Monday, July 27, 2009

What I Did This Weekend

Just got back from a whirlwind five days in San Diego. Was in town for a little trade show you may or may not have heard about. I was helping to hold down the fort at the Epic Proportions booth with my boys Jerry, Parry and Jeff as we hawked Secret Identities to the sweaty, costumed sea of humanity before us. Being that this was my first San Diego experience--and I had heard all the stories of how insane it is--I was braced for the madness, and to be honest, I didn't find it that different than others that I've been to, except that maybe this was a lot more fun.

I think it helped to have a home base like the Epic Props booth to come back to. For one, this experience was different because I had a book to promote and sell (and sell we did!), but also because I got to hang out with some really cool people. So not only was it cool to see Parry, Jerry, and Jeff again, but it was doubly cool to get to know everyone holding down the Epic side! So big ups to everyone at Epic, and especially Ken, Will, and Sandy!

When I did manage to navigate through hordes trying to get free swag and gawking at various booth babes and celebs, it was pretty maddening. (Quick tip: when trying to blow some steam off after being stressed out, walking the exhibit halls is not the way to go.) They're not exaggerating about this place being packed to the gills. Making your way to, say, Artists' Alley requires planning, preparation and patience. And blisters on your feet. Fortunately, being an exhibitor allowed me to gain access to the halls before the doors were open, and this was the best time to check out all the studios' elaborate booths, though they were not open to offering their free (or even not free) swag until doors opened. Boo!

Anyway, Comic-Con was an awesome experience. Met a lot of cool people, hopefully gained some new fans, and reconnected with a lot of old friends! Just some of the cool people I got to hang out with (however briefly) included: Derek Kirk Kim, Gene Yang, Kazu Kibuishi, James Jean, Heidi MacDonald, Clay Moore, Shelley Myers, Cliff Chiang, Danny Lee, Keiko Agena, Shin Kawasaki, Phil Yu, Larry Hama, Janice Chiang, Bernard Chang, Sean Chen, Fletcher Chu-Fong, and a bunch more. Can't wait to do it again.

And now comes the only part that anyone cares about in a San Diego Comic-Con wrap-up: the photos! At the time, I thought I was taking a ton of pics, but it turns out that there was a lot of stuff I just forgot to take pictures of, otherwise I'd be standing around pointing my camera everywhere and snapping photos of everything. Here's what I did manage to capture in pixels. Check out even more photos on Facebook!

The Bat-Pod!

Lounging at the Hard Rock with Jerry Ma, Cliff Chiang & Parry Shen.

Gene Yang and Larry Hama are some of the guys who stopped by the booth.

Larry with Snake Eyes himself, Ray Park.

This one's for Raymond: Me and Usagi Yojimbo creator Stan Sakai!

The guys with Keiko Agena and Ming Doyle.

You don't want to see Phil when he's Angry!

With Kelly Hu and Cliff.

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