Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Jet City ’10: After Action Report

There was no fanfare that morn. No trumpet sounded a call. No sergeant yelled obscenities. It was a morning just like any other, save that men and women would clash in a convention center. A place that would henceforth be sanctified by their struggle.

I speak, of course, of Jet City 2010.

The morning began badly, as I overslept and had to rush to Leigh’s. We dispensed with the customary ‘shovel-to-the-face’ and instead leapt straight into his car and after a few minutes, back out again, realizing we were in the wrong automobile.

After a quick stop for coffee and some competitive arm wrestling, we arrived at the Convention Center, where hordes of nerds were already gathered, eager to gape and paw at the wares displayed inside.

To our right was Cari Corene, writer and artist of a book called Toilet Genie, a marvelous modern fairy tale about toilets and . . . er . . . genies. To our left was Randi Emberlin, a veteran of the comics wars, whose steady nerves kept our spirits up in the face of the impending horde.

Our back was guarded by our most worthy friends and artists Jason Metcalf, Randy Kintz, and Jason Martin of Super Real Graphics. Shane White manned a table by himself towards the rear and Beth Guizzetti of Famine Lands held the far right flank, while Chuck Messenger and Josh ‘Bile’ Cantrell of Creator’s Edge Press formed a salient ahead of us.

Just as our final book was put in place, the doors opened and battle was joined. There were nerds to the left of us and nerds to our right. There were cries of joy and shouts aplenty. Someone spilled a coke. A child cried. I cried. Leigh cried too, but he won’t admit it.

Just as our strength began to wan our colorist, Leah Rivera, appeared to bolster our line and I was able to range out to help our comic brethren. Keith Curtis of Crater on the Moon was there, along with Erik Thompson of Mad Atom Studios. The Indies were also represented and John Kantz was also seen amongst the throng. Brian Beardsley of Night Rail Press was also there.

A special mention of Brian Randolph, Sherpa Extraordinaire and local representative of the Hero Initiative should be made. They help comics veterans who've fallen ill or likewise in need of aid. Truly, a worthy cause.

Throughout the day, Brian Meredith of the Lynwood Comic Stop and co-creator of Jet City ranged back and forth shouting words of encouragement. The Knights of Solaris stopped by to lend their aid with mandolins and pointy things of foam. Scott Kurtz of PVP even appeared and said nice things to us, as did Phil Foglio of Girl Genius. Phil is true gentleman, as he always pretends he remembers me from the numerous times I've said 'hi' to him at cons. Blue Sun, a friend and fan showed up and chatted with us for a while, much to our delight.

At long last, the day was done. The booths were in tatters, their wares expended in the fray. The vendors, young and old alike, sank into their chairs, wiping the sweat of a hard day from their brow.

Books were packed away. Tablecloths folded. And then to a pub we went, where much beer was consumed and the phrase ‘huffin’ on the downstroke’ was used. No, I don’t know what it means, but it took three pitchers of beer to come up with, so it has to mean something.

This first Jet City is long over now, but its memory will linger on . . . oh, wait. Three pitchers of beer have pretty much blotted everything out. In fact, I’m not sure how I got home. Nor why I now have a tattoo of a fedora on my butt.

NOTE: I’m the designated driver, so yeah, I just drove us home. Still no clue about the tat though.


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