As with last year, the weekend kicked off with a pre-show party Friday night at the Laughing Ogre. It was a great chance to catch up with old buddies and meet some new comic cronies without the tacit but omnipresent retail pressure of showroom floor. You always meet someone unexpected at these affairs. This year the highlight new acquaintance wasn’t even a comic creator… It was a kid named Eric who is in a band named Mummula. (Half Mummy, half Dracula. Everyone else seems to get that right off the bat, I needed it explained to me. I thought it was a gynecological term for something that might have to be removed for health reasons later in life. Either way… I think we can all agree that it’s a wonderful horrible band name.)
I dipped out of the party around 9:30 or 10:00, knowing that I still had some stuff to lug up out of the basement for the show.
I’m really bad at guessing whether or not attendance at any given show was good or not, but whenever I took the time to look up at other tables, the majority of them seemed to have engaged fans talking to the creators and flipping through comics. That’s always a sign of a quality audience, which beats just “feet through the door” anyways.
Best part of the show on Saturday was getting to hang with Bob Ray Starker and Rich Trask for the whole day. I have a lot of collaborators who are great people, but those two yokels are probably the most fun to talk to. For me at least. Their senses of humor closely parallel my own.
I asked them both to do some quick cartoons for the website while they were sitting around. In response to the request, Rich whipped out the two pages below. Starker responded by saying “mmmrrph.”
My loot was pretty good this year. I usually avoid swag type stuff in favor of books, but I think this year my two favorite treasurers are of the wall-hanger variety. First Bruce Chrislip sidled up to the table and leaned in to almost whisper in conspiratorial fashion if I would trade a comic for a Bow Wow Wow tour poster from Seattle Washington, swiped from a telephone pole back in 1982. Well yeah I would and did! Then later on Dorian Lafferre swapped a couple of comics with me for one of his absolutely stunning James Brown “Say It Loud” prints.
Saturday night was the second annual post SPACE party organized by Caitlin McGurk and hosted by Kafe Kerouac. The evening opened with seven comic creators doing readings from their latest efforts. (JT Dockery, Tyne Low, Victor Dandridge, Kevin Czap, James Moore aided by Christian Hoffer, Sean Ford and Colleen Clark if you gotta know the whozzit of the happening.) While I think purists may not agree, I think readings are a good way to take in comics. For instance, I think a body could read a copy of JT’s Despair comic without realizing how much of a frenetic goof he can be or conversely meet Victor who is super affable and not realize how serious the content his books are. You know… it just adds perspective.
The Kerouac party ended with Karaoke. Which I CLEARLY WON despite the guy running the show cutting off my mic halfway through.