Sunday, November 16, 2003

Seattle ComiCard Convention Report

Too much was planned for today. Eric's Oz friends were coming to visit for one of their normal gatherings, and that pretty much wiped out any chance of us going to the convention together. But man, I really wanted to go. There were several folks I'd never seen before, and I wanted to get permission from Randy Emberlin to post his sketch. I'm not really up to going alone. I just hate being alone at cons. So I asked my sister if she would go with me. She agreed, and bought herself a sketchbook after I explained what I did at these conventions...

The weather was awful. Spitting rain that looked deceptively like it was light, but got you soaked through in a short time. Sister-Lisa and I got down to the building early to grab a good parking spot, and then sat in the car watching the rain and reading Astro City while we waited for the opening time. At ten sharp we headed over to the doors, and stood in line getting rained on until we finally got inside. It was COLD outside, and wet. It was nice and warm and dry inside.

The tables were sparse. It was a low attended con, both in dealers and in fans. We figured that much of it was due to the weather. After hitting the "free stuff" table, Lisa and I wandered to the guests area to scope it out. Lean pickings. There just weren't many people there at all.

Still, my goal was one sketch, one permission, and I was going to give it a shot!

As expected, Anne Timmons was there (with Mr. Guest), and was happy to do sketches for both of us. After an Aquaman for me, Lisa suggested a sheep for her sketch (please don't ask me) and Mr Guest suggested that Anne draw a sheep and Go Girl and title the sketch "Ewe Go Girl!" And so that happened. I do not have sister-Lisa's sketchbook, nor did I ask permission to post Lisa's sketches, so you are unlikely to ever see that unlikely sketch show up here. The Aquaman sketch, yes I got permission. But "Ewe Go Girl!" is going to remain a mystery to the majority of the world.

After the fun time with Anne and Mr, we wandered over to the comedy duo of Tom Peyer and Brian Augustyn. I'm not sure how much time we spent trading quips with those two, but I definitely would be at the losing end of any battle of wits involving them. Tom Peyer signed my green book with a little sketch of Topo, and Brian drew an Ocean Master, sort of.

Moving away from the slings and arrows of outrageous amusement, I asked a sketch of the amazing Mike S Miller, who is an Aquaman artist among his many other credits. He drew an excellent classic Aquaman for me (with permission to post), and a Wonder Woman for sister-Lisa (who had given up on the sheep).

Well, after visiting Mike, there were just two more occupied tables. R.K.Post had a small crowd, so we wandered over to the Committed Comics and Rorschach Entertainment tables to see if anyone felt like sketching. Brian Meredith, who already did an Aquaman sketch for me, took up the challenge and drew Flash for sister-Lisa's sketchbook.

Looking around, Randy Emberlin was setting up, and it looked like somebody was setting up at Paul Chadwick's table, so sister-Lisa and I visited R.K.Post's table to kill some time. I'm really glad we did. He drew a woman for Lisa which was really quite nice, but the Aquaman he drew for me!!! Wow! You all know I'm a big Elseworld fan, right? Well, I want somebody to do an Elseworld based on this Aquaman. There's a feel to his artwork that reminds me of Esteban Maroto's work on Atlantis Chronicles. Most Excellent. And yes, I have permission to post it. It'll be up in a few weeks.

While R.K. was sketching, a man came up behind me to check out his table, and I read his nametag and said without thinking, "Oh! So you're Paul Chadwick!" He looked at me sharply, with amusement, and said yes, indeed, that was him. Embarrassed, I tried to backpedal, but I'm afraid I came off as a little... odd. He'd been getting some books from the dealers (who were probably very glad of the business), but he was headed over to his table to set up. I said I'd be over, and he wandered off while I felt a wee bit like a cad.

Randy Emberlin was still setting up, but I managed to get in and show him his sketch from 1999 and ask for permission to post it. He gladly gave permission. Lisa attempted to ask for a sketch, but he was still setting up his table and had another sketch to work on, so we moved up to Paul Chadwick's table.

There was a crowd, of course. Ahead of us were people getting books signed, including The Cliff Guy who had a book of Jars with him. Paul Chadwick put Concrete in a jar for him. After a bunch more signings, I managed to get an Aquaman sketch from Chadwick, and permission to post it. I think you all will like it, I do! Chadwick also suggested that since he doesn't have his own website, I should link to a well-done fansite about him. I think I found the right one. Little-sister-Lisa got a sketch of Concrete himself, and also got "Concrete: Think Like a Mountain" for us to both read.

Well, Chuck Gibson still hadn't showed, and Lisa wanted to get a sketch from Randy Emberlin, so she got herself into the crowd to wait, while I looked around. At the Committed Comics table I spotted a woman I didn't recognize working on a standard comic book page. I boldly approached and asked if she was willing to do a sketch. She was happy to try, and when I said I'd like her to do a sketch of Aquaman, she smiled and said she liked a challenge. And so I got a sketch from Siya Oum, who is a great artist, in a Manga style. Her Aquaman is definitely cool, and yes I have permission to post it. Sister-Lisa spotted me getting another sketch, and deserted Emberlin's table long enough to get a sketch from Siya for herself.

Sister-Lisa finally got into the line for Emberlin, and managed to get a Spider-Man sketch from him. Before we left, though, we noticed that Mark Tedin had arrived. His name was really familiar, and he was a Magic: The Gathering artist, so I asked him how long he'd been doing art for Magic... ten years... Yup, he was doing the artwork when I was still into the game. As I originally got into Magic because of the artwork, I recognized his name. He was very willing to do sketches, and did a demon for Lisa and a very Greek-looking Aquaman for me. Permission was given to post it, and web-links were exchanged.

At that point we reached a conundrum. We could stay a bit longer in the hopes that more artists would show, or we could go home so Lisa would have a chance to get herself back to school before it got dark. All things considered, with the storm outside and the fact that we'd been walking around for over three hours, we decided to leave. We don't know if Chuck ever actually made it.

Well, I got one permission for an existing sketch, and managed to get six new sketches, which was unexpected, especially after we'd gotten to the con and seen the low turnout. Lisa, my twin sister minus six plus years, got eight sketches. And we both had a blast.