--Travel was super-smooth. Saw a few comics folks on the plane, including Jeff Smith & Vijaya Iyer!
--Checked in, dragged stuff over to the convention center, felt exhausted immediately.
--Set up at the Flight booth! How lucky I was to table with these guys this year...spent a nice little while talking life stuff with Amy Kibuishi and meeting she and Kazu's son, Juni, for the first time.
--Pizzaaaaa. I may have been too tired to appreciate it, but I'm pretty sure it was delicious. I sat with Steve Flack, Matt Roscetti, and Mandy Sartor, one of my roommates during the trip. I hope I was coherent; I'm pretty sure all I talked about was how much I like that cheese they put on the salad.
--Midnight Ralphs (I always feel like there SHOULD be an apostrophe in that...) run. Stocked up on lunch items, and as a result, spent way less money on food overall than I normally do! Our suite had a kitchen and refrigerator, which made packing a lunch every day very easy.
The dizzying view from our 12th-floor room.
--The first of several free breakfasts. Best thing about the Embassy Suites.
--A terrific first day of conventioning--in fact, I did my best sales of the whole weekend on Thursday.
--The Edmunds family, Tracey, Shelby, and Sarah, presented me with a fabulous present: a handmade SMILE necklace, made out of sculpy!!! I loved it!!
--Missed the Scott Pilgrim panel, but that's okay.
--Dinner with the First Second folks! Had a great time talking with Mark Seigel, Scott McCloud, Lark Pien, Jen Wang, Nate Powell, Ed Masessa, James Sturm, and Annie...ack, what was Annie's last name? Our waiter looked like Alec Baldwin and I tried crab but didn't like it.
My SMILE necklace, made by the lovely Edmunds ladies.
--A slightly slower sales day.
--Floor got VERY crowded. I got a little overwhelmed.
--Had a LOVELY talk with Greg Evans, the creator of Luann. We traded books! He is so nice! Another check-off on my list of Cartoonists I've Met Who Influenced Me From The Very Beginning. Thanks, Greg!
--Decided to cut out a little early. Lack of sleep caught up with me, so I went swimming and took a nap. That did the trick!
--Dinner at the Seaport Village with the Maihacks, Jen & Mike, Jeff Denton, Katie and Steve Shanahan, Rawles, Alison Wilgus, & Johane Matte. MUCH laughter and good times! I ate tacos.
--Scott Pilgrim movie party! Spent most of it talking to Matt Loux, Dylan Meconis, and a nice lady named Rachel who's last name I did not get. I did not see Scott Pilgrim at the party, to my disappointment.
Johane and Katie display their CANADIAN POWER!
--Comics in the Library panel! Was fun talking comics with the librarians and our moderator, John Hogan.
--I had a meeting in the pro lounge with an awesome person who I'm not sure if I'm allowed to mention, but it's the kind of thing that could lead to bigger things in the future!
--Thrillingly, I sold out of all the copies of SMILE I'd brought with me at 5 PM! So I just...walked around, hung out at Dave's table in Small Press, and relaxed!
--Met up with a bunch of kidslit creators for drinks, which segued into dinner. These folks are a really fun, creative, smart bunch, and talking with them was a distinct pleasure, definitely a highlight of the weekend for me. Thanks to Jimmy Gownley, Andy Runton, Matt Holm, Jarrett Krosoczka, Dan Satant, Melissa Wiley, Bob Boyle, James Burks, and Kyle (whose last name I can't seem to track down for the life of me) for the good times--and, most especially, the great Jennifer Holm for putting the whole thing together!
After the Comics in Libraries panel
Dan Satant and I
--I attended a panel about comics as a window into the inner voice of a child, which was a great learning experience--the moderator, once again the amazing Jenni Holm, asked the panelists funny questions, trivia, and opened the doors for them to tell funny stories, rather than focusing on creator-focused questions. It was a laugh-fest for the audience, and hugely entertaining.
--Next I was on a panel with my very own Dave Roman and John Green, a KidsDraw! event where we basically did some interactive drawing games with the audience. A lot of fun!
--I went out to get the only lunch I actually bought all weekend--at Tin Fish! I'd heard nothing but great things, so I stood in line for 20 minutes and then waited 30 for my order. My swordfish taco (!) did not disappoint.
--Spent some time hanging out at the Flight booth, even though I had no books to sell! I did get to sign some copies of Flight though, and it's just nice being in the company of the people who make up the Flight crew.
--I bought exactly nothing. I think that's a first for me.
--Packed up, said our good byes, and then met Dave's cousins at Buster's for dinner. Third crazy seafood-thing of the weekend I tried: shark! In tacos. That's two taco-meals Sunday, for a grand total of three throughout the weekend. I could probably keep going with that. Tacos are great.
--My roomies and I went swimming and hot-tubbing, then we crashed!
John Green & I at the KidsDraw! panel.
--Travel. We flew home on Midwest Airlines, which I'd never even heard of, and had a layover in Milwaukee. (Does that count as visiting Wisconsin, a state I'd never been to before?) Dave and I were very pleasantly surprised to find that the airport has a GREAT bookstore, that sells rare and out-of-print editions. I could have spent hours there! We also had a perfectly respectable Italian dinner. Oh, and Midwest serves fresh-baked cookies on all of their flights. RECOMMENDED.
--I read my Luann book during most of the trip, and realized JUST HOW MUCH I actually ripped Greg Evans off in SMILE! Since Luann collections weren't published as I was growing up, a la Calvin and Hobbes or Foxtrot, I only read the strips as they appeared in the paper. But they must have sunk in pretty deep. Thanks and sorry, Greg!
I LOVED exhibiting with Flight. The booth was in a terrific location, we got tons of foot traffic, and having my banner there made me easy to spot from afar. Not to mention, I got to spend time with wonderful people!
The reception to SMILE was wonderful. I signed a heck of a lot of copies that people brought from home, all of which looked well-loved! I wish I'd brought more books with me, because I had to turn a lot of people away on Sunday.
A heap-ton of my high school friends came by to say hello--Claire, who is in the last chapter of SMILE; Melissa, who I haven't seen since graduating; Gil, who I've known since 6th grade and ALSO haven't seen since graduating; Vicki, who has the cutest kids on the planet; and Jeff, who is one of my favoritest people on earth and who I never see enough of. Happiness!!
I think I'm finally learning to navigate SDCC with a minimum of health issues. Those who know me well know I suffer from frequent stomach problems, and conventions (stress + eating badly + eating at odd hours + not getting enough sleep) usually increase my problems tenfold. But, buying groceries meant I was eating safe food every day instead of spontaneous, awful convention snacks; having a free breakfast every day meant I could fill up on good stuff and not feel like I was losing money at a buffet by not eating the stuff that's bad for me; and eating fish again allowed me to eat food that wasn't deep fried or covered with cheese or cream sauce...the way most vegetarian stuff is when you're traveling.
I had a lot of really, really good talks with friends, most of which kind of helped me get my thoughts in order about what's coming next for me. It's been a crazy year, and SDCC is my last big event until SPX in September, and I definitely need this time to get ahead on projects big and small.
Scott Pilgrim mania was at a fever-pitch, and made me feel really proud of Bryan Lee O'Malley, but also comics in general. It's easy to lose sight of comics at Comic-Con, and I know that a big part of the SP intensity had to do with the imminent movie release...but I felt like we were celebrating the comic, too.
The Scott Pilgrim garlic bread truck, headed down Harbor after midnight.
There's so much I missed, but I think I saw and did everything I hoped to this year. I'm pumped to make more comics, and I'm looking forward to SDCC 2011. Bring it on!
The rest of our photos from the con can be seen here.