Irritating Archery #5 – Conventional Wisdom


It’s early in convention season and with this weekend being my first show of the year in WonderCon I figure rather than blather on about convention etiquette like so many other columns and podcasts do I would instead share the great wisdom that is the greatest memories from my convention going life.  And I’ve had an interesting convention life.  From my first show ever at Emerald City in Seattle to the one I ran with a friend of mine here in Eugene, I have so many stories to pick from that it’s hard to narrow it down to the best.  But narrow it down I shall.  Because I am awesome.  And awesome people are decisive.  I’m also an idiot.  And idiots are really good at pretending to be awesome!   


My convention Life Started soon after I first got back into comics.  I had friends in Seattle that my family decided we would visit and I would go to this Emerald City ComicCon.  This was either it’s first or second year.  While I was there I met far too many people.  From Steve Sadowski to Gail Simone there were so many people to meet and greet.  It was at that show where I saw this huge line of people waiting for one man.  Mr. Brian Michael Bendis.  The line was absolutely ridiculous.  The funny thing was was that I had no comprehension of convention etiquette.  None at all.  During the third day after he returned from a panel I got in towards the front of a newly formed line.  It was a funny thing because I had a very small stack of comics.  One single arc.  The guy in front of me had a massive stack.  The guy behind me had half of a short box.  I got up and gave him the books.  commented on how much I loved the book and he signed my small stack with his full name.  Which was weird because everyone else was getting B!  I made it a point to grab one of the Prints he had advertising Powers on the table to have him sign and told him I was going to put it on the wall of my Shop.  He looked at the stack of the guy behind me and proceeded to grab a massive stack of the Powers print and signed the entire thing.  This massive stack of Fliers and he just signed away.  Then he proceeded to tell me that hey, if he’s going to be signing that much for everyone else why not me as well.  It was at that point that I learned the rule that in a busy line, I should just limit my signing to one story arc or just a few issues.  If I want more I can always get back in line.   I just thought that was an awesome thing to do and it made it so that everyone in my shop got themselves a signed print.  And that, IS AWESOME!  It’s what turned me on to conventions as a whole but also helped me realize that these are awesome people who love comics just as much as the fans do.     


Well, that was heartwarming, and there is only one way to follow up heartwarming.  You follow it up with something funny.  This time from  San Diego Comic-Con baby.  I can say this is still the greatest thing to have ever happened to me.  And what is that you ask?  Well Scientology of course!   Yes Scientology!  A wonderful dose of insanity strewn right next to the desk I was hanging out at with the mighty Pat Loika (Who by the way I have heard screw this story up on multiple podcasts.  GET IT RIGHT PAT!)  It being my first show I was looking around for new books to support.  I found a small publisher called Ronin Studios.  For some reason the guys behind the desk kind of clicked with me and to this day they are my favorite people to spend time with.  Since then they’ve gone on to start their own group of awesomeness but during the event I shall speak of there were only a few of us there.  The ironic this was that these guys were putting out violent and funny books.  but they were sitting right in between Papercutz (Children’s and christian bookstore) and of course, Scientology.  Now the Scientologists were annoying as hell all throughout the weekend but Saturday brought the brilliance.   So a few of us are sitting there, talking comics and just bull shitting with each other when the Scientologist guy comes up with a new Shtick.  Up till that point he had just bee dragging people over and being in your face with telling people to buy L-Ron books.  But he decided to try himself a new tactic.  He grabbed some poor guy and dragged him over to the booth asking (More like demanding) “Hey, Hey, Hey, Would you like to take a survey?”  


So of course the kid says, “Yeah, whatever, ok”  


And the conversation begins.  


“Do you like to read?”  




“Do you like books?”  


“Not really”  


“Do you like Graphic Novels?”  




“Do you like comic books?”  


“I love comics”  


*Proceeds to grab a plastic wrapped stack of the entire missin earth series from the desk*   ”




our entire group siting at our table just exploded with laughter.  I was hard enough holding it in before that but that just took it to a freakish extreme of hilarity.  The guy just explodes with 5000 page graphic novel.  But then again he is right.  You should see the way that bastard draws an A.  Alex Ross has got nothing.  The next days of the show were filled with nothing but us sitting there laughing hysterically at it and it’s still easily our favorite convention story to tell because hell, all of us love telling it when we can.  The sheer randomness of the graphic novels.  It even lead to a classic image from my sketchbook that year.


and speaking of classic images from my sketchbook.  I guess it’s only right to share a bit of the classics.  And is another one of my favorite convention moments.  It’s when I randomly decided that Hey, I love Green Arrow, but I’m also insane…  Now How can I combine the 2?  Well, Enter Chris Moreno and Robbie Rodriguez who last year at Wondercon decided to begin a war of attrition.  A war to see who could make my sketchbook the most hilarious.     It started with Robbie.



Which was awesome.  But then Chris Moreno decided he could be funnier.  



The battle is still not done.  No you will have to wait to see the rest at the finale of the ridiculous comedy sketchbook battle which now has about 10 artists giving it their Ollie.   There are many a great things to do at conventions.  I love the sketches and just hanging out with friends I only get to see a few times a year.  So go to one, take advantage of the time to have fun.    


Geek Out Of The Week – Comics – Firebreather #4

When it comes to comics Phil Hester is just as good at writing as he is at the drawing of pretty pictures.  If you like the fun style of a lot of the image books this is just more of it.  But for some reason I absolutely love the character.  Even in this issue when tragedy strikes it still manages to be fun rather than dark and brooding.  The backup as well is one of the most adorably brilliant things on the market today.  Give the book a shot.  You won’t be disappointed.  


Geek Out of the Week – Gaming – Puzzle Quest : Galactrix (DS, PC, PS2, PS3, XBox 360)

It’s A puzzle game, It’s an RPG, and it’s in freaking space!  What’s not to love.  For those who played the original it was pretty much the match 3 of bejeweled combined with magic usage, more strategy, and combat.  You matched 3’s to make mana and deliver damage and then the holes would fill from the top.  It was fun and it was awesome.  But it was still just Battle Bejeweled.  This time around it’s different.  It’s in space so, No Gravity.  You have an octagonal board and it always fills from behind.  It’s zero gravity baby.  Yes, it’s still a match 3 or more game but the shields and other additions make it a superior product.  I’ve only been able to play a couple hours in but have loved every second of it.  


Next Week In Geek –   


Blue Beetle #36  

I’m Sad.  It’s the final issue.  This is a sad day for people who like fun.  It sucks.  It truly sucks that this book has to go as Matt Sturges was knocking it out of the park since he came on.  It finally felt like the book of old after some tolerable fill-ins.  But to lose it so fast is sad.  They tried.  They really did.  Unfortunately the book is now gone.  And I am eagerly anticipating as well as dreading this final issue.    


Mouse Guard Winter 1152 #5

Do I actually have to say anything about this one.  If you haven’t tried Mouse Guard GET TO IT!  You are missing out on one of the best Indy Comics of the decade.  It is awesome, It is fun, and it’s beautiful.  Fantastic Storytelling and art combine to make a book that absolutely anyone can enjoy.  


Fear Agent #26

There seems to be a theme involving fun books today.  Fun Fun Fun.  That’s fear agent.  Just ridiculous crazy fun.  And this storyline has just been more of the same awesome that you should have been reading since the book started all those years ago.  Seriously, Check it out.  


Dynamo 5 #20

Theme.  It’s fun.  It’s fantastic, and it’s a perfect jumping on point.  Especially if you did like I told you last week and snagged the Issue #0 for 99c to catch you up.  It’s Superhero action, It’s soap operatic dysfunctional family dynamics, and it’s every single kind of fun.  Buy it, read it, enjoy the hell out of it.  I know I have.  


Fallout 3 DLC #2 – THE PITT

While Operation Alaska didn’t make my list this one does.  At this point in looking at things this one looks to be a lot more involved than Alasa was.  Hopefully more exploration and chances to be good or evil.  Here is hoping.  Something to tide me over until the next expansion which Changes the horrid ending to the game.    


That’s it for this week.  Got a convention story of your own, Leave a comment below, ( Or if you are Loika, Leave an apology for always messing it up :p)   Next week I’m in San Francisco for Wondercon and an NHL Hockey game so follow my time down there on the twitter feed at where I’ll be regularly updating anything I deem news as I find it.

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