Hey-yo, I’m back from SizeCon! Now lend me your eyes.
My wife drove me to MSP Int’l Airport first thing Friday morning, saw me off with a kiss, told me how proud she was of me. Even if she’s not in on this whole size-kink thing, she has been endlessly supportive and motivational, pushing me to get my stories written, proofreading them for consistency, setting me up with little snacks during a three-hour typing binge, etc. I owe her so much, and I know how lucky I am.
I grabbed breakfast at French Meadow in the airport and struck up a conversation with my server: he’s from Ethiopia, and I’d visited Addis Ababa long ago. He was anxious to talk about North Korea, too, which I happen to study, and when he learned why I was going to New York—he lived in Manhattan—he expressed a strong desire to read my material. I’d told him it was a form of sci-fi, but now I had to let him know that actually it was sexier material and kind of strange, and I handed my business card over with gentle words of caution. I can only imagine what he thinks now.
The flight to LaGuardia was uneventful. I was misdirected to catch the shuttle, so I walked to the Marriott in 20 minutes and probably beat the shuttle in traffic. I got settled in my hotel room, then went out to dinner with a friend and drank far too many beers in an out-of-the-way Irish pub/dive. That made Saturday morning for me a little swimmy (and all the more galling, that the Marriott surprised me with $17 for the breakfast buffet—Hampton Inn lets you make your own waffles for free!—when I could only eat a tablespoon of eggs and potatoes in my state), but the convention must go on.
Now, this is going to entail a metric ass-ton of links. It’s going to be obnoxious, but I want to direct my readers to the fine purveyors of the weekend. It’s my regret that I didn’t get to talk to everybody, but I did try. I walked up to everyone and assessed the situation: when people averted their eyes or pretended not to notice me, when they declined to respond to a polite, friendly greeting, or had zero interest in promoting their work… I left them alone. I have no desire to force myself on anyone. (Yes, there are all sorts of reasons why someone might show up to SizeCon yet be averse to contact. We all know what they are, let’s not highlight or shame anyone about this.)
I was extremely nervous about attending. A year ago, when I registered, I was nervous about showing my face in public. I think I have a respectable life in my profession and social circles. Without being overly image-conscious, I still wondered what impact it would have on my friends and my job if I were tied to my shadow-identity of size-fetish porn writer? In an ideal world, nothing should happen: my interests should have no impact upon my regular life, but you know how people are.
And then I was nervous about getting ready. It had been a series of slowly increasing fiascoes: I wanted to sell a book of twelve short stories at SizeCon, which got cut down to five as time went on and I procrastinated and things happened to me that changed my perspective and precipitated taking a break from writing altogether. Then I wanted to commission an artist for the cover of the book: the first one informed me he doesn’t do commissions; the second one fucked off for half a year, then fucked off for two months, and I let him go; the third one came up with two rounds of really interesting, evocative photographic effects, then she fucked off. At the last second I used some of my own artwork on the cover—I chose an image and a title that were vague and open to interpretation, because someone somewhere told me that some size-fetish fans dislike having evidence of their kink lying around their living spaces. (At the same time, the title goes along with my online handle, which allude to the theory that, yes, in an alternate reality there were giantesses and tiny people and we fans vaguely remember our lives from that realm.) So I polished up five stories, proofed them and set them into layout, found a rapid-turnaround printer with good reviews, and… hoped for the best. I requested the books be delivered to the hotel where SizeCon was happening, so assuming they showed up on time, I wouldn’t see them until I arrived.
When I got there, the woman behind the desk had no idea what I was talking about. I’d called the hotel, I’d gotten the correct address for shipping, but she glanced around and said nothing was back there for me. Panicking, I ran to my room and copied down my shipping information, called 48 Hour Books, and explained the situation: they confirmed someone named “Morgan” had signed for them. Back to the front desk: there were two other staffers lounging around who seemed more interested in doing a diligent job. They searched one room, then another, then asked who the sender was and found my box. I’m in the process of a name change and gave the printer one name and the hotel another, totally forgetting this. I cracked open the box and my books looked great! So that was taken care of.
As well, I was hoping the original artwork would go toward a poster to introduce myself to attendees, but obviously things had changed. Then out of the blue, my close friend and creative partner Giantess Tina toyed around with feeding some of my stories into a word-cloud program and effortlessly created a gorgeous illustration that represented me aptly. Delighted, I emailed this to a local printer and had two small posters run, which I later forgot and left behind in my living room, necessitating me to find another local printer in Queens, who farmed the job out to another printer who does large projects, but I got it all done!
It was around this time I realize I’d also forgotten my nice shirts at home, but I took a Lyft out to a Banana Republic Factory Outlet where everything was 50% or better, so that worked out too. Everything worked out, even though it was a fevered, erratic scrabble to the finish line.
And then it was Saturday morning! I had my box of books, my new poster, a box of business cards, plus two little terrified figures (didn’t get used) and a bowl of Gummi Bears (much more popular). I stopped at the Marriott dining area for the offensively priced breakfast buffet, crawled to Artist Alley, and set up my booth. I was situated between the Hamptons comics guy and Soylent Orange (writer, hawking an artist friend’s drawings), and the comics guy lent us a handy wire rack to display our books and artwork, and then we were ready!
And this meant sitting around a lot. SizeCon was featuring many excellent panels and events, so we caught rushes of people at the top of each hour, then stragglers who were just looking around at all the amazing things going on in our arena. I mean amazing: there was the VR setup, obviously, where you strap on the helmet and are immersed in a 360° giantess video. That was in the area of Bratty Foot Girls and Gary Pranzo (video producer) of Media Impact/Size Fetish Zone and Raquel Roper (actor/model), which was a popular little quarter.
As well, Praedatorius (writer) had his booth set up with his latest publication, a smart-looking illustration of two women in a biological quandary. But what truly commanded the casual attention of passers-by was his pair of tremendous silicon breasts. Most of the time they stood as peaks around which anime action figures resided, like samurai retreating to write poetry or sculpt in jade. But once in a while, at his encouragement, someone had to try them on: broad straps ran over the back, either down the shoulders or across the spine. I heard the amount “12 pounds” float around, and I don’t know if that means the weight of the bosom altogether or each individual boob. All I do know is that I’d be minding my own business—you know where this is going—and I’d look up to see a man or a woman hopping around and dancing, giggling like a hyena, swinging tremendous, bare boobs through space like peachy wrecking balls. Soon after this, nearly inevitably, there was a pause as wearers contemplated whether this was what actual women with large breasts had to put up with all the time and whether their own spines could weather that kind of stress. So it was an educational moment. We learn, we grow.
During a quiet moment I walked over here and saw someone spreading out images (by the talented Little Bee, photographer) of Raquel in various giantess settings. They were gorgeous poses, and the prints themselves were slightly hypnotic and iridescent. I fished out my wallet promptly but was advised that she would be in later, in fact, and would sign these for me. I was daunted at the idea of meeting a giantess, but Raquel is (as everyone will tell you) a sweetheart. There’s no attitude, no pose, just a friendly person who’s happy to be there.
Well, that’s who I wanted to be, this weekend.
I kept a notebook on hand, to record special events that transpired, fleeting thoughts, story ideas (if any), and people to keep track of and look up later. During the slow moments I’d fix my cheaters on my face, pull out my 0.025 mm Slicci, and carefully inscribe a few lines in my Moleskine. Or I’d slowly nibble a grapefruit Gummi Bear and watch the attendees roll back and forth, peeking shyly at the booths, reuniting with friends and trading stories. Directly across from me, Anoka (writer) parked with Devria (artist) and Mrishimaru (artist; Mr. Ishimaru? I’m quite confident I’m going to get some names wrong). Right there, talented artists and writers, and they had a steady rotation of friends and visitors. I was shocked to learn Mrishimaru didn’t think much of his own artwork. I had to disabuse him of his notion—it looked like the centerfold of Métal Hurlant. Or Shonen Jump, I guess the kids would say. What do I know.
A young man going by the handle Shadow Soft wandered around, pulling a wheelie bag behind him. He sought out anyone he didn’t recognize: he handed them a business card and locked them up for five minutes, describing in great detail two stories he was preparing for online sale. I couldn’t peg his accent nor fault his determination. What were we there for, after all?
For my part, I reached out to anyone who strayed too close—such is the power of bulk-rate Gummi Bears from the co-op. One person needed to know if they contained Xylitol (they didn’t); another wandered by and took a handful without slowing down to say hi or even acknowledging me. Twice. On the other side of the coin, many people asked if they were allowed to have them, as though I had set out an over-sized bowl of Gummi Bears for my own breakfast. I guess that’s not unreasonable: I am an adult, after all, and can do anything I want. Two very serious-looking young men asked me about my stories, then asked if I was on Coiled Fist. I think I have a couple stories that might stand up there, as I understand they prefer Cruel themes and stories about giants, but mostly I don’t think they would enjoy my contributions or presence.
People started asking me about commissions. Bryan asked me about commissions. Someone asked me on Tumblr a week before SizeCon. I’ve never known how to estimate the cost of a commission, but other, more experienced writers weighed in on the writers panel and clearly mapped their process. I guess it comes down to how much you value yourself as a writer, your time and effort, and how much else you have going on.
As I faced them, a few tables to the left of Anoka and her friends were Saftkeur and Kreeyz. Diligent readers of my blog will recall my conversational interview with Saftkeur, so it was a pleasure to meet them in person and shake their hand. You know? I talked about this with Raquel: we need a word for friends we’ve made online but eventually meet. I mean, I’ve chatted with Kreeyz on and off over the past year, he’s offered to help me with my French, and there he was at the table. Everyone, if you ask them, will also tell you what a very cool, affable guy he is. We grinned at each other and shot DMs back and forth on Twitter during the slow times. I was very much looking forward to meeting him. And you know what? He does SizeCon for the love of it: he wasn’t selling anything. He was giving away illustrations, and he brought a game he’d designed for people to try. He’s exceedingly generous, making no money off this event but paying plenty to show up. It’s admirable as all hell.
Then JDO and Miss Kaneda showed up at my booth, and the weekend really began. We’ve been waiting for this for a long time, the in-person contact. I had “met” JDO the night before: he drove up early for the weekend late Friday night but couldn’t check in until Saturday, so he crashed in my room. It was around 4:30 a.m. when I heard the knock on my door, I stumbled over in my underwear, and waved him toward the fold-a-bed. We would get acquainted later.
Miss Kaneda gave me a huge hug. I wondered how this would go, because her stories are so very cruel and gory, gleefully so, but good night, she is a warm, open-hearted person. JDO crafts a rakish, ribald identity online and he aligns closely with it in person; what you might not sniff out online is his fierce loyalty to friends. I was so glad I had these two in my corner. Whatever else was going on this weekend, they were my touchstone and I could look forward to them reliably.
There were down moments, to be frank. There were vendors who were clearly there for themselves and had no interest in anyone else around them. I won’t call them out, that would be boorish, but they identified themselves with determined strides up and down the Artists Alley, gazes fixed forward, not a shred of curiosity for anything that didn’t directly involve them. That was something more than shyness, you could feel it. Then again, maybe not everyone is there to make friends and meet people like me, and that’s fine. My motives are no one else’s, my values are no one else’s.
Speaking of commerce, people started buying my books! I walked around and bought other people’s books, and now I have a modest little giantess/shrink-fetish library! That’s kinda cool to think about: I can keep it on my desk shelf and look at it once in a while, feel connected to something. Inspired, even. I picked up some prints from various artists. I can’t hang them up in my apartment, but I can keep them somewhere special and pull them out and reminisce. I just wanted to support the other writers and artists because I was seeing a good day.
I was on the writers panel! I was wrapping things up at the booth and showed up a little late, so I got an appendix chair on the end. Beside me were Miss Kaneda and Anoka, and then Syrus Durham, Soylent Orange, Cezar Nix, and Praedatorius. There, we talked about commissions and I learned quite a lot. Syrus and Cezar discussed the editor/writer relationship, Kaneda expounded on the openness of the writing community, and I said a bit on permitting yourself to write crap because it gets better. Did I feel professional? I don’t know, I just hope I helped someone with their struggle, which not too long ago was mine.
Saturday evening, JDO and Miss Kaneda buttonholed me to get some dinner, and as I knew nothing about Jackson Heights I suggested delivery (any place would deliver to us, and Uber also will pick up food and bring it to you), and we got pizza (fuck, JDO, I owe you for pizza. Just occurred to me). I saw Kreeyz wandering around the elevator bay and I didn’t know what his plans were, but goddamn if I was going to let him stumble back up to his room on his lonesome. We four went to the Marriott dining facility to break into the pizzas, when promptly one of the staff hustled over and told us that we were not permitted to eat outside food on her tables. Her tables. That’s taking one’s job seriously.
So we went to JDO’s room and talked shop. We expressed mourning that Nyx and Taedis were unable to join us this weekend, and we recounted all the things we liked about them. Similarly, we reviewed Giantess Tina’s love of community and her multifarious creative projects. We delved into what we do as writers: software we use, how to write a story, the nature of audiences, the point of it all. We may have taken turns complimenting each other, I disremember. When the conversation turned to Pokémon/Final Fantasy references, as all conversations must, I had to call it a night: I left Miss Kaneda and JDO bellowing pro-wrestling taglines at each other while Kreeyz giggled at the mad Americans.
JDO and Kaneda are associated with, among other things, food in my mind. We plotted dinner on Sunday as well: they threw themselves into my hands as I led them into Jackson Heights and we stopped, arbitrarily, at Airways Pizza. In contrast to getting aggressively ripped off at the Courtyard LaGuardia, we paid a little for quite a lot of food. JDO had to bring half of his chicken parm hero back; it was inspiring to watch Miss Kaneda diligently, steadily dismember her calzone and pack it away. We hung out and babbled about anything that came into our minds until the waitress hovered nearby, signaling that we’d sat around long enough.
How’re you doing? We’re 2,850 words in as of this sentence.
Sunday! I tried a new tactic: bullying people into friendliness. “Hello!” I yelled at them. “How are you! How’s your weekend going!” And I really was interested: I was here as a vendor, and they were here as attendees; this was my first SizeCon, it was likely their second. I wanted to know their experiences, what they were into, what brought them here. The one thing everyone agreed on, promptly, was that the space was much larger this year and the AC was infallible. Veterans of the first Con chuckle over this.
Many of them opened up and shared their stories with me, which was fucking awesome. I met Darkest Hour and Alterniaguy, who weren’t familiar with my work but, as they learned more, insisted it was their thing; I met brainwashedMZ and PNGWill, who knew who I am and went out of their way to tell me they liked my writing. This was an exceptional thrill and it took all my self-discipline not to collapse and goosh all over the table in a radioactive spill of slime. Additionally, brainwashedMZ was clad in a smart SizeCon-themed shirt, showing he was all in, and he had been following my quarterly writers contests on Twitter! He was quite ready for the stories of ButtyJuly17, and when he asked what would happen in October, I said it was up for a vote! (Did you know this? Weigh in on what the writers of Oct17 should write about for the next context!)
And then Gary Pranzo—filmmaker for Media Impact and Size Fetish Zone, an institution within the size-fetish world unto himself—strolled over and looked at my books and took my business card, and then said he knew who I was.
Readers. I couldn’t even.
At the very last moment, I got to connect with Jitensha, one of the founders of the weekend event. Everyone needed her attention, and she was running her own booth, and she was cosplaying (and her day-one outfit inspires me with a project…), on top of owning the convention. But she made time for me, thanked me for my participation, and gave me a great big hug. I’ve seen leaders of these things who let you know that they are too good for you, they are too concerned with loftier matters, and they demand a certain level of obeisance. They are the spectral opposite of Jitensha, who is immediately warm and open and interested and engaged like no one else you’ll meet. She was the icing on the cake, and my weekend was complete.
Finally it was time to pack up. Everything (except the poster) fit into my little cardboard box from 48 Hour Books. I cast about for anyone who was leaving-leaving and made my goodbyes. Anoka snagged me for a photo (“Who, me?”) with the other writers and I had a Moment: I was one of these guys. We are size-fetish writers, and we’re a group. It wasn’t just me hacking out fevered lust-fantasies about other guys’ girlfriends, cleaning them up for upload to GeoCities. We were here, doing this, living the dream.
I headed out to the elevator when someone shouted “HEY” at my back. Had I dropped something? Did I elbow someone accidentally? I turned and found a man slowly approaching me. He thanked me for my little speech at the writers panel, said my words spoke directly to him. He’d been holding himself back from writing out of uncertainty or self-doubt, inflated expectations. He told me he found my message encouraging and he was looking forward to writing more. My heart swelled and I urged him to please do so: “And if you ever need a second pair of eyes… I’m also an editor.” We laughed, I dumped my cargo off upstairs, and came back down to find JDO and Miss Kaneda in a group of people casually chatting.
Raquel Roper, defying any misconception that she could not possibly be any cuter, stepped back for a moment and boggled at all the positive attention she had received. “I don’t get why anyone would want to watch me eating a tiny person,” she cried. “I’m just some geek girl!”
I assured her, on this weekend, we were all geek girls.