Well, today was a great day. I got up early,
got there on time, and was on my way to find Erik Larsen! I get to
the place, but there's just one problem, I don't know what time the lunch
is! Or was it breakfast? Crap, I can't remember! Where
can I find out? Hmmm, I know someone posted a message on the Forum
saying the when and where, but where can I get access to the internet?
Hmmm, hey there's the Ebay booth! Anyone looking? Nope.
Cool, I sneak onto the Forum, and find out. It isn't til noon, great!
I still got time so I post a message on the Forum saying where I'm at and
teasing all you guys. =^) "Hey kid, put that back on Ebay!" Uh oh,
busted! I walk away acting like I didn't do a thing...
What to do, what to do? What's the time? It's... 10am, I got two hours. I go off see what I can do with 10 bucks (I only got 20 bucks, and I KNOW I'm going to need at least 10 for lunch), so I head off to the dealers. I buy two Transformer toys (I now have all three of the old school Insecticons, yay!). I look around some more. What time is it? It's almost noon. Yikes! I head off to the escalators outside of the main floor room, that's the rendezvous point. I get there. Where is everyone? Oh well, I wait.
Hmmm, I see another guy waiting too. I take a chance. Are you from the FAO? Yup. Kevin Binversie. Hey Kevin, I'm Juan! Cool. We talk a bit, and then Erik and a group of FAOers emerge from the main floor room. Cool. I introduce myself to everybody. Erik remembers me from yesterday (!!!) Hey, I'm Juan. How you guys doin'? cool. Lexie introduces herself, but we all already know who she is (duh). We head off to eat.
While we're walking, a bald guy with glasses comes up to me. "You Johnny Bubbles?" Sure am. "Hey, I'm Jason Green." Cool! THE Jason Green! We stay close to each other since we don't recognize anyone else.
Eight bucks for a burger, fries, and a shot glass of Coke. I've seen drug deals that were less expensive. Geez. Oh well, we all sit down and chill out with Erik. There are some cool people sitting with us. Tom Bolton, Kevin Binversie, Brett Berliner, who's heading this whole shindig, and is ultra cool, Erik (of course), Lexie (ditto), and a others I don't recognize. One of the guys I find out is named Jesse Snider, son of none other than rock legend... DEE SNIDER!!!! Too cool. Dee, as it turns out, is a fan of Dragon and Larsen also! Double cool. We bug Jesse about when Erik'll do the cover to the new Twisted Sister album or the box art to Strangeland 2. If wishes were nickels... =^)
We talk a bit about the biz, and a lot of the Savage Dragon. He posed some very thought provoking questions, such as "Say Superpatriot ACTUALLY kills baby Damian?" Think of the repercussions! If there's no Damian, that means no arch foe to Super-Tough and Young-Tough, which means no negabomb, no Mace, no stopping Possessed Dragon, etc... It's mind boggling when one thinks of it! Gads!
Anyway, we finish eating. We get up and take a few pictures. Cool. We head out and split up. Me, Jason, and Brett stick together and head off to cause some mischief. Hey, Tim Sale's signing at the DC booth. I have nothing to get signed though. =^( But hey, he's giving out copies of Batman: Dark Victory #0, so I get that signed. Cool.
Now what? Hey, the DC booth is right next to the Ebay booth, we go over and I put it on the Forum again, but this time, they're already watching me. "Uh, can you put that back on Ebay, kid?" Yikes, busted again. We put it back and head off. Jim Lee's signing at the DC booth, and Devin Grayson's signing at the Marvel booth. Brett wants to go over to Devin, and Jason wants to stay and get Lee's. Brett says he'll be back, as we get in line for Lee. Brett comes back pretty quickly, the line's bloated. Oh well. Neither me OR Brett have nothing to get signed by Lee. Crud. Jason jokes that he has a Kill Image comic in his bag. I offer to get it signed, but he's too big of a wimp to go through with it. =^) Me and Brett tell Jason to save our place behind him as we run like madmen to a dealer so we can get some quick cheap Lee books. I remember seeing a stack of X-Men #1 at the Graham Cracker's comic booth, so we go. We find some, and Brett offers to pick up my copy. Thanks Brett!
We head back, and Jason's still waiting. We see Lexie walking by, and she stops to talk with us. She takes a pic of us standing in line. She says she's going to go over by Devin, so she says later. We get the books signed by Lee, but not before we have to go through his bodyguard (???). Oh well, I now own a copy of X-Men #1 signed by Lee.
Now what? Hey, there's Tomm Coker, the guy who did Vanguard #1!!! We talk with him a bit, and he plugs his new book. Sounds pretty neat, I might pick it up. After that, we go and look for Greg Aubry, thinking that he might be there. But where to look? We head over to the Artist's Alley to find him, but no such luck. We DO, however, run into Franchesco and Frank Fosco! Double cool. Fosco's pretty neat, and he let us in on something, he'll be penciling AND inking the final ish of TMNT, so that'll be neat.
Still not wanting to give up the hunt for Greg Aubry, we head over to the front information desk to page him, but Jason can't stick around, he has to head home. Later Jason. Seeya next year! Me and Brett go up to the desk. Hey, I'm uh... Juan Aubry. I can't find my brother, Greg. Can you PLEASE page him for me? No? Why not? Only if it's a serious emergency? Crud. Oh well. We head back inside.
Hey, Erik's signing over at the Marvel booth. We head over there, and he lets us sit down and hang out with him while he signs. Awesome. Soon, Lexie, Joe, Jesse, and a few other FAOers are around too. Even some famous comic pros stop by like Joe Casey, Tim Townsend, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Larry Marder! I'm getting dizzy by all this glamor! Oh wait, I'm getting dizzy from the graf marker I let Jesse use. He's writing all over the table cover! Now the table's got pictures of Nova, Dragon, KillCat, Imposter, and a slew of other doodles. Erik let's us have a peek at the upcoming issues, 64 and 65. Very awesome, is all I can say.
The place is starting to die down, but Erik still got a healthy line going. He's doing sketches for almost everybody that asks for one. Some lady asks for a Star Wars sketch. What? Erik sighs because he's beat and he doesn't really know the details into Star Wars characters. I joke, "That's the show with Spock, right?" and Erik laughs. Woohoo, I made Erik laugh! Anyhoo, Erik draws a hand emerging from the bottom of the page holding a lightsaber and a word balloon next to it talking smack to an off-panel Darth Vader.
Lexie asks for ANOTHER Widow sketch, some guy gets a fat guy running (very funny sketch, it took up TWO pages), and there's a few others. Brett gets in line and asks for a sketch of Guy & Duder doing "something crazy". Since he wasn't very specific, Erik just went ahead. He drew Guy.... how can I put this lightly? He drew Guy futtbucking Duder! Man, was that hilarious. You asked for it, Brett! =^)
Me and Jesse get in line next since the place is starting to die down. Jesse gets an Arachnid sketch, and I get a Rumble Bros. sketch. Awesome.
Well, the place is starting to close. I say laters to everybody, and thank Erik for letting me hang out with him. It was very awesome. I say goodbye to Larry Marder and thank him for all the work he's done, and say farewell to all the other FAOers. It was a great experience, and I had a great time, I hope to do it again next year!
*Free preview covers from Marvel
*Cap. America #12
*Mutant X #3
*X-Men #1 signed by Lee
*Batman: Dark Victory #0 signed by Tim Sale
*Gen13 #45 advanced B&W preview
*Rumble Bros. sketch by Erik Larsen (woohoo!)
*Shrapnel (Transformer Insecticon)
*McDonald's Beast War Toy (a beetle)