now with more photos!!
BEING LOST AND ASSORTED THINGS
a bunch of other good and interesting and stuff stuff happened at the con, too. i saw Ross Campbell again and bought some minis and prints off of him, but it seems like every damn time i manage to swing by the Oni booth when he's there, it's always toward the end of the convention day when i'm all jittery and tired from no food/water and large crowds. so i ended up looking like a doofus when talking to him, but he was still pretty nice about things and signed stuff. oh well, i could try to explain myself in email or comments to him, but that'd be overkill, so i'll just wait until the next con.
double thumbs up from Ross!!
at one point in the convention Angela and i were making through the floor with our portfolios trying to talk to people and ended up getting separated in the large mass near the WB booth. it was hectic because i lost contact with her for a while, but i got to see Chuck from Chuck signing at the booth, so that was neat.
so i set up my phone to get twitter updates from people going to the con and text updates and so on, right? well my phone ended up crapping out on my, overloading from too many texts and shutting off after being on for a few minutes. super sucked ass. my phone ended up dying just before that, so i ended up with no way of getting a hold of Angela. so i rushed around and stopped and rushed around the aisles, torn between trying to find her and figuring that if i stayed in one spot, that she would find me. during one of the stops i saw Claudio Sanchez (frontman of Coheed and Cambria walking by with this looking like "oh man,i hope noone recognizesssss meeeee." i tapped on shoulder and asked him casually where i could buy his new comic (KillAudio) and he pointed the other way, told him i liked his stuff, said thanks and walked in that direction. i'm glad i didn't go up to him all fanboy like to embarrass the shit out of myself like i probably would have done in high school. (i was a big Coheed and Cambria fan in high school. i still am, but i've toned down a bit.) even so, i was still a little giddy when i walked away. while the big people may bring big crowds surrounding them and high security to ward them off, it's still cool how the convention floor makes everyone equals. sort of? yeah?
anyway, so then i rushed around again and then ran by the Dark Horse booth trying to ask if they were handing out their green bags, figuring it to be the top of the hour. these bags were super popular because they weren't like the big plastic bags they had in past years, they were slightly more durable fabric bags. i asked about bags and then went to ask bout the time at one of the tables and realized i was standing in front of Stacy Wheeler, creator of Too Much Coffee Man. so i asked him about the TMCM operas he released in the past few years and how it was doing cartoons for The New Yorker. he was such a nice guy! after he signed my books, i decided to be bold and gave him my business card.
after that, i ran to the trolley, waited forever and ran back to the hotel to charge and use my phone, running into Jay and Natasha when i got back. so lucky. Natasha was nice enough to let me use her phone to call Angela and then they rode the trolley back with me to the convention center to try and find her when she called again to let me know where she was. phewwww. another big thanks to Jay and Natasha for the phone call and support. and the cookies. Jay bought so many cooookieeeessssss so good.
she was up in the portfolio area, so i ran up to meet her and everything was oookay. she said she just went up here right after we were separated. i probably would have been lost on the con floor till it closed if i hadn't have gone back. hahah...ehhh.
another random thing that was great was walking through downtown San Diego in the Gaslamp Quarter just outside the convention center and running into Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer. i was with Angela, Dave and Eric, and Natasha K and Margarita from school. i didn't realize what was going on at the time, but Dave and Eric just about shit themselves when they saw them. it was pretty funny and pretty damn cool on Dave and Eric's part mostly because they were able to strike up a conversation with them. a lot of it was Dave and Doc talking about fashion, relating about wearing tight, skinny jeans, and how far you could go leaving your shirt unbuttoned without looking tasteless. i wanted to say something to them, too, but it probably would have been dorky and nerdy with a lot of wheezing and nose wiping and asking if they could sign my volume 1 dvd box that i left back at the hotel. so it was pretty enviable and admirable. good show you two. after Jackson and Doc left Dave sorta broke down with Joy by some building. yes Joy with a capital "J". it's understandable. i probably would have done the same. i think i sorta did that after meeting Scott C, but i'll talk about that in the next part.
Dave and Eric striking a pose with Doc and Jackson.
the next part!
so EA had a booth and they were sporting the Brutal Legend demo which i had the great fortune of playing. oh god was it amazing. it was like everything in my life had been leading up to that point. so. amazing. (i know it was the demo and that the games been out for a while, but i can't really play it at the moment...at least until i get a console. but i have faith it'll still be as facemeltingly amazing.)
that experience was then topped once i got the guts to go up to Scott C's portion of the table at the Flight/Gallery Nucleus booth. he was the nicest, coolest guy EVER. i'm sure he still is, but man, good meetings! i re-introduced myself, told him i had made contact with him before about interviewing him for my watercolor/illustration classes, and that i was here to say hi. he noticed our portfolios and asked to check them out right on the spot! man it was so cool. and he said such nice things that totally upped my confidence and desire to get out there. i told him about how i wanted to do the same kind of stuff he did, character design and conceptual stuff, and he gave me the low down on what it entailed. that you need to be well-versed in everything, not just characters. need to be aware of environments, vehicles, objects, etc. so helpful.
and i told him that i was pretty decent with watercolors but that i wanted to improve my acrylic painting skills. he then told me, why not have watercolors be my thing? and work that further? i can tell why Tim Schafer made him an art director. very friendly and supportive and good at looking at the positive things, bring the best out and all that, encouraging nudge and such, beside from the amazing art and deadline handling skills. he then invited us to his live art jam that he was going to be doing with Jim Mahfood at some club in the downtown area, which lead to dancing that i'll talk about later.
Oh Man! Tim Schafer!!
i think the same day Tim Schafer was supposed to make an appearance at the EA booth to sign some Brutal Legend posters, so i hightailed it over there when it came to be that time. i was super nervous to meet him, so excited. so when i got up there i showed him that i had my copy of Psychonauts for him to sign, he told me to bust it out and hand it over for some inking. when i opened the case to pull out the cover for him to sign, i found my memory card for my PS2 and was all "OH there it is!" and then he was all "YOU FOUND IT! here, i'll sign that, too." so i now own a signed copy of Psychonauts for the PS2 and a red PS2 memory card with "Tim S" written upon it. man, he was so nice, too. and i told him about how amazing it was to play Brutal Legend, that it was the high point in my life, and that it was then topped by meeting Scott C, and now by meeting him. he was so great. everything that seems fun and awesome and nice about him in his blog entries and video clips was there when i met him. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. i even told him that i was a big fan of his since playing Grim Fandango. when i told him that i beat it, he seemed pretty amazed because apparently not too many people were able to finish all of the puzzles, which actually amazed me. i tried telling him that i used the Prima walkthrough guide and was about to tell him that i had it because of the concept art and his awesome developers diary that was included in the back...but then i was cut off so we could take this awesome photo together. so he probably figures i'm a cheater. A CHEAAATTTERRRRR. BUT I'M NOT...i only used the guide for a portion of the second and third year....so..not a total cheater.
anyway, playing Brutal Legend, meeting Scott C, and then meeting Tim Schafer were pretty much the best experiences i've ever had at a Comic Con. EVER.
when i was talking with Scott C, he was super nice to invite us to a live art jam that him and Jim Mahfood were going to be a part of at some club in the downtown area, and gave us a postcard giving more details about it. well i was pretty excited to go because i know Jim Mahfood's a pretty cool dude and produces the most amazing shit at those live shows, and Scott C's stuff is amazing, so it'd be cool to see what he'd pump out at something like that.
it took quite a bit of time to get down there. once Angela and i dumped our stuff off at the hotel after the convention was done for the day, we went back to the trolley and waited for our ride down there. since it was after convention hours, there'd be some change overs we would need to make in order to get there. so we ended up looping back and forth on the train for a little bit because we made the mistake of standing on the wrong platform a couple of times.
on one of the rides, Angela and i sat in this empty seat, which had another empty seat across from it, so we put our feet up, enjoying the ride and anticipation of seeing the live art that night.then in comes this old man, wearing a denim jacket and hat that probably said something about the military. i was hardly interested in looking to see what it said. he carried with him a slightly worn bag and one of the worst attitudes. he stands next to our seats and tells us to put our feet down. "what, do you think you're at home??" something like that. he then tells us that this is his seat and he has to sit on it and doesn't need our feet dirtying or roughing it up. yes, i know it wasn't a good thing to put our feet up like that. people do sit there. if my mother had been traveling with me, she would have scolded me the same, but at least my mother would show loads more courtesy. putting my feet up and then
expecting courtesy from this old man? yes, i did, because that old jerk just gave us crap for where we put our feet and then proceeded to sit down across from us, provided next to little leg room for me to the point that i was knocking knees with him. i have long legs so it sucked and made me very agitated. there was also another couple sitting close to us, but they were sitting opposite each other with their shoulders to the window. there was more than enough room for that old coot to sit next to them, but he had to go and pick a fight with us. whatever. i may come off as bitter with these words, but if you had been there you would have felt the same sour taste in your mouth after riding the rails with him. suffice it to say that it sucked, but at least it was the only crappy thing that happened during the Comic Con excursion. so whheeewwwwww.
i think we had planned to meet up with Dave and Eric at some point, telling them about the Jim Mahfood/Scott C artmagicexperience. while Angela and i went down the main street trying to find where it was we stopped for hot dogs at this cool little hot dog place that was standing room only. i'm not much of a big city person, so places like that seem pretty cool. ordering and eating at a counter or on the go. Toby gave us a rang, so i filled him in on what was going on that night and planned to meet up with him, Chris and their friend, too. after many calls and shouting to each other across the street once everyone was found, we proceeded to the nightclub. it ended up being one of those snooty upscale ones where you had to dress supernicely and wait inline until someone left and then, if you looked okay to the bouncer, you were let in. i'm not a clubber either, but i do have a set idea of how they are thanks to tv, and this one came off as way snootier/haughtier.
anyway, after much deciding and me accepting i wouldn't get in to see them do their thing, we left in search of other spots to hang out at. it ended up being a really fun and adventurous night. a lot of walking up and down of the streets and checking some bags in at a hotel for safe keeping. we ended up at this one club...i think it was called Thin?...and it was pretty crazy in their with the smoke machines and the lights and the everything. like i said, i'm not much of a clubber. i sort of wallflowered it for a bit but there was this one big dude who was dancing over by us that tried to get me to loosen up and enjoy the beats. there was a lot of Michael Jackson played, so Toby cut loose to that. he is a superdancer. not like Michael Flatley or Baryshnikov, but he is up there for sure. it was cool because it was the sort of group i wish i could have stood/danced around with at some of my high school dances, because we were just having fun nerding it up and not giving a shit. awesome.
after three or so hours of hanging out there, Dave and Eric dancing with some latina bachelorette party that was there, and us hanging with that dude (who happened to be tabling at the con. man i love how San Diego gets turned into Nerd Town when Con rolls through.) we went back to the hotel to pick up the bags and parted ways with Toby and his crew.
our first big con together.
i've had some pretty awesome Con experiences before, but this had to have been the best year so far.
THINGS FOR NEXT YEAR
i always tell people who've never been to Con to plan things out and bring supplies for surviving the crowds and lines and whatever may come their way, but i end up forgetting to listen to my own advice next time i go i NEED to remember to bring in plenty of water and bits o' food so i won't end up getting cranky or getting the shakey hands. that's where the blurry photos come from, so i definitely need to beat the shakey hands next year. sick of them showing up when they aren't needed.
i also have to obviously rebuild my portfolio if i plan to bring it again. i ended up bringing my senior portfolio, which was a bit of a scholastic retrospect rather than a focused package, so it wasn't really geared for what i was looking for.
also maybe bring different sets of images to trade out so i have mulitple portfolios for various jobs?
that sounds good. worth trying, right?
after that, Natasha was supernice to host me and Angela for a few days in Burbank, showing us little bits of the city and giving an awesome tour of Cartoon Network (her place of work). aside from getting to see Phil again, who was nice enough to give us another tour where we got to meet a lot of other people who worked there (who were also really nice). Natasha's friend Thaddeus showed us his sketchbook, which had a lot of amazing inked drawings colored with Dr. Marten's dyes. i've had some professors recommend them to me before, but seeing them in action like that really made me want to try them out. i also got to see a bunch of the sweet 3D props used for Chowder.
Angela and i went and had lunch with Natasha and Pen at Chipotle, who was was supercool enough to serenade
us while we scarfed down our burritos. Angela, Jay, Natasha and i saw Bruno later that night, too. it was alright. it had it's good moments. not funnier than Borat, but definitely more absurd.
we all went to Hollywood the next night, my first time going there. having lived in San Diego until i was eight, i had never travled any farther north than Disneyland, so this was pretty exciting. but when we tried walking the streets for a bit we got bothered by this bum, so that wasn't exciting at all. kind of like the old man on the train, but ten times worse. at least it was a learning experience if, so i'll be prepared if i ever go to a big city again. upside of the Hollywood trip was i got to see the cement shoe prints at Grauman's chinese Theater and snagged a picture of Steve McQueen's brick.
it was a really great trip, all of which i owe to Jay for getting us to and from San Diego, to Jed for hooking us up with tickets, and to Natasha for being an awesome host in Burbank and showing us her new, awesome workspace/community!!!!