Good lord all mighty!!  It took two weeks for me to sorta/kinda catch up on my comic strips–so I’m finally ready to suss out what happened in San Diego…

COMIC-CON WRAP-UP..

San Diego was all that and a bag o’ chips!!  We rolled in on Tuesday for the first time..and it was neat to see the convention floor in the early stages long before the masses show up.  I set up in my usual spot, K-15 in Small Press, and went to dinner with the fam.

An interesting note: The wifey said she felt like this was gonna be the last Comic-Con.  Weird.

Wednesday, I volunteered to judge the Eisner Retailer Award category..so me and a group that included Carla Speed McNeil, spent 8 hours going through packages and videos of the comic book stores vying for the award.

WHAT NOT TO DO IF YOU’RE TRYING FOR AN EISNER RETAILER AWARD:

-Do not submit a handwritten info packet.

-Do not spend the majority on talking heads..show the store and what goes on in it!

-Your shop doesn’t look its best when there’s a “CLOSED” sign on the front door and the shop is dark

WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE TRYING TO WIN AN EISNER RETAILER AWARD:

-Show off the diversity of the product you sell

-Highlight what you think makes your store unique

-Do something in the community beyond giving out free comics on “Free Comics Day”

It was neat to participate in the behind the scenes stuff re: the Eisners.  I was hoping to spend the day finishing deadlines, but c’est la vie!  Congrats to the Vault of Midnight, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for winning the 2010 Eisner.

From the judges suite, straight to Preview Night!  Preview is turning into one of the busiest days on the convention floor.  I think they should extend it to 10pm.

Thursday was my spotlight day. I forgot a plug for my laptop, so there was a bit of a delay.  And the arrival of Con bigwig David Glanzer made me a bit nervous, seein’ as I only see  the bigwigs when I’ve somehow done something illegal.

But no!!  Glanzer was there not to berate me for the beatdown I just  gave to someone who looked at me funny..He was there to present me with a 2010 INKPOT AWARD!!  The INkpot is a special award that Comic-Con International gives to a handful of folks every year for their achievements in their respective genres.  I was quite surprised and humbled.

Which made me forget to praise the wonderful lobster roll a transplanted Bostonian gave me earlier in the day.  The roll was from Bite of Boston, and I demand that you go there if you wanna taste the best lobster roll I’ve had on the West Coast!!  I’m sorry I didn’t mention it during the panel as promised!!

By the way–I think the lobster roll actually cured a stomach virus I had!  It’s medicinal!!

Thursday night, we hung with fellow toonists with attitude Shannon Wheeler and Stephen Notley. We attended a great dinner party hosted by Rochester Electronics, a Mass. based company that Steve and I did some artwork for.

Friday, I got up super early to go to Kinkos (oops–I mean FedEX Office), to finish off a deadline..Why doesn’t Kinkos stay open 24 hours during Comic-Con?  It would be worth it–I was there when they kicked folks out at 11pm and there with the others when it opened at 7am!

My 2nd panel of the con was the new incarnation of the Nappy Hour, my informal gathering of black cartoonists that, before this year, took place in a bar in the Gaslamp.  I made it a panel after hearing more than a few folks express their frustration with the annual “Black Panel”, that features at least one rapper per year.

Funny thing was, up until the panel started, I wasn’t sure who was gonna show up!  The only person I knew for sure would be there was C. Spike Trotman.  David Walker couldn’t make the Con, Dwayne McDuffie found out he was on the panel at the last minute ,  and Ned Cato wasn’t sure if he’d be too busy on the floor.  I was sweatin’!

But things came together well.  I brought along an egg-timer and organized the panel to play out like ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption.  The topics were on a board, and the panel had 4 minutes to talk about it before the buzzer went off.

It worked beautifully.  The combination of talkative opinionated Spike, short, succinct  veteran Dwayne, and some unexpectedly inspirational lines from Ned made it an easy, breezy panel.  And the  buzzer rang at just the right times.

It was nice too, cuz  I had a web cartoonist, a writer and a Comic-Con board member..so many perspectives were covered.

After the panel, I was asked to make it longer. Nah–you gotta leave em wanting more!

I also think having 3 people worked better than having four. I’m gonna do 3 from now on.

The rest of Friday was quite good.  The best sales day.  Also saw fellow ‘toonists with Attitude Ted Rall, Jen Sorenson, Matt Bors and Stephanie McMillan.

Ted and Mat are off to Afghanistan real soon.  Ted raised the trip money through Kickstarter.

But I believe they’re not going to Afghanistan.  I believe they’re on a top secret mission, heading upriver to take out a rogue cartoonist, who has become somewhat of a deity to his followers, leaving the severed hands of the  print cartoonists whose careers he’s destroyed with his web cartoon.

His name is Kurtz.

If I had time, I would create this Apocalypse Now parody.  But I don’t.

All right.  I’m sick of writing .  I hate blogs.  I’ll make the rest quick.

Leaving the Con on Friday, I said to my wife that the Con is one-step away from breaking out into a fight.  It was something that I sensed within the crowd that I never sensed before.

The Eisner Awards were Friday night at the Hilton.  The cast of Scott Pilgrim was there.  That movie is gonna be huge. I sat at a table in the corner scarfing the free eats.

Back at the hotel, I was drawing in the lobby, when Matt Groening came by.  And then Morgan Spurlock, who was filming a doc following several people who cam from different parts of the country to Comic-Con. Morgan asked if I’d be interested in doing an interview on camera.  I said yes.  Sounds like it’ll happen in a month or two.

Saturday was the slowest day, as usual.  Everyone upstairs to see the movie stars. Harrison Ford.  Helen Mirren. Robert Downey Jr.  Angelina Jolie.  Someone got stabbed over seating in the movie star hall, which confirmed my feelings about a fight breaking out.

Saturday night in the hotel bar, a bunch of stuff happened that supported what the wifey had to say about it feeling like the last Comic-Con.

-Bay Area pal and wonderful writer Beth Lisick came strolling by.  I called her over and wondered how someone as cool as her would wind up at Comic-Con.  She scored a gig interviewing a bunch of folks about all the vampire stuff going on.

-A bunch of go-go girls were doing stripper dances , 2 tables away

Lance Reddick from the Wire went walking by ( I was too wasted to chase him down and go all fan-boy on him)

Stan Lee came in, surrounded by Morgan Spurlock’s film crew, stopped right by our table, and then moved on to the next place.

Comic-Con has become the “It” place.  There’s nothing fringe about it anymore.   I’m not saying this is bad.  It just is.  And soon enough, it won’t be hip anymore.  So just go with it.  Someday, we’ll look back and say “Remember when Comic-Con was THE place to be on the planet at the end of July?

Sunday was better than Saturday.  And then it ended.

Hung out with the fam and Steve Notley,  and Miriam Libicki and her hubby Mike.

And made it home to Los Angeles in less than 3 hours on Monday!!

In conclusion, what can I say?  It was my first time as a special guest.  Everything paid for!!  How I can go back to being a mere professional exhibitor?!  Oh–I believe the Con will move to Anaheim in 3 years.

Thanks to everyone at Comic-Con International for a tremendous time. And special thanks to everyone who came by to say hello and pick up a book!!

SPELLING BEE FOR CHEATERS!!

I am soooo late getting on this.  Remember way, way back when I did a mini-golf for cheaters event?  I raised money for my mini-golf team so we could cheat during the tournament?  The same thing is happening this year, but this time it’s a spelling bee!

826LA’s Spelling Bee for Cheaters raises $$$ for 826LA, a non-profit that provides writing workshops for kids 6-18.  It’s a great organization, of which I happen to be on the board of directors.  But that doesn’t stop me from wanting to crush the hearts and minds of all competitors!! So I’ve put together a team of gentleman cartoonists: Dave Kellett (Sheldon) , myself, and David Malki! (Wondermark). We’re called “The Sweaty Hams”!! Here’s the skinny:  Go to the website and donate whatever you can (WE ONLY HAVE ONE WEEK!!).  THE MORE WE RAISE, THE MORE WE CAN CHEAT DURING THE SPELLING BEE. I know you won’t let me down.  If I can get 200 folks to donate $25 (or more)….

Sponsor me here.

THE KNIGHT LIFE ON TRIAL AT SEATTLE TIMES/KNIGHT LIFE T-SHIRTS HERE!!

My daily comic strip, the Knight Life, is currently on trial in Seattle’s daily, the Seattle Times. If you are in the Pacific Northwest, please. please. please write to the paper and let em know you love the strip.

write to ’em at timescomics@seattletimes.com

Get yer Knight Life T-shirts, mugs and krappe right here!!

LETTERS/EMAILS OF THE WEEK

re: (th)ink : “Tase me”

Hey Keef,

Damn!  You hit another one out of the f#%kin’ park with this week’s Th(ink)
‘toon!

It really hits home to me.  Two of my former stoner friends from high school
are working as cops now.  I had to drop them from my Facebook friends list
because they’ve become a couple of hypocritical fascist a$$#oles.  I
couldn’t stand reading their bull$#it about a lot of topics, but especially
how we have to give cops a lot more slack because they’re the only thing
that stands between us and the bad guys.

I should mention that one of these guys is a black man who brags about his
“white trash tastes” in music, entertainment and politics.  He’s basically
Archie Bunker in blackface.  He was an incredible pussy in high school, so
he gets off on the power trip of being a cop.

The other is the son of my hometown’s police chief.  If his father wasn’t
abusing his authority, bailing him out of trouble everytime he got busted
for drunk driving or drug use, he’d have had a felony conviction long ago
that would have kept him out of the police academy.  This douchebag even
killed a friend of his, the son of a local Mafioso, in one of his drunk
driving accidents, but he didn’t get so much as a ticket.  (Last I heard
from a member of the Gambino family, there’s still has an open contract out
on him for it, though).

Hell, I’m a white guy who grew up in an upper-lower middle class suburban
neighborhood, and I’ve got a shitload of personal stories about dealing with
cops who abuse their authority or just don’t want to be bothered
with actually fighting crime.  Like the time I had to fight my way out of a
payphone against two muggers in the middle of a shopping mall while a New
Haven, Ct. cop stood by and got his jollies watching the fight, or the cop
who wouldn’t even take my report when I got mugged at gunpoint.

Sorry if I’m rambling.  I just get so sick when I see cops get away with
$#it like they did with Oscar Grant.

Well, keep up the great strips.

Your Florida Fanboy,

S.

Life’s Little Victory: #8774:

Your local newspaper reshuffles the comics selections and adds the strip from your favorite cartoonist: Keith Knight.  Yes!!

(Seattle Times: The Knight Life)

—–

hey Keef.

I’m a big fan of your work. The fearlessness of ‘The K Chronicles’, the frankness of ‘Th(ink)’, and the hilarity of ‘The Knight Life,’ all ingredients to a refreshing point-of-view parfait of America.

Anyway, I have some suggestions for ‘The creepiest guy in the world’ story you have going in ‘The Knight Life’. Here it is: His behavior disgraces dogs. When he dances at a club, it causes a civil disturbance. His own mother pretends he doesn’t exist. He is: The creepiest guy in the world.

Please use it! It means the world to me.

-A.

And last but not least, excellent Star Wars thingie:

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