Saturday, August 1, 2009

San Diego: 2nd Wind

We're back!

...and NOT like the Dinosaurs! Seriously though, not touching the internet for a solid week is...scary, but refreshing. Going to the opposite side of the country for something a 'lil more important justs makes ya all "other worldy". I swear, the group I roll with always wants to just STAY in San Diego and never go back to NY...and frankly I don't blame 'em, this place is drop-dead gorgeous.

Comic-con 2009 was amazing; topped last year's in a lotta ways, too. I travelled with a heftier group 'o chums this time and met up with several more upon getting to San Diego...which I swear half of us didn't wanna leave once the trip was over. I had the honor of meeting a WHOLE slew of people this year, not simply from my homebrew of Newgrounds, but some great folks working at Cartoon Network, a truckload of different voice actors and other really talented artists scattered about the con. Ended up buying a lot more this year too, but I got a nice haul of DVDs and comics.

Took a bunch'a pictures this time too, be sure to check 'em out!

Also thanks to the godly productions of Overnightprints I managed to scrounge up a bunch of business cards to bring with me and as with last year I'm glad to say I've dished out well over half of them to people these past 10 days. Not only that, I stayed productive and tried drawing as much as I could with two sketchbooks on-hand. Here's a few key points of interest:

- Thursday, we all met the Cartoon Network triple threat of C.H. Greenblatt, Thurop Van Orman and Penn Ward, the last of which threw an "Awesome Beach Party of Awesomeness" not far from the Con center. All sorts of cool folks there ranging from fans of the shows, to fellow artists, to working professionals on Flapjack and Adventure Time. Thurop was so gracious to everyone throwin' fanart his way and conversin' about the biz and Penn was a great host to everyone who came to join. Adventure Time's gonna rock the house.

- On Friday, of all things, I met Stan Lee. The Viz Media panel had a big focus on the manga "Ultimo", conceptualized by the man himself and brought to life by Hiroyuki Takei of "Shaman King" fame. I thought that series was really underappreciated and was glad to see him working again, plus Ultimo looks fantastic. The friend that attended the panel and I got tickets for their autographs later on and shook hands with the masters, HUGE honor right there.

- Newgrounds/Behemoth did a bigger and better job this year with their entire set-up. The booth was gigantic and had tons of awesome exposure for their upcoming 3rd Game, which is mad fun to play, and Saturday Tom Fulp threw another party that was just as huge. Lots more guests this time around, including a few surprises. Met some great animators and artists I didn't catch last time and even met a few really nice Parody Rangers followers. There were lots of fans at the booth too, giving autographs is a rare treat and a humbling experience for me.

- Tara B. has tons of contacts out in Cali and across the world that I had the chance to join and converse with at different times. We had a big drawing session on Friday night with a whole slew of artists and we even made a mini-comic together spoofing Space Jam. Then Monday when the festivities was over and done with I met Ricky Garduno of Dumm Comics fame, who graciously treated us to the best freaking pancake breakfast I've ever had. Ever. Got tons of inside info about the industry, t'was a great cap off to the days that made up the con.

- In general I ran into lots and lots of people, expected and unexpected; Matt Mercer the co-director of "There Will Be Brawl" was a nice surprise, for one. Several members of my group actually met some of their biggest heroes. Ruocco and Corinne met "Bone" creator Jeff Smith. Zach and Tara met John K. and finally got the chance to know their biggest inspiration. For me, some BIG ones were John DiMaggio along with some legendaries of the Futurama cast...and right after that awesome pancake breakfast was Stan Freberg, voice of Pete Puma, one of my favorite Looney Toons. He and his wife were both really sweet, we traded business cards, talked for a bit, etc.


Now that I'm back, there's no time to rest; all of August is gonna be crunch-time for me. I've still got two games to finish, for both the Power of Three event and the new side-scroller I pitched and started for EduWare. Plus, I'm conceptualizing and character designing a third one as we speak, but that may have to hold on for a bit. Got storyboards to draw up and audio to be spliced for various projects. Oy.

Thank you so much to everyone who made this weekend an absolute joy, I hope next year'll be even better!

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