I’m back in northern Ontario in my little hometown, Kirkland Lake. I was in Montreal over the weekend as a guest at an anime convention called Otakuthon. I was a guest at the first Otakuthon, five years ago, when it was much smaller. This year’s event was fantastic and took place at the lovely Palais des Congress de Montreal. My first panel took place Friday evening which was my presentation “Skepticism Through Manga”. The talk went well, despite some technical difficulties; unfortunately I made the mistake of trusting my little HP notebook running Vista (why would I do that?!) as if it runs like my very trustworthy Alienware Area 51.

Quinton and I spent most of our time between panels at my guest table in the exhibitor hall, selling copies of my books and his 8×10 headshots. His first autograph session took place on Saturday and, unfortunately, had to be cut off at the end of the hour. He had a great Q&A session later in the afternoon, which took place right before my next panel, “Manga Storytelling: Writing and Illustration”.

My original plans were to head back to LA after the convention and then fly into Atlanta for Dragon*Con a couple weeks later. Unfortunately, after my last visit in the US, I was denied entry across the border; I’ve spent a lot of time visiting the US over the past year and that combined with my status as a freelancer made it possible for the border officer to deny me entry as an alleged intending immigrant.

I assure you the experience in secondary inspection was quite horrible—-I was in the waiting room separated from Quinton for over 2 hours without any indication of why I was there and once I was actually spoken to by the officer it was very emotionally distressing. But, alas, there isn’t much that can be done—-border officers can deny entry to anyone at their own discretion. Since Canadians don’t need tourist visas, it seems it can be easy for things to get messy (since you don’t actually have a visa to overstay). So, for now, I’m advised to postpone another attempted crossing for at least 6 months.

This means that my scheduled guest appearance at Dragon*Con won’t be happening this year. I was really looking forward to attending and being part of the Skeptrack. On the upside, it might sound really badass if you’d like to call me banned in America!

One Response

  1. podblack Says:

    Oh damn, damn, damn! :/ Was really looking forward to meeting you! :/ Hope that you can make a future one, you really would light up the place.

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