Monday, July 27, 2009

San Diego... Part One!

Back from the big Comicon funny book show last night. In fact, at the time I walked through my door, the show was still happening. I arrived in San Diego Thursday evening and left Sunday morning, so I really only had two days at the actual show. Really, that was plenty. My days of wandering the floor and checking out panels are in the past. I'm there to sign a few books, see my publishers and movie guys, and enjoy time with friends I don't see enough.

I decided several years ago that too much time on the con floor made me... um, cranky. You'd call it cranky when you want to rip the liver out of every lousy, stinky motherfucker that looks at you, right? I would. So, although I think I could make a little money at the show, doing so would require me to spend more. I doubt it could ever be much more than a break even affair for me. Thus, I decided to do the show with different goals in mind. I go to do the stuff I mentioned above. I go to network and spend time with folks that are important to my career, and to my life.

I told many friends at the show that the key to a successful Comicon were modest goals. My goals were just that, and I knocked them out of the park. The highlights:

Arrived at about 5:30 San Diego time. Just time to check in, walk to Ralph's (nearby grocery) to buy a bottle of Jack (you can't carry on flasks with booze in them, you know), and then head out to a dinner with the Oni Press and Closed on Monday folks. Oni publishes my graphic novels, and Closed on Mondays reps my stuff to Hollywood. They do a dinner at a nice Thai place every year. Had a few drinks (quite a few) and some good food, along with great chat. I am genuinely fond of the people I work with, and the entire stable of fellow writers and artists. Always nice to hang out with the crew.

After dinner, it was off to the Archaia/Days Missing party. It was great, too. The party was on the roof of a club. The weather was fantastic... cool and slightly breezy by about 10:30. I grabbed another free drink and hooked up with several friends... Andy Kuhn, Rob Levin, Alex Grecian, Jai Nitz, and others. We hung out by an open fireplace... very nice. I may have consumed a found drink. If so, it appeared to be untouched. That's all I'm sayin'.

Then, with my newly-found roommate and best pal Phil Hester, it was off to the madness of the Hyatt bar scene. If you've never been, the Hyatt lobby is enormous, spanning the hotel's two towers. At each end is a bar, and people go back and forth or hang outside, consuming the drinks they clawed through ridiculous crowds to purchase. Saw more folks... kind of becoming a blur. I know I went upstairs for a drink, meeting up with my friend Angela and some other podcasting folks.

At about 2am, Hester and I strolled back to Ralph's for a snack. Luckily, the store security and manager had no problem with my open Jack and Coke. I charmed the hell out of the manager. Security was just lazy. Anyway, Phil and I grabbed some food and wolfed while walking back to the room. I had a dry chicken wrap. Phil had a sandwich and some cake. We have different vices.

Friday was an early dip in the unbelievable Marriott pool, followed by an early signing at Oni, and a meeting with the publisher and the movie guys. Got the word on the various Hollywood projects, and heard some very nice things about the newly-completed Ciudad script. Everyone seems to dig it... very rewarding, even if they are biased. Nice to see Chris and Laura Samnee, Brian Hurtt, and Cullen Bunn at the Oni booth.

After the Oni thing, it really hit me that I had not eaten since Ralph's the night before. I managed to convince Andy Kuhn to join me at the Tin Fish, a great fried fish dive across the street from the con. Tried to invite Alex Grecian, but he gave me the high hat by turning off his phone. Fuck 'im. Had a great meal at the Fish... the fried sampler appetizer. Also, stole Andy's slaw and threw some Jack from my flask into my Diet Coke. Pretty sweet, all around.

Got back to the Marriott and gave my pay Mitch Brian a call. He's a KC screenwriter guy, but I don't see him often enough. Also, we may collaborate on one of the projects I pitched to Oni as the possible "next project". It was Mitch's first Comicon, so I bought him a cherry-popping celebratory margarita, and we talked about writer stuff and golf. Then, I hit the show again, but not for too long. Did I mention that place wears me out?

Friday night was a comedy show with Jason Aaron, featuring acquaintance and fellow comic geek Brian Posehn. I love hanging with Jason, and the show was a lot of fun. The venue, the Balboa Theater, is a grand old place. The show also featured Patton Oswald and Doug Benson. Lots of laughs, and a great way to break up the Comicon experience.

That's a wrap for part one of my Comicon report. Part two tomorrow!

Anj

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