Pros and Cons…
Maybe it’s because I’m still a fresh-faced young turk as these things go (heaven knows I’m happy to have an opportunity to apply the adjective “young” to myself in anything), but I have to admit I get a thrill out of sitting behind an exhibitor table. Dawn’s always nervous because she doesn’t feel worthy of rubbing elbows with much more established, professional neighbors. Me, I think our layout looks pretty darn sweet for a second outing, and the LBCC shows are low key so far, with little in the way of the tightly regulated lines and restricted access you’d experience in San Diego. I’m not a big fan of Jim Lee, but back at the October con there were times Jim Lee was surrounded by no more than a small handful of admirers, smiling and joking as he gave out autographs.
San Diego? If Jim Lee was having a signing there’d likely be a queue, and you’d maybe get to exchange one or two sentences before being asked to move along. Although to be fair, that’s mostly for the scheduled signings hosted by DC or Marvel or whoever. If you know where to look you might be able to catch them at their own booth or table and have some quality time. Heck, I’ve had friends who had random meetings with big pros in hotel bars.
At Long Beach, and especially at this one-day Expo we were at, you didn’t have to go looking. The floor space was small, but clean and adequate for the traffic. Mike Mignola (creator of Hellboy) and Stan Sakai (Usagi Yojimbo) were just two rows over from us. Right next to us was Brian Haberlin, showing off a whole stack of artwork from a huge graphic novel he’s been working on, called Anomaly. Looking at it upside down would have been an option from where I was sitting, but I decided to sneak out and around to the fanboy side of the tables so I could get the full effect. It was that gorgeous.
I should make special mention of Tim Bradstreet as well. I’ve loved his art ever since I first ran across it in the early editions of White Wolf’s Vampire: The Masquerade RPG, and since then he’s gone on to do very memorable images of The Punisher and John Constantine, two of my favorite characters in comics-dom. Tim was nice enough to do free sketches for myself and a friend, and besides that we talked long enough to bond over something as random as a computer game not many folk remember, called Myth: The Fallen Lords. Tim also has a very adorable tiny daughter who kept handing us sketches of her own, although I’m not quite sure what they were meant to represent.
Anyhow, it was also great to see all the folks we met in October once again (minus Amanda Conner who didn’t make it to this one), and talk to some new people as well, like Rebecca Hicks. Rebecca and her significant other have been in the webcomics business for many years now, but I was gratified that she seemed fascinated by at least the concept of Zombie Ranch (hah, wait until she reads it, then we’ll see…).
That’s enough self-deprecation out of me, though. Her own ongoing creation of the moment is called Little Vampires. There are also werewolves, frankensteins, and zombies involved, and if you desire some more light-hearted fare to pass the time, then click on over using that golden link above.