For the sake of recording the events of my life in chronological order, I should probably mention that on Thursday Kat Fischer PM'd me out of the blue. I didn't even know she had an LJ! And vice versa, apparently; she found me via my Faceblargh profile. Take note, people, this is the only acceptable use of Facebook: putting your contact info on your profile so your friends can find you in the places you actually hang out. ...If I understood her correctly, she's just finished one job and is getting ready to move on to another, and in the meantime she's roadtripping around the country. SO JEALOUS. I think she's in Walla Walla right now, unless she's moved on already. ...Anyway, she drove into Portland on Thursday night and Dar and I met her for dinner at a sushi train place and then the three of us poked around Powell's. So that was nice. Whitties on my Flist, Kat says hi.
So Friday after work I get on the train to Seattle, right, and I'm getting all ready to post Umbrella Man and do some betaing and then maybe type up some notes, and this woman with a hot pink fedora sits down at my table and literally does not stop talking for the rest of the trip. And I don't mean "literally" as in "I like to exaggerate and possibly I don't understand the English language", I mean "literally" as in "literally", three-and-a-half hours of rapid-fire non-stop chattering, holy shit. ...Luckily, I'm me, so I decided to be amused rather than annoyed, and typed up my notes anyway while I listened and occasionally made brief interjections. It wasn't so bad, really; when Karen wasn't giving me TMI about the drug habits of herself and various family members and "sexting" with her boy-toy boyfriend, she actually had some pretty interesting/entertaining things to say, and it was almost like a conversation the few times she let me get half a sentence in before cutting me off. Holy fuck, you guys, this lady, I can't even. On the plus side, the first words out of her mouth were, "Do you drink?!" Lady was carrying an entire bottle of rum in her bag, and kept me in rum and cokes all the way to Seattle, so that was all right.
Richard picked my slightly tipsy ass up, and we drove to his friend's shiny apartment and passed the hell out like as soon as humanly possible. And the next morning we walked to the convention.
So my priorities for the convention were pretty much as follows:
-Stalk Bruce Timm.
-Stalk Dustin Nguyen.
-Stalk Mike Mignola.
-Stalk Geoff and Griffin.
-Maybe stalk some other people.
But I'm kind of a weenie when it comes to meeting celebrities, okay, even minor ones, ohmigod you guys I am so not cool. And this was my first comic convention, and I walked onto the artists/dealers floor and it was just SO BIG AND FULL OF STUFF AND PEOPLE AND INTIMIDATING OMG, and the thought of just walking right up to Bruce Timm was so alarming I just could not contemplate it right then, so I went to find Richard at the Space Goat booth. And we talked about panels we might want to check out and I talked about which celebrities I wanted to stalk, and then I shuffled my feet and looked wide-eyed and Richard took pity on me and dragged me off to stalk Top Cow and Oni Press. And on the way we found this booth selling trade paperbacks for 50% off and I stopped and browsed and bought ALL OF THE COMICS, guys, ALL OF THE COMICS. ALL OF THEM.
We chatted up the Oni Press guys and the Top Cow guys and we dropped off ALL OF THE COMICS with Richard's stuff at Space Goat (this is where it pays off to have a friend in the Industry, guys) and sat in on the Top Cow panel and sat on the the floor in the breezeway and ate bagels and Babybel cheese and Clementines and watched the costumes as they passed.
So then I was feeling calmer about things and I left Richard to finish his lunch and ran over to see Geoff and Griffin for the brief time they were there. They were cool, and so was I! I got the Grif-isms poster signed by both of them (Btw Lauren, would you like a Grif-isms poster signed by Geoff and Griffin? Because I have one for you. James, you get presents as well.) and I asked them how they were doing and if there would be any more Immersion (perhaps a few one-shots, but not a full second season, sadly) and joked around with Geoff about my Batman shirt ("I don't know who this Batman guy is, but he must be pretty popular, I have seen so many of you wearing that shirt today! Did you guys plan this?") and got my picture taken with them, yay. Feeling successful, I rejoined Richard on the breezeway, and Caitlin joined us, OMG CAITLIN YAY, I have not seen this girl in years.
I'm feeling a lot braver now, right, so I drag Caitlin and Richard around while I stalk people. We go past the DC booth on our way into the hall and hey, Dustin Nguyen's right there, so I figure I'll start with him. And, guys, Dustin Nguyen is the sweetest, coolest person ever, okay? Oh my god, he is so nice. I watched while he drew someone else a Batgirl (DC thoughtfully provides stacks of really nice drawing paper for the artists they've got on signing duty at their booth), and told him how beautiful I think his art is and how much I loved that first page in the Batgirl Valentine's Day issue, and I joked with him about how they're paying their artist slaves in water and Kit-Kats ("They're not even giving me the big ones, these ones are party-size!"), while meanwhile his cousin or whoever is sprawled comfortably at the end of the booth, eating a sandwich ("Where's Dustin's sandwich?"). And then it was my turn and I felt like it would be unoriginal to ask for Steph, so I asked for Damian Wayne. He seemed kind of surprised, and asked if I liked Damian better than Tim; I told him I wouldn't say I like Damian better... I adore Tim and if anything I probably like him better, but it's really hard for me to pick between Batfamily. I asked him who was his favorite character to draw; he said Batman, of course, everyone loves to draw Batman, but he likes to draw Damian because that's his favorite age to draw Robins at, he likes to draw Tim but they're always telling him he draws him too young. GUYS, NEXT TIME I MEET DUSTIN NGUYEN I AM SO ASKING HIM TO DRAW ME TINYCHILD!TIM. ...Anyway, he hands me my GORGEOUSADORABLEPRETTY sketch of Damo-face and I thank him and move along. Guys, my Dustin Nguyen Damo-face is probably my favorite thing from the entire convention, like, it's a proper sketch that he put several minutes of work into and it's so pretty and DUSTIN NGUYEN IS SO NICE. Like, he got embarrassed when I complimented his art, he is so sweet. ...So then in a hazy glow of triumph I go off to find Bruce Timm.
GUYS. GUYS. I COMPLETELY EMBARRASSED MYSELF IN FRONT OF BRUCE TIMM, NO SERIOUSLY I WAS SUCH A LOSER AND SO NOT COOL, MY LIFE IS FUCKING OVER, I AM GOING TO GO CRY IN A CORNER UNTIL I EXPIRE. TTT_TTT ...Bruce Timm is my motherfucking hero, okay, he is my god, he is the lord and ruler of my soul, he was a very large part of the reason I decided to go to this convention. I mean, I've always liked comics, but until very very recently, like, the last year or so, it was an occasional thing, not a regular habit/major addiction. However, I have been in a passionate love affair with the DC Animated Universe since the motherfucking beginning, okay, since Batman: The Animated Series (the greatest show to ever grace a television), and Bruce Timm basically is the DCAU. Co-creator and producer of Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, The New Batman Adventures, and Batman Beyond, producer of Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, creator and producer of Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, producer and co-director of Superman/Doomsday, producer of Batman: Gotham Knight and Batman: Under the Red Hood. He did almost all of the character designs for Batman: The Animated Series himself, as well as a fair chunk of Superman: The Animated Series and Justice League. AMONG MANY OTHER THINGS. I'm pretty sure he's produced EVERYTHING in the DCAU (except for Teen Titans), or pretty damn close.
So basically, BRUCE TIMM IS A REALLY BIG DEAL, and I was really nervous about meeting him, but I was lulled into a false sense of security by how easily things went with Dustin and thusly I was COMPLETELY UNPREPARED. So I show up and Bruce's table and he's drawing a Batgirl, like, a really really nice one. I settle in to watch for a bit; Bruce glances up, flashes a half-hearted smile, and goes back to his drawing. So I'm like, okay, that's fine, I could totally just stand here and watch you draw forever, that is really all I need from life, so I just settle in and watch him work (like a creeper). This other girl was totally on the same page as me; she settled in to watch for a bit, too, and we flashed each other I KNOW, ISN'T IT AWESOME?! smiles. ...So I'm trying to figure out how Mr. Timm operates, okay, because he doesn't have a stack of paper like was so kindly provided at the DC booth, and I'm like, shit, I don't have a notebook or anything, this is my first con and I'm completely clueless... but he's got this little sign-up sheet with "Name" and "Character Request" on it, and he's clearly drawing Batgirl for this list, but there's just no way he's drawing something that detailed for everyone who comes by and anyway the list is too short, and he's got it turned towards him which isn't very welcoming and I can't read any of the names on the list, but maybe he's just drawing for fun and he's taking suggestions only WHY DOES HE NEED THE NAMES THEN and argh I really don't see any paper anywhere, and as I'm turning all of this over in my head Bruce Timm finishes the drawing.
Bruce Timm: *sets drawing aside, looks up at me* What can I do for you?
Loser McLoserface (me): *panics* Um, I don't know, anything? *bizarre nervous bouncing maneuver*
Bruce Timm: *blank stare*
Loserface: Like, could you maybe draw me a tiny little doodle or something? *holds up fingers to show how tiny; hopeful look*
Bruce Timm: Sure. *expectant pause* ...I don't have any paper or anything. *duh*
Loserface: You don't? *OF COURSE HE DOESN'T, YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO PROVIDE THE PAPER, WHY WOULD YOU ASK THIS, HOW ENTITLED CAN YOU BE?!* Ahhh, I don't think I have any either! DDD: *digging through bags as if some will magically appear; would it be totally lame to give him the back of my Dustin Nguyen sketch? PROBABLY.*
Bruce Timm: Do you have your program? I could draw something on that.
Loserface: Yes! I do! Thank you! *flails around looking for program; flips through it in a panic, THERE AREN'T ANY BLANK PAGES OBVIOUSLY; hands it over anyway* Ah, I dunno, anywhere I guess? *I AM SUCH A LOSERFACE MORON, FUCK MY LIFE*
Bruce Timm: Here, I'll just do a stupid little Batman face on the cover. *scribbles*
Loserface: Awesome, thank you! *bounces nervously, goes into a flaily speech about how much I admire his work and how BTAS is my favorite show and it's what got me into Batman*
Bruce Timm: Thanks. There you go. *hands me my program back, complete with stupid little Batman face*
Loserface: Thank you so much! *RUNS AWAY*
Richard, several hours later: ...You were really nervous, weren't you?
Loserface: SHUTUP! T_T
...MY LIFE IS OVER, GUYS. But at least I can be buried with my adorable stupid little Batman face that Bruce Timm drew me even though I am a loserface moron.
Despite this complete and utterly embarrassing failure, I went off immediately to find Mike Mignola, armed with the knowledge that at least I had the free, Emerald City Comic Con exclusive B.P.R.D. comic for him to sign (you're welcome, Dar). But he wasn't there, so we went to the Webcomics Weekly Live! panel/podcast, and it was REALLY REALLY FUNNY and I laughed a lot and drank my green tea ginger ale and felt better about myself. And then I stalked Mike Mignola.
I really did stalk him, too. I spent, like, two whole minutes standing a few meters off and just STARING at him before I got up the nerve to approach. After that it was easier, though. He was talking to some dude about filming the Hellboy movies, so I just sidled up and listened in, and laughed when he told us funny stories about Eastern Europe (according to Mike, Eastern Europe is gray all the time and everyone is always weeping). Then the dude wandered off and Mike asked what he could do for me, and I asked him to sign my comic and I took a free pin, and I told him how my roommate's a huge fan and how she has this massive gorgeous Hellboy tattoo on her shoulder blade, and he was like, "Cool! Here, take another pin for her!" and that was that. IT WAS SO EASY. He was really nice.
And then we found the place selling trade paperbacks for 70% off, and I bought MANY COMICS YES, and Caitlin wandered off to hang out with some other friends while Richard and I went to the DC panel. ...Guys, DC is really cool, the panel was led by their new chief editor who's a really nice guy, and they didn't do much preaching (aside from saying vague but intriguing and exciting things about Flashpoint), they just wanted people to ask questions. And they apparently have a "mysterious benefactor" who gives them donuts every year, so if you ask a question you can have a donut, or two if it's a really really good question. My favorite question was the girl who was like, "In the Teen Titans episode 'Revved Up', a case belonging to Robin got stolen and a whole bunch of villains tried to get their hands on it even though no one knew what was in it. At the end of the episode Robin starts to show the Titans the secret contents, but the episode cuts off there and we don't get to see. What was in the case?" ...I cheered. Loudly. I was not the only one. There were also lots of shouts of, "TWO DONUTS! TWO DONUT QUESTION!" ...DC didn't have an answer. Frankly, they looked confused; I don't think they had any idea what we were on about, but I don't think the girl was really expecting an answer anyway. It was just funny.
Afterwards Richard and I wandered around the floor for a while, talking to artists and looking at art and stuff. Caitlin joined up with us just as the convention was closing for the day, and we got in line with a Jedi to grab Subway sandwiches. We took them downstairs to a table and some chairs in a quiet nook, and we started talking about comics and movies and shows and books and didn't stop until the security guard kicked us out three and a half hours later. Oops. ...I really should've expected this, I mean, it's just how we roll, this always happens to us.
Richard and I said goodbye to Caitlin and wandered through the dark back to his friend's apartment. ...Seattle, I would like to take this moment to thank you for not raining on us. Armed with pajamas and Terra chips we watched an episode of Superman: The Animated Series, "Knight Time", where Clark has to impersonate Batman and work with Tim!Robin to fight crime in Gotham in his absence. It is creepy/amazingly perfect how well it matches up with what I'm doing in "Live Without"... I'm going to take that as a sign that I am doing something right with my plot and characterization, fuck yeah. Then we watched Superman/Batman Apocalypse, which was pretty excellent, and then we PASSED THE HELL OUT.
Sunday was pretty chill. When we arrived DC was doing its "give away free stuff" thing again, so I got in line. And holy crap, guys, it was a lot of stuff, and actually really good stuff. A whole pile of first issues of their current comics, a whole pile of pins, posters, fake tattoos... basically, guys, DC IS THE BEST. I made a quick round of the floor and made a half-hearted attempt at stalking Tim Sale, but someone was talking to him and I didn't want to interrupt, so it was more of a drive-by stalking. I never did get around to stalking Marv Wolfman, either... oh well. Richard and I went and sat in on most of the panel on the Anthropology of Firefly, and then sat in on most of DC's Sunday Conversation panel. This was smaller and more intimate, just a few of us in the audience and chief editor dude, and DONUTS FOR EVERYONE. They were really good donuts, too. DC. THE BEST. Chief Editor dude invited us to come up to the mic and share stories about how we first got into comics. It was really nice.
But then I had to go. I retrieved my things from Richard's car, walked to the bus which took me to the train station, and had a quiet ride back to Portland (Karen of the Gift of Gab was seated in my car, across the aisle and one row up, which SCARED THE HELL OUT OF ME, but she didn't seem to notice me and spent the ride doing her crossword and arguing with her mother) during which I read comics, posted Umbrella Man, finally, and did some beta.
So that was my convention, although of course I haven't even mentioned the costumes (drag queen Emma Frost and Wonder Woman were highlights) or the actual big-name celebrities I avoided seeing such as William Shatner (although Norman Reedus did pass within punching-distance of me on the breezeway, not that I would want to punch him). TL;DR: convention was awesome, but next time I'm bringing a sketchbook and box of donuts to feed the artists with.
Complete haul of swag is as follows (not counting a few bookmarks, fliers, gifts for other people, etc):
Art of Mike Mignola pin (floating skull over empty tuxedo)
Dancing Batman sketch by David Willis ($1 tip, totally worth it)
Stupid little Batman face doodle by Bruce Timm
GORGEOUS Damian Wayne sketch by Dustin Nguyen
Gifts from Richard:
Witchblade volume 1 (Ron Marz, Mike Choi - Top Cow)
Witchblade: Redemption volume 1 (Ron Marz, Stjepan Sejic - Top Cow)
The Darkness: Accursed volume 1 (Phil Hester, Michael Broussard - Top Cow)
Full price (but totally worth it):
Nox (Shon C. Bury - Space Goat) [SUPPORT GAY CENTAUR RIGHTS!!]
Dr. Horrible and Other Horrible Stories (Zack Whedon - Dark Horse)
The Sixth Gun book 1 (Cullen Bunn, Brian Hurtt - Oni Press)
Echoes issue 1 (Joshua Hale Fialkov, Rahsan Ekedal - Top Cow)
Axe Cop issue 1 (Ethan Nicolle, Malachai Nicolle - Dark Horse)
FREAKING ADORABLE BATMAN PLUSHIE
Superman/Batman: The Search for Kryptonite (Michael Green, Mike Johnson, Shane Davis, Matt Banning - DC)
Superman/Batman: Finest Worlds (Michael Green, Mike Johnson, Rags Morales, Rafael Albuquerque - DC)
World's Finest (Sterling Gates, Julian Lopez, Ramon F. Bachs, Jamal Igle, Phil Noto - DC)
Robin: Days of Fire and Madness (Bill Willingham, Scott McDaniel, Andy Owens - DC)
Batman Grendel (Matt Wagner - DC and Dark Horse)
Marvel 1602: New World/Fantastick Four (Peter David, Greg Pak, Pascal Alixe, Greg Tocchini - Marvel)
The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch (Neil Gaiman, Michael Zulli, Todd Klein - Dark Horse)
Rising Stars: Born in Fire (J. Michael Straczynski - Top Cow)
The Mystery Play (Grant Morrison, Jon J. Muth - Vertigo/DC)
Eternals (Neil Gaiman, John Romita, Jr. - Marvel)
FREE because DC IS MADE OF AWESOME:
Batman Incorporated issue 1 (Grant Morrison, Yanick Paquette, Michel Lacombe)
Batwoman issue 0 (J.H. Williams III, W. Haden Blackman, Amy Reeder)
Batman: The Brave and the Bold issue 1 (Sholly Fisch, Rich Burchett, Dan Davis)
Superboy issue 1 (Jeff Lemire, Pier Gallo)
Green Lantern: Secret Origin part 1 (Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, Oclair Albert)
Brightest Day- Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors issue 1 (Peter J. Tomasi, Fernando Pasarin, Cam Smith)
DC Universe Online Legends issue 1 (Marv Wolfman, Tony Bedard, Howard Porter, Adriana Melo, John Livesay, Norman Lee)
Scalped chapter 1 (Jason Aaron, R.M. Guéra - Vertigo)
Scooby-Doo Where Are You?: The Circus of Terror (Scott Beatty, Scott Neely) [Lol, it was free.]
Posters- Batman: The Dark Knight, Batwoman (gift for Chris, methinks), DC Universe Online Legends
Pins- Batman, Batman, Flash, Wonder Woman, Superman, Green Lantern, DC, DC Nation, Vertigo
Fake Tattoos- Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman
I was going to post some comic reviews as well, but I think I'd maybe better save that for next time, this post is MUCH TOO LONG AS IT IS.
...Guys, this past weekend was just the beginning. This is the start of my two month long non-stop party. Coming soon: Cory in Portland, Carrie in Portland, My Chemical Romance in Portland, Travie McCoy and Black Cards in Portland, Bright Eyes in Portland, Patrick Stump/Becca/assorted friends and family in the Bay Area, Jen and Adam in Honolulu, Angela's Triumphant Return to Hilo. Among other adventures. And somewhere in there I'll need to pack or sell all of my shit. Guys, I may never sleep again. :DDDD