Saturday, July 29, 2006
Back to Reality
After a long trip and much needed decompressing, we're back in NYC, doing what we do best: that is wasting time in cyber space. San Diego was big, exhausting and magical in many ways, first of all: the book looks beautiful, you have to understand, I hadn't seen the final product until I arrived at the convention floor. What?! you thought I was joking? Nicole printed this book in less than 4 days and my friend Kandrix smuggled the first batch 'cross the border into US soil just in time for the Comic Con, I've never doubted Nicole's ability to deliver the goods, the pics she sent me are great but seeing the book in person totally blew me away, it looks and feels Fan Fuckin' Tastic!
I will put up an ordering page for those of you who have expressed interest in acquiring "Pistolas"
We sold out on the books we put together for the show, at one point we started to assemble a bunch of unbound copies I received late Saturday from Canada right on the spot to meet the demand, phew! that was fun!!
There's just sooooo many people I need to thank for making this trip a huge success for us. As always, my heart-felt thanks to my friends Kandrix and Laurie for all the help, setting up our shop at the con and for all their efforts in making "Pistolas" a reality.
My best buddy, Stephen Silver, we slept in his castle and drank from his silver cup. Stephen and his lovely wife are such great hosts. Andrew Wilson in San Diego for his hospitality and attention.
The list goes on and on and I will continue typing tomorrow, there's just so much to tell you, I don't know where to start. I go get me some sleep now.
. . . . . .To be continued.
. . .Yeah, that felt good! Like I was sayin', we had a great time at the show, sharing a booth with our friends Takeshi Miyazawa who draws the Marvel Comics hit "Spiderman Loves MariJuana" and Kandrix & Laurie B. who produce "A Monk's Tale", a superb independent comic which should not be confused with "A Monkey's Tail"
From the Top: Yours B. Truly looking frazzled, Takeshi sketching for a fan as Kandrix staples his fingers, cob salad and a few remaining 'Pistolas", among other goodies, Takeshi and Megan listening to Y.B. Truly's rendition of 'I will Survive', drawing is a serious business :), good friends, good times!
(last 4 pics courtesy of John Burchfield & Manucha)
The San Diego Experience: One Day At A Time
We arrived at LAX on Tuesday morning, 2 of our bags never made the trip, we jumped into a rental and took off to San Diego, we met with our canadian friends, registered and set up at the convention that same afternoon and spent the rest of day on the phone with airline personnel attempting unsuccessfully to locate the missing luggage, towards the end of the day the airline finally found the lost pieces and shipped them to where we were staying.
Wednesday was "preview night" (from 6 to 9PM) which is really not open to the general public, nonetheless, the convention floor was packed, we sold a lot of books, which was surprising to me because we've never sold much on past preview nights, this was a prelude to the madness about to unfold. On that same evening, "Megan The Pagan" and this humble servant drove to Carlsbad Village to have dinner at Koko's on Pacific Coast Highway, I highly recommend this steak house, excellent food and surprisingly low prices, right across from the beach, open until midnight. Unfortunately the evening was not perfect; on our way to Koko's our rental was violently egged by a group of social misfits hiding in the warm shadows of the Southern California night.
Thursday was a good day, it started slow but it picked up towards the end. We had dinner at the "Whiskey Girl" courtesy of our good friend Paul Davis, Paul insisted on paying for the meal and who am I to say no to free food?
I had locked my keys inside our vehicle and called Avis to help us, I was very impressed with the service, they dispatched a local tow truck and we were good to go in no time.
After the Con ended on Friday, the booth crew (which by now had enlisted Art Thibert, Chris Chua, Cody Baker, John Giang among others) headed towards the Bayside area to a trendy, tourist-friendly restaurant called Anthony's Grotto, we waited to be seated for what it seemed like an eternity, I hate these trendy places and avoid them like the plague. You see, the convention is brutal, at the end of the day you're exhausted, hungry and in no mood to wait 2 hours to eat, this time however I went along with the choice made by my friends; big mistake! I can't speak for the others but as far as i was concerned all we ended up with was an overrated and disappointing meal; super expensive, meager portions and bland food, what a waste of time and money!, the food was so bad, our waiter recommended another restaurant.
Call me low-class if you will but I would have gone to "In-and-Out" burgers instead and had a better dining experience. Next year I'll go back to that lovely persian restaurant in the "Gas Lamp" district, I just forgot the name, write me an email if you know what I'm talking about.
Saturday was an extraordinary day, financially we had the best day ever at any convention by far, we virtually sold out on "Pistolas". We had dinner with the equivalent of a rock supergroup: Bernard Chang, J.P. Leon, Sean Chen, and a fellow convention warrior I met a couple of years ago named Tommy Lee Edwards, we got our fingers dirty at the Texas style BBQ eatery located next to the Embassy Hotel on Harbor Blvd., John Paul insisted on paying for the meal and who am I to say no to free food?
That very same night we headed over to the Marriott Hotel for the 4th annual sketching session, this is a tradition started by us "Drawing Board" members back in 2003; dozens and dozens of artists take over the lobby of the hotel, mingling, drinking and drawing on other people's sketchbooks, it truly is a sight to behold. It's also a chance to meet old friends and make new ones, the convention has gotten so big that is nearly impossible to get to see everyone you came there to see, the Marriott sessions bring us all together for one very magical night. I must have drawn at least 2o sketches before the night was done and drank just as many Coronas. Good times!
Sunday was pretty hectic but bittersweet because I knew the end was near. We had had such an amazing con, I didn't want it to end. I locked the keys in the car again, inside the trunk; however, I did not call Avis this time, I jammed a wooded wedge in the door frame and pop the automatic lock open with a heavy wire I found near the railroad yard. McGiver has nothing on me :)
The Bitter End
We spent a few days driving around the LA area, visiting friends at the various animation and design studios, comic book stores, etc. One of such places was Design Studio Press in Culver City, it was a real treat to chat about art and business with the studio founder, Scott Robertson, thank you, Scott for all the gifts and for the insightful and priceless information.
We also visited Stephen Silver at Nickelodeon, who was kind enough to give us a tour of the entire studio.
A shout out to my boy Jonathan Chan at Image Comics, Manucha & Catalina; thanks for being so kind to my daughter and for all the attention and assistance, Paul Davis, Jana Cook, Angelo, Theo "The Red Sox Fan", "Red Rooster' and his entire family; thanks for the shirts, guys!!, Sean Owolo, the super talented Jo Chen, Jason Pearson, Cully hamner, the gorgeous Elisabeth Brizzi, Jose Lopez, Patrick Morgan, Rob & Sue, Ed Reynolds, the beautiful Ratna "My Love", Steve Kim, Wade & Patricia, Stephane Kardos, John Burchfield, the lovely Caroline Stewart at Bud Plant; thanks for the help, Amy & Stuart Ng, Justin, Craig, Fabian & Scott at the Design Studio Press booth and last but not least, to all the kind people who stopped by our booth and bought our products or just said hello. I'll see you next year!
Edit: I almost forgot to give a hearty holla to my good friend Sean Jackson at "Comics factory" in Pasadena (1298 E. Colorado Blvd.) I dropped a ton of books there, so if you live in the area and haven't bought any of my books yet because you hate using your credit card, head over there and purchase some, George, Sean and the rest of the crew will take good care of you.
The same goes for Paul Grimshaw at "House of Secrets" in Burbank (1930 W. Olive) I've dealt with Paul and Eric now for a few years and I can tell you with certainty, you won't find nicer people to do business with and call friends at the same time, they were the first shop in the entire state of California to take a chance on my books.