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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Notes From the Albany Comicon -- The fall edition of the Albany Comicon took place today. I brought the wife and kids, and I think everyone had a better time than any other convention we've attended.

* My wife got an amazing drawing of her favourite Archie characters by Joe Staton. I'll post an image of it here when I download the pics from today, but suffice to say my wife was very, very happy to finally get a piece of original art featuring Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica. I was thrilled to finally meet Joe in person -- his work has been some of my favourite in comics from E-Man in the mid-1970s up to the current series Femme Noir. He's a great artist and it was great getting to talk to him a few minutes and getting that sketch for my wife. Thanks, Joe!

* Joe also shared the fantastic news that Image will be publishing two E-Man projects in 2009 -- a softcover, black and white omnibus (over 600 pages) of ALL of the Staton/Cuti E-Man stories, published by Charlton, Image and other companies. Joe confirmed for me that he considers only the stories by Cuti and himself canonical, so the somewhat dated Marty Pasko-written stuff won't be included, which is fine by me. Also, a colour hardcover will collect the superb original 10 Charlton E-Man issues. Joe told me he is currently working on restoring the art for these two projects, which are officially my most anticipated releases for 2009.

* Saw the Hembecks -- Fred seemed swamped by fans, which is always nice to see, and it was good to meet Fred's wife, too.

* Saw just about every person I know in New York's Capital District who is interested in comics. Great to see you, Tom, Roger, Rocco (an expat now, but back for this event), Tim, Mick, Alicia, Darren, John, Matt, and I know I am forgetting someone, but it was overwhelming to see so many friends and acquaintances in such a short span of time, some I hadn't seen since the late 1990s.

* Spent TOO MUCH MONEY. Bought the Amazing Fantasy Omnibus and Two-Fisted Tales Archives Vol. 1, offered up for 30 percent off, too good a deal to turn down. Spent 50 dollars on Star Trek action figures (NERD), and gave my kids probably 50 or 60 bucks all told. They bought lots of stuff that made them happy. On the plus side, my wife bought us all lunch at Pizza Mare, and that was the tastiest slice of pizza I've had in a long time. Thanks, Lora!

* The kids really had a wonderful time -- my daughter found plenty of manga-related stuff to keep her attention (and dwindle her con allowance), and my son found a few Star Wars items I know he's wanted for a long time. My wife and Earthworld's Alicia had a nice chat, as they usually do when they see each other, and as I said earlier, the Archie drawing by Joe Staton really cemented the idea that this was a great convention for my wife, which is a good feeling. I've probably dragged her to a few that she had no fun at all at, but that wasn't the case today. A good time had by all, to coin a phrase.

* Funniest thing I think I said today: When introduced to a friend of a friend, he told me "I've read your stuff on the internet." "Yep, that's where I keep it," I replied. Well, I thought it was funny at the time.

* Funniest gross thing I thought of on the way into the convention: The worst soup of all time must be the "Soup of Bidet." I'm amazed no one appears to have ever used this phrase on the internet. Look at me, blazing the trail!



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