July is the gruelingest month for my family. The professional pilgrimage that is San Diego Comic-con is just one small part of it. See, it starts with the kids being out of school; June is easy because we’re all so grateful to sleep in a little, but then the restlessness sets in and the little imps are up to their wacky hijinks and what we like to call ‘creative productivity’ (because ‘work’ covers so many things besides writing) drops by about 70%. Plus, July is when we usually spend as much time as possible with the extended family, and if two wacky little monkeys can keep a girl from writing, throw in their cousins and you can keep her from even thinking about thinking about writing. So that’s July. And that’s why I’m only just now writing this, the very first blog post on my shiny new website.
And yeah, since you asked, the San Diego trip was as exhausting as ever, but pretty darn fun.
I spent some table-time at the Oni Press booth admiring the Carnival of Wow surrounding the Scott Pilgrim release and the unflagging energy and coolness of Bryan Lee O’Malley in the face of so much fan love. And what’s more, I got to watch the astounding crew that is Team Oni run that booth like the children born 40 weeks after a NASCAR pit crew and a team of sassy ninja firefighters found themselves snowbound in a chalet with nothing but whiskey and Twister to pass the time. And I say this again, because back in the day, when I came to the show as a fan, I had no idea how hard running a booth at that show can be, and it’s only gotten harder as the show’s gotten bigger: they were amazing.
The big event of the show, for writer-me, was being on hand for the announcement that Oni is all set and scheduled to publish an omnibus collection, Hopeless Savages: Greatest Hits in October. It’ll collect everything so far, including some rarities, and a bit of new material as well. The response to the announcement was gratifying, as was the enthusiasm of the folks who kindly stopped by the booth to ask if there will be more new material; my answer: yes, as soon as we figure out a way to do something about the July Effect (see above). I’m also very grateful for the folks who came ’round to say nice things about the co-feature Travis Moore and I have been doing in the back of JSA:All-Stars and the Black Cat miniseries I’ve been doing with Javiers Pulido & Rodriguez over at Marvel; both projects have been a ton of fun for me and the feedback from readers is truly precious.
Add to that getting to meet with a couple editors and artists I’m going to be working with on upcoming projects, and it was a very encouraging convention from the ‘how’s my career going?’ perspective.
The other side of the con is getting to go around being a fan, and this year the high point was the chance to meet and thank some folks I’ve been admiring of late via their webcomics and twitterings. I have only recently become a rabid fan of webcomics; initially I was impatient with formatting issues and load time and didn’t see a lot that I liked, but then some very kind youngsters started sending me links to things and I found myself looking forward to webcomics like I looked forward to the funnies page in the newspaper as a kid. I wouldn’t have loved comic books if it hadn’t been for comic strips, and these are just some of the folks who’ve given that fun back to me:
Ming Doyle, who drew/painted me an awesome Aladdin Sane Bowie (which I will share as soon as I learn how to make our scanner go)
Tracie Mauk and Kevin Church, who are sweet people making some great funny in a new webcomic — easy to jump on!
Meredith Gran, whose dry wit, nervy insight and cartooning talent blow me away.
Rich Stevens, who makes the shirts our son loves most and understands the essence of the very short story that is a great joke. Also, it turns out he’s delightful to talk with and I’d been buying socks from him for two years before I knew he had a comic.
And then there’s Curt Franklin and Chris Haley. They make me laugh. A lot. And it turns out they are much taller than I’d expected, very sweet, lots of fun to hang out with, and surprisingly good-natured about hiking through the con-floor with me so’s I could meet up with Greg and try on a coat he really wanted to buy for me (and yes, ultimately, I caved and agreed to it, even though it is impractical in almost every way) (But I’m glad I did.)
Beyond that, I also enjoyed getting a little time with Greg, catching up with old friends, drinking a wee bit too much, and hunting down bribes/presents for the kids.
All in all, pretty terrific.
And now we’re in August. Several scripts to write before school starts, so I have no idea how often I’ll be posting here–barring any exciting news that might emerge–but I would like to come back soon and ramble on about some books I’ve been reading that are intimidatingly wonderful.
And that’s what it’s like when I do this sort of thing.