Saturday, May 31, 2008

Literary License

Literary License from Justice League #87

Labels: ,

Friday, May 30, 2008

Wii Fit

I finally had an opportunity to try a Wii Fit today, my sister's. I now officially want one. It isn't perfect, but it's a solid way to get people up and exercising, and I suspect it's the last piece of the puzzle for my fitness. I've already been out walking and biking regularly, I think the exercises the Fit would give me would round out my system and help me lose a few more pounds while enjoying myself. Only problem... I don't have a Wii, so I'd have to buy both it and the Fit. Not enough money in the bank for that right now. I'll have to hope I win one for the time being.

But if you were thinking about getting one, I really recommend seeing if you can try it out somewhere. There's a lot in it about balance, but that's not the only thing it uses. There's a nice variety of exercises to try. It's actually somewhat fun to watch someone else playing, as well. If you can make them laugh, you can throw them off their game a bit (sorry Lisa). I'm already wishing I could do a full 30 minute workout, instead of the few minutes I managed at the time I was visiting my sister.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Er, Is it Thursday Now?

The Whiteout movie arrives in September. I'm looking forward to it, but I probably won't be able to afford to see it in theater.

Bob Rozakis' Elseworld DC Universe. Instead of Batman and Superman taking off, Green Lantern and Flash were the top two heroes.

Tom Beland points to a great tribute to Rory Root.

If you are tempted to sign up with Tokyopop, read this first! Seriously, do you really want to sign away all rights to your work just to get published?

I really would like Neil Gaiman to write Doctor Who. Really.

Duff does it again with a really cool Star Trek cake.

I only watched about half of the video, but technogreek shows off amazing street art.

Is it more efficient to leave your car idling? In a word: NO.

Airline safety brochures have gotten very detailed.

Twins separated at birth are accidentally reunited, and all three women involved sue the hospital that mixed them up.

Kenya Ranger Blogger tries to save wildlife.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

CameraPhone Zen



Wednesday? It's Wednesday?

Sleeping Chick. Scroll down to read the whole story.

This is really cool. That's all I have to say about it.

The Biggest Drawing in the World and five reasons it's certainly a fake.

Using a passenger's luggage for a drug test is really dumb. And it's a bit of catch-22 for the passenger. Yeah, they are going to report it, when they might end up in prison if some official decides to not believe them? (Note: the passenger called the police as soon as he found the package, and everything ended happily... whew!)

I really want to go visit the Wing Luke Museum again, now that they've reopened. It sound fantastic.

Guns From Space! Well, ok, maybe not really.

What this woman did wasn't safe, but dang, I have to admire her!

Adding injury to insult, local gas stations deliver water instead of gas. I was a bit annoyed by the local TV news coverage, which went on and on about customers being "cheated" by the stations. Uh, no, it was an accident. And if anyone was cheated, it was the stations.

Biofuel alone is not behind the rising cost of corn. In fact, it's only a tiny portion of the costs.

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Unrelated to Anything Else

Mark Evanier notes that it's been two years since he had Gastric Bypass Surgery. The significance of his surgery for me is that his posts about that surgery forced me to take a long look at myself and what I wanted from the future. The result was that I started to exercise and count my calories, and lost 110 pounds. This would not have happened without Mark Evanier's original posts on what he went through. His accounts tipped the balance and got me to actually start losing weight.

So, a hearty THANK YOU!!! to Mark Evanier, for the jolt of inspiration when I needed it most.

Coming up soon: my two-year anniversary, and some photographic proof of my weight loss.

Labels: , ,

Post-Holiday Linkdump

Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #156: Sandman, Goon, and Marvel's Racy Comic.

More on Robert Asprin's death, from the friend who found him. And Phil Foglio remembers.

More Mystery Parade. Cliffe puts up eight more images of the Seattle Mystery parade.

Follow-up: The British legal system won't punish a boy for calling Scientology a cult. If you read further down, you'll note that Scientologists have been bribing London police, which is why the boy was abused in the first place, no doubt.

Flat Pack Housing. I still think more people should be using shipping containers as housing.

Wil Wheaton's short tale "Blue Light Special" is adapted to comic form. Now I understand the Lando thing the guy in front of me at ECCC was talking about.

We need more people like Daniel Burd to solve today's problems today. Good job, Daniel! Let's get rid of that plastic.

The almost pandemic of SARS, and how it was stopped. With a 10% fatality rate, had it not been contained, it could've been worse than the 1918 flu epidemic.

Weezer - Pork and Beans (YouTube), a tribute to internet memes. I'm happy to say that I need an annotated version.

Morons want to ban wi-fi because they've convinced themselves they are allergic to it. Ok, they need a double-blind study (or two or three) before I'll even start to be convinced that they are anything other than Luddites simply afraid of technology.

Pug for the in-laws.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

Please spend some time today to remember those who have died to protect our freedom and way of life.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

A Sunday Review

Light TV this week:
  • Classic Doctor Who: "Invasion of Time" Parts 1 & 2 - Tom Baker at his most mad. Lots of fun to watch.
  • American Gladiators - The trash talk is remarkably funny in a horribly corny sort of way. I really like Toa. The Buddy Cop theme was nice.
  • Have I Got News For You: "Kirsty Young, Charlie Higson, and Frankie Boyle" - The horse doing a somersault was rather impressive. But I was spoiled by the Brian Blessed episode. None of the rest are nearly as funny as that one was.
Comics this week:
  • Super Friends #3 - One of the best comics on the shelf at the moment. I LOVE the Aquaman in this book, he's competent and confident and HAPPY. And the finger puppets... SQUEEE!!! Ok, one false note: Aquaman's disguise? BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA!!
  • Justice Society of America #15 - Not enough Ma Hunkel.
  • Checkmate #26 - Brutal.
  • Justice League of America #21 - More tie-in to Trinity and Final Crisis? I think I've had enough of crossovers.
  • Spirit #17 - Pretty good! The cover has less than usual to do with the inside, though.
  • Star Wars: Legacy #24 - Too much history in this one, and not enough book to explain it all. What was explained was good, but there were some befuddlement moments.
I got a Fortean Times. Issue #236. This one concerns itself with the Copycat Effect and Suicide. Not my favorite subjects by a long shot. The magic numbers article amused me, and checking my "lucky number" against their chart made me laugh aloud (chamber pot). The Crop Circles article was nicely skeptical, and did a good job examining the phenomenon. The bit on Victoria Woodhull was enough to make me want to go hunting for more information on her. What a character! I put a couple of the books they reviewed on hold. But the gem of the issue was the Fortean Traveller article on Brittany, which made me want to make a trip to Europe.

This week's library movie was Shrek the Third. Nice and fun. There really isn't much more to say. If you enjoyed the first two, you will probably enjoy this one. The inclusion of Arthur Pendragon was amusing, even if they didn't develop his whole love triangle thing like they considered. Maybe they can do something with that in the fourth movie.

My library book this week was The Mysterious Affair at Styles: A Hercule Poirot Mystery by Agatha Christie. After watching last week's Doctor Who I decided that I really needed to read some Agatha Christie. As far as I know, I've never actually read any of her stories. So I decided to start at the beginning and read every book she's written. And the first Agatha Christie novel is The Mysterious Affair at Styles. Which I enjoyed. Poirot is quite a character, and I didn't figure out the solution, though I picked up on several of the clues that the narrator (Arthur Hastings) didn't. A good read, I'm looking forward to reading more. Anyone know of a complete list of all her books and short stories? (and plays and everything else?)

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Saturday, May 24, 2008


My evil twin apparently attempted to kill me by taking me on a 20 mile bike ride today... when it's been years since I've been on a bicycle. I will now proceed to attempt to recover. Ouch.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Oh Friday, Why Do You Only Come Once A Week?

Rest in Peace, Robert Asprin. Via filkertom.

The Comics Community mourns Rory Root. I never knew him, nor anything about him, but it's clear he was well-loved.

Introducing Sea Freak, a comic about a freak who lives in the sea. Creepy, compelling, and he talks with crabs. Via Periscope.

Mystery Parade in Seattle. Cliffe posts seven pictures of an unknown parade, and his commenters figure out what it's about.

The sad tale of bananas, soon to be extinct (again). Yes, we have no bananas. Update: Snard notes in the comments that Snopes disagrees that bananas are doomed, mostly because the banana corporations realize their cash cow is in danger, and took steps to prevent extinction.

Tamora Pierce on sexism in critical discussion of fantasy writing.

Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy.

The Telegraph profiles Charles Fort.

D'oh! You shouldn't publicize your SSN.

Twitter has a problem.

Our oceans are turning to acid. More here.

A Brazilian beetle may make computers much faster.

Another pug for the in-laws.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thursday Links

Bizarro Sports Illustrated. Despite the M's horrid record, I'm cool with any season in which the Yankees suck.

Is this video of a Tokyo Hotel an advertisement, or a warning?

She's 6-foot-1, and plays basketball extremely well. And now she's been kicked out of a boys' league because she puts the boys to shame.

Yikes: remote bricking is possible (making a computer useless remotely by overwriting the BIOS).

Our paper money is unfair to the blind. I honestly never thought about that before, and I'm ashamed I missed such an obvious problem.

A Lost Parrot gives his name and home address to a vet.

Fuel cells are getting closer to being something useful and world-changing.

What, you mean that restaurants lie about calorie content in their food? And use dubious definitions of "serving size"? Who would've guessed? This is why eating out is a rare treat for me now.

Slate looks at lab-grown meat. I still think getting to the point where hamburgers in massive fast food chains are made with lab-grown stuff will make a huge positive difference in food safety and quality and no noticable different in taste.

A supernova is caught in the act of being born. Cool.

A very cool Back to the Future shirt design.

Congrats to my first TV crush, who plans to marry in California soon.

If you have a few bucks and want to fight breast cancer, please donate to support us in the Race for the Cure: Laura Gjovaag, Eric Gjovaag, or Lisa Dunham (my suggested donation is $5 to each of us, if you have $15 to spare, or $5 to one of us (flip a 3-sided coin) if you're poor like me).

Pugs for the in-laws. And a bonus pug.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Evening Lunkdump

Paul Cornell was in a car accident. Paul is a writer of Doctor Who and Marvel comics, and a friend of mine who wrote me into a Doctor Who book. He's ok, but the description of the car crash is intense and worth reading.

Seattle treasure in need of saving.

Earthquake Lights. If you see a funny multi-colored cloud, get out of the flimsy building you're standing in.

Swarming ants eat electronics. Yikes.

Marv Wolfman directs apple users to a place they can get tips on how to get the most out of their machines.

I really want a Wii Fit. I've collected some article links about it: CNN, Seattle Times Business, Seattle Times Entertainment, and Wired. Though, I suppose before I can get the Wii Fit, I need to get my hands on a Wii? *sigh* I guess I'll put them on my wishlist.

The Cthulu ride. I really like Kaja's kids' imagination.

Uh. One of the oddest hoaxes I've seen in some time.

Possibly not safe for work: Garry Kasparov was buzzed by a modified remote-control helicopter. Be sure to check the comments for a translation of how Kasparov responded.

Boing Boing rounds up stories of photographers being harrassed or questioned: LA's Red Line, Port of Los Angeles, and a Weigh Station in Spokane County.

A wedding photographer in China captured the church falling down as the earthquake hit. Be sure to look at the church before and after picture. Via MeFi.

Church in Earthquake

A note on the story... while the report says that 33 guests were buried in the rubble, a later report says that all the people at the wedding survived.

Dreams from Obama's mother, my eighth cousin and a girl who lived in the town next to the one I grew up in.

I just want to say: Scientology is a Cult, and attacking a teenager for saying that is truly cult-like behavior.

Basement Cat Arises.

For my in-laws (and my hubby this time): Pug Life.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Another Linkdump

Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #155: Barney Google, Savage Dragon, and Skrulls.

Note to all my friends who knit: no, I don't want a knitted Ood.

Speaking of legal troubles, Jeff Trexler explains Warner's auction canceling actions.

Men of the DCU Contest.

Elayne tackles pink. My own pink story? I hate pink LEGO, and wouldn't build with them at all until some of the guys in the LEGO Train club I belong to pointed out how much they loved pink for realistic buildings. I still have almost no pink bricks.

Looking at my town from an outside perspective. Sort of.

YIKES. I think my little sister was left behind on a trip once... but we were driving, not flying.

Seven Insane Conspiracies That Actually Happened.

This may have an immediate, positive, effect on my life.

Don't drive distracted!

Money refaced. I prefer the more subtle ones (Emo Lincoln, Planet of the Apes Jackson).

MetaFilter talks about the Something Store.

The Tunstallator.

Tests for Husbands and Wives. Grrrrrrr.

More LOLCat Theology.

And lastly, Pug for the in-laws.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Various Updates

I can't wait for the next linkdump to report this news: Steven Moffat will succeed Russell T. Davies as Doctor Who showrunner/exec. producer in 2010. That's REALLY good news for Doctor Who fans. Moffat is behind some of the best stories of the new Doctor Who, and will no doubt carry on Davies vision of the show while adding his own style to the mythos. Good news all around!

A "Get Well Soon!" to Lois McMaster Bujold, one of my favorite authors.

Tooth news: the tooth that cracked a filling was my left mandibular second premolar, aka tooth #20. It had an amalgam silver filling, which broke because of decay underneath the filling (which apparently had been there a long time, as the dentist said the tooth was trying to heal over the decay). The dentist replaced it with a non-amalgam filling that makes it look completely natural but still feels like a filling (cold sensitivity is the main issue at the moment).

Last night, when the numbness wore off, the tooth was in sheer agony and I had to bite my tongue (literally) to avoid yelling at poor hubby-Eric for nothings. By this morning the pain was down to a low ache, only being triggered when I clench my teeth or eat/drink something cold. There's a very slight swelling on the left side of my mouth, and my jaw still aches from being held open for the filling. If have continual pain for more than two weeks or so, I need to have a root canal on the tooth. So far, I'm optimistic.

If I had the money, I would happily replace all my amalgam fillings with this other stuff (Resin). It looks so much better. I'm not usually a critic of my own mouth, but the difference is striking. I actually LIKE looking at my tooth while I brush and floss now. And there is the mercury thing. I know what the studies say, but it seems rather counter-intuitive to put a substance in your mouth that is too toxic to pour down a drain. Unfortunately, I haven't got the money (or insurance that would pay) so I'm going to have to live with a mercury-filled mouth for the moment.

More notes on this dentist. As I mentioned, I went to the ADA website and just called dentists who were in walking distance. There were a lot I could've called. I went with the first people who said they could fit me in same-day. I've already mentioned that it was an all-female office while I was there, which made me very comfortable. Another good sign was when they offered me shades for the exam, they were thick and green and I said, "Ah, Emerald City glasses!" and the dentist and her assistant both laughed and responded, "Yes, we call them our Oz glasses." Then the dental assistant set me up with headphones on an "Oldies" station, which turned out to be 1960's rock. There is something lovely and surreal about having a tooth filled to the sound of Bob Dylan singing "everybody must get stoned".

If you have a few bucks and want to fight breast cancer, please donate to support us in the Race for the Cure: Laura Gjovaag, Eric Gjovaag, or Lisa Dunham (my suggested donation is $5 to each of us, if you have $15 to spare).

Labels: , , ,

Emerald City Comicon 2008 Link Round-Up


Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #154: Jim Shooter, Million Dollar Contract, and Steve Ditko.

Cats on a Treadmill.

David Petersen draws the Wizard of Oz.

Ben Stein is a moron. He'd better lose his glasses, since they are the product of science, and thus (according to him) little better than Nazi tech.

Why I support equal rights, particularly for marriage. Remember, bigots refused to recognize mixed ethnic marriages once. The world moves on, people grow up.

I wanna make Dutch Babies! But I'm frightened to try.

If a scientist felt that killing a lab grown coat was morally wrong-ish, will people ever embrace lab grown meat?

Top Ten Interview Mistakes.

Kaja Foglio finds the best stuff at Fred Meyer.

Futurama: Good News, Everyone!

The mystery of the Missing (ex)Mariner.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Monday, May 19, 2008

Dental Distress Part II

Hopefully this will be the final part, as well.

Walked down to the dentist at 2pm, and filled out a very complete health history form. The office was all women. I don't think I saw any guy in the building during my entire visit. That made me feel surprisingly comfortable.

The damage to the filling was clean, so the dentist thought that it would possibly be a straightforward filling replacement. I opted to go for it, as delaying wasn't going to make the whole thing any cheaper. And they had time to get in there and put in a replacement today.

I apparently have petite teeth. Peteeth?

The dentist, once she'd removed the remains of the old filling and checked, found a bit more decay under the old filling. She carefully dug it out, and I could hear her worrying that it was too close to a nerve. When she finished, she told me that I have a 50% chance of needing a root canal on the tooth. Only time will tell, as I need to give the tooth a week or two to heal, during which pain should be fairly common, but should die down quickly. Continual pain is a really bad sign.

So now I just need to wait and see if the pain goes away. Wish me luck.

Labels: ,

Dental Distress

Last night I really needed a snack, so I grabbed a granola bar and was happily munching down on it when something in my mouth went horribly wrong. I spit out what looked like shards of stone, and carefully checked the remaining granola bar, thinking they'd come from it. Running my tongue over my teeth, though, I quickly discovered it wasn't the bar, it was one of my fillings. It had cracked clean off and it was shards of amalgam filling that I'd spit out. YUCK.

Inspecting it in the bathroom mirror, I could see the break. Maybe a quarter of the tooth is gone, though I suspect it was all filling. I think this was the filling that my last dentist "fixed" for me, but I'm not sure. I decided immediately that I didn't want to go back to my last dentist because I just didn't trust him. That meant I'd have to find a new dentist.

I don't like dentist visits. I have a horrible reaction to the sound of the dental vacuum (the drill doesn't bother me at all, it's the vacuum that freaks me out). I can bear a lot of pain, but dentists always manage to make me feel helpless and trapped. I have a lot of fillings and had my wisdom teeth pulled as a kid, so I've been in that chair a lot. I just don't like it much.

Then there is the matter of insurance. I haven't got any. So any dental work is going on the credit card, which is already strained. Not happy.

I started my search for a dentist by Googling dentists in my town. I already knew there were a lot, I didn't realize how many. I had to narrow it down some. I tried looking for reviews, but there just weren't many. So eventually I gave up and went to the American Dental Association website and did a search there. Then I used the map to figure out the closest ones, and started calling them blindly, hoping for someone to actually answer and be able to fit me in.

I've got an appointment at 2pm today at a dentist within walking distance. I'll give them a shot and see what happens. Hopefully she can either fix the tooth or declare it safe enough to not worry about for a few more days.

Labels: ,

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Puget Sound Race for the Cure

Hubby-Eric and I have just registered for the Puget Sound Race for the Cure. If you have a few bucks and want to fight breast cancer, you can donate to support either Laura Gjovaag or Eric Gjovaag in the race (or you can even sponsor my not-quite twin sister) (my suggested donation is $5 to each of us, if you have $15 to spare).

If you are local, and want to sign up, go to Puget Sound Race for the Cure and register. We're doing the 5K walk, as usual.

Torvald will probably be present. He seems to like the walk, and he gives me a good excuse to take lots of pictures.

The walk itself is June 21st this year, and I'll probably mention it a few more times leading up to the event. Check out my posts on previous Race for the Cure walks, too.


A Sunday Review

TV this week:
  • Classic Doctor Who: "Underworld" Parts 1 & 2 - Another story I'd never seen! I may be a Doctor Who fan, but there's so much history that I still haven't caught up. Best cliffhanger line ever: "Whatever blows can be sucked".
  • Numb3rs: "Pay to Play" - Slightly complicated story, but the subplot just made this episode for me.
  • American Gladiators: Wonderful mindless fun. I really got into this one, I'm afraid. The guy who'd lost a leg was inspiring.
  • Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives: "American Classics" - The most depressing thing about this show is all the places are too far away to visit.
  • Supernanny: "Browning Family" - I wasn't sure she was going to be able to bring that group together. The daughter was incredibly cute. But I still wish they would do a big follow-up special on these families. A year or two later.
  • Have I Got News For You: "Bill Bailey, Nick Robinson, and Reginald D. Hunter" - The horrid Brian Blessed wife joke was a good running joke for Paul. And... not all barn owls are called Mr Peters.
  • Classic Doctor Who: "Underworld" Parts 3 & 4 - The visuals were annoyingly dark, making this hard to watch. But it was a good ending.
  • Smallville: "Arctic" - Um. ok. That was it? Right.
  • Numb3rs: "When Worlds Collide" - Way to shake up the status quo again. It also underlines the difficulties of protecting a free people.
  • Doctor Who: "The Unicorn and the Wasp" - This was the fun one for the season, the one that you can't stop giggling during.
Comics this week:
  • Superman #676 - What, have we rebooted the mythos again? Boring.
  • Wonder Woman #20 - Team-up with Beowulf? I'm there.
  • Titans #2 - Hrm, so Garth hasn't been found. Is he going to die?
  • Batman #676 - I must've missed an issue. When did Bats die?
  • Green Lantern Corps #24 - yawn.
  • Tiny Titans #4 - The first page made me squee, but Brad Guigar did it better. Or at least did it first.
  • Captain Britain and MI 13 #1 - As usual with the British superhero stuff, interesting but strange.
  • Red Sonja #33 - Is she finally dead yet?
  • Serenity: Better Days #3 - Not a bad finish, but I'd rather just have another season of the show.
  • Phantom #23 - Still no retcon... but at least we know who is behind this latest nastiness.
  • DMZ #31 - Matty's mom for Mother's Day? Well, this has a lot more detail on what drives him.
  • Doctor Who Classics #6 - Nice cliffhanger.
  • True Story, Swear To God #11 - Oh, I love this book. The whole cost of marriage thing is interesting, especially when I think about my own wedding.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Continuity Court

Continuity Court


Friday, May 16, 2008

No Writing Today

I've written a lot in the last few days, so today is a no writing day.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Emerald City Comicon Report 2008 - Part IV

Invincible in Seattle
And so I go into my final con report post. I hope I remembered everything I meant to say.

Despite my really bad start, with my fibromyalgia pain screaming for me to stay home, I was doing ok. I don't know if it was the vitamin patch my sister gave me, the painkillers I was popping, or even just the embracing atmosphere of the convention itself. In any case, I felt MUCH better on Sunday than I did on Saturday.

When we last left our heroes they were sitting in the home base booth, eating lunch... Heidi, hubby-Eric, and I were hanging out together in the booth when James returned to tell Heidi she had to go visit Ethan Van Sciver, and that he was expecting her at the front of the line. See, Heidi had posted one of his covers in her on-going Is This Gratuitous? series, and Ethan had responded in the comments. So he wanted to meet Heidi, and she had an invitation to jump his line. She suggested I come along and Troll him at the same time. Thus, the Heidi and Laura fangirl tag-team was born!

We arrived at the front of Ethan's line, and said hello a bit tentatively, but Ethan practically welcomed us with open arms. He immediately struck up a great discussion with Heidi about the cover, after first being trolled. Heidi and I kept apologizing to the poor guys at the front of the line that we'd sort of evicted, but Ethan continued to sign for them while talking, so neither of them seemed to take it too hard. Other folks, further back in the line, didn't look too happy and I don't blame them. Both of us felt pretty guilty, I think. But it was at Ethan's request, or we wouldn't have done it.

Another topic of discussion that came up was Aquaman. Apparently Ethan and Geoff Johns have an idea for Aquaman which was mentioned during the DC dinner on Saturday night. Dan Didio did some squashing, leaving Ethan without much hope that he'd ever get to do Aquaman. We started brainstorming ways Aquaman could succeed, and mostly agreed that he needed to be a series of mini-series and not an on-going. Then I suggested DC Challenge: Aquaman, which got everyone laughing. The vast amusement potential of that idea stuck with me for the rest of the con. When I later mentioned it to Kurt Busiek he was actually speechless for a moment before saying, "That would be GHASTLY!" I agree, and that's why it would be wonderful.

Ethan Van Sciver

Now inspired, Heidi suggested we go Troll Phil Jimenez. I was game, and we headed over to his table expecting a huge line. Nothing. He was off to lunch, and Tone Rodriguez who was sitting next to him chatted with us a bit and was trolled instead. We moved on, then, to Jason Martin (J Martini?) and trolled him. Then some stormtroopers who were walking by. Then I trolled Mike Grell's old friend Masun, who I've seen at a couple of cons. We also trolled Ford Gilmore on our way out of Artists Alley toward the Hero Initiative booth to Troll Brian, Jim and Paris. Brian and Jim were around, and got themselves Trolled, but Paris was missing, so Heidi and I went back to home base, only to learn that we'd missed Paris by a few moments.

After a quick consult with Eric, the three of us headed back to the Hero Initiative booth, where we caught up to Paris and Trolled her. Then Eric and I went to see if Phil was back to be Trolled. He wasn't there, but a line was forming, so I decided to hang out, chatting with Tone and Joss, his rep. We talked for a bit, as Eric grew increasingly bored. Finally, Eric said he was going to go find a Coke. Tone asked if he could get one too if he treated Eric. And so Eric headed off to the concession stand with Tone's money while Tone and I continued to chat. I showed Tone Eric's sketchbook, and he decided that, since Eric was off being a minion for him, he would do a sketch for Eric. He drew a very cool Green Lantern/Oz ring.

As I waited, I also Trolled Raven Minura, who was just around the corner from Tone and Joss. But most of the time I spent in front of Tone's table chatted with him and Joss. I showed Tone my sketchbook and talked about my first sketchbook, with Nick Cardy's sketch in it. Joss mentioned that they were going to be at a con with Nick next weekend, so I wrote a little message on one of my cards and asked Joss to give it to Nick if at all possible. She said she would try. After waiting for Phil for nearly an hour, Eric and I decided to move on. Joss asked for my phone number, though, so she could call me when Phil returned. I gave it, and Eric and I left.

Raven Minura

On the way back to home base, we stopped at the Spanish Artists' booth again. I'm still kicking myself (repeatedly) for not Trolling all of them, but I was... in a word... intimidated. I did get one last talk in with Esteban's translator, in which I told Esteban that he'd made the con for me. The translator didn't understand until Eric translated, explaing that meeting Esteban was the highlight of the convention for me. I thanked Esteban and his translator profusely, and we moved on.

A note on the panels: I tend to not go to panels at conventions, unless someone else prompts me. I always feel like there isn't enough time, then I sit for an hour smelling marker fumes in front of Tone Rodriguez's table waiting for Phil Jimenez. *Ahem*. But I usually spend my time at a con on the floor of a con. Not that the selection of panels was shabby! No, there were some great sounding panels on the list this year. I considered attending the DC Nation panel on the first day, but forgot about it until it was too late. And hubby-Eric wanted to attend the Trailer-Park panel, but just before it was time to go to it, an announcement came on that it had been canceled. So, in the end, none of my crowd made it to the panels. If I'd been thinking, I would have at least checked out the panel area, but I was too busy being the Troll-Lady to be normal.

We got back to home base just in time for the charity drawing at Space Goat. Somehow I became the person who drew the names out for the prizes. I eventually pulled a winner who was in the crowd waiting, to many cheers. Jason Metcalf himself drew the winner of his piece. After which he was Trolled. The proceeds of the drawing were to go to the Hero Initiative, so a trip down to their booth for a presentation ceremony was planned. Then my phone rang. Phil was back.

Jason, Heidi, and I proceeded to the Hero Initiative booth, which was overcrowded and loud due to the arm-wrestling competition (as seen here). After a quick consult, Heidi and Jason decided to do the presentation later, and Heidi and I hurried to see Phil. When we got there, we were told that Phil was waiting for us, so once again we jumped the line and quickly trolled someone.

Torvald and Phil Jimenez

Right after trolling Phil, and before we could step more than a couple of steps from his table, I was hailed by Jonathan Miller, aka Morgan Minstrel. He recognized me because of Torvald. It's not like there are that many hand-carved Norwegian trolls hanging out at comic book conventions, I guess. If I'd been thinking, I would have trolled Jonathan, but I zoned out because of the odd Phil Jimenez thing. I'll get him next time! And, as a sort of consolation prize, I posted my sketchbook advice on his LiveJournal.

As we headed back home, I noticed a really long line, and realized that it wasn't for Ed Brubaker, but for JMS. I stepped to the front of the line and asked the woman who was next in line if I could take JMS's picture with my troll. She agreed, amused, and I trolled J Michael Straczynski. Heidi was bemused, and kept telling me how cool it all was. Yes, actually, taking pictures like this is pretty darn cool.

Torvald and JMS

When we got back to home base, I picked up my hubby-Eric to take him to meet Erik Thompson and get a Green Lantern sketch. While Erik sketched for Eric, I went paTrolling and met Matt Maxwell, who remembered me from my Usenet days (yikes!). I also trolled Brian Churilla, Mike Maydak, Arthur Suydam, Tom Raney, and Jim Cheung. When Erik had finished his sketch (Dexter from Dexter's Lab as GL), hubby-Eric went to ask Aaron Williams for a Green Lantern sketch. I trolled Amy Pronovost and Steve Gallacci, then started showing off my Aquaman sketchbook (with both its new sketches) to them. Amy wanted to give Aquaman a try, and so produced an excellent sketch. Then Steve added an AquaOtter. Hubby-Eric came over with a wonderful sketch of The Flea as Green Lantern by Aaron Williams, and Amy gave him a sketchcard of a Jawa ("so I don't have to haul it home with me!").

You could feel the con was winding down by that point. Eric and I headed back to home base through the retail section, and I got a Sword of Atlantis and King Shark Heroclix. I wanted to get an Aquaman with Starro on his face Heroclix too, but it was a bit much for our budget. Back at the booth I trolled Michael Alan Nelson, then the Teenage Kung Fu Cottontails in the booth across the way (please, just don't ask. Really.) and lastly I trolled Shon Bury, who came by.

I met a lot of cool people, saw folks I like, chatted with creators and fans, and in general had a good time. Except for the illness on the first day and the pain on the second, it was an EXTREMELY good con.

But wait, there's more! This morning as I zipped through my RSS feeds, I noticed that Brad Guigar had posted his con report. Scrolling down, I spotted a familiar troll. It took me a few moments to realize that the person holding the books and the troll was ME! That's right, people. I've been Trolled! (You can tell that picture was taken early on the first day because a) I'm still wearing a jacket over my t-shirt and b) there's a bag strap on my shoulder. My shoulders became too painful to carry any bags by midday.)

Emerald City Comicon

By the Numbers: Eric's Sketchbook - 3, Doctor Who Sketchbook - 2, Aquaman Sketchbook - 9, Lisa's Sketchbook - 3. Most sketches: Aaron Williams, who did one for each book. Troll pictures: 66 taken by me, one by Brad Guigar. Anxiety attacks: 2, both on Saturday while in lines.

Notes to myself: Next con don't bother trying the freebie table first, just dive right in. Bring a smaller bag along with the regular con bag. I need to make and bring an Aqua-character reference book (including Mermaid Man).

Eric and I stopped Jim to ask about the Emerald City jerseys that Eric was lusting after, and learned that they were for 5-year con staff only... I spent about 2 minutes total in the gaming area, usually while moving past it... My local retailer said the show was excellent for her, with heavy crowds on Saturday... I talked with Cheyenne Wright for a brief moment to ask about Arcane Times: he's got too much on his plate right now... Several people told me that when they Google themselves, their troll picture comes up first... I saw another Androgum (our Doctor Who club) member on Saturday going past home base, and chatted with her for a moment... I saw some people carrying Spirit posters from the freebie table, but didn't try to get one myself... The announcements were very loud, and it was impossible to converse with a person next to you while they were going on... I'm still kicking myself for not trolling the rest of the Spanish artists... When Lisa and I headed to the garage for lunch on Saturday, we passed a woman carrying a heavy cooler. I realized I'd left my car keys in the booth, so we headed back and carried the cooler for the woman to her table in Artists Alley. On Sunday, I got cookies from the people I carried the cooler for the day before... The trolled cards were a hit, and I'm glad I made them... If you were at the con, be sure to fill out the survey and ask for Nick Cardy and Romana Fradon to be invited. Or maybe Linda Medley. Or Peter David. Or whomever you'd like to see.

Labels: , , , ,

Gene Colan

Lots of people are reporting on benefit auctions for Gene Colan.

Dirk Deppey suggested that people donate directly to Gene via their Paypal account at

I went ahead and did that, as I had about $10 to spare in my Paypal account. I don't think I could win any auction, and I want to help. I have no health insurance, so I live in constant fear of what a true medical problem would do to us. Ten bucks isn't much, and I wish I could spare more right now. I will never forget how people came through for me during my vehicle crisis last Fall.

More links: Evan Dorkin and Comics Reporter.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Emerald City Comicon Report 2008 - Part III

Hulk at Dick's Drive-in
I've been doing cons for a few years now. I got my first Aquaman sketch in 1998. I started my first Aquaman sketchbook in 1999 and finished it at San Diego 2000. My second sketchbook was started in late 2000 and finished by Dave Kellett on the Saturday of this year's Emerald City Comicon. I brought a blank sketchbook with me in case my second book was finished this year, and if you read yesterday's report you'll know I left the blank book with Kristofer Straub of Starslip Crisis. The first sketch in a sketchbook is very important, as it can set the whole tone for a book. It will also be used as a reference by other artists... and be seen by every artist who draws in the book. So I was hoping for something strong to start out this newest book. Straub did NOT disappoint me. However, I'm getting ahead of myself...

I woke up on Sunday eager to get going, but scared of how I was going to deal with the day. I didn't have much faith in Lisa's vitamin patch, especially as I was really feeling my fibromyalgia. My shoulders did not exist, there were sheets of pain where they'd been. My legs were spikes of agony. I was worried. I popped a couple of painkillers and put the patch on my neck, as instructed, then had a good breakfast with hubby-Eric. I was anxious to get going, so my long-suffering husband let us leave a bit earlier than I had on Saturday. I told hubby-Eric that if anyone asked, the patch was an internet-withdrawal patch. No one asked, but we repeated the joke a few times when I mentioned I was wearing it.

Arriving at the convention center, I promptly got lost in the parking garage looking for the area Lisa and I had parked the day before. Eventually I found my way, and we headed up to the exhibition floor. The first goal of the day was to grab a program guide for Eric. He had Lisa's badge from Saturday, but Lisa had kept the guide. I wandered over to the registration area and asked, and of course they had plenty of extras. And then hubby-Eric started lusting over a baseball jersey that one of the volunteers was wearing. At first, I didn't have a clue what he was talking about. I'd seen the jerseys on Saturday and admired them, but hadn't thought of them from the perspective of a Wizard of Oz fan. Eric really wanted one to wear at Oz events.

Heather of ECCC

As I hadn't trolled a member of the convention staff yet, I trolled the volunteer who was wearing the jersey that Eric lusted after. Heather was delighted to pose with Torvald. Another aside here about the convention staff. I've mentioned the staff of the center, and how wonderful they were. The convention staff were also wonderful. Always willing to help you find someone or someplace, and easy to find in their Henchman shirts or jerseys. As always, the convention is run professionally and the staff reflects the quality of Emerald City Comicon.

Ahem. Moving on... Eric and I got in the "line" to get in the convention, which was more of a crowd in front of one set of doors. I realized immediately that I'd brought us too early, as Eric was a bit frustrated with the idea of standing around for 45 minutes waiting. I enjoy being around fellow fans (when I'm in con mode), and tried to cheer Eric up while talking with other folks and seriously just enjoying myself. Eric and I planned to go to Wil's table the instant the doors were open, and we did. We were beat to the table by Darth Vader and his friend, who wanted Wil to autograph a Vader photo taken the day before. And so we stood in line for awhile, chatting with others and waiting. Poor Eric... nothing but lines!

While Eric waited, I ran off to collect my sketchbook from Kristofer Straub. I said hello to the Halfpixel crew and Kristofer handed over my sketchbook. Inside was the PERFECT first sketch! A full Aquaman swimming, in Straub's style. I told him that I'd have to buy his books next year, as I was out of spending money for this con already. He said I could read the whole thing on-line, didn't have to buy it... but there is something about owning a copy of an excellent comic. You want to have more than just the pixels in your mind. I showed off his sketch to the rest of Halfpixel, and realized as I did so that ALL of them had done an Aquaman sketch for me. That's going to have to be the subject of a future post, I think.

I went back to the Wil Wheaton line. Still nothing, and a staff member came by to say he might be awhile still. Vader left. Then Eric and I left to go drop off bags at Heidi's booth (hereafter referred to as "home base"). Heidi was there, and we shed our bags and got ourselves down to the basics (for me: sketchbook, clipboard, program guide, and troll!). Hubby-Eric had two sketchbooks (his original and the Doctor Who one). We went back around the front of the hall... and Wil was at his booth. I rushed over to get in line again while Eric ran back to home base to collect his Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion to get signed.

Owly in Seattle

I'd already done the Wil Wheaton line twice now, so I abandoned Eric to his fate to visit Andy Runton of Owly fame. I chatted with him and some of his fans, and Trolled him. Then I somehow managed to convince him to do the second sketch in my book. Owly as Aquaman! I've been wanting that as a sketch ever since I first saw his "Owly as..." sketches on his page. The first two sketches in my book were fantastic!

I went back to Eric and the Wil line, and watched the person in front of us buy the last paperback copy of Happiest Days of Our Lives from Wil. Eric then got his book signed, while telling Wil that he loved his work in Numb3rs. Next we decided to bug Aaron Williams. We walked around the floor til we reached him. The line for Kaare today was going the other direction, and thus not blocking Aaron at all. We chatted, Eric asked for a sketch, and I slipped in front of Kaare's line (with permission from one of the line members) to troll him.

I also wandered around a bit while and said hello to Steve Lieber again to grab a Whiteout pin for my sister. As I was walking back to Aaron's table, I spotted a great drawing of Storm from the X-Men and paused to compliment the artist, Kerry Scribner. We got to talking, and she spotted my Whiteout pin and asked where I got it. I pointed to Lieber's table, the next row over. She geeked out and said she had to get a pin. I walked over and grabbed one for her. Then I said she ought to go talk to him. There was a wierd moment when I did a sort of long distance introduction, and then we got into the fact that Rucka was at the con but neither of us knew where he was (my program guide was elsewhere). I made a solo trip back out to registration to grab her one, then we discovered that Rucka was at the other end of her table. She definitely had plans to visit people! Kerry might have done a sketch for me, but I wanted her to try Mera, and I didn't have any reference material. In the future, I need to put together an Aqua-characters reference book to have on me at cons. Oh well, maybe next year.

When Eric left Aaron's table with a great Doctor Who sketch, we went paTrolling! First up was Bill Willingham, then the Joker (who was at Bill's table). Chris Giarrusso (the mini-Marvels guy) balanced Torvald on his shoulder (much to my consternation). Then it occurred to me to go back and troll Kerry Scribner. And, heck, time to visit Greg's table and get another shift of Middle School students. Again, the kids knew about the troll and the one holding Torvald asked for the honor. The boys seemed a bit reluctant, but we got the picture anyway.

Middle School Students

Eric and I wandered back to the front of the hall, where we finally visited the Image booth and trolled Brian Joines and Richard Starkings. At this point, I can't remember exactly what Eric and I were doing. But I know that only a few minutes later I was back paTrolling in Artists Alley, visiting Brian Snoddy, Paul Gulacy, Edward Pun, Ron Chan, and Cthulu. Ok, Cthulu was at a vendor we know just outside the alley, but still, it was fun. Then we headed back to home base to rest and have lunch. We went out to the car and grabbed our cooler, then hung out in the booth where I trolled an Imperial Officer who happened to walk by.

And that's where I'll leave off for today... in tomorrow's post I'll finish up Sunday, which was actually quite a rip-roaring afternoon.

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Emerald City Comicon Report 2008 - Part II

I never actually think about the con reports until later. I do tend to remember that I have to write down everyone's name or I'll forget them when I make the Torvald page. But the reports? Nah... I always figure I'll just wing it. Then I get to the day after the con and start writing... and wish I'd taken notes. But then, the biggest reason I do these con reports is so that I remember what happened at the con, not to entertain you folks who might be reading.

When I went to the San Diego Comicon in 2000, I wrote a wonderful extensive set of letters to my sister, Lisa, who was living out of country at the time. Those letters became my San Diego 2000 Comicon report (heavily edited to remove sisterly commentary). In 2001 I also went to the San Diego Comicon, but I didn't write anything about it at all. I remember 2000 vividly, but I've nearly forgotten what happened in 2001.

PS238 #12
And so we get back to Lisa and I, standing in a parking garage gobbling down some quick snacks before we head back up to the con floor. We planned out a trip to visit Aaron Williams, creator of PS238. I wanted to get the first collection signed, as well as issue #12, with the image similar to the Doctor Who logo.

Back up on the floor, the scene was very crowded. The layout was more open than this con has been in the past, but the sheer number of people made up for it. I found myself wishing I could clear the aisles with a wave as I struggled to get around folks who were sauntering slowly as they looked at everything. The aisles needed a fast lane. The feel of the floor this year reminded me of San Diego, only without the giant media booths and their horrible pumped in noise.

Lisa and I eventually managed to get to Artists Alley, and I found the spot where Aaron was supposed to be. There was a HUGE crowd, mostly talking with each other. It appeared to be a line. But, while it was in front of Aaron's table, no one seemed to be at Aaron's table. We asked... the line was for Kaare Andrews, who was sitting right next to Aaron. We were able to evict some folks who were just blocking Aaron's table, and get in to talk with him. I trolled him, and Lisa bought a book or two, and we got the books signed. We chatted awhile longer, enjoying the presence of Phil Foglio's Experiment #1, then decided to move on.

I needed to troll Greg Hatcher's kids. Every year Greg brings in a group of enthusiastic students to man a table, mingle with the professional artists, and promote their own work. I've been trying to get pictures of at least one shift of students every year since Torvald debuted at the con. To my surprise, the kids knew about Torvald and were eager to have their picture taken. In fact, one of them was thrilled that she got to hold the troll. I was amused, and I think Greg was as well.

Greg's Students

After seeing Greg's students, it was time to give Pia Guerra her gift. If you don't know, Pia is going to be drawing a new Doctor Who comic. I'm very excited, as I'm not happy with the current art on the book. I'm really looking forward to seeing Pia's version. Lisa and I wanted to get Pia to sketch for us, but weren't sure if she was sketching today. As soon as we saw the line, we knew. There was a decently long line, and lots of people chatting and holding "Y: The Last Man" trades to be signed. We got in line, hoping for a Doctor Who sketch each. When we got toward the front of the line, I started talking with Ian Boothby who was sitting next to Pia and happily enjoying not being the center of attention. We started in about Doctor Who and had a short chat before it was our turn to see Pia.

I pulled my gift to Pia: a bag of Bassett's Jelly Babies. She then happily did sketches of Tennant's Doctor Who for both Lisa and me. I'll post her Doctor Who sketch at some point after I've scanned it. She also showed off some cool Doctor Who swag she'd picked up. I gather there was a booth with a lot of Who stuff in it, but I never managed to run across it (just as well, as it would have broken my heart).

At this point, my memories of what we did next are a little hazy. I know we ran into Heidi Meeley of Comics Fairplay, who could tell I wasn't doing well and needed a sit-down. We eventually made our way to her booth which we used as home base for the rest of the con. I felt guilty because I wasn't working the booth, which feels wrong when you are inside a booth. Standing offer, Heidi: in the future, if I use your booth as home base, please teach me to boothsit and I'll do it for you guys. I'm actually really good as a booth babe, just ask the Illusive Arts folk.

Checking our status, we discovered that I had one more book to get signed. That book was Wondermark by David Malki. Since David hadn't been to Seattle before, I was also due to Troll him. And so Lisa and I headed out to the Wondermark booth and I handed over the book for signing. At which point there were some ooohs and aaahs... as I had a first printing that had been out-of-print for a long time and was therefore a bit of a collector's edition! He signed it, after showing it off to everyone else in the booth, and then was trolled.


Lisa and I had now accomplished everything I set out to do at the con. And we'd only been there for about three hours!

I did have one hope that I wanted to do. I wanted to see if I could get a sketch from Esteban Maroto. I didn't expect it would be possible, but at the very least I could show off my sketchbook. So Lisa and I went back to the Spanish Artists' booth and once again talked with Esteban's awesome translator. I explained that I had forgotten to show off my sketchbook and hoped Esteban would like to look through it. He was interested, and flipped through, with commentary that I could only just follow. Then he and the translator had a little discussion in which the word "gratis" came up. I know what that word means, and I felt a little surge of hope. Sure enough, he started a sketch. I gibbered for some time after seeing the beautiful final product.

Lisa got me back to the car to have a quick lunch and to drop off everything we didn't need, including promo materials people kept handing us. On the way back up to the floor, I trolled Boba Fett and on the floor itself I was able to troll The Flash. The costumes were out in force on Saturday thanks to the costume contest. The Flash was being very gracious about pictures, posing with anyone who asked.

I also trolled a member of the Convention Center Staff. I try to troll "normal" folks along with the many celebrities and such, and this year Robin represents the Convention Center on the troll page. As another aside, the convention center staff was WONDERFUL. They were always on top of things, always explained situations, were lovely with directions, and extremely kind. I got more than a few "Happy Mother's day!" wishes from staff members on Sunday. The staff made the whole experience better.

I hung out at home base for a bit when Lisa took a short nap in the car, and trolled Rogue and Gambit, and an awesome Guy Gardner. I chatted with a number of folks, and showed Heidi my original Aquaman sketchbook. The original book is priceless, in many more ways than one. It has sketches by Nick Cardy, Ramona Fradon, Neal Adams... yes, but it also has a sketch from Leah Adezio. I definitely felt a pang when Heidi reached that sketch and exclaimed over it. I brought the sketchbook to the con to show to someone, but I never did remember who I'd promised to show it to last year. I'll just have to bring it next year and hope I remember then.

Guy Gardner

When James returned to the booth with a drawing by Erik Thompson that he showed off, I decided to paTrolling (as Ron Randall put it last year). I visited the Portland contingent of Periscope Studio and trolled Sara Ryan (who was sitting next to Steve Lieber). I chatted with a lot of people, and then found Thompson's booth and asked him for an Aquaman sketch. He graciously agreed, and produced a wonderful sketch in green pencil. I hope it comes through in the scan. After the sketch, I trolled him and Phil Noto, who was just down the table a bit.

Another sketch I really wanted to get, but wasn't sure if he'd do one, was Aaron Williams. So I went back to his table to chat. Kaare was out, so there was no line blocking him. We talked, and I talked with his awesome wife and Experiment #1, who was hanging with the Williams because he could. I think awesome wife convinced Aaron to do a sketch, while Experiment #1 and I talked about the troll. I mentioned that I had a printout of my previous trolling of #1, and showed it to him. He remembered it, and asked to be trolled again. So I trolled him. And then I pointed out that it made him the only triple-trolled person. He enjoyed the status, and started saying "triple-trolled!" a lot, before running off to, presumably, tell his father about his new title.

While Aaron sketched, I spotted some Skrulls and trolled them. Aaron's sketch was FANTASTIC. I showed it off to other fans who had gathered, and then made my way back to home base to show it to Heidi.

I didn't leave home base much after that. I trolled folks who came by: Lobster Johnson, Steve Saunders, and Ross Richie (of Boom! Studios). Lisa and I revisited Halfpixel and I convinced Dave Kellett to contribute to the Aquaman sketchbook. As there was only one page left at that point, it was a high honor. He did a great one of late-career Aquaman. But he insisted that Kristofer Straub would do a much better Aquaman for me. With that in mind, I took my completed sketchbook back to home base, and took out the new one. I asked Heidi for some tape, and taped my business card inside the front cover of the new one. Then I trolled my sister at Heidi's urging.

My Good Twin Sister

It wasn't the end of the con, but I was woozy and wanted to rest, and Lisa still had to go to work (at 3 am Sunday morning!) so we headed out. On the way, we stopped again at the halfpixel booth and I gave the blank sketchbook #3 into Kristofer Straub's keeping. He started on the sketch right away, and I'm sure was done before he left. But it was nothing to me, as I was tired and home was calling. We gave hubby-Eric the heads up that we were on the way so he could start dinner, and away we went.

Lisa stayed long enough for dinner and to grab something I downloaded as soon as I got home. Eric and I then watched the downloaded something then I took a hot bath. Lisa had given me a vitamin patch to try, and since I'd been so miserable most of Saturday, I resolved to give the patch a shot on Sunday. I went to bed, but again I slept fitfully. The con had been so much fun... and I got to go again!

And that's where I'll leave off for the day. Tomorrow: Sunday at the con! Hubby-Eric's lust for something he can't have! Phil Jimenez! Owly! and fangirl power activate!

Emerald City Comicon reports: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006: part I, part II, part III, part IV, 2007: part I, part II, part III, part IV, 2008: part I.
All my blogged con reports and San Diego 2000.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, May 12, 2008

Emerald City Comicon Report 2008 - Part I

It's time for the sixth annual Emerald City Comicon report. Has it really been six years now? Six years already? I went to the first year, where I had a short day but had a lot of fun. I went the second year and met Kurt Busiek for the first time, as well as a ton of other people who've become once-a-year friends. I went the third year, but only the second day because of work, and met the folks behind Dorothy of Oz AND left a phone message for Aaron Williams. In 2006, the fourth year, I brought Torvald along for the first time and trolled a lot of people as seen in my four part convention report. Last year, the fifth year, I trolled Margot Kidder and Peter Mayhew, and wrote another very long convention report.

Hulk in the Emerald City

This year, instead of being in a Stadium Concourse or Exhibition Hall, the con was held at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in downtown Seattle. While I have visited the building recently, the last time I had attended an event there was about 20 years ago. It's changed a bit since then. For me, this was like visiting a brand new place with a lot of familiar faces.

Although taking a bus down to the center looked like it might be slightly cheaper, I ended up deciding to drive for several compelling reasons. The biggest reason on Saturday was my "twin" sister's work schedule, which had her working the morning shift on Saturday, coming to my house for breakfast and then immediately going to the con with no sleep. Bringing the car meant she could nap in a fairly quiet environment if she needed it. It also meant we could pack a cooler with lunch and snacks. Which we did. As for Sunday, it was the ability to bring along food that made me stick with the car. Buying food at the con itself is always a dodgy proposition (expense-wise), so I didn't want to risk it.

Atlantis Chronicles #1 Cover
As I was checking the list of guests to figure out what to bring for signing, I spotted a name that I was certain I had misread. In fact, I read the name about four times before I started to accept that, yes, this was the same guy who drew The Atlantis Chronicles. Esteban Maroto. One of the first comic book series I hunted down to read. Still one of the finest comic book stories I've ever read. And the artist was coming to Seattle! I gibbered. I ran around looking for my copies of the books. I called my sister to squee (and ask how her Spanish was, as my understanding was that Esteban speaks no English). I eventually calmed down and finished my other preparations for the con, including making my business cards and Torvald's cards.

I slept very little the night before the con. I am rarely this excited, but it felt like the night before Christmas used to when I was a child. I got up nice and early and got ready in record time. I set up a post to see if the delayed blogger posting works, that would post when I got to the con. Then I needed only to wait for my sister, Lisa, to finish work and arrive. The clock ticked on. She was supposed to call about 8am to let us know she was on the way up. 8am passed. Then 8:15. I began to panic. I called her at 8:20 and learned her boss had decided to give her some extra last minute stuff to do, but she was almost done, don't worry Laura. I shouldn't have worried. She arrived in plenty of time to gobble down pancakes for breakfast. We left by 9am, which was my original goal.

The drive down was utterly uneventful. The directions I downloaded from the WSCTC website were perfect. We got a good spot, and loaded up our bags and headed in. Torvald was strapped against my waist in a belt purse, with the cards I made also in the main pocket. My con bag with sketchbooks and mini-clipboard was on my shoulder. Lisa offered to carry some of my books, so had my copies of The Atlantis Chronicles and Wondermark. We went from the parking garage, up an escalator to the fourth level, and went to claim our badges. Then we went to the line. We weren't very far back, and the line wasn't out in the cold like in previous years, but in a nice dry concourse. The fans were squeezed in by the convention center staff, but no one seemed to mind much. The woman behind us in line mentioned that this trip was her Mother's Day present.

Then we were in! The doors opened and the crowds rushed. Lisa and I started toward the freebie table, but as usual gave up and instead headed to table 520. Where the Spanish artists were set up. I was the first visitor of the day, there before they'd finished setting up, talking with Esteban's translator and practically gleaming with joy. Lisa, realizing that I'd never calm down enough to think of it, pulled out my copies of Atlantis Chronicles for Esteban to sign. He signed all seven issues. I squeed. I trolled him, first trolling of the day. He seemed amused. I gave him a "You've Been Trolled" badge. His agent and translator both took my business cards and suggested that there were some Atlantis Chronicles pages I might be able to put up on my Aquaman website to help Esteban sell. They said they would be in touch. Esteban had a piece of artwork out on the table, not really the Atlantis Chronicles but a promo piece with Aquaman. Knowing I didn't want to hear the answer, I asked if it were for sale and for how much. The answer was yes, $1000. Had I had a spare $1000 the piece would have been mine. But I had only enough money to buy the books that Eric and I had pre-agreed on. I asked if I could take some pictures of it, which was allowed. You should be able to see the picture below this paragraph (click for a larger version). I'm sorry about the shadows, the light was harsh.

Maroto's Atlantis

After seeing Esteban, Lisa tore me away to go visit Pia, since I had a gift for her in my bag. Unfortunately, Pia hadn't arrived yet, so we headed down to the media tables to visit the "Who Wants To Be A Superhero" stars and troll them. I had a printed montage of people I've trolled in the past, and was sure to include previous winner Feedback in the image for this year. I showed it to each of them before I trolled so they knew what I was doing. I first met Nell "Fat Momma" Wilson, who was my favorite on the last season. I thanked her for her courage in going through those tests, knowing that I couldn't have managed. Then I trolled Trisha "Ms Limelight" Paytas. Jarrett "The Defuser" Crippen was busier, but we managed to troll him as well.

The Defuser

Lisa's main goal of the con was to meet Dave Kellett and buy all his books. As I wanted to visit Brad Guigar and buy all his books, this worked out well for both of us. So our next stop was the booth! I'd met half the people at the booth. Scott Kurtz and Brad Guigar were both trolled last year. I hadn't, however, trolled Skull the troll! So Skull got trolled. Then I purchased all three books from Brad, and asked really really nicely for an Aquaman sketch if he wanted to try. In the meantime, Lisa was buying all of Dave's books. Knowing my... "love"... of pugs, she also bought me one of Dave's pug buttons. Brad did a sketch, reluctantly, and then I trolled the other half of Halfpixel, Dave Kellett and Kristofer Straub.

An aside here. I regularly read PVP, Evil Inc, and Sheldon. But somehow, I'd never even heard of Starslip Crisis. Kristofer Straub was a complete mystery to me. I didn't want to leave him out, so I trolled him, and picked up his flyer. Saturday night, before I crashed, I checked out the webcomic and after giggling aloud while reading several strips, added it to my RSS reader. I will probably be buying his books next year. This is why conventions are so important!

Kristofer Straub

After I'd trolled Halfpixel, we heard an announcement that Wil Wheaton was now signing at his booth. As Dave was still autographing Lisa's books, I abandoned her to get in the line. Good thing, too, as it was a LONG line that grew immensely after I got in it and moved fairly slowly because Wil gives everyone plenty of attention. I hoped that Wil would still have a copy of "The Happiest Days of Our Lives" on hand, because I'd been waiting to buy it. I'd also tweeted Wil to warn him about the troll. I stood in line until Lisa came up to say hello. She then wandered off while I waited.

Maybe it was the crowds. Maybe it was the lack of movement. Could've been the air in that section of the room. I had a minor anxiety attack and had to crouch down to avoid falling over in a faint. While I was crouching, I noticed a friend walking by and called to her. She looked around for the voice, not seeing me since I was down low. I stood up and she came over to chat. I'm not sure I made much sense, as I wasn't feeling well at all. Eventually Lisa came back and my friend wandered off to find someone she was trying to meet. I think Heidi Meeley also walked by at this point, but I'm not sure. The guy in front of me in line was nice, and helped me regain focus (fucos?) by talking about his gift for Wil (a Lando action figure).

Eventually we made the front of the line, and Wil laughed heartily when he saw the Lando figure. He had stacks of books left, so I wasn't worried anymore about getting my copy. When it was my turn, I trolled Wil (as seen here) and bought a book. Wil mentioned that he'd seen the tweet. He inscribed my book "To Laura Don't Feed The Troll! Wil Wheaton". Pleased and happy with my purchase and picture, I collected Lisa and we decided to visit the car and drop off the many books we'd already gotten.


On the way to the car, we ran into Magneto. His costume was excellent, but the guy himself really looked like Sir Ian McKellan. It was amazing. I managed to get him to pause for a Troll picture. Then it was off to the car to plot our next move. We dumped off all our extra books, each ate a snack, and decided to visit Aaron Williams next.

And that's where I'll leave off for the moment, with Lisa and I standing in the parking garage eating snacks out of the trunk of my car and plotting our next evil move.

Labels: , , ,

Torvald's Page Has Been Updated

Travels With The Troll

I have added all the Troll pictures from Emerald City Comicon 2008 to Torvald's page. I'll be writing up my con report soon, and that will be posted here. As usual, if you notice any problems, cases of mistaken identity, misspellings, or just general stupidity on my part, please feel free to correct me through e-mail or comments. Every troll page has a comment link for such corrections or links to trolled folks' sites.

Labels: ,

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Tone Rodriguez has been Trolled

Torvald and Tone

Not everyone wants a calm and serene picture with Torvald. The many troll pictures will be going up on Torvald's Site as soon as I finish editing them. There are over 60 of them.

Labels: ,

A Sunday Review

TV this week:
  • Have I Got News For You: "Brian Blessed, Marcus Brigstocke and Alan Duncan" - After watching Brian Blessed yell his way through this episode, I realized I'd have to watch it again as I'd laughed so hard during parts of it that I missed bits.
  • Ghost Hunters: "Haunted Asylum" - I don't recall seeing a parental warning on this show before. But then, wandering around in an asbestos-tainted asylum in the middle of the night isn't exactly safe.
  • Numb3rs: "Atomic No. 33" - Larry's anger at the cultist woman's Ben Stein moment was probably the most interesting part of the show. But the general mystery was also pretty well done.
  • Supernanny: "Martinez Family" - A standard episode with a fairly normal family.
  • Smallville: "Quest" - A search set off by symbols carved into Lex's chest. Yuk.
  • Doctor Who: "The Doctor's Daughter" - I was sure I wouldn't like this one. But the ending pleased me much more than I expected.
Comics this week:
  • Justice League Unlimited #45 - As always, a nice done-in-one tale that I enjoyed.
  • Detective Comics #844 - Hmm. Is that the end then? Or is the power of the puppet too great?
  • House of Mystery #1 - A slow start, but promising.
  • Hulk #3 - Ah, being dropped into the middle of a story, the Marvel way. I think I got it, though. The mystery is about who Red Hulk is. Basic stuff, but fun.
  • Invincible Iron Man #1 - Nice set-up. That about covers it.
  • Man With No Name #1 - Fairly standard Western.
  • Star Wars: Legacy #23 - Set over 100 years after the familiar Star Wars, and not too bad. Not great, but vaguely interesting enough to keep reading.
  • Conan #50 - Final issue of a pretty good Conan run. I enjoyed this finish, and kind of regret dropping the book when Kurt left it.
  • Doctor Who #4 - Poor artwork, jumpy storyline, weak characterization (sorry Gary). Not recommended.
  • Rogue Angel #3 - I'm really enjoying this book. It was telegraphing the plot a little, but it was still very good.
  • PS238 #31 - I love this book. I really, really love this book. I need to buy all the collections, as well. This is such a great book. If you aren't reading it... well, you're loss I guess. But it's probably my favorite comic book right now. And for the past few years, really.
No library book or movie this week, the comicon is taking up my time.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Wil Wheaton has been Trolled

I'm Off At The Con... here's drawing of Sulu (from DC's Star Trek Who's Who) to tide you over until I get back and have some time to write up a gushing report of how cool the convention was.

Swashbuckling Sulu


Friday, May 09, 2008

Emerald City Comicon Pre-Report

I've spent the entire day prepping for the con. I've got my clothes laid out, figured out my routes and how much parking will cost, and gotten Torvald ready. I'm currently printing out my business cards, along with some Torvald cards. My sketchbooks are all packed in my usual con bag. The camera's batteries are charged. I've grabbed some books to have signed by people who I hope will be there, and discussed with hubby-Eric what I can and cannot purchase. I've even tweeted at Wil Wheaton to give him fair warning.

I plan on wearing my Aquaman shirt with the best ever Aquaman panel on it tomorrow, and my "I'm Blogging This" shirt on Sunday. Both are clean and ready. I'll have my usual con bag with me, and of course, Torvald. My "twin" sister and I will be out on Saturday. On Suday, hubby-Eric will be with me.

Hope to see you there, folks!

Labels: , ,

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Thursday Night Already?

Whenever hubby-Eric and I want a pizza, we get on-line and order from Papa John's. Apparently we aren't the only ones. I prefer PJ's easy ordering system to trying to order via phone.

Send your name to the moon. I've already added Laura Gjovaag. Add your own.

MetaFilter takes on Dave Sim.

Placebo Walk Buttons. Query: do you hit the walk button once, or multiple times? If you hit it multiple times, why? (I hit it lots, because it's something I'm allowed to hit and never screams when I hit it).

Things Carol Channing Should Never Do.

The ultimate article about what Net Neutrality is: namely infrastructure.
"The obvious answer is for regular folks like you and me to own our own last mile Internet connection. ... The idea is simple: run Fiber To The Home (FTTH) and pay for it as a community of customers -- a cooperative. The cost per fiber drop, according to Bill's estimate, is $1,000-$1,500 if 40 percent of homes participate. Using the higher $1,500 figure, the cost to finance the system over 10 years at today's prime rate would be $17.42 per month.

What we'd get for our $17.42 per month is a gigabit-capable circuit with no bits inside - just a really fast connection to some local point of presence where you could connect to ANY ISP wanting to operate in your city."
Striped Icebergs.

Comcast wants heavy users to pay more. As I don't think I could download that much on my currently often very slow Comcast connection, I'm not yet annoyed at them. At least, not for this particular reason.

This is NOT the way to respond to traffic cameras (may be Not Safe For Work if your eyes are very sensitive). They're going to charge him with not having a safety belt on. heh.

As I recall, when this now-resolved story hit the local news, it was kind of in the form of, "er, we're sorry, but we tried to look for these guys quietly but couldn't find any sign of them. Anyone know who they are? They were acting slightly suspicious and we want to make sure they weren't up to no good." The local media had debates on whether or not it was proper to show their image, and there was a bit of healthy debate. There was certainly never any panic. I'm glad the guys stepped forward and cleared up the concern.

Missing Child Experiment. How useful are those "Have You Seen Me?" ads?

On a very serious note: A Lost Story of the Holocaust. Pass it on. Via Dave's Rantlets.

For the in-laws: Don't Make Hulk Pug Angry.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


The Seattle Times on The Emerald City Comicon.

Interesting archaeology find in Florida: a wooden spear that shouldn't be there.

The platypus is an odd beast. Genetically as well as visually.

Argh! People shouldn't walk on railroad tracks in the first place, but cell phones and railroad tracks are a deadly combination.

Wait, so fat grows back? Fat cells replace themselves?

Poor Jack needed to Google "black widow spider" while an unidentified but possibly black widow spider was crawling around on his computer. Yikes. So, Jack... was it?

Um, FailPug? For the in-laws.

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

You Won't Have Superman To Kick Around Anymore

Superman loses his temper

Threatened by a robot, the crowd nevertheless jeers Superman until he simply flies away, leaving the robot to its mysterious and possibly dangerous mission.


Monday, May 05, 2008

Monday Linkdump

I need to put the first comment on this post in my quotefile: "The celebration of different cultures does not equal the oppression of your culture."

Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #153: Rob Liefeld, Bug of the Micronauts, and Conjura.

Mark Evanier on The Trial of Gordon Lee.

Well, it's a start.

This is the book to get for kids (of all ages) interested in science. Heck, I wouldn't mind a copy.

The Museum of Hoaxes has a really good one related to a species "commonly kept in homes in the United Kingdom and other countries in Europe and North America."

I want wall aliens!!

Why broken legs are devastating for horses, and why they are so often euthanized after a broken leg.

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, May 04, 2008

A Sunday Review

TV this week:
  • Have I Got News For You: "Julian Clary, Ed Byrne and Andrew Neil" - I really, really like Julian. He's frickin' hilarious. I love when he deadpans full speed ahead despite the awful jokes.
  • Classic Doctor Who: "Sunmakers" Parts 3 & 4 - This one was fun to watch with blooper reels in mind. It's a remarkably silly story.
  • Numb3rs: "End Game" - The return of a sympathetic murderer was a bit of an unexpected twist, but I thought it was a powerful story.
  • Dinner: Impossible: "Culture Clash Wedding" - Robert comes to Seattle, and shops at a couple of places I've shopped. Not his best showing, though. He forgot the dessert.
  • Supernanny: "Clause Family" - Looks like the family took to the new routine like ducks to water. I think the boy really needs a haircut, and I'm usually not too picky about such things.
  • Ace of Cakes: "Wedding Week" - The hockey cake was cool, but my heart was with the Baltimore skyline cake. I would want Seattle instead, but that was an awesome cake.
  • Doctor Who: "The Poison Sky" - Sontar-HA! Goofy, somewhat predictable, but what a great ending! "Are you my Mommy?" heh heh.
  • Smallville: "Apocalypse" - It's a Wonderful Life, Clark Kent. Someone please give this show a mercy killing.
Comics this week:
  • DC Universe Zero - Except for the spoiled ending, this was ok. The problem was that, instead of wondering who was narrating, I was steaming about already knowing. Oh well, I guess it was DC's choice to screw the fans in the hopes of getting more regular folks to read the book.
  • Action Comics #864 - Starman is really creepy now. I thought he was still in the JSA brownstone.
  • Green Lantern #30 - Another Hal Jordan origin retcon. I'm trying not to yawn. Oops. Too late.
  • JSA Classified #37 - Ted and Selina make a pretty good team, really. I wouldn't mind seeing them pair up again.
  • Teen Titans: Year One #4 - I still can't stand Garth's awful design in this book. He's ugly as sin. I want the real Aqualad.
  • Blue Beetle #26 - ok, I confess. I bought it because it was in Spanish. And I liked it, darn it. So there.
  • Local #11 - What a crappy thing to do to someone. And yet... this is what Brian Wood is doing to Megan as well. Metatextual. Dang, this is one intense book.
  • Noble Causes #33 - Slightly better than the last issue, but only because Frost is the focus. I want Liz and Race back.
  • Star Wars: Rebellion #13 - I'm actually really enjoying this story. And I don't really know how it'll end, which is nice.
  • Usagi Yojimbo #111 - Usagi is so noble, rushing to the rescue. And Gen is a real twit to not warn Usagi.
  • Wonderland #6 - I really ought to read the original books one of these days. I've read bits and pieces, but never the whole books through.
  • Wildguard: Insider #1 - Black Rover? Oh, I'm looking forward to more issues of this one.
  • The Oz/Wonderland Chronicles: Jack & Cat Special - If there was a trade collection of these books, it would probably... hopefully... make more sense. As it is, I've lost the thread of the story and can't figure out what's happening, despite knowing the characters.
This week's library movie was Spider-Man 3. While the movie as a whole wasn't too bad, the scenes of 'evil Peter' acting like a moron sleezebag from the 70's were almost impossible to watch. If I'd been in a theater I would have wanted to leave. As it was, if I had been in control of the remote and not hubby-Eric, I might have turned it off. Good fight scenes, but too many cringe moments to be a great movie.

My library book this week was A Fire in My Heart: Kurdish Tales. The book starts out with a summary of who the Kurdish people are, including their current situation and the irony that the Iraq war has protected them in Iraq. The book describes the culture, and then gives a few recipes and games that are popular in Kurdistan. Then we get the tales. Classic, simple, and unfamiliar in many ways. They describe the way people think in terms that no psychologist can match. I finished the book with a new appreciation for the Kurds, and, for the first time, a reason to want US troops to stay in Iraq. Or, at least, part of Iraq. I highly recommend this book. Check it out, if you can find a copy at your library.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Free Comic Book Day

It's Free Comic Book Day today, so if you've got a few moments, run down to your local participating comic book shop and grab a free comic or two.


Friday, May 02, 2008

Reagan and Superman

Reagan and Superman

I think this is from the Legends mini. But while this panel is fun, I think bloggers could come up with MUCH better things for Reagan to say in the following panel... don't you?

Reagan Says...

Labels: ,

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Thursday, Post New-Comics Day

A note to start: my last linkdump began with a rant about spoilers being posted in the headline of an article on ComicList. I was extremely annoyed at the time, and I'm still a bit miffed about having the pleasure of the surprise ending ruined for me by that site. However, in the comments to my note, Charles LePage, the owner of the site in question, apologized and promised to do better in the future. He came across as polite and considerate, despite my snarky reply to him. While I still think I will not re-add his site to my feed (I have far too many sites to read as it is), I have pretty much forgiven Charles. Now, have I forgiven DC for releasing that information to the press before I could get the comic? Not really, but my opinion is worthless in that argument.

Fans are raising funds to help David Pirkola, a comic retailer who was robbed and then shot in his shop. As a small business owner, he has no insurance. If you have a couple of dollars to donate, please do. This guy needs the help.

Big Bird is a Dinosaur.

ComicMix points us to a fan video of scenes from the Christmas episode of Doctor Who. This is from the upcoming Doctor Who Christmas episode, not the previous ones.

How would LOL: The Gathering work?

I do believe that LEGO Wesley was made by David Oakes, who made my custom Aquaman LEGO minifigs.

I really wish I had the equipment to do this. I would love to be able to make my own chocolate.

Fashion... or gang sign?

I've always hated hard lemonade, because I don't drink alcohol and I hate having to make sure that what I'm ordering is actually lemonade and not alcohol. I suspect the father in this article dislikes hard lemonade even more than I do.

Blogging from Mt Everest during a crackdown on protesters.

I've always hand-coded my HTML, and I'm not the only one.

More LOLCat Theology.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,