After the long journey to Baltimore, actually being at the Baltimore Comic Con was a cakewalk. Groggy but excited, Adam and I made it to the convention center and set up the POPGUN 1/2 table. It was in the Image Comic Booth, which was glorious. Whenever the Image Founders and Bigwigs had a signing on the other side of the booth, the line would stretch all the way around, in front of our table, and occasionally we’d be able to sneak a few sales.
“You looking for Erik Larsen’s signature? Well, you know, he’s contributed to every volume of POPGUN, sooo…”
“Rob Liefeld once told me POPGUN was awesome, sooo…”
“If we sell out of these, we can hang out and walk the floor for the rest of the con. It’s what Jim Valentino would want… c’mon!”
(Photo by Branwyn Bigglestone)
It was fun, though. Sales weren’t as brisk or huge as my last con experience in San Diego, but Baltimore had some wonderful charms of its own. One was the fact that this con is about COMICS. No Hollywood or video games. Now, I love Hollywood and video games and had fun with all the pseudo celebs at SDCC last July, but to have Chris Claremont, a huge force behind the stories that inspired the X-MEN movies, writer of a very large stack of comics I bought from my pre-teen to teen years — stopped by to chat with me and Adam, well, it was pretty exciting. Geek out time and whatnot.
The whole con and floor experience was a hoot. It was capped of wonderfully by the Harvey Awards Saturday night. POPGUN volume 2 was nominated for Best Anthology of 2009, so I actually kind of had a reason to be there. (Despite Image PR/Marketing guru and POPGUN co-creator Joe Keatinge constantly asking me, “What are you doing here?” during the entire con.) It was great in that I didn’t have to pay for dinner, and I was at a table with some amazing creators. I did actually start to wonder what I was doing there. The awards ceremony was fun, PVP’s Scott Kurtz making a very funny MC.
POPGUN lost out for the Best Anthology 2009 Harvey to the Tori Amos inspired COMIC BOOK TATTOO — but, c’mon. Have you seen that book? It’s amazing, and it deserved to win. (POPGUN 3 for next year!!!)
My favorite moment was when writer Bryan Glass won for Best New Talent for his book MICE TEMPLAR (with artist Michael Avon Oeming). His acceptance speech was very heartfelt, and to see that kind of genuine emotion was really a highlight.
Not long after, Joe Keatinge drew an unrelated and horribly dirty comic in my little notebook.
Though I’d already voted, we were all provided with a program that had a checklist of all the nominees. Due to my horrible memory, I re-voted, just to see how I’d do. I went 10 for 21. Not that… good.
The next day continued the trend of fun and lots of surprising goodwill from creators I’ve been reading for years. I was also recognized by someone from near my hometown of Waverly, OH, which was weird. Small, small world.
After the con wrapped and we broke everything down (and I managed to stab myself with a box cutter — thank goodness the Baltimore Comic Con floor team were prepared with a first aid kit), it was off to the bar for one last drink with the Image gang. What a great bunch of people. And beer out of a martini glass is the only way to drink beer, fyi.
(iPhotograph by Capt. Joe Keatinge)
All in all, a very good trip. I got to hang out and work with my friend and frequent co-writer Adam P. Knave (who is on the opposite coast of me), see my pal Joe Keatinge, and work side-by-side with Image Comics Accounts Manager Branwyn Bigglestone, Publisher ericstephenson, and the rest of the Image Comics gang.