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Older rants
August 10 2017   The Molly Ringwalds, Dia Frampton Musical awesomeness, Beauty and the Feast
July 28, 2017   The IT Sweatshop revisited, How to Talk to Girls at Parties, American Gods and The Magicians, Rogue One, Camino Island
July 24, 2017   CRV glovebox difficulties, San Diego Comic Con rant
July 11, 2017   Beauty and the Beast at the Lyceum, Earthweeds, Sons of Neptune Book 1, Aftermath, Empire's End, If Chin's Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor
June 30, 2017   Eastwood: No Direction Home book 2
June 23, 2017   Excellent Adventures on the PCH (part 4/4) - The PCH family vacation tale concludes, my new record, record player, and Emeli's site is live!
Jun 14, 2017   A noteworthy eBook mention before I return to my vacation ranting - No Direction Home
June 9, 2017   Excellent Adventures on the PCH (part 3/4) - The PCH family vacation tale concludes...almost. More pictures of spooky old houses, trees, rocks, and other things that nobody cares about! Plus, Goonies stuff
June 2, 2017   Excellent Adventures on the PCH (part 2/4) - The PCH family vacation tale continues... And more pictures of trees and other things that nobody cares about!
May 31, 2017   Excellent Adventures on the PCH (part 1/4) - Way more detail than anyone wants about our vacation up the coast of California and Oregon. And lots of pictures of trees!
Apr 26, 2017   Resurrection America, Pizza Studio art, AmandaLynn, Emeli art, and Disney art, and Gifted
Apr 14, 2017   My San Fransisco OSI PI adventure & "Thanks for the Money: How to Use My Life Story to Become the Best Joel McHale You Can Be"
Apr 12, 2017   Neil Gaiman speaks, Norse Mythology, American Gods comic adaptation, The Magicians TV series, and Dirk Gently on TV
Feb 2, 2017   A trip to the ever-less-magical land of Disney, The Prince of Outcasts, the Whistler, and a brief mention of The Magicians.
Jan 21, 2017   An update to my nerd wall at work, Found out about Richard Thompson (Cul De Sac) being gone, A list of all the stuff (or most, anyway) I've given up to new homes, A review of Dave! and Warp, and a couple of new doodles.
Dec 23, 2016   My final visit to Potterland and a couple of doodles
Dec 11, 2016   Books and related comics, and free/cheap stuff. Not taco Bell Material, President Me, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, The Hedge Knight (comic), The Sworn Sword (comic) Ooma, Ringplus, Amazon prime and other money-saving stuff.
Dec 4, 2016   I'm sharing my sad doodles with the world again. They're not very good, but I'll bet they're better than your scribbles!
Nov 12, 2016   Yet another trip to The Wonderful World of Harry Potter!
Nov 7, 2016   Blathering on about a few of the books I've read recently - Spire, The Check, and Dangercide, Pirate Detective
Oct 7, 2016   Yet another Visit to Harry Potterland. Oh, and my lease-mileage calculator.
July 25, 2016   Another Visit to Harry Potterland, a new car, a new shirt, a new dog, and a whole lot of the same old complaining
May 17, 2016   Email spoofers, Phishing emails, and scammers galore!
Apr 30, 2016   Winter's Edge and a Management zombie attack
Apr 23, 2016   Harry Potter land re-visited
Apr 9, 2016   Xenia...again
Apr 2, 2016   Sing Street, Batman vs Superman, Craigslist griping
Mar 1, 2016   The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hollywood preview, fun at work, Xenia's new song, A Vanishing Glow, Our Fair Eden, Race Wars, The Force Awakens
Jan 27, 2016   Text Wars, Books I've read... Yup, that's pretty much it
Jul 30, 2015   Xenia Martinez news Still selling stuff on eBay, Hyperbole and a Half (the book), The Path Between the Seas, Trigger Warning, In Fifty years We'll all Be Chicks
Mar 17, 2015   Selling my treasures on eBay, Hyperbole and a Half, the Long Mars, Gray Mountain, Anathem, The Golden Princess, The Given Sacrifice
Mar 12, 2015   You'll be sorely missed, Sir Terry
Jan 21, 2015   More BBC 4 radio dramatizations by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett: The Amazing Maurice, Guards! Guards!, Neverwhere, Night Watch, Small Gods, Wyrd Sisters
Jan 10, 2015   JabberWocky, Neil Gaiman style!
Dec 24, 2014   The Good Omens BBC treatment
Aug 03, 2014   Every hobby has to end eventually, right?
Oct 8, 2013   Warning: Extreme Geekness ahead!
Oct 1, 2013   The Bloody Crown of iGoogle
Aug 26, 2013   Headphones at work
Aug 22, 2013   The guvmint is gonna getcha
June 25, 2013   Dweebs vs Big Bang vs IT Crowd
Jul 3, 2012   Xenia Martinez & Dia Frampton concert
Feb 24, 2012   Reading...just not much
The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Being an idiot with Lev Grossman
Jan 7, 2012   If it ain't broke...
Aug 22, 2011   non-ComicCon report 2011
A Thousand Splendid Suns
An Act of Self Defense
May 5, 2011   On Stranger Tides
vs.
On Stranger Tides
March 2, 2011   I'm a gigantic slacker...
Ikariam
Wild Guns
Lord of Ultima
Metin 2
Lord of the Rings Online
Dec 15, 2010   Bring out your dead!
Aug 17, 2010   San DiegoComicCon 2010
August 11, 2010   I'm not dead yet...
May 3, 2010   Hero Comics
Liberty Comics
Dr Horrible
Neil Gaiman & Sam Keith in Batman
The Guild, Felicia Day
April 27, 2010   Mean Gene Wilder! Grrr!!!
April 24, 2010   If it's not one Jihad, it's another...
April 20, 2010   The Satanic Verses
March 15, 2010   Unseen Academicals
Feblueberry 8, 2010   The un-reading shelf (from most of 2009)
Feblueberry 2, 2010   Emily the Strange, the Lost Days...a novel
Nov 25, 2009   Happy Halloween, Mom!
Nov 18, 2009   Summer Vacation in Idaho
Aug 20, 2009   San Diego ComicCon 2009
Aug 12, 2009   I'm a big, fat slacker
June 05, 2009   The networks are helping me cut back on my TV viewing
June 04, 2009   Mandy Moore's Amanda Leigh,
Chris Isaak's Mr Lucky
and
My name is Bruce?
and Emmy Rossum? Where am I going with this?
May 21, 2009   Randy would have really liked Fanboys...sigh
May 3, 2009   The Spring reading shelf
Apr 21, 2009   Holidays On Ice (a little late for Christmas)
Apr 18, 2009   Leviticus Cross and other Hector Sevilla comic book stuff
Apr 16, 2009   The fantastically amazing and banal Badbartopia RSS Feed
Mar 31, 2009   Neil Gaiman's Blueberry Girl
Mar 30, 2009   My Amazon mis-order turns out to be not so annoying as previously expected...
(AKA the Dr Horrible soundtrack)
Mar 23, 2009   Stephan Pastis & Richard Thompson have me looking forward to the 2009 SD ComicCon
Mar 19, 2009   Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog,
The Guild
Mar 08, 2009   The Wonderful Wizard of Oz comic adaptation,
Neil Gaiman's Sandman: The Dream Hunters
Mar 04, 2009   Little Brother
Mar 1, 2009   Pete & Pickles
Feb 11, 2009   She & Him
Flakes
Pushing Daisies
Jan 26, 2009   The Scourge of God,
When You are Engulfed in Flames
Jan 14, 2009   On the Road = hippy nonsense
Jan 12, 2009   One-by-one, my fish have met their maker
Dec 26, 2008   My Azeroth-avoidance continues
Dec 23, 2008   Nothing to see...move along
Dec 15, 2008   New scribbles
Dec 10, 2008   The Oct-Nov-Dec reading shelf
Dec 1, 2008   Shalimar the Clown
the economic impact of the events in Mumbai
Nov 21, 2008   Star Wars: Allegiance
Nov 20, 2008   Daredevil Black Widow: Abattoir
Nov 17, 2008   Travel Team
Nov 16, 2008   A new comic adaptation of The Wizard of Oz
Nov 14, 2008   Berke's Books:
The Last Basselope
Edward Fudwupper Fibbed Big
Mars Needs Moms
Opus: 25 years
Nov 13, 2008   Return to Azeroth?
Nov 12, 2008   Goodbye, Opus
Oct 29, 2008   Halloween costumes of 2008
Project Superpowers
Marvels
Ruins
Oct 23, 2008   The Graveyard Book
Interworld
Oct 16, 2008   Nation
Oct 10, 2008   The Joy of Programming
My foray into Ajax
Oct 9, 2008   My Saturn Scare
Opus ends
Terry Pratchett's condition
Oct 3, 2008   The Hitchhiker's Guide, Book 6...by Eoin Colfer?
Oct 2, 2008   Media master - music online
Sony builds a "better" camera
Sept 24, 2008   The September reading shelf
Sept 17, 2008   Still missing Randall
The Fish tank...again
The Graveyard Book
Sept 15, 2008   Slacking...as usual
The Sasquatch Dumpling Gang
Sept 9, 2008   The dearth of Opus strips
yes, I meant to say "dearth"
Sept 8, 2008   A new monitor goes bad...but it all ends happily
Sept 3, 2008   A Boy and His Dog,
Richard Corben,
H.P. Lovecraft's Haunt of Horror
Sept 2, 2008   A slightly newish look
(aka "why I will never be a graphic designer")
Aug 11, 2008   Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in all its incarnations Mike Kunkel's re-imagining of Shazam
July 29, 2008   San Diego Comiccon 2008
July 24, 2008   Neil Gaiman
July 17, 2008   Chris Isaak!
June 30, 2008   The Woman Who Wouldn't
Legends II
Mouse Guard Fall 1152
the Jetta's latest round of repairs
fishtank overpopulation
June 10, 2008   The Reading Shelf
Fish tank jungle
Attack of the bees
June 3, 2008   Missing Randall
May 9, 2008   My French Whore
Apr 28, 2008   Fish tank fatality
Flight of the Conchords
The Dangerous Alphabet
Mar 5, 2008   Gene Wilder book signing at Borders
new fish tank
subpoenaed!
Jan 11, 2008   The Jetta Strikes back!
The Plucker
The Anubis Gates
National Treasure II
Nov 8, 2007   San Diego on Fire,
A clean break from WoW,
UCSD Extension Java I graduation (kinda)
Making Money
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Oct 2, 2007   Back to school, Java class at UCSD
AT&T's Uverse
new sketches
Blockbuster movie pass
August 28, 2007   Mandy Moore concert!
Aug 19, 2007   ComicCon 2007 - Neil Gaiman, Iron Man and all the usual suspects
May 22, 2007   World of Spamcraft (and other spamalicious topics), forum fun...gus, the woes of being a contractor and PIRATES!!
Apr 5, 2007   I'm a conservative - bite me!
Timbaland? Dumb!
Marie Antoinette - snaggle teeth and teasing glimpes. Sweet!
John Q - a lesson about fatherhood or a liberal-propoganda film?
Mar 30, 2007   Things that make me grumpy-er,
employed again at last,
Finn and assorted other ramblings
Feb 8, 2007   The search for employment continues..and the unemployment benefits are NOT pouring in!
Jan, 22, 2007   Freed from the bondage of employment, a very brief review of a few books and films
Dec 17, 2006   Sad excuses, The Innocent Man, 1776, THe Man in High Castle, Absolute Sandman, Wintersmith, garage sale treasures: Ghost in the Machine
Aug 20, 2006   Writers of the Future XXII/Tim Powers, more movie reivews
July 20, 2006   San Diego ComicCon 2006
July 15, 2006   Superman Returns, inconsiderate morons, Peewee's Playhouse returns, my plea for more pirate movies
July 8, 2006   Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Wild Animal Park critters, site remodeling
Jun 27, 2006   The good, the bad and the mediocre (a bunch of movie reviews in the new forum).
June 15, 2006   Because of Romek - A Holocaust Survivor's Memoir
May 21, 2006   The DaVinci Code, Aeon Flux, Everything You Want
May 12, 2006   World of Warcrack, the Office, Coraline, my apologies...
Jan 24, 2006   Christmas Vacation 2006, Syriana, Traveling Pants, Wish You Were Here
Dec 19, 2005   Festive Neighbors, the death of Olivia, Media Misinformation surrounding Brent Wilkes/ADCS, Make Love the bruce campbell way
Nov 15, 2005   Microsoft Technet 2005 launch party, Lexmark printer problem, a bad, bad day, changing dentists.
Oct 22, 2005   Thud!, Anansi Boys, Where's my cow
Oct 18, 2005   Terry Pratchet Thud! signing, Neil Gaiman Anansi Boys signing
Oct 15, 2005   A very, very late Comiccon 2005 report.
Jun 23, 2005   The black hole of Warcraft, The Years of Rice and Salt, After the Sunset, Madagascar, Mr and Mrs Smith, Taxi.
Jun 3, 2005   All is quiet on the PM Front, War of the Worlds (the novel), Kingdom of Heaven, Sahara, Star Wars Episode III, Flight of the Phoenix
May 9, 2005   The program managers strike again, More of my horrendous sketches, Spanglish, A Lot Like Love, Elektra, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (the film)
Apr 9, 2005   Stuck in Corporate Hell, a few of my recent sketches, Miss Congeniality 2, Collateral
Mar 21, 2005   Revenge of the Jetta (car problems), a Newegg purchase, a few new drawings, more Opus
Feb 13, 2005   The Mail mystery solved, more of my crappy sketches, A few new photos of the girls, bill-bert (introducing the new Project Manager), sweet phone skills, Opus, Dungeons and Dragons, In Good Company
Jan 27, 2005   Mystery mail, new photos of my beautiful kids, some new sketches, an Episode 3 spoiler, Opus, Going Postal, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Ubik, Remember the Titans, Lemony Snicket`s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Dodgeball
Jan 7, 2005   Christmas 2004, Update to the site, Elf & King Arthur revisited, National Treasure, Opus, Blade Runner
Dec 18, 2004   A new Stephanie sketch, another Target web page goof, the SD Union Tribune confirms Greg Bear`s research for Vitals, Miramar VW proves my dealer service assertions wrong, neighborhood Christmas fun, Opus
Nov 24, 2004   More of my mediocre drawings, nw russian mail-order coins, Star Wars toys, a big green spider comes to visit, Opus, Dies the Fire, Digital fortress, The Incredibles, Twisted, Van Helsing
Nov 03, 2004   Some thoughts regarding the 2004 election, rants about the environment, a memory rebate update, new computer issues, Opus, The Lone Drow, Deception Point, Roswell season 2 on DVD
Oct 12, 2004   An interesting quiz, mal-in rebates, a parrot joke, my new computer, thoughts on frame removal, web logs, Opus, Vitals, Star Wars trilogy on DVD, Ladykillers
Sep 23, 2004   My "Heath" sketch for Mark Oakley, an update on my a PNY rebate check, the fictitious AWNA Act, Browser Issues with the site, Opus/Pickles, The DaVinci Code, Garden State (Natalie Portman), Man on Fire
Sep 11, 2004   A new drawing: "Stephanie", redneck wisdom, my salary to hourly reclassification, funny video: news from iraq, an update on my mail-in pny rebate, a new rebate through Costco, Ella Enchanted, Highlander Endgame, Princess of Thieves, The Whole Ten Yards
Aug 27, 2004   Fun with my VW Warranty, Opus, Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix, The Land of SokMunster, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Wedding, Napoleon Dynamite, Hidalgo, Chasing Liberty, Out of Time
Jul 23, 2004   San Diego ComicCon 2004, the family summer vacation, Bruce Campbell, Opus, Nanny Ogg`s Cookbook, Angels & Demons, Folk of the fringe, Bourne Supremacy, i robot, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Cody Banks 2, Hellboy
Jul 19, 2004   *** PNY Rebate fun, IE Patch, Linux and socialism, liberal scum, Opus, BIM, timeline, master and commander, tad hamilton, stuck on you,cold mountain, 50 first dates, the terminal, spiderman 2, king arthur, a hat full of sky, the thousand orcs, meditations on middle earth
Jun 20, 2004   Memorial day pictures, Duplex, Mark Oakley/Heroes, Wild Animal Park Dinosaurs, B-52s concertman, Say After Tomorrow, Big Fish, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Eragon, A Hat Full of Sky, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
May 08, 2004   Pat Tillman, LOTR Toys, 13 Going on 30, Mean Girls, Tolkien Miscellany, Last Juror, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Pork Tornado
Apr 06, 2004   Roswell season 1 DVD and a some other mindless drivel
Feb 19, 2004   Highlander site contest results, new downloads, princess gallery updates, lord of the rings toys, harry potter, underworld. lost in translation, the hunted, a tolkien miscellany...
Feb 09, 2004   Murder at 1600, Radio, Cheaper by the Dozen, King Arthur, Spiderman 2, Van Helsing, Harry Potter, Tolkien Miscellany, Mark Oakley, massive snow in Idaho...
Jan 28, 2004   Swat, Uptown Girls, Somethings Gotta Give, Along Came Polly, Seabiscuit, Ashley Judd Marathon, Van Helsing, Harry Potter, Science Fiction Bok Club, Nanny Ogg`s Cookbook, RA Salvatore, Mythology (Alex Ross), Fastner & Larson, Best page in the universe, etc, etc...
Jan 07, 2004   Clint`s rules, X-Men 2, Holes, Pirates, Two Towers, Freaky Friday (Haley Hudson), new drawings, Thieves` World, Playskool Star Wars, new Interest section
Jan 02, 2004   nothing all that interesting...
Dec 21, 2003   Nemo, Highlander page, Christmas vacation 2003, star wars kid
Dec 12, 2003   E.T. (Erika Eleniak), new drawings, Opus, Santa Claus 2 (Elizabeth Mitchell), Legolas toy/pics, How to Deal (Mandy Moore), Myth update, Last Samurai
Nov 27, 2003   Another Fine Myth, Elf
Nov 22, 2003   Dude, Where`s Bill & Ted
Nov 18, 2003   Not much to say
Nov 15, 2003   Disneyland, Astronaut`s Wife, Dumer and Dumber-er, Monstrous Regiment
Nov 10, 2003   Terry Pratchett, Matrix Revolutions
110103   School of Rock, Terry Pratchett signing, Darth Vader MBNA bust, San Diego fires
Aug 17, 2003   Johnny English, San Diego Comic-Con
Jun 17, 2003   Assorted ramblings
May 28, 2003   Not much to say
May 24, 2003   Almost nothing of note
May 17, 2003   Matrix Reloaded, Pirates
Mar 23, 2003   The Police, Pirates, Lord of the Rings grievances part II
Mar 16, 2003   Lord of the Rings grievances part 1
Super auld stuff   A big list of old submissions with boat loads of broken links

Comiccon 2010

I was only able to hang out at ComicCon for a few hours on Thursday morning this year (don't ask), so I didn't really get the same "full experience" that I have in years past, but I'll share what I got out of the few hours I was there...

I had to stand in the unbelievably long line to pick up my one-day pass this year (Laurie and Kandrix were able to hook me up with an exhibitor's ComicCon pass in 2009, so I avoided these headaches last year). The line is just insane. I thought arriving at the convention center by 7:15 (sidebar: the cost of parking went up a little from last year - it was $25 at the Petco lot this year, up from $20 last year) would get me near the front of the line. Not so. I walked, and walked, and walked, and finally reached the end of the line as it snaked around Seaport Village along the waterfront of the San Diego harbor. And then I stood and waited with the other nerds for about half an hour before the line started moving. Once the line was moving, it moved very quickly and within about twenty minutes I was inside (on the second level of the convention center) with my one-day pass.

With my trusty ComicCon Pass in hand (well, "around neck" actually), I moved to the top of the staircase that I usually take down to the exhibit hall, but this year - as I watched the security goons turn people away (the hall wasn't open yet) and stealthily positioned myself to rush the stars once the exhibit hall opened - I overheard the goons telling one of the other guests that there was a line on the other side of the convention center to get into the exhibit hall. So I wandered over to the other side and discovered a line that snaked back and forth forever. And I just couldn't bring myself to stand in yet another line, so I chose to return to the top of the stairs to wait for the goons to allow us to pass (or for the mutinous crowd to rush the goons and restore freedom to the convention center). But 9:00 came and there was no movement. Not to worry - the hall didn't open until 9:30 so that wasn't overly alarming.

And then 9:30 came. And passed with still no movement. So I decided to try the line in the back again. And I went on a tour of the back side of the convention center (near where I gave blood several years ago) and finally arrived - in a very roundabout way - back on the first level at the doors of the exhibit hall. On the way there, I came across a couple of guests (or maybe they were employees - I didn't ask) who had turned the gigantic schwag bags that each guest received as part of the "free stuff all guests receive when picking up their passes" into dresses (you can see the schwag bags being used as bags in the background).

So only 3 hours after arriving I was inside the convention center. Whew.

I only had about three hours before I was expected to be leaving (the little woman's birthday was on Saturday, so I was informed that I would be driving to my in-laws that very afternoon - don't ask), so I started wandering the maze, looking for the artists and exhibitors I seek out every year. I know five hours sounds like a lot of time - but if you've ever been to the ComicCon, you'll know it's not nearly enough time to see everything.

One thing I noticed this year was the abundance of artists who usually have full booths selling their stuff in Artist Alley. I'm not sure why this was the case, but I suspect they were bumped to make way for all the gigantic non-comic booths that fill the hall.

Booth babes were prevalent, but maybe not as much so as they have been in previous years. And most of them were - not all that unusually, actually - non-comic-book-character booth babes. As were most of the costumed attendees. I predict the ComicCon gets a name change within the next year or two. And the number of comic vendors will diminish gradually until there are only movie-related (DC & Marvel, mainly) comic book companies left.

I only saw two Slave Leia costumes this year (always a convention favorite) and no Red Sonja costumes at all (but I may have just missed them - it's a big place and I didn't have a lot of time to wander). here's the first Slave Leia I came across. I saw the second one of the day as I was hanging out with Laurie and Kandrix.

Mark Schultz

Mark had a booth on the Artist's alley end of the exhibit hall, which is usually the last place I get around to, but this year it was where I was ushered in so I found Mark before I got to anyone else. I picked up two of his sketchbooks: Blue Book and Various Drawings, volume 4.

Here are a few of my favorite sketches from Mark's Blue Book:

And a few from Mark's Various Drawings, volume 4:

LaurieB!

I met Laurie and Kandrix a few years ago when they were trying to generate interest in their self-published comic book series, A Monk's Tale. Laurie did the art for the book, but it just never quite picked up enough steam to get anywhere. And then Laurie decided to take a page from the Dean Yeagle playbook and focus on "good girl" art (or is it "bad girl" art - I can never remember which is which), creating her own versions of popular comic book and beloved characters.

This year was a little different for Laurie, though. She'd just had her first child and definitely had babies on the brain when she was coming up with material for the convention circuit. She did a sketchbook of comic book heroines in her Pure Heroine line of books with thea subtitle of "Constant Cravings" (c'mon, tell me that's not something a pregnant woman would come up with) and a second sketchbook called Baby Boomers with the same comic book characters that would fill her other sketchbooks...only a lot younger. The cover image for Baby Boomers says it all - a baby version of Han Solo lying in a crib with a Death Star rattle in one hand and Chewbacca stuffed animal under the other arm. Overhead is mobile with X-wing, Tie fighter and Millennium Falcon.


Here are a few of my favorite sketches from the Baby Boomers sketchbook.

And a couple from Pure Heroine - Constant Cravings.

Chris Sanders

Chris Sanders is the guy responsible for Disney's Lilo & Stitch. Curiously, he doesn't appear to have been one of the animators for the film, just a writer/director and voice actor (Stitch). I say "curiously" because Chris is an amazing artist and his sketchbooks back me up on this. This year, he was selling his fourth sketchbook (I missed the first one). Here are a few of my favorites (they're all great, but I doubt Chris would appreciate me scanning his whole book).

Bobby Rubio

Bobby Rubio is a self-published artist/animator who created and self-publishes Alcatraz High and 4 Gun Conclusion. He's a great guy, despite having been a friend of Dan's in High School, and a talented artist. Sadly, he didn't have any new books for sale this year (he did have a print, but...well, let's just say that even if it did somehow make it home intact, I already have more posters and prints than I have wall space to display them). I'm surprised Bobby paid the outrageous booth fee with only back issues and a new print to sell (he has a pretty good-sized corner spot, and they're not cheap).

Dean Yeagle

Dean Yeagle is an illustrator who is most recognizable as one of the guys who does the full-page color cartoons in Playboy. And Dean's are among the best illustrated. His favorite character, Mandy, is featured in the many sketchbooks and...well, short illustrated story books that Dean sells at the conventions. This year I picked up a hard cover book that Dean created a couple of years ago, Mandy Godiva. Dean's illustration style is just so Disney-like, it's startling to see so much full-frontal nudity throughout. You can definitely see the Yeagle influences in everything LaurieB! does.

The end of Mandy Godiva also includes a few pages of frolicking Wood Nymphs. Good fun.

Dean was also kind enough to give me a little Mandy sketch (pretty much the same one he's done for me in years past) in the front of my book (the glossy paper gave him difficulties).

Radical comics


I don't have anything very specific to say about Radical Comics other than they publish some really amazing books. The writing, for the most part, is top notch and the artists they have on staff are amazing. I picked up a bunch of new books at the Con (I'd received an online order from Radical a few months before that filled the holes I had in their ongoing series).

Here are the books I bought: Driver for the Dead #1 (a story about a hearse driver who handles "special" needs, like making sure the dead body in the chain-wrapped coffin in his hearse doesn't rise from the dead - the story reminds me of something Tim Powers might write), Hot Wire, Deep Cut #1 (the second part of a series about a distant future in which the dead linger and cause havoc so the Police Force has to keep exorcists on duty to handle the troublesome "ghosts" - sort of reminds me of Dr Who in a way), Legends, the Enchanted (a hard cover that takes a post-apocalyptic Mad-Maxian future and sticks a bunch of Grimm's Fairy Tales characters in it), and The Rising (has a story very similar to that Avatar movie that made a gazillion dollars and also reminds me a lot of Blizzard's Starcraft video game).

Here's a glimpse at some of the interior pages of these amazing books:
Driver for the Dead

Hot Wire, Deep Cut

Legends, the Enchanted

The Rising

Strange Pirate Tales

If you're not already well aware of my fondness for all things "pirate," you will be if I ever get around to finishing the Pirate-themed rant that I've been working on for many, many moons. My point is that when I saw a comic called Strange Pirate Tales, I had to have it. It's equal parts Pirates of the carribean, Popeye and pirate Maddox. It has headhunters, donosaurs, sea monsters, zombies - all the stuff a good pirate yarn should have. The art is...more newspaper strip that comic book, but it's a pirate book, so I'm wiling to be forgiving,

Here's a glimpse inside:

In a nearby booth (or possibly the same booth, I don't really remember), I was handed this pirate trading card (the model for pirate lass on the card, Monique Duval, was standing nearby and signed it along with the artist, Justin Chung - surprisingly, I don't appear to have taken her photo...or it was even too blurry for me to keep and I nuked it).

Joe Linsner

Cry For Dawn was the main book that I sought out in the early years of my Con attendance (I've been going to these things for a long, long time). They always had a special "Convention Edition" cover and I had them all. Sadly, I no longer do, but that's a story for another time. After Cry For Dawn Productions exploded, Joe and a few other guys created Sirius (which may still be around - I dunno) and now, for the past several years, he does his own thing. Joe puts out a sketchbook every year that's filled with Dawn, Dark Ivory and a whole lotta women who aren't either of those perfectly curvaceous vixens. There's even the occasional dude in the sketchbooks. I missed the 2006 and 2009 editions, but I have the rest of them. I wish Joe would do more comics, but I suspect he has more fun doing pin-ups.

Here's a peek at a few of the sketches from inside:

Elephantmen

One of the cool things about the Con is the exposure you get to books you've never heard of or you've glanced at but haven't taken the time to read.

I was walking by an Elephantmen booth (a series which I have never read, but have now ordered a few issues online because I liked what I saw in that issue) when their buxom booth babe caught my eye. I asked if I could take her photo and she agreed after giving me a free issue of Elephantmen (#15). I only later discovered that she was dressed as a character from the series.
But it was the booth babe's comment to another Con attendee who was walking by giving her the lecherous eye (I guess I wasn't being lecherous enough to get called out) that made me laugh.
"They're called boobs."
And yes, they were.

Fiction Clemens

I don't even remember how I stumbled upon the first issue of Fiction Clemens. I may have picked it up in one of the local comic shops that closed many moons ago (my current shop stocks a bare minimum on books from small publishers, so it's unlikely that I found it there). But I hadn't really planned to seek out the second and third issues of the 3-issue series just because I figured it would be more trouble than it was worth to find them. And then I found them at the Con - for cover price. Sweet!

It's a goofy story that defies a quick blurb being used to describe it, but the art is what grabbed me. Take a look:

Interesting, isn't it?

IDW

I stopped by the IDW Publishing booth to see if they had any issues of Kill Shakespeare lower than #4 (the current and only issue I had at that time). Not only did they had issues 1, 2, and 3, but I met the writers and artists who worked on the book and happily scribbled all over the covers. Sweet. One of the covers was even a Con exclusive, which was kinda cool. I didn't pick these issues up when they were first published because I couldn't make sense of the title and wasn't feeling adventurous. Something made me try the fourth issue and then I had to seek out the first three to complete the set. I'm glad I did. the books are a weird mishmash of Shakespeare's plays/stories/poems and at the same time, Shakespeare himself is a character in the story. Very weird, but good.

I also picked up a Con exclusive sketch cover of The Last Unicorn. I love sketch covers (though none as much as the actual Mike Kunkel sketched cover on The Land of Sokmunster).

The Tick


The Tick hasn't really done much for me since Ben Edlund gave up the duties of writing/drawing the big blue guy. But that hasn't stopped me from buying all the substandard Tick titles that have been put out over the years. I picked up the first three issues to the latest non-Edlund Tick at the Con called, appropriately enough, The Tick, New Series. Bob Polio, the guy who does the colors for the new series, did the colorized version of the Edlund originals, and created one of the worst of the post-Edlund Tick comics called The Tick and Artie scribbled on all my books and even gave me a silly little Tick sketch.

I also got a Free Comic Book Day version of the original Edlund Tick #1. Anybody want it? Just for fun, here's some of Edlund's greatness:

I'm just about out of steam, but here are a few other things worth mentioning...

ComicCon Souvenir Book

Every year all attendees get a Souvenir Book for that year's Con that pays tributes to comic books, comic strips, writers, etc - whatever happens to be celebrating an anniversary that year. Star Wars was one of the subjects a few years ago. This year, it was Schultz's Peanuts, DC Comics and their stable of super-people, Beetle Bailey and probably a few others. This is what's so cool about it: artists I've never heard of who have nothing to do with these characters take a stab at creating a pice of tribute art. And then they're all collected in the book.

Some of them are really good.


The Guild cast

I walked past a booth and noticed that Felicia Day was signing autographs/DVDs/comics for The Guild. But the line was way longer than I wanted to wait in, so I opted not to have a chance to talk to Felicia for a half microsecond before the bully-boys tackled me and dragged me away for the next slobbering fan. Maybe I'll get tackled next year.

Burn Notice/Psych autograph sessions

A couple of wandering non-booth babes handed me cards with information about autograph sessions with members of the casts of Burn Notice and Psych.


I would have really enjoyed meeting Bruce Campbell (Burn Notice) in person. And Maggie Lawson (Psych). If only I'd had the time.

As I was leaving the convention center (around 3:00), I was surprised by how thick the crowds headed into the convention center still were (or just coming back from lunch or whatever). They were crazy huge. I ended up staying at the Con a little later than I was given "permission" to stay because I had to talk to a Canadian feller about helping out with his web site.

The Green Hornet, one of the many movies vying for the attendees' attention, was setup outside in a nearby restaurant (other movies took over the exteriors of nearby buildings, too). ComicCon my left nut! This thing's a MovieCon that also happens to have a few comic book booths.

And the last thing I have to report is a complete absence of any Mike Kunkel or Mark Oakley goodness at the Con. So sad.

Oh, and if you're just here for the out-of-focus snapshots that I took, you can see them collected here and here. Enjoy.



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