much of an ass of myself and got a laugh or two. Which is as much as I can ever hope for on a panel. If you want more details, Lev wrote a column about it for Time. You can read it over here.

After the panel, I had a signing where some fans gave me an awesome little Voodoo doll. (Or mommet, if you will.)

(Yes. It's got little screws sticking out of its head.)

When I asked how they'd like me to sign their books, they said they wanted to be designated as official Fanatical Minions. Nobody's ever asked that before, so they got to be Fantastical Minions #1 and #2.

I felt obliged to point out that the numbers were not a ranking system. Just a designation.

After the signing I got to hang out a bit with Cindy Pon. Whose first book just came out. She's a lot of fun, and if you hop over to her blog, you'll see her dressed up as Chun Li the next day at the con. Needless to say, she's my kind of person...

Capping off Thursday, I got to have Dinner with Greg Dean from Real Life comics. We've known each other for a while, but never met in person. Dinner was lovely and the conversation.... Well.... I had a great time. But I don't know if I can say the same for Greg and Liz.

You see, most people have conversational filters. Not so much with me. So when something interesting happens in my life, I tell stories about it. Even if these stories are... odd.

As I've mentioned, when I was leaving for the convention I had... an adventure. An adventure that I shared with them....

You should probably just go read the comic he wrote about it...

Last but not least, I saw the first Name of the Wind t-shirt ever at the convention:

How cool is that? Extra minion points. Doubleplus good.

Thanks all for now, folks. But come back soon, there's going to be a blog in a day or so that will need some audience participation...


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posted by Pat at


Blogger Marcus said...

So the real life comic still makes me laugh a lot each time I read it :)

August 1, 2009 5:34 PM  
Blogger James said...

Ah, I love those conventions: full of creative, peaceful people. My kind of folks.

And by the way: I love reading your blog, and my two daughters and I have have all hugely enjoyed The Name of the Wind. We can perhaps be a Family of Fanatical Minions.

August 1, 2009 5:35 PM  
Anonymous Armin said...

Holy ...,

hope everything is still working below sea level.
Funny thing about your blog is: there seems to be not even one fan of yours to be out there who could be considered to be "normal" for whatever that means.
Good thing is, I'm a fan too and who wants to be normal ;)

cheers from Germany

August 1, 2009 5:45 PM  
Blogger Iver said...

So the big question for me is: where can I my hands on one of those "Beware of Folly" t-shirts....

August 1, 2009 7:32 PM  
Blogger Nitro said...

Hmmm... I am speculating if the upcoming audience participation activity is in any way related to your ER visit...

August 1, 2009 9:50 PM  
Anonymous Eugene said...

I am pretty sure Lev Grossman called you "a living god". Why didn't you inform us of this elevation to divinity? I am pretty sure churches would want to know.

August 2, 2009 4:23 AM  
Anonymous A Pitchfork Rusts said...

Whoa. So "scary smart" Lev Grossman called you a "living god"! Good to see the love going both ways. :-)

August 2, 2009 4:26 AM  
Anonymous Kate said...

I would like to apply for the post of Fanatical Minion #436 please!

August 2, 2009 4:52 AM  
Blogger shaun said...

the panels topic of the evolution of fantasy definitely suits you as the "Name of The Wind" is more modern take on fantasy, and while i love some of the more traditional books such as "The Magician" by Raymond E. Feist and the Black Magic Trilogy by Trudi Canavan, i enjoy the new directions fantasy is going as it truly is all over the spectrum. in short it would have been wonderful to have seen said panel.

August 2, 2009 7:07 AM  
Blogger Captain Joe said...

Damn, Rothfuss, you look dangerous in those shades.

August 2, 2009 1:34 PM  
Anonymous Ruth said...

Did I spot a small 1984 reference per chance? It's been on my "to-read" list for a while and only recently gotten round to it.

August 2, 2009 2:06 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

So... I'm desperate to know what happened in the ER.

The "Beware of folly..." t-shirt made me want to make one of my own, though probably of one of Elodin's quotes.

And I sincerely hope the audience participation is in naming Oot.

August 2, 2009 5:39 PM  
Blogger Kellen said...

I'm calling testicular torsion. Certainly the most painful thing I've ever personally experienced.

August 2, 2009 10:38 PM  
Anonymous ILoverollerderby said...

Dibs on Fanatical Minion #241, if you please. I am re-reading in anticipation of the eventual publication of book 2.

August 2, 2009 10:42 PM  
Blogger Monk said...

It's so weird to see my face on this blog.

Making the shirt was tons of fun. I went through my well-used paperback book and put little pink post-it notes on every page with a potential shirt quote. Suffice it to say that there were a lot of marked pages. I eventually settled on "Be wary of folly" because, as I read so far, it seems to be Kvothe's motto. I just shiver due to its ominous nature.

Runners up for the shirt quote:


"What's their plan? What's their plan?
Chandrian. Chandrian"

"And the moral of the story is that people get passionate around books?"

So much fun.

August 2, 2009 10:59 PM  
Blogger Susanne said...

Please to be considering my application for Fanatical Minion #1,000.

Weeks later I'm still gutted I couldn't make the Con.

Did you find out where that thsirt came from?? Can we have one, pleeeease?

August 3, 2009 5:06 AM  
Blogger Vulpes Fulva said...

Wish I could have gone! I might be going to DragonCon in September though. Still not sure.
Great Time article.

August 3, 2009 9:02 AM  
Blogger Shawn C. Speakman said...

Torsion. Just the word gives me the willies! Pat had me squirming on my seat during its telling.

And I want a shirt! Not any shirt will do!

August 3, 2009 9:31 AM  
Blogger Arthur bearden said...

I would like to apply for Fanatical Minion #3.14, but I'll take #42 if that's already taken. :D

It was great to meet you at the signing, you're a really personable, cool guy (especially with those shades) and my girlfriend and I really appreciated the time you took to chat with each of the people in line. Also enjoyed the mathematic vs poetic magic explanation. It had me thoroughly entertained for some time applying that distinction to the ideas of magic in the book.

Unfortunately, I didn't make your panel. Apparently sitting in line for an hour isn't enough to see the great Patrick Rothfuss! I didn't make it within 150 feet of the door before they closed the panel.

August 3, 2009 10:38 AM  
Blogger paixe said...

Ack this post is so full of things that make the fangirl in me so wonderfully happy.

Jacqueline Carey! On your blog! This was crazytimes in my brain, because the only other author blog I read is hers. Her link is sitting right up next to yours in my little bookmarks bar on my browser. I'd show you a picture if I could.

Also, I TOTALLY have the shirt that little comic-man Pat is wearing in the comic! YAY.

And I have that girl's camera bag too, but that's really more of a coincidence than an OMG moment.. Though it IS a very nice one..


August 3, 2009 10:39 AM  
Blogger Malikelm said...

I want that shirt!

August 3, 2009 12:05 PM  
Anonymous laura said...

oh! i want a t-shirt like that! I checked up some, but only saw "the name of the wind...a literary orgasm" baby blue. any ideas where i can get a t-shirt that's much cool like the one in the pic?

August 3, 2009 1:16 PM  
Blogger logankstewart said...

That comic is quite funny, Pat. Your life is so full of excitement and interesting mishaps. As an old man, you'll have to write your life story and send it out for comic relief/modern Moral stories.

August 3, 2009 5:09 PM  
Blogger Kathryn said...

Now you've done it. I have an acute longing for Name of the Wind merchandise.

August 3, 2009 6:39 PM  
Blogger Jedi Poet said...

my friends had you sign a book for me.......thank you so much.

August 3, 2009 7:08 PM  
Anonymous Narda said...

That was some pretty funny comic. It's my first time reading any work by Greg Dean, or any other american comic for that matter, I only read manga. But I'll read Greg Dean since he seems like a cool dude. :D

And yeah, your right when you said that it's great that authors of fantasy has really pushed the boundaries and tried to write risky stories instead of following the traditional route that has almost made fantasy stale. ;)

One of the great things about your NOTW was that even though there's so little action, ie. fights, the story just flows so easily, that you won't even appreciate how long the book was. If I had to compare, NOTW is the equivalent of an extremely well written josei/slice of life manga.

Anyway, congratulation on a successful con. :)

August 3, 2009 8:34 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

ok first is first - i dont know HOW you manage it, but your beard literally does get more epic every picture you take! its so cool, keep it up! second - i would love to be a minion, if there are open positions. furthermore - HOW DO I GET A SHIRT!!??

kudos for all the high levels of coolness.

and gee... i hope all your.... assets are in order following your ER visit... haha poor Greg

August 3, 2009 9:59 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

and yes, Pat, living god for certain! Pretty cool that YOU are one of those authors pushing the envelope, along with Abercrombie and several others. you guys will make a new powerful force to be reckoned with, higher than now I think. and I for one, am proud to be swept along with the tide.

thank you, i humbly bow to you good sir.

August 3, 2009 10:05 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

also, and this is wide open to anyone of course - just wondering if you all know about this little forum - you too Pat!

stumbled on it earlier, and its pretty cool.

August 3, 2009 10:10 PM  
Blogger cindy said...

thanks for the linky love, pat!

AND i expect to see YOU in costume next year. i shall apply to be part of your entourage. =D

August 3, 2009 10:37 PM  
Blogger jblazier said...

Sounds like fun. I am looking forward to eventually making it to a live event the has you there. Gencon is next week, and right out my. I might try to come up sunday when the admission is $50 friggin dollars. I love the Rothfuss, but $50 of love is a kid I kid! Though it is true that once I get into the con it is a requirement that I spend $200 on anime figures and books. I may try to come up on Sunday if you are still there.

August 4, 2009 10:59 AM  
Blogger Gretchen said...

You got to meet Cindy Pon!! And Jacqueline Carey! I am jealous.

Also, oh god, that comic had me on the floor.

Have fun at WorldCon!

--Gretchen T.

August 4, 2009 12:53 PM  
OpenID noirrosaleen said...

So so pissed I missed that panel. BLAST YOU FINALS! *crai*

I need to remember to send my pic in...particularly the one of you looking suspiciously at me...

SO worth running all the way across the Con in those boots. Even if my toenails ARE still bruised from it.

(find it odd that my word verification is "gonal". Rather close to "gonad". V. curious about gonad story...)

August 4, 2009 5:07 PM  
Anonymous J.M. "Wolf" Johnston said...

I laughed, really hard at the comic. Also, since I noticed you're going to be in Indy on the 12th I sent you a totally stupid e-mail about taking your photo.

Not in a "Hey I'm a stalker and I need photos of you to occupy my alone time with" way.

More like "I'm a nationally/internationally published photographer and I need photos of you to occupy my alone time with" way.

Uh yeah, so anyway, since my wife is now rolling her eyes AND shaking her head at me (no lovin' for me tonight now), I'm going to stop. In closing however, I'd love to make the drive to Indy if you can give me 20-30 minutes to photograph you. :-D

August 4, 2009 7:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In case you're curious, I recognized your little yarn gift from a boot my girlfriend has called "Crobots." Your beloved fan has done a most excellent job of crafting you a Zombie bot (or something like that... I can't remember the exact name).

I am quite jealous. I asked my girlfriend to assemble me one of the zombie bots, and she just rolled her eyes. Perhaps for Christmas!

August 4, 2009 9:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

err... in the above post, "boot" should read, "book."

August 4, 2009 9:31 PM  
Anonymous Brady13 said...

Hi Pat!

My first Comic Con was last year when I got to sit at a table and signed my first comic (which didn't exactly come out as well as your first novel, but it was still an awesome experience!)
A friend of a friend of a friend of yours handed me a worn out paperback of Name a couple of moths ago and I finally got around to reading it.
Holy -! Like Neal Stephenson, RR Martin, Terry Pratchett - it justifies my unkillable belief that amid all the dreck that gets slapped on the shelves in trilogies, quadrologies or whatever there are still brilliantly exciting and engaging stories being told. Can't wait for the next one (don't worry, I already read yr blog on the subject - good things come...).
Thanks for the great read,

August 5, 2009 11:06 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Being a girl, I probably shouldn't comment on the testicular, um, situation, but if it was testicular torsion as one post suggested (and I really don't want to imagine any other situation that involves an ER and testicles) then I humbly and without gender bias put forth the Venture Brothers for your viewing edification. They made a very serious episode regarding testicular torsion, including a poignant PSA at the end. Seriously, episode 10 of season 1. And the rest of them are just fantastic for the serious geek in your life...

August 10, 2009 12:48 PM  
Anonymous AshleeFanaticalMinion said...


"Be Wary of Folly" <3<3<3 I'm in such love with your book. (And you, don't get me wrong... but it's your own fault that Kvothe comes first!)


August 24, 2009 12:53 PM  
Anonymous Erik Miller said...

Note: Pic of author's autograph...Pat, your writing has not improved any since college...I hope you use a mechanized letter reproduction instrument for your manuscripts. -e

October 22, 2009 8:13 PM  
Blogger colby said...

Yes you did catch a 1984 reference. Kudos to u Pat. I love how you do that without a blink of the eye ( or an explanation) and know that your fans will understand.

November 25, 2009 6:44 PM  

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