This was my sixth year at the now well-established Tucson ComicCon. The venerable institution (is it safe to call it an institution yet?) was even bigger than last year, a trend that Mike Olivares plans to continue into the distant future. Fortunately, bigger did not translate to longer lines. Attendees seemed to get into the convention quickly and with ease, and their good spirits buoyed all of us exhibitors.
Of course my trip would not have been complete without a few trips into the desert wilderness. I collected a slew of new reference photos for future Falling Rock backgrounds.
As I’ve noted before on this here blog, the Tucson Con is a perfect way to end the convention season. With a blast of sunlight and plenty of fodder for new stories, I return to my studio for a winter of making comics.
I’ve been less active in this space, but you can follow my creative process over on my Instagram and Facebook pages. Let’s keep in touch, yeah?
This weekend I will be at the 8th Annual Tucson ComicCon! I’ve exhibited at this convention more years than any other.
It makes me especially happy that my hometown has such a great show. You can find me stationed at:
What are you waiting for? Get your tickets now! See you this Friday, Saturday, and/or Sunday.
It doesn’t get much more Portland than a comic convention in the autumn. I rode the MAX to the show, which gets me slightly fewer PDX Points than riding my bike there.
Since Stumptown’s last hurrah, I’ve been looking for a Portland show to replace it. Rose City has found its footing as the new comics show not just for indie folk like myself, but for local publishers and a handful of bona fide celebrities as well. Big Bird! Princess Leia! Now I want to see the Sesame Street/Star Wars crossover.
My first Rose City was an incredibly pleasant experience, one that I hope to have again next year.
This weekend I will be at the Rose City ComicCon.
Stop by my table, O12 in Artist Alley! This is the first year I’ve tabled at Rose City.
I’ve heard good things and, since the dissolution of Stumptown, I haven’t had a permanent Portland convention.
I hope this will be the one!
My favorite phenomenon at San Diego ComicCon is the Running of the Toy Collectors. First thing in the morning, when they open the convention to attendees, avid toy collectors rush inside to stand in line for that day’s limited edition toy. Unfortunately for them, the convention has a strict NO RUNNING IN THE CONVENTION HALL policy (with good reason: nobody wants to end their trip to San Diego in the hospital after having been trampled by a guy looking for “Disco Darth Vader Variant”). When they open the convention doors, you can see the tension of wanting to run/not being allowed in their faces. This year, I documented this SDCC phenomenon in a short video.
The rest of the show went very well for me, even though I offered no vinyl Ernesto dolls. Maybe next year? I was back in good old row O, with some of my friends from past years and a few new ones. Perhaps because I’m getting older, this grueling 5-day convention seems to go by faster each year. The only way I know I’ve been standing at my table for that amount of time is by the aching of my feet and the scratchiness of my voice. My body held out admirably this year; all that ComicCon training in the winter really paid off.
Once again, many thanks to my perennial table buddy Rachael, without whom I couldn’t have left for lunch, and to my neighbors on the left (Bordin and Stephanie) and right (Ben Costa). The convention is too long to have anything but stellar friends to share the experience.
I knew I was back in Anaheim because of the warm sun and the endless parking lots.
WonderCon is a great convention because I see different people (both behind the tables and in attendance) than in any of my other shows. The con itself feels like a more manageable version of San Diego. Instead of a marathon, it’s a 10K. And it’s right beside Disneyland, so we get some spillover happiness.
This year I was happy to loan table space to Warner Archives for part of the day Saturday.
It is a testament to the open-mindedness of convention goers that they accepted without question our oddly-matched table.
I was incredibly lucky with my placement this year. Rarely do I get to know all my neighbors at a con, but my row was chock full of friendly, talented people. If they felt a self-publishing cartoonist was out of place among the animators and illustrators, they didn’t show it.
After the show Sunday, I made my way to Disneyland and California Adventure. The last time I visited was in high school, but I found I remembered quite a bit. I mostly wandered the parks, going on a few classic rides (Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Indiana Jones). I had dinner at Carthay Circle, a converted movie theater. Through fate or just blind chance I sat next to a few fellow convention exhibitors. Apparently I was not the only one with the brilliant idea of going to the park after the con ended.
WonderCon is an interesting show for me because of the involvement of the aforementioned animation industry people. In the Pacific Northwest, there are mainly self-publishing cartoonists such as myself. In Southern California, I’m more of an anomaly. It’s good to have a bit of both experiences, I think. I learn a lot from each crowd.
Emerald City ComicCon has a lot going for it. It’s a well run show, the focus is on comics, and in the evenings you get to be in Seattle.
This year began with a good omen: a Discarded Couch of Seattle.
I tabled with Reid, continuing our longstanding tradition.
We were fortunate to be seated next to Tyrell and Scott, making table DD a force to be reckoned with.
(It helped that Farel Dalrymple, Brandon Graham, and Simon Roy were also there.)
Five issues into Falling Rock National Park, I’m feeling happier than ever with the direction it’s taking. Selling a pack of all five issues is satisfying to attendees who want the collected adventures. I’m also proud to see the series progress. One or two issues is a good start, but now I feel like it’s a real series.
Thank you for a welcome reception, Seattle. I will see you next year!
This weekend I’ll be at WonderCon in beautiful Anaheim, California. If you’re not going to Disneyland this weekend, come see me! I will have the brand new Falling Rock #5, the first all-Pam issue! They moved everybody around this year, so here’s a handy map to find me among the Donald Duck impersonators.
This weekend I’ll be at Emerald City ComicCon. I will have the brand new Falling Rock issue 5, the first all-Pam issue! Reid Psaltis will be sharing a table with me, and Tyrell Cannon will be right next door. Get all your indie comics and prints in one 15 square foot area. Here’s a handy map to find me among the lovely people living free.
I took photos at the Tucson Comic-Con, but they look pretty much like every other set of photos I take at conventions. Here, instead, is a cool rock I saw in the front yard of my parents’ house:
This year the Tucson Con was twice as big. I was standing right where the wall was last year. Is that significant? It might have posed a problem if I was a time-traveling husband who cannot control at what point in the timeline he pops out. As it is, though, I remain fixed in the now and so I was not caught in the middle of a wall.
Tucson remains a great place to finish my festival season. Because Falling Rock is unofficially set there, people get the strip right off. And there were lots of people who I had met at the convention in years past. I believe that is what they call an “audience” in the business. I am grateful for my audience.
I was tabling between three stand-up comedians. During the course of the weekend I watched them very closely in an attempt to pick up some of their tricks. They’re all naturals at talking to people, at engaging strangers, and generally being likable. Henry Barajas, on my right, will someday rule the comics industry with an iron fist. Jacob Breckenridge and Mike Esham, on my left, always seemed to have a crowd at their table. Being between them was like getting a master class in mojo.
Now I am back home in good ol’ 1955 – I mean, Portland. This marks the real start of working on Falling Rock #5 without any conventions to slow me down. I hope to have it done by January. If you’d like to have a copy delivered to you through the magic of the US Postal Service, subscribe now!
This was a great convention season. Let’s do it again next year, shall we?