The Gaijin Studios(and friends)Booth with Cully Hamner, Brian Stelfreeze, Me and Karl Story

September 8 & 9 we attended the Baltimore Comic-Con for the first time. We flew in the day before the convention and had a fine fun day filled with sight-seeing, record-shopping(of course) and crab cakes(crab mac & cheese for Xan). I’ve lived in Ohio for so long now that I forgot exactly how disgusting the humidity is in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area, but overall we had a good time. Saturday I set up at the convention, sharing some space with the guys from Gaijin Studios. It was great seeing Brian and Cully, and getting to hang out with Karl Story again after 3+ years of just email and phone calls was a high point of the weekend. During the show I did my usual signing and sketching, plus I was fortunate enough to talk to lots of cool people like fan and and nice guy Mike Fogg, who took the photo above of the Gaijin booth (Mike, if you don’t want me using the picture, let me know and I’ll take it down–it‘s just better than most of the shots I took at the show), as well as other comics pros like Jose Villarubia and a few others who stopped by to say “Hi.” The show was incredibly crowded and I was constantly busy, pretty much stuck at my table from beginning to end. Xan, on the other hand, was able to make the rounds, shopping and talking and getting new sketches in her sketchbook, including a wonderful Owly as Tom Strong drawing from Andy Runton. If you haven’t seen Andy’s Owly books from Top Shelf Comics, you’re really missing out! After the show, we had dinner at a local off-the-beaten-path crab restaurant with Karl and several other comics pros and friends before attending the tribute to the late Mike Wieringo (a fellow comic artist and friend who passed away recently) organized by Cully Hamner and writer Mark Waid at a nearby bar.

Sunday was a day full of surpris
es, with friends I hadn’t seen in ages dropping in, like Kip Talbot, the only other guy I knew in college who read comics. Walter Simonson also came by on Sunday, which was a big deal for me, as he’s one of my idols and influences. We chatted about the Spirit story we did earlier in the year and marveled at Karl’s inking as we looked at the original art from that story. The biggest surprise, though, was a visit from my parents, who had never been to a convention or seen me at work (and, as I overheard my Mom telling someone, they hadn’t seen me in glasses before either). It looked like Mom and Dad had a good time–they shopped, talked to other artists and writers, saw lots of stormtroopers. My dad even collected autographs in his con program book. Xan kept them company and even took them to lunch when they weren’t watching me draw. When the show ended, we said our goodbye’s and my parents were kind enough to drive us to the airport where we had dinner together before heading back to Columbus.

Next convention: Mid-Ohio Con on Thanksgiving weekend.

On our Friday sight-seeing trip around Baltimore, we saw this building,
where the late great TV series Homicide was filmed

Friend of Gaijin Chris Donio and the Saturday night crab carnage

Walter Simonson stops by

Xan’s wonderful Owly drawing from Andy Runton

Xan and Mom & Dad with Franchesco!