The Really Late Comicon Recap

In tribute to Will Eisner, I’ll post up my Comic Convention recap, that I’ve been too lazy to post up. Sure, it was in August, and sure, Will wasn’t there, but I’ve gotta post this baby up sometime - it might as well be today.

Truthfully, this wasn’t the best con I’ve been to. Not because it was a bad convention, it was just because there was so much going on around the time of the convention that I couldn’t fully enjoy all my time there. This was the first time in a long time that I hadn’t gone to the Friday of the convention. I spent the rest of the weekend trying to play catch up, which isn’t easy, since I was so used to just taking my time, talking to people, getting sketches, going to panels and such. I didn’t even really get a chance to check out all of the shops in the back. Nonetheless, I still had fun. I got some great sketches, and saw some familiar friendly faces and some new friends.

Without further adieu, here’s my highlights:

- Amber Benson, who played Tara in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, was one of the guests of the ‘con. She’s much prettier in person, and seemed friendly and easy going with the fans that lined up to meet her. Didn’t have the patience to wait in line. However, I was in the bathroom at the same time with her, while the infamous Wizard security guy waited for her outside. Had a little eye contact and we smiled. That’s about it. Oh, and she washed her hands. That is something important to know. Because if she didn’t, well, eew.

- I got to meet Greg Horn, whose art I adore. I was a little bit intimidated when I met him - I don’t know what I expected, but he was just a regular guy. When I went up to talk to him, there was a woman who worked at the booth with him. She whispered something to him as I was talking with him, and he said, “Didn’t you work at the Aspen booth last year?” I was a little bit stunned. I didn’t really think that anyone would recognize me with the glasses, haircut and blonde highlights. I said that it was me, and he said I had looked familiar to him, and the woman was the one who had recognized me from last year. I didn’t even KNOW Greg was at the ‘con last year. I would definitely have gone to meet him! Anyway, it was pretty cool (yet pretty weird) that he remembered me.

- I owe Sean Chen $10. A lot of the artists were charging for sketches, so as much as I could, I tried to stick to those artists that were free. However, Sean Chen was the very first artist that I asked to do a sketch for me, back when he was doing Wolverine for Marvel. At the time, it was a free sketch. Since he was on his own in Artists Alley, he was charging for sketches. It was $15 for a head sketch and $30 for full body. I asked him to do a head sketch of Psylocke for me, and he was pretty busy and asked that I come back on Sunday morning. I came back Sunday morning, and he already had a couple names in his list. But he assured me that since I came the day before that he would do a sketch for me, so I left him with my book, and he said to come back in an hour. So I wandered around for a bit, after the hour was done, I came back and he had already began my sketch. It was turning out really awesome and I was really impressed. We chatted a bit (tried not to disturb him too much while he was sketching) and he was really cool. He put a lot of work into it, and I appreciated that he took the time - even though I was paying for it. Anyway, he finished up the sketch and showed me the finished product and I praised it and thanked him. Since I loved it so much, I decided to give him $20 instead of the $15 for the head shot. Gotta help the guy make a living. I handed him the money, and he gave me a smile, then a weird quizzical look. I walked away beaming and happy with my new sketch. Later on, after REALLY looking at my sketch I realized that Psylocke had legs. Which I noticed before, but I didn’t realize my error. Sean did a body sketch for me, and I only paid him $20. And the idiot that I am was beaming and proud of myself for giving him a little extra - which actually wasn’t! So yeah. Somehow I’ll get him the money I own him…it’s only fair!

- I DID see Jason Mewes again, but I was stuck in a huge crowd of people and he looked especially shaggy and slightly bearded, and it just was too weird. That, and I didn’t have anything for him to sign. I was stuck in a mob of people at the View Askew booth who were trying to get him and Kevin Smith to sign things, each of them going up to fans and taking pics, signing autographs, etc. I did, however, get to meet Kevin, and since I didn’t have anything for him to sign, I did the dorkiest thing ever. I looked him in the eye and said to him, “I don’t have anything to sign, but I just wanted to shake your hand and say that I really love your stuff!” Am I a loser or what? He looked me in the eyes, took my hand in both of his hands and shook hands with me, and said slowly and sincerely, “Thanks.” Which was really cool, unless he was speaking really slowly because I thought I was mentally challenged for coming up with a stupid line like that.

- There were a couple people that weren’t there that I really missed, who I’ve seen at cons before and have always been cool and friendly. Mike Wellman, also known as “The Chief”, who headed Mac Afro and Gone South, who is one of the first creators that I got to know and hang out with. Mark Brooks (who is finding this entry on google as we speak) who did an awesome Psylocke for me last year and who has one of coolest cats I’ve met at a ‘con. Ale Garza, who calls Psylocke ‘that hot Asian chick’ (then again, who doesn’t?). And Talent Caldwell, who loves comics so much he can talk forever about them - I hope he gets to do his dream comic someday - the X-Men, and who has done one of my favorite Psylocke sketches (and didn’t need to look at the other sketches for reference). He’s a sweetheart and I hope I see him at a ‘con again! I’ll even bribe him with potstickers if I have to!

- One of the people I was sad that I wasn’t going to see in Chicago was Tone Rodriguez. He gives the best hugs. He likes to call us his little Asian threesome (or twosome, when Mel isn’t around). We saw him at the LA ‘con and he said he was tired of traveling, so he wasn’t going to any more cons. So me and Fatima were surprised when we were walking around the ‘con and heard on the loudspeakers, “Tone Rodriguez, artist for Alien vs. Predator is doing free sketches at the booth - ticket holders only!” As soon as we heard that, we wandered around looking for the booth he was sketching at. We finally found it, and saw a huge line wrapping around, waiting for a sketch. Of course, we didn’t have tickets. So we stood on the side, just watching, hoping that maybe he’d see us. When he did, he invited us over to hang for a bit while he sketched, gave us a big hug and asked why we didn’t stop by sooner, to which we said he wasn’t even in the program, so we had no idea he was there.

- Since we were in a hurry most of the time, I didn’t get a chance to hang out at the Aspen booth as much as other times, and only got a chance to stop by the booth for the first time late Saturday afternoon, and was reprimanded by Peter for waiting so long. Said hello to the rest of the gang, and saw that one of our buddies from last year was working the booth again. We stopped by again later that day (we had to run to a panel so we didn’t get to stay) and learned from Liz that she was leaving the company and moving to Italy. We were so sad to find this out, and we all got a little emotional with Liz. She’s such an awesome person, kind of like our den mother, making sure we’re okay, taking care of us, and just being really cool. It’ll be sad to see her go! But she said that she’d be around at some of the cons, so I hope that we get to see her again sometime soon! On Sunday we went to the Aspen panel, and Peter was the MC. I had a little cold going on that weekend, so I was coughing a bit, and Peter announced, “Hey you, Feliciano, keep it down! Or if you’re going to cough, make sure it’s a hearty cough! If not, get some water in the back!” I wanted to shrink. But more than that, I was surprised that Peter knew my last name…even if it IS my maiden name now. He poked fun at me a couple other times. And then later, some people I had met on message boards came up to me because they figured out who I was. Which was pretty cool, because I would have had no idea who was who! Later on that day, we hung out at the booth a bit more and took pics.

- Got another Psylocke sketch from Sean Galloway, which makes my total 3 sketches now. He’s a cool cat, super friendly and very chatty. Just the kinda guy that keeps fans coming back again and again. Like me!

- I got my first ever caricature done, and I felt like a moron sitting there as people were walking by, while the artist drew my picture as Psylocke. The sketch looks cute, yet nothing like me, but Fatima said the artist was HOT. I wouldn’t know. I didn’t have my glasses on at the time.

- At the Marvel panel, a bunch of the fans from Brian Michael Bendis’ message board planned a surprise birthday cake presentation. Joe Quesada (i still say his name with some distaste, but not as much because of this) went along with the plan, and Bendis was pleasantly surprised when they brought out the cake and candles, and got the whole panel to sing Happy Birthday. I just missed out on getting some cake. That’s what I get for being so shy. Another great thing about the panel - one of the writers, when asked if Psylocke was ever coming back (she was killed off. Twice.) returned the question to the audience, “Do you guys want her back?” I whooped and cheered like a moron. If I had a foghorn I would have used that, too. So then he said maybe, maybe they’ll try and fit her in. Yay!

- After years of seeing Kabuki artist David Mack at the convention, I finally introduced myself to him. He remembered my secret name from a messageboard (Yano, yeah, big secret name, I know) and he was SO nice. I don’t know why I was scared to talk to him before. He was so cool that he hooked me, Fatima and Melanie with a bunch of his books and gave us a great deal on his art. He is genuinely a great guy, so if you ever see him at a ‘con, say hello to him. Maybe he’ll even dance for you. He didn’t for us, but I heard that he took part in a dance off in the lobby later that night. Crazy comic book artists.

- You should read Michael Goodman’s CIderview Project. Not only is he a great guy (who is single and good looking) but he also makes good cookies. So I’ve been told. Because he didn’t save any for me.

- Not only did I buy a couple comics and comic-related stuff there, I also stocked up on Pocky - those delicious Asian chocolate dipped sticks. Mmm…tasty! Can you believe that someone was selling them there? Yum!

Yeah…so that’s about as much as I remember from my convention experience. Next year I’m definitely going to go all three days and take part in the after-con things, since I’m always hearing stories about the *interesting* stuff that happens at night.

So for now, here’s my pictures!

Wizard World Chicago Pictures

Upcoming Movies

With the success of Spiderman 2 and XMen: 2, it seems like comic book movies are the way to go if you want to make money. There are a whole bunch that are coming out that I’m itching to see. I haven’t read all the books that these movies are based on, but I try to support comic book movies when I can - if it creates more comic book readers to help out my favorite hobby, so be it. Here’s some trailers that you may want to check out of some upcoming movies:

Elektra

Elektra is one of my favorite characters in comic books. Although I was wary of casting Jennifer Garner as Elektra, she did a great job in Daredevil and converted me. She doesn’t have the look of Elektra, but she has the intensity and athleticism. She plays a tortured heroine very well. I have no idea if the storyline in Elektra is the same as the books (I started reading her books way after she was killed by Bullseye, so I don’t know if she was ever involved as a tutor to a young girl) but the trailer looks pretty badass:

View Elektra Trailer

Constantine

I haven’t read Hellblazer, but Constantine is based of off the main character. A supernatural investigator who is walks between good and evil, heaven and earth. Why am I so hyped about it? Two words: Keanu Reeves. Can I get a ‘Whoa!’ in here? The movie should be pretty good - Reeves already knows how to play a troubled herp, the special effects look awesome, and for the guys, ‘The Mummy’s’ Rachel Weisz is in it.

View Constantine Trailer

Sin City

Another comic I don’t read is Sin City, though it’s been around for a long time. But one look at the trailer for it, and I’m ready to call up my local comic shop and reserve a couple trade paperbacks. It looks AWESOME. As described by Don, “Imagine the baddest city out there, the most evil, the worst. Now imagine going to the ‘bad’ side of that town. That’s Sin City.” Hmm. Interesting. If that’s not enough to get you salivating, check out the cast: Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Brittany Murphy, Benicio Del Toro, Jamie King, Nick Stahl, Michael Madsen, Rosario Dawson, Clive Owen, Alexis Bledel, Josh Hartnett, Michael Clarke Duncan, Devon Aoki, Maria Bello, and Jessica Alba. Check out the trailer - it’s pretty hot!

View Sin City Trailer

Batman Begins

To tell the truth, I thought the whole Batman movie franchise died, and I was happy about it. As soon as Alicia Silverstone’s crappy Batgirl came on board, I knew it was the end of it - there was no way out. But then I heard rumors about a new Batman coming out - but a prequel: Batman Begins. As soon as I heard that Christian Bale (of the ‘American Psycho‘ hottiness) was on board, I thought, ‘Hmm, maybe it won’t be so bad!’. Then I saw the trailer, and I know I have to see this one in the theaters! It’s gonna be GOOD.

View Batman Begins trailer

The Comic Con FAQ!

As none of you know (ok, maybe 2 or 3 of you) the Wizard World Chicago comic convention is rolling into town next week. I’ve gone to it for maybe the last 7 or 8 years, it’s been so long I don’t even remember. It’s an event that I look forward to every year! This year’s guests will be Kelly Hu (X-Men 2), Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes (Jay and Silent Bob), Joss Whdeon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Jim Lee, and many many more. I’m pretty excited!!! It should be a lot of fun!

I’m a comic convention whore. I’ll be the first to admit it. And I’ll admit that I go to comic forums just to check out what other people are saying about books that are out. And something that always seems to come up before a big convention is someone asking about advice of what to do and what not to do at a convention. So to make it easier, rather than posting the same thing over and over again, I’ll put all my little hints and tricks here.

- How do I get a sketch? Are sketches free?
It never hurts to ask! The worst they can say is no. All you have to say is “Do you do sketches? For free? Can I have a sketch?” Sometimes they cost money, sometimes they don’t. Depending on who you ask. The big names, like will sometimes do quick sketches after a signing, but that’s only if they have time afterwards, which is really rare because they usually have a pretty packed schedule, but if you wait around, it may happen. I think they rarely do sketches during an actual signing unless you’re really lucky. If you go to artists in the artists alley (in the back) some charge, some don’t. The quality of art is sometimes better when they charge, but not always. Some people also have themes for sketches - like a sketchbook just of one character (mine is Psylocke). If you want an artist to sketch a particular person for you, make sure to have a picture for them to reference when they draw. One thing you want to do is check out people’s art - some guy you’ve never heard of before might be doing free sketches, take a couple minutes and let him draw you something. Next year he (or she) might be the next big thing! But you just have to have the guts to ask. Then again, know when a good time to ask is. Don’t go up to an artist and ask for a sketch when they’re walking around, checking out the con or when they’re eating. And if you’ve already had a sketch done by a particular artist, try and let others who have never had a sketch done before you. Share the wealth. Let someone else have the joy of having a sketch done for them!

- When con editions are listed on sites after a con, they’re pretty expensive. Are they expensive at the con? Why do they cost so much?

I remember the Aspen exclusives at the Chicago con ranging from $5 - $25, with the higher priced ones being leftover issues from a previous con, and those sold out really fast since the supply was pretty low to begin with. Also, anyone who buys a 3 day pre-admission usually gets some sort of cool con exclusive (WWLA gave out a con edition of Wolverine: The End). You can usually get con editions for a lower price, but since there are so few that are given out, and they aren’t distributed all over, they’re worth more once the con has passed. Then again, this is only for a book that is eventually successful. If you’ve got the con exclusive for Joe Schmoe that never gets anywhere, it’s not going to be worth much.

- Usually cons are 3 or 4 days. Can I do a con in just one day?

If you want to go just to check out the booths and get a couple key sketches, yes. If that’s what you want, makes sure to get a schedule before hand (Wizard usually posts it on their site a day or two in advance) to plan your day. Give at least a two hour window for waiting in line for a sketch for the bigger names. Make sure to get in line early. Just because a signing starts at 1pm doesn’t mean that they’re not going to cut off the line at 12:59 because it’s too line. Make sure to stop by 15 minutes beforehand to see if there’s a line forming already. If you want to get the full experience, though, I suggest going all three days and going to the panels and discussions. You get a lot more free time and you also get a chance to get some good sketches from a lot of different artists. WWC is also when they do the Wizard Fan Awards, so that’s the best time to see what these creators look like, and it’s usually a lot of fun to watch, too.

- What exactly can you DO at a ‘con?

At the Wizard World cons, you can do a whole bunch of things!

- Meet creators. Come and see the people behind comics, the writers, the artists, colorists, inkers, etc. If you’re nice and if they have time, you might even get a sketch out of it.

- Check out booths. All the big companies have their booths set up where you can get posters, comics, limited edition stuff and a whole lot more. Free stuff, too!

- Play games. Check out the latest comic/anime related games, like Hero Clix or test out new video games.

- Go to panels. Various creators and groups have panels and workshops they offer. Joe Quesada does ‘A Cup of Joe’ which is a preview of what Marvel has coming up in the year. There’s also workshops that help attendees fine tune their skills - from creating a cover to writing a story. Watch out, though, the more popular panels, like Kevin Smith, get full quickly and you may even be require to get a ticket beforehand (it’s free) to get in.

- Buy stuff. There’s a whole lot of comic book retailers in the back, so if you’re missing that key issue of Spiderman, you just might find it. Or if you’re looking for that cute Atari shirt I’m sporting in my pictures, you can get it back there, too. Paintings, swords and life sized Yodas are available, too!

- Check out the Artist’s Alley. You’ll find artists who want to have their own table at the ‘con here. They have a lot to offer back there, and make sure to check out their portfolios, because you’ll see some excellent stuff.

- Watch wrestling. For some reason, there’s always wrestling at the Chicago ‘con. I don’t know why!

- See actors you knew when you were a kid. Ever whatever happened to Lou Ferrigno, the original Incredible Hulk? He’s at the Chicago Con every year! But watch out, it’ll cost $$$ to take a pic with him.

- Take a picture with a stormtrooper. You’ll see at least 10 people dressed up as one. Lots of people dress up, from the really cool to the really absurd.

- Hang out at the afterparties. There’s usually something going on after each night of the ‘con.

There’s a program of events posted online before the con, so it’s a good idea to plan your day before going there, or at least have some idea of what you want to see. Be sure to allocate walking time and waiting time.

- What is this ticket thing I need to see Kevin Smith? (or any of the other guests of honor) Do I have to buy it?

To make sure that they can fit everyone, Wizard hands out tickets for signings and major panels at the beginning of the day of that event. That way, they can make sure they control how many people go and don’t have to worry about some people not getting a chance to get something signed or someone not getting a seat at a panel. The ticket is free, but you’ll need a ticket to get in line or get into the panel.

- What should I bring?

- A sketchbook, something that’s easy to sketch in, so it’s not in the artist’s way when they draw. Also have a loose sheet of paper in there or comic board - sometimes they like to use permanent marker, and it bleeds through.

- A camera. Some people have some really funky costumes! Also, having a picture with your favorite creator is better than getting their autograph. Beware, some people charge for pictures.

- Cash. If you run out, the line for the ATM is longer than the line for Jim Lee! And sometimes they don’t take credit cards.

- A backpack. You’ll get a free bag, but it gets annoying and your fingers start hurting as you accumulate more and more crap to put in your bag.

- Water bottle and snacks. It’s a long day, and you’ll get thirsty and may get the munchies. Rather than paying $3.50 for nachos, bring some chips.

- A poster tube. You can get them at the UPS store for about 2 bucks, rather than paying more at a con. Lots of booths give out free posters. Also, if you get a nice sketch done on bigger paper, or get a lithograph or something, you may want to protect it.

- A sharpie. What’s that? A permanent marker. You never know what celebrity you might run into!

- Your portfolio of art. Sometimes the publishers check out portfolios. Check at the booths for the times when they do portfolio reviews. Who knows, you could be the next big thing!

- Wear comfortable shoes. There’s a lot of walking going on!

- Eat a big meal before coming. Food ain’t cheap there, baby!

- And a couple extras:

- Check the times when artists are going to be doing signings - usually they have them on a board in the booth. Come at least half an hour early if you want a good spot. However, remember that they don’t always do sketches during signings. Ask around to see if they’ll be doing sketches at the same time. Chances are, they’ll tell you that he’ll try to fit them in after. And a personal plea - if you have already had sketches done by Mike, let someone who hasn’t had one yet before you…spread the wealth! I saw too many sad faces turned away at Chicago…

- Don’t just shop around at the big dogs (Marvel, DC) - some of the smaller comic companies have some great finds and really nice artists!

- Shower. Not for you, but for me. I’ll be there, and I don’t want to smell you before I see you.

[added 08.09.04]

- How do I go about getting the toy exclusives?

here is the lowdown. you stop by the booth early in the day to get a ticket. they hand them out to about noon or 1 pm. at 1:30 they then draw a number range. if your ticket falls in that group you win a chance to buy that figure. most of the toys that they do that to are really limited. they only have so many to giveaway each day. i think each day they gave away about 500 of each. (from Jester)

- Pat’s advice

On sketches: IF a creator is doing a signing in a company booth, they are (in more cases than not) doing free sketches. That’s how I collect most of mine. Now if you go to artist alley, they will most likely charge you. Rates go from as low as 5 bucks.

Con exclusives: get them at the con while you can, or if the official site that sells the said exclusive has an offer, get it there. That’s the lowest you can go…don’t feed the Ebay-ing public. What made San Diego hell for the exclusives is the scalpers, who would literally take family along to up their chances at some exclusives, and in a lot of cases, each get one for re-sale….

____________________

Um, that’s all I have for now…if I think of anymore I’ll post them here….or if you have any questions or suggestions, I’ll answer them here!

The Ultimate Distraction

Here’s a semi-review on ‘The Ultimates’, Marvel’s Ultimate take on the Avengers. I’ve never really read the Avengers, but so many people in my comic book world had suggested that I read the book that I finally picked it up when I went to a signing a couple weeks ago. I’m not about to hunt down all the back issues, so I just picked up a handy dandy trade paperback, which had the first 6 issues all nicely bound together. For any people out there interested in reading comics, trade paperbacks are the best way to start reading a book - they’re cheaper and you don’t have to find all the old issues.

So I’d started reading it, and I loved it. I love seeing all these comic book icons, reimagined and living in the world we know of today. The art is incredible, and the story sucks you in, with some fun pop culture references here and there (Shannon Elizabeth and Freddie Prinze Jr. make cameos). Essentially, the US government is getting together a superpowered team to protect the country, which is made up of Janet Pym - the Wasp, her husband Hank Pym - Giant Man, Steve Rogers - Captain America, Tony Stark - Iron Man, and Thor.

The book was so good, that when I was on my way home on the train, I wasn’t even watching the stops. I was intensely reading my book when I heard someone yell, ‘CHRISTINE!!!’ outside of the train. Turns out we were at my stop and the conductor was calling, ‘Step inside, doors are closing!’ Fatima was outside yelling for me. I grabbed my stuff and ran out of the train, embarrassed. Fatima got a good laugh, because she was wondering where I was.

So yeah, the Ultimates is a good book…it gets me ‘So good I almost missed my train stop’ thumbs up!

Hanging at the Comic Book Store

Here’s my positive post (see post below)

I love going to the comic book shop, especially the one that I go to in Long Beach. They have such an amazing selection of everything - not only comic books, but also statues, toys, t-shirts, posters, books, etc.

My schedule is so hectic and crazy, I don’t get to go there that often. But when I do, I spend a good chunk of time just walking slowly through the main aisle, checking out books that aren’t on my pull list. [pull list: a list of comics that you ask the shop to put aside for you so you don’t have to worry about your favorite comic selling out - they’ll have it on the side for you] There’s so many comics out there, I don’t want to miss anything that’s good.

I usually don’t talk much when I’m at the shop, mostly because I don’t know the shop guys that well. But last week I needed to take some books off my pull list. (Bye bye Batman, Witchblade and Tomb Raider) So I talked to the counter guy for a bit.

We got into this pretty great conversation about comics and the X-Men, who, although they’ve killed off my favorite character, still have a place close to my heart. In the next month, Joss Whedon, who used to write Buffy the Vampire Slayer, will be writing one of the X-Books, which I’m really excited about. Its nice to talk comics with someone, because there aren’t many people that I know who still collect them

So as I was leaving, comic book guy says, ‘You know what’s really cool? There are two girls that come in here regularly, you and this other girl. And you two get the most books out of anyone. Our two top pull lists are women! You’d think it’d be the guys, but it’s not.’ Thought that was pretty funny…

Comic Convention Adventures

Geez. I don’t even know where to start.

Last weekend I attended the Wizard World Comic Convention in LA. Except it wasn’t in LA. It was in Long Beach. I had to state that fact, because I gotta represent da LBC, yo! Haha. I’m so bad at ghetto talk.

This was the first year that Wizard had a convention in the LA area, and you could kind of tell. DC comics didn’t have a conventional booth, it had a couple tables that formed a box. Crossgen, as well as Marvel, were non-existent. The hall was about half the size of the hall used for the Chicago ‘con.

I had talked to some of the people at the booths, and they told me that a lot of people held back since it was the first year, and they didn’t know how the crowd would be. I guess they were afraid that the ‘con would be a dud. It was to be held on two days with a three hour preview night on Friday.

But when the place was packed on Friday night, they knew that this would be a big ‘con in the future. When we got there, the line to get in was the length of the whole convention center. It was crazy!

The downside, however, was that there were too many people for too little things. There were lines everywhere for this and that, and companies had unusually long lines, since the other publishers weren’t there to take up the slack.

So I had a good time, not a great time, but a good time. There just wasn’t enough for me to be interested in for three days. The panels were OK, but there wasn’t the variety of programming that I’m accustomed to. The lines for everything were crazy, and I didn’t have the patience or interest to wait in them. But it’s the first year, so I’ll cut them some slack.

But there were some highlights to the weekend….some more interesting than others. Me and the girls had a lot of good laughs. Usually at my expense, but I don’t mind being the whipping girl. So here’s the more memorable moments…

Celebrity Encounters

There were a couple celebrities there, and we got to meet a couple of them. I think one of my favorites was meeting Noah Hathaway, who I had the biggest crush on when he played Atreyu in ‘The Neverending Story’. Although the picture isn’t that great (he was talking as the picture was taken) he’s aged pretty well.

We also met:

- David Carradine - who is really really old. Like a carcass sitting on the chair old. But he was nice enough to take a picture with us and gave us a couple grunts of hello. It was pretty surreal.

- Ken Foree - from Dawn of the Dead. He called us the smelly girls during the whole ‘con, because as I passed by him to take a picture with Noah, he caught a whiff of my perfume. Since the actor area was in a high traffic area, we passed by him (and Noah) often.

- James Marsden - OK, I forgive him for being in the X-Men movies. He was just amazingly charming and cute. How can you not like those dimples? We didn’t have much time to chat it up, though, since we were actually in line to meet him, unlike the others.

Seeing Familiar Faces

One thing I love about going to a ‘con is that every year I meet someone new, or make a new friend. This year was no exception.

- Of course, the people at Aspen were as wonderful as can be. Liz was the best and it was great to see her again. I didn’t want to bug them too much because the booth was packed the whole time. There was always a line and the issues were selling really fast. But I got a chance to say ‘Hi’ to Mike during the panel. We passed by Frank as we were walking around, and he stopped by to tell us how the ‘con was going for them. I also got a chance to chat with Talent at the booth on Sunday, he’s a sweetheart! It was nice to re-introduce myself to Mark and Koi, the newest additions to the Aspen family, who I think I had met last year when we went out once. I didn’t get a chance to meet Christina, but I hope she’s in Chicago because I’d love to ask her some questions about coloring. I’m sure that Peter and the rest of the team got a good laugh watching me at the booth across playing the dancing game on the I-Toy. I didn’t know they were watching, and I was forced to play. I felt like a dork afterward! But thanks to everyone at Aspen, who have always made me feel like I was a little more than just a fan.

- Also got to see Mike Wellman of Atomic Basement again. I’d venture to say that he’s one of the first people I got to know at these things, and he was so cool when I came out to LA on business a couple years ago. Nice to see he’s still involved with comics. Buy Gone South!!!

- We talked to the ultra-huggable Tone Rodriguez for a bit, who sadly told me that he might not be doing any more ‘cons. We took one last picture together, but he said he’ll try and make it to Chicago. He’s the best, man!

- I had a couple brief convos with Mark Brooks, who this year, like Talent Caldwell, has become ‘Mr. Popular’. Nice to see his career really taking off. If you’re reading this, I apologize for not coming back to your table like I promised! I had to take the girls to the airport! Mark put a bit of terror into me when we were talking…

Mark: Hey, I checked out your blog the other day. It’s cool!
Me: What? My blog?
Mark: Yeah. I was doing a vanity search. I looked up my name and came up with your site.
Me: Are you serious?
Mark: Yup. Listen, if you put any artists name on your site, they’re gonna find it. We’re always looking up our names on the internet!
Me: For some reason, I find that mildly terrifying! Good thing I didn’t say anything mean!
Mark: Nah, you said good things, and you put up the sketch that I did.
Me: Ohh…ok.

So yeah. If you’re doing a vanity search, ‘Hey Mark!’

- We stopped by Jay Company Comics to get some goods, and Jay (if that is his name) immediately recognized us and said hello. He’s such a great guy, and it’s nice seeing him year after year. Then we stopped by the other table that they had and said hello to Mama Jay. She is the sweetest woman ever. When she saw us, she immediately recognized us and said, ‘Ohh, hey girls!’ and then turned to me and said, ‘So, did you get married yet?’ It’s so amazing that she remembered such a thing! Then she did her ‘I’ve seen you girls grow up! It’s so wonderful!’ After 6 or 7 years of going to comic cons, I guess you could say that she’s seen us grow up!

- Got some great sketches from Ryan Odagawa and Sean ‘Cheeks’ Galloway. Ryan was great, he drew me a great picture of Psylocke, and later drew me Princess from Battle of the Planets. Sean fooled around in his sketch of Psylocke, and it turned out rather….interesting. So then he promised me that he would sketch another pic for me, so he got up early in the morning to sketch a pic of Psylocke riding a hippo. It’s the cutest!

The Triplets of Long Beach

So we were talking to Tone, and he was telling his friend not to disturb him because he was with his triplets. We got a little laugh out of that. As we were about to leave, a fan who was waiting to Tone turned to us and said, ‘Excuse me, can I take a picture of you? I’ve never seen triplets before!’ I looked at him and said, ‘Um, we’re not triplets.’ Which is obvious if you see the three of us. And he was like, ‘Well, can I have a picture anyway?’ Weirdo!

The Incredible Mr. Smith

Though Jason Mewes was there for his alotted signing time, he was supposed to be with Kevin Smith. However, Kevin was stuck in LA traffic, and missed the time. I guess they told people to keep their tickets (that they needed to get an autograph). After Kevin had his panel later that day, they reformed the line. And instead of having the people go through the line and coming up to a table to get a signature, Kevin actually went up to people in line to sign autographs, take pictures, and just talk to people. I was really impressed with this gesture. He really took his time and made sure that he got to talk to everyone.

Fine, fine, fine, Kevin Smith, I’ll go and see Jersey Girl.

Oh, and if you missed it, you can get my “Dirty Sexy” Jason Mewes story here.

The CBDLF SAT Sketch-a-Thon

One of my mini-highlights was watching the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund auction. They had some popular artists like Talent Caldwell, Judd Winick, Amanda Connor, Mark Brooks, Ale Garza, etc draw their least favorite character to draw. Then they all swtiched papers and drew their favorite characters. And the theme was ‘Compromising Positions’. So you had Spiderman on all fours and a fat Batman behind him going, ‘Hmmm’. Or Hulk taking a dump as Namor is in the shower singing Air Supply. Or Spiderman handcuffed to the bed as The Pro is ready for some kinky electric torture.

It was really cute to watch them concentrate so hard on making these sketches, since they wanted to do as many as they could during the allotted time. It was like they were taking the SAT’s. But you could tell they were having a great time just being goofy.

The sketches went from $20 to about $120. My top bid was $30, didn’t get anything. But it was fun to raise my hand a couple times!

Hmm…that’s all the stories that I remember. It seems like it was so long ago!

Pat, you owe me big time for going to the ‘con and not giving me a heads up. Especially since we were at the same panel and I didn’t even know!

Anyway, here’s some of my favorite pictures…



Click here for my Wizard World LA Gallery

Wizard World Chicago, here we come!!!

Dirty Sexy!!!

Since I’m stuck in Texas on dial-up, the comic con pics will just have to wait. As will the ‘con recap. But as I was typing it up on the plane, this one was pretty long, so I decided to break it off from the others…

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OK, with the passing of time, I realize this isn’t the story of stories. But it’s a pretty good story still.

So we were wandering around the comic con looking for people to do sketches. As we’re walking, we start to pass a group of guys. I feel that one of them is staring at me, and I look at him. He looks vaguely familiar. Then I realize it’s Jason Mewes, who played Jay in ‘Dogma’, ‘Mallrats’ and ‘Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back’. At first I didn’t recognize him because he’s a lot taller from what I remember, and his hair is cut short and he had a nice tan going on. So he’s looking, and I’m looking, and he says slowly, ‘Hello…’ You know, that creepy ‘Hello’ that guys say sometimes. I’m a little stunned, but I manage to say a cool, ‘Hello…’ back to him. Then we pass. And as we pass, he says, ‘Sexy! Sexxxy!’ I don’t remember hearing this, but Melanie and Fatima heard it clearly. Melanie didn’t realize who he was when we passed. Fatima was looking at something else and just heard someone say, ‘Sexy’ our way. The first thought in her head was, ‘Who the fuck would have the balls to say that outloud here?’ Because, well, comic cons really aren’t a place where guys go to pick up women, nor do you get the type of guys that have enough courage to pick up women. So we’re still walking, and I whisper to them, ‘That’s Jay!’ And the girls are like ‘What?’ ‘That was Jay, from Jay and Silent Bob!’ So then I stop and say, ‘Hey! I should take a picture with him!’ I mean, we already said hello, we’re practically best friends now. Then they tell me that they heard him say, ‘Sexy’ as he passed, and Mel said it was the dirtiest ‘Sexy’ she had ever heard. I didn’t recall hearing it, but I was in such a daze that I didn’t hear much after ‘Hello’. Yes. He had me at ‘Hello’. Just kidding, Dave.


So I walk back, and he’s at the View Askew Booth hanging out. He’s surrounded by an agent and some security. But I didn’t notice them. As I was approaching, Jason saw me and smiled. ‘Hey, sexy!’ he called. ‘Can I have a picture with you?’ I asked. ‘Sure, anything for you.’ So we stood and posed for a picture, and he was talking the whole time. He acted just like his character Jay, I guess playing the part wasn’t too much of a stretch. But the whole time he was like, ‘Damn, you’re so sexy.’ Then after the 3rd or 4th time he said that (or a variation of it) he said playfully, ‘I’m just kidding with ya.’ Then he went right back to macking. And after taking the picture, we chatted for a little. ‘Damn, so you’re into comics?’ and I said yeah, and he was pretty surprised. ‘Are you going to my thing later?’ he asked (He had an autograph session). ‘No, I don’t know what’s going on with that.’ He looked at his handler and said, ‘Hey, what’s the deal with my thing later?’, to which the handler replied, ‘They handed out tickets this morning and there aren’t any left’. So Jay half whispers to him, ‘So, can we get these three girls in?’ The handler smiled at him and said, ‘Anything you want is fine with me.’ So Jay turns to us and says, ‘When I’m doing my signing thing, just come up to my man here and tell him, ‘Sexy’s here’. He’ll let you in.’ I said thanks, and since a crowd was starting to builld once people realized who he was, I decided it was my time to get out of there. I said bye, and he said, ‘Later, sexy’ and made one of the LL Cool J kissy faces.

I just laughed at the thought of going up to the handler later and saying, ‘Sexy’s here. He’s expecting me.’

So later on, when it was his time slot, we went over to the signing area. There was a huge line there. I felt bad for thinking about cutting in line, so we didn’t even try. That, and the signing started late because Jay was signing with Kevin Smith, who was running late. Everyone was pretty stressed. So me and my girls just hung out at the side of the signing area with the rest of the people who were taking pictures. So I’m clicking away. Then he looks up while he’s signing, and he sees me. I wave hello, and he gives me the nod. I smile. Then he mouths, ‘SE-XY’ to me and does the kissy face again. I laugh and giggle. Then I realize that people in line are looking at me like, ‘Who the fuck is she?!?’ I then proceeded to make myself invisible. But I stayed to get a few more shots since the lighting was kinda whack there. Every once in a while he’d look over and make this really lustful look which would cause all of us to laugh. Me, Mel and Fata were talking about how he’s a lot better looking in real life, especially with the tan and shorter hair. That, and it looks like he’s been working on those arms. After being there for a few minutes, we had to go to watch a panel, so we got his attention and waved goodbye. He looked at us like, ‘Huh? What? Where are you going?’ And Fatima said, ‘We’re going to the Aspen Panel.’ I then said, ‘We’ll see you tomorrow.’ Then he slowly waved bye to us. Once again, I realized that everyone was watching again, so I made sure to get out of there quick.

So yeah. That’s the story. I know you’re all rolling your eyes out there. But seriously, it happened! Unfortunately, I never saw Jay again. It just wasn’t meant to be. I had to leave Sunday to drop the girls off during the time when Jay was scheduled to appear. But I appreciate the moments we had together. :-P Really, though, I’m flattered. This also proves my suspicion that he checked me out during the Chicago con of ‘01 when I passed by him. I swear he said ‘Hey’ to me, but I didn’t believe it and just kept on walking.

Yes. My head is blowing up. These strokes of ego are needed every now and then.

Am I a stalker? Yes. But he started it!

It’s that way cool ‘Cute but Psycho’ bunny tee that Marilyn gave me that reeled him in. That shirt is HOT.

Snikt! Snikt!

Got about 40 pics to post up…plus the ones Mel will be sending me…

But here’s a good one:


Me and Wolvie: March, 2004 - Long Beach, CA

The review will come later tonight, as well as more pictures!

Celebrity Encounter #2

OK, it’s 4 in the morning and I’m still up from a day of comics and a night of clubbing (not to mention worrying about Rusty’s face). I’m pooped.

Real quick…went out dancing for the first time in FOREVER, and it was a lot of fun, even though it was a Ginseng-esque type of all-asian crowd. I just don’t fit into that scene anymore. But it was nice to dance again!

So here’s my pic of the day, because Fata’s complaining about my clackety keyboard keeping her up.

Guess who this is:


Snoochie Boochies!!!

And let me tell you, I have the story of stories to go behind this picture!

But it will be tomorrow.

‘Night!

Comicon: Day 1

I’m exhausted, so I’m just going to post one picture:


Guess who this is…

Actually, this isn’t a good picture of this person. He was laughing when Fata took the picture. But you could say he was an idol of mine. I’m going to try and get a better pic of him tomorrow.

This con is pretty different from Chicago. It’s a lot smaller, and the companies are pretty scaled down. It was nice to see that Aspen was busy the whole time - there was a line to see Mike Turner, and this time around, they were there for Talent Caldwell, too. Sales were pretty good at the booth, which is great. I didn’t want to wait in line or bug them too much, so we just stopped by a couple times to say hi to Liz, Frank, Tal, Peter and Mike. Liz is the best!

The thing I love about cons is every year, you make more and more friends. Got to see a lot of the artists that I’ve gotten to know over the last couple years, and it’s so awesome when they remember you and you just talk about whatever. Tomorrow I’m going to stop by Jay comics to see if mama Jay is working and let her know how the wedding went. Last year she noticed that I was engaged and she did the whole, ‘I’ve watched you grow up!’ speech.

It was pretty surprising to see that DC and Marvel (I don’t even know if they’re actually there this time) not being a big presence there.

I’m dead tired. More tomorrow!