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Thursday, July 25, 2013

DO IT FOR MAMMA: Or, the kids go to Comic-Con and this is what happened.

I thought I might as well lead with the highlight of the week: Jade was in the can (AHEM, powder room) one night and basically this was going on in the next stall, except the woman was drunkenly yelling "DO IT FOR MAMMA!"

Next up: LOOK AT THIS GUY! The only dog cooler than this dog is the skateboarding dog. I don't recommend watching the Praying Pitbull videos though; doing so will make you like this dog less. Or feel sorry for her. Or maybe just feel bad about America and the current state of society as a whole.

Okay, on to actual comics things. Here's the quintessential booth shot. Looks pretty sharp, right?

Here's our very first customer of the show! She was very pleased to be holding Kitaro in her hands, and we were pleased to put it there. There was a lot of excitement about this book at the show—it was really nice to see so many Mizuki fans, and even nicer to see how excited they were. 

My boss Tom Shmevlin (he only searches for his own name in these things so he won't read this anyways) really only made one request for this blog post: No costumes. But man, look at this little guy! He was so so excited to get two free comics.

This lovely woman (whose name I did not grab because I'm a ding dong) is Pippi translator Tiina Nunnally's daughter! She was lovely and it was great to meet her. (Man, I hope I'm remembering this correctly, and it's her daughter and not her niece or something. SDCC is nuts. How am I supposed to remember anything? I'm just happy I made it out of there with most of my dignity.)

The thing about SDCC is that it's not so much about comics, which makes it fun in other ways. For example, each year we are right beside the Suicide Girls' booth. Here's Lisa grabbing some afternoon delight. There was a pretty naked ass on the other side of that curtain.

After a tough day at the convention centre and a quick shower beer (all I'm saying is that it's okay to drink a beer in the shower to save time and it is not a desperate alcoholic cry for help at all), we hit the town for a really nice dinner with some really nice people. L–R: Gilbert Hernandez, with his incredibly warm and charming wife, Carol, and equally lovely daughter Natalia hiding behind him, Peter Birkemoe of Toronto's The Beguiling, Noel Murray from the AV Club, Tom Spurgeon, Lisa Hanawalt, me, Jade, and Tom Gauld with a suspicious look on his face.

The next day was Friday, and this is when things really start to pick up at the con. These three very proud men—Martin Wong, Eric Nakamura, and Greg Wong—swung by the booth and struck a pose for us. Reggie 12, of course, was originally serialized in Giant Robot. I am almost certain that they consider publishing Reggie-12 their greatest achievement. I didn't ask but it makes sense.

One cool thing about SDCC is that we get to shake the hands of so many of the incredible retailers that work so hard to sell our books. Pictured above are two striking men (whose names I failed to grab, oof) from Dr. Comics and Mr. Games in North Oakland, CA.

Here's Jarrett Samson from Golden Age 1 looking not all that impressed, which is odd because he's holding a really awesome book—Matt Forsythe's Jinchalo.

And here's Raymond Duran from A Shop Called Quest in Redlands, California, very proudly holding his sparkling new copy of Optic Nerve 13!

And lastly, here's Griffin Kale from Acme Comics in Greensboro, NC, holding his paperback edition of Paying For It.

I'm told programming at SDCC this year was strong. Being stuck behind the booth for 10 hours a day makes it hard for me to back up this statement, but I did make it to the Humor in Comics panel with Jeffrey Brown, Tom Gauld, Lisa Hanawalt, and Ellen Forney. On the way up to the panel Lisa and Tom mentioned that humor panels are hard because everyone expects them to go up there and be funny, and that's hard to pull off. But, you guys, they were funny! And smart, and modest, and just generally entertaining.

And here's Tom again at his spotlight panel this time, telling everyone how to make very very good comics. 

Later on that night was the Eisner Awards. This year Tom Spurgeon won for best comics reportage, which he is certainly deserving of. Congrats, Tom, you handsome devil.

And then things got super weird. John Barrowman offered to strip and then Jonathan Ross tried to get Neil Gaiman to make out with him and then Jonathan kissed John and then later on Chip Kidd made out with Neil Gaiman but I was too busy OMGing to take a photo and there was also a lot of talk about flesh, human flesh, and touching it. After all this kissing happened I was pretty H & B'ed and got super excited when Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer was presenting in a category that our dearest Michael DeForge was nominated in and if Michael had won, yours truly was gonna get in on all that kissing action when she went up there to accept for him. Too bad Michael wasn't a harder worker or we both could have been winners that night.

The next day was Saturday—or, the masquerade contest day. I know what you're thinking: Isn't everyday at SDCC a masquerade? Well, yes. But things get extra weird on the Saturday. Vera Brosgol's hubby, Jeremy Spake, had the very best costume of the whole show: Ryan Gosling from Lisa's Drive review. He didn't have 246 toothpicks in there, but I'm not faulting him for it.

Look, I'm trying really hard to honor Tom's no-costume request, but this elf guy looked so much like Ryan Gosling and this woman is wearing a cape and there's not much else to say I guess.

Is anyone still reading this? I dunno, but this horse costume was awesome and I wanted to ride it.

Lisa signed a gazillion books, and each was awesome and hilarious, but this may have been the best. The lucky owner is Michael Morris from Chronicle books, wearing what was the best Princess Leia costume of the con.

It would appear we didn't get a single photo of Matt Forsythe or his eyebrows, but he/they was/were there, I swear. He/they live(s) in LA now, working on Adventure Time as the lead designer (impressive, right?), so he/they came down for the weekend and we had a lot of fun with him/them and we miss him/them terribly already.

Look: At this point it was nearing the end of a very long day, and when I spotted a very tall wrestler across the aisle picking up two tiny tiny women in bikinis and juggling them, I naturally said to Lisa, "Think he can pick us up?"

And then he was too proud to say no so he did it and he was shaking but unless his hand was wrapped around your ass you couldn't tell.

There are a few pictures of Tom Gauld signing in here that have more interesting things going on, but I couldn't bear to cut this one. Just look at that handsome mug!

And here's Gilbert Hernandez signing at the booth. Please note the wide contrast of art he has for sale.

It was really nice to have so much time to spend with Lisa, pictured here in her now-famous BOOB SHIRT. God I want a boob shirt. I'd also like to take this time to note that I made Lisa laugh a few times and it did wonders for my self-confidence.

And look at this adorable little thing! Peter complimented her on her haircut and told her she looked just like Anna from Anna & Froga (I think this was his sales pitch) but she only had eyes for cats and robots.

As promised, here's another shot of Tom, this time with Matt Groening, who is a huge fan of Tom's and was really excited to meet him.

And here are some Suicide Girls reading Adrian Tomine's Optic Nerve 13 and loving every minute of it. Not posed at all, I swear. Also, when did Suicide Girls stop wearing black?

You know what's great about (first time Comic-Con attendee) Jade? She gets really, really excited about things, and that pure joy has a tendency to rub off on people. Here she is with Hulia Iglesias hugging the life outta Snoopy.

And that's all, Internet! Here's Jade and me at 5am at the airport in Washington waiting for our connecting flight to Montreal. We were all a mess and our feet were so swollen that our shoes barely fit on our dainty little feet.

Thanks to everyone at Comic-Con for putting on such a good show. And thank you to everyone that came out and had such nice things to say about our artists. Hearing it makes my dainty little heart swell like feet.


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