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2006 SAN DIEGO COMICCON JOURNAL
Just a quick and dirty rundown of how I spent this year's record-SMASHING attendance ComicCon.
WEDNESDAY JULY 19, 2006
8:30am - Wake up at home.
10:30am - Chiropractic appointment and Physical Therapy. (Always good to get worked on before a long drive and a long weekend in an unfamiliar bed.)
11am - Massage. (I know. I live the hard life.)
12pm - Home again to pack.
12:30pm - Hit the road in the not-that-old PT Cruiser.
3:30pm - Arrived in San Diego. Drove down to the Convention Center, but even on Wednesday, parking was impossible. Wound up parking all the way up at Ash & First and walked the many, many blocks to the Con. But I like walking, so frankly that worked fine for me. Stood in the Exhibitor line to pick up badges for myself and my family. (Thanks to SLG and Dan Vado.)
4:30pm - Called my old boss Gary Krisel to tell him I was on my way. I was staying with him and his wonderful wife Jane. They live about twenty minutes north of San Diego.
6:30pm - TWO HOURS later I arrived at their house. Now that's some traffic! Gary and I went to Chilis for a Build-My-Own-Burger. Then it was back to the Krisels. Gary and I talked for a bit. Then I retreated to my room to read Faulkner's Light in August.
1:30am - Lights out.
THURSDAY JULY 20, 2006
8am - Wake up.
9am - Grabbed some fresh OJ and hit the road.
10am - Not wanting to HUNT for a parking space, I just parked at First & Ash again. Walked to the con and found my way to the SLG Booth. Discovered I was scheduled to sign for FOUR HOURS a day for four straight days. That seemed excessive at first, but in the end I found I was GRATEFUL for (a) having someplace to sit and (b) something to do. The convention was completely overwhelming to me. Better to keep busy. Ran into a few people: Perrin Klumpp (of CONvergence) and Tad Stones (of Hellboy).
11am - Started signing GARGOYLES comic books with penciller David Hedgecock. Saw a few familiar faces, including Will H., Howard Bliss and Brian Dumlao.
1pm - Dave treats me to lunch from Café Express. Just a hot dog. (I know how little this guy makes on the comic.) But it was nice to just sit and talk. I really spent some quality time this weekend with Dave and with color artist Will Terrell. Both are great guys.
1:45pm - Headed up to the Panel rooms and caught the end of Tommy Kovac's spotlight panel. He's the creative mind behind SLG's WONDERLAND comic. Dan Vado and Tommy had some funny schtick going.
2:15pm - Had my own spotlight panel moderated by Dan. Talked about my background. Introduced Dave and Stephanie Lostimolo (our cover colorist). Talked about my hopes, plans and fears for the GARGOYLES comic. Answered some questions. It was a brief panel, but a lot of fun. I saw a bunch of familiar faces including Shan & Kevin, Shara (in costume), Seth, Scott, Brian, Jerry (taking pictures of course) and Michael. Met up with Sam Bernstein who was shooting B-Roll for a project we're working on together.
3pm - Sam, Seth, Michael McAdams, Scott, Brian, Tom and I went to Horton Plaza for my SECOND lunch of the day. Had Sushi at the food court. And Ben & Jerry's.
4pm - Started my very deliberate tour of the Exhibit Floor, covering aisles 0-500.
5pm - Second signing of the day - this time with Dave and Will, who had shown up (I'm told) during my panel. First time I had met Will in person. Good guy.
7pm - Went to dinner with the CONvergence gang: Pat & Tim, Perrin & Jenni, Chris & Melissa, plus Len Wein and his wife and Bob Skir. First of course, Pat and I had to walk all dem blocks to my car. Then we drove to a restaurant called Embers. It was a fun evening. But by 10pm we had closed down the place!
10:40pm - Back to the Krisels'. Read some of the Ape Entertainment Comics that Dave had given me (that's his company), including Athena Voltaire, Teddy Scares and The Black Coat. It was all fun stuff.
2am - Lights out.
FRIDAY JULY 21, 2006
8:30am - Wake up. More OJ and then off to the con, again parking at Ash & First.
10:30am - Walked the floor from 600-1000.
11am - Signing with Dave & Will.
12:30pm - Left the signing a half-hour early to attend the Gotham Group party at Rama. Saw a ton of people - most of whom live in L.A. as I do, though we never get together here - including, Bob, Bill, Steve, Bob, Andrew, Grace, Bob, Tramm, Michael, Dean, Nicole, Duane, Michael, Megan, Ellen, Peter, Eddie, Dmitri, etc.
2:30pm - Ted Murphy of Adult Swim interviewed me on camera. Not too sure whether that's going to get used. Have the feeling I wasn't quite on my game. But it was great to meet Ted. When the interview was done, I toured 1100-2000, and was definitely on the verge of burnout. But I ran into more old friends, including Kim, Kevin, Parker and Richard & Wendy Pini. We arranged to have dinner that night.
4pm - I went to the BET Animation Panel with Reggie Hudlin, Denys Cowan and Sydney. They're in the very early stages… but this white Jewish boy would love to get on that network. Honestly.
5pm - Back to the SLG Booth for another two hours of signing with Dave & Will.
7pm - Crispin Freeman and I hiked to my car, and then we met Richard, Wendy and Izzy for dinner at Todai.
10pm - Back at the Krisels'. Beth and the kids were already there, having driven down that afternoon from L.A.
1am - Lights out.
SATURDAY JULY 22, 2006
8am - Wake up.
9:30am - Depart with Benny for the Con. This time we parked near the Baseball Stadium and for Benny's sake we took a pedi-cab to the con.
10:30am - Stopped by the Animation Writers Caucus panel for a bit. But Benny was bored. So we went back to the floor and toured 2000-2500. None of my family had ever been to ComicCon before. It was - shall we say - eye opening.
11am - Back to SLG for our morning signing. Will had bugged out to hit the beach, so it was me, Dave and BENNY, who would have happily signed anything you put in front of him. He was actually a pretty good sport. Eventually, Erin and Beth showed up. Benny and Beth went exploring, and Erin sat with Dave and I for awhile.
1pm - Grabbed some Pizza from Café Express, but there was literally NOWHERE to sit. Wound up sitting single-file on a staircase. After lunch we toured 2500-3000. And then Beth had had enough. She left with the kids to go swimming at the Krisels' (where Benny got stung by a bee - which is one of his major nightmares, but it wound up not being too bad). After they left, I toured 3000-4500. Then I ran into Dave Schwartz, his wife Nanci and their daughter Kara (who I'm fairly certain was named after Supergirl). I was glad to get off the floor and we went to see Frank Miller's panel on THE SPIRIT movie that he plans to write and direct after he's done with SIN CITY II.
4pm - Caught the end of the TV Guide Panel, mostly cause I wanted to sit down and relax and wait for the NEXT panel in that room.
4:30pm - Veronica Mars panel with the creator and a whole bunch of the cast. I'm a HUGE VM fan. Love the show. (Oh, speaking of being a fanboy, I also stopped by Phil Foglio's booth/table. Wanted to introduce myself, but chickened out - and only bought his stuff. Wound up sending him a letter and a copy of GARGOYLES after I got back to L.A. We've since had a really nice e-mail exchange. Guess I was silly to be such a chicken.)
5pm - Back to SLG for more signings with Dave. Since at that point, we didn't know Will had gone to the beach, we were starting to worry about him.
7pm - Went to THE BATMAN panel. Wanted to know what THEY were giving away about the episodes I had written, so that I'd know what was fair game for me to talk about. I think there really taking some interesting chances with their fourth season, and I'm very proud of the episode "Artifacts" that I wrote for them. Also, I can now say that Brendan Routh (SUPERMAN) is appearing in another of my episodes: "The Everywhere Man". But he's NOT playing Superman.
7:30pm - Went to the Animation Writers Caucus party at a nearby hotel. Talked with Kevin, Kevin, Nicole, Jymn and others. (Yeah, I'm name dropping, but I'm only giving first names mostly, so you can try and make a game out of who's who.)
9pm - Dean, Brian, Andy, Erika, Andrew, Ian, Nicole and I headed out to attend the Jetix Party at a way-too-hip-for-me bar named Thin.
9:30pm - We arrived at Thin. But by this time, I had a headache, so I said hi to Jermaine and Tracy and then took off.
11:15pm - Returned to the Krisels'. Beth and the kids and the Krisels were already asleep.
2am - Went to bed.
3am - Fell asleep.
SUNDAY JULY 23, 2006
8am - Wake up.
8:30am - OJ and Rye toast. Said goodbye to the Krisels and my family. (The latter were going to swim some more and then head home.)
10:30am - Parked on the street up near Ash & First. Hit the floor to finish off the 4600-5300.
11am - Signing with Dave & Will.
1pm - Had Thai food with Joey Cavalieri of DC Comics. Pitched a few ideas to him. One of 'em may go. We'll see. But mostly Joey and I caught up. It'd been something like twenty years since we last saw each other.
3pm - Our last signing. All through the con, I think we had a nice steady flow of people coming up to buy books and get signatures and sketches. Felt good.
5pm - Departed the con.
8pm - Made it as far as Irvine and stopped off at Nicole's house for dinner.
10pm - Finally made it home. That's it!