So let’s see what’s been going on since my last posting in…early April, hoo boy. The problem has been that I’ve been very sick. I came to Toronto with debilitating neck pain, went to Wizard World Toronto and then got hit with several weeks worth of bad cold / flu / ugly virus that eventually became a sinus infection. Consequently, I’ve been mostly working off emergency systems.
And yet, I’ve been busy as well. Wizard World Toronto Comic Con was an incredible experience. The the Doctor Who Society of Canada were simply amazing, managing to convince Wizard World to let us sell and sign copies of Who is the Doctor from their fan table and pulling out all the stops to be nice to me. The DWSC were given the Doctor Who panel at Toronto Comic Con and they made it a Q and A with me. I figured we’d get 20, 40 people max. At 5 pm I went downstairs with the lovely Cindy (one of the founders of DWSC) and the fabulous Mike (also of DWSC, he acted as moderator) to find a massive line-up outside the door for the panel room. “Is there a Twilight panel after this?” I thought. No, they were all waiting for the Doctor Who panel!
And so inside I sat at the front staring at a hall full of people, probably by my count 175-200 at least.
This was just mildly freaky. I felt a fraud. A crowd that size deserved David Tennant, or at least a good David Tennant impersonator. But Mike asked me questions about the book, and then asked me questions of Doctor Who. And if there’s one thing I’m good at in the world, one thing at all, it’s talking about Doctor Who.
I soon felt comfortable, and the crowd seemed to enjoy chatting about Doctor Who with me. Eventually a Dalek stopped by, which made it all the stranger. But it was a great hour. People were interested and friendly, though I wish, after being asked by a kid what my favourite funny moment in Who was, I had come up with something that made him laugh (of course later I thought: “‘You have headaches?’ from The Highlanders”. Dammit!)
Anyway, you don’t have to take my word for it. The Book Guys website sat in the crowd, recorded it and put the panel on their website as a podcast. So if you want to hear me opinionate, dabble in rumour and just witter on about Doctor Who, enjoy yourself.
I was pulled aside afterward to answer questions about what classic stories to see and about Eccleston’s departure. And then the lovely Cindy came over saying, “You better get upstairs. There’s a huge lineup for your signing. We’re not sure if we have enough books.”
So I went upstairs, signed autographs, doodled TARDISes and Daleks and other things, talked with a lot of nice people. Here’s a picture of me doing that, only for some reason I appear to have sucked a kilo of alum at the same time…
By the end of it we almost sold out of the massive consignment of books the DWSC picked up from ECW Press and Bakka Phoenix. I came in the next day (I wasn’t planning to), did an additional signing and sold the rest. That’s right—we sold out every copy of Who is the Doctor. Oh did I mention I almost told Cindy she was crazy for getting a consignment that large?
Yeah, that was definitely cool.
Critics at Large had an amazing write up of the con and said some really nice things about me as well, the most flattering of which was, “With no sexy celebrity guests…. and armed with only a sincere and thoughtful enthusiasm for the series that was shared by everyone in attendance, Burk and the [Doctor Who ]Society were the epitome of what made Wizard World so enjoyable.”
All I can say is thanks to the Cindy, Mike, Caroline, Dalek Auric and all the amazing people at the Doctor Who Society of Canada whose faith in me was astonishing.
Other cool thing that happened in Toronto. I found a copy of Who is the Doctor at the World’s Biggest Bookstore in Toronto, where I bought most of my Doctor Who books as a teenager and adult. That was awesome.
Meanwhile, I’ve done a podcast interview for the Doctor Who Podcast which should appear later in May. This weekend I’m making another Radio Free Skaro appearance (not to talk about the book, but to help out on their Miniscope feature on writer Dennis Spooner) and Robert and I will be on the Doctor Who Book Club Podcast in the next week or so as well.
This book launch stuff is a bit wild and weird but it’s awful fun too. Maybe next time I can be in better health to enjoy it!