I got back from San Diego Comic Con and the San Francisco Zine Fest a couple weeks ago. It was a long and exhausting 2 weeks. Apparently I was really showing it on the last days at Comic Con but I had so much fun that I’m already looking forward to next year. I realize that people care a lot about how I’m doing, which is really nice. Jesse Reklaw, Tim Goodyear and I headed off to SF on Thursday night around midnight.

The Zine Fest was basically a perfect event for me. The people who put it on (Francois Vignault, Sarah Gion and friends) do an amazing job. This is the second year that Sparkplug has made the trek and it continued to be a great place to sell zines and comics as well as meeting tons of creative and interesting people. I don’t usually get to go to a lot of events and all that but I did make it to the reading at the Cartoon Art Museum which was put on by Mari Naomi. It came off perfectly and it was really cool to see so many great cartoonists doing readings from their books. The artists were: Rina Ayuyang (rinaayuyang.com), Peter Conrad (paperdummy.com), Renee French (reneefrench.com), Justin Hall (allthumbspress.com), Andy Hartzell (andyhartzell.com), Minty Lewis (pscomics.com), MariNaomi (marinaomi.com), Lark Pien (larkpien.com), Joey Sayers (jsayers.com) and Calvin Wong (calwong.org)

The Zine Fest went well. The new location was airy and open and there were tons of people and their dogs. I picked up a zine on Night Terrors by Craven Rock and Kinoko. Sparkplug picked up more copies of books we already had and a new beautiful Estrus by Mari Naomi.

SF has such great vegan food that every night was basically amazing for me, fattening up wise.

Here are my pictures from the SF show.

Then on Monday Tim Goodyear and I drove to San Diego and met up with our flat mate Tom Neely. Getting there early was great and gave us a bunch of time to get our shit together for the big show on Wednesday. Wednesday was the preview night for San Diego Con and we discovered a usually crazy booth partner had been put next to us and we’d been put across from the Spike and Mike Yelling Festival as we were last year. 5 days of annoying yelling really ads to the experience of San Diego.

Luckily, this year, we were right near Picture Box and Drawn and Quarterly which is always a total blessing. Within a few hours the tables were set up and everything was ready to go. It was a quick and painless set up and there were tons of books and great Tom Neely and Levon Jihanian art up at the booth for the preview night. The next four days of the show were pretty mind blowing. 10 hours of non stop talking to people about comics and what we are up to. At our table the big hits of the show were Tom’s Whale print, Renee French’s new T-shirts, Bicycle Propaganda, Steve Ditko books, Gerald Jablonski’s new Cryptic Wit #2, Hey Tim, and Inkweed. But, in general everything went swimmingly from a sales perspective. I’m always amazed at how receptive people are to hand made books at San Diego.

Lynda Barry and Rutu Modan showed up at the Drawn and Quarterly booth and had amazing lines which was really inspiring. Dan Nadel’s Picture box table was a bastion of mental fortitude in a see of crazy and Alvin Buenaventura’s set up basically was where I wanted to spend the whole show. We saw lots of costumed people and talked with loads and loads of Hollywooders and reporters. Basically awesome. And my favorite part of the show was having Liz Dunning stop by the table with a new mini called Marty Chronicles that she and Teppei Ando did. A really great book and we’ll be selling it soon. I’m sure they both will be making a name for himself in comics really soon.

Sparkplug artists Trevor Alixopulos, Jeff LeVine and Jason Shiga all made it down for the show and spent a bunch of time at the table. Jeff even had a new mini out which is an event in and of itself. Trevor had amazing new prints he’d made and Shiga was there for the Eisner awards presentation (he was robbed by that evil Rutu Modan). Zak Sally, Jason Miles and Nate Denver from LaMano all stopped by. Carrie McNinch brought the new You Don’t Get There From Here. And Sparkplug promo wiz Shannon O’Leary was there with Joan Reilly for the weekend too.

We all had a blast hanging out with David King and Michelle Borok from Giant Robot and going around town. I highly recommend not trying to park in the convention area and using the trolley to come into the show. The show was a total blast but it tired me out and all I heard about was how tired I looked. In the end I was invigorated by the whole thing, even the run in with the angry moving guy at the end. It made me want to get back to work on Reporter.

My pictures of San Diego Con aren’t all that many or great because my battery ran out but David King took some great ones. And Tom Neely’s report (a few posts ago) gives a better overview of the show.