Posts Tagged ‘Wondercon 2011’

Wondercon Recap (Part 2)

April 7, 2011 @ 10:05 am | Filed under: ,

Saturday evening, back at the con. That’s when the Bestest Thing Ever happened. Should I show the picture again? All right, since you’ve twisted my arm.

After I met Charlotte Stewart—did I mention I met Charlotte Stewart?—I almost got knocked over by this fellow.

Not the little boy. The guy with the five-foot-long tail. A tail which needed one of those sensors that tell you if you’re about to bump into unsuspecting passersby who may or may not be distracted over having just met Miss Beadle.

We had dinner plans with our friend Kelley Puckett, writer of The Batman Adventures, Batgirl, Supergirl, and other cool stuff. We had tapas, which is pretty much my favorite way to eat: a little something off everybody’s plate.

I did not take pictures. I was too busy eating off everyone’s plate.

After dinner we went around the corner to a small gathering of other kidlit and comics folks, where I got to hang out with one of my favorite couples in the world: the brilliant Jennifer Holm and her husband Jonathan Hamel. Jenni, as I’m sure you know, writes the Babymouse books and just won her third Newbery Honor (third!) for Turtle in Paradise—which is a really marvelous book and you should read it, if you haven’t already. It’s set in Depression-era Key West and involves a spunky heroine, a wonderfully quirky and distinctive culture, and real buried treasure. Also, it made Scott cry.

This photo is from the next day, on the con floor. Don’t mind my straight-out-of-1980 jacket. I thought we were doing a taping of Charlie’s Angels but Kate Jackson never showed up.

On Sunday morning, we met our friend Brian Stelfreeze—one of the best artists in the business—for breakfast. At Denny’s. None of this $20 burned toast nonsense. As a rule I won’t pay a penny above $6.99 for burned toast.

At some point that day, Scott slipped Brian my sketchbook. Not a book of my sketches, which would likely make Brian’s eyes burn, but a book of drawings by friends of ours who are artists. This is something of a custom in the industry, passing one’s sketchbook around, but I’m terribly shy about it and pretty much never ask for a sketch myself. Scott does it on my behalf, though, and I get embarrassed, and then later I look at the drawings and get giddy over how awesome they are. Bob Boyle drew me a Wubzy! Jock drew me a Batman! Fiona Staples drew me a Super-Me!

Of course I was DYING to ask Brian for a sketch but I would never have done it because at a con he’s spending the whole DAY doing sketches (and in his case, even paintings) for people. But Scott asked him, and I yelled at Scott and was secretly thrilled.

I don’t seem to have any pictures from the Sunday afternoon kids’ comics panel that Scott and Jenni were on. I guess I was too busy taking notes. I have pages and pages to write up for a post about the panel, which was fantastic. OH WAIT, I know I took pictures—I bet they’re still on my camera. Well, I’ll save them for that post, I guess.

After the panel, Scott and I found a quiet little Italian restaurant a few blocks from the hotel, and I got all excited because they served sauteed chicken livers and mushrooms, a dish I haven’t had since Scott’s first year in New York City, when we used to go to this tiny little place called Boccaccio and they beamed at me for always devouring their house special, chicken livers and mushrooms in a marsala sauce. Oh my. Amazing.

We were just finishing up when Brian called; he was around the corner and wanted to drop off my sketchbook. And when I saw what he’d done for me I got all choked up.

It was Oracle. Oracle is my favorite character in comics. If you don’t know, Oracle is Barbara Gordon, who used to be Batgirl but then the Joker shot her and shattered her spine, and now she’s wheelchair-bound, and she’s like a one-woman Google (from way before there was a Google), amazingly adept with computers and information-gathering and hacking. The Batman calls upon her assistance all the time. That’s right: Batman relies on Oracle’s help. That’s how awesome she is.

Scott and Brian did an Oracle story together in 1994. It’s an incredibly gorgeous work of art.

As is this.

Not all superheroes wear Spandex.

Wondercon Recap (Part 1)

April 6, 2011 @ 3:02 pm | Filed under:

Before I forget!

My parents arrived last Thursday to look after the kids. Scott and I got on the road Friday morning and drove the scenic, and sometimes fragrant, I-15 / I-210 / I-5 route to San Francisco.

I took a lot of very bad pictures with my phone and sent them to Facebook. Some of my camera photos came out marginally better.

I took this for my children. Some of them have never seen snow. This boggles my mind.

We reached Oakland as rush hour was winding down and were surprised by how relatively rapidly we made it across the bridge.

Approaching the Bay Bridge. I couldn’t see Alcatraz from the car. I wanted to.

This was our hotel, just a couple of blocks from the Moscone Center where Wondercon took place.

WHY didn’t we go up to the top and take in the view? I am kicking myself now. We were so busy the whole time, it just never occurred to me.

After we checked in, we headed over to The Thirsty Bear to say hello to our pal Mike Costa. This is the best part of cons, in my book: the chance to spend time with our writer and artist friends. We hung out there for a while with Mike, Rebekah Isaacs, Christos Gage, Amy Reeder Hadley, and Mike’s friend Josh Hauke, who writes a webcomic for kids, Tales of the Brothers Three, that I’m looking forward to checking out. Because restaurant noise drowned out the introductions, we didn’t actually catch Amy’s full name and it wasn’t until the next day, when we ran into her on the floor, that Scott realized she was Amy Reeder Hadley the artist, and then he geeked out adorably because he’s a huge fan of her work.

Saturday morning we breakfasted in the hotel, where we had the privilege of paying an insane amount of money for eggs, bacon, and burned toast. Burned! Really! Then we walked over to the Moscone Center, got our badges, and took a first walk around the floor.

It was nice and empty, at that point. Later in the day the con sold out and there were wall-to-wall bodies. Note to self: next time, shop for the kids early, before the crowds get thick.

No line! Should’ve grabbed the chance.

We ambled the aisles and encountered some friends and other familiar faces in Artist Alley, including fellow San Diegan Eric Shanower (Age of Bronze series, Oz graphic novels, and many other works); artist and total sweetheart Joel Gomez; and the talented Hope Larson, whose graphic novel, Mercury, happened to be the book I had brought along for the trip. (Scott stole it from me and finished it before I did. But I got my chance on Sunday evening, and it was very good—a sort of eerie and mysterious tale that weaves in and out of two time periods in Nova Scotia. Very cool.)

Eric Shanower signs a book for a fan.

I lingered a while over the handiwork of this nice woman at Blue Moon Designs, whose handsewn bustles and other goodies made me a little swoony.

A weird thing about digital photography is that I can track what we did each day by the timestamps on my photos. iPhoto tells me that we left the con at 11:30—Scott’s panel wasn’t until the next day, and we had decided to spend part of Saturday exploring San Francisco since it was my first time there.

Don’t fret, Jean Grey! We’ll be back.

We went back to the hotel to drop off our swag. The red-brick church next door is St. Patrick’s, where we went to Mass on Sunday morning.

For the next few hours, Scott and I wandered around San Francisco. We walked up Powell Street, which we’d been warned was a little hilly.

It only *almost* killed me.

This post is getting really long. I’ll be back later with Part 2.

Wondercon Was Wonderful

April 4, 2011 @ 5:56 pm | Filed under: ,

Much to tell. Later. We drove all day and reached home before rush hour got ugly, hooray. Boy do I love a road trip with that husband of mine. Or any kind of trip, really. Or just staying home with him. Him, basically.

We had a great time in San Francisco. Lots of pictures and stories to share, as is always the case after a con. For now, just one little sneak peek of one of the best, the very very best, moments of the whole weekend.

That’s right! I MET MISS BEADLE! Charlotte Stewart, the perfectly lovely actress who played Laura’s beloved teacher on Little House in the Prairie, was there at a table in the convention hall, and I totally geeked out when I saw her. Got speechless and stammery and gushed like crazy. And she was so nice and friendly and warm, and I am thrilled to bits to have met her. I told her about my books, and she told me about the Little House Reunion Cruise that is happening in November, with Charlotte, and the hilarious Alison Arngrim (Nellie Oleson), and Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush (Baby Carrie), and Dean Butler (Almanzo), and ohhhh how much would I love to go?!

I told Charlotte how much I loved the gentleness and patience of her Miss Beadle, and she told me she modeled the character after her sister, a mother of eight. I love that.