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Templar: His ears are burning.

Too bad that can't be treated with bloodletting.

Slowly getting back on track here, after the San Diego Comic Con. (I had a booth this year, E10, between the 700 and 800 aisles.) You may know it as "Nerd Prom"... although I hear Paris Hilton was actually a guest this year, so that alias doesn't really fit as well as it should anymore, does it?

Anyway, the con still hit all the rest of the SDCC bingo squares, this year.

Condescending local news report? Check. ("Biff! Bam! Pow!" tagline strictly optional, tight shot of an overweight fan in an ill-fitting costume mandatory.)

Schwag crawl? Check, albeit an disappointing one. (Scored a free novel and some magazines, but an acutely felt dearth of closed beta keys or trial accounts for MMOs in development, this year. Too bad.)

Bewildered local? Double-check. ("So uh... what exactly do y'all DO in there?")

Serious WHEN MARKETING ATTACKS moment? Oh, yeah. Super-check. (Still haven't bothered with deciphering that SEEK THE SIX thing skywritten over the hall on Saturday. And I'm not gonna even TOUCH the "Humans only!" signs outside all the restrooms.)

Ever-increasing mass-media interest in comics? Oh my, yes. Checkity check-check. "Do you have representation?" from suits is up there with "D'you do trades?" from other cartoonists now, when it comes to ambient con chatter.

I'm not bitchin', mind you. It was a great con, the best ever. 125,000 attendees strong, I entirely sold out my 140 book stock, and met/caught up with a lot of other cartoonists. And I got to play Spore.

Not the Creature Creator. The finished game.

I am such a big dork that this was the highlight of my entire weekend.

EA/Maxis had a modestly-sized wall booth in the con's video game ghetto, which was always packed. I abused my exhibitor pass on Sunday to get in the hall early, and be first in line. I spent about twenty minutes quickly designing a clownfish-froggish-looking thing with eyes on stalks, building up their little village in Tribal stage, dressing them in leaves and skulls, and then sending the entire tribe on a doomed, kamikaze-style mission to wipe out all their neighbors.

I am gonna lose WEEKS of productivity when this game finally gets released. I now know this for a fact.

All in all? Fucking awesome.

If you stopped by and said hi, thanks for dropping me a line! And if you couldn't find me, I'm sorry. Let's hope my plans for next year work out, and I'll be a lot more obvious, eh?