ATLANTA COMICON 2003 -
had a blast! The organizers were all so nice and helpful; they
made it a delight to be there.
I'm so glad they selected me to be a guest of their show. Here's
April 10: We took the plane from Seattle to Atlanta and
arrived at our destination around 6:00 pm. We were greeted by
the Comicon's chief of security, who kindly drove us to our hotel
in Duluth. Riding with us was Terry Moore, the
famed creator of the excellent comic series Strangers
in Paradise. Terry is currently celebrating the tenth anniversary
of his creation. From our hotel, Terry, Nancy (my beloved wife)
and I, walked to the Roadhouse Grill where we had a relaxing dinner.
We chatted about working in the comic biz, doing FX on The
Iron Giant (Terry's favorite animated film), and the various
progressions of our respective careers. Terry is a very swell
guy and a tremendous artist.
April 11: First day of the convention. The hall opened
at 1:00 pm. We were at the table right next to Mike Kunkel,
creator of Herobear
and the kid. Mike is such a nice guy; it was a pleasure
to have him as a convention neighbor. He was promoting his new
hardcover that compiles the first 5 issues of his series: a very
slick package that delighted all the Herobear fans. Our "Insanely
Twisted Rabbits" banner caught the eye of many unsuspecting
attendees. A lot of them came to chat with us and were delighted
when I offered to sketch for anyone who happened to have a sketchpad
handy. After the hall closed at 7:00, we all headed to the Gaijin
Studio where food and drinks awaited us. We had fun socializing
with the many great artists who were present. Back at the hotel,
I had a pitiful game of pool with the talented Mike Jantze
(The Norm), who
ended up defeating me in the end. Truly, we were closely matched
in our inability to make a decent shot!
April 12: The convention hall opened at 10:00 and my
table was immediately mobbed by a group of animation students.
Their enthusiasm was very refreshing. I also met two cool guys
from The Animation Nation
Message Board, who are known under the names Fooksie
(thanks for the mug) and LooseToon
(who provided the pictures you see here). Those guys were a lot
of fun to talk to. I sketched and signed books, and everyone was
very thankful. The Insanely
sculpture from Sideshow Collectibles was on display at our
table and was a massive hit, to say the least. Too bad it isn't
for sale yet.
2:00pm, I headed for the ASIFA room, where I was part of a panel
about "Animators Doing Comic Books". The panel, moderated
by Sarah Fay, went extremely well. Mike
Kunkel balanced my insanity with mature reasoning, while
Gladden and Robert
Pope offered some good insights on the business.
The fan reaction was great. After the panel, I rejoined Nancy
at the table where sales were picking up quite well. The doors
closed, at 6:00pm, and Thom Trainor (one of the
organizer and a nice guy to boot) took us to a Jamaican restaurant
where we joined the amazing Shane
Glines, Mike Kunkel, Thom's wonderful
wife Rhonda, and a few other artists. The food
was fabulous and so was the company.
April 13: Last day of the convention. I did a one hour
presentation (Inside the Animator's Studio) at 2:00pm and the
response was fantastic. Prelude
to Eden, as always, was a big hit. Back to the table,
I did more sketching and signing, and we nearly sold everything
we had shipped. I feel so blessed to have such wonderful fans
that support my work. Their enthusiasm and kindness truly fuels
my creative energy.
Gagné, April 16, 2003.