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Cleaning Up, Tearing Down

Sunday is always an odd day at San Diego Comic Con; the Eisner and Masquerade winners are known (and there’s been time for all the arguments about how they rock and/or suck to have been identified), vendors have started to quantify sales numbers and get an idea how things compared to last year (consensus: cautious optimism), and everybody on the floor is simultaneously looking forward to and dreading packing up and packing out. It’s when you start to blend together what do I need to do today with what do I need to do differently next year and even the casual conversations get wacky. It’s a day when you’re still 18 hours away from dropping your bag and worrying about the new laptop inside when you should have been worried about the glass bottle of orange juice in the outside bottle pocket, or maybe that’s just me¹. Here, then are things that happened on Sunday, none of which happened to me more than 50 meters away from the big WEBCOMICS banner hanging over the center of the Sexy Lagoon.

  • Mark Siegel of :01 Books has some unique challenges in this life — he’s got one hell of a reputation to uphold at his tiny little imprint with a staff of four (three, once Colleen AF Venable leaves for her new art director gig, although she’ll still be a :01 author), he has the challenge of collaborating with Scott McCloud on Mcloud’s next book (although it’s based on a presentation/workshop that McCloud’s been refining for years, so a lot of the heavy lifting is done), and they kept running out of fives at the booth.

    None of these things bother him; the books will continue to be of amazingly high quality, because that is the mission that his staff are committed to, and he’ll fight the necessary fights with his bosses to get the budget to make them; he edited McCloud’s upcoming The Sculptor with an exacting eye at McCloud’s insistence, so the working relationship there is solid; and heck, I could always break some twenties for them out of the Dumbrella register. Add it all up and you’ve got no reason to be in a state of botheration, although perhaps next show they’ll get another pack of fivers. The fact that :01’s fall slate of books looks absolutely breathtaking doesn’t hurt, and if Gene Luen Yang’s Boxers & Saints didn’t take the Eisner in their category, it’s only because they lost to fellow :01 offering Battling Boy by Paul Pope². Challenges ahead, but nothing they can’t deal with.

  • The odd hybrid creature known at Freddave Kellett-Schroeder wound up winning the in the documentary category of the SDCC International Film Festival. The statue for that may be less well known than the famed rotating Eisner globe, but it’s springy, and apparently delicious as well. Let’s see if maybe they can’t snag a nomination for Best Related Work next year and put the globe next to the spring.
  • Ian Jones-Quartey, supervising director of Steven Universe was kind enough to drop by the Dumbrella booth and let me in on all the info from the panel that I missed; they’ve been picked up for another 52 episodes, which will bring them to a total of 104, so right now [they] just have to keep making them. It’s been a while since I saw an animated series launch as strong as Steven right out of the gate, and it’s just gotten better over the length of its first season (I’m invested in this show to the extend that I have theories and headcanon, which are not things a man pushing 50 should have). I also asked Jones-Quartey when RPG World is coming back, thus pushing it back another month, and now I owe myself a dollar. Awesome.
  • Danielle Corsetto is back on the road, about 60% of the way through her summer signing trip, and having the time of her life. She’s sold more books than ever she expected (an emergency resupply shipment had to be sent to Omaha), and she assures me that she has plans — big plans — for her career and her comics in the coming year. Details on those when she’s ready to share, but in the meantime, today marks the start of the latest GWS guest week, this one by Randy Milholland of Something*Positive.
  • Lars Brown was kind enough to drop by the booth with a copy of Penultimate Quest, the product of his recent Kickstarter. He was even kinder to sign it for me. I’m not sure where I’m going to draw you, Gary! fell on my internal kindness scale until I saw what he produced — Laser Moustache. Mr Brown, you are rad.

The best cosplay of the day was a tie between the very subtle and understated Sen (or was that Chihiro?) from Spirited Away and the very detailed and over the top Steampunk Buddy Christ. With Sen, it was the small details, like a fat mouse and a small fly on her shoulder; with Buddy, it was the rotating clockwork heart on his chest, with handmade escapement gears and multiple complications. Good job, cosplayers!

Spam of the day:

It’s difficult now to focus on Andrew, but also really enjoyed your prized and your particular way with words.

Yeah, Andrew’s great.

¹ Everything was okay, if variously damp and sticky and I’m writing this on the laptop in question so it still works, yay.

² A book which is simultaneously Pope at his Paul Popiest and his Jack Kirbiest. It’s a joy to read.

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