We rolled out of the rack at about 6:30am and headed up to the Convention Centre for 8:30am like we’d done in the past. But when we got there, we realized exactly how big the Con had become. The line-ups were already crazy and there were evil Convention Centre employees telling us to go get in a really long (and, frankly, pointless) line, so we ignored them and packed into the front with the other Intrepid Shapiros.
To entertain the mob, every now and then a door would open and a stormtrooper or Darth Vader himself would walk out and hold their arms up in the air. Some people would cheer. People who know how dangerous the Empire really is mumbled thinly veiled threats or booed outright. There is photographic evidence of which side I was on (see Gallery below). FUCK THE GALACTIC EMPIRE! LUKE AND HAN FTW!
Anyhoo, the time finally arrived and we proceeded to walk NOT RUN!! to our destinations. Venus marched right over to say hello to her pal Tim Sale while I headed over to see Dustin Nguyen, who is not only ultra-kick ass, but a super nice guy too. He had a few prints for sale, two of which were cutesy stuff, but the third one was a hot ass collage of every redheaded super heroine all dog-piled together super sexy like. Well, you know I picked the one with the mini-DC kids because they’re so cute. JUST KIDDING YOU GUYS! I GOT THE GIRLS, JEEZ! Who knew there were so many redheads in comics?
After looking for the huge golden pedestal – I was sure the organizers had placed Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III on a huge golden pedestal somewhere – I found them down amongst the commoners and approached the pair with my copy of Detective Comics (Batwoman) #854. And you know what? They’re just regular dudes. Regular dudes who write better stories than you could ever write and produce better art than you could ever produce. But other than that, just the same! So now this comic is worth more to me than my left kidney.
Stefano Gaudiano, it should be noted, is a gentleman and a scholar. For those who don’t know him, he worked with Brubaker and Lark on the Daredevil book after Bendis and Maleev left. Stefano graciously drew and inked a super sweet Daredevil for me, even though I just requested a fast pencil sketch if he had time. It was a real treat to see his crazy process, too. What a great guy!
Here’s something I’ve never seen at a Con before: Jo Chen, the amazing cover artist for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, was actually writing receipts for everything everyone bought. Strange, no? She also has one of the best signatures ever, so I was happy to have her sign my copy of Buffy #19.
Venus and I both had to check out Mike and Laura Allred’s table because they rocked a great issue of Solo (which I own) and a couple of issues of Fables (which Venus owns). Also, I had heard they’re super nice people which turned out to be COMPLETELY TRUE. Honestly, I think it would be difficult for anyone to top just how friendly and engaging they both were. And, as if I wasn’t already excited enough about the upcoming I, Zombie, Laura lit up just talking about it, which made me even more stoked. Yes!
While waiting in line to see the Allreds, we came across the lovely Joelle Jones, whose work on Madame Xanadu is seriously off the chain! We didn’t even know she was going to be there either. The good thing for us (and not so much for her) was that the Allred’s line almost totally obscured her table. So what does that mean? That means that Venus got a couple of beautiful commissions, one Lady Blackhawk and one Madame Xanadu, with no line up or significant wait time. SWEEEEEEEEEEEET!
After killing a couple of hamburgers with our buddy (and local comic artist) Jason Copland, the three of us headed over to harass Phil Hester, who had brought some out-of-print compilations for Jason. While we were visiting, Phil was kind enough to do up a super-pissed-off Black Canary for Venus. It’s amazing watching these guys work! Like magic!
Despite his super creepy comics, Ben Templesmith is a cool cat and seemed even more excited about Venus’ tattoos than she was about his comics. And she’s a huge fan! So now she’s got a copy of Fell #1 signed by the man, who also drew the creepy ‘S’ symbol right on the cover. So, she should be protected now (read the book!)
After that we were getting pretty spaced out and spent the rest of the Con wandering around and taking pictures of funny stuff. Venus got her picture with Stan Lee…or, you know, beside a poster of Stan Lee because the real one was charging $60 which is wack slacks. All in all, a great first day.
What are you waiting for? Check out Ian & Venus’ Excellent Adventure Day Two here.