SMALL PRESS EXPO 2002
I've just returned from a wonderful weekend in Maryland, centered on the Small Press Expo in Bethesda. As was the case two years ago, the comic show was only a small part of the trip, as Washington D.C. and Baltimore proved to be too big a draw to pass up. CBR Boss Man Jonah Weiland and I caught an Orioles game at Camden Yards, ascended to the top of the Washington Monument, witnessed the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, strolled with admiration past the lunar lander in the Air and Space Museum, and successfully navigated our way through Washington's Metro train system.
Coming from the New York City area, I'm used to a train system that's old, decrepit, dirty, smelly, dingy, rickety, and an overall trash heap. I don't know how they do it in Washington, but the Metro is an amazing system. There's not a spot of graffiti in any station I passed through. The signs are easy to read and directions clear to follow. The people are friendly and helpful. The air is breathable, and the vast majority of the escalators in to and out of the stations were working. (Silly me decided to climb the 125-150 stairs at the one station when the escalator was shut off. Jonah, the smart one, rode the elevator. I think my heart is still racing from that exercise.)
I don't have much of a con report to give you here. I did get the chance to talk to a number of great people, and to pick up some new books that I would never have considered otherwise. I'll be reading through a lot of that stuff over the coming weeks, and you'll see those reviews scattered about. I guess you could say that I'm decentralizing the con report this year.
Suffice it to say, it's a fun little convention, with plenty of excitement and interest throughout. It's a great idea to have a con without retailers, actually. Every table is a creator, small to large and everything in between. There are no soft spots in the floor layout, and there's something for just about everyone.
The big theme I noticed in my con purchases this year is anthropomorphism. I'm not talking about furry porn crap. I'm talking science-fiction, mythological, and humor books that feature talking animals. That's where the excitement was for me this year, and I'll be looking at some of those in upcoming comics.
Right now, I'm up against a deadline crunch. That's why the rest of this column is one-liners and links to oddball items of interest that haven't worked their way into previous columns. I'll be back on Friday with some reviews.
This week is the one year anniversary of the terrorist attacks in this country. My original September 11th column can still be read on CBR at this link.
Darick Robertson has an on-line sketchbook at his web site. It's fun to page through if you have a couple of minutes downtime at work. ;-)
While we're all going crazy for the great trade paperback compilations we're getting these days, I'd like to put a word in for collections of CADILLACS AND DINOSAURS and THE ROCKETEER. I'd love to get my hands on completel reprints in chronological order on heavy white paper. What little work I've seen of both books has been gorgeous.
I'm a noted buffoon, according to Eddie Campbell's web site.
The only industry worse at staring at its own navel than the comics industry is the music industry, which releases Greatest Hits albums for any old band every year, and has featured more 80s revivals in the past 5 years than comics could ever hope to score. (And I love 80s music. The music was poppy, catchy, and fun. Grunge hit as the calendar hit the 90s and most everything turned to dreary incomprehensible crap. Kurt Cobain is not a poet of my generation, thanks.)
I've set up a blogger. They seem to be all the rage these days. Mine will cover topics of multimedia entertainment that I'd like to write about, but would otherwise be off topic here. Movies. DVD. TV. Music. Technology. Videogames. In the week and a half since I set it up, I've gotten into a pretty good rhythm of updating it daily. (This past weekend is an exception, though, since I was on the road at SPX.) By the time you read this, I'll be back to daily updates. You can find it at http://augiedb.livejournal.com, or just by going to LiveJournal.com and typing in my username "AugieDB" in their nifty search function.
In the meantime, Neil Gaiman's journal and Mark Evanier's blogger ("News From ME") are worth daily visits. If Peter David's blogger ever gets back up on its feet, I'll be going back there daily, as well.
Does anyone have any experience getting a Mustek A3 EP scanner working with WinXP? I've had no luck so far, even with the drivers on the Mustek web site.
Spencer Cross was nice enough to write in with a handy link explaining the difference between "font" and "typeface," something I've always mistakenly used interchangeably.
A font is a complete set of characters in a particular size and style of type. This includes the letter set, the number set, and all of the special characters and diacritical marks you get by pressing the shift, option, or command/control keys.
A typeface contains a series of fonts. For instance, Times Bold, Times Italic, and Times Roman are actually 3 fonts (even though people often refer to one entire font family as a "font.")
For the entire explanation and examples, check out Grantastic Designs' web site. Thanks, Spencer!
More on Friday. . .
More than 400 columns are archived here at CBR and you can get to them from the Pipeline Archive page. They're sorted chronologically. The first 100 columns or so are still available at the Original Pipeline page, a horrifically coded piece of HTML.