Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Emerald City Comicon Report 2008 - Part III

Hulk at Dick's Drive-in
I've been doing cons for a few years now. I got my first Aquaman sketch in 1998. I started my first Aquaman sketchbook in 1999 and finished it at San Diego 2000. My second sketchbook was started in late 2000 and finished by Dave Kellett on the Saturday of this year's Emerald City Comicon. I brought a blank sketchbook with me in case my second book was finished this year, and if you read yesterday's report you'll know I left the blank book with Kristofer Straub of Starslip Crisis. The first sketch in a sketchbook is very important, as it can set the whole tone for a book. It will also be used as a reference by other artists... and be seen by every artist who draws in the book. So I was hoping for something strong to start out this newest book. Straub did NOT disappoint me. However, I'm getting ahead of myself...

I woke up on Sunday eager to get going, but scared of how I was going to deal with the day. I didn't have much faith in Lisa's vitamin patch, especially as I was really feeling my fibromyalgia. My shoulders did not exist, there were sheets of pain where they'd been. My legs were spikes of agony. I was worried. I popped a couple of painkillers and put the patch on my neck, as instructed, then had a good breakfast with hubby-Eric. I was anxious to get going, so my long-suffering husband let us leave a bit earlier than I had on Saturday. I told hubby-Eric that if anyone asked, the patch was an internet-withdrawal patch. No one asked, but we repeated the joke a few times when I mentioned I was wearing it.

Arriving at the convention center, I promptly got lost in the parking garage looking for the area Lisa and I had parked the day before. Eventually I found my way, and we headed up to the exhibition floor. The first goal of the day was to grab a program guide for Eric. He had Lisa's badge from Saturday, but Lisa had kept the guide. I wandered over to the registration area and asked, and of course they had plenty of extras. And then hubby-Eric started lusting over a baseball jersey that one of the volunteers was wearing. At first, I didn't have a clue what he was talking about. I'd seen the jerseys on Saturday and admired them, but hadn't thought of them from the perspective of a Wizard of Oz fan. Eric really wanted one to wear at Oz events.

Heather of ECCC

As I hadn't trolled a member of the convention staff yet, I trolled the volunteer who was wearing the jersey that Eric lusted after. Heather was delighted to pose with Torvald. Another aside here about the convention staff. I've mentioned the staff of the center, and how wonderful they were. The convention staff were also wonderful. Always willing to help you find someone or someplace, and easy to find in their Henchman shirts or jerseys. As always, the convention is run professionally and the staff reflects the quality of Emerald City Comicon.

Ahem. Moving on... Eric and I got in the "line" to get in the convention, which was more of a crowd in front of one set of doors. I realized immediately that I'd brought us too early, as Eric was a bit frustrated with the idea of standing around for 45 minutes waiting. I enjoy being around fellow fans (when I'm in con mode), and tried to cheer Eric up while talking with other folks and seriously just enjoying myself. Eric and I planned to go to Wil's table the instant the doors were open, and we did. We were beat to the table by Darth Vader and his friend, who wanted Wil to autograph a Vader photo taken the day before. And so we stood in line for awhile, chatting with others and waiting. Poor Eric... nothing but lines!

While Eric waited, I ran off to collect my sketchbook from Kristofer Straub. I said hello to the Halfpixel crew and Kristofer handed over my sketchbook. Inside was the PERFECT first sketch! A full Aquaman swimming, in Straub's style. I told him that I'd have to buy his books next year, as I was out of spending money for this con already. He said I could read the whole thing on-line, didn't have to buy it... but there is something about owning a copy of an excellent comic. You want to have more than just the pixels in your mind. I showed off his sketch to the rest of Halfpixel, and realized as I did so that ALL of them had done an Aquaman sketch for me. That's going to have to be the subject of a future post, I think.

I went back to the Wil Wheaton line. Still nothing, and a staff member came by to say he might be awhile still. Vader left. Then Eric and I left to go drop off bags at Heidi's booth (hereafter referred to as "home base"). Heidi was there, and we shed our bags and got ourselves down to the basics (for me: sketchbook, clipboard, program guide, and troll!). Hubby-Eric had two sketchbooks (his original and the Doctor Who one). We went back around the front of the hall... and Wil was at his booth. I rushed over to get in line again while Eric ran back to home base to collect his Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion to get signed.

Owly in Seattle

I'd already done the Wil Wheaton line twice now, so I abandoned Eric to his fate to visit Andy Runton of Owly fame. I chatted with him and some of his fans, and Trolled him. Then I somehow managed to convince him to do the second sketch in my book. Owly as Aquaman! I've been wanting that as a sketch ever since I first saw his "Owly as..." sketches on his page. The first two sketches in my book were fantastic!

I went back to Eric and the Wil line, and watched the person in front of us buy the last paperback copy of Happiest Days of Our Lives from Wil. Eric then got his book signed, while telling Wil that he loved his work in Numb3rs. Next we decided to bug Aaron Williams. We walked around the floor til we reached him. The line for Kaare today was going the other direction, and thus not blocking Aaron at all. We chatted, Eric asked for a sketch, and I slipped in front of Kaare's line (with permission from one of the line members) to troll him.

I also wandered around a bit while and said hello to Steve Lieber again to grab a Whiteout pin for my sister. As I was walking back to Aaron's table, I spotted a great drawing of Storm from the X-Men and paused to compliment the artist, Kerry Scribner. We got to talking, and she spotted my Whiteout pin and asked where I got it. I pointed to Lieber's table, the next row over. She geeked out and said she had to get a pin. I walked over and grabbed one for her. Then I said she ought to go talk to him. There was a wierd moment when I did a sort of long distance introduction, and then we got into the fact that Rucka was at the con but neither of us knew where he was (my program guide was elsewhere). I made a solo trip back out to registration to grab her one, then we discovered that Rucka was at the other end of her table. She definitely had plans to visit people! Kerry might have done a sketch for me, but I wanted her to try Mera, and I didn't have any reference material. In the future, I need to put together an Aqua-characters reference book to have on me at cons. Oh well, maybe next year.

When Eric left Aaron's table with a great Doctor Who sketch, we went paTrolling! First up was Bill Willingham, then the Joker (who was at Bill's table). Chris Giarrusso (the mini-Marvels guy) balanced Torvald on his shoulder (much to my consternation). Then it occurred to me to go back and troll Kerry Scribner. And, heck, time to visit Greg's table and get another shift of Middle School students. Again, the kids knew about the troll and the one holding Torvald asked for the honor. The boys seemed a bit reluctant, but we got the picture anyway.

Middle School Students

Eric and I wandered back to the front of the hall, where we finally visited the Image booth and trolled Brian Joines and Richard Starkings. At this point, I can't remember exactly what Eric and I were doing. But I know that only a few minutes later I was back paTrolling in Artists Alley, visiting Brian Snoddy, Paul Gulacy, Edward Pun, Ron Chan, and Cthulu. Ok, Cthulu was at a vendor we know just outside the alley, but still, it was fun. Then we headed back to home base to rest and have lunch. We went out to the car and grabbed our cooler, then hung out in the booth where I trolled an Imperial Officer who happened to walk by.

And that's where I'll leave off for today... in tomorrow's post I'll finish up Sunday, which was actually quite a rip-roaring afternoon.