It's been a week since I attended the Detroit Fanfare. I had such a great time at the show. It was really a solid end to my convention season. The Fanfare crew decided to come back to the Hyatt in Dearborn, MI. This was a great move on their part. Last year it was at Cobo Hall and it felt a lot more spread out which didn't really do much for artists and vendors. Having it back at the Hyatt with the crowded aisles, tons of kids, and countless panels and activities really made it feel like a comic convention.
FRIDAY: I was sharing a table with JOE FOO and MIKE ROLL. Two artists I have become great friends with and are constant sources of inspiration and laughs. Nic and I drove up from Chicago and arrived for the show's Friday night around 5:30pm. We had some not so awesome P.F. Changs and set up our tables with Foo. Miker came later to set up. I had some time before the show closed to scope out anything of interest. A lot of the vendors and artists weren't there yet, so I would have to have Nic make some rounds for me during the busy hours Saturday.
The other awesome thing about having it at the Hyatt was that our hotel room was a mere four floors up from the convention. It was great to just take an elevator ride and crash for the night.
SATURDAY: Unfortunately Joe could not attend the rest of the show which was an incredible bummer.So it was up to Miker and I to hold up the fort for Team Almost Asian. (It's what we call ourselves, Earth's mightiest heroes, that sort of thing.) Saturday was definitely the busiest day of the weekend. I did a lot of cardBORED sketches and sold an amazing amount of prints. Because of the vibe of the show, I felt a little more relaxed and stepped away from my table quite a bit.
One of those times I stepped away to meet and greet the amazing SINA GRACE, artist on The Li'l Depressed Boy, my favorite comic. I always get nervous meeting creators I admire for two reasons: 1. Making a fool of myself. 2. The creator ends up being a jerk face and shatters your image of them. Thankfully I did not make a fool of myself and Sina was an absolute pleasure to talk to. I brought my entire LDB collection for him to sign including his recently released, Not My Bag. I even bought my first piece of original comic art ever. It is now nicely framed and can't wait to hang it in my studio. Another amazing thing that he did for me was this sweet drawing in my TMNT themed sketchbook. I wanted to give him a copy of HEART to show my appreciation for taking the time to sign all that stuff and talk to me but instead he wanted to buy it. It was really the highlight of the convention for me and I came back to my table with such an art and inspiration high. It really harked back to last year's Fanfare show when I met the incredible KEVIN EASTMAN. Sina was just as gracious and allowing me to pick his creative brain with tips on comics and just engaging in all around conversation with me. It was truly great!
Since it was Halloween Weekend, there were a lot more costumes out. Nic dressed up as Indiana Jones she didn't have a whip though. This other Indiana saw she was dressed up and he actually brought an extra whip for her to use on Sunday. He was so nice! A big shout to George for bringing that for her.
The evening ending with going out to dinner with Miker and his wife Tina. We went to Cheli's where they had some mean veggie chili and an incredible nacho platter. We were stuffed. Nic and I spent the rest of the evening playing games at the top floor of the Hyatt. There was 24 hour game consoles set up in the Rotunda. We played some Smash Bros. Brawl and Dance Central 3 to burn off those chili calories.
SUNDAY: Sunday started out pretty heavy with a kids costume contest and trick or treating. We were all given candy bowls and balloons and kids came around for candy and any free goodies we wanted to give away. After that initial rush the day started to wind down about half way. I used this opportunity to talk to more people and grab some awesome books. With it being my last show for the year, I definitely decided to spend a
little more to hold me over 'til winter.
One book that I picked up was Manta-Man: Swimming with Sharks by CHAD SELL. It is an insanely funny web-comic read about a man who turns into a manta ray and how it affects his relationship with his crazy roommates and girlfriend. Give it a read! At the close of the show I picked up Miker's new Apooka book where she attends a beauty pageant. He also gave me a set of his new prints where Apook eats members of the Avengers. I also picked up The Walking
Dead Compendium Vol. 2.
Another cool thing that happened on Sunday was the local shop out there, Comic City, decided to pick up some signed copies of HEART for their store. So if you are local to that area, stop on in and pick up a signed copy of HEART if you couldn't make it out to Fanfare.
We headed out a little after six and grabbed some Red Robin for dinner. We got home around 11pm. Nicole knocked out and I stayed up reading all my new awesomeness. I was definitely not ready for work the next morning. I look forward to attending the Fanfare in 2013! Great end to my convention season!!!