Friday night now, and...
Then, it was off to the big Oni/UTA/EA party. It was amazing. The party was held at the top floor of the ballpark that hosts the Padres. The night air was great, as were the drinks, the company, and the whole damn vibe of the night. Had a great time with Chuck BB, Jamie Rich, Chris Mitten and his girlfriend Michelle, the Oni folks, and many others. High points included humiliating myself by hovering around that new Spock dude, waiting to take his picture with Michelle, and telling my legendary M&M story (with photo, of course).
Speaking of photos, here's me with Chris Mitten and the lovely Michelle.
And, here's the same photo, with drunk-detector turned on. This is about how I felt at the moment.
After the party, it was back to the Hyatt. Saw my pal and former editor Aubrey Sitterson there, among others. Spoke to Colleen Coover briefly. but missed her man Paul Tobin. I partied pretty hard again, getting to bed at close to 3. I had not really had dinner, so I crashed equal parts hungry and tired. The next morning would take care of that, as I had a big breakfast scheduled with Hester, Ron Marz and Dan Jurgens.
First thing after the awesome breakfast Saturday morning was another signing at Oni. More good folks, including the lovely Pat Loika this time. Also saw my buddy and Ciudad collaborator Joe Russo. Then, I hit the con floor a little bit. Saw my pal Matt Wagner. The far end of the show wore me out in a fucking hurry. It was literally hard to move in some spots. Gah!
By the way... you know what is really the opposite of awesome? You're in a super-packed aisle, trying to squeeze through the sweaty masses when someone decides the need a picture of the dork in the Transformers costume walking in front of you. So, we all have to just freeze, out of some misplaced courtesy reflex, while this douche gets his photo taken. Bleccch!
Anyway, I got out of there in pretty short order. First was a meeting with my pal (and wonderful artist) Matt Haley. We had a drink at my hotel, the Marriott right next door to the show. Then, I ran up to the room, inked a sketch and took a nap. Back to the show briefly, as I really flirted with buying a really nice architectural drawing from '40s Miami. It was a gorgeous piece, but I couldn't afford it, so I settled for a crappy phone picture instead.
I guess it was the responsible decision. Then, time to get ready for dinner. Phil and I hooked up with Jon Lewis, Ron Marz, and many of the Top Cow folks for an amazing meal at El Vitral. Marz found this place and ate their three times during the show. I don't blame him. Gourmet Mexican. A meal to remember, for sure. The meal started with a remarkable cocktail... something with rum and cilantro. It tasted like an earthy, boozy milkshake.
After dinner, we stopped back at our room so I could pour myself a stiff Jack and Coke in a plastic cup (did I mention the lines at the Hyatt bars?) and stuff the flask in my pocket. At the Hyatt, I hung with Dave Gibbons (very briefly), John Layman, Hillary Barta, Seth Jones, and several of the usual suspects.
Hit the room, and the bed, after 2 sometime. Didn't sleep real well, and Sunday morning seemed too much like a morning. I was, finally, shot. Flying out early Sunday turned out to be totally the right choice. As I said above, I was home before the show ended, which was great by me. God, it was nice to be home and with the family. I brought everyone See's candy. Consumables are good. There's enough bullshit in our house without Comicon silliness adding to the chaos.
This year was probably the best time I've had at Comicon. A combination of my previously-mentioned modest goals and my newly-acquired writer comfort zone. It felt so good to go to the "big show" as a writer. It felt so good to talk to people about writing way more than inking. It felt good to talk to my Oni editor (the fantastic James Lucas Jones) with a clear conscience, with one book in the can and more on the way. And, of course, it's cool to go to the show with a light schedule and a peaceful frame of mind.