Flew in on Friday. I almost missed my flight because I had a connection from Dayton to Cincinnati, and the first flight was an hour delayed. I ran through the Cincy airport to the gate and was the last one on the plane. A little sweaty and out of breathe, I felt a bit like Hurley from Lost when he races to catch that fateful flight. As we flew into Seattle, I saw a postcard perfect scene of the Puget Sound with misty mountains in the background. Didn't have the camera with me, so you'll have to trust me that it was beautiful. After checking in, I walked around downtown for a bit, looking for a decent place to eat, maybe cheap, where I wouldn't feel like a goon being by myself. Finding no such thing, I walked back to the hotel, where the guy at the counter recommended the Hurricane Cafe across the street. It's a kind of gritty 24 hour cafe and bar for rockers. It was like a place frozen in time at 1993, with the Grunge music scene in full effect, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Jane's Addiction over the Juke Box speakers, and dudes with pony tails under their frayed baseball caps. Sampled some local brew and had some of the best onion rings I had ever tasted. Granted, I was very tired and hungry, but they were damn good!
Up early Saturday morning, Seattle native Jason Palmer and his lovely wife met me at the hotel to help me lug my stuff to the con. It was busy on the show floor, and quick. I was walking to my table with a breakfast sub when a crowd of people flew past on their way to Adam Hughes' table. The winner of the race throwing up his hands and declaring "First!", (though actually being first means little to Mr. Hughes as he chooses which requests he's going to draw off the list.) I was busy all day, meeting the locals, doing sketches and selling the books. Pretty soon my sketch list was full for the day and by the time the floor closed on Saturday, I only had 2 copies of Guns of Shadow Valley left on the table! That night it was back to the Hurricane for food and drinks with The Palmers, Martin Galloway, Scott and Brian from Resolution Comics, and Big Jim Miller and his crew from Canada. I'm pretty sure I'm forgetting somebody here. We all came in and out at at different times, this is why I shouldn't start naming names and just keep things vague, right? Brian, Scott and I stayed late, talked some comics until Scott mysteriously disappeared. Saw him again the next day, so he must have survived.
Sunday, after a quick breakfast with Simon and Pat Loika, on to the show floor. It was slow going at first (typical for a Sunday), but quickly became busy (not typical for a Sunday). More sketches, more visitors, more books and prints sold. The Guns of Shadow Valley sold out once again! That's 3 cons now where it's sold out, and the other two cons it came very close. Johnny Wadd sold pretty well, too. I was so busy with sketches again that I had to stop accepting requests or I'd never get to see any of the con. Finally, at 3:30 I was able to hit the show floor while Pat kindly watched the table for me. I chatted with Shane White (artist: Overman from Image Comics), who was friendly as always as I looked through his amazing artwork. I nabbed a beautiful silkscreen print from Becky Cloonan and a Punisher print from Dave Johnson. I saw that girl from Firefly as she was packing up to leave. At the Slave Labor booth I had a nice conversation with Charles Soule and Allen Gladfelter the creative team behind Strongman. I grabbed a copy and read it on the plane trip back. I really enjoyed this tale of a washed up Luchadore and crime fighter and his last chance at redemption. Highly recommended! After the show I tagged along with Pat, Simon and their friends to the Spaghetti Factory. That place was packed with kids, but it wasn't too bad. Y'know, for a chain restaurant. We all parted ways and I was dropped at the hotel, where I collapsed, exhausted, and drifted to slumberland.
Humongous thanks to everyone who stopped by, got a book, sketch or print, or just chatted me up. It's the people who really make these shows worthwhile, and the folks at this show were awesome!
Seattle was a cool town and I hope to spend more time exploring it the next time I'm there. The con was fantastic. Big but not too big. The staff was organized and courteous. Lots of friendly, outgoing people, plenty of kids having a great time, it was super busy but not packed to the gills. Every exhibitor and guest I talked with seemed to be having a great time. I'll be back again next year, definitely!
Now, for some pics:
Jason "Frank Castle" Palmer: