After spending an awesome weekend in Frankfurt with my good friend Marty and his awesome family, eating and drinking heartily, seeing castles, hiding out in boar hunters sheds and discussing the ways of the world at great length I lugged my big bag into another airport and headed to New York for the first stop of the highly anticipated Caravan of comics, the boldest undertaking of a group of Australian cartoonists, ever.
The list is almost too long to spend linking but here’s a pic of most of us at Union Street on our first day. L to R… Sarah Howell, Michael Hawkins, yours truly, Pat Grant, John Retallick, Andrew Fulton and Mandy Ord. Dave Blumenstein was taking the photo and Ben Hutchings was off checking his email, so you’ll have to google them.
To get our bearings straight we went bowling and spent the proceedings of our Sydney fundraiser event in a vital team building exercise. I then backed up a solid session in which I had my best and worst games one after another by meeting my buddy, Johnny, to go play shuffelboard and listen to jazz (yes at the same time, amidst a swarm of west village fratboys playing tablesoccer and ping pong as well. The band played my song and I could think about my lady, bravely battling her way through the swarms of Delhi with our son in tow. Johnny showed me where to get the best slice and after a fond farewell, I ended up getting locked out of my flat and turned around and went back to Johnny’s to crash on his couch.
The next day we earned some major adventure points by busting over to Staten Island to do an instore drawing session at Comic Book Jones, a great store run by a really friendly bunch of dudes, and apparently Evan Dorkin’s local. It was new order arrival day so all afternoon local dudes were popping in to clear out their standing orders and see what we were up to. We ended up drawing there for 5 hours or so. Pat, Greg, Andrew and I did random drawing challenges – 5 minute wonder woman, 10 minute green lantern just to mix it up. The store itself had a really well picked range of super hero and independent titles, a great vibe, and its strip mall location between a chicken shop and a pizza place was really cool – like comic book shops were totally normal and should just slot into any suburban mall. We had an incredible cab driver to take us down to a bar afterwards, he was a bit Travis Bickle with his mohawk and general bug eyed insanity but when we started talking about Australia he said “That Steve Irwin, he’s a real fuckin idiot, y’know… I coulda told him that you fuck around with a fuckin stingray… that thing’s gonna kill ya, right? And you guys got dem bear in trees, right?” He was awesome and scary all at once. If you ever go, the ferry to Staten Island is very impressive – its enormous, free and cruises right past the Statue of Liberty. Here’s my view from the drawing table and my first drawing of japanese green lantern.
The next day was time to bump in for the festival. We managed to pick an apartment that was exactly across the road from MoCCA which was quite very conveniant so there was no schlepping across town. Next post will be all about MoCCA so to tide you over here’s a picture of what an empty comic book convention looks like. Feel the anticipation build…