Sunday, June 10, 2007

Paradise Toronto ComicCon 2007 - Saturday (Day 2 [technically day 1])

Didn't get to go to the con yesterday (Friday) due to work. Chef gave me tonight off to go to the con. I'm GLAD that he did. It was fucking AWESOME.

Arrived at the con around 1pm or so. A few hours off schedule, but while my bus-streetcar mojo was strong, it was still a bit of in terms of directions (had to take a bus THEN a streetcar, unlike last year which IIRC was JUST a bus). Things went well from the streetcar ride onwards, though. Ran into a few friendly people going to the con, and we hung out on the streetcar for a while, then into the con together (which involved a search for the wild ATM...unfortunately the speed of my bus-streetcar transfers was so fast that I didn't have time to get money out of the bank).

Once I got inside the con, though, it was like things just snapped into place. I immediatly started running into people who remembered me from the year prior, or just friendly folks in general. Ran into Gail Simone and her husband, Scott, pretty early, which was good. They're really cool people, so it was nice getting to talk to them. Gail missigned one of my Birds of Prey trades (don't ask me who she signed it looked perhaps a little suspiciously like "Barbara Gordon"...), so she insisted on Scott getting a new one for me for her to sign (while she kept the missigned one, which *I* then signed, for future reference work). I have an amusing picture of a little doodle she drew in someone's sketchbook (guy likes to get the WRITERS to do sketches for him...I think he just likes the look on their faces when he asks).

Had a short chat (then longer later on) with Patricia Mulvihill after that. Miraculously I managed to get a picture of Trish that she approved of (which means I probably WON'T get the "J'accuse!" glare on Sunday morning), which is always a plus.

After that there was just a lot of wandering. Ran into "Miller and Mutt", the zombie clown and pal who just got their first issue out. I'd actually gone to class with one of them, whose real name temporarily escapes me, back when I was doing the writing class at Max the Mutt studios under Ty Templeton (who was elusive as a frickin' fox today...I did NOT find the man until the Schuster Awards tonight!).

On the way I spent a great deal of time speaking with Sasha Chmakova, the sister of Svetlana Chmakova ("Dramacon"), mostly about small town life vs. big city, what our summers were like in 2006, and fishing. Svet eventually returned from a panel she'd been at, and I got her autograph (and apparently some little doodles) inside my copy of Dramacon 2. Wandering off for there, I had really good talks with Ray Fawkes about his work on Vampire: The Requiem, then Raina Telegmeir and husband, Dave Roman, about THEIR comic work, and how they were enjoying Toronto. Raina and Dave, unfortunately, had to leave to go to a wedding, but I picked up a few interesting looking things form their booths before they headed out.

Pulled a quick circuit of the guests, which ended up with me having a chat with Marv Wolfeman about the "Evil Dead" musical (which he'd been given free tickets to for Saturday night...Gail and Scott had already seen it on Friday), and the advice not to sit in the first three rows. From there I got my copy of "Cross Bronx" autographed by pretty much the entire writing and artistic team (Ivan Brandon, Oeming, Kristyn), and got my copy of "Ares: God of War" autographed by Oeming.

THAT led into me sneaking into the "Minx" panel, about DC's new line of young adult graphic novels. This one featured Cecil Castelucci and editor Shelley Bond talking about "The Plain Janes", Cecil's first (to my knowledge) graphic novel. It was actually a really good, really interesting panel (sorry, its just past 2am, my English is starting to break down)...and I got an amusing little video of Cecil singing a little Spanish song, which was amusing.

Jumped from there over to a writing workshop run by Gail, but jumped on that about 15-20 minutes in to go to a panel about Kiss Machine, a local Toronto zine that also publishes "Violet Miranda: Girl Pirate", of which I have talked about quite a bit previously. After THAT panel I wandered out onto the floor to take up the last bit of time before the show closed for the day. Spoke a bit with the owner of Mr. Comics, then wandered over to keep Trish company until her "native guide" showed up. Which was fun, we just chatted about stuff in general.

Then I headed off with a few friends to take the streetcar up to Bathurst, then took it back DOWN Bathurst to get dinner (finding out in the process that my iPod apparently has deleted all the music on it...very very weird, and pisses me off quite a bit).

Then it was the glamorous Joe Schuster Awards (someone pointed out that this meant that those inducted into the Schuster hall of fame were being inducted into "The JSA"). Last year the Schusters were held in a small, craped room, filled to the brim with people, with me standing in the back with Heidi MacDonald, trying desperately to get good photos on almost zero battery power, and a bad camera. THIS year I got a seat in the third or fourth row with Gail, Scott, artist Nicola Scott, and Marv Wolfeman. Which was very nifty (this also required helping Gail and Nikola learn the pronunciation of some of the Quebecois names for their presentation of awards).

The Schusters were long, but didn't seem quite as long as last year (that may have just been the fact it probably WAS the chair). Got some good photos, and a few amusing videos. Gail and, I won't speak of it. I said I'd save them from the embarrassment. Anyway...the awards weren't too bad. Darwyn Cooke managed to walk away with THREE of them (he couldn't believe it), which kind of amazed everyone. Then afterwards there was cake, then downstairs for the afters party.

The bar was small, the food was pretty bad, and the drinks were expensive as all hell. But it was nice getting to meet and greet so many people, and just generally sit (or in most cases *stand*) around and talk. Had some good conversations with several people, including FINALLY getting to meet Natasha Eloi (of Space: The Imagination Station fame [for those who aren't aware, SPACE is the Canadian version of SCIFI, and Natasha is one of their big people-on-the-street videographers]).

Also met a potential artist for Delivery, which is cool. And met several other very friendly people, which is good. I finally just excused myself when I started getting TOO exhausted (around 1am or so), and headed home.

Photos will be posted to Flickr soon. But now I go to sleep. Then tomorrow I get up and do it again. Should be lots of fun.

Final con post tomorrow. Along with photos.



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