First things first: the first issue of John Carter: A Princess of Mars comes out today. Thrills! Romance! Martians! I honestly don't know what else you could want in a comic book. Written by me, drawn by Filipe Andrade, published by Marvel - you know you want to. And unless I'm very much mistaken, my new 200-page book of older material from Boom Town, The Show Must Go On, will be out any day now as well. Two reasons to get down to your local comic shop that have nothing whatesoever to do with the number 52!
So. Just got back from SPX yesterday and have been pretty much catching up on sleep ever since. My thanks the SPX crew and to Boom! Studios for arranging for me to attend; my congratulations to the Ignatz winners and nominees; my condolences to friends of Dylan Williams, whom I knew a little but wish I'd known better. And thanks to everyone who stopped by the table and bought something, or even just said hello.
Some abiding memories:
• Being detained by US Customs on entering the country and spending an hour and a half in a little room full of crying Chinese people while somebody grilled me about why I was coming to the USA and how I earn my living (had to explain how royalties work, which involved explaining how publishing works all round, which I'm only barely able to understand myself). Off to the side, in another room, a customs official was yelling at some poor guy that in America, the government loves everybody. It was like being in a Kafka novel. I'm cutting them some slack here because it was the lead-up to the anniversary of 9-11, but even so. What a start!
• Seeing a bunch of people I know and like, and meeting some new ones. Big shout out to Adam Staffaroni, Chip Mosher, Lawrence Derks, Carol Thompson, Tom Neely, Jerzy & Ann Drozd, Nick Abadzis, Jim Dougan, Julia Wertz, Craig Thompson, Kasey Van Hise, Mike Dawson, Alex Robinson, Jim Rugg, Robyn Chapman, Alec Longstreth, Greg Means, Phil Jackson, Sara Turner, Rick Parker, Dustin Harbin, Craig Yoe, Gary Groth, Kim Thompson, plenty of others I'm sure I'm forgetting.
• A good conversation on Saturday night with Nick Abadzis and Tom Neely which I'm really glad we had.
• Being able to see my Harvey Awards at last when they were kindly handed over to me, as I was unable to attend the award ceremony last month. (They're now on the mantelpiece.)
• Having my new book, The Show Must Go On, in my hands at last!
• Meeting an art collector, Richard Greene, who was kind enough to show me and Rick Parker his dog-themed collection of original art. There were some fantastic pieces in there, including some original work by TAD Dorgan and Basil Wolverton. Quite amazing.
I brought my camera, and even remembered to take a photo or two, although ninety per cent of the time I forgot I had the darn thing. Here, though, are the pictures I remembered to take:
The Boom! Table - editor Adam Staffaroni and interns Carol Thompson and Lawrence Derks
Dinner on Sunday night - always a pleasure to catch up with the Drozds.
A Basil Wolverton original (top) and a Pete the Tramp daily.
All around, this was one of the most enjoyable SPXes I've attended, and I've been to a bunch of 'em. Time to start planning for 2012!