Saturday, November 12, 2011

Conventions and things


I don't go to a lot of conventions, even though we have a lot of conventions in Toronto (it seems like that anyways), for a couple of reasons. First I don't have anything to sell to anyone (so it would be stupid to have a table), and secondly, because my LCS has most of what I would find at the conventions. The social aspect of the conventions I haven't really got a foothold on (I think I would have to know some comics creators a bit better) and seems somewhat strange, so I don't have that either. So, this year I did Fanexpo and Toronto Comic Arts Festival.

My stories regarding both are somewhat embarrassing, as I am a little bit of a spaz when I get excited, and at both I got excited a great deal and ran around like a chicken with its head cut off. But I got to meet some people and put some advance copies into the right hands and etcetra.

I'll start by describing TCAF. I work right by the library that they hold TCAF in, so I skipped out for an hour or two and just went to peruse and chat up a few people. I ended up running around, blathering at people at a high clip and shaking hands and taking cards, and handing out a few. I must have seemed a bit like a madman to Marian Churchland, James Stokoe, Jamie McKelvie and all the rest that I bumped into, but what was I to do? There was so much good art and comics and I had to be back at work. It kinda blew.

Thing is I work weekends, so the days that I take off to do these things are generally days that I should be working my day job and making some money so that I can make comics and keep a roof over my head and food in my stomach, but Fanexpo lands on my birthday most years so I take the Sunday off and head down into the chaos in search of comics and things. This year I brought some issues of unedited work (and oh how I wish they were edited. They must have seemed like horrible jargon to those that I handed them to), and pass around to some people, as well as some journals with German Ponce artwork on them that I could pass around to a few people and maybe get some interest in what we were doing. I am one of those fellows that blushes easily when it a state of heightened anxiety. So there are comics creators out there, and editors that were approached and handed comics by a large man with a big red head. I must have been a completely freaky thing for some of these people to see coming at them. But overall I think I did okay with it. I met some people whose work I enjoyed (and I am not the most outgoing person in some situations so this was a stretch for me) and I had some good conversations. I'll drop some names. I briefly met Matt Fraction, Jonathan Hickman, CB Cebulski, Dennis Hopeless, Victor Kalvachev, Kurtis Wiebe, Vijaya Smith and more. It scared the shit out of me, but I traded a few words and then left them to their busy schedules.

I do regret one interaction though. I met Kathryn and Stuart Immonen and was super excited as to how wonderful and nice they were. I bought my wife Moving Pictures and gave Stuart some comics while Kathryn signed the book in wonderful handwriting. Thing is I wanted to communicate with them and was so excited that I forgot my manners, forgot my wife, and ended up acting like a complete dick. See, I took the book when Kathryn was giving it to Chantelle. I started acting like a was a translator for Chantelle when she was saying something to Kathryn. Sometimes I should just be locked up and not let out. I was like a beast, an animal, and realized it after the fact. I apologized to my wife, who knows how I am when I get excited, but I'm sure was still shocked at how I lost most of my cool. And Kathryn and Stuart, if you read this and remember that horrid man who didn't let his wife speak, I apologize to you to, for being a dick.

Overall, I like the crush of people, but I learned some lessons on how to press flesh and meet and greet people. Be courteous, be calm, and be confident. And don't be a dick to your wife, even when you are a nervous wreck because someone is being nice and you did not expect it.

Take care of yourselves.

Martin

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