Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New York Comic Con Report

This past weekend was NYCC, bigger and better than ever. The Javitz Center construction allowed for the expansion of small press and artist alley with some elbow room, as well as all the anime stuff in the lower levels.

Last year, I sold out around 2 PM on the third (last) day of the show. This year, I brought slightly more inventory. This made me nervous as the book market is so soft. Long story short, I basically sold out in the last 30 minutes of the show. Left with only a few books in tow.

I got to hang out with my usual NYC comics pals, and a special treat to see my Toronto comics pals, and even a west coaster, too.

Friday night, I made it into the DC Comics freelancers party, which was so much fun. I ran into Jen Van Meter who was excited about her HOPELESS SAVAGES collection, which the story we worked on together was in. Afterward, we went to some straight-bar-upstairs but gay-bar-downstairs place nearby.

Saturday morning, it was crazy. teenagers dressed in anime garb EVERYWHERE. I was kinda discouraged because no one was buying for the first 3 + hours of the show. Then suddenly, MADHOUSE sales. Tim Piotrowski and I kept haunting the Marvel booth too, to try to get on the list for the Marvel freelancers party (since we actually have freelanced for Marvel...) to no avail. Also stopped by to see Jen at the Oni booth and got a copy of the collection. It looks GREAT. On the way back, inadvertently did some networking, nice.

Back at the booth, after selling a Northstar sketch, there was an impromptu dramatic reading of my story, "The Vomiteer" which was hilarious. Then on to the LGBT comics panel with Howard Cruse, Abby Denson, Joan Hilty, Phil Jimenez, Dan Parent, and Tim Piotrowski. Jeff Krell did a great job moderating. It was jam-packing, SRO, and they turned away a lot of people at the door. Good signs for getting bigger space next year.

On Sunday, sales were sluggish the morning (expected) but got crazy by the afternoon. Along the way, dear Matthew stopped by and we had the opp to walk around the show together a bit. While he explored solo, Dennis demanded a sketch from me on his iPad's sketch program. It was tough to use!—not used to my finger as stylus. But the image attached is the result. The image is meant to be Matt, looking sad, nervous, wistful maybe, and of course cute. The brown splotches represent him (his eyes) and the blue splotches represent me (my eyes). The title of the piece is "what a fucked up mess" which sums things up.

After a crazy busy end to the show, we broke down and loaded up the rented van to get everything back to Tim's place. Then, we all ran out of steam. So tired. After an easy start to my Monday, I Bolt Bussed back to Boston last night. YAY NYCC!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Steamy bus rides

Lately, it's been raining a lot. even still, I've managed to bike most days to work. Once last week, and also today, I was forced onto the CT2.

The buses are more crowded in the rain, run more slowly, and get, hrm, steamy, to be most polite.

Last week, a very frustrated boy with looong curly hair was standing next to me and out of anger or whatever exhaled very forcefully right into my face.

He was nice enough to apologize, but it still wasn't pleasant.

Also pictured are a few doodles of my grandmother. And a character design doodle for a not-so-attractive fellow. Nice weak chin, big horse teeth, large upper lip, droopy eyes...ha.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

R.I.P. Naughty Dottie

Today, we spread my grandmother's ashes.

Ok, ok, not really, that's against NH state law. But we did have a small gathering around her headstone, said a few words, and her ashes were buried after we left.

She passed away in May, after diagnosed as terminally ill last fall. I knew what this meant logically, of course, but she was the first person close to me I've lost, so I wasn't prepared for what that really meant.

I visited often in her last 6 months, and a week or so before she passed away, on my last visit up north, it hit me. We knew she was slipping, and she was very frail and weak. As it was time for me to go, she engaged me in conversation which she was barely able to do for the day or so prior. She lifted her arms on her own—another feat—to hug me good-bye and said, "I'll miss you," which is exactly when I lost it.

The following weeks were difficult, as I got together with my family, each dealing with grief differently. But also, it would hit me at random times and I would start welling up.

Today, I hadn't expected more of the same exactly. My sister spoke first, and I think I was choking up before she began. She gave a lovely little speech about how fun our grandmother was. Then it was my turn; I could barely get out the few things I wanted to say. Such a delicate flower.

My grandmother was a remarkable lady. Her parents divorced when she was young, and her mother remarried, but passed away just a few years later. Her step-father didn't think it worth the hassle to send a girl to school, so my grandmother waited tables and cared for the cafe owners' daughter for room and board to support herself through high school. The war broke out, and she was off to DC to work for the War Department, typing a general's letters in triplicate in the Pentagon. She was actually retained after the war ended, when most girls were sent home. She married my grandfather and moved to his family farm, where they struggled to keep it going while she worked various jobs. My grandfather passed away 2 months before I was born, and she began a new life as a young widow.

But throughout the hardships, she loved to laugh. When I started sketching her, looking at old photos, it's almost impossible to find any where she isn't laughing. She used to regale me and my sister with her stories of cheating on algebra exams, outrunning a police cruiser, and other probably exaggerated-for-us behavior. And I'll never forget a wedding we were all attending where John Denver was a guest and sang a few songs. My grandmother forced her way up on the stage to sing backup for him. She was a can-do lady (albeit a bit "country") who could make anything happen—and yet she never seemed pushy.

She was sweet, and funny, and loved to have a good time. I think I was too serious for her as I grew older. But when I came out, she was supportive of me, at the expense of some other close relationships she had. She wouldn't have wanted me to go on to her about it, about how much it meant to me, so I never did. I know she knew.

I wasn't sure what memory to sketch of her, so I went with her off to DC. It's her intrepid spirit, and tenacity that has inspired me most in my life. Next, I'll try to laugh like she did.

I'll miss her.