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9/16/2002 - San-Diego, Aug 1-4, 2002 Report

So I went to the Comic-Con International July 31- Aug 4, 2002. And I had a pretty great time. First of all, thanks again to Kate, who hosted Kip, Jenn and myself during our trip, as well as just being an amazing person who it was a joy to spend time with. Thanks to Tony for picking me up and dropping me off at the airport, as well as being so helpful in my getting my many boxes of books there. Thanks to Kip and Jenn who table watched and were instrumental in convincing me to even go. Thanks to Trail, who in a few hours gave away 3 times the number of postcards I had given away in the entirety of 4 days. And thanks to Stan, of whom if he didn't volunteer to share a table, I may not have gotten one, and may not have gone.

Oh, and to anyone who tried to find me and had little luck, or it simply took ages, my apologies. I was not pleased myself to be in the dark way back corner away from all the other indie-comic people, over in the back area which I dubbed the "flea-market" area, as it specialized in comic resale of old stuff and such and such. True, I wasn't alone, all the past-last-minute enrollers were put there. So I'll stop whining and enroll earlier next time.

So, this won't really be much of a diary, glimpses here and there, but mostly pictures and links (I added some of the links to this page on the left). So, getting down to business, first of all I had the opporunity to meet Erika and Vera (plus someone else with them, who I can't seem to recall, but in my defense, I met a LOT of people at the Con).

They found my in the Escher Mall, with bread and hugs. I'd not met them before, but was familiar with Erika's work. Erika Moen (along with Dylan Meconis, who does a fun vampire comic there) runs a site called projectkooky, and does various drawings and experiments. I hear tell she has a new comic she hasn't posted yet (Erika! When?!), but check out To Go for now. I like Erika's sense of things and she seems serious about comics. I like serious people. Glad I got to meet her.

And Vera Brosgol, Vera.... fuck, can she draw and time comics well. I wish they still had copies, because I'd say "Buy Mostly Acquisitions" to read "Babeland". But ah well. In the meantime go her site at or her comic on that site "Return to Sender" (scroll down), I want to write that I read somewhere that it has no plot, she writes it kinda' panel-by-panel. Which makes it have a nice life to it, although feel miandery. Either way, a fun read.

Dinner and then a rousing game of "5-Card Nancy".

So on the Friday night I went out to dinner with Scott Mccloud and cast. I don't know what made him the ringleader, but he's just got that kind of personality and charm. Anyhow, so we all went to a Chinese place, which meant I only had some soup (I'm afraid I don't care much for "Oriental" food of any sorts that I've tried). But I began to realize that i was at the table with a group of really REALLY talented people. And since I'm always too busy to search the web for amazing stuff, I didn't know any of them (bad me!). So I passed a paper around and everying put their name, email, and website on it. So below are all the links.

Oh, but before the links, during dinner (since I wasn't eating), I went outside to attempt to find a photo-copier for the list, which is when, as i mentioned, while trying to escape the Escher Mall, that i met (was spotted by) Erika Moen and clan (lord knows how) and they charmed me and gave me a couple loaves of bread (random, but which sustained my appetite a bit). Sadly no copier was found, so the list was copied the next morning and copies were left at Scott's table for dinner-people to get a copy. Copy copy copy.

Patrick Farley is responsible for "electric sheep" which is at So okay, I simply don't have enough good things to say about Patrick, becutiful strange, cohesive works. Wonderful use of web as a medium. I can't put my finger on how to summarize his work... surreal, heavy, somwetimes sexual. I'd say check out "Delta Thrives" first. Large download time, but worth it.

Cayetano's site is (also does "cuentos" at Okay, this is really trippy, paying much homage to old strips such as Krazy Kat and Felix, and could have easily been written by R. Crumb (or that lot). Well done, not my taste, but worth checking out. Especially if you're doing 'shrooms (I'm guessing).

Brendan Cahill does an online comic called "Outside The Box" at and chapter two at Okay, so it's a typical mobster story, kidnapping, strong guys, guns, etc. Some interesting writing in the dialogue, introspective, but not enough to be of much note. But A good solid story, and more important, this should be viewed for it's innovative design and use of flash to format a story. Totally worth reading.

Jack Masters' site is If you're insnae, this might make sense. Amusing. Maybe. I'm confused.

Daniel Merlin's work is at: Okay, so it's weird as hell, but some brilliant. The artwork seems mostly photocopied, but works solidly. But WHEN (now-ish) you check out his site, you MUST read "Inanimate Monkey Adventures" which had me laughing outloud and which I can't get out of my head... that is SO my life. And "I Bleed scoprions" is pretty cool too.

John Barber's page is Pretty good stuff. Not really my cup of tea and also I found that the flash interface too slow and demanding. Hard to say. Like all these, it's worth checking out.

Tracy White's comic stories are at: If you are (or ever were) a confused teenage girl (or were ever curious about them) then this is the place to go. It's actually serious (but not "heavy" in any bad way), and I found it really well written and the stories to be touching and telling. Highly recommended.

Jenn Manley Lee, whose comic Dicebox is at: As you all know Jenn from my links by now, she did finish the first chapter of Dicebox and is woring hard on an in-between project before chapter two. Great storytelling, art, site design, etc.

Derek Kirk who does small stories at Not sure how to summarize this one, maybe "yes, do check it out"? Prolific, a lot of stuff to read, and everything seems good, solid, often funny. Stories, great art. Good dialogue and characters. When you have a slow afternoon, you can easily spend the entirety of it browsing through. Worth the browse.

Scott Mccloud (and Ivy was there, hi!), who's one of the most noted people in comics today as far as what they are and where they're going, has his site at Author or Re-inventing comics, which is sort of the book which created a language and context from which comics can more universally be discussed. Also just a great guy. His site has somics and about a billion worthwile links and information. Check it out. Also, not to interrupt the flow of these "dinner" links, but here's a picture of Scott and I on the last day of the Con.

Kip Manley who has his blog at Again, you all know Kip from my linking to and his brilliant forward at the beginning of Bruno Book#7. Also, he has up a 24-hour comic he did on his blog, titled "The Star" which is just amazing, and should be read for any of you who think just becuase you can't draw in any trained way that you can't create something utterly beautiful.

Lori Matsumoto, of whom I still need to get a sketch to, works here:, the Museum of Jurassic Technology, I haven't been there, but the web site makes it seem pretty cool, and Lort was really cool too.

Heidi DeVries runs a site at A book and movie blog it appears, pretty design, good content.

So Anyhow, that was all the dinner people, but returning to events back at the rest of the Con...

A little side story. I met Phil Foglio, who was a huge influence on my cartooning back in high-school and college. And I told him how I had hoped to snatch up his job drawing Robert Aspirin's "Myth Adventures" after he quit, as I had mastered copying his style so well, but never got around to doing a submission package. And he gave me this kinda' "stay your distance, fan-boy" laugh. Then I gave him a copy of Bruno #7 as a token of my thanks for his work, and he suddenly warmed up and said "oh, Bruno, I read that." So yeah. My story of Meeting Phil Foglio. Just one of those cool things, you know? Anyhow, if you get a chance, buy a copy of "Girl Genius" which he's currently writing with his wife Kaja.

As well, the San Diego Con was where i first met Madison Clell who I later got to hang out with as we both live(d) in Portland (she's moving), who's well known for her comic "Cuckoo".

I also got to briefly meet Terri Moore of Strangers in Paradise

Oh, and Steve Lieber was there, who I've gotten to know in Portland through Kip and Jenn. A great guy, a hell of an artist, and also he gave me a bunch of huge tips on how to run your table at a trade show. Thanks Steve!

And I bought an original drawing from Eddie Campbell who was charmingly polite and very interesting to chat with. And I adore his line-work, and the ramblings of his early "alec" works (and was so glad to get a ink drawing of his from this), as well as his crazy experimental work with the hairy Alan Moore.

So, I also met a lot of other online comic artists, may of which I was only vague familiar with their work (again, being that i work full-time, do a daily comic, and try to have a life, means i have about zilch free web browsing time). But I am now much more familiar, and it was exciting to talk with people who love the same thing, plus to meet some people I've adored for a long time.

So, going left to right, Sam Brown of Exploding Dog. strange stick figures, but... but wait, it's somehow beautiful. Don't ask me how. I wish i had bought a book while I was there. Do check it out.

Jon Rosenberg and then Phillip Karlsson who are responsible for Goats, one of the oldies on the web, and worth checking out. You see, there's this goat and a satanic Chicken.. umm, and Jon and Phillip.... yeah. Hm.

John Allison of Scary-Go-Round and Bobbins fame.

Now John, I didn't meet anyone who upon meeting John wasn't instantly charmed by him. Aside from being a spitting image of his character "Rich", he's just... a great guy. A pleasure to meet. Oh, and we exchanged drawings. I did one of Bruno writing, and he did one of Rich and Shelley. And then leter he drew a picture of Bruno for me, I think due to the fact that I ramble on to him too much about the fact that i miss his pen-and-paper drawings (Sorry if I've gone off too much on that, John, I still love your work!).


Jeff Rowland of Wigu and Topato fame. Umm... Well, ther'e the dad the nudist, and the crazy kid, and his imaginary friend. Hm. Just strange. A good read.

I don't have a picture to prove it, but I wanted to mention that I was hoping to meet Pete Abrams of Sluggy Freelance, and somehow he managed to find me and we had a very interesting conversation. I was happy to find that i liked the guy as much as his strip. tried to find him to say hello again on Sunday, but he had left.

And I'll end this report with a couple notes. it was really good to meet Carrie and Jay, who came to the show to see me, and with whom I had a very cool conversation as we watched the sun set over the San Siego bay. And also, it was a pleasure to meet Travis and Molly Fox on the first day, who set the tone for me for the whole show because they were so damned nice. Plus Travis's zines, "Foxymoron", are just plain fun to read. Email him for copies at, but here's a small glimse, to end my report.

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