San Diego, as you probably know, is the biggest geek-fest on the planet. 125,000 folks traipsing through one big ol' convention center for five days, checking all the best pop culturey stuff around. Amid all that, I get the chance to meet and talk to Sheldonistas from around the world. Seriously, around the world: This year I met Scots, Aussies, Kiwis, lots and lots of English and Canadians, South Africans, Mexicans, Chileans, Germans, French and a few Belgians, and one Swiss reader. It was the most international "meet-up" I've ever had...which was rad.
And in general, this was the high-water-mark in terms of readers coming out and saying "hi". San Diego has always been a show where I sort of see how Sheldon is "doing," you know, in terms of readership? A sort of litmus test as to how many folks are reading it? And this year was just much, much bigger than previous years. So that's nice! Thank you for tellin' friends about the strip!
It was also the debut for two new books, the "Literature" book, and the first ever installment of "Drive":
I did a quick little interview that starts at the 40-second point and really picks up at the 2-minute point in this video. It's a bit bouncy, but there's a fun spoiler toward the end of it:
A lot of Sheldonistas came by for free sketches and the obligatory high-five, but I was really, really touched by all the kind words and gifts that folks brought by to celebrate the 3,000th Sheldon strip last Wednesday. Sheldonista Amanda W. even framed a custom piece of congratulatory art:
Sheldonista Joe C. brought by a copy of (the now pretty hard to find) "Well Balanced Meal" -- my first book of comics from 1996:
There were many ridiculous poses for photos, like my overly earnest handshake with Kevin L., here:
And anytime anyone asked if they could get a sketch of me sketching "like I normally sketch", I tried to recreate my standard pose at home. Just an artist sittin' at his desk, sketching totally normal. As one does:
But most folks just got custom sketches and high fives, like Stephanie P., here:
Here, let me share some of those custom sketches with you. I only took pics of maybe 1/100th of them (I kept forgetting), but there are some funny ones in the mix:
There were a lot of requests for "Sheldon/Drive" mashups, too, which made for some weird sketches:
But the big theme-sketch for the show this year seemed to be literary figures in folks' copy of the "Literature" book:
Speaking of the "Literature" book, I should update you on the new books. The big book launch party for both new books will be on August 22nd, after which Artist Editions and regular versions of both books will go on sale in the online store. That's right, I said both books. There are copies of "Drive" still available!
As you remember, my intention was for this first "Drive" book to be a super-super-limited print run...to sorta gauge interest on whether there was interest. But two things happened: A.) The printer printed 128% MORE copies than I ordered, and B.) The Drive book outsold *all* the Sheldon books at Comic-Con. So, in retrospect, it's kinda good that the book run got overzealous. Anyway, we'll have more info on the big book-launch party and books themselves later in the week. For now, a huge, huge thank you to everyone who came out to SDCC!