Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Chicago Comicon... Come and Gone
Well, as usual my time at this convention went way too fast... I have a huge soft spot for this show due to the fact that it was my first convention experience.
There was a fair amount of negative talk about this show before it even began, considering that Marvel and DC didn't have a presence at the show I suppose it is somewhat understandable that many would be concerned about what the quality of the show would be... this has always been a big box show and that would normally mean the "big 2" would be present. In the end it actually was a great thing that they weren't, it seemed to push many people into Artist Alley that might not have otherwise given that area a chance.
Thursday (Preview Night)
I took Thursday off spending the day hanging out with my kids and packing my car (I actually cleaned it out for the trip and everything, heh). I left the house around 12:30pm Indiana time, the drive was tolerable with no real traffic till about the last 5 miles where it became stop and go. Called Mr. Matt Kramer as I was getting into Rosemont and he directed me to the parking lot... got checked in and the weekend officially began. Dave and I walked down to the convention center to grab our badges (which they didn't have... badges, we don't need no stinking badges) and head to the table to setup. It was a fairly slow beginning but it was still a great time getting into the groove of the show, Pat's flight was late but he made it in before it ended. I already had a few commissions to do.
At the end of the show, there was a need for vittles, so Dave and I decided to take the easy road and just hang out in the Red Bar which was convenient but expensive. It was a great night of hanging out with new and old friends, we also got "hit on" by a bunch of drunk kindergarten teachers which was amusing and frightening at the same time.
Trying to be quiet at 2:30am while setting up an air mattress is comical.
Vince arrived and was instantly whisked away by Mr. Neseman to breakfast, while we had bagels and beverages in teh hotel cafe. Friday was a crazy day, surprisingly busy... lots of commissions and I actually sold a few books. Lots of great people stopped by the table to say hi. The table was in a fairly odd location sort of shoved in the back and all the way at the end... there were alot of empty tables nearby which tends to discourage traffic... but somehow we still were able to get a fair amount of business.
When it was time to figure out dinner we (Dave, Pat and I) ended up heading out with Brian Defferding and his girlfriend and friend to Ginos East... it was a fun dinner with great conversation and awesome food. Afterwards it was back to the Red Bar for more hanging out.
Saturday was a really busy day for me, alot of commissions and sketches, more books sold and plenty of laughs and just fun discussion in general. I got to do a sketch in Jeffrey Brown's X-men sketch book which was a bit nerve-wrecking but I think it turned out alright and he seemed happy with it. By the end of the day I was expecting my eyes to fall out of the socket from all the drawing... I still had 3 commissions to do for Sunday and wasn't too sure how I was going to make it... but that was a worry for the next day.
Dave and I went out to dinner at Maria's (a fine authentic mexican restaurant) with Steve Bryant and about 10 other people... there was a lot of great conversation about the industry and comics making in general... very enlightening and it was just fun to meet so many new people in one setting. Then it was off to the Red Bar for the last night of hanging out... some of the selebs in the bar were: Edward james Almos, Billy Dee Williams, Kevin Nash, X-Pac and several comic professionals of course (this was true all three nights). Met a couple new folks and hung out with old friends as well.
Sunday (this is the end)
I was in near panic mode trying to get my commissions done in time... at one point I was literaly running around the show floor looking for presents for my kids... I got Lucy a really cute panda beanie and Jack a set of Justice League Unlimited action figures (12 inch Batman and Superman). Then it was back to the commissions, which i actually did end up finishing, we tore down and it was time to say goodbye... thankfully Nick and pat helped me and Dave get our gear out to our cars in the hotel parking lot. Then it was hug time and farwells all around. I had a fairly uneventful drive home (enjoying chewy sprees on the way). It was great to pull into our driveway and kiss my wife while catching up with her about each other's weekends.
All in all Chicago Comicon was a success... my first profitable year in Rosemont actually. It was great to hang out with friends who share my love of comics and it was fun to meet tons of new folks. Hopefully the show will still be doing well next year. See you there?
PS. I took Monday off which was about the smartest thing I could have done... Sara and I had a good day hanging out with the kids and each other. We watched Twilight (meh).