Post San Diego

Apparently the alarm clock here in Toronto has been going off at 5:30am all week while I was away in San Diego. I found that out first thing this morning when it woke me up and I groggily turned it off.

Ouch. My body aches and my head feels distant. It must be post-San Diego.

The show was good, bad and everything inbetween. Comic-Con is a mushroom cloud of crowds, long hours, stress and sensory overload. It’s like mainlining ice cream and wondering why your teeth ache and your head hurts when it tastes so damn good. 2 days of Comic-Con and being able to instantly teleport home would be perfect but would feel too short. 5 days is like a madhouse prison sentence with no wardens.

The Udon booth was hopping. Tons of fans lined up for Exalted #0, art prints, art books, busts, back issues and posters. There was lots of great feedback from fans and loads of repeat customers who wanted sketches from our artists every day of the show.

By the time it was all done my body was a mess. I currently have sore muscles, a messed up sleep pattern and an aching spine. The other bad thing is that somewhere between the San Diego airport (where I was taking the last of my photos) and Toronto I lost my digital camera. Now luckily I had taken out one of my memory cards to put in a fresh one so I have a good chunk of the photos I’d taken. But even still, losing those photos and the expensive camera really put a dampener on the end of the weekend. I wish I could have the photos and just lose the camera instead.


No time for a blow-by-blow, but here’s some highlights in no particular order:

– Meeting Shinkiro and Ikeno, two Street Fighter designers from Japan who were our guests at the show. They signed books for fans, sketched for us and were extremely polite and grateful. Taking them around the show on Saturday to meet some of their favorite artists including Adam Hughes, Mike Mignola, Geoff Darrow and Brandon Peterson was also a thrill.

– Introducing Noi to Josh Middleton and watching our superstar Exalted artist get all fanboy and squeamish.

– Later on introducing Noi to Jim Lee (Noi’s favorite artist – just like it says in the Exalted #0 interview) and then watching him completely lose his mind.

– Meeting excited Exalted fans who can’t wait until issue #1 arrives in October.

– Raffling off limited edition Street Fighter controllers to a throng of crazed fans at the end of the day on Saturday.

– Meeting up with staff from the amazing Strange Adventures comic book store.

– Eating an incredible steak dinner with the Udon and Capcom people. After dinner we drew caricatures of each other on the tablecloth covering. The ones of Erik were absolutely priceless (Mavoh!). Just before leaving we also ran into Rob Van Damme from the WWE at the same restaurant.

– Playing in the annual Texas Hold’em game organized by Scott Dunbier which included 48 comic pros and retailers including Jim Lee, Adam Hughes, Paul Levitz, Jae Lee and Paul Jenkins amongst others. I made it to 20th place, which was respectable considering my general exhaustion and lack of poker-playing ability.

– Seeing old friends from the industry, school, Calgary and last year’s Comic-Con.

– Karaoke with a bunch of artists and friends. Even though my throat was sore I found enough oomph to belt out Tom Jones’ Delilah and get the crowd cheering. Afterwards at the Star bar (which proudly proclaims that it’s one of the ’20 Best Dives in America’) we had shots and good drunken conversation.

– Seeing the city glittering at night from the penthouse party that the Toronto Comic Expo gang threw at the Courtyard Mariott.

– Trading swag for Red VS Blue DVDs.

– Dancing to 80’s goodness with friends.

– Seeing what a ‘yard’ of beer looks like.

Funny conversation tidbit:

Ken: Try one of these chocolates, they’re amazing.
Brian: I covet these – with all my being!
Gal: No you don’t. You hate them.
Brian: Oh yeah you’re right. I hate these – with all my being!
Gal: Actually you really don’t care either way about them.
Brian: I have no real preference either way for these…


Brian: …with all my being!

Also, best drawing of Blanka ever – by Sally:

Gonna be anti-social and try to shake this jet lag over the next couple of days. So out of it…

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