Channel the entity "Jeff Parker" from beyond the Ether

Thursday, July 20, 2006


What the heck, I'll blog this con since I have all this wifi coursing through the hotel room. So. If you live in Portland, Comicon actually begins at PDX airport. Upon reaching my gate I found Linda Medley also (Castle) waiting for the same plane. She told me the best Gary Groth story about how Fantagraphics came to publish her work, but I feel it's not my story to tell and get credit for, so ask her sometime. You can ask her at the Fanta booth almost every day if you're at the show, she's always signing at the end of the day.

Then we see Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett, and illustrator Lee Moyer. Everyone begins the comics talk thousands of miles away from the Convention Center. I board the plane and see Paul and Anina again, smugly sitting in first class. I make a face.

Once in San Diego I taxi over to the Omni where my roommate Jim Ottaviani has already checked in, and left me a present: a GT Labs baseball cap, with the logo I designed. Perfect, because I have to play in the charity softball game tomorrow and I didn't bring a cap. I make the mistake of looking at the room rate for our ritzy digs right across from the Convention Center. I take a deep breath- oh, the price I heard Jim quote was per person, not per night. I'd originally thought we might be generous to the absent Steve Lieber who chose to stay home and meet his deadlines, and let him off the hook with his share of the room. No way.

Over at the show I get my Exhibitor badge which allows me to take up to 1 life per day without penalty, and mainly not get pushed out of the room by high pressure water at the day's end. I say hi to all my neighbors at Cold Cut's Indy Island (under the palm tree, 1901! Can't miss it!). There's Redd Skull owner Kelly Dowd, and there's Earth 2 Comics' Carr D'Angelo. Hey, Krypto writer Jesse McCann is already here. Over at the DC booth, the enormous DC booth, Newsarama's Matt Brady and edgy writer Greg Rucka are laughing it up. Kurt Busiek comes up and gives me a Cimmerian-style greeting (kind of a grunt, really).

People are already asking about the Toth Book, and all I can do is make goofy shrugging gestures. I've heard they'll arrive at my hotel Thursday morning, so I'll try to appease the FedEx Gods and curry their favor. Not a lot of point in me walking back into the building until I have them. And while I'm here, I have to finish an upcoming issue of WHAT IF? that Aaron Lopresti will be drawing. Especially since he's here and can give me reproving looks until he has the script. I know he is too, because I saw Terry Dodson and he said so, just before that same intercom woman from the past 10 years came on to amuse and delight us all with her message of "LEAVE."

Drew Johnson and David Hahn (arm still in sling from stunt-biking) are also checking out the latest displays, like the giant snake mouth tunnel promoting Snakes On A Plane, which just can't be as fun as its concept-in-a-name, because such things never are.

Before I pass out for the night, I thought I'd throw in a convention tip that I didn't see anyone mention. Every year, if you're set up at a table, you'll eventually be approached by someone with a DV camera who's "making a documentary." You'll spend 30 minutes talking to said person, and then never see where that footage went. Send these folks away unless you want to use the opportunity to practice your pitch skills. I haven't seen one of these people yet, but they'll be there. Oh yes.

G'night, talk to you tomorrow.


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