Friday, July 26, 2013

COMIC CON 2013 RECAP

It wasn't real. It was surreal. The floor was hard on the heels. The fluorescent glow of artificial lights cast a hideous shade of chartreuse on the skin. The odor of over 100,000 herded nerds wafted throughout carpeted alleys and crossroads. Convention center coffee was in hand. After a three year hiatus, the MCP was back at San Diego Comic Con. It just didn't seem real.

Many things have changed since the last time I had a booth in 2009. I've changed. My views of the world, myself and man's purpose couldn't be more contradicting from that of years gone by. I strive to always be true to myself. I've reconnected with my small town farming roots which I have been trying so hard to disassociate from since I was an adolescent. I've developed a kinship with my father and find more and more similarities with him every day. I've come to a conclusion why I've accomplished the things I have and recognize an ongoing warfare that I have unwillingly been engaged in. Unbridled vision lets no delusions cloud my sight. We live in very bleak times and I'm still as macabre as I've always been. My dark sense of humor allows me to translate this abomination with whimsy. This is still my esthetic and, I think, always will be. But the changes I've gone through will reflect an evolution in my current and future work. This we will all see in the things to come.

This was a new Gris Grimly attending SDCC this year. I am a working man and always have been. I grew up bailing straw, cleaning out hog sheds and tilling the earth to make a buck. I'm still that peasant, but with an uncanny imagination and the ability to transfer these thoughts into formats that allow other people to enjoy them, rather than keeping them confined within my own brain.

I knew that coming back to SDCC this year meant setting up a booth and managing it. I decided if I'm going to be in a booth for twelve hours a day, I want to be comfortable. My brilliant wife came up with the idea to bring my home to the convention (or at least a portion of it). That is what we did. I brought in my art desk, wall papered walls, book shelves, wooden furniture and area rugs. I even brought my record player and a collection of 50s/60s rock n roll records so I could play the music I wanted to hear. If anyone needed to find me, they could do so at the MCP booth. I no longer wanted to bare the stigma of being unobtainable. My attitude was "This is me. This is my place. These are my friends. Come hang out with us."

And that is what happened...



This year's new book was Frankenstein. A book in which I only had 200 advance copies because it's street date isn't until August 27th (the book is available for purchase here: the MCP store ). I am happy to announce that we sold out by early Friday. Every year we have a pre-release book, but this was the first year we sold out before the weekend even started. Thanks to all of you who came by and snatched up a copy. We also had Frankenstein shirts and buttons along with Society of Grave Robber shirts, Circus Punks, Pinocchio sculptures, previously released classics, belt buckles, prints, original artwork...and a whole lot more. In functionality, we still had the MCP store to offer, but it was packaged with comfort and soul.



On Friday I was a participant on the panel "Drawing Stories". The panel was about what's new in today's YA Graphic Novels. Everyone else on the panel clearly creates "Young Adult" graphic novels. To be part of the "Young Adult" market, you need to have a young adult as the protagonist in your story. Whereas I create picture books (some of which are a hybrid with graphic novels) where most of the protagonists appear to be just beyond young adult. Even the term young adult is very debatable. Couldn't a young adult encompass the 20-30 year old bracket? I feel that Victor Frankenstein could be considered as a young adult. But it appears that young adult in the publishing market refers to the adolescent population. When I was a kid, that was called teenagers.

The greatest part about being on this panel was to share a mic with Paul Pope. I'm a fan of his work and have been reading his books for almost twenty years now starting with THB when I was in college. Our encounter was brief, but it appeared we share a mutual respect for each other. All in all, I was in good company on stage with a line up of extremely talented artists and writers.

One of the most unique requests I've received to date is to sign a jar of moonshine. As the individual pulled out the mason jar of pellucid toxin, one thing came to mind; Our moon running forefather Popcorn Sutton. So I wrote around the top of the jar "LONG LIVE POPCORN SUTTON" and sketched a caricature of the hillbilly himself. The individual was surprised I knew who Popcorn was. The next day, he came back and gave me a jar of moonshine. Dangerous times are on the horizon.

The five days were hard on us and by Sunday we were all ready to crash. Or maybe some of us just stayed out too late at nights. Regardless, to recap the week...we all had a great time. I think I can speak for the entire MCP Crew when I say that we enjoyed spending time with everyone who stopped by the booth. This is how a family is created. You don't have to be bound by blood. You just need to have common interests, a gathering and memories.


Here's to a great San Diego Comic Con 2013. The MCP Crew look forward to seeing you all again soon. If not in between days, next SDCC.

 











Until then...Be Grim!

2 comments:

  1. I'm glad you made the booth your own. Despite my being 1600 miles away I think it looks great. What can I say, I vicariously enjoyed SDCC through friends photos! I hope this is something you continue to do at all your future appearances.

    Also, out of all the amazing photos, I think the last two posted are spectacular!


    Keep doing what you do!

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