Thursday, July 21, 2011

Because I slept in the van all morning after not sleeping the night before, the first day of the Con didn’t start for me until the afternoon. But last night Fogel advised me to pace myself through this marathon convention anyway, so there’s no need for me to “rush off to work” every morning. Indeed, I don’t have a vital role to play in any official business or booth operations at the Con, so there was no reason to feel guilty from arriving late to the booth.

Chanel Preston worked in our booth today. Chanel is the smokin’ hot actress who co-stars in the porn movie The Justice League of Pornstar Heroes. The Extreme Comixxx-produced film is a parody of DC Comics’ legendary superhero team, The Justice League of America, and includes Superman, Batman and Robin, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern and Aquaman, along with a slew of villains. Chanel plays Wonder Woman in the movie and wore her superb costume while signing DVD boxes sold in the booth. You can pick up one an unsigned copy of one of these fast-selling DVDs by contacting me at msteven@comixjoint.com ($40 for two disks with over six hours of content, plus shipping, pay via PayPal).

While working the booth, Chanel was interviewed by somebody with a pro video crew, though I don’t have a clue what the interview was for. Still, it was fun to watch her perform on camera as a playful and sexy Wonder Woman.

Extreme Comixxx has a hit with The Justice League of Pornstar Heroes

Wonder Woman basks in the glow of the fawning media

"Can you explain again how your wardrobe is used as a diversionary tactic?"

Not long after arriving at the FDHCCC booth, Angelo, Steven and I left the convention center and walked to Ralph’s supermarket to buy lunch for ourselves and some of the guys. Ralph’s is located off First Avenue just a couple blocks from the center, and their deli offers a much better selection of sandwiches than any of the vendors at the con. We brought a bagful of deli sandwiches, throat lozenges and 5-hour energy drinks back to the Con.

In less than a day, Steve “S.S.” Crompton has impressed me with his expansive knowledge and achievements. While hanging out at the booth, he conveyed a few nuggets of wisdom about the comics business and lessons he has learned. Through the long convention, nobody worked the booth harder or made more new friends than Carnal Comics own S.S. Crompton.

S.S. Crompton tirelessly working the booth at SDCC

While Steve and Chanel worked the booth, Angelo and I went up to the second floor of the center and sat in for two presentations held in small meeting rooms; the first featured Frank Stack talking about his underground career and the second included a panel of several long-time, major contributors to Mad magazine. At the end of Frank’s presentation, which was primarily an interview with the moderator about his underground days, he was presented with an Inkpot Award, which is a lifetime achievement award given by the Con. Joyce Farmer (Tits ‘n Clits, Wimmen’s Comix) also received an Inkpot Award during the presentation that preceded Frank’s (damn, I missed that one!). Joyce and Frank later appeared together in the Fantagraphics booth.

Joyce Farmer and Frank Stack

Frank also dropped by the FDHCCC booth and hung out for quite a while, sitting in the back corner and signing an occasional copy of The New Adventures of Jesus (both the 1969 comic book and the 2007 “The Second Coming” TPB). Frank is 74 years young and still has the sparkle of devious genius in his eyes.

When the show ended at 7:00, we recruited several people to go out to dinner at Kansas City Barbecue on Market Street. Our dinner party included Frank Stack, Johnny Chambers (creator of The Little Green Dinosaur), Angelo and his son Steven, Jack, Howard, Steve Crompton, myself and Fogel. As we walked to the restaurant, Frank was trying to carry way too much stuff in his backpack, so I volunteered to take care of his Inkpot award and a few books and magazines he had picked up around the Con. He gratefully accepted my offer to mail all this stuff to him later, knowing I was with Dan and could be trusted.

I was fortunate enough to sit next to Frank during dinner. We had an interesting evening as Frank discussed Shakespeare, Twain and medieval history as easily as he did Beavis and Butthead. He talked about his methodology of drawing and painting, emphasizing that knowledge of human anatomy is essential to great life drawing. Frank said he could always tell when an artist used photography as a reference and strongly recommended drawing from life whenever possible.

I swear I have a signed affidavit to escort Frank on a day trip from the asylum!

As we sat around the table I browsed through a stunning portfolio of Frank’s exquisite life painting watercolors and agreed to buy one for $150. There was no way to take it right away without risking damage to the artwork, so he said he’d come by the booth again tomorrow to sell it to me. Having dinner with Frank Stack will likely be the highlight of my first San Diego Comic Con.

Next up: Day Two and the Annual Underground Party!