Well, I'm finally getting a chance to relax after my trip to San Francisco.
I had a blast. Between Ape and the nightlife and all the things to see... It was great!
I met a lot of folks and picked up quite a few new reads, too.
When I arrived in San Francisco on Friday, I met up with John, my partner-in-crime, and we got settled into our hotel. Then we hit Castro and a quick web-search on my phone turned up two comic shops on the street.
The first was Whatever... Comics. I really liked this one. It may not have been very big but it still managed to give space to local indie creators, including their own Slumberland Press comics.
Picked up: Nothing today. John went back later and got something for me that I was fawning over with glowing eyes.
However, Chris (the main guy there from what I could tell) gave me a copy of one of their comics free and suggested that I leave copies of mine with them. Really great place, btw.
The second shop was down the road a bit. Or rather... Up. Waaay up! After a few blocks it became a steep incline and I started questioning if I really wanted to see it or not. And if so, how bad..?
We finally arrived at Neon Monster and the lack of customers came as no real surprise as they probably passed out halfway up the hill. The host, however, was quite cheerful and pleasant to talk to.
Picked up: Darwyn Cooke's Parker: The Man with the Getaway Face. I had just finished reading The Hunter on the flight to SF (I stopped at Hastings and picked up the used copy for $12.95 that I stupidly passed over previously) and I'm looking forward to reading the prelude to The Outfit.
Saturday was spent mostly at the con. I had originally planned to hit several workshops or panels throughout the day but it took me all day just to explore the hundreds of booths that were set up.
I made sure to stop by the booths for Fantagraphics, Drawn & Quarterly, Slave Labor Graphics, Top Shelf Productions and Last Gasp.
From Fantagraphics I got the first volume of the new dress trades for Love & Rockets. I finally gave in and I'll be replacing my old big trades with the new smaller ones. I didn't have a complete set yet anyways... Only the first six or so.
I like the new smaller design, too. Easier to port around and cheaper. I had been a little speculative about switching but with the recent release of the new Penny Century volume it appears that Fantagraphics will be reprinting more material in the format.
I also picked up Twentieth Century Eightball and Ghost World to get signed by Dan Clowes.
Over at the Drawn & Quarterly booth I got Wilson (another book to be signed by Clowes) and a tote bag as my plastic bag that I brought with me was starting to show signs of an early demise.
Speaking of Dan Clowes, I think he was amused by me bringing my promo poster for Wison to be signed. I've had it prominently displayed on my bathroom wall for the last few months. He signed it but it's the side that I don't show as I like to have the story side out so it can be read.
Top Shelf Productions had copies of Matt Kindt's Super Spy and I snagged one of them. I had dug it back when I had a psp and they were releasing Super Spy mini-comics for the psp a few years ago. I thought he had a great style for the story and I can't wait to read it all in one volume.
Then over at Slave Labor Graphics, I met up with Tommy Kovac and had a great conversation about Oz, libraries and working to death. I picked up the first two issues of The Royal Historian of Oz (which he signed, of course) and gave him copies of 'Nuther World Comics.
Another stand out appearance was Justin Hall. I had originally seen his work in the first volume of Best American Comics. I bought a copy of True Travel Tales from him, which he signed, and when I gave him copies of my comics he gave me another comic in return (the only person at the con to do that if I remember correctly).
I stopped by Slumberland's booth several times Saturday and Sunday but kept missing Chris. I left copies of my comic and looked over some of their books. I think I'll be getting me a copy of Robinson Crusoe in the 6th Dimension pretty soon...
I found a vendor there selling half-price and 30%-off trades and another one selling single comics. From these two I snagged Jay Stephen's Atomic City Tales #3 (I've had the first two issues for years but never finished the set til now) and Madman Comics Volume 3 (which includes #s 12 through 20 of the Dark Horse run and my collection had stopped with #14).
On Sunday I took part in two workshops. One with Jonathan Lemon (Rabbits Against Magic) lecturing on developing comic strips and another with Shannon Wheeler (Too Much Coffee Man) sharing his knowledge of gag cartoons.
One thing I found interesting was that Lemon supported the use of the "silent panel" in comic strips- the panel sometimes used just before the last panel to prolong the anticipation of the punchline, while Shannon (without being asked) brought up that comic strips are made funnier without the "silent panel", rushing forward to the joke.
I found it intriguing that they both brought up the "silent panel" and that they had such opposing thoughts about it. I actually found it distracting as I spent more time after that just pondering over their separate views.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed both workshops but it seemed like they were both cut short as one hour really wasn't long enough.
I also sat in on a panel and listened to Lynda Barry, Megan Kelso, Renee French, Tom Neely and Jen Wong answer questions from Greg Means regarding "The Art of Storytelling".
After the con was over I went back to the hotel to meet back up with John (who had skipped day 2) and was greeted with a copy of The Art of Jaime Hernandez (the book from Friday that I ogled).
The next day we spent sight-seeing, visiting the Golden Gate Bridge, the Botanical Garden. Twin Peaks, Sausalito and the beach.
All in all it was a great trip and I think this weekend I'm just gonna rest.