Well what a trip. Comic Con is now behind me and I am back here in Coos Bay where nobody reads comics and they refer to what I draw as "cartoon books". I miss it already. Here's my best rundown of what I experienced:
I flew in on wednesday evening. I caught a cab and the guy could hardly understand english. I ask him to take me to my hotel then to the convention. 10 minutes later we're at the convention and I'm like "my hotel first"- and he's like "oh solly solly!!!" So then we go to my hotel which the guy can't even find, so he passes it and has to take a later exit and back track. FInally I get there and they make me wait for my room while the cab bill is on steady increase. Finally, 60 bucks later I'm to the con.
SO I call Brinton, the writer of Creep who I still have never met. He isn't even there yet. I find the "pro registeration" line and it's hugungous. Seriously like a two hour wait. Luckily his guy comes up and gives us free passes into the con for that night so we can register later. So I grab the free pass and go to get in and yet ANOTHER huge line. So I stand in it. And wait. I see this girl flipping through the souvenier book (it's the annual publication the con puts out and it comes with your badge) and as she is flipping I catch a glimpse of my drawing I entered of Usagi Yojimbo and I pathetically ask the girl if I can look at her book (since I don't have mine yet) and sure enough, it is my drawing! So I ask these two girls I don't know to do a celebratory jig with me so we all cheer for a second.
Then I get a call, it's Brinton. He's at the con. So I meet him. For some reason, being the cynic I am, I expected the worst- I was expecting like this gothy nerdy guy with like a black died mullet and like just an akward weird guy I could never get along with. I was wrong- Brinton's cool! He's very easy going, regular guy with lots of vision and pretty responsible. He brought Tshirts, post cards, buttons, a banner, and the new issues of creep. We hauled them into the con and walked across town back to his car, got the rest f the stuff and brought it back.
I met the whole conspiracy crew. I was semi-scared to meet them, I had no idea what to expect. And I was always nervous that I had barged in on something that they had going on with Creep. I was hoping they didn't hate me. As far as I could tell they were very cool. John Caubang was hilarious
he looks like this badass kung fu heavy metal badass, but he's just like this chuckley little dude who cracks jokes and is real smiley. Brinton's girlfriend
dang it I forgot her name- was really cool. She bought us food and helped out at the table and was just really supportive and easy going.
I also got to finally meet Javier Hernandez- creator of El Muerto. I ended up going to diner with him and John from Core 13 that night.
The next day was one of my best memories. I have told some of you about Brian Godawa. Well I got to meet him that day. Brian was the screenwriter on one of my top favorite films: To End All Wars. Through my contact with Doug TenNapel (another hero of mine) on his forums, Doug had recommended me to him when he sent out an email to his asking if anyone knew an artist who could draw comics.
I think we hit it off very good. I wasn't nervous, mostly excited because I really respect this guys work. Plus he's a Christian, and when you share that with someone it's easy to be brothers right off the bat. We hung out all day, went to some panels, he bought me lunch, and we sought out publishers for the book that we are going to do together. Later that evening we met up with Doug TenNapel at his booth. He was selling his new book Tommysaurus Rex, which was bought by Universal to be made into a movie before it was even published as a comic. We all ended up going out to dinner. I got to meet Doug's wife and kids. His wife Angie was the sweetest lady ever, he had a great family. We went to a buffet and then waked around this little seaport village by the water. I paid one of those frozen people dressed like a cowboy and he came to life and sang us an old country song. It was a Kodak moment. Later we went back to Doug's hotel room and he showed me and Brian his thumbnails and sketches for his newest project "Earthboy Jacobus." Me and Brian went back to his hotel room and watched a "Man on Fire" which was very good. It was an honor to spend the evening with two guys I consider my biggest heroes in the realm of Christian creativity. If only C.S. Lewis could have made it.
I spent more time at my booth the next day. I met up with a guy I had met on Doug's forum named Will. I tried my best to show him around Con. I sat at the Conspiracy booth a bit more that day. It was cool to actually watch Creep being sold, and getting to hear people's responses to it. We really had to be salesmen, which Brinton probably worked hardest. We had a great spot. I was sitting right next door to one of my favorite artist's Michael Gagne who drew a book I love called Insanely Twisted Rabbits.
Right across from us was Oni press, one of the biggest Independent Publishers, who is releasing Sam Kieth's Ojo very soon. Unfortunately I saw no Sam Kieth, another big art hero of mine. The guy I was sitting directly staring at was Kagan McLeod, awesome artist of the kung fu masterpiece Infinite Kung Fu. I eventually caved in and bought all his books and had him draw me a sumo. He's awesome.
We were also right by DC comics, but I didn't go over their much. It was overrun by fans in long lines getting autographs from highly paid artists.
That evening I offered Will my hotel room floor, and we took the trolley back to the hotel. Stupid eef got us on the wrong trolley though, and in the process convinced a handicapped crazy woman that she was on the wrong trolley. When we ralized it was us who were wrong, we got off. We ended up in the hood. I have never experienced rats like I did that night. They were everywhere in the bushes making tons of noise. They had no fear of us humans, they were crashing around fighting and playing. It was ratty.
So we get to the hotel, my key doesn't work. I worked it out with the office, and we read comics till we crashed.
The next morning we had Denny's and headed back. On the way back we passed a Trolley that was destroyed- the windows were all broken and shattered, and you could see blood and lifeless bodies inside. That was freaky. There were fire trucks and stuff. I don't really know what the heck was going on, but it definitely freaked us all out at the moment we saw it.
So Saturday was awesome. Me and Will went to the "Spirituality in Comics" panel, because Doug was part of it. It was a bit of a let down, very tolerant and comfy for everyone. As one guy in the crowd said, it should have been called "Christianity in Comics." The only non-Christian was Craig Thompson, creator of Blankets. Doug tried to stir it up- he would say things that should rile people up, but the moderator Chuck Dixon seemed to keep everything a little bland and surfacey.
I met some great people that day- from the TenNapel forums. Ryan Agadoni, who is an artist I think has awesome talent was there, and I hope to do some work with him. I met Sockbaby guys- John Soares, Justin Spurlock, Uriel Padilla and also a girl named Sonia who was a grey. Also, a girl named Val from Doug's forum who was like the smiliest kid I ever met.
I went with John and young Chritian, Javier's nephew, to Sockbaby. We saw all three episodes and it brought the house down. It was awesome. Rumors are that there are some big companies wantin' to make sockbaby into a feature film. Oh please Lord.
That night all the con attending TenNapel forumers, minus the sockbaby crew and Val met up at the pool at Doug's hotel. That was a memory for sure. What great people. I didn't get nearly enough of them. Doug bought the menu and 3 rounds of drinks for everyone. It was like the forums in real time- big theological discussion with lots of sarcasm and I would occasionally chime in. I gave them all a copy of my "Eef" cartoon book and we had a good laugh.
Sunday was the final day of Con, and I knew I would miss it. I spent most of the last of my money. I had bought TONS of comics. The book I recommend most is Simon Bisely's Images from the Bible. The art work is freaking amazing.
That evening I had dinner with John from Core13, Javier, Christian, and Jav's friend Bernyce. It was allot of fun and we laughed oh so hard. These are people I am really gonna miss.
So I guess I'll be starting this comic with Brian Godawa anytime now. Can't wait to be a part of that. And I can't wait til next comic con.