Tons and tons of fun. These things get more exciting each one I attend (which, unfortunately, won’t happen again for a while since I am to go back to Philadelphia for my schoolings). Under a cut, due to length and pictures.
The day opened with me hitting Ye Olde Comic Bookery to pick up my new stuff, and the stuff I’ve been saving to pick up later. Then I headed over to the Metro and went from Silver Spring on the Red Line all the way to Ballston-MU on the orange, which is almost going from one corner to the other. Arriving at the mall at 7PM, because I’m an earlybird and I didn’t have a good idea on how long the trip would take itself, I went down to the food court and starting looking for everyone. As I suspected, I was the first to arrive. Shortly, Rob Balder arrived with a great big cardboard box. Naturally, I inquired what was in the box. To which he replied, with a mischievous grin, “Oh, Presents…” After getting some Arby’s to eat, I returned to the table to discover my very own copy of Partially Clips Vol. 1, “Suffering for My Clip Art.” Signed, of course. I was very impressed, and very appreciative. You buy now.
Next to mosey on over was Chris Impink, sketchbook in hand. Greetings followed while Chris worked on today’s comic. Discussions of Squidi and the stranger of Japanese Fetishes followed, although not in direct correlation with each other. Soon, Jamie Noguchi arrived, sketchbook in had as well (and a very groovy art book by a Korean illustrator named Hyug Tae Kim that he picked up from San Diego). Jamie initiated an Art Attack upon my sketchbook, while I retaliated in kind. Here’s what he did for me:
For the record, that doesn’t resemble a shred of awful in my book. Unintentionally, he seemed to end up doing a manga-tized version of Phil.
And Chris bestowed upon my sketchbook this drawing of whom I suppose is now the Washington Webtoonists’ official mascot. Cool stuff.
Also, I called Jamie out. I slapped my copy of Understanding Comics in front of him with a clear “Read it, bitch!” undertone. His take on it so far, along with his own summary of the nights events, can be found on his LiveJournal.
We gabbed on a bit about whatever nonsense was on our minds, until a fellow approached our table and asked “Are you guys cartoonists?” We responded in the affirmative. “Great,” he said, “I’m Joey. Joey Manley.” To which we all clamored in welcome. He came all the way up from Kentucky just to be there, along with his partner, Joe. At this point, Rob Balder switched to a seat closer to Manley because there’s no chance in hell that he would be able to hear Joey over my own boisterous volume (I don’t blame him, and I’m not changing for nobody).
Xaviar Xerxes arrived, and there was much rejoicing. At this point we wondered “Where’s T?” I expected he would be arriving with Joey, given their co-workerness. But lo, I whipped out my cell phone and discovered that T had left a voicemail detailing that he would in fact, be a few minutes late. T got there soon after, and then the shop talk again. Note: This is where the night started flying over my head entirely. I’m not dug deep enough into “The Biz” to really follow a lot of what they were saying. But the one moment that definitely stuck in my mind the strongest was when I caught Rob Balder drawing something (!) out of the corner of my eye. It was a graph, scrawled upon a napkin. I asked what the hell it was, and T explained that it was an approximation that showed where Modern Tales was on the scale of Number of Readers vs. Individual Reader Appreciation/Love. Below, is a rough facsimile of what I saw (Correct me where I’m wrong Rob and/or T).
And there you have it. I began grilling Xerxes over my next assignment for The ‘Pedia, and we came up with a topic that sounded really great, but I have forgotten it entirely. Joey turned to me and mentioned he read my previous post comparing and contrasting WCN with Comic Genesis, and very kindly offered me a press account to noodle around with so I can write an even more detailed review. Which is 100% Awesome, because I was planning on getting an account anyway.
Another topic of discussion was the Webcomics Book I ordered off of Amazon, and I was surprised to discover that T had not seen it before, despite him writing the first chapter almost entirely on his own. I made him sign it for me, and he asked if I could let him to borrow it so he could read through it. Who am I to refuse T? Then there was a bit more shop-talk, while Jamie, Chris and I talked about more casual stuff (what are we, the kids table?) while art attacking each other further.
And then… Gossip. Of course, I cannot go into details.
The Mall started closing, so we changed venues to the nearby “Bailey’s Pub & Grille,” where we got food and gabbed further about the webcomics world. T helped dissolve for me illusions about some of the San Diego Comic-Con news, and then Rob told me a webcomics fairytale about how a certain creator was approached by a corporate gaming company to do strips for their stuff. He’d receive an amazing per-strip-paycheck, a total blank slate on characters and universe, but no creator ownership. The creator turned down the offer, not allowing his creative properties to be owned by any other than himself. Shortly, the corporate gaming company responded with “Ok, fine. You can own your own properties. Just please do these strips for us.”
I was stunned. T remarked on how I looked like a child listening to a great story, and I’ll tell you that I was. That was a great story! That like, never happens! I’d disclose who the creator was, and who the conglomerate was, but I don’t think I can. But I tell you, they’re prominent folks.
And this was the point in the night where I took pictures (Much to Rob Balder’s chagrin) and my apologies for the shoddy quality right up front, I should’ve known better to take the pictures in the brightly lit Food Court rather than the dimly lit Bar…
Here we have Chris Impink and Jamie Noguchi dutifully drawing away in their sketchbooks. Or maybe they’re plotting my demise. I can never be sure with those guys.
T. Campbell and Rob Balder discuss something involving webcomics and business. Probably.
Joey’s Rob and Joey Manley at the end of the table chatting up with Xerxes over all the things they could do to enhance the webcomic reading experience. Those two had a lot of good ideas from what I was able to hear, and stuff I could really get behind.
“You’re sitting on a goldmine and you don’t even know it, you fool!” (Joey decided to have fun with the photo-taking)
Jamie Noguchi and myself. I have dubbed us “The Poor Man’s Frank Cho and Scott Kurtz.”
See that? That’s the face of pure joy.
The group, et al.
Shortly after the picture taking, I had to bail to get to the Metro before the last trains of the night. I said my goodbyes, hopped on the train, and cracked open Rob’s Book, enjoying it greatly. Seriously, it’s a great book. Full review coming soon.
And that’s about it. Even though I won’t be able to attend the next one, I’ll still help promote it for the gang. All you webcomic making folks out there on the intarwebs would do right by attending the next one. They are a blast and a half.