Welcome to the limited series return of BETWEEN THE PAGES, running Mondays and Wednesdays now through mid-December 2020! Dubbed BETWEEN THE PAGES: FINDING MY VOICE, follow Shannon’s journey as she learned and grew to become more of a public speaker, and how she’s still learning today! Today is Installment 7, “The Gathering”.

The summer of 2001 I decided to check out my first fan topic-focused convention, THE GATHERING OF THE GARGOYLES. Partially it was because I got to know the creator of the show as instructor through a class I took at UCLA Extension. I also became interested because that year’s convention would be local (the GATHERING moved locations across the country).

Another reason was because I’d never been to a convention of this type before. Not only was Comic-Con International: San Diego the first convention I ever spoke at at,  it was the first one I ever attended. In that respect, going to a get-together such as GATHERING OF THE GAROYLES differed in many ways.

One thing I learned quickly was that as a topical fan convention going for several years, there were people who knew one another very well.

As I had for San Diego Comic-Con: International, I volunteered to be part of programming. This placed me as a panelist on “From Fan to Professional,” featuring several GARGOYLES fans who went on to do more professional endeavors in animation, art, self-published print books, and more. I enjoyed this particular panel, and seeing the audience also appreciate it, that I’ve pitched and done similar panels over the years in places such as LOSCON (which we’ll talk about later).

Scenes from “FROM FAN TO PROFESSIONAL” panel for GATHERING OF THE GAROYLES panel in 2001 at Universal City, CA. Second from left in both photos: Shannon Muir.

I enjoyed the experience enough that when the GATHERING came back towards the West Coast in 2004 to Las Vegas, Nevada, I participated again. This time, I appeared on another incarnation of “From Fan to Pro” as well a panel talking about “Web Comics” based on my writing collaboration with my now husband, Kevin Paul Shaw Broden, on the web comic FLYING GLORY AND THE HOUNDS OF GLORY. The intellectual property turns 20 years old in 2021 and you can check out the webcomic here.

The next installment will talk about my return to San Diego Comic-Con International as a panelist in the summer of 2001.