Con Report: Emerald City Comic Con — Saturday

After I passed out in my hotel room (from exhaustion) Friday night, I awoke the next morning ready to venture out into Seattle to find breakfast. I got up early and planned to ask the front desk for directions to a nearby breakfast place.

Instead, I was greeted in the lobby by the absolutely finest complimentary breakfast in the history of hospitality. The hotel complimentary breakfast has come to be known as the Continental Breakfast — where “Continental” is a euphamism for “stale donut.”

The Springhill Mariott had a full breakfast bar available to its guests: Scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, cereal, fruit, three kinds of coffee, juice, milk, danish, bagels, donuts, and a make-you-own-waffle station. And I know I’m missing some items. I know I saw hard-boiled eggs Sunday, for example. I was standing, awestruck by the sheer magnitude of it all, when I heard, “Hey Brad, you want to join us for breakfast?”

It was Howard and Sandra Tayler and two of their delightful children. The Tayler kids were polite, well-behaved, and a joy to sit with. They had a great day planned with their mom and they were truly enjoying the weekend.

After breakfast, Howard and I went to the convention center to finish the set-up of the booth. As we were setting up, Howard was telling me about Jim Zubkavich’s LiveJournal in which he posts about reviewing art student portfolios. It’s a great read.

The convention started soon thereafter. My friends, Dave Kellet, Kristofer Straub, and Greg and Liz Dean joined us. Scott Kurtz and his lovely wife, Angela, stopped over to say hi. They were across from us at the Image booth.

My books and convention sketches sold very well — many of which were bought by people who were hearing about Evil Inc for the first time. Hopefully, they’re here among us now, fully converted henchpersons all. Photo (Click to enlagarge): Power Girl drops by and gets a sketch. Of herself.

The highlight of my day at the booth was meeting the longtime fan who posts here as “Jeff RH.” Jeff has been a dedicated reader since the early days of Greystone Inn, and has always been kind enough to drop me a line — whether it was to point out a spelling error or cheer a favorite punchline. That’s my favorite part about attending a con — meeting people like that who have been such strong supporters for so long and being able to thank them personally for their kindness. Photo (Click to enlagarge): UberHenchman Jeff RH.

I was also there when we found out that Darth Vader is a Schlock Mercenary fan. Howard rose to the occasion with a masterful convention sketch. Photo (Click to enlagarge): Howard Tayler hands Lord Vader his sketch.

At the close of business Saturday, I rode back to the hotel with TMNT’s Jim Lawson and Transmetropolitan artist Darick Robertson. Darick is a phenomenal artist and a very personable gent.

Saturday night, Bill Barnes of Unshelved opened up his house to a huge group of us for a barbecue. Bill is an incredibly talented cartoonist with a wonderfully dry sense of humor. The guy is as sharp as a tack. Bill’s brother-in-law barbecued the meat for the event — which meant checking in on a brisket every houple hours for something like 16 hours as the beef cooked. Day and night. For people he’d never met and didn’t know. What a nice guy! And the beef and the sausages — all the food — was incredible.

The company was every bit as good as the food. The Penny Arcade boys were there, Gene Ambaum (Barnes’ co-conspirator in Unshelved and all-around good guy), the Kurtzes, all of the BLC folks, and a whole lot of other people — all hanging out, laughing, and talking comics.

Bill was nice enough to show his studio to young Davey Kellett and me. It’s magnificent. He’s got one of those full-screen Wacom tablet things and lots of space to work — with a great view to boot. He and Dave were already posturing over their coffee-lid challenge (check out their respective sites).

The BLC gang and Scott and his wife all returned to the hotel and talked in the lobby well into the night. BLC has some excellent things in store for Comic Con International.

And I made plans to execute the Prestige at my earliest opportunity. Because bathing dogs just isn’t enough.

But, no, I’ve said too much.

Photo (Click to enlagarge): It’s not the VILF in your life; it’s the life in your VILF.

Tomorrow: Part Three