Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Celebrity Saturday

While I was inundated with incredibly famous people (in my eyes anyway) on Friday, it was nothing compared to who I met on Saturday.

I had an early signing at 11am, and my sketching was much better and faster. I drew til 4pm with some people waiting up to 30 to 40 minutes in line. And when I say line, I mean no more than about 6 people at once. No one really knew who I was, but I was taking 10-15min per sketch and I think people were really appreciating the time, effort and final product. I was trying to make it as interactive as possible. I held up the sketch at the pencil, ink and final inkwashed stage so people could see what was going on and what they had been waiting for. I found a really nice style which involved doing busts with a Jae Lee/Josh Middleton inspired colouring. I'm regretting not taking photos of them.

At about 2pm I was kicked out of my spot, but I stuck around and kept sketching for people who had been waiting for me. I was really happy with all but one or two of them, and even then those were probably as good as the best ones yesterday. I met Jennifer, an aide of Roger who did a filmed interview with me, and the two of us had a great laugh. At the end of my shift I snuck over to the other side of the booth to find a huge queue for Seth Green who co-created “The Freshmen”. I asked Annie if I could get my Freshmen TPB signed and she helped me jump the queue and get a photo with Seth, who is incredibly cool and low key.

I went for a small wander and had a cool chat with Jason Pearson and David Mack. David remembered me from Sydney many years ago, and I met his girlfriend Mandy Amano (daughter of artist Jeff, not Yoshitaka). I find the real trick is knowing when to leave. Hit em hard and funny and then politely excuse yourself.

So I wandered back to the Top Cow booth, Renae rocked up with her husband Tyler Mane, his daughter Shania and son Lysander. Tyler Mane is a MASSIVE dude, and his kids are damn cool, especially Shania who is one of the smartest kids I’ve met. I’ve got a theory about interacting with kids, and that is: you don’t treat em like a kid, and they don’t act like kids. JAn and I geeked out with Renae’s lovely family (see photos) and had a great laugh with Shania who I vicariously live out my fatherhood impulses with.

We then met up with Jason who wandered around the con with us. He knew Scott Hampton and offered to introduce us to him. On the way we got distracted by Dave McKean (OMG!! I shook his hand!), John J. Muth, Mike Mignola (grabbed a pressie for a friend) and Art Adams. We got a chance to talk to Tim Bradstreet who loved Australia when he was there on his honeymoon/con circuit in 1996 and mentioned that while most people would head to the Hyatt, there would be a small crew of people meeting at the Hilton. We finally met Scott Hampton who, after telling him what I was doing said, “Welcome aboard!” which meant so much to me. He is hands down one of the nicest guys. (Tomorrow I will tell a little story to illustrate this when I did more shopping for friends.) That sounds incredibly lame, but I gotta tell you, all we’ve met are really nice people. It’s gotten to the point where JAn screams himself to sleep in his pillow as he has no other targets for his rage.

Totally buzzed, we took Jason out for dinner at an authentic Mexican restaurant. Real guacamole, real salsa, freshly made corn chips. I ordered two mains (as I do) and asked for extra rice and beans. The waitress was a little concerned about potentially wasted food – but that misconception was soon rectified.

While I had been slaving at the booth JAn had been hailed down by two gorgeous goth chicks who had invited him out to a club. So we headed back to the hotel to clean up and then made our way out to a massive disappointment. There was a line around the corner of Normals. This was no goth/ebm/industrial club. It was a normal club which these girls were dancing at. We blew the whole idea off, our plan was to head to the Hilton and see what was going on and then maybe make our way to the Hyatt after.

So we arrive at the Hilton and there’s a small group of about 10 people all sitting around an outside table. Tim Bradstreet gave us a huge grin and we introduced ourselves to the people around the table: Bernie Wrightson and his lovely wife Liz, Joe Jusko, Grant Goleash, Steve Niles and his spunky girlfriend, Sarah, Joel from Tripwire and a bunch of really nice dudes.

I was posting yesterday about the way JAn interacts with people. Watching Tim Bradstreet do his thing is pretty much the same. The man is going to be working for as long as he wants, cos not only is he one of the most talented artists and cover designers in the business but also one of the funniest, commanding, humble and incisive individuals I’ve met since JAn. It basically turned into the “JAn and Tim Show” with the rest of us chipping in to provide more material. Suffice to say, we never saw the Hyatt. Our waitress, Pumpkin Mead (her porn name: you know, first pet and the name of the street you first lived on) was great and we were all taken aback when Steve Niles picked up the check. He also gave JAn and I his number so he could either give us some advice around LA or take us around if he had time.

One of the dudes, Chris kindly drove everyone home (turns out Tim was staying at our hotel also) at 2am cos pretty much everywhere stops serving alcohol then.

What a crappy city. =)

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