San Diego Comic-con 2005
San Diego Comic-con. Enrico and I have been doing this for a few years now and somehow each time it feels like we've never done it at all. Like some amnesiac haze is making you giddy to do it all again. All the dudes from work showing up made this year's festivities even more fun. My thanks to the E-ville crew, you know who you are, for making this the best fun a guy could have being around comic books. We had many tequila shots, won a trivia contest (even came away with Stella Artois glass which will forever be known at "The Trophy"), wondered how San Diego could be colder than the Bay Area in summer, ate sushi, met old friends and colleagues, sold books, gulped food too fast, stumbled into the dealer's floor late, shopped too much and laughed a whole lot the whole time. Not bad for a buncha guys who draw funny books.
A coalition of the willful. We've been lucky with our placement at the con over the years and this year is no exception. We shared with the fantastic crew of Flight this year, along with Nucleus Gallery and Rex Steel, Nazi Smasher. It was cozy and full of activity, non stop. As if that wasn't enough, we had the one and only Bill Plimpton with us. We got all the demographics and niches that mattered covered, I think. My thanks to Kazu and the talented and uber nice crew of Flight (Johane,Kean…everyone!) for putting up with us, the Nucleus folks, (Ben, Ben et al), Bill Presing and Alex Woo for the support and the ham and cheese samitches…so many things had to go well for this crazy venture to work and you couldn't have asked for a nicer bunch of people to do this with.
Enrico is swamped by our audience. That's happy Ted Mathot overlooking the harbor and the convention center, Altitude bar. Bobby Marmolejo is my lucky charm at SDCC. He bought the very first Paper Biscuit from me long ago before Preview Night opened. He does it every year without fail, no sense in messing with luck. The E-ville crew, Nazi Smasher and Enrico--many tequilla shots later. Glen Murakami and Vyvan Pham (I have more pics of her for later). Haven & Scott with their daughter, beautiful family,eh? Allen Yamashita in his first visit to Comic-con.
My Comic-con Moment. When I started out in California looking for work I had to contend with so many things that were new to me. Sylvain was a full-fledged freelance artist of merit already when we met, while I was scratching out a toe hold into regular paycheck land. Over the years he would be generous with advice and liberal with introductions to people he knew (met Moebius through him) and I would be ever grateful. "Hey, you're a very talented artist. Someone will do this for you someday, might as well be me and get the credit for it." I'll always remember that.
So, when I see him standing at the Flight table asking about books, I shout out his name—loud enough to make a few heads turn—and we both were back to where we left off. Sylvain's been busy with movies (big ones) and living abroad, contemplating an approach to his life and work. We write intermittently and never see each other. It's been fifteen years since we first met. We erupt into hellos and how are you's and caught up--as well as one could in the frenzy of selling books. "I'll give you the short-hand version," filling in years in a concise few minutes. It was so good to see my friend. Glad to know he'll be around more.
My Comic-con Moment, TWO. Sylvain had made a note to visit me the next day at the con because he had to go back to his girlfriend, Stella, who was favoring a broken leg (on the mend) and unable to amble too much over the con floor. The next day was another flurry of con frenzy with Enrico and I taking turns sitting in the booth. It was my turn to sit when I saw this man in a gray t-shirt walk into our area looking for something. I know this face from somewhere... He comes over to Johane and asks in a faint voice, "Do you know where I can find Ronnie del Carmen?" I was standing next to her so she merely pointed to me. He looks over and extends a hand to shake,"I'm Bill Sienkiewicz."
WHOA! I'm thrown off my groove. "OH MY! I'm...." I snap into fan boy mode, "…You have no idea how many times I've read "The Demon Bear" saga in New Mutants or how many times I've bought those books over and over again…and The Shadow? Man, it is an honor to meet you!" Here was Bill Sienkiewicz coming over to look for me to meet ME! That is so awesome! I ranted as much out loud. He quietly said that he wanted to meet me because of some designs I had submitted to a project we both are working on, "Those designs are beautiful!" I think I'll remember the way he said that for long while. I gushed and demurred at the same time and intending to say more when Sylvain shows up.
"Sylvain! Look! Meet Bill Sienkiewicz!" He was looking at me for a fraction and turned to understand my introduction, "Awww…" hand on his heart, "This is an honor, sir. So nice to meet you." Without planning it we had this Trifecta. Bill knows of Sylvain's career and was glad to meet him. Mind utterly blown.
I managed to hand Bill some of my books and jabber more nonsense. He had to go back to his table and we all said goodbyes. I looked around to finally notice that the con is still going on. I can rant about this for weeks but I have more Con reports to post and pictures. My camera had taken pictures but some of them didn't download. I'll do my best to post the rest of my update in the days to come. Thanks to all who made it to our tables this year, you are the reason we show up every year and we are grateful. Till next post.
Sylvain Despretz at Nuclear Burn
E-ville posted pics of their adventures.