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I think this is going to be a bit fragmented – 2 hours’ sleep a night, maximum, doesn’t aid the memory.
As you probably know my flight on the Friday was cancelled due to the weather, and rescheduled for the following Tuesday, meaning I wouldn’t have any time to get over jetlag. No big deal, going out usually isn’t too bad anyway. Not that I cared once I got on the plane anyway, as I was upgraded to business class! And on BA that means a bed, champagne, proper steak for dinner and as much booze I wanted.
Was picked up from the airport by Chynna and spent Tuesday night there, pretty much dead. Slept in then headed downtown to our hotel where I met up with Gillen and Drew. Once we got our shit together we headed over to the con centre to set up for Preview Night. Normally the Wednesday is pretty quiet, with a few people browsing and few sales. This year, however, it was pretty packed, and we would have been able to shift a few books – except, thanks to a miscommunication, our books weren’t arriving till the Friday. So Traci at Image made a couple of calls and got some books on loan from Comic Relief, who had a stand elsewhere in the con.
Wednesday night we headed to the Ivy, where a couple of people were staying, and stood around feeling very uncomfortable as we were far too low-class to be in such a hotel bar.
I can’t remember what happened on each day during the actual con, so let’s treat it all as one big day. I saw a lot of old friends and made a bunch of new ones, who I would list but I’m sure I’d forget someone. I didn’t get to leave our booth for more than half an hour at a time, as we were so busy selling, signing, sketching and chatting with fans. I have to say that Phonogram fans seem to be the nicest in the world – I don’t think there’s one we talked to that we wouldn’t happily sit down for a pint with. The Suburban Glamour posters and bookmarks went down a storm, all of them being snapped up before Sunday was over. Lots of people said they had pre-ordered it already, which is very nice. Met Hal Sparks and his girlfriend Sam (who I vaguely sorta knew online before anyway), who were both really cool people. Bought Paul Pope’s new art book but was too shy to speak to him (it’s Paul Fucking Pope!). Stood around while Elin Winkler and Jennifer De Guzman discussed shoes. Wanted to murder whoever thought playing a 1 minute section of a song on loop for the ENTIRE WEEKEND at their stand was a good idea. Briefly saw Amber Benson, but she was signing so didn’t want to interrupt too much. Speaking of, it was nice to see a few old Bronzers turn up. Walked by the Oni booth to insult Ellerby a couple of times. Tried to find new Transformers and Death Note toys to no avail. Had a few meetings. All good.
Thursday night Gillen and I went for a meal with *deep breath* Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeC, Laurenn McCubbin, Jason Aaron, Ivan Brandon, Andy McDonald, Brian Posehn, Gerry Duggan, Rick Remender and Hillary Barda to a very nice Thai restaurant called Rama. British Reserve prevented us from having any rice with our green curry, but it was a very pleasant if slightly expensive soup anyway.
After that we headed on down to the Avatar party to say hi to Warren Ellis, not before being thrown out of one room in a rather passive aggressive fashion because that’s where the “celebrities” were going to sit. Ellis being Ellis he sat outside his own party smoking, so while we chatted I noticed Mike Carey walking past, and popped over to say hello. I think that’s the only time I saw him all weekend, which is a recurring theme with these things.
Following that we caught the last half an hour of the CBLDF party, before heading off to the traditional Thursday Night 80s night at Shooterz. Gillen and I continued the Phonogram Ska Attack Squad tradition when Madness was played.
Friday night was the MySpace party, where Andre 3000 bore witness to Gillen dancing like the indie boy he is. Also sighted, Pee Wee Herman. The DJ was pretty good, although at one point he started playing only half of each song, which infuriates me. Thanks to Sam for arranging it, it was a great party (on the roof of a hotel, no less!). Then, the Hyatt bar till gone 4am.
Saturday night we did the Big Gay Dinner:
Gillen, me, Kady Mae, John Romero and Jim Massey
After that, we had no real plans, so we spent it at the Hyatt, again staying till gone 3am:
Sunday had a meal with a few people in a place called Chive, where rather than order one main meal, you get 3 small dishes to sample. Very tasty, and the rice pudding desert was amazing. Then, more Hyatting till the early hours, where a few photos were taken:
(Traci Hui, me and Jill Stafford)
Gillen and Merlin.
Curb: Rob G, Laurenn McCubbin, Antony Johnston, Charlie Chu, Traci Hui and her boyfriend Damon
The ultra-suave Drew Gill, Phonogram designer
Clockwise from left: Matt Fraction, Ivan Brandon, Brian Wood, Traci Hui, Antony Johnston, me, Jill Stafford, Gillen
Monday was wind down day, with a quiet cafe lunch with a few people followed by meeting up with Chynna and co to spend the last night at her place. After a bit of shopping and In N Out burgers with Elin and co, I got to the airport and flew home (sadly, this time in Economy).
Photos stolen from Kelly Sue DeConnick and Jill Stafford.
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