This past weekend was the annual pilgrimage to Seattle’s Emerald City Comicon. I try and go every year. Last year I spent 4 hours pounding through a haze of shopping. Since I can’t make it to TCAF this year, I decided to go hard and spend the weekend and do a bunch of panels.
I was picked up early friday morning by talented local dudes, Ed Brisson and Jason Copland. We had an epic drive down that included 3 hours in traffic before even getting to the border. I never thought Canada could be so cruel.
Shopping started quick and hard. I loved this Ernie Bushmiller original. Look at how perfect it is.
David Brothers was there in fine form, in deep conversation with Adam Warren. I really love David’s writing. I don’t read even half the stuff he writes about, but still highly appreciate his take.
The one person I wanted to see the most, was Tom Spurgeon. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the work he does. Tom set’s a standard of integrity that few in comics reporting are able to achieve. He set’s the bar and we jump to reach it. And that Eric Reynolds guy he is with here is pretty cool too. I tried talking Eric into buying us dinner and we could consider it payola. No dice.
My first panel of the weekend was with Bill Sienkiewicz. I have been a fan of his work for longer than i can remember. I am used to the small rooms of TCAF, so seeing this line was a bit of surprise. I guess I shouldn’t of been surprised, considering Bill’s importance.
The conversation was really interesting. Bill has lived a very full and storied life. I think he is one of the greats of a generation.
Seeing Tom at the back of the room is a little intimidating to a novice like me.
After I was done the panel, I swung by Randy’s Readers to get a stack of silver and bronze age tasty treats.
That night was dinner with Jason Levian, Zack Soto, Brandon, Ian Macewan and Jacq Cohen. Brandon choose the place, that was a little pricey, but excellent. He told us about how he used to meet Moritat here to draw porn comics. And when he was on a date, he would bring girls to somewhere less, ummm, extravagant.
I crashed hard that night. Brandon woke up at 6am to do a bunch of sketches for folks that asked for them at the convention. Dude has some dedication.
Saturday morning was breakfast with David Brothers, Brandon and Tom Spurgeon. It was really good to be able to have some comics shop talk. Through the convention, there is a lot of business talk. Folks yakking about pitches, publishing ideas, and a lot of shmoozing, but not to a lot of straight up comics talk. That is very different from my TCAF experience, where everyone just wants to talk about what excites them, which 9 times out of 10, is Michael Deforge.
It was back to the con floor for me. I was blown away when I saw this Bowie cosplay. She even managed to get James’ gaudy colour gradients on her costume.
My next panel was with Brandon, Mike Allred, Nate Powell and Justin Moritat Norman. I had them talking about their different influences in comics. It was a fun give and take, with some pretty funny anecdotes.
I was blown away by the amount of people there for the panel. It was a good sized group in this huge room.
About half way through the panel, the room was filled up completely, disrupting it for the other folks in the room. I wasn’t sure why all those people came in, turns out, they were all there for Jhonen Vasquez, who had a panel after us. Letting those extra people in, is my only complaint for the whole weekend.
Oh look, it’s talented Vancouver web cartoonists, Ryan Pequin and Emily Partridge. Why don’t I ever see you guys in our own city.
Scott Campbell did this sweet sketch for me.
Things were getting tough at the con, and Doug Sherwood, letterer for Glory and Hell Yeah!!!, got Brandon involved in a gang of gold tear toughies.
This guy was there, advertising for his new comic.
Dinner was a blast. I had an amazing steak with a big group of folks. Here is Joe Keatinge, the dude to buy the first copy of Inkstuds and his neighbor, cartoonist Emi Lenox.
Later that night, after a brief stop at the Sheraton Hotel lobby, Brandon, Bryan Lee O’Malley and I took off to track down Pendelton Ward. Earlier that day, he had tweeted to Brandon about wanting to meet up at some point. We found him after searching high and low through the wilds of pike street market.
The comicking never stops in this crowd.
On our walk back to the convention area, where all the hotels are, we met a fan of Bryan’s named Nick, the self-deprecating magician. It was a pretty sweet moment. He was just happy to be performing for someone’s work that he loved.
And then all of the sudden this guy shows up. Ruining everything.
I went back to the hotel after that for a very excellent sleep. Brandon went off to hunt squirrels or something. First thing the following morning, I found this sweet Tintin book.
I love the look of the earlier black and white version of Tintin.
I also picked up a smattering of TPB’s.
The Alberto Breccia sketchbook is pretty sweet. There is only like a dozen pages of his printed in English in Heavy Metal, so having some more work is great. That Esteban Maroto book is amazing. All of it is in spanish, but still pretty as hell. And don’t judge on the Elfquest. I am committed to reading it.
Remember when Matt Madden used to make comics. I do, they are great. Go read Odds Off. And that Steranko comic was my first purchase of the day.
And Alex Toth Zorro’s for only a buck? Hell Yeah!
I had two more panels on Sunday. My first was with Steve Niles. I am barely familiar with Steve’s work, but have tremendous respect for him and the work he did for Gary Friedrich. So when I was asked to do this panel, I thought why not. He has a really dedicated group of fans that was great to see. It was a smaller attendance, but gave for a chance of a lot of give and take from the folks. My recorder ran out of juice during this panel, so I did not get a recording of it. It has been lost to the ages.
My next panel was in the exact same room. This time it was with Bryan Lee O’Malley, Brandon Graham and Adam Warren. This one was packed to the gills, with 3 people in the front row recording it.
I ended the day by sitting at Brandon’s table relaxing. I was tired and did not want to deal with anything. Table neighbour Emi Lenox did this lovely drawing for me, which nicely ended the day.