Chicago Comic-Con ‘09 | Friday
7:30 am – Breakfast with Jess at the Embassy’s free buffet. Talked over some plans for a comic we want to do about a jungle girl who gets captured by pirates and has to fight intelligent, evil sharks. Great conversation and the sausage was pretty good too.
10:00 am – The show officially opens for the day. I check back on my press pass and though my printed name tag still hasn’t arrived, the woman offers me a wrist-band that’ll identify me as press and get me into the show. She’s just as nice and helpful as the woman from yesterday and says that I can check back on my badge later.
On the way into the exhibition hall I’m offered a flyer explaining that Michelle Rodriguez and Rhona Mitra will only be signing 750 autographs each and that you really should buy a $45 ticket to make sure you get one.
A few steps later and I’m passing a booth that will take your picture and PhotoShop Hayden Pantierre into it. I’m curious how much they charge for that, but I’m afraid to hear the answer.
10:30 am – I check out about half of Artist Alley. It’s pretty busy back here this morning. J. Scott Campbell’s got a huge line and the creators of Tiny Titans also have a good crowd around their table, but it’s not just that. There’s a lot of activity in general.
I discover a comic called Cy-Boar. It’s about exactly what you think it is, which is awesome. I grab a business card so I can check out the website later.
Talked to Jeremy Bastian and bought the first two issues of Cursed Pirate Girl and a cool button. I’ve been looking forward to reading this for a while.
I also learned an important lesson about myself. I thought I was pretty well inoculated against being offended by art, but that was before I saw Wil Woods’ Vietnam Memorial/Star Wars mash-up. I may be overly sensitive due to my general mood about the convention as a whole, but I’m guessing that this would’ve offended me anyway.
11:00 am – Back in the main exhibition area I run into writer RD Hall (Heroes graphic novel) at the Crimespree booth. We catch up a little and make plans for dinner later.
Next I zip over to the Ape booth to talk to Steve Bryant (Athena Voltaire) and pick up some collections I still need. I grab Athena Voltaire: Flight of the Falcon, Femme Noir: The Dark City Diaries, and The Black Coat: A Call to Arms. Publisher Brent Erwin is also giving away copies of Cartoona Palooza #2, Ape’s latest Free Comic Book Day issue. I didn’t get that last FCBD, so I’m grateful for it.
On my way out of the hall I see a guy in a C2E2 shirt. That’s so frickin cool.
11:30 am – Head over to Gibson’s Steak House for lunch with a friend who lives in the area. It’s raining out, but the restaurant is right across the street from the convention center, so I’m okay. As I walk over though, I’m offended again; this time by someone’s using the flag prop from their costume as an umbrella. I found out later when I showed this picture to a friend that the woman’s dressed as Sarah Palin, information that I present to you without comment.
At Gibson’s, my friend is running late because the rain’s slowing down the Chicago traffic, so I read most of Cartoona Palooza. I love Ape’s stuff anyway and this reinforces why. Every tale in the book is a complete story and makes me want to read more just like it. There’s a fun GI Joe/Transformers-style piece written by Erwin himself, another fun one about the team of talking super-animals who protect Jungle City, a sweet White Picket Fences one about an empty-lot baseball game and the aliens who secretly observe it, and a cool Femme Noir riff on the Bela Lugosi movie The Devil Bat. I’m partway through Steve Bryant’s story featuring his new Ursula Wilde character when my buddy arrives. I’ll have to wait till later to see if Ursula and her friends defeat the green slime monster.
2:00 pm – Back from lunch. Check in at the press registration booth and pick up my badge. I’m official!
3:00 pm – Go to the Crimespree panel and it does its job nicely. Not only do I gain some insight into the panelists’ creative process, but I’m now also more interested in Scalped and the new Vertigo Crime imprint. CBR’s full report is here.
4:00 pm – Booth-sitting for Grant so he can tell Edward James Olmos how much he loooooves him.
4:20 pm – Mike Holman from Jackass just bought a copy of Wolves of Odin. Very nice guy.
5:45 pm – Is it terribly self-serving to mention that someone just noticed Robot 6 printed on my badge and stopped to shake my hand and let me know how much he likes the blog? Probably, but it was a nice interaction and I want to make sure to capture the positive aspects of the convention as well as my gripes. The programming might not be so awesome, but the people – both fans and creators – are amazing and despite my grumbling I’m having a great time visiting with and getting to know them.
6:30 pm – Grant’s back and I’m off to dinner with RD and his wife at the Hyatt. RD gives me a copy of Marcus Sakey’s Good People. Sakey was on the Crimespree panel and I loved what he had to add to the conversation about writing realistic villains. Looking forward to checking out his novel.
9:00 pm – Back at the hotel after a very nice dinner. May go out again later once I get this post ready to go. Gettin kinda sleepy though, so we’ll see…
Howsabout let’s finish with some costumes from the day?