Stumptown Comics Fest 2010: Day Two
– Hang over this morning caused us to get a slower start to the day. We arrived around 11:30am, and immediately hit up Matthew Southworth‘s booth to get two copies of Stumptown #1 signed. He DID remember us from last night (he asked what time we finally left). Uh-oh. I need to seriously curtail the drinking next year. We hung out for about an hour or so while he inked and colored a couple prints. Here’s a short video of the one he made of Dex.
– Next up was a Q&A Panel with Craig Thompson. It was very informal – he had a friend hosting and asking him questions. The audience members could also chime in at any point with questions of their own. I was consistently surprised and pleased with the depth, intelligence and respect that went into each question (as with the Saturday panel). Not that I don’t think Comic Book fans can be intellectuals, it’s just that I’ve never experienced such a large group of folks taking the art of comic books so seriously.
– After that – Craig Thompson was signing books. We picked up a ticket earlier, and were among the first five or so people in line to chat with him and HE DID A SKETCH. Ah! Wonderful, lovely sketch. Having the signing immediately following the Q&A was awesome, because it didn’t feel awkward at all to engage in conversation with him. Something that frustrates me about cons or interacting with celebrities/famous folks is how artificial the space can feel. This wasn’t my experience at this fest – ever. Everyone was very approachable, friendly and willing to talk about their work, themselves, and other randomness.
– Lunch in the park, and then we strolled back in to visit a bit more with Natalie and Matt. We hit up a couple booths for folks who had won awards or were nominated. And then – a moment of squee! A deck of X-Men Tarot Cards! Storm is not only the artist of the Princess Witch Boy comic book, but he also reads Tarot on the side, with a deck of X-Men cards I had as a child. Why did I throw these away!? I’ve been searching for them on E-Bay for the last year or so (to no avail). *sigh* Storm was cool and took a picture of my tattoo. Should have gotten a picture of him – he had the coolest feathered hat!
– Storm’s table just happened to be located next to that of Jason McNamara – the scribe of the Continuity graphic novel I reviewed a month ago. Turns out he recognized me by the tattoo – it was getting a lot of love this weekend. I can only imagine what it will be like in San Diego, which will be positively teeming with fanboys and girls. I was stoked to see he still had a few copies of Martian Confederacy kicking around (love the artwork by Paige Braddock) and reminded him that he’d promised to tell me the back-story on Alicia.
– Before we could get too heavily into conversation – a deaf man came up to his table to chat with the super cool Stephenny Godfrey (winner of Stumptown Award for Outstanding Publication Design for Panorama). She tapped Jason McNamara’s shoulder and much to my surprise, he started communicating with the man using sign language. It was incredibly compelling and impressive to watch. I waited patiently off to the side, skimming through the books and trying not to stare too much. When they had wrapped up conversation, I learned that McNamara has a degree in sign language. He told me the Alicia story (not gonna divulge it here, but you should ask him!) and we spent the next 20 minutes or so shooting the shit with him about the fest and comics. The sequel to The Martian Confederacy is coming out in October 2010, so look for that on the shelves everyone. Can’t wait to read and review Part One.
– This was the last thing to check off my list of activities, so there was nowhere else to go but home. Aaaand, for the collectors among us, here’s a couple pics of the all the cool swag/books/merchandise/comics we picked up over the weekend.
– Final Thoughts: This event has truly inspired and awed me. It was great to see so many people supporting comic books, it was wonderful to talk to the artists and writers who were floored by Portland’s love of comic books, and it was absolutely awesome to see folks so passionate about their art. It will be an interesting juxtaposition between this fest and the San Diego Con in July. Also nice to hear that artists and writers appreciated the interaction with fans and readers that you simply can’t get at a larger convention (even something like Emerald Con). I definitely enjoyed loitering and shooting the breeze with artists and fangirls/boys alike. Warm fuzzies for this event – will definitely attend and volunteer again next year. 🙂
For more pictures of the event, check out the Flickr stream here.
And for a compilation of all the media on Stumptown Comics Fest 2010, check out The Comics Reporter