I need to start this by saying that if I gush a bit, it isn't by accident. Between the mix of great people and excellent deals, it was pretty much nirvana for me. For fun and networking, it was one of the best shows I have been to.
We arrived in town Saturday afternoon and called the incomparable Brian, a friend whom Jim had met at the CrossGen and Broken Frontier boards back in the day. I have gotten to know Brian as well, and we really think a lot of him.
Being the sweetheard that he is, Brian took us to Zanadu Comics on 3rd Avenue. Jim and I drooled like country hicks upon seeing the available inventory they had. We couldn't believe the great selection in statues and comics. I found several comics there I could never have impulse purchased at my local shop. It definitely took self control to not spend too much!
After that, Brian took us to three different Irish pubs. I can't remember the name of the first one, but the black and tan beer I had there was sublime. We then walked over to Kell's Irish Restaurant, where I had another black and tan and we ate dinner. We rounded out the night at the White Horse, which is a place I absolutely adored.
The next morning, we got up and carb loaded before heading over to the Seattle Center. We met up with Brian, and wandered in. Jim and I were fortunate enough to get passes, so we met up with Quenton Shaw, the force of nature behind QEW Publishing. He and his crew had a couple of tables there, and they did a wonderful job.
I had mentioned Ben Hansen in a previous post, but would like to emphasize that this guy is talented. He is working on Dark Powers for QEW and Angel Gate. Ben has five issues done of a six issue mini-series, and is hard at work on number six. I can hardly wait to see his finished series, and will let you know when it is being solicited. His art is pictured with this post. Jim and I also got to meet his fiance' Jo, who was a total sweetheart.
Chris Anderson, the artist for Void Zanadu, was also there. His art is so incredible, and fits the story so well, that it made me feel really eager to see the finished product. I guarantee that he is a name you will hear more from.
Rounding out the QEW Publishing artists, Braden Lamb also made an appearance. He is another one to watch. His book Yo-Yo is in production, and the preview pages we saw were unique and stylish. Braden is young, but very dedicated. He is another up and comer.
We were thrilled to see Randy Emberlin and his lovely wife Joan at the show. Randy is a super nice guy, and keeps very busy. He mentioned that he will be inking Ivan Reis' pencils in the future. Randy had previously worked with Reis on Thing/She-Hulk: The Longest Night, and it was absolutely gorgeous, so I am really looking forward to seeing their future work.
Karl Kesel was also present. He was very congenial, and took the time to talk to the fans. He was sketching, and had original art for sale at a reasonable price. Every time I have been fortunate enough to see Karl, he has always been very pleasant and has a great sense of humor.
A highlight of the show for me was meeting Greg Hatcher from Comics Should Be Good and his very nice wife Julie. We had a great discussion and were fortunate enough to be able to view his student's art. Greg is a wonderful teacher and his students really seem to love their class. I believe that there were five students at the show, and they were just great. Greg shared the art with us, and I was blown away. He is teaching the artists of the future, and we couldn't ask for a better guiding hand. Greg, Julie, and his students will be at the Emerald City Comicon, and I am really looking forward to seeing them there.
I met a fabulous lady named Dawn M. Kravagna. She has a book out called Cattle Capers: Caper #1: Search for the MooMoo Pearl. Each chapter had great art, and the story I have read so far is very clever. Dawn is an interesting and kind lady, and I really enjoyed speaking with her. If you get a chance, go check out her website.
Jim and I got to see our favorite retailers, John and Randy from Randy's Readers. These guys are the best of the best. They offer reader copies, as well as better grades for the best prices around. They are both also very nice men. I was thrilled to meet John's wife Mary.
Jim and I were able to stay at the show all day, which was great. Normally we run in and out, but we made a pact to stay the entire show, which worked out well. I had a chance to have a super conversation with Quenton, and got to know Ben and Jo. Jim had a great time talking to Randy and Karl, as he and Brian were over there quite awhile at different parts of the day.
Steve Miner and his gang ran a great show. The room was full of dealers, and the fans that I observed were there to buy. The aisles got a bit crowded for awhile, but the mood was good, so there didn't appear to be any snarking going on.
I can't say enough about this show. We had such a good time we didn't want it to end. Special thanks to Brian for your amazing hospitality, and to Quenton for making us feel so welcome in your space.
I can hardly wait for the next show!
TOMORROW: A look at the swag!