Friday, December 21, 2007

Lazy Day

We haven't posted a picture of the little girl lately, so here's one now!
On a cold cloudy day like today it's hard to resist just curling up
with this little furball and napping the hours away.

I'm taking a day off from drawing today just to get a few non-work related things done for a change. I've been working so much lately that even Christmas shopping and the post office are going to feel like pleasant diversions!

Speaking of things that aren't work, my sister Megan and her son Aaron moved to Columbus this Fall, and we've been babysitting occasionally. We've had Aaron over for a few marathon video game sessions, and I took him to see Bee Movie a couple of weeks ago. Last night we went out for dinner to celebrate Megan's birthday.

Other than that, we've pretty much just been preparing for the holiday or battling Winter colds (as well as the winter cold).

My next post will probably be after Christmas, so Happy Holidays everyone!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Mid-Ohio Con 2007

Xan's dad Paul meets former Lois Lane, Noel Neill,
on whom he had a childhood crush!

Xan searches through the back issue boxes out on the con floor

Both new and old friends showed up this year.
This is Justin...

,,,and this is Nebbie!

Xan gets a little signing and sketching in!

Chris: For me, the con itself was in most ways pretty typical of the shows I've done this year--lots of sketching, few breaks, and not being able to talk about my current project--which was frustrating(soon, though--I've just completed the first two covers, and solicitation is imminent). Two things were atypical in a very pleasant way about this year's Mid-Ohio con, though. First: the after show meet-ups and dinners. On Friday night we picked up our badges at the convention center and ended up having drinks later with Steve Rude, Renee Witterstaetter, Steve Lieber and Sara Ryan. Then after the convention on Saturday, we joined a group of comics pros for dinner at Buca Di Beppo in the Arena District, where we had lots of pasta and enjoyable conversation. Sunday night, Xan and I met Renee and Michael Golden for a huge meal in the hotel restaurant, where we talked for hours about everything from our childhoods to convention horror stories and basically just had a blast. On the way out of the hotel we ran into UK artist Barry Kitson, Steve Rude, Matt Haley, and comic fans John Higashi, Miki Annamanthadoo, and Chad Olsen, and we ended up spending another hour talking in the bar with them. Considering that Xan and I both work at home and are pretty much homebodies these days anyway, this was a major amount of socializing for one weekend! The other thing that made the show a big deal for me was that I came home with some original artwork by other artists for the first time in a while. John Higashi gave me some Kevin Nowlan sketches--thanks, John!-- and I was able to pick up the preliminary pencil artwork for one of the Ocean covers from Michael and Renee. A pretty good way to end the convention season, I must say!

Xan: This year was quite a blast for me! Mainly, I loved being able to get to see so many people! During the convention I was able to walk around more than Chris did, so the first thing I did was head over to Tom Batiuk's table. When I was in the 8th grade my school put on a production of the musical Funky Winkerbean's Homecomeing and I still had my script, and the back cover has a space for cast autographs, which I never did. But it has Tom Batiuk's autograph now! I also got a Noel Neill autograph while I was at her table with my dad. Sadly I never made it over to Sarah Douglas' table, so I hope I get a chance to see her at another show.

I also spent a lot of time hanging with local pals Dave Aikins and Andy Bennett, but we mainly talked about Dave's new baby and Andy gave me the rundown of the new Aqua Teen Hunger Force video game so I know what to expect when I finally break down and get a Playstation. Tom Mandrake stopped by their table and I just listened while they all talked shop. They did some great sketches for me, and Andy sold me a piece of art he did a while ago that I have been wanting for a long time. I'll scan it and post it, it's wonderful. Tom Williams was there too, but I only got to see him on the last day, but he had some great prints and I had to get a print of Chukthula. I didn't get to see our friends Sara and Steve much more than drinks Friday, which was sad because they're great and I don't see them nearly enough. Steve had some fun Hollywood production stories about Whiteout coming next year. Hopefully, we'll have some Ocean stories soon!

Sadly, although my parents were able to come for a bit on Saturday and Daddy got to meet his lady Lois, they were only able to stay for about an hour because that was all the quarters they had to feed to the meter since the garage was full. But they got to see their son in law in action and get the con experience. It was a bit of sensory overload, but then it always is. Mama said "This is neat, but I have NO idea what I'm looking at!"

This year was also a very good shopping year for me! I got a very nice large edition of an issue of The House Of Mystery that Sergio Aragones signed for me (I loves me some Cain's Mail Room!) as well as some old Simpsons trade paperbacks for $5 each. Once again a convention has come and gone without me updating my Twilight Zone database, so in the interest of not buying any duplicate issues (again, I might add...) I didn't do any searches in the Gold Key boxes at the dealer tables. But I did find a guy who had a very nice selection of The Tick toys. I say "had" because I have them now! I got the Tick in his Dinosaur Neil t-shirt, Thrakazog, and The Human Bullet to name a few. It had been a long time since I had seen anyone with Tick toys, so I went a little nuts, but it was fun! Now all I need is a Chairface Chippendale and I should be good!

There was also a dealer at the end of the aisle Chris was in who had a lot of vintage books and board games, and while I was walking around with my friend Renee I noticed this dealer had some Edward Gorey stuff. I collect Gorey stuff, and this dealer had a copy of The Elephant House, the photo book of his home in Martha's Vineyard. This dealer also had a copy of the pop up book The Dwindling Party, which Chris was sweet enough to buy for me! Again, I should take some photos of that in its pop up splendor.

It was also a good year for seeing friends! Saturday I ran into my old Media Play pal Chris Veach, who is a HUGE Friday the 13th fan so he got some great photos of himself and Kane Hodder. I also saw my pal Nebbie Brown, another Media Play buddy, and he was able to grab some nice #1s for some very nice prices. The major pal suprise was the cameo appearance of one of my high school friends Mike Lehman and his wife, who now live in the D.C. area but did the con while visiting family for the holiday. He seemed as surprised to see me as I was to see him, as it had been about 9 years since we had seen each other! Even weirder was that my dad was with me when I ran into him, and my dad coached wrestling at my middle school so he knew Mike from that! I think we gave him quite the blast from the past! Jeff Carlisle didn't have a table this year, but dropped by and went to dinner Saturday and came by on Sunday as well, and showed me the new Dinotopia book which is AMAZING and I really should hit the bookstore today for that.

Sunday I also got to see my friends Molly Durst and Justin Wasson, which was fun since we've all become good pals from myspace, oddly enough. Molly actually is married to a man named Chris who I also know from high school, but weirdly enough, I met her through other people! Justin came up with his pals who we just called "The Mikes" from the Dayton area. It was fun to see them-Justin is in Dayton and Molly has an almost 5 year old, so I don't see them as often as I should.

Sunday night at the hotel for dinner and drinks was a great time. We got to talk for hours with friends Renee and Michael, and on our way out ran into everyone in the bar. Barry Kitson and I talked a long time about music (I would LOVE to spent some time with his record collection) and Steve Rude gave me some very kind and encouraging words. He seemed a little surprised that I can be so directionless, but then again, we'd only met once before :) It was also nice to meet Chad and Miki, since I never seem to be at the table when they're around.

So long story short, a fantastic time! The only regret I have is that I didn't take a photo of the dessert I got Sunday night at the Hyatt. It was called "Ice Cream Nachos" and was as amazing as it sounds.

I guess I actually DID have a lot more to add...

Here I am at my very own booth! No more Artists Alley this year!
(this photo and the one above of Xan shopping were taken by Vaneta Rogers)

This is Michael Golden's preliminary pencil art for the cover of Ocean #4