Comic-Con recap as I try to remember everything that happened this year before it all fades away:
*Caught up with Viz Media's Urian Brown while we waited to catch our plane to San Diego on Wednesday afternoon. That's always a good way to start the week.
*Saw Raina Telgemeier and Dave Roman almost immediately, for about the fiftieth time in the past two weeks. But if you're going to run into people over and over and over again, they're pretty high on my list.
*Thursday through Sunday I ran the Cartoon Art Museum's booth at the convention with Seamus Smith, Kraig Rasmussen, Nina Taylor Kester, and Suman Rizvi, with far too many artists to list or tag here. I'll give a special mention, though, to Sinclair Klugarsh, who may have put in more hours at the booth than I did this weekend. The guy's a machine.
*Highlight of the convention Thursday was meeting Samantha Newark, the voice actress behind Jem/Jerrica Benton, one of my big childhood crushes. I managed to be cool and professional, throughout, I think, since she's still on board with letting me interview her for my forthcoming eighties animation book.
*At Thursday night's Andrews-McMeel Happy Hour, I caught up with editor supreme Shena Wolf, chatted with Dana Simpson Brodbeck (whom Shaenon K. Garrity and I had recently seen at the ALA Conference in San Francisco), talked to Tom Racine himself, plus I met Francesco Marciuliano for the first time, after being a longtime admirer of his work (check out Medium Large if you haven't yet. You won't regret it).
*First panel of the weekend was Modern Comic Strips with Lalo Alcaraz, Hilary Price, and Jen Sorensen. It was a fun talk, and they seem to all still be speaking to me, so I guess I managed not to permanently traumatize anyone. I'll have to try harder next time. Kristin Gottschalk was in the audience to make sure we all behaved ourselves.
*Also in the audience were Michele Ivey and Tokka Oroku, who surprised me with a custom TMNT action figure at the end of my panel. They were there at least in part because the talk immediately after ours was a big TMNT toy panel, but it was cool to have some Turtle Power in the audience.
*Caught up with Tom Galloway and went to the Eisners on Friday night, and it was a really fun ceremony. Lots of great comics won awards, and it was a really comics-positive night. I'm kind of hoping that Michael Davis gets tapped to present at every single awards show ever.
*Extra-special highlights were seeing Don McGregor win the Bill Finger Award, Raina Telgemeier collecting a trophy for Sisters, Gene Luen Yang's writing on Avatar and The Shadow Hero earning an Eisner, and the great Richard Thompson winning for The Complete Cul de Sac, a book that belongs in every house in the world.
*Moderated a fun panel about writer/artist collaborations with Steve Lieber, Kelly Sue DeConnick, the Tamaki cousins, Asaf Hanuka and Boaz Lavie. Fun group, and we could have talked another hour beyond our allotted time.
*Same goes for my Kids' Comics panel with Art Baltazar and Franco, Dave and Raina, Skottie Young, and Katie Cook. Before that got started, Eddie Ibrahim of the Comic-Con International crew asked me if he could make an announcement. I figured someone on the panel was probably going to receive an Inkpot Award, since that's usually the reason that Comic-Con makes a pre-panel announcement, but it didn't occur to me that they'd be giving it to me. That's a very, very cool thing, and I want to thank Eddie, Fae Desmond, David Glanzer, Jackie Estrada, Gary Sassaman, Tommy Goldbach, Justin Dutta, Sam Wallace, and all of the other fine folks at Comic-Con that I've worked with over the years for saying, "what could possibly go wrong?" and deciding to give me an Inkpot. It means a lot to me, and I've got it prominently displayed on my mantel already.
*Caught up with Fantagraphics Books Inc. editor extraordinaire Kristy Valenti for dinner on Saturday night, and as always, we ended up sitting around the kitchen table eating cheesecake and talking about relationships. I think we were about three beers away from convincing Jaime Hernandez to draw our Golden Girls fanfic, but maybe that's just wishful thinking.
*I met Cece Bell on Sunday, and can't recommend her Eisner-winning graphic novel El Deafo highly enough. It's the type of book that should have existed decades ago and been on every school library's bookshelf, but I'm glad it's around now and will be read by kids and grownups for years to come.
*Had a booksigning at the Insight Editions booth on Sunday afternoon, and it was nice catching up with their crew. Not the wall-to-wall craziness of last year when my TMNT book had just been released and I got to do a signing with Kevin B. Eastman, but fun all the same.
*My big fun project at the show was getting people to add sketches to my Robin's first birthday sketchbook, which was a great way to catch up with friends as they drew cool pictures for Robin (of robins or Robins). In addition to getting all of the kids' comics panelists to add to the book, I managed to get some really nice drawings from Stan Sakai, Steve Purcell, Ronnie del Carmen, Jen Wang, Lea Seidman Hernandez, Debbie Huey, Benjamin Seto and Mick Gray. Looking forward to handing that over to Robin when he's past the ripping-and-eating paper stage.
*By Sunday afternoon, I was BEAT, so I left the convention center about an hour earlier than I'd planned so that I could get some fresh air and enjoy the scenery before heading off to the airport. Flight back was quick and uneventful, and it was great to be back home with Shaenon and Robin.
*And I'm already looking forward to doing it all again next year.