Well, back from another year’s trip to the always sunny and pleasant West Coast for the Internation Comic-Con. As expected, it was loud, crowded, busy, overwhelming and fun. I flew out with my friends Brion and Jen, and they graciously offered me a section of their table in the Small Press area, since I’d botched my original plan of getting one of my own. Upon arriving at Preview Night, I ran into the McCloud family almost immediately, and said my hellos. Not long after, my compatriots and I had set up our table and were already making a few sales. It was a promising start. After the close, I headed over to the bar and rendezvoused with Jason May for a few drinks and some shop talk with he and his buddy from the Comic Artist’s Guild.
Thursday was a little less encouraging. I started off on the wrong foot by spilling some very hot coffee all over my hand even before I left the hotel. I suffered only the most minor of burns (I was fine before the end of the day), but it was enough to rattle my confidence. When we finally got to the table, things seemed slow, and I was all elbows with my table buddies (sorry, guys.) The upside was I got up and around to catch up with a bunch of my cartoonist friends like Shaenon Garrity & Andrew Farago, Jason Thompson, Daniel Merlin Goodbrey, Raina Telgemeier and Dave Roman. I’m always happy to catch up with these guys. They’re such nice folks. I also caught up with my friend Alice at the Girl Genius booth while she helped Phil & Kaja Foglio, and went by Indy Island to say hi to Carla Speed-McNeil and Jim Ottaviani. I also had a few pros swing by the table and express some interest in PS, which was gratifying. Before long we also bumped into my local Chicago chums Spike & Matt, Kurt Mitchell and Nick Ladendorf. After meeting up with everybody and getting some food in me, I was feeling better.
The next day I canvased the floor and passed out a fair number of books amongst the movers and shakers of the webcomics world. I never know if that sort of thing ever does anyone any good, but I hope they enjoy the books in any case. I also sat in at the Cartoon Art Museum for their sketch-a-thon fundraiser, and happily provided some generous folks with some anime portraits during my hour-long stint. That afternoon, my old friend Ryan joined us as my clone (using my spare badge), and we went off to the McCloud panel to see how their national tour had panned out. It was a wild and chaotic presentation, but a real hoot nonetheless. It was especially exciting to be mentioned during their quick section in Chicago. Yay!
Saturday turned out to the real turning point. Despite having coasted through the first couple of days, we were fairly mobbed at the table that day. It was crazy busy. It was at this point that I realized that I actually had put a serious dent in the box of books I’d brought, which was a relief. I had worried that wasn’t going to recoup much of my expenses for the trip, but that turned out not to be the case. Despite the crowds, I also got out from behind the table to do some walking around and chatting with a few publishers. Nothing concrete to report beyond good feelings at the moment, but we’ll see. Ended the evening with a fine dinner out with Shaenon & Andrew, Carla, Spike & Matt, and some friends & fans. I indulged in The shock of the evening was when one of my and Shaenon’s mutual fans picked up the tab for the entire group. A pleasant shock to be sure.
Sunday went well, too, and I ended up coming home with only 3 books left of the 90-some I brought with me. Much better than I had expected for sure. I also made sure to reserve a table and hotel for next year before I even flew home. Woohoo!
Anyway, that’s it for now. I’ve got Anime Iowa coming up next weekend, but for now I get a blessed break. In the meantime, I’ve got to get back to work on the comic! New page will go up next Tuesday.