So I've finally finished off all the little loose ends I came home to after the Wizard World Chicagoshow and last night I decided to put together some of the pictures I took there. This is going to be one long ass post so read, don't read, it's up to you. Here we go:
(1) Here's Dustin Nguyen, my hetero travelling companion laughing his ass off coz they cancelled our flight. Actually, he's giggling coz he's thinking about how much 'blacked-out' (I'll explain in a minute) stuff he's about to make at the show. BTW, during the convention, I would come to learn that Duss is pimpin' like you wouldn't believe (DC exclusive, talented artist, family man...he's my hero) - this is the theme of our trip, I think. (2) We arrive at Chicago O'Hare and he's that much closer to the treasure chest that is the convention he looses his mind and licks my head. Hah! j/k - that's just fancy camera tricks, folks. He's not really makin' contact...I swear.
(3) On the train from O'Hare and I'm happy we're finally on our way... (4) only to realize we missed our stop because old ladies move way too slow and the train doors close way too fast - I ain't happy no mo'. (5) Right side of the tracks waiting for the train going the other way - Dustin's smiling; again, coz he's gonna go to his own personal U.S. Mint that is the show. Jeezus, the guy's grinning ear to ear - makes me ill.
(6) Finally at the hotel - this is two minutes after we get in. I swear, two minutes and we're already wreckin' the place. The room was pretty fancy-shmancy. (7) I'm so glad that we're there and that I can get off my feet I'm practically glowing.
(8) Dustin says, "Screw this sitting around, man - my bank account's not gonna fill itself!" So off we went - from our hotel... (9) to the Rosemont (aka Donald E. Stephens) Convention Center.
(10) "Ah," Dustin says. "Fort Knox." (11) You can almost hear the metal doors on the giant safe as we neared the entrance. (12) That's my homie - off to work. Like watchin' a shark swimming in a herd of seals, looking for his next meal. (13) "What the hell is Ferrigno doing in my mother-*&^%@in' safe?!?" exclaimed 'The Duss'.
(14) A man in his element, doin' FREE sketches...(15) and more FREE sketches...so generous (16) and generous enough to let me use up a spot at his table - otherwise known as 'The ATM Machine' (17) "Hey, The Duss...man, can you draw me a sketch?" a fan asks.
"Hmmm," ponders The Duss. "What's Eric drawing? Poison Ivy, huh? I'll do one and show his ass up. These are my fans, bitch!"
(18) "Who's cool and has two thumbs?" The Duss asks while thumbing to himself. That's an awesome Ivy drawing, dood. (19) Yeah, alright - his is waaay better. I only wish I had such a cool, sweeping signature. Someday...some day...
(20 through 28) Best part of the show, unlike my San Diego experience, is the fact that I had the opportunity to get away from the table and lo0k around. I managed to get these pictures of the kickass toys and statues displayed at the DC Comics booth. My personal favorite is the one of Batgirl - she rocks! So, the evening comes and back to the hotel we go - bringing to focus the point of this whooooole thing....($$$) Ladies and gentlemen, Pimp-a-liscious! Dustin asked me not to show what he was holding up in this photo, so I've respected his wishes and blacked it out. Anyway, the guy had so much of the blacked-out stuff he decided it was time to go to dinner and get his drink on.
(29) My depression hits an all time low that I decided that there's no better time to get into alcohol than the present. Hah! Jokes! I hate the beer! (30) The beautiful Marti and her beautiful, bald, boyfriend Joe Dodd. Joe's another talented artist that Dustin has decided to keep under his thumb. Talent scares talent. (31) Speaking of scary...these two are about an Bloomin' Onion and a couple of beers away from makin' a love connection. Hah! Seriously, though - look at the look on Mark's face. That's a nervous smile, let me tell you. Below camera Dustin's still thumbing at himself and saying, "Cool."
(32) I swear I don't drink - the true sign of a drinking problem is when you're caught on film and you *still* try to deny it. But yeah, I don't drink - Dustin just thought it'd be a funny joke. I swear I don't drink...I promise. I don't drink. Oh yeah: the grainy images? That's from Dustin's camera phone. The man makes blacked-out stuff like a slumlord but doesn't invest a dime on a decent digital camera. Go figure. (33) See? See?!? That's a glass of water in my hand, you bastards! Quit judging me! Me, The Duss, and Reuben Martinez - toy designer extraordinaire. (34) A perfect example that you can be talented as hell and still be a nice guy, Francis Manapul tolerates The Duss and takes an uncomfortable picture with him. Thanks for talkin' it up with us, Francis!Time to go home. (35 and 36) We stop at a restaurant in the airport, grab a bite to eat, before we get on our flight. All kidding aside folks, this was by far, the best show I have been to in a long, long time. And due, in no small part, to Dustin Nguyen - who put up with me during the trip, talked shop with me while we were on the plane and cracked me up with jokes the entire time we were sitting behind the table. Thanks, man. This was a nice, surprising end to a convention season that I thought was pretty crappy considering the SDCC show. (37) Here's the woman I was stalking. Hah! j/k...that's the alcohol talking. My fat fingers pressed the button accidentally - I didn't even know it 'til I got home. (38) "Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much flying with Oceanic Flight #815 non-stop to Los Angeles..." Uh-oh.
I get home and my baggage is heavier than before I left. I brought home some great SHWAG! (39: clockwise, top l to r) My handmade table name plate, the Chicago Transit train card, my boarding pass (oh, if you can avoid it, never, EVER fly American Airlines...such a pain), and my convention badge. (40: clockwise, top l to r) MaverikAnim - Girls, Sketches, and more : Art of Matt Stewart '06, MaverikAnim - Girls: Matt Stewart 'o5, Adam Hughes - 'Greatest H(T)its', 'Excess Baggage' - Mark Brooks 2006-07 sketchbook,'For A Few Dollar More' - a sketchbook by Philip Moy, and 'Comics and Stories' by Matt Horak.
(41) A man walks up to our table and introduces himself as writer Ian Edginton. He looks through my stuff, lights up, then proceeds to give me a copy of all of his work! I'm familiar with some of the books he gave me based on the artwork, but now I'm actually going to get a chance to read through them. Thanks for the books, Ian! I wish I could've given you more than just the B&B sketchbook. (42: clockwise, l to r) Francis Manapul 2006 Sketchbook, 'Street Sessions' Vol. 1, Francis Manapul 2005 Limited Edition Sketchbook, Takeshi Miyazawa - 'Paper Canvas', Bill Sienkiewicz 2006 Sketchbook, Kalman Andrasofszky - 'The Horhaus Files, Vol. 1'.
(43) Yeah, I bought some bootleg DVDs too - coz what's a comicbook convention without bootlegs? These two are 'Wonderful' and 'Samurai Champloo' - which I don't get what the hell the hype's all about? Because they shake the gaddam camera whenever they fight? Because the stories are slow and character development is minimal? To be fair, I've only gone through about 4 episodes, but geez...why's this thing get so much press?! 'Bebop' was/is so much better.
Okay, I took more pictures and bought more stuff, but this damn entry is long (and uninteresting) enough. Again, I wanna thank my hetero travel mate Dustin for inviting me and thanks to all the talented people I met while I was roaming Artist's Alley - Skottie Young, Greg Titus, Khary Randolph, Ryan Ottley, Mark Brooks, Takeshi, Kalman, Eddy Choi, Ivan Brandon and Andy McDonald, Mark Sable and Paul Azaceta, Keron Grant, Sanford Greene...and anyone else I'm forgetting (apologies) - you guys made that show for me.