Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Emerald City Comicon Report 2008 - Part II

I never actually think about the con reports until later. I do tend to remember that I have to write down everyone's name or I'll forget them when I make the Torvald page. But the reports? Nah... I always figure I'll just wing it. Then I get to the day after the con and start writing... and wish I'd taken notes. But then, the biggest reason I do these con reports is so that I remember what happened at the con, not to entertain you folks who might be reading.

When I went to the San Diego Comicon in 2000, I wrote a wonderful extensive set of letters to my sister, Lisa, who was living out of country at the time. Those letters became my San Diego 2000 Comicon report (heavily edited to remove sisterly commentary). In 2001 I also went to the San Diego Comicon, but I didn't write anything about it at all. I remember 2000 vividly, but I've nearly forgotten what happened in 2001.

PS238 #12
And so we get back to Lisa and I, standing in a parking garage gobbling down some quick snacks before we head back up to the con floor. We planned out a trip to visit Aaron Williams, creator of PS238. I wanted to get the first collection signed, as well as issue #12, with the image similar to the Doctor Who logo.

Back up on the floor, the scene was very crowded. The layout was more open than this con has been in the past, but the sheer number of people made up for it. I found myself wishing I could clear the aisles with a wave as I struggled to get around folks who were sauntering slowly as they looked at everything. The aisles needed a fast lane. The feel of the floor this year reminded me of San Diego, only without the giant media booths and their horrible pumped in noise.

Lisa and I eventually managed to get to Artists Alley, and I found the spot where Aaron was supposed to be. There was a HUGE crowd, mostly talking with each other. It appeared to be a line. But, while it was in front of Aaron's table, no one seemed to be at Aaron's table. We asked... the line was for Kaare Andrews, who was sitting right next to Aaron. We were able to evict some folks who were just blocking Aaron's table, and get in to talk with him. I trolled him, and Lisa bought a book or two, and we got the books signed. We chatted awhile longer, enjoying the presence of Phil Foglio's Experiment #1, then decided to move on.

I needed to troll Greg Hatcher's kids. Every year Greg brings in a group of enthusiastic students to man a table, mingle with the professional artists, and promote their own work. I've been trying to get pictures of at least one shift of students every year since Torvald debuted at the con. To my surprise, the kids knew about Torvald and were eager to have their picture taken. In fact, one of them was thrilled that she got to hold the troll. I was amused, and I think Greg was as well.

Greg's Students

After seeing Greg's students, it was time to give Pia Guerra her gift. If you don't know, Pia is going to be drawing a new Doctor Who comic. I'm very excited, as I'm not happy with the current art on the book. I'm really looking forward to seeing Pia's version. Lisa and I wanted to get Pia to sketch for us, but weren't sure if she was sketching today. As soon as we saw the line, we knew. There was a decently long line, and lots of people chatting and holding "Y: The Last Man" trades to be signed. We got in line, hoping for a Doctor Who sketch each. When we got toward the front of the line, I started talking with Ian Boothby who was sitting next to Pia and happily enjoying not being the center of attention. We started in about Doctor Who and had a short chat before it was our turn to see Pia.

I pulled my gift to Pia: a bag of Bassett's Jelly Babies. She then happily did sketches of Tennant's Doctor Who for both Lisa and me. I'll post her Doctor Who sketch at some point after I've scanned it. She also showed off some cool Doctor Who swag she'd picked up. I gather there was a booth with a lot of Who stuff in it, but I never managed to run across it (just as well, as it would have broken my heart).

At this point, my memories of what we did next are a little hazy. I know we ran into Heidi Meeley of Comics Fairplay, who could tell I wasn't doing well and needed a sit-down. We eventually made our way to her booth which we used as home base for the rest of the con. I felt guilty because I wasn't working the booth, which feels wrong when you are inside a booth. Standing offer, Heidi: in the future, if I use your booth as home base, please teach me to boothsit and I'll do it for you guys. I'm actually really good as a booth babe, just ask the Illusive Arts folk.

Checking our status, we discovered that I had one more book to get signed. That book was Wondermark by David Malki. Since David hadn't been to Seattle before, I was also due to Troll him. And so Lisa and I headed out to the Wondermark booth and I handed over the book for signing. At which point there were some ooohs and aaahs... as I had a first printing that had been out-of-print for a long time and was therefore a bit of a collector's edition! He signed it, after showing it off to everyone else in the booth, and then was trolled.


Lisa and I had now accomplished everything I set out to do at the con. And we'd only been there for about three hours!

I did have one hope that I wanted to do. I wanted to see if I could get a sketch from Esteban Maroto. I didn't expect it would be possible, but at the very least I could show off my sketchbook. So Lisa and I went back to the Spanish Artists' booth and once again talked with Esteban's awesome translator. I explained that I had forgotten to show off my sketchbook and hoped Esteban would like to look through it. He was interested, and flipped through, with commentary that I could only just follow. Then he and the translator had a little discussion in which the word "gratis" came up. I know what that word means, and I felt a little surge of hope. Sure enough, he started a sketch. I gibbered for some time after seeing the beautiful final product.

Lisa got me back to the car to have a quick lunch and to drop off everything we didn't need, including promo materials people kept handing us. On the way back up to the floor, I trolled Boba Fett and on the floor itself I was able to troll The Flash. The costumes were out in force on Saturday thanks to the costume contest. The Flash was being very gracious about pictures, posing with anyone who asked.

I also trolled a member of the Convention Center Staff. I try to troll "normal" folks along with the many celebrities and such, and this year Robin represents the Convention Center on the troll page. As another aside, the convention center staff was WONDERFUL. They were always on top of things, always explained situations, were lovely with directions, and extremely kind. I got more than a few "Happy Mother's day!" wishes from staff members on Sunday. The staff made the whole experience better.

I hung out at home base for a bit when Lisa took a short nap in the car, and trolled Rogue and Gambit, and an awesome Guy Gardner. I chatted with a number of folks, and showed Heidi my original Aquaman sketchbook. The original book is priceless, in many more ways than one. It has sketches by Nick Cardy, Ramona Fradon, Neal Adams... yes, but it also has a sketch from Leah Adezio. I definitely felt a pang when Heidi reached that sketch and exclaimed over it. I brought the sketchbook to the con to show to someone, but I never did remember who I'd promised to show it to last year. I'll just have to bring it next year and hope I remember then.

Guy Gardner

When James returned to the booth with a drawing by Erik Thompson that he showed off, I decided to paTrolling (as Ron Randall put it last year). I visited the Portland contingent of Periscope Studio and trolled Sara Ryan (who was sitting next to Steve Lieber). I chatted with a lot of people, and then found Thompson's booth and asked him for an Aquaman sketch. He graciously agreed, and produced a wonderful sketch in green pencil. I hope it comes through in the scan. After the sketch, I trolled him and Phil Noto, who was just down the table a bit.

Another sketch I really wanted to get, but wasn't sure if he'd do one, was Aaron Williams. So I went back to his table to chat. Kaare was out, so there was no line blocking him. We talked, and I talked with his awesome wife and Experiment #1, who was hanging with the Williams because he could. I think awesome wife convinced Aaron to do a sketch, while Experiment #1 and I talked about the troll. I mentioned that I had a printout of my previous trolling of #1, and showed it to him. He remembered it, and asked to be trolled again. So I trolled him. And then I pointed out that it made him the only triple-trolled person. He enjoyed the status, and started saying "triple-trolled!" a lot, before running off to, presumably, tell his father about his new title.

While Aaron sketched, I spotted some Skrulls and trolled them. Aaron's sketch was FANTASTIC. I showed it off to other fans who had gathered, and then made my way back to home base to show it to Heidi.

I didn't leave home base much after that. I trolled folks who came by: Lobster Johnson, Steve Saunders, and Ross Richie (of Boom! Studios). Lisa and I revisited Halfpixel and I convinced Dave Kellett to contribute to the Aquaman sketchbook. As there was only one page left at that point, it was a high honor. He did a great one of late-career Aquaman. But he insisted that Kristofer Straub would do a much better Aquaman for me. With that in mind, I took my completed sketchbook back to home base, and took out the new one. I asked Heidi for some tape, and taped my business card inside the front cover of the new one. Then I trolled my sister at Heidi's urging.

My Good Twin Sister

It wasn't the end of the con, but I was woozy and wanted to rest, and Lisa still had to go to work (at 3 am Sunday morning!) so we headed out. On the way, we stopped again at the halfpixel booth and I gave the blank sketchbook #3 into Kristofer Straub's keeping. He started on the sketch right away, and I'm sure was done before he left. But it was nothing to me, as I was tired and home was calling. We gave hubby-Eric the heads up that we were on the way so he could start dinner, and away we went.

Lisa stayed long enough for dinner and to grab something I downloaded as soon as I got home. Eric and I then watched the downloaded something then I took a hot bath. Lisa had given me a vitamin patch to try, and since I'd been so miserable most of Saturday, I resolved to give the patch a shot on Sunday. I went to bed, but again I slept fitfully. The con had been so much fun... and I got to go again!

And that's where I'll leave off for the day. Tomorrow: Sunday at the con! Hubby-Eric's lust for something he can't have! Phil Jimenez! Owly! and fangirl power activate!

Emerald City Comicon reports: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006: part I, part II, part III, part IV, 2007: part I, part II, part III, part IV, 2008: part I.
All my blogged con reports and San Diego 2000.