Channel the entity "Jeff Parker" from beyond the Ether

Thursday, July 20, 2006


You can just call it "Another Day Without Toth Books" for me. It looks like I'm not going to be breaking even with this trip, because I just checked and the books have JUST NOW left Quebec. Great.

Having nothing, I stayed in my room this morning and did the final lettering touch-ups on AGENTS OF ATLAS #2. Then I got to the Center in time to sign at the Marvel booth for an hour. Sat next to Joe Quesada, Tom DeFalco and Paul Jenkins while an undending line of people came by to get signatures on a promotional freebie. I kept signing on Marko Djurdjevic's excellent first cover of X-MEN FIRST CLASS, giving Bobby an icy word balloon that shouted my name. Afterward I cruised up to Artist Alley and saw AGENTS artist Leonard Kirk, who floored me with a bunch of brilliant layouts for issue 3. After that it was time for the outing of the day, the DC/MARVEL Charity Softball Game for ACTOR.

All the players for DC had matching orange shirts with numbers, very efficient. We had a choice of a few Marvel brand shirts, most were black with either a Punisher skull or a Venom spider. I opted for one of the few Fantastic Four "4" shirts, because I wanted to reflect the hot sun as much as possible. On the bus ride over ACTOR/Top Cow's Jim McLaughlin broke down the rules for us and told us to "carb up" with several boxes of animal crackers. I don't know that shortening bread is the best sports energy snack, but we ate them. When I played softball with the cartoonists in Chapel Hill years ago, I usually pitched, so I'm not a pro at playing the bases. Fortunately Mark McKenna (1st base) and John Romita Jr. (Shortstop) coached me a bit about how to play 2nd. I got off a good hit to a Jann Jones (who just got promoted at DC) pitch the first time up, but I still was caught out. Later some DC staffer I tagged out started running again for some reason, confusing everybody. My next time at bat I got on 2nd, and I forget who knocked me in. Mark Waid got on first by the skin of his teeth in the last inning and worked his way home.

We ended up winning something like 26 to 8 so we didn't finish beyond six innings. Which everyone was fine with, because it just kept getting hotter out at Balboa Park. I got to talk a lot to PLANET HULK writer Greg Pak and a lot of people I didn't know yet, so that was nice. Since I had absolutely nothing to sell all day, playing softball was really the best thing I could have done or I would have just hung around sulking about losing money. Everyone had a lot of fun. The best of part of the game was near the end when Esad Ribic got up to bat again. A big Croatian who really doesn't know much about baseball or any similar sport, Esad cut an impressive pose, shirtless and smoking. Then he got off a pretty good hit which brought some of our guys in, but he himself was tagged out because he didn't know he needed to run to first, he just kept watching where the ball went. That was pretty awesome.

Now I think I'm going to take an unprecedented nap and get up and write later. I really can't imagine those books making it here tomorrow either at this point, so I guess I'll just let go of that idea. I believe I am going to be sore tomorrow, too.


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