East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Back from the con (and two-fisted art!)


So we (my brother and me, that is) went to the Casale Comics & Games convention, and it was a lot of fun.
Really a lot of fun.
Let me tell you a little story, in order to share part of the fun with you.

We arrived at the wonderful Citadel of Casale, on Saturday morning, and we soon found out that, due to a technical glitch (Google as usual deciding that some mail is spam) Acheron Books did not have a table in the vendors area.
The guys in the con organization were absolutely great, and in a few minutes we had relocated in a side hall, where indie artists and authors were exposing their work. Cool, quiet, beautiful.
Maybe not the best position for business, but a great spot.

After about half an hour, we were joined by another victim of “technical glitches” – visual artist and teacher Samantha Scuri, that should have been out in the central courtyard, working with 40°C in full sun with full-blast anime songs as musical background, found a place in our little corner of dungeon, setting up shop on the table next to ours.

This was actually a great opportunity, because Samantha not only is a great manga-style artist (this is her Facebook page, go check her artwork) and a lot of fun to spend time with, but she also has this thing going, and she sketches using both hands at the same time.
She does live, speed-portraits using both hands at the same time.
Which looks much more amazing that it sounds – and it already sounds amazing.

Samantha’s two-fisted sketching pulls a lot of people – and this is really good, because they come by, stop staring at Sam’s work, and they also catch a glimpse of our books.
Mission accomplished.

But it’s a lot more interesting than that, because – and this is the sort of thing that I could never put in a story, because it is not realistic… because, I was saying, we’ve been knowing each other, Samantha and me, for over twenty-seven years, having first met back when she was in art school and I was attending university with her sister. We (me, my brother, Sam, her sister) were part of the same group of friends for two decades,  but we stopped hanging together after I moved here in Astigianistan, in 2009.
So yes, we met again after eight years, because of “technical glitches”.
And no, we did not know we’d be at the same con.

So the next time you feel like dropping a novel because two characters meet by chance after years because they happen to have seats in the same train compartment… well, the next time that one sounds forced and fake to you in a story, remember that reality always catches us by surprise.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

5 thoughts on “Back from the con (and two-fisted art!)

  1. Sounds like you had a good day despite your location! I can’t believe how she (Sam) can do that?! I can’t even control a pen in one hand let alone two simultaneously!! So did you sell some books?


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