San Diego Comic Con 2007 – one Dave’s experiences

Back home from the Comic Con! Finally got something resembling a decent nights sleep. If you can be jet lagged from only two time zones away, then that’s me. Here are a bunch of my thoughts on the show. At least the ones that I’ve had a chance to write down. This isn’t even the tip of the iceberg. Sorry for the stream of thought randomness of this post.

The 2007 San Diego Comic Con marked the convention debut of Dial R Studios, and we couldn’t have asked for a better venue or a warmer reception. Attending at the booth were myself, Jim Clark, Pat Loika, Chis Maze, Tim Loika, Mike Woods, and our newest member Barry Miller. I absolutely love these guys and every time we get to hang out is always fun but way, way too short. And what a beautifully designed booth it was, thanks to the extreme efforts and talents of designer Chris Maze.

San Diego is a fun town. The weather was perfect and the sights, ohh the sights. Beautiful women everywhere. Inside the con, they even dress up in sexy character costumes! mmmmm…slave Lea…mmmmm

I still hate Dick’s Last Resort! But the company was good, so I still had a great time.

Almost knocked over Rosario Dawson at the bar.

John Culjack, my pal, there’s never a dull moment when he’s around. Offered a valuable combination of humor and insight.

Steve Bryant smells delicious! I’m serious folks, if you ever get a chance, take a long whiff of that manly musk! Glad we finally got to hang a bit on Sunday night. This is becoming a tradition.

Jamming on the ukulele’s with Jim.

Almost knocked over Joe Q at the Hyatt entrance. (now that the weight is gone, it might actually be possible to knock him over!)

Jim Clark and Philip Clark’s (no relation) duet of ukulele and alto sax.

Massive throngs of con-goers stuck in the street by the passing trains.

Judge, and sis, and daughter. Judge is a great friend of the booth that I see every year. This year it was a pleasure to meet some of the family as well.

Mike Norton looking a little bewildered by the size of the place.

Laughing at uncoordinated comic fans tripping over the chain at the food court. Jim putting a sign on the chain reading: “DO NOT STEP OVER THE CHAIN, you will trip and fall and look like an idiot and everyone will laugh at you.”

I got to draw a lot of fun sketch requests. Including a somewhat bizarre request from Jim Clark. People seemed to really go nuts over this image, so expect to see a colored version available soon.

The pose modeled after my Thing Vs. Hip Flask commission print. We displayed them next to each other.

Hanging with my buddy Chad at the bar. Great conversation in the heart of chaos. When you get a seat at the San Diego Hyatt bar, you don’t let go!

Seeing Jiba, my fellow Chicago art school compatriot, is always great. Check out Hip Hop Chronicles!

During the last few minutes of the show on Sunday, Barry introduced me to Richard Starkings of Elephantmen/Comicraft fame so that I could show him the color print of the Thing versus Hip Flask. He totally flipped, excitedly telling me that the Thing is his favorite Marvel hero and that Hip Flask is in may ways based on Mr. Grimm. He handed me one of those impossible 1000 piece Ladronn painted Hip Flask puzzles and joyfully accepted my print. It may or may not happen, but keep your eyes open Elephantmen fans, you may just see a familiar image of a certain orange rock powerhouse versus a hippo man gracing a page of one of the greatest comics currently published! Needless to say, I’m still a little giddy over the encounter.

Barry Miller, our newest victim…er, member, is awesome, btw. We had a great conversation about great tv shows that were cancelled before their time. Finally, another person who loved Doctor Doctor!

Walking back to my hotel, well over a mile and a half away, at 3 am every night. That first night i actually got lost. Having not walked to the hotel since last year, but I was fairly confident that I knew where it was. Yeah, that didn’t work out. After going about 15 blocks up Front St. I thought I had gone too far, must be on the wrong street and made a right turn to start on parallel streets. I must have been wondering around another half hour, with an ominously increasing need to ‘see a man about a horse’. No problem right? Just find an alley and go? Oh, wait, there are no alleys in San Diego! Finally stopped in at the Motel 6 where the night watchmen(who was really personable, I figured he doesn’t get to talk to many people on his shift) and he pointed me in the right direction. Literally pointing at the Radisson tower. It wasn’t marked by a sign due to the fact that starting Aug. 1st it would go from a Radisson to a Double Tree, so there was no sign-age on the building, at least none illuminated at night. And it turns out that right turn I made was just one block before my hotel!

Cullen Bunn had some fantastic news: The Damned has been optioned by Dreamworks! I hope his head doesn’t get so big that I can’t work with him!

I took no pictures. I have a crappy camera. Luckily Pat took a ton of them. (sadly, many others were corrupted and lost.)

Pat’s awesome flikr page.

Every con has been better than the last, and this is the best one yet. It’s such an immense joy to hang with my Dial R buddies again. They are my brothers from other mothers.

And professionally, I’ve never been more excited about the direction I’m going. I had felt like I was starting to tire, maybe a little frustrated, but by seeing old friends and fans again, and making new ones, I am rejuvenated.

Sincere gratitude to the locals for welcoming this mid-Westerner to their beautiful city. There were banners up all over the city advertising the show, it was in the paper, on the news, this city really supports its comic con. Pat and Chris make fantastic ambassadors. And they’re even better people.

And finally to Jim ‘Genius J’ Clark, what can I say? He may sometimes drive me crazy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I can’t think of anybody else I would rather be a creative partner with on this crazy journey of ours. We’ve come a long way. This next, all new, all different project of ours is going to kick seven kinds of ass!

That’s all I can think of for now. Again, I can’t stress how great this show was. It’s only 8 days until Chicago, and even though I’m still exhausted, I can’t wait!

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