Monday, August 28, 2006

Dragon's Lair 20th Anniversary:
This weekend, Dragon's Lair (the shop where I'm one of the managers) celebrated its 20th anniversary. I've only been working there six years, but that's still a fair bit of time, so I'm pretty invested in the store and was hoping for a good event. It went off great. There were a few hitches, like Josh Howard being unable to come or Matt Sturges (co-writer of Jack of Fables) having to bail on his Round Rock appearance to spend some family time, but overall, it was a great event.

I got to drive around Gail Simone and her husband, Scott, picking them up from the airport and taking them to and from the party on Friday night. Gail and Scott are both extremely nice people, and fun to talk to, and even though I probably got to talk to them over the course of about an hour throughout the weekend, I was still wishing for more time. Gail also had a huge turnout of fans, and she signed all their books and talked to them and everybody had a terrific time.

Gail was paired in the signings with Scott Kurtz, creator of PVP. Scott also had a pretty big crowd, and I know we turned a few people into fans that day as well. Scott was kind enough to do a sketch in my "Monkeys, Pirates, Ninjas and Robots" theme book, as well. Also signing with that pair was local writer Jeff Stevenson, who had with him copies of his new Image/Shadowline book Task Force One and his self-published book Steampunk Fairies.

We have three stores (one in Round Rock, one in Austin, one in San Antonio), so we had three drivers ferrying the creators to each shop. Our next signing in Round Rock was at 2:00, and featured two members of the Royal Academy of Illustration and Design, Cameron Stewart and Chip Zdarsky. They too were busy the whole time, sketching and signing. In fact, I never got to get my sketchbook to either one, as they were busy drawing for customers and for a couple of the other employees. But I already have two sketches from Cameron in my sketchbook, and I didn't want to be greedy. Poor Cameron and Chip were driving around in Texas in an un-air conditioned car, too... they got the real Texas experience.

Finally, from 6:00 to 8:00, we had Kristian, artist of the IDW book Supermarket and the upcoming DMZ #11. He had prints with him that sold fairly well, as well as a few issues of Supermarket, and he also was doing sketches the whole time. He was nice enough to do a sketch in my theme sketchbook as well. After the whole thing finished, most of the employees (save Dave Farabee, the other manager, who stayed to close up shop) went to dinner along with Kristian and one of our customers, David Figueroa, who had been taking pictures for us all day. In fact, I've put up all the pictures he took as a flickr set.

From there, it was off to the Live Art Show, being put on by my good friend Chris Nicholas at Club Deville. It was a great show, with several local artists alongside Chip, Cameron and Kristian. Everybody did beautiful work, and me and my group bought a ton of art. Dave Martindale bought one of Kristian's pieces, and I bought the other one. David Figueroa bought two of Cameron's pieces, and Nick Budd bought the other one. Even Kristian bought some art, picking up a nice piece from Miss Monster.

At around 2:00, the bar closed down, and I gave Kristian and our Dragon's Lair event organizer Jillian Gowen a ride back to his car so they could head out to a party. I was invited to come, but it was late, and I'm old, so I went home and got to sleep at about 2:30 instead. It was a great time, though, and although it was a long day (from about 8:00 am until 2:30 am) on Saturday, it was well worth it.

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