Archive for ‘Events’

Happy Turkey Day

Happy Thanksgiving to all our U.S. readers.

It may be in a purely secular way, but I do feel a continuous sense of gratitude these days—to fate if nothing else. But for those of you who still give thanks to “the man upstairs,” here’s the poem my family always recited before Thanksgiving dinner each year.

I always liked it (though our version had fewer “and”s).

Back of the loaf is the snowy flour;
And back of the flour, the mill;
And back of the mill is the wheat and the shower,
And the sun, and the Father’s will.”

— Maltbie Babcock

Welcome, Juni!

Congratulations to Amy and Kazu on the birth of future master of the universe Juni!!


Kate Beaton sums up her experience at APE this year with a drawing of fifteen characters, cartoonists, and friends from the event plus URL’s. It’s a fantastic drawing that makes you want to see Ms. B draw everyone’s comic for a month (if you didn’t already), and a great way to commemorate the event.

I could see it being a little more than that though. I’m betting that in ten years or so, it’ll also serve as a snapshot of a moment in a comics community, frozen in time like that photo of the sailor kissing the nurse in Times Square.

People are always coming and going in comics. Communities are accidents that happen once in a while when a critical mass of like-minded artists stay in one physical or virtual place long enough to fall into each others’ orbits. They’re never permanent, but you can tell when they start generating the kinds of shared memories that will eventually earn that time and place a name—at least for those who were part of it.

This one doesn’t have a name yet, but it has a snapshot. Let’s just print it, put it in a envelope, mark it “Open in 2019″ and see how things shake out.

Bloomington, Indiana – Tonight!

I’ll be there. Hope you will be too.

24 x 6,935

In honor of 24-Hour Comics Day, here’s an old photo of Ivy and me I just received, via my Aunt Pat, dating from around the period over 19 years ago, when the first 24-hour comic was drawn in our Somerville, Massachusetts apartment.

As mentioned last Tuesday, I’m just a bystander this year, but good luck to all those participating today. You’re about to scale the Mount Everest of comics. Don’t forget to breath!

This Saturday!

Be sure to check for events in your area at ComicsPro’s official site and check out my own info page about the 24 Hour Comic and its history here.

I’ll be drawing all day myself, though on the graphic novel (my reward for having started the ball rolling all those years ago is that I only had to do it once) but if you’ve never tried the 24 hour comics challenge, I do recommend it.

For those coming in late, I started the challenge in 1990, but it was Nat Gertler who first came up with the idea of a 24 Hour Comics Day in 2004 to promote an anthology I edited. In 2008, Nat handed it off to ComicsPro.

One of my favorite aspects of my weird little inventions is the way they tend to take on a life of their own over time. This one definitely qualifies.

Nerd World

Winter and her friend Amanda on their way to cosplaying Ty Lee and Mai from Avatar: The Last Airbender. More pictures here, here and here. (Note: The family and I are big fans of the cartoon, though like others, we’re concerned about the lack of Asian actors in the upcoming film.)

Con is done for another year. Saw lots of friends, made a few new ones, and got a ton of cool new graphic novels that I may write about later, but overall, it was a pretty ordinary year.

Comic-Con itself, though, is at a high water mark of sorts. With a Jim Lee Google Logo commemorating the event around the world and major news outlets like USA Today treating Con like a national holiday, “Nerd Prom” has never seemed more central to American culture.

As usual, comics pros and fans were grumbling that Movies and TV seem to overshadow Comics more and more as Con grows. I’ve never been quite as invested in that battle myself since there are excellent comics-centric shows like MoCCA, SPX, APE and TCAF out there to offset Comic-Con’s media obsessions, but it’s been an interesting balancing act to watch over the years. As Sky’s friend Kendra so eloquently put it yesterday: “Either the nerds are trying to take over the world or the world is trying to take over the nerds.”

Final image:

On the first day in town, we got an early dinner at Spaghetti Factory. While waiting for our seats, the late afternoon sunlight fell in small pockets on the floor and walls. I got a picture of Winter with my iPhone that looked like a Vermeer painting. Someday, all of our Con moments will probably look like this in our memories, bathed in the late afternoon glow of nostalgia, but for now the sun is still high over the world of comics.

Comic-Con 2009!

We’re off to San Diego early tomorrow morning for Comic-Con International. They’ve been at it for 40 years, and the family and I have been going for the last 22 of those years (with one exception I’ll probably mention a week from Friday). I’m between books this year so I’ll mostly be relaxing with the family. But be sure to check out one very important panel [description below from the guidebook]:

Thursday 12:00-1:00
Spotlight on Bryan Lee O’Malley — Comic-Con special guest Bryan Lee O’Malley (winner of the Doug Wright, Joe Shuster, and Harvey Awards) talks with legendary comics scholar Scott McCloud (Understanding Comics, Zot!) about Bryan’s groundbreaking slice-of-life graphic novel series Scott Pilgrim. From its genesis to the production of the upcoming film version, O’Malley speaks frankly about where Scott Pilgrim came from and where the series is going from here. With a fan Q&A to close the discussion, this is the must attend event of Comic-Con 2009! Room 5AB

Also be sure to visit Ivy’s guide to Comic-Con on Livejournal. Check out her own excellent advice, and maybe add a few tips of your own. Ivy is a master of navigating the floor and getting the best out of Con. (Also Disneyland, but she hasn’t posted that guide yet).

And finally, for important updates on happenings involving me, keep an eye on my Twitter updates (and Ivy’s too).


They’ve announced it, so I will too.

On Thursday, July 23, at Noon, Comic-Con will be featuring one of North America’s funniest and most innovative cartoonists, Bryan Lee O’Malley for an hour of conversation, and I have the best seat in the house—right on stage with him. Cue up early at Room 5AB to make sure you get a seat.

BTW: The whole family and I will be at Con as usual, but this might be my only official appearance, since I’ll mostly just enjoying the sights. I’ll let you know if anything else comes up.

Friday Round-Up: Cattoos and a Sandy Eggo

Cat Garza has kicked off “Flash Fridays” with a loving, adorable take on a classic Tattoo motif. Cat’s offering line files for anyone who might want to wear his designs. Keep a watch for more tatoos in the coming weeks.

Cat always called the San Diego Comic-Con “Sandy Eggo,” Larry Marder called it “The Gathering of the Tribes,” and Heidi MacDonald and others have been calling it “Nerd Prom,” but whatever you call it, the greatest of all American comics conventions is drawing near.

We’ll be there, as we have for all but one of the last 21 years, but taking it easy this time around. Mostly just relaxing and seeing friends (though I am a small part of at least one cool panel event I’ll be telling you about soon).

Con passes are — incredibly — sold out already, but if you want them and can’t get them, you may want to follow the Con’s Twitter account where they’ve been announcing official auctions regularly for the few passes they still have.

Oh, and as always, don’t miss Tom Spurgeon’s fantastic, insanely comprehensive 2009 Comic-Con Guide.