Saturday evening the Harvey Awards dinner was preceded by cocktail hour at 7 PM. I enjoyed talking to a number of people there, some I knew and some I didn’t.
After a few opening speeches, awards host Phil LaMarr, above, got things going. Phil is very funny and entertaining, and is a comics fan as well as a cartoon voice actor and TV star. He made a great host.
The Lettering award was up first, as it often is, and it went to Chris Eliopoulos this year. Chris is a good guy and a fine letterer, I’ve known him a long time, and I was pleased that he won. Also, with that out of the way I was able to relax and enjoy the rest of the awards.
As sometimes happens, about half the winners were not present, but I was happy to see Walt Simonson accept two awards for WALT SIMONSON’S THE MIGHTY THOR ARTIST’S EDITION, the deluxe oversized hardcover from IDW. That’s Thom Zahler behind him, one of the award presenters, who were also all good.
David Petersen, creator of MOUSE GUARD was a presenter and also accepted some awards, he was pretty funny, too.
Joe Rubinstein is a long-time inker I’ve known since I was on staff at DC in the 1970s-80s, though I hadn’t seen him for many years. Joe did several presentations, including giving the Inking award to Joe Rivera for DAREDEVIL.
In fact, DAREDEVIL won quite a few awards, making Best Writer Mark Waid very happy, as well as the art team penciller of Paolo Rivera and his dad Joe Rivera. I decided I need to read that storyline!
I think my favorite moment at the awards was this one. Stan Lee got up on stage, saying he was there to present an award, and he asked John Romita Senior to join him. I’ve been to a lot of comics awards presentations, and this is the first time I’ve ever seen Stan Lee at one, so I figured it was for something special.
Turns out they were giving John Romita Junior a Lifetime Achievement award, which really shocked the younger Romita. And there can’t be another instance in comics where such an award was presented by the recipient’s father! All three of them were quite entertaining, but I was most impressed by Stan, who is really quite sharp, funny and spry for his age.
I was also delighted that my friend J.H. Williams III won two Harveys: Best Cover Artist and Best Artist for his work on BATWOMAN. He wasn’t able to be there, but I texted him with the news and made his day.
Several speeches dwelled on the loss of Joe Kubert, who had planned to be there, the best from Paul Levitz. In all the awards were too long, as they all are, but I enjoyed them anyway. Each audience member got a large and heavy bag of books from publishers attending the show, some of which I’ll be reading and reviewing here. Getting into the elevator afterwards, we had a full car, and the books probably added the weight of at least one more person!
The next morning the storms had passed, and the weather was beautiful. I went for a long walk before breakfast, first over to the harbor, just a block or two from the hotel. I’ve been there a few times before, and the one constant is the sailing ship U.S.S. Constellation. There are several other ships you can tour as well.
Looking across the harbor, and that’s a submarine you can tour on the left. There’s a fine aquarium here, too.
On another side participants were preparing for a 5K race.
From there I walked about 10 blocks up Charles Street, enjoying some of the old buildings like this one.
I reached Baltimore’s Washington Monument before turning back.
This handsome church is nearby, one of many in the downtown area.
I got back to the hotel for a planned breakfast with artists Gene Ha and Mark Buckingham, and we were soon joined by a few others including Barry Kitson and Brian Bolland. I enjoyed those conversations, and have just realized I didn’t get a photo of Gene, who I also sat with a while on Saturday. Sorry, Gene! Or maybe he’s happy about that.
I had originally thought I’d head home after breakfast, but decided I had time to go back to the convention for about an hour first. On the way over I found Jose Luis Garcia Lopez sitting outside enjoying the nice weather, and talked to him for a bit. At the con I found a few more folks to talk to and also a copy of the DAREDEVIL trade paperback collecting the series that had won all the Harvey Awards.
Then I did head home, about a two and a half hour drive, but not a bad one. I had a great time at the con, and hope to get to future ones.