SAN DIEGO INTERNATIONAL COMIC CON 2003- as told by Chris Daily


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I picked up Jennie, along with Jose and Jae (I'll get to them later) and dropped them off while I looked for a parking space for an hour. The first thing I did on Friday was have my storyboard artwork looked at by people who were looking for "more professional" material. Now, just because my stuff was not their kind of stuff, did not mean it wasn't professional level. At least that's what I kept telling myself.
Stan Lee was signing autographs. So were a bunch of other TV stars, movie stars, comic creators, people you never heard of. Then you realize that they were some character in some show or some movie, and they are there to make a few dollars by signing photos of themselves. Granted, there were some notably famous people signing, but waiting in line for those people would have taken all day... I am not the "waiting in line" type.

Tony Esteves was kinda hiding in the small press section. Cigarro and Cerveja is one of the strips I've been reading since I started reading webcomics, so it was a joy to meet the guy behind the hare and goose. Not buying Tony's book was another casualty of poor judgment. But I can always get in online...Yay!

No photos, but I attended the Voice over actor tryouts panel. It was a bit anti climactic (no jobs, just opinions were given), but I did get to try my voice out to riotous applause and positive comments by the moderators. Another line of work perhaps awaits me? We'll see.

Running back to the Convention floor I made more rounds. Around the area where classic original comic book artwork was being displayed, and not too far from a jumble of toy shop merchants, I heard puppets. Steve Troop's own, uh, troop of characters had invaded. His booth was by far one of the most elaborate among the webtoonists (of course the photo leaves that out, so you'll have to trust me on this).

One of the benefits of grad school is sometimes you actually learn stuff. Robyn Chapman was a graduate of SCAD, as I was. She graduated before I even started there, but I had still heard about some of her work. She has gone on to put together True Porn, an anthology of autobiographical sex stories from comic creators. I know what you are thinking, but this is one of the best themed anthologies and probably my favorite purchase at the con (in print, anyway).
The next panel I was eager to attend was the Quick Draw Cartoon Improv. There were lots of panels on topics ranging from breaking in to comics, to previews of movies and comics, to highlights and tributes of creators, etc. etc. This was probably one of the best panels (I'm guessing) and certainly the funniest. Jim Lee was among the participants, and since I missed the other DC panels the day before, I wanted to see this guy in action!
Here we see the other three artists: Scott Shaw (Oddball comics), Sergio Aragones (Groo the Wanderer), and Kyle Baker (King David). Basically they had overhead projectors and played a series of different drawing games. They were asked to draw things like what they were having for dinner, the worst thing about conventions, and the best and worst fans! Sergio is really FAST!

I got one very bad photo of Jim Lee drawing half of Batman's face, the other half was drawn by Sergio. Too funny.

Another good segment was when a fan came up and placed five dots, then labeled which would be the hands, feet, and head of Wolverine. Jim cleverly drew a quick sketch showing Wolverine cutting off his own leg with his claws. I gained a new respect for Jim Lee, not only because of his art skills; this proved he had a quick wit as well.

I went with Jennie to the Mirrormask panel, where none other than Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean were speaking about their role in creating this new Henson produced movie. This movie looks to be along the lines of Labyrinth and the Dark Crystal, and the images were amazing to behold. I drew a caricature sketch of the panelists for fun and gave it to Dave, who seemed to get a kick out of it. Maybe it will show up in the DVD or something.

Jennie also wanted to check out her fav artist, so it was on to Terry Moore's booth. I met Terry Moore (Strangers in Paradise) at A.P.E. in February, so it was cool to actually talk with him again about breaking in to self publishing, art styles, and other stuff.

Real Life and Megatokyo anyone? I never got to talk with Greg or Piro. In fact, I didn't even take this picture (it's stolen from Jennie). but they were busy signing stuff all weekend. and they had a nice little booth.

After the con was over on Friday, Jennie and I tagged along with Jae Tsai and Jose Torres. They create the Image comic book Heirs of Eternity. It's a high octane, Joe Mad!, mystic powers, kinda tale. DO check it out.

They're also from Atlanta. They let me crash on their floor that night, so I think they are very cool.

We found a Thai restaurant that had a minimal wait time (only 30 minutes!), and put our names down. Here I am, pointing at the Budweiser sign. I only find this amusing because I don't really drink beer. So I had to prove to the naysayers that I can actually go near the stuff. I think I did have a sip of something that Jennie ordered which tasted very fruity. Jennie claimed she was drunk after three sips. I highly doubted that.
While we were waiting outside, a large group of men and women outfitted in red dresses, red togas, red lingerie, all came running through downtown. They were hooting and cavorting with each other as they ran, and they all carried a little cup with change. We tried asking what they were running for, but they only replied, "RED DRESS RUN!" Now, anybody could have figured that out. I just wanted to know what the charity was, if any!

After dinner, we decided to check out some of the after parties. Okay, just one of them. At the con, some people were handing out these fliers for a DJ spinning/ mural paining fusion party, featuring Jim Mahfood and Scott Morse. Jennie, Jose, Jae and I decided to go. Mahfood (Clerks, Generation X underground, Grrl Scouts) is one of my favorite artists, so I was really jazzed to see him work. I've bought some of his art before, so when the desire hit me to buy one of the pieces he did that night, I didn't say no to my inner child. This is the mural I bought... it's hanging in my room now. Oh yeah, the party was cool too.

So I crashed in Jennie, Jae, and Jose's hotel room that night, since we left the party kinda late. Only one more day at the con, and there was so much still to do, and so many people to meet. Would I be able to cram it all in one day? Would I be able to buy everything I want without going to an ATM? Is the tension mounting enough for you?