Friday August 27
I stayed home with the younger kids, sent Ty and the teenager off to the con. Thought about all the things we wanted to do to get Ty ready for the show which we ran out of time and to do…
Neither Ty nor the progeny like to take photos, so I relied on the world to post some pics. Here’s one of Ty, chatting people up at the Toronto Cartoonists Workshop booth, by a member of TCW/Holmes Incorporated Rachael Wells.
Saturday August 28
Two hour drive to get into Toronto from Mississauga/Oakville border…normally a 25 minute drive to the Convention Centre. Thank you , Summer Construction season which saw the one exit for the Canadian Exhibition closed which meant everyone had to exit at Spadina and double-back–which meant that the bulk of our time was actually on that off-ramp.
By the time we got to Simcoe Street and realized the South Parking Lot was closed, drove up and found the North Lot the same, Ty literally just jumped out of the car at the stoplight while I scuttled around to the driver’s seat! Luckily he was able to just be Ty and actually force his way into the Con…minutes later, I’d parked and discovered that the con had been shut down by the Fire Marshal and that many, many people had to leave the building before more could get in. I hightailed it off to Guest Relations to get a badge which had the power to get me up to the con floor.
Too hot and sweaty and cranky to wander, I sat at Ty’s seat in Artists’ Alley, went over once to TCW to see how Ty and Gibson Quarter were doing as they signed copies of Holmes Incorporated and promoted the school.
That was my one foray out–I tried to go down Artists’ Alley once to say hi to people, managed ten feet…then realized it would be quicker just to turn around and go sit down.
Luckily, I had company at the table, and lots of people came by to see Ty and stayed to chat. More than a few even came to see me–I lettered six of the stories in Holmes Incorporated, and some of the contributors came by to introduce themselves and thank me. Once they’re all big stars they’ll understand that they don’t even need to know the letterer’s name–the lowest of the low on the comic book totem pole! (Unless your name is Richard Starkings or Todd Klein. Or Chris Eliopoulos. Or…) But Christopher Yao gave me a copy of his book, Fauntkin: Journey to the Electric Horizon, and Adam Gorham of Big Sexy Comics came by to chat.
I was sitting next to David J. Cutler, artist for Northern Guard. David was selling prints of Bucky O’Hare, He-Man and Bizarro (and Bizarro Krypto which prompted one young girl to squeal, “what’s wrong with that dog?”). I have fond memories of sitting on the sofa with Kellam singing the Bucky O’Hare theme song with him, so I bought a print for him. David and I normally spend a bit of time on Facebook arguing over something I’ve posted or claimed…it was nice to get a chance to talk in person, although he was incredibly busy with commissions and selling his prints. Check out David’s blog, Drawings for Humans, for a look-see at his prints…and leave him a comment.
Gibson Quarter was on Ty’s other side, but he was off signing with Ty, then off to moderate a panel, so I spent time chatting with his beautiful daughter and watching fanboys try to figure out how to chat her up themselves. Although more than a few were equally taken with her dad’s art. Check out Gibson’s eponymous art blog, to see what he has for sale…he’s thinking about adding a PayPal account so you can buy a print even if you can’t make it to one of his appearances.
Jason Edmiston and his wife, Tanya, were on the other side of David Cutler. Tanya is a favourite with those in Artists’ Alley–that might seem obvious when you see her (beautiful and incredibly sweet) but she usually comes bearing trays of cookies and muffins. Jason is one of the nicest guys you’ll meet in–and one of the best. He’s currently working with Ty and David, doing the covers for Northern Guard. Check out his art site for more of his work.
I left the show at 5pm to pick up my kids and pass them over to their sister-in-law for the evening…when I left, word was that 1000 people had to leave the con for anyone else to be allowed in. There was not only an entry line for people wanting to buy tickets, those who had pre-purchased tickets…there was a heckuva line for the re-entry folks. The show closing time was pushed back an hour to try and accommodate some of those who had waited in line to get in for nearly three hours.)
(Ran into my son, as I was leaving, working at The Silver Snail booth. Nice surprise as I had thought he was at the store location all weekend. )
Sunday August 29
(brought the kids in. It was so crowded and so busy at 11am when we got there an hour after opening that the kids were actually taken aback, and it took them awhile to warm up to the idea of wandering around. Luckily, Tanya had some muffins to keep them occupied. I tried walking around with the kids a couple of times, but gave up pretty quickly and let them roam wild and free. They would come back periodically to drop off free posters and stickers they’d acquired and try to convince me of the toys they desperately had to have. Kate bought a print from Archie Comics’ artist, Dan Parent and got a signature, which thrilled her no end. Taylor’s best purchase was his Ellis Bullshifters t-shirt (Left 4 Dead). Sean just loved the whole world and the whole day and the Halo Reach game and the cool this and the cool that. And he bought a Transformer which I was assured was the best Transformer ever.
All in all, seemed to be a pretty good con for many…Ty didn’t do as many sketches as he has in the past, nor sold as many pages, but his students all did well promoting themselves and their work, so he was pretty pleased.