In the interest of fact-finding, we stood in line for free ice cream on our Comic-Con lunch break to confirm that yes, the graphics on the van (and the napkins which were handed out with the ice cream) are indeed by Ben Jones. The dude in the van said that Ben applied the vinyl decals by hand. BJ + B&J to promote Adult Swim (home of The Drinky Crow Show, once and possible future projects from Michael Kupperman, and possibly Ben's show Neon Knome among other fine programs) is brand synergy I can get behind. If I see it again I'll definitely try to get better pictures (and more ice cream).
Gilbert, Jaime, and Natalia Hernandez packed 'em in for two solid hours of signing & sketching mania as fans snapped up the new issue of Love and Rockets: New Stories (not to mention Natalia's new minicomic The Cat Eyes #1). Also, judging by the second picture below, Natalia thinks Adam Grano is crazy.
Oh man did it pain me to erase Moto Hagio's unsolicited drawing off of our whiteboard! I console myself with other artwork which followed and the hope that she will do a new drawing each day. She signed copies of A Drunken Dream and Other Stories and drew sketches for a big group of very excited and appreciative fans, with the assistance of Drunken Dream translator/editor Matt Thorn and, behind the scenes, interpreter/personal assistant (and mobile veterinarian, for real) Mari Morimoto. See below (or here) for video of Hagio-sensei sketching a character!
Our first signing of the day featured Johnny Ryan signing the brand new Prison Pit: Book 2 and Esther Pearl Watson signing both volumes of Unlovable and working artwork for on her top-secret new graphic novel in progress. The Johnny logo on the whiteboard is by me, but then I had the better idea of having the artists sign themselves in, so Esther's is by Esther.
Here's a two-part stroll around booth #1718 right around opening time. There were significantly fewer books by the end of the day. Below, another con debut which somehow failed to upload for inclusion in last night's post: Zak Sally's Sammy the Mouse #3.
Check out the views of our booth (#1718) and book debuts, taken in the moments before the doors were opened. Lots more photos after the jump. Our slate of signings starts Thursday morning — hope to see you there!
This Saturday at 12:00PM I'm honored to be interviewing one of my favorite cartoonists, Seattle's Peter Bagge, for the 2010 Comic-Con International (Room 3). If you happen to be a recipient of a golden ticket and are braving this year's premier comic book convention then I urge you to attend as we'll be wholesaling a satori experience in the guise of humor and loathing for all humankind! The following topics will be discussed: Delusion, Consequence, Death, Study of History, Crosshatching, Super Wackiness, Grim Mundane Reality, and more!
• Review: "Instead of bringing to mind old black & white stories and advertisements, the color [Tales Designed to] Thrizzle now mines the endless well of cheap, awful color comics. The color scheme is so heavily into the CMYK scheme of old four-color comics, and employed so luridly, that the reader is once again forced to dig into each panel slowly. ... Kupperman can jab you with a quick joke like a fake ad or a cover for an old comic called 'Cowboy Oscar Wilde,' or he can wrestle you into submission with a shaggy dog joke. ... With... subtle changes, Kupperman has managed to keep the top humor periodical fresh." – Rob Clough, The Comics Journal
• Review: "This most recent compilation is the finest presentation of the Mr. Natural strips I’ve ever seen and is a must-buy for any Crumb fan whether they’ve been there since he first made his appearance in Zap or are coming on board with The Book of Genesis. Either way, this is not to be missed." – Joe Keatinge, Neon Monster
• Review: "Reading [Charles M. Schulz's] wonderful comics is enjoyable and comfortable, sort of like wearing a worn, favourite sweater. Fantagraphics Books has done a good job putting Schulz's cartoons together in a nice book. Whether you're watching Peppermint Patty skating and being coached by Snoopy, Snoopy dealing with a broken leg, or Lucy still pulling the football away from Charlie Brown at the last second The Complete Peanuts: 1975 to 1976 is a humourous, welcome reprieve from a stressful, often screwed up, world. Thanks Mr. Schulz!" – Glenn Perrett, Simcoe.com
• Review: "Like some Uncle Wiggly story gone mad — or perhaps Krazy Kat in disguise — Tony Millionaire’s mad cake batter boy goes on a frantic rampage to return a baby owl to its mother and embarks on an adventure that is in no way as linear as my sentence implies. Millionaire really does channel the cartoonists of the early 20th century, while still giving the work [Billy Hazelnuts and the Crazy Bird] a quality that’s somewhat reminiscent of ’70s underground comics — and it’s kid-friendly to boot! Good fun with good energy." – John Seven, Worcester Magazine
• Review: "I picked up Carol Tyler's You'll Never Know, Book One: A Good and Decent Man from the library on the strength of recommendations I have seen for it all over the web, and it didn't disappoint me... Tyler has a nice diary style that seems intimate and friendly but is also quite sophisticated. ... There aren't too many comics about middle-aged women, and it was nice to read about something other than youthful rebellion and angst for a change." – Brigid Alverson, Robot 6
We have a few extra tidbits to append to our Comic-Con announcement: once again we'll have the pleasure of welcoming the lovely and talented Natalia Hernandez as she debuts the eagerly-awaited third issue of her hit self-published minicomic The Adventures of Crystal Girl! It's a rollicking read for young and old alike. Natalia will be hanging out with her pop Gilbert & uncle Jaime during at least some of their scheduled signing times:
We'll also once again be breaking out the silver Sharpies as a destination in the Peanuts scavenger hunt in association with the Schulz Museum booth (#1537) — stop by there to pick up your official game card and purchase some nifty exclusive Peanuts merch.
And finally, you couldn't turn around in the comics blogosphere last week without seeing hype for the promotional tote bags being given out by a major motion picture/television studio... I mean, really? Who wants those junky old things when you can get a beautiful, roomy, sturdy canvas Fantagraphics tote bag featuring the smiling mug of Daniel Clowes's über-nerd Dan Pussey for $14.95, or FREE with a purchase of $150 or more? You'll use it for years instead of hucking it in the back of your closet as soon as the Con is over. We'll have a very limited supply so don't delay in picking yours up.
Here's a handy-dandy guide to our Comic-Con 2010 author apprearances and panels which you can download (PDF format), print out and bring with you! You can also pick one up at our booth (#1718 — jot that down on your printout) but this way you can come prepared!