*walks over to sit in his high back chair next to the fireplace*
During day two at Emerald City Comic Con last year, I was getting ready to head over to one of the panel rooms to catch Webcomics Weekly Live. After seeing the panel every year since I had started going to ECCC, the Halfpixel crew (Brad Guigar, Dave Kellett, Scott Kurtz, and Kris Straub) always put on a good show. I was an avid listener of the podcast in the past, but listening to it really had nothing on watching it live. This made it the official “Must Attend Panel of ECCC” for me.
Carrying on a tradition started during PAX Prime 2010, my friends and I had planned once again to bring something special for the Webcomic panelists. I was in a rush because I had to grab the box (that had been put together) from my hotel room before heading down to get in line. There was some running around downtown Seattle assembling a case and packing material to put everything in as sort of after thought not that long before.
When we were entering the room, I had the black snapping case in my arms. I sent my other friends back to find us a few seats. I had noticed that the panelists were standing outside the door talking when we had come in. I took it as my opportunity to place the case on the table they would be conducting from. That way no one would see who it was coming from, but it would also give it a bit of mystery. There was a card attached to the case though, indicating from whom the gift had been bestowed. It was signed “From your Demi-Gods,” a title which had been bestowed on us by Scott Kurtz at PAX 10. We’ll save that story for another time.
Now this was a gift that we had been thinking about putting together since PAX 10. Around Christmas time, those lovely gift packs come out at local liquor stores that have special glasses and the like in them. Knowing that alcohol wouldn’t go bad before Emerald City rolled around again, we stocked up on two such of the packages featuring Bushmills Irish Whiskey and nicely branded tumbler glasses. As the creators had been pivotal in creating the idea of “Classoline Alley” to carried out at day two of Emerald City, we had thought it would be appropriate to bring in a special gift in the form of Whiskey Sour kit. It had been a drink that Brad Guigar was known to enjoy and had introduced the rest of the crew to. When the time for the convention was upon us, we picked the remaining items needed for the kit, sour mix, maraschino cherries, and the like.
Approaching the stage, the Halfpixel guys noticed the case as sort of wondered what it was. As everyone was attempting to settle into their spots at the table, Kurtz decided to open the box.
“Oooooooh!” he exclaimed as he propped the lid up.
Some jokes were tossed back and forth as the creators gathered around Kurtz and the box looking at what was inside. Eventually each of them went back to their seats, the case was set to the floor and the show began.
Not long into the panel though, Scott Kurtz reached down to his side and pulled out the bottle of whiskey from the box. It landed on the table with a thump. He snapped up a glass, cracked the seal on the bottle and poured himself a neat drink. After this, the creators stopped the show long enough for each of them to pour their own drinks. What followed ended up being one of the funniest versions of Webcomic Weekly ever done. Stories flowed, huge laughs were had, and drinks were poured up and down the line.
The next day we stopped by the booth that the group shared to ask them about the gift and explain why we had left it. Apparently the night before some person by the handle Rocketpickle (or something to that like) had tried to lay claim to the deed over Twitter. Kurtz didn’t seem too happy to be led on by a fan as we explained that it was indeed us. Kurtz had wondered about the card, but didn’t make the connection until we reminded him of the experience at PAX. We traded some conversation back and forth. The guys all really enjoyed the gift. Guigar had really appreciated that we included the cherries. I was surprised to hear that they had even finished off the bottle of Bushmills. The topper for us though, was that the crew had admitted that they previous day was probably their favorite, most fun panel that had ever done up to then. It was a great feeling to be able to give something back to the creators that had been entertaining us for years free of charge.
Now every year, my friends and I show up at panels or events featuring the Halfpixel crew with a bottle in hand, a gift of appreciation for everything they do, ready for a great show.
And with that, my tale is done. Until next time, folks.
*rises from his chair and walks out of view*