Thought I would update the second part of my vacation today, The San Diego Comic Con. This was my 14th comic con, I've been attending since 1993, only missing one since then.
I love the comic con, its really one of the few times in the year were you can totally immerse yourself in so many aspects of different things that you like. Comics are just a part of it, new movies, video games, art displays, meeting celebrities, interacting with other convention goers, discovering cool toys or books you didn't know about before. There are just so many things going on its very easy to fill up four days of floor time.
Thursday was a short day for me, as I flew in to SD in the afternoon, after getting zero sleep the night before in Vegas and still a little drunk, working the floor that day was a very draining experience. Still, the highlight of my entire trip, Vegas and the con, was getting to see Tara McPherson again.
The tattoo I got was of one of her pieces, and her reaction to seeing it and the positive feelings I got was totally overwhelming. She was super excited to see it and was really impressed with how it looked, and even by the fact that I'd chosen to get her work tattooed. Coupled with the fact that I went so big with it and it was my first, I think she was appreciative. I know it made my trip. She asked me to email her a picture, and I need to get on that soon. She signed her art book and even did a really cool sketch in it, which was totally unexpected.
She is a big influence on my writing and helped me to identify my subject matter in my poetry. Looking at her art really inspires me, and whenever I get stuck on something, I pull out her book, Lonely Hearts: The Art of Tara McPherson, to get back on track.
The rest of the con was a lot of fun too! I got to meet Warren Ellis, a great writer who just published a really good, albeit really bizarre book called Crooked Little Vein. I finished it in about a day. I also got to meet James Jean, another really good artist and pick up some cool prints from him. He also did a little drawing in his art book, Process Recess, which was cool.
Friday night we all hit the Eisner's awards. Sort of the Oscars for comics. That had to be the longest ceremony ever running well over 4 hours long. Jason and myself have hit the Eisner's before, but as this was Autumn's first time, I am afraid she may not have enjoyed it. It really ran far too long and wasn't the best year for nominations. Beside my comic shop, Atomic Comics, was up for the Eisner of best retailer and lost. I think out of 20 catagories, I only predicted 3 wrong winners.. apparently I know my useless comic crap eh?
Saturday was defiantly highlighted by the bizarreness of the annual Masquerade, 51 contestants who compete in a costume contest. This one always provides some good laughs, as apparently its okay for me to throw stones as these geeks from my glass house. Just the sheer ridiculousness of the costumes and the overacting of the contestants is always a ripe bit of fun, especially after a few pitchers of beer! My only complaint was the hour long fucking play they put on to give the judges a chance to deliberate. It was a play put on by a Kung Fu society about pirates fighting ninjas. It was long, it was bad and it was poorly scripted. It literally ran for an hour. God it was awful. Cheesy choreographed fight scenes, sort of a Wushu version of a Lloyd Kaufman or Ed Wood movie. Terrible. Have I mentioned how long it was? Seriously, it was long.
Sunday was for the last minute stuff, you know, the stuff you don't need but end up buying as you haven't spent all of your money yet. We cut out a little early to get a jump on the ride home.
I didn't have any buyer's remorse over anything, I usually do on the way home but not this year. The worst year was 2005 when I paid $300 for a custom made lightsaber. Its totally awesome... but I paid $300 fucking dollars for it! My big purchases this year were a Gentle Giant mini bust of a Clone Trooper from Star Wars. I paid $50 for it and I have already seen it resaling for $200. It was only available at con so I am cool with that. I bought a few books, Warren Ellis new novel, a Phil Noto Art book, and I plugged about $25 worth of good reads out of the dollar and $2 bins, getting almost complete runs of the Vertigo series Moonshadow, White Tiger and a Dr. Strange mini that were all worth it. I also bought David Mack's new children's book The Shy Creatures.
Next to Tara McPherson, David Mack is a huge influence, at least tonelally with his work. He is such a great writer and artist her images really are beautiful. I have been following his stuff for years and support everything he creates, even a children's book. Hey.. maybe one day I'll need it.
Perhaps the nerdiest thing I did was to make arrangements to get a Jayne hat. For those of you out of the know, Jayne is a character on the great show Firefly, and in one episode her mother sends him a knitted hat which he proudly wears. It's terrible and nerdy.. and I had to have one. It was the same feeling I gt when I paid for that lightsaber.. I knew as soon as I saw it that I would own one. +1 nerd point to me.
The meals on this trip were great too. We typically have a few place we hit every year. Hooters, as the San Diego Hooters is chock full of good looking ladies and is a great primer for getting toasted and hitting the Masquerade. We also hit a place called the Strip Club, which lets you cook your own steaks, and boy are they good steaks. Jason probably eats the rarest steak I ave ever seen, I swear to you it still moo's a little when he cuts it. We also hit a pub called the Elephant and Castle, a place that serve authentic English food, and every year I get the bangers and mash. Sausages with mash potatoes, baked beans and a apple chutney. We changed it up a little and hit Anthony's Fish Grotto this year on Sunday. I like seafood, and so does Autumn, but Jason doesn't so most years we skip out on the seafood. This year Autumn wanted some so we got to override him. Anthony's is one of San Diego's most popular fish eateries and it was no wonder why. I had a wonderful Tuscan stuffed swordfish, which was a fist time experience for me. for dessert I had spumagio, a weird sort of Italian flavored ice cream, green with cherries in it. It was great! Something I definitely want more of.
What was without a doubt the most important thing to happen at con didn't happen to me, but to my best friend Jason. He made some serious headway into gaining some actual published work. Viper comics and Penny-Farthing Press seem to be really interested in publishing him, and there is a possibility that his friend Matt may line up some work for them at Dark Horse. Jason is a talented creative person, and his dedication to his craft are are real inspiration to me. Him getting published would mean just as much to me as to him.. well maybe him a bit more as he is the creative force. I have known he was great since 8th grade. Seeing him improve and polish and continue to push himself and really dedicate the time to his craft, his work, his girlfriend, and his friends is really awesome. I don't know how he does it. I am honored to say that maybe I had a little hand in helping him along the way. He is a much better friend that I deserve. I have a really good feeling that this is his year.
Anyway, that about sums up the vacation. I hope to post my next poem tomorrow after work. I have to work 1 day before I can finish out my vacation. Thanks for reading.
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