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


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I have to thank my caricaturist friend Steve for getting me into the Con. I walked in with him and Steve Silver Thursday morning after waiting in a very slow line. Walking in to the convention rooms was like entering an entertainment shangri-la. I knew this was going to be fun. I tagged along as the Steves checked out the Bud Plant booth, which housed tons of great books and graphic novels. But I was getting antsy. I knew there were webtoonists out in this huge place. I parted ways and set off.
My first stop was the Keenspot booth, because I was sure to find some webcomics artists there!! And I did. T Campbell, perhaps one of the busiest writers in webcomics, is also an old friend o' mine. We actually attended the same college, and worked on some sequential projects for some of the literary magazines. After a few years, we've both somehow ended up in online comics.
Howard Tayler was one of the guys that I interviewed for my paper when I was starting this comic, so it was great to finally thank him in person. We did character sketches for each other, and he reminded me to come to the Keenspot panel on Saturday. I assured him I would.

I also got to meet Josh Lesnick, who is the artist and creator of Wendy, Cutewendy, Girly and several other nifty webcomics featuring various shiny manga-esque girls. It was great to meet him, and we exchanged drawings of our own cartoon female characters that wear glasses. Let's face it, cartoon girls that wear glasses are cute. Yes, I know that I am sad and pathetic, but there are many other cartoonists that agree with me. (check out Josh's sketch on the drawings page!)

So there I was talking with T, when somebody behind me says my name. I had my Striptease shirt on, so I was easy to identify for the people that know the strip. I turn around to find Frank "Damonk" Cormier smiling his big old smile. Besides creating Framed!, Damonk is a busy guy editing and writing articles for Comixpedia, frequently collaborating on projects with other webcomics, and still found time to get married! With him was his lovely wife Meaghan Quinn, who does the amazing spy-ish online manga, Eat the Roses. I tagged along with them, because they are cool.
Now that I had some partners who spoke webtoonese, we headed over to the Pants Press table, where more webcomic artists would be found. I had to keep asking Frank who all these people were, since he seemed to know everyone. I only knew them from their strips... and was delighted to hear the talent assembled at this table. Dylan Meconis is not only talented and witty, she's also forgiving. I had written a review of her comic for Comixpedia which was mostly favorable, but pointed out some minor inconsistencies. Needless to say, I was nervous meeting her. Instead of beating me with a stick, we agreed that more comics needed honest reviews. Huzzah!
Jen Wang and Vera Brosgol are also part of the Pants Press squad. Of course I had to get them to draw something in the issue of Wary Tales that they collaborated on. I really, really wanted to buy more of Jen's nifty color prints, but never got back to do so. My plan was to not buy anything until Saturday so I would see everything there was to buy first. This was a stupid plan.
Bill Mudron was with the Pants Press girls (lucky guy), and was another creator I really wanted to meet. Lets face it, Anne Frank Conquers the Moon Nazis is perhaps the coolest webcomic ever. Bill was very modest about his work, but we agreed violently that there is a lot of crap out there in the webcomics field. I think we were going to start making a list of people to kill, but I got side tracked...

Before I knew it, I was being climbed on by Amber "Glych" Greenlee. I knew her comic and she knew mine, and there was much rejoicing. I gave everyone I met a Striptease business card. I also handed out some cheap zine collections of ST, while I still had them. I was shocked to actually hear that some of the other creators had heard of my strip! Frank proceeded to smack me in the back of my head.

Next to Pants Press were Indigo Kelleigh and Dirk Tiede. I had seen the Circle Weave before, but was not familiar with Paradigm Shift. Well, after checking out the cool display and talking with these guys, I made a promise to myself to check the comics out in full. They're both on Modern Tales, and they both rock to the fullest extent of detailed rockness.

Our little crew headed over to the next nexus of online cartoonists: the Dumbrella booth. The amount of T-shirts, books, and stickers for sale was impressive to say the least. The first bloke to ramble with me was John Allison. Really nice guy, but I think he was still recovering from the trip from England. I bought a book, chatted for a bit, and moved down the table.

I had actually met Jon Rosenberg before at MoCCA in New York City, not that he would have remembered. Amazingly, he did. I got one of his nifty color prints (that he's holding) and moved down the table.

Behind him, you'll see Andrew Bell and R. Stevens. Both gave handed out some nifty and really funny stickers, and I bought one of the Metal Steve's skull shirts from Mr. Stevens.

Last to chat with at Dumbrella was Jeffrey Rowland. All around a pretty funny and cool guy. I bought a book collection of WIGU from him, in which he drew a Rasta version of Topato Potato. Awesome! Frank introduced me to some other webtoonists, and we all contemplated how expensive the food was in the convention center. I decided to split up and look for clues...
But dammit!! All I found was a bunch of people dressed up as characters from Danger Girl. You have to understand, these costume people were EVERYWHERE! I didn't take pictures of all of them because I figure by saying EVERYWHERE, you'll get the point. It was around this time I got a call from Jennie Breeden, who had just flew in from Georgia. She was in the building.

I met up with Jennie, and after calming her down in her state of shock, we looked over to see none other than the Penny Arcade booth. I wasn't surprised to see them attend such an event, but I was surprised to see them, just because. Luckily Thursday wasn't crowded, so I got to chat with Jerry (Tycho) and Mike (Gabe) for a little bit. I thanked Mike for being such a strong influence in webcomic artwork, and for giving me some advice back when I started. Jerry and I talked about the pros and cons of selling Tshirts with Cafepress versus making your own. I tried convincing him that they should come to San Francisco for the Alternative Press Expo, but Jerry wasn't too convinced the crowd would be right. I assured him he might be surprised. Mike drew a sketch for me, Jennie and I took our fan photos, and Jerry came out and gave us a bear hug. For real.

Really cool guys.

At this Convention, it wasn't the question of who to meet, but how to meet as many creators as possible that plagued me. I swung by the Oni Press booth where Paul Dini and Chynna Clugston-Major were chatting. You'll know Paul from his writing Batman Beyond, Tiny Toons, and Jingle Belle, which he was pimping at the table. Chynna is one of my favorite comic artists, and I was again shocked when I mentioned my strip, and she said she had heard of it. Small world indeed!
Courtney Crumrin & the Night Things by Ted Naifeh is one of my favorite reads from this year. Ted also worked on Gloomcookie, which I really dug, so I was really pleased to meet him...and his hair.
let's see...I checked out some of artist alley, which is quite overwhelming. I ran into one of my Grad school professors Durwin Talon, who was promoting his latest book of genius, Panel Discussions. After the con Jennie and I hooked up with Durwin and went to a steak restaurant appropriately called The Strip Club. We cooked our own steaks, waitresses in fishnet stockings served us garlic bread and drinks, and Flash Gordon played on TVs around the hall. A good way to end this exciting day....
  MAIN ON TO FRIDAY-------->