Victor Gischler has great hair.
Not like the Marlboro Man has great hair, not that kind of hyper-sprayed, thoroughly combed, possibly plastic and/or artificially extended kind of hair. No, what this guy has is funky hair.
I’d never met the man until Mayhem in the Midlands mystery convention in Omaha a few weeks ago, and I didn’t realize about the hair until we were at some Irish pub, having lunch outside and the wind came up a bit.
A few strands blew across his head, fluttered like naval semaphore flags in a Gulf Coast breeze. I could see this guy sitting in a James Lee Burke novel, waiting for Dave Robicheaux to arrive so the fists could start flying.
Anthony Neil Smith, another write I met at the convention, also has great hair. More like the Marlboro Man, though. Combed and neat and full.
Being bald, I am envious of anyone with hair (and yeah, I really dig that thing Jon Bon Jovi did in the mid-80’s…there was so much of it!)
I’ve spent most of my writing career thus far in the horror genre. Most of my publications are there and any recognition I get has been in that field. But the last few years, I’ve turned an eye toward crime and of late have gone to a few crime conventions.
They are vastly different from the horror conventions I trolled for the second half of the 90’s.
First of all, at the mystery cons there generally aren’t men walking around in black rubber tutus like I saw in Atlanta when poor Wayne Allan Sallee was assaulted by such a citizen. Secondly, the panels start way too early at crime cons, some as early as 8 a.m.
What the hell is that? In the horror world, people are just getting to bed by 8 a.m. Panels never start until well after lunch and then go until at least midnight. At Mayhem, most panels were finished by 5 p.m. and there were damned few people even awake at midnight.
But it was nice, even if I have to get used to people wearing clothes other than black goth garb. I had a chance to meet some writers I’ve always admired (Gischler and Smith among them), some new people (Jon and Ruth Jordan, editors and publishers of Crime Spree mag) and hook back up with some old friends like Sean Doolittle.
But this having to be up early for mystery conventions is going to be a problem. And if I have to sit and watch Victor’s cool hair too often, he and I might have a problem or three.