Linda Medley, cartoonist of Castle Waiting and much more, recently shared some old Comic-Con International or San Diego Comic Con badges with us. Above is her FIRST Comic-Con badge. Twelve years later, Medley designed the badge for the 1991 con (below). As you can see Toucan existed even then, pre-blog. This was an extra they gave Linda so no names on it and the official one had a slightly different design printed with METALLIC INK. This is so bad ass.
The 2000 SDCC badge still sported artwork: DINOSAURS by Gahan Wilson (his new book coming out soon)
Badges need only have three things: the name of the show, the year and your name but some amazing art can make the show more memorable! And while I understand the need for currency level standards of 'authenticity' to keep all the photoshop pros from creating fake badges.... c'mon:
Bland. How cool would a drawing with the linework printed in the holographic paper be? It'd probably have the power to BLIND PEOPLE.
No, actually, I have to say it was the BEST SDCC EVER! And here's a buncha reasons why:
• In honor of Eisner-winner Tom Spurgeon, I'm gonna write this FLOG post in bullet point, Comics Reporter-style. As our own Steven Weissmansaid on Twitter, Tom was everyone's Comic-Con crush this year. Getting to hang out with him was definitely one of my highlights, and I was delighted to hear stories of the olden days of Fantagraphics, sigh. God, we're so boring and nice now.
• Speaking of Tom, his brother Whit wins for "Best T-Shirt of Comic-Con": an Ivan Brunetti-illustrated tee for the band... Sex Fist. Yup.
• Although, on the way to dinner Saturday night, someone stopped me to tell me my Eightball tee was the "Best T-Shirt of Comic-Con," and yeah, I kinda love my Eightball tee. It was an honor to wear some of Dale Yarger's old Fantagraphics t-shirts from the '90s to the convention.
• It's always a thrill when Matt Groening comes by to visit, but especially this year, 'cause we got to geek out over the new Gary Panter book Dal Tokyo together! Matt even shared a few secrets from when he and Panter worked at the L.A. Weekly together, oooh!!!
• After five long years of attending Comic-Con, Mike and I finally managed to make it to a Venture Brothers panel! That has nothing to do with anything, but our own Stephen DeStefano used to do storyboards for them, so there's your "comix tie-in."
• I always love getting to visit with all our guest artists, but especially Miss Natalia Hernandez, who shares my love of Giant Robot, nail polish, Chi's Sweet Home, and more. I'm thinkin' next year, I'm organizing a SDCC manicure outing for us.
• Speaking of Giant Robot, somehow I managed to karaoke with Martin & Greg Wong 'til 3:00 AM and not lose my voice. [ Photo by one of my bestest friends, Susie Ghahremani. Comic-Con would not have been as awesome without her. <3 ]
• THANK YOU to the customer who kindly gave me a Snickers bar on the last day of the show! Yes, you were right, I did need it!
• And on that note, at the risk of sounding corny, I have to say, one of my show highlights is always getting to meet you, our customers, our readers, our mutual fans. Look, I'm just a comic nerd like the rest of you. If you wanna geek out over Sublife and Thrizzle or whatever, come find me. You're all so nice, and smart, and fun to talk to, and you make going to shows my favorite part of working at Fantagraphics.
• My one bummer of SDCC was that it was the last one for Drawn & Quarterly's Jessica Campbell, who I will miss terribly! I thought we were gonna grow old together, side by side in Aisle 1700 of the San Diego Convention Hall, but sadly, she is moving on to saner things. Good-bye, my dear Jessica. You and I will make it to Tijuana someday. [ Photo of me, Jessica, and James Kochalka swiped from the D&Q blog; snapped by the lovely Peggy Burns ]
• And finally, a special shout-out to my partner-in-crime, Mike Baehr. Somehow, you make late nights unpacking, and then later re-packing, books fun. <3
My very first Comic-Con International at San Diego was rather fan-freakin'-tastic. It is easier than people make it out to be but I imagine that if it started on TUESDAY night instead of Wednesday, we all would have died. This pictures are my con pictures so if that are mostly different than our previous CCI photo diaries. The caveat train is pulling away from the station!
Wednesday: I showed up the morning times with PR Director Jacq Cohen and our co-workers, Mike Baehr and Janice Headley had the table set UP! Aside from our many new releases we were thrilled to have new Love and Rockets shirts available. Here is the Fanta-crew dressed in all but that one with all those dirty words on it. Soak it in, that's the one time you'll ever see Gary Groth with his shirt untucked.
Oni Press and SCAD teacher Chris Schweizer immediately came over to look at his favorite cartoonist, Jason. Everyone will be sportin' a Schweizer nose-tupee next year, just you watch.
Then we caught Eddie Campbell reading our Prince Valiant while at the Top Shelf booth but once again, who could blame him?!
Speaking of Top Shelf, we spent most of the week occasionally locking gazes these lovely gents. Director of Digital, Chris Ross, and cartoonist of Cleveland, Joseph Remnant.
That night, Comics Reporter Tom Spurgeon, CBR's Kiel Phegley, International Freelancer Douglas Wolk and Fantagraphics' Jacq Cohen and I posed for a bunch of photos and examined gorgeous work at the CBLDF fundraiser.
. . . Until the BOSS showed up. Then we took Gary Groth and heir-to-the-throne Conrad to the Tri!ckster spot on J avenue to browse their books (our own event to happen on Friday night)
Friday: Two of the funniest men in comics, Steven Weissman and Johnny Ryan (creators of Chocolate Cheeks and Prison Pit respectively) chat up Jacq and Janice.
Gary Panter's Dal Tokyo finally came out for this show. Jon Chad's Leo Geo from Roaring Brook is a similar trim shape. They are perfect for the collector of art objects with really, really deep bookshelves. Trim de jour!
This photo COMPLETELY encapsulates the family aspect of not only Fantagraphics but most comic companies. Gary Groth watches, eats and even signs some of Gilbert Shelton's Fabulous Furry Freak books.
The Hernandez Brothers continued to work hard interviewed by MTV (below), Entertainment Weekly, MultiShow Brazil and many other news outlets.
For the Tr!ckster event parties, we co-sponsored a queer-themed drink and draw party to coincide with our new queer comics anthology called No Straight Lines. Check out this big sexy bear!
Drag Queens Dolly Disco and Grace Towers posed in the best Michael Jackson-Circus of the Damned leotards and put all us ladies to shame.
Jacq and I ran as fast as our heels could take us to the Eisners, saw Mickey Mouse Vol. 1 and 2 be awarded for Best Archival Collection/Print in comic strips! Eddie Campbell and Andrew Aydin tried to steal me away but no siren song is as sweet as Fantagraphics.
Saturday: No worse for the wear, Jacq Cohen and I adhered to my STRICT 5-2-1 rule. 5 hours of sleep, 2 meals a day and 1 shower to maintain humanity at cons. Jacq added 2 sets of clothes and I admit, it pays off. (And you like that OLD SCHOOL equipment? I'm trying to refit the credit card slider into a denim fanny pack . . . maybe for SPX)
Meanwhile, Drawn and Quarterly upped their dress game with full-on bow ties for Tom Devlin from Beguiling owner Peter Birkemoe. We were a bit jealous.
The Hernandez Brothers continued their BREAKNECK pace of signing books and getting visits from artists like Joe Keatinge, Matt Fraction and Bongo Comics' editor Chris Duffy!
While it may seem like you have seen a hundred Hopeys at comic cons (or dated a hundred Hopeys -- Jacq Cohen), this is the first cosplay the Hernandez Brothers have seen in thirty years of comics. Thank you, Dawn, for your Boot Angel get-up!
Jaime Hernandez and cartoonist Ed Piskor talked shop.
Almost had a heart attack when we saw this. I'm not ruining anyone's day by saying over 50% of our books are not for kids so it is sometimes surprising to see them pouring over Peanuts or Uncle Scrooge Comics (especially when The Furry Trap is TEN feet away)
BOOM! designer and fellow Center for Cartoon Studies alum, Carol Thomspon, laid her hands on our sweet trans-manga Wandering Son and couldn't let go.
So that's the whole she-bang! Thank you to the CCI organizers and all the people who helped out, bought comics, asked questions and brought me coffee. See you next year!
Diana Schutz of Dark Horse visits with Mario & Gilbert while Jaime keeps his nose to the grindstone. Citizen Rex sequel, anyone?
Steven Weissman & Jon Vermilyea compare notes on strap-fondling techniques. Hey, there's Zack Carlson partially visible over Steven's shoulder — a special shout-out to Zack for his good spirit and volunteerism this week. (Zack also made one of the most amazing Comic-Con purchases I've ever heard about: a 1964 Chevrolet Corvair.)
Young Romance is a real page-turner, as editor Michel Gagné demonstrates.
Eric and Tom Spurgeon yak it up while D&Q's Tom Devlin ponders the unspeakable and Janice looks on.
Scott McCloud looks happy to have found some (mc)clouds in Johnny Gruelle's Mr. Twee Deedle (shut up, I'm tired).
Comic-Con Sundays are always too hectic for much picture-taking:
Old friend Roger Langridge popped by and sketched the Great Gonzo for Clem Reynolds, to papa Eric's delight.
Thanks to the thousands of folks who visited our booth this year (especially those who spent their money in it), Comic-Con staff & volunteers, our wonderful artists, our kick-ass staff, all of our pals & colleagues... another humdinger of a year! I'm off for a week of R&R so I'll catch you all next week.
Somebody brought an old Who's Who in the DC Universe for Trina to sign the page with her Cheetah illustration. That lady's done it all!
Another DC character also made an appearance at the No Straight Lines signing. (At least I think that's Poison Ivy.)
Matt Groening showed off his pal Gary Panter's Dal Tokyo while Akbar & Jeff walked past in the background. Matt recounted for us how he helped save the strip from being dumped at the L.A. Weekly back in the 1980s by arguing that it's one of the greatest works of art of the 20th century.
Eric shows off Johnny Gruelle's Mr. Twee Deedle to Matt, who was particularly taken with Gruelle's "birds-eye view" strips in the book and walked away with it under his arm.
Shannon Wheeler was signing Oil and Water before he even had a chance to sit down.
Our Comic-Con International booth (#1718), all set up and ready for the doors to open. Bursting with books! We had a brisk Preview Night and stuff is already disappearing into the hands of eager fans. The new Love and Rockets t-shirts are going like hotcakes, to the surprise of no one!
Hello from San Diego! As you can see in the blurry camera-phone-pic of Marketing Mix Master Mike Baehr above, we're getting Booth #1718 all ready for you! Hopefully you're following us on Twitter to get all the up-to-the-minute (seconds, really!) photos and news from the scene!
Tonight is Preview Night, and we're so excited to offer our first-ever Preview Night signings! As we mentioned on the FLOG, we've met a lot of customers who were only able to score passes for tonight to the con, so this is a little bonus from us to you, in celebration of the Love & Rockets 30th Anniversary Celebration!
Hello from San Diego, where we've unpacked the following never-before-seen debut books today (which will all be available to non-Comic-Con-goers in a couple of months at most):
Love and Rockets: New Stories #5 by Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez! Our esteemed colleague Heidi MacDonald of The Beat happened by as we were unpacking, saw our stacks of this new volume, and declared it "book of the show" already — you heard it here first!
Buz Sawyer Vol. 2: Sultry's Tiger by Roy Crane — The adventures don't slow down for our flyboy hero in the post-war years as he tangles with the titular femme fatale, tries to foil an insane ex-Nazi, goes in search of ancient Mayan treasure and gets kidnapped to Africa!
The Cavalier Mr. Thompson: A Sam Hill Novel by Rich Tommaso — we're pleased to be distributing this Kickstarter-funded, self-published graphic novel, a nifty early-20th-century period piece starring a hotel dick and a grifter who turns Big Spring, Texas upside-down.
We're expecting delivery of more hot-off-the-press debuts in the morning; in the meantime, booth setup proceeds apace in preparation for Preview Night opening tomorrow. It's a good thing these tables are strong.
We're thrilled to announce the Fantagraphics signing schedule for San Diego Comic-Con 2012!
We're also extra-excited to announce our first-ever Preview Night signing!!! That's right! Last year, we met a lot of customers who lamented that they were only able to score a pass for Preview Night and they were missing out on all the signings. So, we've got the great Gilbert Hernandez, Mario Hernandez, and Gilbert's talented daughter Natalia signing at our booth that evening! You complained; we listened! Yeah, don't get too used to that.