The Friday before RCCC, I drove-up to pick-up our media badges. I felt on top of the world when I met Paula Brister and she them to me. Sure they had a typo, but these made me feel legit after writing this blog for almost 5 years. Also, I was glad to be able to have brought my friends to help and take photo's. I think this will work well for future events.
|Photo taken by John.
This is where the worst part of the event came in for me. We found a parking lot a couple blocks away, but they were doing some serious price-gouging for the weekend of the event. Where it was originally posted (I later learned) that parking was normally $3/hour or $9 for the day, that was covered-up and the machine was charging $5/hour with a 5 hour maximum. Also, when I bought our first 5 hours, it said that the ticket expired in less than an hour. Fortunately we didn't get towed or ticketed. I hope that the city would do something to make sure that things like this don't happen for future events... or this may be common for event weekends at the convention center. Who really knows. I didn't let this darken my day.
The first thing on our list of things to do was to was to go to the CBCS booth an get a witness for the covers we were picking-up and getting signed for Comic Book Covers 4 Cancer. CBCS donated 10 of their services to our cause. I had never used their service before, and had never had a witness for autographs I've gotten for my personal collection, so this was a new and unique experience for me. I am so thankful to both CBCS and especially Steve Paulus for making this an easy experience. I'll definitely be recommending them to anyone in search of comic book grading services.
American Cancer Society.
Our first stop would be to Phil Hester. Unfortunately, Phil had taken ill and was unable to make the event. We marshaled our forces and carried on to the next artist.
At this years Free Comic Book Day event at my LCS, Tony's Kingdom of Comics, I was officially introduced to Gary Martin and asked him if he would be interested and willing to donate a cover to help us out. He agreed and we provided the Mega Man artist with a Darth Vader blank to work on. What he produced blew my mind.
As a fan of the Fables series, I was giddy with joy when our next new contributing artist agreed to do a Princess Leia cover for us. I have met Chrissie Zullo before at a few other events to have my personal items signed, and have have always been a huge fan of her work. I knew that her art would look wonderful on a cover for CBC4C.
When I was getting ready to go for the event, I thought that it might be nice to ask get the pair of Will Eisner's The Spirit covers signed since both Matt Wagner and Dan Schkade were going to be there. They both liked the idea of CBC4C and also the art that graced the covers I was asking them to sign. Thankfully, this helped to fill-out the void that Phil Hester left.
When we arrived, there was a small line waiting for Hama to return to his table from a panel he was speaking at. By the time he returned, the line stretched around half the entire table area. While not surprising, Hama had a 2 autograph limit. Unfortunately, we had brought about 5 covers for him to sign for CBC4C and it wasn't until after the covers were submitted to CBCS that I thought about handing 2 off to each of my friends. Lessons learned for future events.
|Unfortunately, the photo of Hama that was taken at RCCC did not turn-out well.
Next up was the 2nd of the big experiences that we at CBC4C have been building-up to for RCCC. When I received word that I would be getting media passes for Rose City, I also submitted a request to do an interview with Wil Wheaton. Unfortunately, Wil was not giving any interviews. No problem. Shortly after it was announced that Carrie Fisher was going to be in attendance, I submitted a request to see if CBC4C could get a special signing for a few covers by Carrie Fisher and Wil Wheaton. Unfortunately, that was not to be had either. Due to our level of financial resources, we could only do one of the autograph sessions. We chose Wil Wheaton.
|Read bellow about why we don't have a personal photograph of Wil.
|Cover by Scott Carola.
Our last stop for covers being sent to CBCS was with Batman `66 artist Jeff Parker. When I originally contacted him, he was enthusiastic about donating and even mentioned he had some blanks available. We originally stopped by his table earlier, but he mentioned how he actually needed to draw the cover and asked if we could come back later. This was not a problem, and I was happy with what Jeff provided.
Once we dropped-off the covers for CBCS, there was one last stop for my work for CBC4C at RCCC. I finally got to meet on our long-time contributing artists, Martin Sabala Jr.
|Photo from Martin Sabala's Facebook page.
With my "duties" for CBC4C being done, now it was time to take-in the rest of the show. As I had previously mentioned, we came back to Larry Hama's table a couple more times to have most of my personal issues of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero signed. I really wished I had thought of giving my associates/friends the other CBC4C covers to have signed when we had the chance.
First was to get the rest of my personal comics signed by Larry Hama. It took a few trips, but we managed to get most of what I brought. The rest... and some carded action figures... will have to wait until November. (FYI- The photo's from here on out are taken by me. That's why they're not of better quality.)
The sketch cover in the middle is a work I commissioned from Randy Emberlin at Cherry City Comic Con in 2014.
That copy of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero is the very same copy my father bought me when I was a kid. I have to admit that I felt very honored to have it signed by Larry Hama. These really made my day!
At the final Stump Town Comic Fest in 2013, I met Ron Randall. He introduced me to his character, Mercy St. Clair aka Trekker. I bought his Image #1 issue as well as the Trekker ashcan and gave it a look. I was hooked! It was my quest to find, and add to my collection, every issue of Trekker and her appearances. This meant several issues of Dark Horse Presents as well as a couple mini series. I even bought the trade paperback and the omnibus.
When I saw Ron in August at NW Comic Fest, I told him I was only a few issues away from completing the Trekker collection. Thanks to using Comic Collector Live, I was able to procure the remaining issues to complete my collection... and everything now has been signed by Ron. These are a treasure in my collection.
I will also admit that I some times have a speculative eye when picking-up comics. For instance, I don't collect Invincible, but I had my LCS put a copy of the issue 100 covers for me. It sparked my interest and I thought I'd add this to my collection. Now they are signed by artist Ryan Ottley.
Along with Ryan's cover for The Walking Dead issue 100. This is another great example of my speculative attempts at buying comics. They don't happen often, but they do happen.
The single comic I purchase at RCCC this year was from an artist named Ben Hansen. What drew me in was a G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero cover he had depicting Snake Eyes with Darth Maul, but it was this Star Wars cover that nearly took my breath away when I saw it.
Ben presented some great art at his table, and in the back of my mind I knew I wanted him to possibly be a contributing artist to CBC4C. So I asked, "Have you ever done work for charity before." His response was "Nobody has ever asked." Without thinking twice I said "Not any more." I provided him with my card and gave him the lowdown on CBC4C. I hope that we can make things happen in the near future.
While I was looking around in the artist area, I came upon the table for Gene A. Guilmette from Road Less Traveled Press. He asked me "What's 'Zanziber's Point of View'?" I informed him that I do weekly reviews of trade paperback and graphic novels. His response to that was "Have you ever reviewed a children's book?" Of course I haven't, but then he presented me with this...
As he explained it to me, Between Here and the Lint Trap would have been the type of book I would have loved to have read, or had read to me, as a child. I offered to buy the copy he handed me, but he informed me that he would appreciate the review. Stay tuned for it in the near future.
Things that I noticed specifically about the con:
- I think the fact that there's a growing number of attendees every year and the parking at the convention center being full early is a testament to the popularity of this annual event.
- Even though there were a large number of people. I never felt crowded as I did at the last Emerald City Comic Con I attended a few years back. I really hope it stays that way.
- There was a moment where a woman had lost her daughter in the crowd. In a matter of maybe 10-15 minutes, mother and daughter had been reunited safely. Kudos to all the involved Henchmen and attendees.
- I love how they have the areas marked off where you can see them. i.e. Section 600. Artist Area B. This made the floor easy to navigate to where we needed to go next.
I didn't realize until I got to my hotel that the Ghost Rider trade is actually a volume 2. Now I need to get volume 1 somewhere.
That's it for my time at this years event. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, and I'm already looking forward to next year!