Monday, July 24, 2006


When tourists come to Australia, one of the first things they rave on about is how beautiful our women are. I'm trying to figure this out because I have never seen more beautiful women in my life than in San Diego.

Let me be absolutely clear when I say, I'm not an "oggler". I don't stare at women, no matter how beautiful they are, and I certainly don't look behind me. Lemme give you a scale. I think 7 is worth a long lingering glace. An 8 is secondary check. 9 is a long, long look (not a stare) and well... I've never seen a 10.

Let me just I have seen that many 7's I've lost count. A damn lot of 8s and 9s and even a 9.5 (a stunning young black waitress at a steak joint who I would have proposed to if my mouth had worked). My theory is it's some sort of long lost "sowing wild oats"/"grass is greener" primitive impulse that kicks in when you're among new genetic stock.

JAn listened to this theory politely and then replied, "You know, you can have all the 7s, 8s, 9s you want. I go home to my girlfriend (who's a 10) every night and that's all I need to know."

I hate the lucky sonavabitch.

He's really been invaluable. As my artblog has found a wider audience, he's been instrumental in helping me find a professional and appropriate tone. There's also no-one I would rather be here in San Diego with. Watching JAn work his magic on people with his incisive charm dripping with intellectual pop culture references is brilliant. His friends love him for it, and I hope you get the opportunity to experience it one day.

But anyway... Friday.

I'm not gonna bore you with breakfast (hotel buffet) nor how I made it to the con (shuttle bus). Today was the first day of the con and i was told that it was busier than it had ever been. I wandered the floor, endeavouring to cover every footstop of this air-hangar sized labyrinthe. I got photos of all my favourite artists. Passing by the Wizard booth I said "Hi" to Karen Evora who was one of our drinking buddies late last night at the Hyatt. Karen is just a bucket of energy in human form and is just about one of the most sweetest people walking this planet. I excused myself and ran off to the Brian Bolland panel. Brian is an extraordinarily reserved gentleman who spent half the panel trying to justify doing digital work over pen and paper work. To me it's kinda like explaining why you should write with a word processor rather than pen and paper.

I then made my way to my first signing and met Matt Hawkins (President of Top Cow) this smiling man-sized energy machine. Then the incredibly lovely David Nakayama (Proximity Effect, Revved and City of Heroes) rocked up. I then met David Wohl and was totally blown away by how welcoming, gracious and cheerful this veteran of the industry is. I then sat down to sign and sketch. My sketches were awful. Of the 6 that I did, 2 were ok, the other 4 should have seen me deported.

Renae Geerlings (Editor in Chief of Top Cow) rocked up from portfolio reviews and we lamented how we both missed stuff because of committments. We then gushed about Battlestar Galactica.

Roger then introduced JAn and I to Jason Cranford-Teague from AOL Red (the teen content part of AOL). Jason dug my covers and got chatting to JAn. Turns out Jason was on the exact same page as us: comics, role-playing games and music. Next thing I know we're out to dinner with his boss at Masala Indian restaurant. We had a great chat and all got on like a house on fire.

JAn and I excused ourselves and made our way to the Eisners. Our "Professional/Exhibitors" badges are about the best badges you can get without being an organiser. We walked straight past the mile long queue and through the professional's entrance into the hall to take 2nd row seats. The Eisners started with Scott Kurtz's (PVP) win with the most heartfelt, funny, poignant and concise speech. Despite a couple of highlights it was a bit downhill from there.

Afterwards, I joined JAn outside for a smoke and got chatting to Elizabeth a fellow smoker and friend of many high profile comic industry professionals. One of them was Charles Browstein the writer of "Eisner/Miller". He let me hold his Eisner, which was both a buzz and a little depressing (cos it wasn't mine). I saw Frank Miller and "fanboyed" him and he was gracious in a skittish sorta way. Kyle Baker (weighed down by Eisners) also accepted a handshake and some gushing praise. I found JAn thanking Diana Schutz for taking so much of her time with us years ago back in Sydney and graciously replying to our submission. She introduced us to Eduardo Barretto who I confused for Carlos Ezquerra. Despite the confusion he was kind enough to give me a mountain of advice and his email address. Just as Eduardo left, Mark Buckingham walked over and we chatted for ages about his career, Chris Bachalo, Fables, Miracleman and his brand new Eisner.

Click here for some images (more incoming after I get home and crop them): SANDIEGO1

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