This past weekend I attended The Summit City Comic Con in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It's a nice, modestly-sized show with a lot of great artists and fans in attendance. Among everyone I had the chance to meet, my favorite patron was a French college professor named George. It seems he was drawn to my table because of my Dead Duck banner (Spider-Man artist Humberto Ramos was similarly drawn to it at last year's Wizard World Chicago con). He told me he'd like to buy a copy of "Dead Duck", and would really like a drawing of Zombie Chick in it. As I sketched, we chatted about his work. I learned he was a visiting professor at a college in Indiana, and he was about to return to France. He'd never been to a comic convention, so Summit City was kind of special for him. I told him how much I admire the talented cartoonists from France and Belgium (heck, Europe as a whole), and we both professed our fandom for comics like Asterix, the original Smurfs (known as Les Schtroumpfs in Belgium) and the late cartoonist Jean Girard"Moebius". We also questioned why, with so much cartooning talent in France, there weren't more comic cons over there. It was just such an interesting conversation to have, and I really feel fortunate that I can connect with fans like this. In the end, that's what I take away most from doing conventions.
SAN DIEGO COMIC CON
The big news this week is that I've been confirmed for a professional pass to The San Diego Comic Con. It means that, because I'm a working professional in the comics industry, Comic Con gave me a free badge to attend the show.
Not that it was easy to pull off--I set this in motion six months ago, filling out tons of online registration material, creating passwords, jumping through every hoop they required of me. And only last week did I finally get word that I could finally apply online for a pro pass--but I'd have to mail tear sheets of my work and evidence of my status in the industry to complete the process, and it couldn't be faxed or e-mailed. What followed then was a few hours of chaos, with me scanning artwork and my National Cartoonists Society credentials, running (literally. Laura had the car) down to Kinkos to print it all out, then Fed Ex'ing it all off to assure it got there the next morning (I was told that pro registration could fill up as early as May 11th. It was May 9th when I was finally given the okay just to register). Within a couple days, I got a confirmation e-mail that my work and credentials had been approved, and that I had a professional badge waiting for me at Comic Con...but they had run out of guest badges, meaning I couldn't bring my wife, Laura.
Now, like I said, I'd set this all in motion six months earlier. And because I had to wait to register until May, I was forced to book our hotel and plane reservations six months ago (as you might imagine, that stuff goes fast for Comic Con). Plus, Laura had already taken the time off work to go with me. Not to mention, I really, REALLY wanted her there. So I scrambled to find anyone I knew who could get me a guest pass. I had a couple leads, but nothing panned out. Then, as I was driving back from Summit City late Saturday night, I called Laura to say I was almost home. She told me my contact at Comic Con (the woman I had to send all my paperwork to), had called her personally, telling her to not change her travel plans, and that they got Laura a guest pass after all. I got an e-mail confirming it soon after. So it's with a wipe of my brow and a great sigh of relief that it all worked out, and that Jay Fosgitt and Laura Tanner will be invading Comic Con in July!
YOU SAY IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY...?
This weekend is my wife Laura's birthday, so I'm also rushing to clear away all work from interfering with it. I'm confident I can make it happen. Laura's more than worth the extra effort.
That's it for this week, kids. Catch you next week with more news!