Friday, April 06, 2007

Emerald City Comicon Report 2007 - Part IV

Once more into the con, my friends! Be sure to read Part I, Part II, and Part III if you haven't already.

I mentioned in the last part that we dropped off our brand-new Doctor Who sketchbook with Kirk Jarvinen. We kept stopping back to visit him, only to find him hiding the work-in-progress from us. I noticed that he had a book on Doctor Who with him, but I wasn't sure what he was up to.

When I left off, I'd just gotten a sketch from Dave McCaig, who filled in the page that Rafael skipped in my sketchbook. While he sketched, I trolled a group of folks in the Alley, including Clayton Hollifield:

Torvald and Clayton Hollifield

About this time we headed back to the Illusive Arts booth, and Rafael started on a sketch for Eric. I spent a little time working the booth this year, not as much as I intended to, for which I apologize to Anna and the gang. I did, however, apparently make a sale for Atomic Basement, the folks sharing the Illusive Booth. Mike Wellman's "Gone South" was purchased after I started chatting with someone looking at the books. Mike then gave me a set of the first three issues, which I intend to read and review.

Also while I was in the Illusive Booth on the second day, Steven G Saunders of All the Rage came by and did an interview with the gang. Then he asked to get a picture of me, which I allowed with a bit of trepidation. I may have lost weight, but I'm still not skinny. Still, his photographer did a good job of making me look like I'm not too "caught in the headlights" and accepted my request to get the Tony Loco and Dorothy signs in the picture. And so I'll shamelessly steal my picture from All The Rage and, in something of a first for me, post it here in my report. Please don't scream:


Back to the narrative, such as it is. For a time Eric and I stayed near the booth, with me going out on little forays to visit people. During this time, I trolled Mike Wellman and Mark Masterson, both in the Illusive booth.

Torvald and Mark Masterson

I also trolled Brian Pulido and Ben Hansen. Ben was in the QEW booth and did a sketch for me there. I told him about Eric's sketchbook, which was at that moment rather occupied with Rafael's efforts, and he was eager to add to it. I also trolled the QEW booth babe, Jolene, who may have taken exception to being called a booth babe, but was very good-natured about it.

Wandering over to the Image booth, which was very close to Illusive, I met Rick Remender and Ed Brubaker. I trolled Rick, then showed off my sketchbook. He asked me to leave it with him for a bit, so I attempted to troll Brubaker, who was chatting with Jay Faerber. Just before he took off for a signing, I managed to get him to pose with the troll (and Jay, who is now double-trolled).

Torvald and Jay Faerber and Ed Brubaker

Rick finished his sketch for me, and I then trolled the Unshelved guys Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum. Then I got George Demonakos. Dave McCaig tapped me on the shoulder and asked for directions to see Rafael, and I pointed out Illusive's booth to him. I trolled Terry Moore, who was only sketching for a $50 donation to CBLDF, but was willing to be trolled. Jim Lawson was trolled, and looked at my sketchbook... after which he added an Aquaman sketch to my book.

When Rafael had finished his incredible version of the original Green Lantern for Eric, I took Eric over to the Unshelved booth and we bought the first volume and a t-shirt for Lisa. Eric got a sketch from Bill Barnes of Dewey as Green Lantern. Then we wandered over to Comics Fairplay as Joe St Pierre was stopping by, and he was talked into doing a sketch for Eric's book too. Then Eric went to QEW and Ben Hansen, who drew Dorothy as Green Lantern.

I trolled Brad Guigar, and showed off the sketchbook to him. Then we headed back to Artist Alley. I trolled David Mack and showed off my sketchbook. He told me he liked Karin Yamagiwa Madan's sketch the best. Which she didn't believe when I repeated it to her. I think because of all the attention her Aquaman sketch has gotten in the past, she was a little nervous about adding to Eric's sketchbook. We left his book with her, and showed off my book to Shane White, who agreed to add a sketch to it, thus leaving all three of our sketchbooks with people while we continued to troll. Speaking of, we wandered down to see if Kirk had finished the Doctor Who sketch yet.

NOPE! He again hid the book from us as we approached. So we continued down the row and Torvald was attacked by Domo-kun (got picture), then we trolled the Denny/Madison Middle School kids:

Torvald and Students

I also managed to troll Poison Ivy. Back down the row, I trolled Shane White when he finished my sketch, then visited Ron Randall. I showed off my sketchbook, then trolled him. Kirk was still working on the Doctor Who sketch, so we checked in on Karin, who handed the book back to Eric and apologized for ruining his sketchbook.

On the contrary, she turned in a GREAT Cowardly Lion sketch, which amuses me every time I look at it:

Cowardly Lion by Karin Yamagiwa Madan

Around this time, Michael Avon Oeming started his arm wrestling contest. I had told Heidi that she could take him, because I was pretty sure she could. We could hear the crowd cheering and shouting as the matches got underway. As I'm a wimp and couldn't beat a three-year-old at arm wrestling, I just listened and was amused.

With two of our sketchbooks back in our hands, we wandered up to Clayton Hollifield's table to await Kirk finishing the Doctor Who sketch. Since Clayton hadn't seen Eric's sketchbook yet, we handed it over for him to look at. His neighbor Diane Moore looked at mine. When she reached the end, she asked if she could add a sketch. I said sure, and she got the honor of the final sketch in my book this con. Clayton drew a sketch for Eric's book, then looked through my book to see what had been added since his contribution. Diane asked to see Eric's book as well, and contributed a sketch to his book, and got to be the last sketch this con in his book as well. When we explained that we were waiting for Kirk Jarvinen to finish the first sketch in our Doctor Who sketchbook, she asked if she could be the second sketch. We agreed, but first we had to get the sketchbook back...

I looked over to see that Kirk had closed the book, he was done! We hurried over and took a peek inside the book:

The Doctor and Rose


If this is what a bag of jelly babies will get me, Kirk's getting jelly babies from me every year! After a time of awed silence followed by profuse thanks, we made our way back to Diane, who drew the second sketch in the Doctor Who sketchbook, and again, the last sketch of the con. I then trolled her, and we went back to the Illusive booth.

I was beginning to get a little woozy from the crowds, but I managed to troll a borg. Then Eric and I wandered around and said good-bye to various folks. I trolled the final victim of the day, Jen Van Meter, as she sat next to Greg Rucka. We ran into Heidi, who had been close to beating Oeming when her elbow slipped a little. I still think she could've taken him. If nothing else, she surprised him with her strength. HA! Eric finally dragged my tired body out of the door just as the fibro pain and the crowd phobia really started to set in. He got me out of there just in time.

Emerald City Comicon Logo

It was a spectacular con, with an amazingly relaxed atmosphere that was still somehow charged with excitement. I loved every minute, and I'm looking forward to next year's con, March 29th & 30th, 2008 at the Washington State Convention Center. Plan for it, because I should be there.

And now, notes of bits I saw but forgot to mention in their place:

For the entire convention, there was a music group in the booth across from Illusive playing wonderful low-key live music. It was really neat... When Lisa and I left the first day, we saw a stormtrooper who was leaving but intended to come back trying to figure out where to get a hand stamp, since he couldn't take his glove off... Eric and David and Eric discovered an Oz poster at an animation booth, and got the information so they could get the product when it's released... When Lisa and I stopped at the Unshelved booth the first time, Bill Barnes quickly figured out that I was a fan as I started naming off all the characters and their quirks and told Lisa that Dewey was my hero... Fantagraphics had a very minimal presence at the con, with a small booth next to Terry Moore and across from CBLDF... At some point on Sunday I heard someone say that the cash machine in front of the Event Center was out of money. I recall that also happened last year... Rafael Navarro showed me some storyboard scenes of an upcoming episode of The Batman. They didn't give a thing away about the plot, but were fun to look at just for the process they show... On the first day of the con I wore my new Alex Ross Aquaman t-shirt. For Sunday I wore my t-shirt with the best Aquaman panel ever on it... On one day, when I needed to get through the crowd quickly, I put the troll on my head and walked forward determinedly, people got out of my way... At some point during the first day, and announcement came over the intercom, "Captain America is still dead."