Monday, July 16, 2012

Adventures at Comic-Con - Part 1!

Hey everyone! It's monday, I'm feeling settled finally after a big trip and I'd like to share with you what I've been up to! I had a fantastic time at San Diego Comic-Con and I have lots of pictures and things to share. This is going to be a multi-parter because there's a lot to say!

But I have some bad news to start with. I don't have any new Myst pages for today (maybe not tomorrow or wednesday either...). I shipped my Wacom Cintiq from DC to Emeryville and it hasn't arrived yet. New pages soon I hope! So for the time being, I hope you enjoy the story of my adventure at comicon!

A few weeks ago, I received a scholarship from to attend one day of the San Diego Comic Con (article here: [LINK]). DeviantART paid for my plane ticket, two nights hotel and gave me $50 for expenses. The experience was awesome. And now I'm in Emeryville, California (near Pixar) because I'm starting a course on storyboarding at a school called "The Animation Collaborative"

San Diego Adventure! Day 1:

I flew from Washington DC to Denver, and then Denver to San Diego. Before getting on the Denver flight, I spoke with a family of four who told me that they had each camped out on different computers trying to get access to the con site in order to buy tickets. They sell out really fast. They each got four one day passes, even though they really wanted many four day passes. I didn't realize so much luck was involved!

View from DC to Denver flight. I don't remember where we were. But I was amazed at how dry it looked and how clear the line was between green and not green. 

When I got on the plane, I sat in a row of four girls all going to Comic-Con. At one point, one of the girl's yelled out "Who's going to Comic-Con?!" and most of the plane screamed out "YEAAAAHHH!!" That was fun. The woman who say next to me told me about the different shows she was interested in and what she wanted to see at the con. We chatted most of the flight. She wanted to work in govenment because the benefits are good, but it sounded like she would make a great writer!  I told her about this book that really helped me with story writing [LINK]. 

I arrived in San Diego. DeviantART got me a room at "Holiday Inn on the Bay." I got a room on the 12th floor with an amazing view. Thanks DeviantART!

The view from my hotel. Look at that ship! At first I thought it was from Pirates of the Caribbean. >_<

That night, I was set to meet with Bree (BAMIllustration on DeviantART), her husband Joel (, and their friend Mario (Zorgia on DeviantART). Bree has been commenting a lot on my Myst comic pages and she seems so sweet so I wanted to meet her in person. She lives in San Diego. So the four of us had coffee at this cute out of the way place called "Upstart Crow Bookstore & Coffee House."

Then Bree whipped out this amazing present:

It's a piece she made herself based on my Myst comic. JOY! It's my first Myst comic fan art. Atrus and Flame are so cute. And it's got the bookshelf and the cut-out stairs and everything. So awesome. And this is the original! You can also see it on deviantART here (blue lines removed): [LINK]. And on top of that she also gave me a iPhone case that she crocheted herself. Thanks Bree!!

We talked and joked and ate some grub. I really enjoyed it. I hope I get to hang out with those guys again. I'll see Mario again at the Small Press Expo in September, back in DC.

Then I went to bed. Big day tomorrow.

San Diego Adventure! Day 2:

Still being on East Coast time, I woke up at 6:30. I got my cards and stickers and books all together (stuff for my table). I was carrying a backpack and a messenger bag.

I took a shuttle from the hotel to the convention center. The convention center was ENORMOUS. I've never seen a building so long. It was 8:30 and there was a huge crowd of people outside the gates.

I headed away from the crowds and into the Gaslamp Quarter. I had one mission before the day started: Get Food. I was told getting food at this place could be difficlt, and I didn't want to spend my time waiting in line, or worse, not eat anything and feel weak. I wanted all my strength!

So I trekked with my heavy backpack to Ralph's supermarket. Lots of people were doing the same. I picked up some pre-made sandwiches, an avocado, two bananas, two chocolate bars and some blackberries. The song from Treasure Planet was playing in the supermarket (a movie I had watched recently) and it warmed my heart and got me excited. >_<

Armed and ready, I walked toward the convention center. I needed to walk from Hall A to Hall G, where Artist's Alley and DeviantART were located. The convention center is very long. I walked and walked, through a massive crowd of people waiting for the doors to open for the day.

I saw stormtroopers and Jedi knights. I was Princess Leia (with the, you know, Jabba the Hutt scene outfit). She was being interviewed by a TV crew. I saw Naruto and Adventure Time characters. There were plenty of characters where I didn't know who they were. So much to look at! I wanted to take pictures, but everything was moving very quickly (though I did take pictures later).

I made it to Hall G. There I met with Toby Labanow (Ayame-kenoshi on DeviantART), who works in Marketing at DeviantART and had arranged all my travel accommodations. She gave me my exhibitor pass and let me in. They had just opened the gates to the masses and as I was coming in, I saw LOADS of people coming in, descending from an upper floor (how did they get up there?) down to the convention floor.

Comic-Con opens!
Toby took me to where DeviantART had its presence set up. They had many screens set up with wacom tablets where people could try their Muro drawing program. They had big screens that were showing off DA artist's work. They were giving away lanyards and buttons and balls and llamas and other cool things. It was exciting.

It was nice to talk to the the DA folks. Aside from Toby, I also talked with Shyree ( and Aunjuli ( and Damphr (

Juli has been following my Myst comic and she asked me to draw something in her notebook. I draw a picture of Atrus looking stunned because that's what I was feeling at the moment.

I set up my table. It took like five minutes. I made a little stand for my name. I laid out my books and cards and stickers.

Compared to other people's tables it was pretty sparse and underwhelming, but that's okay. It's my first con. I certainly learned a lot and I have some ideas for SPX in September.

Next, Shyree told me I was going to do an interview with Dave Elliott (, the comic artist who had chosen the six recipients of the DA scholarship. I was very excited. I had never done an interview like that before, with cameras and mics and everything!

The videographer, Todd (why can I find your card?!), coached me in how to do an interview. Relax, we'll cut all the good stuff together, so feel free to say whatever. I had a mic on me, that was cool. I hope my hair looked okay. Dave and I talked about my work, where it was going, and how I was using DeviantART. It was fun. Dave was really funny and a pleasure to talk with. When the video with the interview comes out I'll share the link!

Then I met another of the scholarship winners, Emily ( She has amazing stuff. She set up her area like a pro! She said she had been to cons before. It seems like she made some good sales that day. It's too bad we didn't get to talk more. At the end of the day, she had abandoned the table copies of a few of her books and I took them back with me and read them. I'm interested to learn more about her experience as an ex-Mormon.

Once the interview was over, I was free to roam the con. One of my priorities for the day was to talk to story artist Louie del Carmen. I saw that he was at the con sharing a table with another artist by the name of Octavio Rodriguez. I thought I had seen Louis give a talk at Ottawa Animation festival in 2009, but I was mistaking him for his brother, Ronnie del Carmen. Oops. More on that later.

So I went to this table, but Louie wasn't there. I saw that Octavio worked at Pixar and decided to be bold and talked to him. I also noticed that I already follow his blog "Cano's Scribbles" ( I was super nervous, but he was very nice. I told him I was doing the course at Animation Collaborative. I asked him questions about his work. He's from Dominican Republic. It's nice to meet other Hispanic artists. I'm half Puerto-Rican myself. It sounds like he's been working in story for a long time. I hope I get to talk to him again while I'm here in his neighborhood.

I also bought Issue 1 of his original comic "Cuidad". It's awesome. It's beautifully done, with loose energetic lines and great colors. It's how I'd like to do comics someday too. Why didn't I buy issue 2?!

Getting to Octavio's area meant crossing the entire convention floor. It was crazy. So many sights and sounds. It was a sea of people. I'm short, so I was constantly faced with chests and boobs. Costumes galore. I tried to sneak in and take pictures where I could.

A guy getting crushed by the trolls from The Hobbit!

A kid taking his picture with zombies from The Walking Dead. Creeeeeepy!!
Getting to Ocatavio's area meant crossing the entire convention floor. It was crazy. So many sights and sounds. People moving. I'm short, so I feel like I was mostly looking straight ahead at boobs and chests. Overwhelming sea of bodies. Lots of costumes. I tried to sneak in and take pictures where I could. The Tolkien trolls from the Hobbit movie was so cool, and across from it there was a picture taking with zombies.

Okay, that's a long post. I'm exhausted. Stay tuned for part 2! 

1 comment:

  1. I'm on holiday in the Czech Republic right now, so I'm saving up the comics till I'm back home. I took the time to read this post though. Great to read about your experiences! Looking forward to the next part.