NAME DROPPING FOR A FRIDAY
Clearly, I've lost it. The youthful energy that once propelled me through the con floor with the greatest of ease has left me. Instead, I need to take breaks, leave early, and sit down more often.
Welcome to Augie's old age.
Oddly enough, I'm continuing to become less sociable as the years go by. I enjoy spending more time with friends I've made in previous years rather than going out every night and hanging out at bars looking to meet new people. Somehow, it feels more honest and friendly, and less schmooze-worthy.
I say that now, but watch me show up at a bar tonight now. Irony is a cruel mistress.
That said, I got to talk to an awful lot of people, many of whom will escape my mind as I try to type this all up. I apologize to you all in advance.
Let's start with the sketchbook. Today saw new entries starting with Dawn Brown, who drew a couple of characters from her new RAVENOUS book. Yes, that included the raven, itself, flying overhead.
Over at the Top Shelf booth, Andy Runton followed that up with just about the cutest sketch I've ever collected. It's of his comics critics-friendly Owly character, along with the sidekick worm and bird. I have to smile whenever I look at it now. Talked to Andy for a little bit about the book, and he's plowing ahead on the next OWLY volume for the fall. Can't wait for that.
Over at the Boom! booth, Ron Lim drew me up a nice zombie head shot with a lit cigarette in its mouth. Also met blogger extraordinaire John Rogers there. No, the political universe didn't implode from that meeting. I had a nice chat with him about his blog and television writing, though. That was pretty cool. He's just another big fanboy, racing to get his own photos of the local con costume color.
Finally for the sketchbook, I caught up with Don Rosa at the Gemstone booth. He did a nice angry-looking Uncle Scrooge head shot for me, which is now the prize of my collection. I didn't think he did sketches like that at conventions, but I was wrong. So I am pleased with the duck that now stares ahead at me.
Have I mentioned yet how THE LIFE AND TIMES OF SCROOGE McDUCK would make the perfect birthday gift or wedding present for the non-comics reader in your life? It's only $17, and worth every second of your life that you devote to reading it. Yes, this is the hard sell. I'll do whatever it takes to get more readers to try the book.
That's it for the sketch book for now, but we still have two days to go and I'm gunning for Todd Nauck and Doug TenNapel next.
Picked up my first pages of original art at the show this afternoon. Artist's Alley is a dangerous place that way. Matthew Clark had a stack of pages for sale from SUPERMAN and VAMPIRELLA. I picked up a couple of nice pages featuring Lois and Clark at home. I like those simpler pages quite often better than the bombastic superhero fight scenes. As it works out, those are also the cheaper pages. Yay.
Zander Cannon had pages from SMAX on sale for a very nice price, but I held myself back to just one page for now. I reserve the right to go back there tomorrow afternoon or Sunday to splurge on more.
Rick Geary and his wife are just as nice to talk to as ever. At this point, I'm sure that table they sit at a table reserved for them in perpetuity, and I'm glad to see it. Picked up BLANCHE GOES TO PARIS and THE BRONTES: INFERNAL ANGRIA single issues while I was there. It's good to know there'll always be something I haven't bought yet at that table from year to year.
Got the RUNNERS trade from Sean Wang. I read and enjoyed the first issue when it came out at SPX a few years back. Now that there's a trade collecting all five issues along with a sketchbook and more, I'm looking forward to sitting down with it all at once.
Did the mandatory Steve Lieber visit in Artist's Alley. Not only do all the Mercury Studios artists have their own tables there, but there's a booth for the collective in the middle of the con floor. Lots of artists are getting together to share booth space, it seems. I see a few booths that are split amongst a bunch of artist friends.
I picked up Lieber's latest ashcan style book, FLYTRAP, which he reports is selling very well for him already. It looks nice, but I haven't read it yet.
Over at Speakeasy, I picked up the first issue of Frank Espinoza's impressive looking ROCKETO. It's done in "widescreen" format with a nice sense of color and design. I love to see artists trying this format. I also got the VOICEBOX preview comic, featuring new work in a shared universe from Marie Croall, Dan Jolley, and Brandon Jerwa.
Spent far too much money at the Active Images booth, but I couldn't help myself. I picked up trades and the new HIP FLASK book from Richard Starkings and J.G. Roshell. While there are a couple of items in that stack that I want to read immediately if not sooner, I can already see the problem in this very writeup. There's too much stuff piling up too fast that I want to read right now. I'll never get to it all this month or, likely, this year.
I keep saying that I don't need to buy any more, but then the next little trade or new comic pops up in front of me with the shining promise that it's going to be good. Damn you, comics nation.
Tomorrow is Hell Day in San Diego, as the largest crowd of the weekend shows up to choke the con floor. Elbow room is at a premium, and the smell wafting over the LucasArts Pavilion is enough to kill a man, woman, child, or Klingon. This means I will finally show up for panels that don't include me on the dais. Tomorrow is the Quick Sketch and the all new Oddball Comics slide show from our own Scott Shaw! He worked long and hard on this one, and promises a rapid fire secession of comics that will induce much mirth and mayhem amongst the attending public.
Come back Sunday for more. It'll be my last update from the con. Tuesday's column is the monthly Pipeline Previews, and next week I'll write up the final day of the convention and whatever horrible travel experiences I have on the return ride home. Stay tuned. . .
Final pedometer count for the day: 6.16 miles walked, 13,957 steps taken, 674 calories burned.