Diego Comic-Con 2004 (July 21-25)
finally back home in Washington and ready to get back
into the groove. The entire trip was extremely productive
as usual. It was fantastic to meet old and new friends
a really long drive from Bellingham to San Diego, Nancy
and I arrived to our hotel (US Grant) on Tuesday night
exhausted but full of enthusiasm. We set up our booth
on Wednesday afternoon and got done only minutes before
the hall opened for Preview Night at 5:30.
We had an excellent location, probably the best we've
ever had. Our corner booth was facing a main entrance
and was positioned very close to the DC booth. I sure
hope we get a location this good again next year.
to Thom and Rhonda Trainor
who helped us throughout the convention. Thanks to them,
I was able to walk around instead of being stuck all
day at the booth. I met Thom and Rhonda at the Atlanta
Comicon (Thom was one of the organizers). We're
happy to have them as friends. They are super nice people.
Thursday, the first official day of the convention,
I participated in a panel about self-publishing. The
room was completely packed. Terry Moore was
definitely the star with his humorous yet incisive style.
I always enjoy meeting Terry and was glad to get the
latest Strangers in Paradise
TPB for my beloved wife Nancy (who's
a huge fan of the series).
Thursday night, we were invited to a private party given
Tattoo Books. I had a great time hanging
out with Ragnar,
Stout and publisher extraordinaire, Bob
Self. I will be doing a book for Baby Tattoo
in the coming year. More on that later...
was nice to meet the Flight
anthology crew: a bunch of young and extremely
talented artists. Nancy and I ate a meal with them on
Saturday night and we had a blast. Flight
is a wonderful book and it was a huge hit at the convention.
I'm delighted to be part of the upcoming Volume Two.
Kibuishi, the mastermind behind the Flight
anthology, gave me a copy of the first issue of his
new comic series, Daisy Kutter,
published by Viper
Comics. It's a really fun and appealing
book with a nice European feel. The back-up story by
is also excellent. This is going to be one cool series.
I walked around on the convention floor, I stopped at
table to admire his sketchbook called Scribblings.
I very rarely buy sketchbooks but that one, I just had
to have. When I started, flipping through it, Dean pointed
at one of the drawing in the book (an Insanely Twisted
Rabbit) which has a small inscription underneath
it that says: "... with apologies to M. Gagné."
How cool is that?
of Insanely Twisted Rabbits, I met yet another
fan who was sporting one of my rabbit illustrations
on her shoulder. It's amazing how many people have my
doodles tattooed on their bodies. Blows my mind!
again, I received many samples and gifts from artists.
Here are a few that really impressed / touched me:
Viso from Los Angeles gave me a manuscript entitled,
Our Insanely Twisted Tribute for Michel
Gagné that he and his students
put together. It's filled with drawings of twisted animals
à la Insanely Twisted Rabbits as well
as letters addressed to me. It seems like Royce's students
were very inspired by my work. That's always a great
thing to hear. It was a nice and touching gift.
Chiang, one of the Flight contributors,
gave me a wonderful watercolor painting depicting my
little character Rex (image on the
right). I was completely blown away. I thanked her for
this amazing gift and she replied by saying "Thank
you" back. I told her, "Why are you thanking
me? I haven't done anything for you." She replied,
"Thank you for all the things you do. Thank you
for being... you!" That almost brought a tear to
my pulsating eye. You can click
here for a larger view.
gift that really impressed me is a graphic novel called
Fury by Kurt Christenson
and Chris Chua. I love Chua's visuals
on this. The book has a unique feel and constantly surprising
and dynamic layouts. It's like a cross between Hirschfield,
Frank Miller and manga. Very cool!
gifts and acquisitions that are noteworthy includes:
A cool sci-fi comic, Sean
Wang's Runners issue #3 and #4; the
"European style BD" minicomics, Horus
#2 and #3 by Johane Matte; the wonderfully
Tourist Trap #1-4 by Azad;
the magazine size comic anthology Comiculture
#1 and #2; three cool collected editions of popular
Gets All The Fun!); Gris
Grimly's latest masterpiece, Boris
and Bella; a couple of neat anthologies
Studios; Jack Kirby's
to Astonish by Ronin Ro;
and some nice sketchbooks by
Ryan Woodward, Jerry
Carr and Sam
Hood. I also spent quite a few $$ on old
"Silver Age" comic books.
a lot more stuff I haven't gone through yet and I'm
sure I'll find more gems. Thanks to everyone who gave
me samples of their great work. I'll make sure to savor
all of it as time permits. It's very inspiring to see
all this talent.
our books did extremely well. Frenzied
Fauna and the Prelude
to Eden DVD are now completely sold
Flora was our best selling book at
the convention. ZED
saw a major increase in sales over last year. I think
the release of issue 5 is generating new interest in
the trade. We also sold quite a few original pieces
of artwork. All and all, this was another highly successful
convention thanks to all our fans and supporters.
Gagné, August 6, 2004