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[Groop]Chicago Con



Wow, is all I have to say to my first Comic Con experience.  I never realized 
there were that many people who were interested in comic books!

I learned many things while there about attending comic conventions.  The 
first is, you never know who you'll meet.  Like Nate, I met Lou Ferrigno (he 
has got to be the largest human on the planet...and how old is he, anyway?  
He doesn't look older than 35, but he has to be older than that), the Star 
Wars guys, a plethora of comic creators - the personal highlight of the 
convention for me: meeting Monty Nodell, the original creator artist of the 
GA Green Lantern.  Janet and I bought an original painting of his, we 
couldn't believe it was him! 

I also learned that Warren Ellis is not entirely accurate (incidentally, I 
blame Warren himself, not the poster of the article to this list).  The 
majority of the fans I met at the convention were very nice people who 
generally have a firm grasp on reality.  Of course, I did meet several people 
who definately took their comics way too seriously.  The whole 
autograph-getting thing was also taken way out of proportion by a lot of 
people.  I brought about 12 of my all time favorite comics I wanted to get 
signed by about 8 different people.  I was waiting in line with a bunch of 
other "fans" who had, quite literally, boxes of comics they wanted a single 
person to sign.  Some of the creators did, others wouldn't.  My favorite 
response to this was from Devin Grayson (current writer on the Batman series, 
and a very nice lady) who said to a kid with a handcart of comics that she'd 
sign only 10 comics this time and then if the kid would go to the end of the 
line, she'd sign 10 more, etc.  It must be me, but getting my one or two 
favorite comics signed was more meaningful to me than getting 100.  Plus, I 
decided not to spend all my time in lines waiting for signatures.  I promised 
my wife I'd get comics signed on Friday and Saturday and not worry about it 
on Sunday.  As a result, I got all but two of my comics signed waiting in 
lines for no more than 3 hours combined for 6 creators in 2 days.  I thought 
that was a good investment of time to meet these people.

On the Groo side, I met Nate at his booth (thanks Nate, for being so nice and 
drawing in my sketchbook.  Sketchbooks were another new thing I learned about 
at the convention).   I also found a couple more Groos to add to my 
collection and tried (unsucessfully) to pick up a copy of the Groo card game. 
 One of my few disappointments in the convention was Dark Horse kept me away 
from meeting Stan Sakai.  I arrived at the end of the line mere seconds after 
they closed it.  I was so close to him I could see the top of his head (not 
really balding), but I wasn't able to meet him.  I can't tell you how 
disappointed about that I am.  I also discovered the name "Mark Evanier" 
popped up on something in virtually every booth from book intros to comics I 
had never heard of.  My favorite M.E. sighting was a book of short stories of 
which he was a contributor called "Words Without Pictures."  I didn't get the 
book there, but I ordered it as soon as I got home.  I was able to skim it at 
the con and I thought some of the stories (especially M.E.'s) were really 
fascinating.

The convention was great and we had a load of fun (how many places are there 
on Earth where you can stop where you are and turn your head to see yourself 
being passed by Boba Fett and 4 stormtroopers?).  I hope we can go to another 
one sometime soon, probably after we pay off the bills for this one.  Who 
knows, maybe the next time we go, I'll actually get the chance to meet Stan 
Sakai.......

Groofully,
Elie

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