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Emerald City Comicon Recap!

This past weekend, I was a guest of Seattle’s Emerald City Comicon, along with my Halfpixel.com cohorts and “How To Make Webcomics” co-authors Brad Guigar, Scott Kurtz and Kris Straub…and the show could not have been more fun.

Photo © Kathy Ann Bugajsky

The convention was awesome. So many fantastic webcomics creators, so many fun Sheldon readers, and such an amazing show all around. But before it escapes into the wisps of time, I thought I’d recap it for you.

Emerald City is one of those rare comics conventions in the U.S. that’s run by people who truly love and understand comics…and who can also pull off logistical miracles to put on a fantastic experience for readers and creators. In fact, they do it so well…the show’s growing to three days next year.

For most of my day at the convention, it’s a huge hug-in with Sheldon readers: Meetin’ folks, gettin’ to know them, and offering up free sketches. Based on the photos Sheldonistas sent me, it appears that this is the angle most people will remember me in: The top of my head, as I sketch. 🙂

Photo ©Matthew Gravelyn

Photo © Natalia Smiley

I seriously got like 19 of these shots from kind readers. But I can only show so many pics of my increasingly-greying hair. So….

Oh wait! Here’s one that someone sent in from a side angle:

Photo © Kathy Ann Bugajsky

Anyway! Let’s talks about the sketches themselves! Because you Seattlites asked for some really funny, really inventive stuff. First off, there were a lot of requests for “Drive” sketches in folks’ “Sheldon” books, which totally surprised me and made me smile to no end. But then there were a lot of just weird and wonderful “Sheldon” sketch requests as well, like these two. Sheldon in Kirk’s chair, and Oso as a sandworm from Frank Herbert’s “Dune”:

Both photos © Lauren

Then there were a lot of smilin’ Halfpixel groupshots, like this one:

Photo © Nic Covell

Or odder ones, like this attempt to make a U2 album cover:

Photo © Jen Mau

And then there were just a lot of fun pics with readers…like pretendin’ to flex and stuff:

Photo © Vanessa

After the first day of the convention, we headed up to the hotel room, where Scotty let me test out his 12″ Cintiq. A Cintiq, for those not familiar, is essentially digital paper. As you can see from the glow below my hand, it’s a screen you can draw on. I’ve been thinking of getting one to use creating “Drive”, as it would speed up my process and perhaps let me get 2-3 installments out each week. But they’re expensive: One-to-two grand! And I’m immensely, immensely cheap. So I’ve been putting it off and putting it off. But Scotty was really nice to let me take his Cintiq out for a test drive, so my inclination to get one is increasing. We’ll see.

Photo © Kris Straub

At night, most every webcomic creator you’ve ever heard of would gather for socializin’ and laughin’. Here’s a particularly good shot Scotty took, for example. In the shot, I can spot Aaron Diaz,
Rich Stevens,
KC Green (standing, orange),
Jeph Jacques (sitting, behatted),
Kate Beaton,
Meredith Gran, and
Brad Guigar’s knee.

Photo © Scott Kurtz

This con was a great one for meeting webcartoonists who I’ve never had the chance to chat with at any great length. Talented folks like Dylan Meconis, Christopher Baldwin, Kate Beaton, Jeph Jacques, KC Green, and Chris Hallbeck.

On Sunday, the Halfpixel lads and I gave a talk on webcomics to a packed, packed room. Here’s a shot of us before we got settled in for the talk:

Photo © Kathy Ann Bugajsky

And, in a reverse shot, a pic of the audience itself. It was 300-400 people, and they were a great group…super ready to laugh. Although this shot, now that I look at it, makes it look like they’re the most sullen group ever. We must not have started talking, yet. *rimshot*

Photo © Strauby, again

Ooo! I just noticed there’s a dude 3-5 rows in recording the talk on video! If you’re reading this, send me a copy of that video: We’d love to make it publicly available, if that’s cool.

Anyway, here’s some great shots from the talk:

Both photos © Kathy Ann Bugajsky

One final thing to note: Sheldonista Conn McQuinn, upon seeing my “Dilly Duck” print at the convention, mentioned that he had recently spotted a “squee” in George Herriman’s “Krazy Kat”! He kindly followed up by sending in this scan:

Cartoon © George Herriman, 1940