This past weekend I had the pleasure of being a guest at Comicpalooza in Houston, Texas. Comicpalooza, and patron of the arts Alex Johnson, know how to treat a guy. I was met at the airport by four lovely volunteers and had a limo ride to the airport.
Okay, maaaaaybe that had something to do with a quirk of timing and a lot of luggage. Still, the bar has been raised for other conventions.
I was a guest last year, and had a lot of fun. This year was no different. My friend Jesse Jackson made it up from Dallas, and Bill Williams of Lone Star Press was there for the show, too. Being able to hang out with friends I don’t see is one of the big joys of this event.
I got to meet Avery Brooks, which was a personal joy. He, for my money, is the best captain of the modern Treks, and Deep Space Nine is the best of the modern franchise. A large part of that was his portrayal of Captain Benjamin Sisko.
His line had a break in it, and I went over to him and told him how much I appreciated his work. I may have even mentioned his awesome “Where are my flying cars?” commercial from years back. He shook my hand, asked my name, and said “thank you.”
I’ve hit the point where I need very few photos with actors and less autographs. I just want that where, for one brief moment, the actors who have been so much a part of my world know that I exist. It’s not always possible. Patrick Stewart’s line was completely impenetrable. But every once in a while, I’d like to have the gush line, where you don’t have to pay anything, you just get 60 seconds to say something to the actor. Not practical, I know, but it’d be cool.
My friend Jesse had me do a new commission for his Doctor Who sketchbook. He wanted Winston Churchill as portrayed by Ian McNeice, who was at the show. I drew a picture of Winston with a sonic screwdriver in place of a cigar. Jesse went to get it signed.
When he came back, he informed me that Ian loved the drawing and wanted to meet me. Well, who am I to refuse an audience with the Holy Roman Emperor Winston Churchill? I spent a few delightful moments talking to him. That was pretty cool.
I also met Tabitha St. Germaine who was wandering the show floor. Tabitha is the voice of Rarity on My Little Pony, a show and a franchise with which I have a passing familiarity. She was incredibly sweet, and we even got a picture together.
I did a couple panels, a digital comics panel and a diversity in comics panel (I represented people of height, I suppose). Both had some pretty good discussions. And I did a piece for the charity auction. The piece was a little rushed, as I had to get to that diversity panel, but I think the speed helped give a nice sense of energy to the piece, too.
Commissions were way up at this show, too. It’s one of the very few times I’ve had to take artwork back to the room at night. It was just Friday night, but I was still up until almost three keeping current on my commission list.
It also showed a definite progression in my career. There was a point, years ago, when I could tell you everything that was on TV from 11:00pm to 2:00am. I knew which channels had what reruns, who hosted what late night show, and the names of all the late night news newscasters.
Now, I don’t.
I don’t want more work, I want better paying work. And I want to manage my time well enough that I can keep a decent sleep schedule and even take a couple hours off here and there. And if I don’t know when Fraiser reruns late at night anymore, I’m making progress.
Below are a bunch of photos from the show. Click and embiggen any (or all) of them. It was a good time, and I hope I can come back next year. But there’s no time to sit and bask in the memories… I’m at the Denver Comic Con at booth F-22 this weekend! And HeroesCon after that.
Maybe I should rethink that sleep thing.