Top Shelf Productions


there and back again...

July 28, 2006

•Â Yeah, so San Diego absolutely rocked the house. (Except for the brutal heat and humidity. A 10 minute walk from hotel to convention hall worked me up into a sweaty lather.) If you want a full round-up, i'd wager Spurgeon most likely has links to the best one can find, over at Comics Reporter.

• The fine gentlemen from Regent Printing (Robert Conte and Stephen Bomgaard), who did a flawless job printing Lost Girls, took Chris, Melinda and myself out to dinner on the night i arrived in San Diego, to celebrate this momentous occasion. The company was fabulous, the filet mignon was perfect, but my hangover the next day was excruciating. Needless to say i got caught in the moment, drinking several margaritas, red wine, and port for dessert. Let the good times roll, eh?

• We ended up selling all 500 copies of Lost Girls (which were airmailed to San Diego from Hong Kong), and only gave away ONE single comp! (To Wildstorm maestro, and frequent Alan Moore editor Scott Dunbier.) Artist Melinda Gebbie was in attendance, and was gleefully signing books all weekend. Having been working in a virtual cave for years wrapping this project up, i think Melinda was genuinely surprised by the delightful response she received.

• Back on the food front, one of my favorite things about this con; had a fancy dinner one night with Jeffrey Brown at Sally's, on the promenade over by Seaport Village. (Where i bumped into Atlantis Fantasy World proprietor Joe Ferrarra, his lovely wife Dottie, and Paul Chadwick.) Ahi tuna, seared rare of course, melted in my mouth, but the bartender was totally out of his league when i asked for a Mint Julip. Ate dinner on Eisner's night with Aaron Renier (who WON the Eisner for Talent Most Deserving of Wider Recognistion!) at the fabulous Indigo Grill, up in the Little Italy neighborhood. Being a little off the beaten path, this is mostly a locals restaurant, but well worth the effort tracking down. The ribs and corn salsa are one of life's greatest simple pleasures. Plus, every girl on staff so very easy on the eyes.

Another great night of dining was with the "40-and-Over-Club"... myself, Renee French, and Garret Izumi. We grabbed a table outside at Seaport Village, found some grub, and had some seriously inspirational conversation. Renee is a natural storyteller, and her stories truly have to be heard to be believed. My lips are sealed. The more i get to know Renee, the bigger fan i become. And Garret, well, he's one of the first people i ever knew in the biz, and one my favorite people on the planet.

• I'm not a star-fucker by nature. I've waited tables and/or made cocktails for Tommy Lee Jones and Benicio Del Toro, as well as basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain. To me, they were just regular guys.

But over the weekend, i came back to our booth after a pee break, or whatever, only to find one of my absolute favorite comics author of ALL TIME standing in line to get Andy Runton's signature on some Owly books. Yes, that's right, it turns out that he and his lady are HUGE fans. Now, normally i'm not one to blithely introduce myself to a celebrity i'd love to meet, unless an opportunity naturally presented itself. (Like, say at a party or even at a signing.)

But after suffering from a painful 5-minute bout of anxiety trying to ascertain what i should do, i calmly realized that, hey, i am the publisher of this book after all, and so i introduced myself as such, professed myself as a big fan, and to my surprise struck up a nice 10 or 15 minute conversation. Both Grant and his partner were charming to the end. I remained cool on the outside, but was so excited, i really can't recall much of what we talked about besides All-Star Superman and rock-star artist Frank Quitely.


• Meanwhile, on an unrelated note, go here for a short interview with International Comics Man-on-the-Scene John Weeks.

John also started a new Comics non-profit called "Our Books."

• Also, feast your eyes on this smashing print Jeremy Tinder created for Lollapalooza. Sweet! (Jeremy's new book Cry Yourself to Sleep was recently given an excellent review by our good friend Greg McElhatten, over at iComics, so don't dally true believers, and get your ass on over there.)

•Â This is way late, but cool as hell all the same. Staros picked these up for me when he attended Book Expo a few months ago. These are catalogs by Drawn & Quarterly and Fantagraphics. Made specifically for the book trade, they're not widely seen. Two beautiful catalogs by two of the most important publishers working today.