July 31, 2009


San Diego Comic-Con 2009, Part 4

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I slept in Saturday, and didn’t rush off to the show. After Wednesday night, Thursday and Friday, I had already had a very full convention. It didn’t feel like I had two more days of convention to go to.

Eventually I headed over, and decided to walk around the artists and illustrator’s tables. I found a sketchbook by Terry Dodson, who I saw earlier in the day signing at his booth. I bought the sketchbook, and decided to talk to Terry. I asked him to sign the sketch book, which was from his French book Songes. He signed the book, and as we were talking, drew a small sketch on the inside cover.

Songes Sketchbook

Songes Sketchbook

The artwork for this book is amazing. His illustrations look like modern art nouveau. He has drawn a lot of mainstream superhero comics, like Wonder Woman and X-Men, but the work he does for the less mainstream and foreign books blows his mainstream work away.

It was even more exciting to talk to him about his art career. He was in engineering school, and took art classes on the side. He was planning going into industrial design, but instead left school to work in comics full time during his senior year, and never finished his engineering degree.

His story was similar – but opposite – of my own. I was in art school, and eventually got into engineering. I let engineering kill my pursuit of art, and I have lately been working to course correct and find my artistic soul again. I was able to tell him that he made the right decision to pursue art instead of engineering.

Meeting and talking to Terry Dodson made me want to sit down with a sketch book and do nothing but draw and draw and draw until I am as good, or better, than him. I have been struggling to find the time to dedicate to art, because I am finding that I need to create art and illustrations, just to make the world make more sense (as strange as that sounds). Though I only had the time for a quick 10-minute conversation with him, it was very inspiring.

Later in the day I met up with a friend who had introduced me to a guy working in the comics industry earlier in the weekend. We had set up lunch for Saturday, and I met up with them. We had a great discussion about comics, and talked about what fan sites and podcasts (like my OTV site) can do for the industry.

It was motivational, and gave me a lot of ideas of what I would like to do with my Only The Valiant website. I have ideas of how I can make it more than just a website for the podcast, but more of a community hub for comic book fans.

I walked away from that meeting ready to go to work to make OTV bigger and better.

After lunch, I rushed to get my recording equipment from the apartment. I wasn’t expecting lunch to go so long. I’m not complaining, since the conversations I had were great, I feel fortunate that I got to talk and network with folks for as long as I did.

Back to recording though, we were scheduled to record our big “live from the show” episode Saturday afternoon. I got home, packed up the equipment, and headed to the convention. I got a great space to set everything up in one of the lounge areas, and got to work plugging everything in.

A good bunch of people came to record with us, with people from the valiantfans board, thecomicforums, and a fan who found us on iTunes and started listening from there. We talked about the convention, people watching, and argued about which Valiant books were the best to give a new reader to try out. It was a fun episode to record, and it is up on the site now.

A couple of us headed back to the Tilted Kilt for dinner, and later in the night Scott and I went over to the Hyatt.

The Hyatt is where the after-hours action takes place in San Diego, at least as far as the convention goes. The bar is huge, and spilled out onto the patio out front of the hotel. Myself, Trevor, and Scott found Steve, Chris, and Jim with some other folks at the bar. I met a lot of people, and got to hang out with a lot of folks.

I ran into James Sime, the owner of Isotope comics here in San Francisco, quite possibly the greatest comic shop in the country. We said a quick hello.

I ran into some of the Geek Savant/Super Real crew, and got to hang out with them for a bit. Dave Dwonch and I brainstormed an idea for a comic book: How To Pick Up Chicks At Comic Book Conventions. Dave was a wingman extraordinaire for me at Wondercon earlier this year. He pulled some epic wingman duty while I was meeting a lovely lady at Kate O’Briens until late into the evening. Like most ideas from 1am at the bar, I have no idea if it will materialize, but Dave is a very talented comic creator, check out Space Time Condominium.

As Dave and I were talking, some poor kid comes up to us and started a conversation with us. He walked up and asked us, “so what do you do?” Dave jumped right in with his pitch about Pickup comics, and asked if this guy would buy it. This poor kid said he didn’t really read comics, and that’s when the situation erupted. Dave railed on this kid about why he was even here, and we poked at him about his direction in life, and what he wanted to accomplish.

I really don’t think he knew what he was getting in to when he walked up to us.

The bar eventually closed, and Scott and I went home. We had just gotten home when we both had the same thought at the same time: “want to drink a beer?” We stayed up an extra half-hour or hour or so, chatting about comics, the convention, and whatever else.

Saturday was a great day. I accomplished an incredible amount, from networking, to meeting people, to getting inspired to pour my energy into different work and projects. I wish every day of my life were as rich and satisfying as Saturday was.

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