Friday, July 22, 2011

I slept much better the second night on the parking lot and woke up around 11, which got me to the Con around 1:00. Today┬áInari Vachs worked our booth, signing posters and posing for pictures with fans. Dan and Steve are working with Inari to produce an “Adult Star Stories” comic book featuring her in 2012. Besides being a beautiful porn star, Inari is an astute businesswoman with her own production company and TV appearances as a host on Playboy TV. We look forward to working with her on several projects in the coming years.

unpublished Inari Vachs fantasy poster / copyright 2011 C. Tirri

During the afternoon I wandered around the convention again, taking photos. I also ran out for lunch at Ralph’s supermarket for lunch, like we did the day before. This time, I went alone and I not only bought a sandwich, but also a two-foot sourdough baguette, half-a-pound of Monterey Jack cheese and Genoa salami, which I hauled back to the refrigerator in my van. I figured the grocery food would be good for late-night snacking or whatever.

When I got back to the con I visited the Last Gasp booth across the walkway from ours and bought a handful of books from their back stock boxes. Fantagraphics, Top Shelf, Slave Labor, Drawn & Quarterly, Heavy Metal and many other alternative and small press publishers were on hand at the Con. It was all I could do to resist going deep into debt buying up everything at their booths and tables.

Last Gasp's tempting treats were right next door to the FDHCCC booth

Drawn & Quarterly's booth featured Chester Brown (pictured far right)

Heavy Metal, one of my first loves, is still rockin' n' rollin'

Frank Stack sat in our booth in the late afternoon and we looked through his watercolor portfolio again, but we didn’t finalize a purchase. Frank talked with me about his favorite movies (from the ’30s and ’40s) and books. He’s quite familiar with all manner of American and international politics and history.

After Frank left, I talked to John Quinn about Frank’s artwork, which John had also paged through. I mentioned to John that I might ask Frank about a volume discount on his paintings, because I really wanted more than just one of his watercolors. John was also interested in buying more than one of Frank’s paintings and suggested we could pitch a volume purchase that would include all of our selections, which might be as many as eight pieces (I figured I would want three). So the next time we see Frank we’ll try to consummate that deal.

After the show ended for the day, a group of us went out to dinner at Dublin Square, an Irish Pub and Grill in the historic Gaslamp Quarter of downtown San Diego. The dinner party included myself, Dan, Howard, Angelo, Steven, and Jack, with Inari joining us a little later. Angelo bought me a couple shots, the first being part of a full round for everybody, with a shot of Bailey’s and whiskey dropped in a half-pint of stout beer, and the second being some fancy tequila. For dinner I had a pretty good shepherd’s pie.

After dinner we went to the underground party at room 1003 in the Embassy Suites, hosted by comics retailing legend Dan Gutman. I wore my Mr. Natural t-shirt, which received some compliments. I spent a fair amount of time talking to Robert Gluckson, who is pimping a book called Cartooning for Fun, designed to help amateurs get into cartooning. I also talked with Aaron Caplan, who specializes in 1960 to 1972 fanzines related to underground and sci-fi fantasy. I mentioned a few of the titles I’ve collected, like Reality, Infinity and of course, Squa Tront, which are mostly pro-zines. I have a bunch of others that are more obscure, but I couldn’t remember their titles. Aaron was showing off a copy of Graphic Illusions that had a Johnny Chambers story in it. Johnny was at the party and delighted to re-engage with the world of fanzines, which he helped reinvigorate with a ton of contributions back in the early ’60s. Aaron and Johnny will both be useful as Fogel and I develop the Price Guide for 2012, which will begin covering fanzines.

The party grew quite a bit while we were there, to about 25 people or so, which Dan said was the most successful underground party in several years, especially considering the number of women in attendance. It ended at around 1:00 in the morning, after which Dan and I walked back to our hotel talking about the future.

Next up: Day Three with Denis Kitchen and Ron Turner!