Saturday, October 11, 2008

Con Report: The Tri-City Comic-Con

Today was the first annual Tri-City Comic-Con. I only learned about it because Heidi blogged about it... and she only learned about it because an enthusiastic person at Emerald City ComiCon promoted it to her at her booth last Spring. In short, this was NOT a well-promoted convention outside the Tri-Cities. However, because I live in Eastern Washington now, it's close and was worth checking out.

Now, this is the first year for the comic-con, but attached to it was a film festival that is in its third year. In the past, the film festival was associated with Radcon, but as most of the fan films were comic book related, the festival made the jump to the Comic-Con when it came into existence. One reason I went to TC3 was to check out Chuck Peters, who made the Aquaman fan film (available on YouTube: Part 1 and Part 2). Unfortunately, despite the small size of the convention, I managed to completely miss him. I just didn't go into the three video rooms at all during the con.

Still, there was a little bit of fun to see. The dealer's room was one of those hotel banquet rooms. There were maybe a dozen dealers, the guest tables, a video game corner, and an RPG table with an active RPG being played. I first met Colleen Weare, who calls herself a "fan artist" and had her printed out webcomic to show off (A D&D Steam-Western with Magic (Start here to read)). I trolled her, then she drew a sketch of an equine Green Lantern for Eric, and Aquaman chasing after Storm for me. Both were fantastic! Both shall eventually be posted (once I get the scanner warmed up and ready).

Next to Colleen was Ashlie Hammond of Fiber Monkey Art. We didn't really have enough money to buy one of her items, though I found a fetching hat I would have bought if I could've spared it. We chatted, then visited ner neighbor Dane Ault of Monkey Minion Press. Now, I'm not certain what relationship the two had, but they clearly knew each other pretty well. Eric spotted some Wizard of Oz art behind Dane, and showed off his sketchbook while Ashlie hovered over his shoulder looking. We trolled both Dane and Ashlie.

On the other side of Colleen was Jason Metcalf, who I've trolled in the past. Next to him was Randy Kintz, who was promptly trolled.

We then wander the dealer's room a bit, visiting the table of James C Glass and trolling him. I've read at least one of his books. He had the original art for the cover of "Visions", a recent book. Turns out he painted it himself.

We next visited the table of Neal Bailey, assistant editor of The Superfan Homepage. What drew my eye immediately was a Smallville Magazine cover with the Alan Ritchson Aquaman as the cover. It's issue #29 (Nov/Dec 08) and it's the exclusive cover, not the newsstand edition. I immediately started to lust after it. Neal has an article about Superman and the Legion in it, and he was selling the exclusive covers at his table. I explained my Aquaman fanaticism, and he gave me a deal and signed the article for me as well. Then I repaid him by trolling him.

I next met Jason Janicki of Wayfarer's Moon, a webcomic that has three print issues out now. I picked up a bookmark and trolled him. I did not get to meet the artist of the comic, which I regret, as it really looks fantastic.

At this point, Eric and making growly noises, so we went to find the Hospitality Room, which signs claimed was in Room 2111, but no sign actually pointed to this mystical room. We got directions, then a member of the con staff, Doug, caught up to us as we were wandering off to find it and led us there. We both got snacks and caffeine, and headed back to the dealer's room to sit and eat.

At this point, we'd literally seen all of the con we planned to see. The only reason to hang around was to see Heidi when she showed up. We figured they'd gotten a late start. I decided to troll one more person. We went to the table of Andy Wolf, a "sit-down" comedian. We attempted to take his picture with Torvald. The camera died. I revived it somehow and tried again. The camera died again. Ok... I pulled out my cell phone... this time I got his picture! He was selling his comedy CD and pictures, and was going to be the opening act for the Tim Russ concert that night.

We headed out into the lobby, where I put Torvald away since the camera was clearly out of batteries. As I crouched over my bag, I heard Heidi say, "Was it that much of a bust?" I looked up and said hello. I explained that my camera was dead, so I was just putting it away... and yeah, the con was pretty small. She got her badges, and we all went back in to go see Jason Metcalf again. Heidi made Jason and Randy look at my Aquaman sketchbook, and both of them contributed sketches to my latest book. Those will be posted eventually. I also bought a very cool JSA Print from Jason.

I saw a woman dressed as a Romulan, who was wearing glasses that made her look like a Romulan Librarian. I chatted with her a bit, and she explained that she was an ambassador. I got her picture, but Torvald was in my bag so I didn't troll her:

Romulan Ambassador

We spent a lot of time talking with Jason, Randy, Colleen, and Heidi about a variety of topics. Heidi and I even ganged up on poor con-co-organizer Doug about promoting the convention properly. Sorry Doug! I told Heidi about my frightening experience while driving home last Sunday. As I was finishing my tale, James interrupted to mention food, and I noted that Eric was looking a little pale and wan from lack of protein. It was time for us to finish our trip to the Tri-Cities with a mall visit and Costco run.

We walked out of the hotel into the bright sunshine and biting wind, and headed to Kennewick, just across the river. Farewell to TC3, let's hope next year is even better. For me, it was a surprisingly good con. Lots of trolling (8 people) and 3 new Aquaman sketches. Impressive, really, for something I wasn't expecting much out of from the website.