Alaska Robotics

Emerald City Wrap-up

Thursday, March 31st 2011 by Pat

Aaron and I were down in Seattle earlier this month peddling our wares at the Emerald City Comic Con. We had a good booth, a bit of a satellite in terms of the webcomics community, but sandwiched comfortably between the Rat City Rollers and Suicide Girls and kitty-corner from the Boondock Saints who were reciting verse while raining down Nerf death on a giant Chewbacca. I really need to bring a camera to these things.

Our friend, Warren Etheredge invited us out to a film shin-dig where we got to watch the beautiful tension unfold as he conducted a serious interview with the director of the independent production branch of the Screen Actors Guild, the North by Northwest casting director and Matthew Lillard.

It’s lovely to see serious thespians collide with Scooby-Doo. It’s just such a thin line between mediocrity and greatness and no one is ever sure which side they’re on. Warren could have stirred things up a little more but, to his credit, he veered away from sensational towards educational.

A half-Canadian, half-elf barbarian turned up at our booth and gave us a copy of her fantasy web series, Standard Action. The production quality is pretty good and Edda reminds me of all the high spirited bone crushers I know in Whitehorse. It’s neat to see people really putting some time into this independent web series and I wonder if there’s some viable business model there. It seems like it would be in the interest of major studios to nurture this kind of low budget production as a sort-of new media farm league.

In the comics realm, we made some new friends, saw some old ones and picked up a ton of great books.

In the new people realm. I love Dave Roman and Raina Telgemeier, they were a great pair and make fun, kid-friendly books like Astronaut Academy and Smile. Chris Hallbeck and his wife (who says I need to have (and keep) an update schedule) are also new favorites.

In a surreal and awesome turn of events, Brandon Seifert, a fellow Mr. McFeely groupie from UAF, has been drafted into Robert Kirkman’s new Skybound label at Image. Brandon’s comic, Witchdoctor, is the first comic on the label and earned him a write-up in the New York Times, it starts shipping in late June.

Scott Campbell, I keep thinking that maybe his personality is some sort of performance art but I’m pretty sure he’s genuinely touched with pure awesomeness, like how Obelix fell into the potion when he was a baby.

The the best artwork I saw on the trip wasn’t at the convention, it was on the wall at the home of Bill Barnes, his kids are amaaaaazing! The anatomy of the dog (mostly bowels, not so-much brains) and the epic castle battle were among my favorites but the picture of Bill’s wife walking the dog while wearing body armor was pretty good too.

I’m sure there were other things that happened. Aaron signed a lot of autographs. The highlight of our trip by far was visiting a trampoline filled warehouse with our hosts Marcus and Elsbeth. I did a back flip. Again, I need to bring a camera on these trips.

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