May 12, 2008
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Emerald City Comic-Con

Monday, May 12, 2008 - 05:32 PM

Seattle's Emerald City Comic-Con, having come and gone like some magical fairy-tale ride of high-fives, is left now only to memory. I have to say, it was probably the most fun I've ever had at any single convention...and that's sayin' something.

Huge, huge thanks to the many hundreds of Sheldonistas who came out for the show, of whom I remembered to snap pics of but a few dozen (Click the thumbnails to see accompanying commentary). You guys made this show a whirlwind of awesomeness for me, and really made me feel at home in Seattle. Thank you for that!

Thanks, also, to the convention organizers, who had invited me out as a "Guest of House", but who in fact made me feel like a King o' the House, what with the bedside, single-touch, window-shade switch in my hotel room. Nothing says "You live in a Fancy, Buck Rogers Future like a bedside, single-touch, window-shade switch." I am clearly a child, as I hit that switch a good six times, just to watch it go.

Special thanks also go out to Wil Shipley for throwing an awesome dinner party on Saturday night to honor the cartoonists behind Sheldon, Starslip, PvP, Evil Inc, and Penny Arcade. In addition to being an awesome developer, Wil throws one heck of a shindig. Thanks, Wil!

Based solely on the content of our strips, I never thought I and the Penny Arcade guys could muster more than a suspicious glance at one another. Two strips have never been less alike, and my social radar had just assumed we'd have nothing in common. But at Saturday's soiree, Jerry and I had a great talk about fatherhood — and I have to say he's a solid dude all around.

Lastly, my apologies to all the Sheldonistas who came out on Sunday and couldn't get a book: We sold out of all our stock around 11:30 on Sunday morning...and the best I could do was supplement with hugs and well wishes. (Which, I think it's fair to say, did NOT compensate.) Rest assured, though, that I am now duly warned about the level of Sheldon fandom in the Northwest, and will ship a few hundred extra books up the next time I go to Emerald City!

But overall: The weather was perfect, the Sheldonistas were more than awesome, the laughter of my Halfpixel stablemates was infectious, and the overall convention was just radness personified.

Thank you, again, to all who came out!

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Added Appearance: Book Expo America, June 1st

Monday, May 12, 2008 - 12:49 PM

Just a quick heads up for anyone attending the huuuuuge Book Expo America: I'll be there Sunday, June 1st... giving out free sketches, high-fiving, and selling books and originals to Sheldonistas.

It's my first time at BEA, so I'm sort of curious to see how it goes...see if it's something I should exhibit at in the future. There are four, soon to be five Sheldon books — plus the "How To Make Webcomics" book — so events like BEA might be a good fit.

In any case, I'll be there at the kind invite of my friends at Unshelved, signin' and sellin' and sayin' hi. Drop by: Sunday afternoon at the Unshelved booth!

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How Can We Sexy Up Uncle Ben's Rice?

Monday, May 12, 2008 - 12:17 PM

I love it when people crack open their laptops on a flight in order to tinker with the Powerpoint presentation they're giving the next day.

The guy next to me, on my flight back from Seattle, clearly worked in the marketing department for Uncle Ben's Rice. And he had, I kid you not, a Powerpoint slide with the headline: "Adding Sexiness to Uncle Ben's".

Clearly, I need to fly more. I would be a much funnier cartoonist if I got to read more marketing presentations like that. And if you've ever worked in corporate America, you know exactly what marketing presentations I'm talking about:

— "Tidy Bowl Toilet Cleaner: Hidden Youth-Oriented Trend Opportunities?"

— "Increase John Deere's Q3 Tractor Earnings by Synergizing Corporate Myspace Page?"

— "Mrs. Paul's Fish Sticks: 2009 Strategy to 'Own' the Phrase 'They're The Fish Stickiest!'"

(Related sidenote: How *do* you add sexiness to Uncle Ben's? That poor marketing team is fighting a pretty uphill battle.)

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