Games Day in Baltimore this year. Thanks to all the staffers from Games Workshop and Black Library who worked so hard to put this frankly insane event together. Lots of shouting, crazy costumes, and people running around dragging tape measures and screaming "CANNONBALL!!". (If you play Warhammer you'll get the reference.)
Some highlights from the event, with quality cell phone camera illustrations:
The crowd standing in line to register for the event. Point of clarification: You have to buy your ticket, then you have to register, then you can go inside. The guy in front of me didn't find this out until he'd already made it through this line once. Learn from his mistakes!
The best costume I saw all day. Actually there were a lot of high-quality costumes this year, and I'm very hopeful that Games Workshop will post up equally high-quality photographs in a few weeks.
An Eldar helmet and pistol at life-size scale (or close to it). I'm consistently amazed by the amount of effort the Games Workshop guys put into this stuff. I also freely admit that I would have walked off with this case if I thought I could get away with it.
Some of the models behind the big event! I don't know who Matthieu Fontaine is, but he's a hell of a painter/sculptor.
A Titan-scale Ultramarine, brought in to promote the upcoming Ultramarines movie. I'm trying to keep my expectations low for this, but they've got Terence Stamp doing voice work. How can you not expect awesomeness?
As promotional items go, nothing beats a free hat. This came courtesy of Relic Entertainment, the minds behind all of the recent Warhammer/Warhammer 40,000 video games. If anything's ever going to get me back into MMORPGs, Dark Millennium is it.
A shot of Dan Abnett during the second Black Library seminar. Mr. Abnett read an extract from his upcoming book Prospero Burns (you will want to buy that), answered a bunch of questions from the audience (did you like Eisenhorn? Ravenor? Then you can start hoping for more to come), and generally charmed the hell out of everybody.
The first seminar (which I failed to photograph properly) was four authors for one, with Gav Thorpe, C.L. Werner, Mike Lee, and Nathan Long all reading excerpts from their upcoming novels. They also took audience questions, and I actually got autographs from Mr. Thorpe and Mr. Werner (both of whom I heartily apologize to if I came off as an ass).
Last but not least, the loot! Games Days are a great way to grab some books (and miniatures) that aren't out in stores or on Amazon just yet. I was a little disappointed that I couldn't get my hands on The First Heretic (I looked at the previews for the UK Games Day by mistake), but I think I've got enough here to get me maybe halfway through the wait.
If I don't burn through the whole pile in a week. Which let's be honest, I might do.