Friday, May 09, 2008

NYCC: Better Late Than Never

This is my belated, and somewhat rambling, 'Post-New York Comic-Con" post. Sorry for the delay, I've been having some ISSUES that I'll explain later. First...the CON:

The convention was a big event that actually felt like San Diego on Saturday. By that I mean it was huge, crowded and pretty overwhelming! I missed the first two years of NYCC, but I'm sure that this year was better, if for no other reason than the weather! Whoever decided that February was a good month for a convention in NYC has something seriously wrong with him. On the other hand, April is a great time to be in the city.

And that's really what I enjoyed most: being back in my hometown, wandering around, and best of all, seeing a lot of old pals. Marie was kind enough to put me up and show me the wonders of Jersey City's newer public transit system. We also visited her offices at Teshkeel and celebrated her birthday! It was really great to catch up with my pal from the "Old Marvel" days, Marcus McLaurin. He looks just the same to me. Also, I noticed in the convention program that Mark Chiarello and Jack Morelli were signing their new book, Heroes of the Negro Leagues, so made it a point to drop by, visit and buy their book. You can buy one here:

And you really should. It's really stunning! That Chiarello dude has skills.

I enjoyed visiting with other old pals & acquaintances like Klaus Janson, Rick Parker, Mark Powers, Jason Liebig, Jim Salicrup, Ron Garney, and Erik Larsen, just to name a few. I also got to meet some of my editors for the first time, in the flesh, which is also nice (a shout out to Rachel Gluckstern and Andy Schmidt!)

TOKYOPOP actually flew me out for the con, so that I could help promote Battle of the Bands and the new Princess Ai anthology that I contributed to (thanks, Mandy!). To earn my plane ticket I sat on a few panels. I think I'm getting somewhat better at the whole public speaking thing. It's very difficult for me, and I always feel like I come across like a stuttering idiot. Not like Amy Reeder Hadley (author of Fool's Gold), who cracked me up. I enjoyed meeting her & look forward to seeing more of her work. Here's a little sketch she did for me after the panel on "Writing For Manga..."

Isn't that nice?

For some stupid reason I walked without rest and without eating anything all of Saturday. I think I must have walked 30 miles. Whatever. When I got back to Marie's apartment, I thought I was going to die. Sunday ,I hopped a ferry across the Hudson and arrived at the Javits Center just in time for my last panel, Humor and Manga. Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling very funny. In fact, I felt downright awful! Still, I did my best and, luckily, Amy Hadley stole the show again. I spent the rest of the day wandering about in much discomfort, and disappointed that I hadn't earned the feeling by staying out drinking the night before! What a rip off!

When I got home on Monday, I still felt really crappy and after a few days went to the doctor to find that I have a case of THE SHINGLES! If you are unfamiliar with it, the shingles is basically the Chicken Pox virus that has been lying dormant in my body since I was a child. For reasons unknown, it returns sometimes in adults as "shingles," which is horribly painful, and contagious--not as shingles, but as chicken pox, to those who have not been exposed to it before. :) To make matters more interesting, my trip to NYC put me way behind in my work, so I've been struggling to catch up ever since!

This is why I've been remiss in my blogging; a nice mix of discomfort, general busyness, and a tad of self-pity!

In any case, the rash is almost gone, and I'm no longer contagious, but the pain lingers on, and there's not much to do about it. Hopefully it will go away soon. Meanwhile, tomorrow is my birthday and I'm hoping that a couple of mojitos will help me feel better! I'm kind of bummed that I have been unable to train for the diabetes ride next week, so most likely, I will have to skip it, even if I suddenly get better. My thanks to those of you who donated money to sponsor me for the ride. I feel bad about not living up to my end of the bargain, but what can I do? Sorry about that--it's still a good cause!

Anyway, that's my news-in-brief. Hope you have a great weekend!

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