Wednesday, April 7, 2010
WONDER CON 2010 HIGHLIGHTS - PART I
Sweet Jesus, where do I begin?
(This may be one of those part ones where you'll never see a part two).
So the Road to Wonder Con spanned from Wednesday, March 31 across Monday, April 5, and I went up to push my latest comic book, FLOOP! FEATURING HARRY LUMMEL. Above, I'm trying to look all badass holding a comic about a little bald man.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 31
The Wonder Boys on this trip were myself and EL MUERTO AZTEC ZOMBIE creator JAVIER HERNANDEZ. The nonsense began as soon as we set out to leave Los Angeles. Wednesday was coupon crazy! I came armed with two sheets of coupons for Jack N Da Box and Yoshinoya that I had literally just received in the mail before Jav arrived. But we never got to use the coupons because before we could find either fast food palace, Jav caved and we entered a Carl's Jr. somewhere around Bakersfield.
And the moment we stepped inside, a woman accosted us and gave us two sheets of Carl's coupons that she said she could not use, so it all shook out OK. Why the coupon craze that day? Beats me! But try dealing with Carl's on a week when you're observing Passover!
Jav and I were excited to be heading up to San Francisco to see old friends and (inevitably) meet new ones. This particular trip was punctuated by the fact that on Saturday, Javier had an art opening in the city and I had a birthday.
But more on that later...
On our way up California, Jav and I took a moment to stop and smell the methane.
Coincidentally, we were getting gas at the time. And this guy was probably none too pleased...
....word probably got around in the bovine community that Jav had ordered a Western Deluxe Cheeseburger at Carl's!
When we got up to San Francisco, we arrived at the Twin Peaks area home of our pals the Padillas - Ricardo and Rosa Linda. They were hosting Jav during his stay while I was staying at my Cornell buddy Geoff's pad in Marin County.
Rico and Rosa surprised Jav by putting him up for most of his trip at the Hayes Inn in the Hayes district of San Francisco. Surprise, Javy!
Jav was a little wary of a bed and breakfast in which the bed was down the hall from the bathroom....but he finally gave the thumbs up....especially after learning that the breakfast room was in between!
Seriously, this place was cute as a button.
That night I arrived in beautiful Mill Valley, CA....
THURSDAY, APRIL 1
Gentleman Geoff is always the perfect gent when I visit the area, and the perfect arbiter of quality television, and this time was no different. The tradition is to watch some late night viewing splendidness that he TiVo'd. It's a time when we bond over some sips and snacks and catch up on a lot of nonsense.
On past trips, Geoff turned me onto such gems as BSG, BEING HUMAN and one of the most brilliantly written and acted shows, THE WIRE (5th season). This time, it was all about DEXTER (we watched the last four eps of the season in one night) and SPARTACUS: BLOOD AND SAND. I have to admit I'm now a big fan of both. We also previewed THE WIRE creators' TREME and caught some NCAA games. Good times!
But those were the evenings...during the day, we caught some exercise in style trolling the rolling hills overlooking Mount Tam, Saucelito and the Golden Gate Bridge. But after much walking, we took a rest on the big rock to ponder and pontificate.
That night, I had the first of two panel speaking engagements at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in downtown SF. It went pretty well, considering about 18 people attended. But I'll get to that in a separate post. Posting is tedious, folks, and there's only so much I can handle at once!
FRIDAY, APRIL 2
Geoff and I hit a local fave, Pearl's Phatburgers, for some delicious beef (don't tell the cow!). Despite Friday being super-drizzly, it was a nice relaxing day in which I skipped going to day 1 of Wonder Con and stayed at Geoff's and caught up with my Crisis on Multiple Earth reprints of JLA (drawn by failed THUNDER AGENTS artist Mike Sekowsky, a mad genius of misery! I also read an Gerry Talaoc-inked UNKNOWN SOLDIER and SUICIDE SQUAD # 1.
A highlight of the day was when I was surprised by my girlfriend with a birthday package surprise that Geoff did not even attempt to play along with (it's just not his style). So I got my surprise a day early. No matter, it was still great. I love my Laura, she's the sweetest! Thanks, baby!
The sun set on Friday, April 2 and, with it, another year for me......
SATURDAY, APRIL 3
Did I mention yet it was my birthday?
Geoff and I hit the city for a day of Wonder Con and a night of art and action at Javier's show.
At Wonder Con on Saturday, I was a guest at the WILDCARD INK table, where once again, MEL SMITH effortlessly sold Gumby comics to the kids while peddling DEAD AHEAD zombie comics to the tweens, teens and grown-ups. In between that, he had a new comic based on Vincent Price that Mel had drawn the cover for himself. The man never rests!
At Mel's table, I met a new character in the WildCard stable of stars: Mr. Seth Povich himself, a cool dude with much fortitude...
While at the Gumby Comics table pushin' and pimpin' the Gumby stuff and CARTOON FLOPHOUSE comics, an assortment of characters showed up....I negotiated with Black Jack to do some emergency brain transplant work on writer Mark Evanier....but his price was too high. Sorry, Mark, you'll have to continue writing bad Garfield cartoons.
Along came Big Boy with what was left of that cow Jav and I saw on the side of the road near Santa Nella....
Mel really savored Bob's burger while I tried to slice half of it for myself with Big Boy's light saber (bet you didn't know Bob's Big Boy had product placement in STAR WARS, huh? Well, we didn't know either!)
The Wonder Con All-Stars on Parade continued....in walked IRON MAN 2!!!
....and Kung-Fu Panda!
The Mike Sekowsky Flash slowed down long enough for me to snap this shot:
And this cartoon character, a webcam moppet named Flo Jalin, took a break from her busy, BUSY booth of signing pinups to endorse CARTOON FLOPHOUSE comics wholeheartedly (and wholebreastedly).
Ahem! Moving right along, folks.....
I'll have to save my "Baby Rocketeer" story for the next posting but for now, here is a family of apes who time-traveled from before Tim Burton re-imagined PLANET OF THE APES into the ground!
One of my new friends is MARK ARNOLD, author of the great UNDERDOG history. He was terrific to talk to and he came to my table courtesy of my ol' friend LEE HESTER from Lee's Comics.
I loved this girl's shirt, which repurposed Steve Ditko-drawn Spidey in a 21st century context! Hey, even ol' man Ditko is on the InterWeb these days so calm down!
Well, I'll be back to finish this posting up but I gotta go right now...More notes to come and the inevitable Part II of my post. But for now, enjoy these wild party shots at Javier Hernandez's terrific art show, with delicious sangria courtesy of the show's curator, Ricardo Padilla.....