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COMICON 2008 .... in which I bought things that were cool

Alright, now for the What I Got At Comicon post, with helpful links so you too can get what I got and become one of the beautiful people. Yes indeedy. The post all turned out to be horribly long, so I've put it behind a LJ cut.



1) Three mini-sketchbooks by Paul Adam, who was sitting next to Karine in the Artist's Alley. Weirdly enough, after chatting with Paul a bit and then flipping through his portfolio, I realized that I'd known him online from way back, and had been a reader of his online comic, The Commuter. Needless to say it was great to say hi and see his beautiful artwork. He's a concept artist at the Texas version of Bioware, so I was intensely jealous. I gave him a copy of Zombies Calling.
2) Emiko Superstar, by Mariko Tamaki and Steve Rolston! Yay! I'd been really excited to pick this up, and lo and behold DC was actually giving away galleys at the convention. It's probably my favourite thing Steve has done, and while reading it I'd often take a few extra minutes to scour each page and devour all the detail he put into them. Really fantastic stuff, and I suggest you get a copy when it's finally released.
3) Laika by Nick Abadzi, who I mentioned before I bumped into at the First Second booth and gushed all over. Really lovely guy and was kind enough to do a sketch for me in the book (I got a few sketches by various artists, which I'll put behind a cut below). Laika won an Eisner for best teen book, and it was very deserved. It's hard not to get sniffly towards the end of the story, about a small dog sacrificed to the Russian/US space race.
4) Rose and Isabel, volumes 1 and 2, by Ted Mathot. I'd seen a little bit of these comics online, and was really entranced by the beautiful art style and cinematics ... the creator is a story artist for Pixar, so of course the book's visuals would be gorgeous. I wasn't expecting the shocking violence in the story, and was at first taken aback by it, but ... I don't know, after the initial surprise wore off, I really enjoyed the dark story and vicious characters. Highly recommended, but be prepared for a dark, dark tale.
5) Proof, volume 1, given to me by artist Riley Rossmo who dropped by one of my signings to tell me how much he liked ZC (thank you!). Proof is an X-File-y tale of a human ex-FBI agent teaming up with Bigfoot (yes, really) and solving bizarre crimes ... in this trade they hunt down a skinwalker. It was pretty wild and disgusting in parts, but I enjoyed it. Really, anything with a Sasquatch in it gets the thumbs up from me.
6) Cameron Stewart's artbook. As I mentioned before, I loooove his artwork, and was really thrilled to get to meet him and tell him so. The book is full of his amazing drawings of men and women, and unlike a lot of comic book artists, he can actually draw women with different faces.
7) Kiskaloo, by Chris Sanders. I used to be a massive fan of Chris Sanders, then he seemed to kind of drop off the radar for a bit, but this book is full of weird comic strips, gorgeously illustrated. I actually bought it for the character line up at the front of the book; I love the way he illustrates women.
8) Byron, by Karl Christian Krumpholtz, my table-mate at the SLG signing booth. We swapped books. Byron's about this obnoxious wannabe vampire type who annoys the hell out of other wannabe vampire types and ... well, just read the damn thing. It's very funny.
9) Derek Monster by Derek Thompson, an ex-Star Wars character designer now at Pixar. I wasn't planning to buy this (he was at the same table as Ted Mathot), but I'm glad I did. It's full of the most amazing monster designs, some creepy, some adorable. I'm a giant fail at drawing monsters, so I think this will be a good book to have around for reference.
10) Serenity Rose by Aaron A. Me: So who did you design on Avatar? Aaron: Uncle Iroh. Me: OMG HE'S ONE OF MY FAVOURITE CHARACTERS!!!111
... and then we talked a bit about comics, of course. I really enjoy how Aaron composes a page; it's very different from anything I've seen in comics before. And his work is sort of dark and scratchy, but still adorable. I'm not sure how he manages to make it work, but somehow it does. He probably fights crime in his spare time, too.
11) Jellyfist, by Jhonen Vasquez and Jennifer Goldberg. Jhonen was one of the few SLG creators I didn't introduce myself too, mostly because he was always mobbed with people, and I'm not really that familiar with his work (other than reading a copy of Squee in university). At one point he was packing up his stuff after a signing and I needed to get to the other side of him, where I'd left my pencil case. He looked up and saw me there and then shook my hand, introducing himself. I did the same, then mentioned his massive line (it went around the entire SLG booth). He said everyone had been really nice, then dashed off. So that's my one encounter with Jhonen Vasquez! Anyway, Jellyfist was completely disgusting and really hilarious. I recommends reading it, but not while eating.
12) Harvest Is When I Need You The Most, by the Comics Bakery crew (I think?). An awesome little Star Wars fancomic, lovingly produced and illustrated. The stories wouldn't be out of place in a Dark Horse Star Wars Tales comic. Really funny and well-illustrated stuff.
13) Midnight Sun, by Ben Towles. A SLG book I'd been meaning to pick up for a while now, Midnight Sun is a based-on-a-true-story comic about a crashed airship and the rescue crew sent to find it. It's very well paced and you get a great sense of the frustration involved in the rescue (a rescue pilot crashes his plane and has to be rescued himself, much to the frustration of the stranded airship crew).
14) Janes in Love, by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg. The second in the Plain Janes series, I enjoyed this book as much as the first one (and meeting Cecil, who was very nice), and I think Jim's artwork has even improved since then. I don't know, there's something about these books that kind of hit my sweet spot; I guess just really enjoy reading about sensible, interesting girls who have their little life adventures.
15) The Apocalypstix, by Cameron Stewart and Ray Fawks. A badass three-girl band survives the Apocalyse and has many adventures, with many explosions. Cameron's art is magnificent here, full of twisting angles and a fluidity that's shocking. In one scene I could practically feel a bus flipping over, he drew it so well. Like I sad before, great to meet up with those guys and talk with them a bit.
16) Chiggers, by Hope Larson. Obviously you've all heard about this, and what can I add that hasn't been said already? I've read it twice since I got back from the con. It gives me goosebumps when I see a publisher like Simon & Shuster putting out things like this. A pity I'm not ten years old anymore; I craved reading material like this when I was a kid.
17) The new Yen Press anthology, which I picked up for the new story by Svetlana Chmakova. It looks to be something right up my alley, lots of interesting female characters and a supernatural element both creepy and interesting. Unfortunately the anthology only had the first chapter of Svet's book, and the rest of the stories didn't really interest me (one had a really gross fanservice shot of a beheaded girl's body being displayed so you could get a really damn good look at her crotch. CHARMING). I was kind of glad I got this for free, and I don't think I'll pick it up regularly. I'll just wait for Svet's book in trade form.
18) The Super Scary Monster Show, by Landry Walker and Eric Jones. An adorable, skeptical little girl lives in a neighbourhood full of all sorts of ghouls, and manages just fine. No parents anywhere. It's pretty awesome, and feels like it came from the same tree as the Courtney Crumrin books, so I highly approve.

And now here are the sketches I got from people!

A completely unexpected sketch from Nick Abadzi. I just asked for a signature and he sat down and drew this great little sketch. I think it's so nice when artists are willing to do that...

From Ted Mathot. I asked him a few questions about working at Pixar ... siiiigh. Ah, Pixar ...

An awesome monster sketch by Derek Thompson. Half way thru the drawing I suggested calling the monster "George" and so he is.

A sketch by my booth-mate Karl Krumpholtz.

Jebus, this was long! I didn't mean it to be so long. Anyway, next up, ANNOUNCEMENTS! YAY!