Thursday, July 22, 2010

A San Diego Hangover Without Traveling

without travel this time. So, for the first time in 23 years i'm going to be missing the San Diego Media Con and, not to put too fine a point on this, I have utterly mixed feelings about it.

Let me try to explain.

There are rituals and there are rituals. Long after Iron Man #72 introduced me to the idea of attending the convention, then still located in the old San Diego Convention Center in the middle of downtown, I attended my first convention in 1988. I was an unpublished neophyte sleeping underneath my leather jacket on the floor of the Westgate Hotel thanks to the generosity of Ron Lim. I believe that i picked up the splash page to Master of Kung fu #40 that year, as well as watching the classic Gil Kane cover to Iron Man #66 get sold right before my eyes.

Did i mention that it was a heady experience? Oh, and i would have to wait a whole nother year before meeting Jack Kirby for the first time.

This set a pattern. For the next two decades plus I've journeyed each year down to SD for a variety of reasons. And I recall them all for the touch points on my life: meeting Jack for the first time in 1989, hanging with Dringenberg and buying Sandman #8 pages in '91, meeting David Lapham in '92, drinking with Wrightson, Russell and Kaluta at the Omni in '94, signing at the DC booth with my Batman book about to hit the stands two weeks after the con in '00, taking the chance of missing my wife going into labor with our second child in '03. I've been going down there longer than i've been married, had children, pretty much longer than anything.

And this is the first year that i'm not going down. And I'll miss it. But there are a ton of things that i'm not sure i'll miss. I'm going to miss all my long time contacts that i see once a year on that packed convention floor. I'm going to miss the ease with which i navigate those aisles to get where i want to go. I'm going to miss taking down a new pitch as i did with lis fies in '08 and taking meetings. I miss the smell of belonging.

but I'm not going to miss not belonging. This business is merciless, and despite inking part of Palmiotti and Gulacy's Timebomb for Radical, I'm not part of their marketing on the book. No one gives a shit that i did those pages. I got paid well for them, but, lets face it, my ego isn't getting stroked for helping to get the book out.

I want to matter more. I love this medium and as i sip some tequila and draw a bunch of new pictures on paper hoping that some will care and yet caring not because it feels so good to be drawing and having something cool appear out of nowhere on a blank sheet of paper, I miss the getting on the plane with my portfolio tomorrow morning, as i have for 23 year, and landing in the humidity of SD.

I want to contribute to the graphic novel market that i swore would come back in 1996 when i sat in the bullpen at Valiant and tried to convince everyone that the day would come. That the market would eventually accept us. I SAW this, I saw this all. And i wish that i had the time to make more pages, to convert the stories ion my head into physical books faster.

I want to matter more. And its hard not to.

So I won't be be walking aisles of SD this year, critiquing the new hardbacks, trying to figure out which party to crash, which packed san diego restrauant to slide into. Dick's Last Resort will have to do without me.

I want to matter more. And its hard not to.



Saranga said...

they didn't credit you on a book?
that's fucking cheeky.

Kid Sis said...

UGH. I totally feel you.

Let's have a virtual beer tonight!

inkdestroyedmybrush said...

@ saranga - to clarify: they did credit me on the book, i simply am not part of their marketing plan for the book, which includes a couple signings at SDCC that i was not invited to.

Obviously, they did nothing wrong, I'm just not a "name" that they want (or need) at the booth. Just wish that i could do it. Quite honestly, its a big fun ego stroke to sign a new book at San Diego, so its a bummer.

@Kidsis - getting virtually drunk is less exciting than the real thing. but thats alls i gots these days.

Saranga said...

oh i see. well that's still a bit off.

Adam Black said...

You matter to me, dude. Which may or may not matter to you, but what the hell. :)

inkdestroyedmybrush said...

@ adam - 'preciate that dude. thanks.