Friday, July 27, 2007

San Diego Comic Con Report

Okay, here we go. The big one.

I'd been meaning to get around to updating this thing each night after the Con, but no joke, I've come home (to the hotel) each night and collapsed. I hit the pubs/bars/establishments afterwards and come 10:00/10:30; my eyes start rolling up into the back of my head and I'm ready to hit Dreamland.

So here we go.

Wednesday night was awesome. It was nice, quiet (comparatively), and put me in good stead for what to expect the next few days. I had my To Do list ready to go, so it was a good little warm-up for the show. I was also extremely fortunate to meet two of my biggest influences, two people I respect a great deal in the comic book industry - Stan Sakai, creator of Usagi Yojimbo, and Kevin Eastman, co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - both of whom I was extremely fortunate enough to speak to for a great deal of time. Both Stan and Kevin are two of the nicest people you could ever want to meet!

Kevin signed my copy of TMNT 1 and couldn't believe the condition it was in, and Stan, who not only signed the poster he had held aside for me for when I arrived at the con, signed my Usagi 100, and 10 (my first Usagi comic) BUT he also did a fantastic sketch of Usagi on a hillside on the backing board for one of them! I couldn't believe it! But wait, it doesn't end there, both Stan and I ended up in the Thursday morning paper, Stan being described as the legend he is, and me the sputtering ant/fanboy I clearly was at the time!

So that was my adventurous first night. Took a look around, got my bearings and a couple of things signed... I was set for the next day (we did, of course, go out for drinks afterwards).

Thursday was when it all sank in. It was on. On like Donkey Kong. Within the first hour of wandering around like the out-of-towner I am, I went to the Marvel booth to ask when Paul Jenkins would be in the booth for a signing. The dude responded with something to the effect of "In about an hour, but if you like I can introduce you to him now!"
-Hell. Yes.

Got to meet Paul Jenkins, who signed TMNT 45 (I think - doesn't matter, it was his first and only TMNT comic!) for me and couldn't believe that was what I was asking him to sign. His first comic, and something he hadn't had put in front of him in years, so he was kind of blown away by that, and offloaded a shitload of freestuff on me (which may or may not have been him simply self-promoting, either way, I wasn't going to say "No"). Had a couple of comics signed by John Romita Jnr. (whose work never ceases to impress), and spoke with Peter David for a while about his work on the Dreamwave Turtles stuff, how disappointed he was that it was cancelled when it was because he had become really attached to the characters and was finally able to branch off into new stories. Also, I was able to speak very briefly to Joe Quesada, EIC of Marvel comics, who was a really nice guy (but there's more to it than that).

Dad met his idol - Sergio Aragones, and I took a photo of the two, he also got his 1 of Groo signed, along with this crazy mask thing. He also went and saw Tom Luth, Stan Sakai, Sergio and Mark Evanier's Groo panel, which he loved.

As far as haulage goes - I picked up the last two Muppet figures I needed to fill out my collection - Uncle Deadly and the Penguin 2-pack, I was fortunate enough to get a ticket to shop in the booth, so I picked up a couple of con-exclusive Star Wars figures (the Ralph Macquarrie Yoda and Obi-Wan 2-pack and the Shadow Scout box), and was also able to pick up a Megaman t-shirt for my brother back home, a Turtles one for myself, picked up Usagi 1 signed by Stan, this massive Hardcover Exclusive Art of Udon book for Evan (signed by the entire Udon crew), and I think my grail for the day would have been meeting Steve Purcell, creator of Sam and Max, and getting two signed Sam & Max prints!

Oh! How could I forget?! Also met Paui Dini, who signed some comics for me (I'm a massive Paul Dini fan) and who even took one of my own Tales of comics and made me sign it for him! I was surprised at how softly spoken the dude was, but still, a really, really great guy! Hopefully I can thank him again personally before the weekend is up.

Again, come the end of the night, all were pooped, but still managed to fit in great dinner (Ahi tuna at Henry's Pub - so damn good) and some drinks.

Today was awesome. I'm getting a sketch of Michelangelo done by Terry Dodson, who's a great dude, although he had left by the time he told me to come and pick the sketch up (with my reference comics)! Went to the Cup of Joe panel, where Joe Q remembered me (by name!) from the day before! Asked about Devil Dinosaur (yes, I'm a fan), and the response was to be expected (nothing good - at least I know the character is something I can aim for!), was given some great, great advice by C.B. Cebulski about writing.

Stood in line for a Jim Lee sketch, only to be told that he wouldn't be doing any. Awesome.

Went back to get Steve Purcell's sketch books and was lucky enough to also get a big ass sketch of Max!

Had my Gargoyles 1 signed by David Hedgecock, who was a really cool guy!

Andrew Dabb signed my Ghostbusters comics, and we had a massive conversation about the company that put it all together, 88mph Studios.... sigh....
Andrew Dabb was a great dude too, surprised me how young he was!

Robert Kirkman signed my TrapJaw one shot (MOTU) and was pleased to see something other than his Marvel work or Walking Dead stuff (thanks Corza!).

Met Jake Black! A highlight for today! Though we didn't get much time to talk, it was fantastic to meet the guy! Keep an eye on him - big things. Big things! And thanks for signing my comic, dude!

I also managed to get hold of a couple of Grail items today! The final part to the old Laughing Fish story (Detective Comics 476), a copy of Devil Dinosaur 1 in mint condition, and The Man Who Laughs! For those unaware, this was an extremely limited story written by Ed Brubaker, retelling the Joker's first night as the Joker - an absolutely fantastic read, and with art by Doug Mahnke, you're hard pressed to find more awesome quality comics than this one! So thankfully I'll have it ready to be signed by the Bru come tomorrow.

I was lucky enough to make some loose contacts - plant some seeds so to speak. Chris Ryall, EIC of IDW Publishing and I spoke at great lengths about the comics and the deal between Titan and IDW regarding Transformers, and also about Castlevania, which looks to be returning mid next year!
Sheer random luck also allowed me to meet Mike Siglain, who's currently editing DC's big Countdown event (and edited a lot of the recent Detective and Batman stories - Face the Face, which I loved). He was extremely insightful, and wanted a copy of my TMNT comic, and also suggested I give it to the other editors there at DC too! I sit here staring at his card pondering how soon I should respond to his "Send me an email" request! I feel like I did when I first asked a girl out on a date...

Kinda surprising was meeting Greg Rucka, immediately after Mr. Siglain. He introduced himself to me! I was blown away - not only because I had no idea what Greg Rucka looked like (being a sheltered Aussie boy) but it's not everyday you get one of your favourite writers introducing himself to you and asking with genuine interest about you! Gobsmacked!

I will have to admit to my extreme jealousy of my travelling buddies. The artwork Jables scored is ridiculous, as is Jarrod's, actually, fuck it - Mark, Jarrod, Corey, JB - damn you all! You and your personalised Jim Lee, Scott Campbell, Todd Naucks and Van Sciver art!

Anyway, better clock off. Tomorrow's a big one, being completely sold out - gotta be up early.

Oh, I finally got to meet Geoff Johns too! Awesome guy!

Peace out!


1 comment:

Jake Black said...

Glad I could be a highlight. I'm not much of one, but I'm glad you liked me. ;-)

Thanks for signing your book, too!