Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Fan Expo Canada 2007 - Afterthought

It's been a few days since Fan Expo Canada 2007, and two days since I posted my report. After thinking about everything that has happened, I might've been a little harsh with my comments. In some ways, I do have to blame myself for my disappointment, because of my personal agenda.

At the end of the Fan Expo Canada, the only thing I missed out on was a sketch from Steve McNiven. However, I was able to get a quick sketch from Michael Turner, which does have more sentimental value to me (no disrespect to Steve McNiven).

I did get all my books signed, though it took two rounds with Greg Pak, Frank Quitely, and John Romita Jr., just to get all my books signed. I probably could've skipped the second round with John Romita Jr., since I saw him at the Hero Initiative booth on the Sunday.

From of my experience at the Fan Expo Canada this year, I am considering changing the way I approach conventions, whether it's all of them, or just the annual Fan Expo Canada. I like getting autographs, but if it requires so much effort for me to get them, then it just doesn't make it fun.

The ordeal with the Charisma Carpenter line, wasn't as bad as Sequential made it out to be. I wasn't "manhandled by security." However, I still don't like being physically forced out, even though I know I wasn't specifically targeted. The guy just had to clear everyone out. It didn't really bother me at the time it happened, but after thinking about it, I still don't see it being right.

In the end, I did enjoy Fan Expo Canada, but I wish I had more time to spend outside of lines in the Autograph Area.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Fan Expo Canada 2007 Report

It's the annual Fan Expo Canada!

To be honest, I've heard a lot of negatives towards this year's guest list. Moreso, than positives. My opinion, I thought it was pretty good. Sure, last year, we got to see Jim Lee, Geoff Johns, Brian Michael Bendis, Mike Mignola (well, I didn't), Ethan Van Sciver, and several others. Hard to top names like that, but like I said, I thought it was pretty good. I was happy.

I was a little disappointed with all of the cancellations, but I knew in advance, so no worries there.

Now, onwards on my journey!

Friday August 24th, 2007
Started off the day, leaving the house around 12:10pm. Normally, the drive would take about 30 minutes to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. This drive, about an hour. Stupid traffic, and that car that blocked the right lane on Spadina, just before the light at Bremner Blvd.

My brother and I got inside to see the line for the Advance Tickets. We got in the line, but then I realized there was another line for Premium Passes. Score! Out of one line, now into the VIP Entrance line.

Quite disappointed that the VIP Entrance was at the opposite corner of the Comics Autograph Area.

Plus side, the doors opened for the Special 2pm Preview at about 2:04pm. That's like a record! Only 4 minutes after the scheduled time.

Once in, I rushed myself over to the Aspen Comics booth, where Big Saif was already at, looking for Michael Turner. Micah Gunnell (Shrugged, Heroes) was at the booth, already working on sketches. He broke the news to the first few people at the table that Michael Turner would probably not make it to the show on the Friday, because of cancellations, and delayed flights, from Chicago.

I did drop my book down with Micah Gunnell, for a sketch, and ended up starting the line for Greg Pak. Now, this was like 2:15pm, and Greg Pak's signing was at 4:30pm, so I planted myself. My brother dropped down his stuff, and went off to explore the Expo floor, since it was still quite early in the preview period.

We ended up taking turns watching each other's stuff at the Greg Pak line. I went exploring, and eventually, found that Joe Pekar was set-up. I put myself and my brother down for a commission each, but it'd be a while before he was done.

Wonder Woman by Micah GunnellBefore the show officially opened, I picked up my sketch from Micah Gunnell. It's Wnder Woman. To be honest, that was a spontaneous decision, and I'm really happy with how it came out. Thanks to Micah Gunnell for this sketch!

Fast forward to the Greg Pak signing. He arrived shortly before 4:30pm, but left with someone. He ended up coming back just after 4:30pm, and started signing. Unfortunately, he enforced the 5 book/item limit, which was quite disappointing for me, because I wanted to get all my books signed, so I didn't have to carry them back and line up again sometime during the weekend.

Once out, I went to line up for Simone Bianchi. He arrived before 4:30pm, but went to find out where his table was. I ended up going over to his table to see his sketch rate, and to try to get my few books signed, just to avoid staying in the line in the Autograph Area, so that I could explore the convention a little, before jumping into another line. Unfortunately, his sketch prices were out of my range, and he wasn't going to sign any books at his table, citing he would "get in trouble," because he was told not to sign anything at his booth. So, I just went back to my spot in Simone Bianchi's line in the Autograph Area.

Captain America by Marcus ToRight before I actually got to Bianchi's table, I did see Marcus To at the Aspen Comics booth, and I dropped off one of the Fallen Son blank covers for him to sketch on, while I went to Simone Bianchi's table inquiring about the sketch price, and trying to get my books signed. On the return trip from Simone Bianchi's table, Marcus To was already finished with the sketch. Thanks to Marcus To for this sketch!

Hmm... back to Bianchi's Autograph Area line. Well, I got my books signed there. Simone Bianchi was cool with signing all my books. Once done, I just jumped into the Romitas line (John Romita and John Romita Jr.). The line was filling up quite nicely. Got the spots for myself and my brother. Since we were pretty far back, I decided to head over to Steve McNiven's table, to check out the sketch rate, and hopefully get my books signed there. He wasn't doing any sketches on Friday, but he was signing books at his table, which was great. I'd just have to try again throughout the weekend.

I went back to the Romitas' line, to relax for a while. The Romitas' arrive, and the line got started. It was a somewhat slow moving line. Unsure of how the line-up was going to be, my brother decided against lining up for Paul Dini, which he regretted, because he could've gone in and been done with that line before the Romitas'.

Once done, I just went to the back, to get into the Frank Quitely line. When my brother got there, I went to Joe Pekar to check on the status of the sketch. He was in the process of it, but was working on another one, for someone who was only there on the Friday.

I went back to the Quitely line, and my brother told me to try to get into Olivier Coipel's line, since it was approaching the end. I was just behind the last person in line guy with the sign, but since it was near the end, the sign was taken away and the signing continued for a few extra people.

Back to the Quitely line, which isn't much to write about. Got books signed, but because of the signing limit, I didn't get all my books signed.

Once done there, I moved over to the end of the David Finch line, who was sketching for one of the volunteers, then was cool with signing the books for the few people that came after the signing.

Power Girl by Joe PekarAfter the signings, I went back to Joe Pekar, to check the status of the sketch. He was done mine, but still had to work on my brother's. So, I paid for mine, and left my book with him, until the next day.

I'm really happy with the Power Girl sketch, but it's too bad my scanner doesn't pick it up too well, so I had to adjust some things in Photoshop, to make the sketch visible. Thanks to Joe Pekar for this sketch!

Next to Joe Pekar, but sadly, hidden in the corner, was Michael Gaydos. I got my books signed by him, and flipped through his pre-done sketches. He said that there would be more throughout the weekend. I requested a Captain America, if he was doing more, and if he could hold it for me it he did do one. He said he'll think about it.

I tried to get a sketch from Karl Kerschl, but the day was coming to a close, and he told me to check back tomorrow, and he'll fit in one for me. That was cool with me!

This is pretty much were I ended day one.

I was quite disappointed with how tight the signings at the Expo have become, with the limits and refusal to sign at the guests table. Also, with the really short signing times, which did carry over to the next scheduled signing. I did feel a little better about the Expo, when I was able to get Olivier Coipel and David Finch, to sign my books, near the end of their signings.

The sketches I got on the Friday were fantastic, but being the "Sketch Whore" that I am, it's truly not the amount that I'd normally get.

Saturday August 25th, 2007
This day started off early. Left the house around 7:30am (for the 10am opening), got to the MTCC around 8am. Got inside, and headed for the elevator, and went down. Went over to the VIP Entrance line, to see no one down there. Before going down the elevator, my bro and I noticed a short line forming at the escalator, but still took the elevator.

At this point, two hours of waiting until the doors open for the Expo...

Went in, and again, went straight for the Aspen Comics booth. There was already a line up forming before the doors opened. Saif and Brian eventually made their way to the area, where I held spots in line for them, whenever they arrived (both of which, I owe many, many Thanks too... Thanks Guys!).

Bro went to Tricia Helfer, and started the line there, for her 12pm signing.

I went over to see Peter and Brian (of All New Comics), to grab their John Romita books to get signed at the Hero Initiative. I wanted to line up, but wasn't sure how long it was going to take, and didn't want to risk leaving the Michael Turner line too long. I regret not lining up, cause soon after my pondering, the line quickly filled up, and the sketch cut-off was in place for John Romita. I did get Peter and Brian's books signed, and dropped them back off to them.

Kiani by Peter SteigerwaldI also dropped off my sketchbook with Peter Steigerwald, which I picked up later in the day, and got Kiani.

Michael Turner arrive just before 11:30am, and rested while doing some private signings at the back of the Aspen booth. His signing started shortly after 11:30am, which, Thanks to Saif, I was able to get all my Michael Turner books signed (well, all that I brought).

After the signing, I rushed into the Frank Quitely line, and tried calling my brother to let him know. Phone reception sucks in the South Building at the MTCC, so I was pretty unsuccessful at calling him, but he eventually made his way to the signing. After the Frank Quitely signing, I jumped into the Paul Dini line, allowing my brother to go to Yanick Paquette.

I was near the end of the Paul Dini line, which moved really slow. Paul Dini was also enforcing the signing limit of five, which sucked, because with my stuff and my brother's, there was ten. My brother never made it to the Paul Dini line, but luckily, Thanks to Ken, who was able to take on two more items, got two of the items signed for me.

When I finally got up, with the line already cut-off, Paul Dini was nice enough to take on some extra items, so I did get the remainder of the items signed.

Rushed to the Romitas' line, which was forming outside of the Autograph Area, because of Maile Flanagan's signing (Anime guest). Bro made his way back from Yanick Paquette. Once the line was let into the Autograph Area, we ended up in the third row. I thought about lining up for Greg Pak again, since his signing was at 3:30pm, and I was sure I'd get through that line before I got through the Romitas', so I did, around 3:10pm.

Around then, John Romita Jr. showed up, without father, John Romita. The line compressed, and I ended up leaving Greg Pak's line, and back to the Romitas. I ended up lining back up for Greg Pak around 3:30pm, and stayed until I got my stuff signed, constantly looking back at the line for the Romitas. I did cut it close, being like a few spots back in the Romitas' line, once done at Greg Pak. Just got back in time. Remaining books for Romita Jr, signed.

Captain America by Michael GaydosI went back over to Michael Gaydos, to see if he worked on a Captain America sketch, which he did, and saved for me.

I also went to see Karl Kerschl again, and got on his list, as the last one on the list, to be completed Sunday.

After cleaning up a bit and dropping stuff off at the car, I went to see the Charisma Carpenter signing, really only to take pictures, and not wait in line for an autograph. After taking a few pictures, one of the convention volunteers or possibly staff, who was not in one of them spiffy hockey jerseys, starting getting everyone out of the area which they allowed for picture taken.

Well, this pissed me off, because in trying to get people out, he ended up nudging me out of the area. Not to the extent of pushing me out, but there was force in getting me out. I don't mind a tap on the shoulder or something. But when this person extended his arms out to the side, and basically walked forward, with his hand and arm now on me, and continuing his forward motion, that bothers me a helluva lot. I'll admit, he was try to get everyone out, but it was me that was the closest to him when he started to get everyone out.

Stand infront of the camera, blocking my stop, that's fine, you get your message across. Tap me on the shoulder, and tell me to leave the area personally, that's fine. Forcing me out like that, I'm not cool with.

To Hobbystar Marketing, let whoever you get helping out with your conventions know, to keep their hands off the fans in attendance, especially ones that cause no harm or damage. Like I said, it was NOT one of the guys in the hockey jerseys. From my experience this weekend, the guys in the hockey jerseys, have done nothing wrong to me.

After this, I decided to check out the Olivier Coipel vs. Michael Turner sketch-off. As much as these sketch-offs are awesome for the fans, I was disappointed with the winner of the Michael Turner piece, being the lady that just went up near the end, to get TWO tickets, while taking close-up photos.

I didn't care that I didn't win, because I enjoyed the sketch-off itself, but there should really be a cut-off for the raffle tickets when it comes to the sketch-offs, for those that actually waited in line to enter, and not someone who comes in the middle to the end of the sketch-off, to grab a ticket.

But then again, it was the security people, and not those that ran the convention, that let the line in, cause that threw off how the tickets were to be given out. Also, a bigger box for those tickets to actually mix around in, would be nice. That little pencil case is too small.

With an hour left in the convention, I went down, to walk around a little, tried to see if I could get some more sketches done. I ended up seeing Ty Templeton, but he was too busy working on other sketches, so I knew I was gonna get cut-off, and just got my Ultimate Spider-Man 100 Project signed by him, and Dave Ross (I got everyone else at the convention during the Friday).

Dropped by Chris Sprouse's table before leaving, to get a couple of books signed, then headed home.

This was the end of Day Two. Still disappointed with how the convention felt like a waste, waiting in line, after line, after line, etc., rushing from one to another, to another. That jackass that put his hands on me while removing me from near Charisma Carpenter, didn't really help with my enjoyment of the convention.

Sunday August 26th, 2007
The goal was to see Steve McNiven, to try to get a sketch from him. All my books were signed, except the ones for C.B. Cebulski, so I had those, to bring back, and some Fallen Son blank covers.

Left for the MTCC before 8:30am, got there around 9am. This time, MTCC staff and security, stopped people from going down the escalator and elevator. Everyone except staff. So, bro and I just sat upstairs.

When they started letting exhibitors down, we somehow managed to be with them while going down, and ended up infront of the VIP Entrance line, again.

Doors opened like a couple minutes after 11am.

Went straight for Steve McNiven's table. He was already there, working on sketches from his list he took on Saturday. He said to check back later, but the chances of him adding more to it was very slim.

Captain America by Chris SprouseI was able to get in for Chris Sprouse, who just arrived and was setting up. I ended up planting myself for Michael Turner, while Chris Sprouse was working on the sketch.

I also went over to see C.B. Cebulski, to get my books signed by him, which made it a complete weekend for signings. Every book I brought to get signed, was now signed.

Captain America, Black Widow, and Wolverine by Agnes GarbowskaI dropped my sketchpad down for Agnes Garbowska, for one of her cute mini-commissions, of the famous Jim Lee Uncanny X-Men #268 cover. I love how it came out. Thanks again, Agnes!

I also dropped off my sketchpad to Karl Kerschl, or was still working his way through the list.

I ended up heading back to the Michael Turner line, and stuck around for the signing, getting my brother's books signed (since Saif helped me out large, when he got my books signed for me).

I went to the Celebs area, since Charisma Carpenter decided to do another signing for Sunday, which was a surprise. I ended up taking some more photos, with no conflicts. I dropped off all the books that were signed, into the car, and proceeded back in, into the Romitas' Hero Initiative line.

At this point, Michael Turner returned to the Aspen booth, and Brian was there chatting with Michael Turner. I noticed Brian getting a sketch from Michael Turner, and I'm thinking to myself, "How does he do it?"

I head back to the Aspen booth, in hopes of to get a glimpse of the sketch Brian is getting. Then I see him pulling out a hardcover, which is getting a sketch in it too!

So there I am, hoping maybe I could possibly get behind the booth, to talk to Michael Turner, and possibly getting the sketch that I've been trying to get since 2004.

Thanks again, to Brian, for hooking me up large there!

So, I went back to the Romitas' line, and my brother asked me to get a Yanick Paquette sketch on the Fallen Son blank cover, for him. Sure, why not? It's his money, and his book. I also carried my sketchbook with me, for Francis Manapul, but he still wasn't there, so I had it in hand. I'm really glad I did, after Yanick Paquette finished the sketch cover, I saw Saif, and Shane Heron, over by Olivier Coipel, who was chatting with Chris Sprouse's wife.

Wolverine by Olivier CoipelOlivier Coipel was doing a quick sketch in Saif's sketchbook, and when he was done, I asked if Olivier had the time for a quick sketch in my sketchpad. He agreed to do a quick one, which was something I wanted to get about a year and a half ago, when Olivier appeared at the second Fan Appreciation Day for Hobbystar. Thanks again, Olivier!

Sunday was already making up for the other two days.

Stargirl by Francis ManapulDropped off my stuff, back at the Romita line, and went to drop off my sketchbook for Francis Manapul.

I went to go get some pizza for myself and my bro, ate it, and went back to check on the sketch from Francis.

I also Congratulated him on the Legion of Super-Heroes run that he has coming up. Legion will be a new title that I'll be picking up, whether in trade format, or singles. Thanks again, Francis!

Captain America by John Romita Jr.Captain America by John Romita Sr.Back to the Romitas' Hero Initiative line, where I now planted myself until the Romitas arrived. They were both doing sketches there, mixed with some signings. This is where people started bringing up the huge stacks to get signed.

Eventually, I got up there, and decided on Captain America from both Romitas. First, John Romita Sr., then John Romita Jr. I was happy to receive both of them. Thanks again to John Romita and John Romita Jr!

With two hours left in the show, I decided to walk around for a bit. I had a little chat with Joe Pekar about his weekend in Toronto, and Thanked him again for the Power Girl sketch.

Captain America by Cameron StewartI went over to Cameron Stewart, to see how his weekend has been, as well as for the Captain America sketch on the blank cover. Thanks again, Cameron!

Karl Kerschl, at this point (like 4pm), still hadn't gotten to my sketch yet, so I had more time to explore the convention floor.

To be honest, there wasn't really anything I was looking for, just whatever would catch my eye, and if it was cheap enough. I still want to get one of those Mario Mushroom plush, but they seem too expensive, especially for something that was probably made in a sweatshop. But, they sell well, and I'd probably just give it to my little siblings, like I did with the Owly plush I picked up at TCAF (but forgot to mention).

I went over to the Celeb autograph area, and Malcolm McDowell was still signing and posing with fans. Same with Robert Beltran. I took some pictures of Malcolm McDowell, cause I already had some of Beltran from the previous day.

I continued walking around, until near the end, when Karl Kerschl was putting the finishing touches on the sketch for me. I picked up some Teen Titans GO! comics for my little siblings, from J. Torres, just before he started to pack his stuff up, and after Scott Chantler packed up. Found out that J. Torres lives not too far from me.

Captain America by Karl KerschlWhile talking with J. Torres, Karl finished off the sketch of Captain America for me. I was quite happy how it turned out. I saw a couple of other ones he did this weekend, and they are fantastic. This is no different! Thanks again, Karl!

Before leaving the convention, my bro and I decided to pick up some t-shirts at the Stylin' booth. There's so much to choose from, and I never know what to pick out. Being overwhelmed with t-shirts, I decided to choose one, while my bro chose another one. I ended up with the one below, and I'll have to keep an eye on this website, the next time I'm going to be around this booth.

And for those that thing that I left a story unfinished... I did. Since 2004, when I got back into comics, I was hoping to get this. Well, now I got it, and I couldn't be happier! I got a Wonder Woman sketch by Michael Turner!!!! Last year, it was Jim Lee. This year, Michael Turner!

Once again, Thanks to Brian for hooking me up large here, and the motivation to get it done! Also, Thanks to Saif as well, also, for the motivation, and helping me out with getting my books signed, and catching Olivier Coipel at the right time. Need any help at the next conventions, lemme know, and I'll see what I can do to help you out.

Thanks to the Aspen Comics group: Micah, Marcus, Peter, Frank, Chris, and of course, Michael Turner.

Thanks to everyone that signed my books, and sketched for me.

Some constructive criticism.
- Signing times too short
- Up the signing limit, or just don't have one, like previous years
- Anime guests deserves their own Autograph area
- OR, additional lines, like Autograph Area EE & FF

Sunday was definitely better than the other two days.

And now, I leave you with some photos of the weekend.

Me & Frank Quitely (L); Simone Bianchi (R)

Simone Bianchi & Greg Pak (L); Micah Gunnell & Talent Caldwell (R)

John Romita, Me, John Romita Jr. (L); Jonathan Frakes (R)

Tricia Helfer (L); Charisma Carpenter (R)

Sketch-off: Olivier Coipel (L) vs. Michael Turner (R)

John Romita (L); Malcolm McDowell (R)

Michael Turner & Me

Monday, August 20, 2007

Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) 2007 Report

In short, if you want to skip the report and just get my feel of this event, it was AWESOME! WICKED! FANTASTIC! MAGNIFICENT! You get the idea...

Those that choose to read on, well... read on.

Saturday, my brother and I made the trip to Old Victoria College for the 2007 Toronto Comic Arts Festival.

The original plan, leave home at 9:15am-9:30am. That didn't happen. We left home around 9:50am. Didn't get out of Tim Horton's until 10:15am. Got down the Bloor and Avenue around 10:35am. Parked and started walking towards Old Victoria... then my bro reminded me about the camera I left in the car. Made the walk back to the car, then back towards Old Vic. Stepped inside of Old Victoria College just before 11am. Finally, TCAF!

The first room I went to see was the RAID Room. I had to check out their set-up, which was really nice. I didn't stay too long, because I wanted to check out everything else. Walking out of the RAID Room, I notice Milo and Kathryn coming down from the second floor, so I had to go see them. Edward also appeared. I found out the 411 at that present time.

Snow White by James JeanFirst person I went to see was James Jean. Much like my brother, James Jean was one of the people I had stuff for signing, that was weighing me down, so he was one of the first people to see on my list.

I also got an amazing Snow White sketch from him.

Next, I went back to the RAID Room, and there was Milo and Kathryn again, chillin'. I also saw Kevin Boyd in the room, sporting his new pimp-stick! Look at what he pimped out to me! (Thanks again for picking this up for me, Kevin! If this paragraph sounds wrong in any way, please let me know, and I'll change it).

Captain America by Adrian AlphonaI decided now was a good time to check out the upstairs of the Old Vic. Steady crowd in the foyer. I got to the end to see Adrian Alphona was there. I got in line, in hopes of picking up his new sketchbook, Sweet Bizarre, and getting a sketch. I was able to get both. I got a sketch of Captain America on a Fallen Son Blank Cover. Mine is the "Happy" Captain America... since my bro got a "Sad" Captain America on his copy of the Fallen Son Blank Cover, a little while before me.

I went down to the Signing room, to get in line for Darwyn Cooke. Walking into the room, the line for Paul Pope was twice the size (Allison was first in that line). My priority was Darwyn, in hopes of getting another sketch from him, to add to my collection. Unfortunately, due to the line, the signing time, and the panels he had, he wasn't able to do any (detailed) sketches. He said to try again on Sunday. If that doesn't happen, then I'll just have to try again the next time he's in town.

While in the line, Allison pointed out the Darwyn Cooke's mock-up of Paul Pope's Eye Weekly cover. If anyone knows, was it Steve Manale that made the mock-up?

Paul Pope's Eye Weekly (L), Darwyn Cooke's Mock-up (R)

The Thing by Paul PopeAfter getting some books signed by Darwyn and J. Bone, I jumped into the ever growing, Paul Pope line. I got a couple of books signed, as well as a sketch of The Thing.

At this point, I got to explore the rest of TCAF, wanting to see what were in the other rooms. It was a very different set up this year, compared to the last TCAF (held in the back parking area between Honest Ed's and The Beguiling).

Scott Pilgrim with Captain America's Shield by Bryan Lee O'MalleyI went back upstairs to see Bryan Lee O'Malley. I picked up Lost At Sea and the Annotated Scott Pilgrim from him. I haven't read Lost At Sea, so it was something to get for myself. I also got the kick-ass sketch on the right, of Scott Pilgrim with Captain America's Shield! Defending Toronto, after The Wrecking Crew and Omega Flight helped destroy it!

All of a sudden, the entire second floor foyer was packed, and it was a struggle to try to even move from my spot infront of Mal's table. I wanted to look through the original pages for sale, but wasn't able to, so I ended up squeezing my way out of the second floor.

I ended up doing some more roaming, and eventually made my way back to the car to drop off some stuff. I also went to grab lunch at Subway Sandwiches. I ended up eating it outside of the Old Vic, watching Paul Pope chatting with Mark Askwith and Natasha Eloi.

Cerebus by Dave SimI went back in to see Dave Sim, since I realized, he did a cover in the Ultimate Spider-Man 100 Project, and wanted to get it signed, since he was only there on Saturday. He was quite surprised to see that book, since he didn't know they released a collection of it (same goes for J. Bone and Cameron Stewart, when I brought the book to them to get signed).

I was also able to get a quick sketch of Cerebus from Dave (he was busy at the last two Paradise Toronto Comicons, for me to get one back then).

Wimbledon Green by SethAlso in the room, after their signing time ended, were Joe Matt, Seth, and Chester Brown. They were still signing and sketching for everyone who lined up. I only went to see Seth, since I really enjoyed Wimbledon Green, when I read it over a year ago, when I was on the nominating committee for the Joe Shuster Awards. Fantastic book, which everyone should read, if you haven't already. I got a sketch of the title character, Wimbledon Green.

Milk & Cheese by Evan DorkinI went back upstairs to check out who wasn't too busy, since earlier, it was pretty hectic upstairs, and I didn't want to fight the crowd (again). Evan Dorkin was one of the people I wanted to meet. He was chatting with other fans. I wanted to check out the artwork he had for sale, but due to my positioning at the table, I could only see a few pages in his portfolio. I was able to get a quick sketch from him, of Milk & Cheese.

While chilling in the stairwell, with Milo and Iby (of Digital Kontent), Salgood Sam walked by and notice me. I'll be honest, I never met him before, so I didn't know what he looked like (sorry Max). He did recognize me, from the reference photos of me, used for a character in Therefore Repent!. You can see me as Simon, the variety store owner, who is "Left Below" (sorry, The Simpsons reference), after the Rapture. (NOTE - This was the only book I read after getting home on Saturday. I really enjoyed this book. If you get the chance to get a copy, do so).

Namor by Becky CloonanAfter, I went to see Becky Cloonan after, who just got out of a panel she was part of. I wanted a sketch, but didn't know of who, so I asked for her favourite superhero growing up. She sketched up Namor for me. I also picked up East Coast Rising, which I hope to be reading soon.

At this point, it was just I was pretty much done for the day. I just went around looking around at the tables, chatting with many local guests, getting stuff signed, and picking up some books items that I didn't mention yet (The Annotated Northwest Passage, and Diesel Sweeties Pocket Book Volume One). My brother and I called it a day, after 6pm, and went to get some Pho, close to home (at one of the plazas outside of Vaughan Mills).

Sunday more for me to try to get the copies of Comics Festival! signed by the guests that I haven't gotten to sign them yet, and to see Jose Villarrubia.

Upon walking in, I saw Kathryn walking around near the foyer. See told me that Milo and Iby were getting charicatures done by Joe Bluhm (who seemed to be busy throughout the day, and popular amongst the guests, many of which, got their charicatures done). I passed on it, though, I'll admit, I kind of regret not getting one done.

I went up to see Bryan Lee O'Malley again, since it was less hectic on the second floor, than it was the day before. I got to look through the original art pages, and I ended up getting on from the "Free Scott Pilgrim: Free Comic Book Day Edition" issue.

Black Cat by Ramon PerezJay Garrick The Flash by Ramon PerezI went back down to the RAID Room, to see Ramon Perez, re-organizing his table space. I got a sketch of Jay Garrick (Golden Age Flash), and picked up one of his pre-done pieces, of Black Cat.

I also place a bid down for the RAID Jam Piece silent auction, which ridiculously cheap at the time (and within the price range I could afford). And who would be the one to raise of the price right after me? Doug Simpson (of Paradise Comics). For those that are unaware of the relivance, he did the same thing to me at Paradise Toronto Comicon 2007. *Shaking Fist*.

Nah, I knew it wasn't gonna end at the price I put down, but it was some wishful thinking on my part. I didn't get to see the finish piece, or find out who won, and for how much, but it was looking pretty good the last time I saw it during the day.

Death by James JeanI went roaming, and found Milo, Kathryn, Iby, and Big Saif around James Jean's table. His table sign said he'll be showing up around noon, so I figured I'd wait too, though I waited outside of the room, to put away some stuff in my bag. I went back in, when I saw James Jean walking into the room, and I got in line, for another sketch.

I got a sketch of Death, which was in the exact same pose at my brother's Rose Red (and probably many of the other sketches during the weekend, by James Jean).

My bro and I went to get some lunch, and dropped off some stuff at the car.

Superman by Jose VillarrubiaI really didn't have anything to do, since I was mainly waiting for Jose Villarrubia to start his signing at 3pm. He started a little earlier for a couple of people, but then came back to the room just after 3pm. Since my bro took in the Darwyn Cooke workshop, I got his books signed by Jose Villarrubia, as well as mine. I also go the sketch on the right, of Superman.

From this point on, it was just getting sketches.

Spider-Man by Adrian AlphonaJayne by Jim RuggMega Man by Jim ZubkavichMega Man by Jim Zubkavich; Jayne (The P.L.A.I.N. Janes) by Jim Rugg; Spider-Man by Adrian Alphona

I miss playing Mega Man on the classic, Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The memories of this game, just seeing Jim Zubkavich's print of Mega Man.

Jim Rugg had some really nice pages of American Virgin for sale, but I was pretty tapped out of funds by then.

Adrian Alphona's sketchbook, Sweet Bizarre, seems to have sold really well. If you haven't picked one up there, he should be selling them at Fan Expo Canada, this coming weekend. Or, check out Adrian's Website.

By 4pm, my brother and I called it a day, and went home.

In the end, the location was really great, though tight on the second floor foyer at times. I wish those with tables, had name plates/cards, or something infront or on the tables with their names, because it was tough finding some of the guests.

Everything I brought for signing, was signed, except for a couple of people on the Comics Festival issues, since I couldn't find them. I got great books to read. I got some kick-ass sketches. I got a page of original art from Bryan Lee O'Malley.

As I said at the beginning of this post, TCAF was AWESOME! WICKED! FANTASTIC! MAGNIFICENT!

Now here are some photos.

Around the RAID Room:

Claudia Dávila's spOILed (L); Brian McLachlin's The Princess Planet (R)

Karl Kerschl's The Abominable Charles Christopher (L); Andy B's Raising Hell (R)

Scott Hepburn's The Port (L); Ramon Perez's Kukuburi (R)

Rob Coughler and J. Bone (L); Scott Hepburn, Cameron Stewart, Karl Kerschl, Ramon Perez, Michael Cho, Rob Coughler (R)

Adrian Alphona (L); J. Bone & Darwyn Cooke (R)

Jose Villarrubia & Paul Pope (L); Paul Pope (R)

Joe Matt (L); Seth & Chester Brown (R)

Jose Villarrubia (L); Jeffrey Brown & Jeff Lemire (R)

James Jean (L); Becky Cloonan (R)

My haul from TCAF