Sunday, April 30, 2006

Saturday ComiCon Report

Saturday Con Report. Things are a bit blurry from the earlier parts of the day...I just got back from the Saturday night party and subsequent karoake night.

After getting 6 hours of sleep, I got up and going this morning and legged it down to the con with an even fuller pack than yesterday. Had all my stuff for Greg Rucka and Gail Simone to sign, and it weighed me down. Met up with some folks on the bus, and we traded imitations of Stan Lee, and then talked about the concept of Guido & Guido: Furniture Movers ("We will move your furniture! If you do not hire us, we will move your head up your ass!").

I arrived at around half past 11, about an hour and a half after the con had started. It was still pretty slow, which was good for me since it meant, surprise, no lines. Chatted a bit with Gail Simone, but I headed on as there were other people to see her.

I was just starting to say hi to Svetlana and her sister, Alexandra, who had arrived nearly at noon, when Heidi came over and told me that Patricia wanted to see me. Which...errr...well lets just say that I was thrown for a bit of a loop there. My odd feelings weren't helped my Patricia holding up her fingers in a cross sign. But it was OK, turns out she just wanted a better photograph of her than the one I took on Friday ( also turns out that her and Heidi went surfing over the photos I put on Flickr). After that I moved on

Stopped by and said hello to a few folks I'd met yesterday. Got in the line to see Greg Rucka, and we chatted a bit and he gave me short little personal messages in all the books I handed him...which thrilled me to no end. Dan Didio was sitting beside him, semi-incognito as he deliberatly wore his conbadge facing inwards. We chatted a bit about the best form for trying to break in to DC (send Dan a cover letter and a copy of your latest book). Greg's little personal notes really made my day, I gotta say. I was really glad that I talked to him yesterday and got my face, and my hat, known.

Chatted with Saul Colt from SSS a bit. Turns out that Saul had also wanted to bring his car in (his dirty, beat up old junker) and sell his comics out of the back of it, but Andy B., writer of Dead End 56 beat him to it. Though we joked that, given that Saul writes "Eclipse & Vega", selling his "super-smut" (he approved that word) out of the back of an old junker like some sort of back alley bootleg porn dealer would actually be somewhat appropriate.

Went over to Ray, Chip, Ramon Perez, Andy, and Cameron's lounge and took some pictures of it while I chatted with Ray about the state of things and what he thought of the convention. He thought, and actually a LOT of folks I talked to thought, that it was on the small side. Part of this, I think, is due to the size of the convention centre itself, which is just fucking HUGE. I also snapped some shots of Andy B's "booth babes", a pair of gals dressed in long skirts and tops with rollerskates, going around and hawking Dead End 56 for him.

After that I meandered over to try and get Darwyn Cooke's autograph on my two volumes of "DC: The New Frontier", but he was doing sketches for folks in line, so I eventually gave up and wound up talking to Diana Schutz, who seemed very happy with the photo I took of her and Heidi on Friday.

Went to some panels after that. Got in on the "Women in Comis: The New Mainstream" panel, notes of which will be forthcoming once I decipher my strange shorthand (which involves no vowels and where some appreviations can only be deciphered by their relation to other words around them). That featured Svetlana, Jill Thompson, Becky Cloonan, Jessica Abel, Linda Medley (Castle Waiting, Raina Taiglmeyer (The Babysitter's Club), Nicola Scott (an Australian artist coming to her first con who's working on Star Wars and will be doing an arc with Greg on Queen & Country), and hosted by mini-comics writer, and Women in Comics organizer, Diana Tamblyn. That panel went VERY well. I've got two FULL pages of notes on it, so its a bit much to all put down here. I'll be blogging the notes over on my blog, Chasing the Muse, in the next couple days.

Went back to the floor after that to socialize. Chatted with some guys over at Mr. Comics, and snapped some photos. They're a good crowd over there, and for anyone that isn't reading Planet of the Apes right now I HIGHLY recommend it...that and pretty much anything else thats coming out of Mr. Comics.

Caught the tail end of a manga panel, which I didn't take notes on, so all I can remember about the roster of writers on it was J. Torres, Svetlana, and Jim Zubkuvitch (who's name I've probably mangled...sorry, Jim!). I haven't seen Jim in nearly a year, so we chatted a bit afterwards, and I moved on to more panels.

After that I filtered over to ANOTHER panel with Jill and Becky in it, this one being "Going Vertigo", with Jill, Becky, Patricia, and Brian Azarello. I only have a page of notes for that one, with amusing quotes scrawled in the margins ("Being a girl in comics is like being a guy in comics...only with a period."-Becky Cloonan). While the previous panel focused on trying to get an idea of what the "mainstream" was and where it was going, this one more focused just on what the writers LIKED about Vertigo, and what Vertigo did for them. I made a comment, which Brian agreed with, that comics seem to be slowly returning to where they were pre-CCA with an upswing in things like horror comics, crime comics, romance comics, that kind of thing ("Vertigo is like cable TV...a lot of everything else is public access."-Brian Azarello).

Stuck around in that room for the final panel of the day, this one focusing on Sexy Chicks, the anthology of stories by women writers and artists that Diana edited. Yet another thing that I have two pages of notes from, though they're only vaugley more legible. The panel was Jill, Gail, Diana, and Amanda Connor. All four talked about their contributions to the book, where it came from, the controversy surrounding it at times, and the overall plans for it and where they thought it was going. From listening to them talk about it, I think that I will definitly be grabbing a copy of Sexy Chicks once I get a chance.

After that the TRUE fun began. The last panel let out at 6, and the con closed at 7, so I wandered around, met up with Jamie Coville, and chatted with Svetlana, her sister Alexandra, Chip, and Kathryn Williams, who explained to me about the concept of shoujo-ai manga (lesbian romance). Kathryn is VERY knowledgeable about her genre, and we talked about the difference between writing romance vs. writing porn (which is a problem she's running into with a lot of shows). I'm always amazed when I go to conventions about the sort of stuff that folks are knowledgeable about, and apparently Kathryn's an expert in her field and gives all sorts of lectures. Was a very interesting conversation.
Also chatted with Raina Taiglmeyer a bit about the differences between climate and transit in San Fransisco and Toronto. Raina, who's a 'Frisco native, told some amusing stories about living in a strange wonderland of mists and shadows, and I talked about, being a West Coast native myself (suburbs of Vancouver, Coquitlam represent!), the weird weather where I come from. We also talked about the transit system in Toronto, and how while the subway map might seem sparse, it covers most of the city and connects to everything else via streetcars and busses. I hope that Raina didn't get overly lost when she went to dinner at the Red Room.

Then the true amusement began. I left the Con and intended to wait around for the Schusters, but ended up helping a starving Heidi go and find food, which was a fun adventure in and of itself. Me and her (mostly her), walking along King Street singing the Mission: Impossible theme tune and trying to find a streetcar after grabbing food at Subway and Quizno's. I gotta say, that was a damn good time. Heidi is a PHENOMENALLY cool person, and any of you who haven't had the chance to meet her should do so at your earliest possible convenience.

We got back to the con JUST in time to grab a few standing spots at the back of the room for the Schusters. Heidi and Jamie Coville are the reporters, and I need to sleep soon to rest for Sunday's leg of the con, so I will leave the discussion of the Schusters in their capable hands. Suffice to say, they were very long. Dave Sim sung "My Way". Ed the Sock was dressed as the Golden Age Flash, and my feet hurt at the end. But I think I got decently clear pictures of most everything there.

After THAT I tagged along with Chip, Ray Fawkes, and Heidi and we went to the after-con party at Crocodile Rock. Its kind of a haze of good times and a lot of interesting talk and stories. Shot some pool with Svetlana and Alexandra (and a friend of theirs who I don't know the name of). Then there was karoake.

I got back from karoake about an hour ago. There was much singing, much dancing (for HOURS), and I got kissed by Chip Zdarsky before I left after a rousing rendition of the Back Street Boys "I Like it That Way" (or whatever its called).

Saturday ROCKED. Great day. I'll have photos loaded to Flickr tomorrow. Now I go sleep. Tired and dehydrated. tired...


Anonymous Jason said...

The Bard is the only dude I know who goes to a comic con for the weekend and winds up hanging out with a bunch of chicks.

5:04 a.m.  
Blogger Bard said...

Well, the theme of this con was "Women in Comics". And so a lot of the creators they brought in were women (I'm still dissapointed that Colleen Doran was ill, I need to send her a get-well-soon email).

But yes. I understand the paradox. Though to be honest, there was a decided lack of slobbering, live-in-the-basement fanboys. The con really seemed to draw the less obviously nerdy side of the comics industry...well, ok. Except for the guy who passed out at the Shusters and was swigging cola all weekend.

6:44 p.m.  
Blogger Filthy McMonkey said...

Man...I thought I saw you at the Paradise Con. I thought to myself, is that the guy from the Engine with the top hat? Maybe...kinda looks like him, and there's the Engine sticker in his hat...I dunno. Should I say hi? I dunno...I'm nobody...I haven't even been on the Engine in a while...he's probably here to talk to important people...

As you can see, I have issues.

7:39 p.m.  
Blogger Bard said...

...dude. I was wearing the Engine hat so Engineers could come to me, we could chat, and I could take their pictures.

But approach people at cons. Most folks are relativly normal and can be spoken to. If, whatever. Most people don't go to cons to be antisocial, and will be happy to chat with you.

Besides...I'm not a published pro yet. I can make no claim to egotism (ignoring, of course, that statements like that are innately egotistical).

8:40 p.m.  
Blogger Filthy McMonkey said...

Mostly I didn't want to end up in a place where I go, " You're the guy from the Engine with the hat." And you say "Yes".

And then we look around in silence until we awkwardly wander off our separate ways.

6:40 p.m.  
Blogger Kathryn said...

Hi hi, Kat Williams here, I'm glad that I didn't bore the hell out of you at the con. After talking with you and some others I've decided to get back to that grim victorian story I was talking to you about. The whole teddy bear thing. It was great talking to you and thanks for taking the photo of me and my wife (I guess I never mentioned that she is my wife.) Anyways, Thanks. Not have to prepare for Anime North and more lectures. The fun of it all.

jaa ne

Kat & Kim

11:51 p.m.  
Blogger Bard said...

Hey, no worries, Kat. It WAS fun talking to you. The gothic thing was nifty and amusing.

Thanks for the info regarding you and Kim, I will update the Flickr picture (I felt really bad not knowing Kim's name...but people have been really good the past week about contacting me when I didn't have someone's name in a photo) and, if I can keep Mozilla from crashing, update the blog entry accordingly.

12:19 a.m.  
Blogger Kathryn said...

Thanks for adding that she is my wife. Feels kind of special being able to be married and all.

If you are interested that gothic story is now on my site. I posted about it on my Blog (I can't beleive I've had a blog for 3 years and never updated it...) After talking to you and several others about the story I changed all the names and broke through a major writers block finishing 5 more chapters and have more underway. It is getting even more deranged then I mentioned before. Thanks for listening to me about the story. Sometimes getting imput from others helps get passed that writer's block.

jaa ne


11:49 p.m.  
Blogger Bard said...

No problem, Kat. Like I said, I like to keep all my info in my Flickr pictures correct.

I'll take a look at your story later this week or early next, as I have exams to study for...

...I need to go finish reading the novel about Katherine Mansfield, and then try to cram in a hundred or two hundred pages of Margaret Lawrence in prep for tomorrow's exam.

12:21 a.m.  

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