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June 21, 2009


FFF Results Post #169—Con Fun

On Friday, CR were asked to "Briefly Describe Five Fondly-Remembered Convention Experiences." This is how they responded.

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Tom Spurgeon

1. Sitting on the Porch of the Hyatt after the Eisners, shooting the late-night breeze with Pete Sickman-Garner and Jeff Smith
2. Driving to Chicago, hungry to see the new comics they didn't tend to sell in Indiana
3. Trying to explain to the rental car company agent how I got so much sand in the car
4. Having a cartoonist ask me if I wanted to write an article for the Comics Journal about him beating the shit out of an unscrupulous publisher, and following him for the next 90 minutes as he stomped around like Lee Marvin trying to track him down
5. Dennis DeYoung's command performance

*****

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Russell Lissau

1. Doing my first signing in the DC Comics booth at Wizard World Chicago (2006, I think)
2. Going to an old Chicago Comicon (before it was WWC) in the early 1990s and meeting, all at one all-star table, Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, James O'Barr and Art Adams. I have the autographed books to prove it wasn't a dream!
3. Being on my first Wizard World panel (last year)
4. The first time a fan handed me a book I wrote, that he brought from his own collection, for me to sign. (I choked up, I really did.)
5. Buying a copy of "The Shy Creatures" from David Mack for my daughter at WWC in 2007. It's since become one of our favorite picture books. Then, last summer, she got to thank David for the book in person. It was precious.

*****

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Matthew Craig

1. A lady came up to my table at last year's Birmingham International Comics Show and presented me with a cushion, upon which she (a fine artist) had painted a picture of my dog/mascot/muse Hondle.
2. Drawing a squirrel for a punter, and not having it balled up and stuffed down my throat, like "Cheetara" shoulda done.
3. Meeting Kev F. Sutherland, comico, comic and teacher, and dancing with his socks.
4. The moment when my best mate and his family turned up at Brumacon, out of the blue and somewhat out of place. I mean, okay, his daughter wanted to meet Sonia Leong, but the rest of the family was there to say hi to me!
5. Impressing some forensic science students with my degrees in molecular biolo - oh, who am I kidding: my UV-fluorescent "CSI" pen.

*****

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Mark Coale

1. being on a panel about continuity with Peter Sanderson and Paul Levitz at the Comics Arts Conference
2. being stuck on the wrong side of the train tracks in SD along with Jeff Smith, Mark Evanier and Sakai (among others)
3. playing on the winning side of the softball game at SPX vs Diamond
4. getting a wedding sketchbook done for friends back home that were being married about a week after the show
5. getting a Psycho Pirate sketch from Grant Morrison

*****

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Adam Casey

1. Attending my first one, a dealer oriented show, in a hotel conference room in Raleigh in 1992 and being astounded to see all of the rare comics for the first time.
2. Visiting my first HeroesCon in 2005, and getting a fire lit under me to make comics by seeing a panel discussion with Andy Runton, Rob Ullman, J. Chris Campbell, and Ben Towle focusing on mini-comics.
3. At the same HeroesCon, discovering Brien Wayne Powell's Magnet Man mini-comics.
4. Setting up for my first convention, Fluke, in 2006 and making my first sell ever.
5. Meeting two artists from Canada, Lisa and Arletta, at SPX 2008 and on the last day of the show, we went to a campground and sat around a fire and I explained to them why I was certain Barack Obama would win the election.

*****

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Buzz Dixon

1 - Staying awake for 72 hours straight at my first WorldCon.
2 - Chatting with Jack and Roz Kirby at San Diego, and suddenly realizing we were standing alone and unmolested in the middle of a 20-ft wide ring of Jack's adoring fans.
3 - Smoking Cohibas, drinking scotch, and talking with Steve Gerber, Flint Dille, and Frank Miller through the wee morning hours on a balcony at the U.S. Grant.
4 - Watching a Satanist pick up a Jack Chick tract at the Christian Comics Art Society table, flip through it, then recoil in horror and literally drop it like a hot potato.
5 - Laying in my bed at the El Cortez and listening to a dramatic reading from Robert Gover's "One Hundred Dollar Misunderstanding" performed on the sidewalk just below my window by an erotic services worker and her personal manager.

*****

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Richard Pachter

1. Booze run at ChicagoCon with my new best pal Frank Plowright, culminating in a wild, happy, screaming hotel-room party packed with friends, phoning and shouting at Harry Broertjes, who couldn't make it.
2. Osso Bucco with Howard Chaykin at a restaurant during MiamiCon (then Art Adams at my house for dinner the next night.)
3. Shaking hands and getting a pat on the back from Jack Kirby at San Diego ComicCon.
4. Meeting Will Eisner (and Bob Cummings!) at OrlandoCon, then dinner with Fred Hembeck and Lynn Moss.
5. Having Kyle Baker curse at me (with a smile) for asking where the end of The Shadow was at a dinky, nameless con in Ft. Lauderdale. ("Ask Helfer," he said.)

*****

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Paul Karasik

1. 1971: Going up to my then idol, Frank Frazetta's, hotel room above the con in D.C. with con organizer, Gary Groth, flipping through original Johnny Comet dailies, watching a ball game, drinking cokes, and swiping Frazetta's hand-signatured name tag.
2. Uhm... does it get any better than that?

editor's note: Paul Karasik can do that because he's Paul Karasik; the rest of you I'll bounce right to the letters column.

*****

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Michael Grabowski

1. Right at the point where my dad had gotten tired of driving me (45 minutes each way) to San Francisco Creation Cons, a comics convention was held at a local private college so close I could bike to it. So I did.
2. Two years in a row. (Probably '83-84.)
3. With a friend my age from my high school who actually read comics, too.
4. Leaving the con in the middle of the day to bike over to Comics & Comix in order to comparison shop.
5. Seeing a Dave Sim presentation for the first time at that same local con right at the point where he was becoming a New God in my comics pantheon.

*****

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Brandon Graham

1. seeing the tiny coffin Drew Hayes kept his art supplies in.
2. Talking to frank Miller about country music.
3. Ross Campbell greeting Klingons in their own language.
4. Spilling coffee on Bob Shreck.
5. Trading badges with Mr Justin "Moritat" Norman and pretending to be him.

*****

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Jamie S. Rich

1. Seeing Marc Ellerby eat pavement in the middle of the street at 3:00 in the morning outside the San Diego Marriott.
2. Marc Ellerby being carried around in a giant Dark Horse bag.
3. Having to pull Marc Ellerby off of Joëlle Jones after he tackled her in a hotel hallway for no good reason.
4. Marc Ellerby's British appetite being introduced to the concept of a "burrito."
5. At the Eisners, having Gabriel Ba confuse me with Marc Ellerby after Marc bought copies of Five off of him earlier that day.

I'm gonna miss Marc not being at San Diego this year. Especially since it means I won't be making any new appearances in Ellerbisms.

*****

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Michael Dooley

1. The 1972 E.C. Convention in N.Y.C., the first one I ever attended: where I was awestruck at seeing Harvey all the other legends all in one place, speaking on the dais and just wandering around the halls.
2. The first San Diego Convention I attended, at the El Cortez Hotel in 1974: where I was amazed at seeing such a huge, diverse gathering of comics celebrities, all easily approachable for casual conversation in the halls as well as fascinating to hear in their formal presentations.
3. The 1987 San Diego Convention at the Convention Center: where I engaged in a stimulating conversation with Art Spiegelman which became the impetus for my lengthy eight-page analysis of "Two-Fisted Painters" in Comics Journal #128.
4. The 1990 San Diego Convention: where I enjoyed conducting my first panel discussion, with Kelly Freas.
5. The 2006 San Diego Convention: where I initiated and moderated four panel discussions to talk about recently opened "Masters of American Comics" exhibition in Los Angeles and to promote my new book. My panelists included Rick Geary, R.C. Harvey, Chip Kidd, Tim Biscup, Isabel Samaras, Shag, Mark Todd, Esther Pearl Watson, Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, Ivan Brunetti, Mary Fleener, Roger Langridge, Souther Salazar, Denis Kitchen, Craig Yoe, and Brian Walker, who invited me to sit at his table during the Eisner Awards.

*****

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Michael Aushenker

Five For Friday #169 -- Briefly Describe Five Fondly-Remembered Convention Experiences

1) Meeting one of my all-time favorites, Jack Kirby, and his wife Roz, at my very first San Diego Comicon (1992), shortly before Jack passed away, and giving him a copy of my first (and just-)published comic book, BOUND & GAGGED (Caliber Press/Iconografix). This took place on the top level of the convention center, that open deck where they hold the official Comicon party. I'll never forget it.
2) Back in the 1980s, when I was about 13, befriending Denys Cowan at one of the monthly Los Angeles comic conventions at the Ambassador Hotel (a classy, elegant, Old Hollywood hotel near downtown L.A. where Robert Kennedy was assassinated; unfortunately since torn down). Cowan spent several hours letting me hang out at his table while he met fans, giving me tips about cartooning in between, and, by the end of the day, I took home an 8 1/2" x=2 011" red-ink portrait of his signature Luke Cage and Iron Fist (which I still have). This experience really made an impression on me as a budding cartoonist, as I was huge fan of the Mary Jo Duffy/Denys Cowan "Powerman/Iron Fist" run.
3) Meeting fellow cartoonist Jose Cabrera ("Crying Macho Man") during one APE Convention in San Francisco a couple of years ago. Turned out he also lives in Los Angeles and I now consider him one of my best friends.
4) Witnessing Glenn Danzig going from friendly to almost taking down some poor dealer after he showed him some bootleg Danzig stuff he was selling.
5) While working my table at one SD Comicon, out of boredom and apparently suffering from costume fatigue, I drew giant googlely eyes with a Sharpie on paper and taped them to the lid part of a cherry top red-and-white trash receptacle, along with a sign that read "Meet the robot from Disney's 'The Black Hole!" It evidently made for a pretty authentic V.I.N.C.E.N.T. People laughed, posed with it and took pictures.

*****

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Don MacPherson

1) Drinking dirty Newfoundland rum with Randy Lander on the balcony of our hotel room, chatting about comics and life in general.
2) Apologizing to the guys at IDW for my behavior the night before at their con party.
3) Listening to Mark Alessi rant like a madman as I and other online comics journalists drank his booze and ate his food.
4) Watching Jim Mahfood create a piece of painted art in a bar and buying it when it was auctioned off.
5) Politely turning down Jeph Loeb's offer to buy two pages of Mike McKone art from his first issue of the ongoing Superman series that I'd just purchased less than an hour before from the artist.

*****

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Alan David Doane

1. Having Thai food with FantaCo alumni Roger Green and Rocco Nigro in Saratoga Springs. I broke a tooth biting down on a peanut during that lunch, so you can bet I was having a good time if I still remember it fondly.
2. Taking it all in as as I accompanied Barry Windsor-Smith and Alex Bialy to a convention in White Plains, NY almost a decade ago. Amazed by Barry's class and composure and willingness to share his knowledge with his fans. Also got to meet Marie Severin and the Nodells at that show.
3. My five- or six-year old daughter's disappointment when we arrived at a western New York comic book show ten or more years ago and she realized there was no "show." An early parenting lesson in perception and expectation! The guy that played Major West on Lost in Space was at that one, but I remembered him more as a bad guy from General Hospital.
4. Meeting Carel Struyken at an Albany science fiction convention not long after Twin Peaks ended (he was The Giant that appeared to Agent Cooper in visions, and also played Mr. Homn on Star Trek: TNG). As I recall, he had invented some sort of primitive holodeck-type video game and was hyped about promoting it. We shook hands and mine was like a baby's compared to his. Man, he was just huge, and a sweet, gracious man.
5. Finally meeting Joe Staton at an Albany Comicon earlier this year, after being a fan of his dating back to the first issue of E-Man. He's a gifted artist whose most recent work, Femme Noir, is a lot of fun. And the drawing he did of the Archie characters made my wife very, very happy.

*****

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Scott Dunbier

* Calling Kevin Nowlan from the stage of the Eisner Awards after I accepted his award for best artist of the year.
* Spending an evening in a Detroit hotel room with Mark Nelson and Mike Mignola after some lousy show, just telling stories and laughing our asses off.
* Garry Leach, staying with my family during the 2004 SDCC, the only one he has ever attended. He spent a lot of time in his room (given up by our the three year old son, Alex), and didn’t go out much, not even to the show. I couldn’t figure it out, even got a little pissy with him over his coming all this way and not making the most of it. When he left he surprised the Hell out of my wife and I by presenting us with a painting of Alex.
* Walking over to an art dealers booth on preview night at SDCC six or seven years ago and seeing a Wally Wood Spirit in Outer Space page hanging up -- the very one that I always hoped I would own, and now do.
* Flipping coins for comic art.

*****

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Booksteve

1- Noting that Gil Kane looked like he was drawn by Gil Kane as he walked by me, I acidentally bumped into Will Eisner and nearly knocked him into Jack Kirby!
2- Following Stan Lee down the street for six blocks on a windy day to see if it really was a toupee!
3- Watching the world premiere of SPACE 1999 in a room with only a handful of people when a filled auditorium right next door started chanting the STAR TREK opening whilst watching an episode on the big screen. Halfway through SPACE, we all defected to TREK.
4- Watching black and white SUPERMAN TV episodes in a room for Superman's 50th birthday only to have the lights come up and Phyllis (Lois Lane) Coates and Robert (Inspector Henderson) Shayne be in the room with us!
5- Talking to Fantagraphics' Gary Groth for twenty minutes before realizing who he was and being surprised he was so much nicer than his reputation!

*****

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Mark McMurray

1. Creation Con NYC circa 1979 -- Watching amazing images repeatedly fall from John Byrne's pencil throughout the day.
2. A.C.E. Vermont 1995 -- Man... that whole day was just great.
3. San Diego Comic Con 1998 -- Meeting John Severin, then helping him find his way to the Eisner Awards.
4. SPX 1999 -- the party after the Ignatz awards in the room with the bathtub full of beer.
5. MoCCA 2005 -- Patrick McDonnell saying (after seeing my comic Dumb Jersey White Boy), "Hey... I'm a dumb jersey white boy, too!!"

*****
*****
 
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