Friday, April 10, 2009

Emerald City Comicon Report 2009 - Part III

A link to the annual survey is up at the Emerald City Comicon Website, so go put in your two cents if you attended. I suggested a LOT of guests, including Hiro and Ando from Heroes, and anyone related to Doctor Who. I also suggested Nick Cardy and Ramona Fradon. It would make my 2010 to see one of them again. Next year's con is going to be held March 13-14, 2010. I will be there unless disaster strikes.

A note from Saturday that I forgot to mention... Brad Guigar recognized me when I went by the Halfpixel booth, and even remembered that I had asked him for a higher resolution image of myself from last year. I've already e-mailed him to see if I can get that, but Brad, if you are reading, no sweat! Don't worry about it. We also discussed his book, "Phables" and I said I would buy a copy after consulting with my hubby. I walked away, but then went back and bought one anyway. Hubby-Eric got that print, I deserved a book!

Earlier on Saturday I also chatted with Scott Kurtz and his wife about moving to Seattle. I warned them that Seattle only has two seasons: The Rainy Season and The Construction Season. I also said that, having just left the area for the desert, I didn't miss the traffic at all.

Later on Saturday Lisa went with me to the Halfpixel booth and we bugged Brad Guigar again. I told him my Phillie Phanatic horror story from 2001 FanFest, and he offered to tear out the Phillie Phanatic page from my copy of Phables. I declined the offer. He told us about trying to get a good story out of the Phanatic, which was, in itself, a good story.

Pike Street from the Convention Center

Eric and I got a decent start on Sunday, and parked in the garage again. Today the people who had badges were penned into a giant corral on the skybridge. The pros/guest/exhibitors walked by on the west side and folks who still needed badges got them on the east side. I snuck over and took a picture of Torvald with the view. It didn't come out nearly as well as I would've liked, but at least it came out.

I stood on the edge of the west side of the corral and chatted with pros as they went by. I gave Kurt Busiek a "terrorist fist bump" and talked with a couple of other people as they walked in, including Heidi. We also noted a couple of furries, and when they entered the corral, I Trolled them. Both had tails.

Our first mission for the day was to attempt to get the last two media guests that I had missed on Saturday: Ray Park (Darth Maul) and Jewel Staite (Kaylee). I hoped to get to their lines quickly enough to get in and take the pictures before the keepers got too determined to stick to the rules.

As Jewel hadn't arrived yet, I got in Ray's line. He was prepping for the day with music from Rocky, and he joked and chatted with the folks in line while he got ready. We kept assuring him that he could take his time, but he wanted to get us through the line, so he set up as quickly as possible. Then he said, "Let's crack this line open!" about ten minutes early. The guy at the front of the line said, "Really?" then moved forward and bought a couple of pictures. I was about 5 people back. The guy in front of me just wanted to show off pictures of his Darth Maul carved pumpkins from Hallowe'en, and the folks in front of him were just getting autographs, so the line moved quickly. Ray happily agreed to pose with Torvald.

Ray Park with Torvald

After Trolling Ray, I moved over to Jewel's line, where I became either the second or third person in line, depending on who you asked. The same keeper from Saturday was there, but he was busy checking on arrangements and discussing security and such with another ECCC person. It looked like I might be able to get my picture after all. Hubby-Eric joined me in line when Jewel arrived, and sure enough, I managed to get the picture. The keeper noticed me about the time I took the picture, but said nothing. Whew!

On Saturday night when I looked through the list of people I had trolled, I was rather surprised to find that Stan Sakai wasn't on the list. I've met Stan, even gotten a fantastic sketch from him, but he'd never experienced Torvald. So after finishing off the media guests, Eric and I headed up to Artist Alley to find Stan. I had seen him on Saturday, he was opposite the Middle School Students. I've seen him at plenty of conventions, so it never occurred to me until I printed out that list that I'd never Trolled him! He was happy to oblige, and did a nice little pose with Torvald.

Since we were so near, I figured I would Troll Sunday's shift of Middle School kids, and did so:

Middle School Kids with Torvald

After that, I consulted my list and decided to see if I could Troll Rob Liefeld. I won't say much about his art, but the man himself was ok. He seemed a bit taken aback at the request, but he posed nicely. We then walked around the tables and ran into Quenton Shaw who greeted me enthusiastically. We chatted a bit, then I Trolled Joe Jusko, who was just a little way down the line from QEW. And then hubby-Eric wandered off to "see who that big line is for" and didn't come back. Quenton, who is much taller than me, said he spotted him chatting with Heidi's husband, so I wandered over to them and learned they were in line for Humberto Ramos. Aw, what the heck? I stayed to Troll him, too.

After Trolling Ramos, I stuck around in Artist Alley for a bit and Trolled a few more folks... both folks I already knew and some I didn't. I was now able to check people's names against my list, and confidently Trolled them if they weren't on the list. Of particular note were Corey Lewis and Becky Cloonan, both of whom were great fun to chat with.

But the winner of the day had to be Gene Ha. One or two people have recognized the Troll when I wandered near them, mostly from seeing him around at past ECCC. But Gene Ha's reaction was both priceless and encouraging. He not only recognized Torvald, he immediately pulled out his phone so he could show me that he used Torvald's pictures to help him remember names and faces! He has trouble with remembering people's names, so he has a file on his phone that pulls up photos of people so he can zip through and be reminded of their names quickly. A great many of those photos also had Torvald in them. I need to get myself a phone that can do that... I'm really bad with names. Amusingly enough, Gene Ha's photo isn't likely to help people keep his name and face together:

Gene Ha thanking Torvald

After Gene's reaction, we headed back into the exhibitor's tables and met Doug Sneyd. Doug is a Playboy artist, and had many examples of his work at his table. I Trolled him, and met Heidi Hutson, the keeper of his blog, who insisted on a picture of Doug and I with Torvald for Doug's blog (pictures will be posted starting April 22nd, according to the blog). Doug was very sweet, and reminded me a bit of Nick Cardy. We spent a bit more time at Doug's table than I expected, but he was great.

Moving on, we went back to the Heroes Initiative booth and freed Heidi from her servitude long enough to go walkies about the con. She made me take my sketchbook, since hubby-Eric was determined to get me an Art Baltazar sketch regardless of that expensive $1 fee. First I Trolled Stuart Immonen, then we wandered over to Artist Alley and Heidi made me Troll Jennie Breeden of Devil's Panties. Then I visited Ben Templesmith and Trolled him. Heidi spotted Quenton, so we headed over there and chatted with him and artist Zeca Teixeira. Quenton saw my sketchbook and suggested that Zeca do a sketch for me, which he was more than happy to do. Halfway through his sketch, it occurred to me that I ought to Troll him, and he agreed to that as well!

Randy Kintz wandered by, and although he was sure he'd already been Trolled, and I was sure I Trolled him, he wasn't on the list so I Trolled him again. When I got home and checked I discovered several directories worth of Torvald images that I just haven't put up online yet, including the Tri-City Comic-Con. Randy was Trolled there. That's a situation I will have to rectify, but I want to finish writing this con report first, so I don't mess up my brain any more than I have to. But in the next few weeks Torvald's page is going to expand by quite a lot.

Ahem. Once Zeca finished sketching Aquaman, we moved on and got a few pictures with some costumes, including a wookie. About this time we also visited Franco and Art to get my $1 sketch, but that story is going to have to wait until the next report.

Zeca's Aquaman Sketch