Comic-Con 06 was a real blast, although really exhausting! It was so great to see the Flight crew again, and meet new people. It's like hooking up with officemates you don't see all year long. Everyone is trying to figure out a good system to produce graphic novels without losing quality and without driving the artists bonkers. It felt good to know there's others out there going through similar frustrations and obstacles that come with the territory.
It was also fun to watch Kazu in his element talking on panels and making conversation about his work. He has so much integrity, every day I feel so proud to be by his side and watching him work at comic-con only reminded me of how lucky I am.
It was great talking to everyone at the booth, which turned into a hang-out joint. Johane Matte and Benedicte Guenoden were superwomen, "booth warriors", who took care of the tables and made it a ton easier on everyone there. They deserve flowers! It was also cool meeting Azad, Joey, and hanging out a little more with Jen, Steve, Rad and Mandy, Rodolphe, Phil, Dave, Raina, Eric, Derek, Michel and Nancy, Neil, Reagan and Annie, Enrico, Scott and family, Andy, Sonny, The Those Guys, and Jeff. All of them are so inspiring, I can't think of a more down-to-earth and friendly crew. Did I forget anyone?
I didn't do too much behind the booth and spent a lot of my time wandering the floor looking for inspiring art books and handing out copies of S&S to other artists. I bought a ton of stuff to add to my collection. Two in particular were big surprises since I'd never heard of either artist before, and they instantly floated to the top of my list. First was Le Magicien D'Oz. I can't fully understand the French, but the storytelling is clear and the artwork was striking. I bought all three tomes immediately and have already flipped through them multiple times. Best of all the artist has a blog! Go look at it!
Second is the last story in the Afterworks anthology. The artwork in the whole book is lovely, but the last story is by far my favorite. It's by an artist named Peter Sohn, on a subject I can completely relate to. The drawings are amazing and completely clear. Best of all they're there to service the story, so the writing and drawing have wonderful synergy. The expressions are spot-on, the story itself is understanding of both sides, and it has some panels in there that you don't see too often (if ever?) in comics these days. It's actually the best comic I've read in a long time and I'm so happy that he made it. Thank you, Peter Sohn! I've already read it five times over. I'm sure Kazu will blog about more, we can't stop gushing about it!
I also met Greg Ruth at a dinner party (that's not Greg above by the way, these photos have no real captions... I'm too lazy for that!). Greg is another artist that worked on the Goosebumps anthology, it was great chatting with him briefly to share our making-of stories. His artwork is amazing, and as soon as I saw it I became a fan. Check out his site! You won't regret it.
Also, I received a wonderful gift art at my book signing with Tokyopop from the ever-flattering Joseph (again, photo above is not said person. It's Kean and Eric...!). Thank you, Joseph! It's so awesome!! I'm sending a hi-res scan to Tokyopop. Thanks also to everyone that waited in line for me to sign their books or draw them a sketch, I was surprised at how many people read and appreciated S&S. It gives me energy for the next book!
Well, I'm off to paint and hang out with our spectacular house guests from the con, Becky, Vasilis, and Kean. Marty is visiting from Sapporo, so we'll be having In N' Out for lunch! When I'm done with the painting I'll definitely post it up. Until then, hope everyone's recovering from the convention!