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SPXin'

The other thing I feel like posting about today is SPX.

Dave wrote a nice, complete post about our trip on his journal, which you can read for the details of what we did and when. He got a really severe allergy attack on Sunday, which basically put him out of commission the entire day, and meant that my head was not quite as in-the-game as it could have been, as I was worried about him. But aside from that, we really did manage to have a fun weekend, and I had a great con!

John Green had to stay home and work on an insane freelance deadline, which was sad, but we told everyone he was in Washington helping the financial bailout plan and had suspended his cartooning campaign for the time being.

Dave, Gina, Marion and I ended up going into DC on Friday night, because I had never been, it's a quick subway ride from Bethesda, and it seemed like the patriotic thing to do one month before the election. I really enjoyed it! We got a little lost and thought we were heading to the Lincoln Memorial, but it ended up being the Jefferson Memorial, and in the end we missed Lincoln but saw FDR, which was unexpected and really cool. I think we walked about 5 miles that night, all told, and crashed HARD when we got back to the hotel.

Then, the con. My new mini completely sold out, and I thank those of you who bought it and everyone who came by to comment on it. I guess it was a timely subject, and a lot of people could relate. I'll print up a new batch for the next con that comes around, so if you didn't get one, you'll have another chance.

The new BSC book also did really, really well. In fact, the BSC series in general seems to have found its audience, even among indie cartoonists. I always meet a lot of great kids at shows, and this year was no exception. In particular I met a pair of sisters named Eirene (which rhymes with Raina) and Amara (my own sister's name), who were bowled over by the fact that my next book is going to have a character named Amara in it!

The YA and Children's Comics panel Dave and I were on together was a lot of fun, and I could not have asked for better co-panelists than Hope, Frank, and Heidi.

Presenting at the Ignatzes was also a highlight for me--although I guess nobody could tell how NERVOUS I was while I was up at the podium!! I've gotten pretty used to public speaking, and talking to audiences and kids and pretty much anyone in a panel format, or giving a presentation, or a workshop, is easy now. But something about podiums...and having to read what I'm saying instead of winging it...just erodes my confidence. Luckily it was short! Still, I had fun being a part of it and getting to sit up front for the festivities, next to Jason Lutes who was very nice.

We didn't last long Saturday night. I spend a lot of time nowadays explaining to people that my stamina just does not exist, and that these weekends take everything I have out of me. The only way to make it through two days of conventioning is basically to sleep as many hours as I can in between standing at my table. I"m sorry if it makes me seem antisocial; everyone I meet is always so lovely. I'm quite grateful for the short conversations we are able to have!

Sunday's highlight was meeting Richard Thompson, who draws my new favorite comic strip, Cul De Sac. I also finally got a chance to chat with the amazing Laura Park, who is basically Claudia Kishi all grown up. In a good way. :)

We had to get outta town really quickly after the show, as Dave was pretty much dying. Whatever is in the trees in Maryland is some potent, potent poison. Our caravan stopped for dinner at Mimi's Cafe, just south of Baltimore, which we'd actually tried to eat at during our drive last year but it was still under construction then. It was better than eating at Denny's or Bob's Big Boy (there were 3 vegetarians among us), but Mimi's still suffers from the out-of-control portion problem that plagues American chain eateries. Next, we got stuck in traffic heading into Delaware, because they had to close 3 lanes of I-95 for no apparent reason. That slowed us down by at least an hour, but the conversation with Gina, Marion, and Jillian Tamaki (this year's new travel companion) was so entertaining that I almost didn't mind. Dave and I got to our house at 2:30 AM.

Yesterday was a recovery day. Slept late, turned on the heat, took a nap, nursed an upset stomach and a scratchy throat, ordered a pizza, noodled around with book cover designs. Today it's back to work, and here I am making my second LJ post of the day... :)

Oh! And our pictures are here.