Man, Joel Plaskett’s NOWHERE WITH YOU is fantastic, isn’t it? I mean, this isn’t a new development, but, damn, It’s perfect blogging music. Heh. Maybe that explains my blog more than anything?
I’m going to be in San Diego for the big show this week. I don’t think I ever actually mentioned that? At least I was talking to a few people today who were kind of surprised that I would be there. Hey, between you and me, I wasn’t legal to fly into the country until this morning at 10am when I picked up my passport for the first time. But I’ll be there, and I’m looking forward to it. I’ll have those two postcards I previewed a few posts back, and will be dispersing them amongst TCAF attendees and they’ll be dispersing them from there… Other than that, no plans except for meetings, schmoozing, and putting in a few hours on the day job selling original art for The Beguiling. Oo, speaking of which, I’m gonna run some PR at the end of this message. Apologies. :)
So, I wanted to include at least a little bit of content in this post, so I’ve come up with my Top 5 Favourite Memories of the San Diego Comic Con.
1. Being recognized from the blog. I was working for Drawn & Quarterly for a year or two at shows, before Peggy Burns and Tom Devlin and co. made me obsolete, and if you ever get a chance to work behind a booth at San Diego I recommend it. Being able to put at least 10 feet between you and every other human in the building? Not to be underestimated. Anyway, my badge said “Chris Butcher, Drawn & Quarterly” which I thought was anonymous enough (I still kept getting mistaken for Chris Oliveros though… yikes!) and I was helping a customer when they sort of did a double-take at my badge and said “Hey, do you do that blog? I love that blog!” and it was the first time a stranger had ever recognized my name. I was totally flustered (which probably doesn’t fit your mental image of me) but it was really gratifying to know that real people read what I wrote, and enjoyed it.. It only took 90,000 people for one of them to recognize me :).
2. Going “Retro” Dancing on a Saturday night before Retro was cool. The second time I went to San Diego, Chynna Clugston of Blue Monday fame had a dance party on Saturday night… in REAL San Diego. Not the San Diego where the convention centre is–the tourist area. But you know, up… North. Where people actuallyÂ live. So me and Elin Winkler from Radio Comix, and maybe a friend of hers? We all piled into a taxi and went $19.00 away from the convention centre to… fuck, I have no idea. At any rate, it was a great little club, the drinks were cheap, and the music was awesome. IÂ think Chynna regularly leads excursions on Saturdays,Â so if you’re cool enough, see if you can grab an invite.
3. Big Gay Dinner: The First. My friends Scott Robins, Aman Chaudhary, and myself all ended up having a sort of strange sushi dinner in San Diego, and we decided we’d make it an annual event. Being the social convenor that he is, Aman took the reigns and thus, The Big Gay Dinner is born. An off-the-record chance for gay comics fans and professionals to mix in a swanky, fabulous restaurant and lounge, the party’s a lot bigger now than I imagined it would be, but it’s always a great time. That very first one, who would have thoughtÂ mediocre buffet sushi would have turned into one of the best…and most exclusive… parties in town? Always my fav event of the weekend. Drop me a line if you want an invite.
4. BUTCHERRRRRRR!!!!!: So I was a big loudmouth on The Warren Ellis Forum back in the day, and my first few Comic-Cons were spent attending WEF meet-ups and hanging with friends I’d met there. Sadly, as I got busier in the comics industry (either working for D&Q or doing Beguiling stuff or just mixing social circles) I was spending less time with truly awesome folks like Dan Evans, Charlie Chu, Han, Jason,Â Travis, Sam Humphries,Â the DeFractions, and… well, people. I felt bad, but I had like a billion different things to do and 5 days isn’t really long enough. I guess… I guess Dan felt particularly slighted, because one night a few years back, Dan sees me–big guy, red hair, freckles–walking down the street a block ahead of him. And so he calls out to me. BUTCHERRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!! No Response. Now, I don’t know for a fact that Dan had had anything to drink that night. But he was particularly determined. BUTCHERRRRRRR!!!! only louder this time. Still no response. Did I mention that this person was not me? So Dan, thinking this is me, maybe ignoring/avoiding him? Just starts screaming BUTCHER!!!! louder and louder and following this guy. Him and a few other people. So it turns out, later in the evening, I DO catch up with Dan and those guys at a party on some hotel lawn. And Dan’s like THERE YOU ARE I WAS CALLING FOR YOU. I’m like “dude, what? No, I was off at a party [or something].” And he’s like, “No, we saw you walking down the street and now you’re saying that it wasn’t you cuz you’re embarassed.” They tell me about screaming BUTCHERRRRR!!!!!!! at some big red-headed dude. And I asked Dan “Did you notice have blonde hair this year?” because this is the San Diego where I dyed my hair blonde. We’re talking right-out-of-the-bottle.Â And Dan’s looking at me like… no… wait… and someone else there says something to the effect of “Oh shit, we were screaming BUTCHER!!!! at some random white guy for like 5 blocks.”
Whoever you were, I’m sorry, but at least I got a great story out of it. Dan still won’t admit it wasn’t me.
5. My first. You never forget your first. Scott Grunewald, the former editor of PopImage, booked a whole hotel for a bunch of WEFers. It was more-or-less god awful (I don’t even think it’s there any more),Â far away from the show, I was flat broke and a zombie for the whole trip due to some weird sleep stuff. I may owe Scottieboy for the room actuallyl. It was probably the best possible introduction to San Diego, the craziness of it all and the uncertainty and the fact that you just have to make do sometimes and relax and enjoy yourself, because I’ve had a great time at the show ever since. Thanks to Scottie for getting me there in the first place, lo those many years ago (2001- I even just found Han’s photoset from the occasion…). I hope your San Diego is as memorable.
P.S.: I also dyed my hair fuschia later that show. Thanks to Elin for the hair dye, and to everyone else for at least laughing behind my back.
P.P.S.: The worst time I had in San Diego was when James didn’t get me into the Dead Dog Party that all of my friends were at, and I was sad. To get back at him, I’ve never stayed over in San Diego on Sunday night since, thereby ensuring he can’t make it up to me.Â
(Press release removed due to formatting wierdness.)