2019 San Diego Con: SATURDAY

After spending a lot of time at panels on Friday, on Saturday I spent much of my time in the Exhibit Hall. Heritage Auctions and others had some expensive original art on display. This one features excellent lettering by Tom Orzechowski.

And here’s a page from WATCHMEN with great art and lettering by Dave Gibbons. I probably did lettering corrections on it when it came through the DC Production Department, which in this case consisted of a few added quote marks.

Here’s something I hadn’t expected to see again. It’s a 1960s cover by Murphy Anderson that he gave to me many years ago. I enjoyed it for decades, then a few years ago I sold it through Heritage Auctions for about $9,000. It’s available from Metropolis Collectibles today for a bit more…

I did attend one panel on Saturday, the always entertaining “Quick Draw,” in which Mark Evanier has three artists doing quick drawings of all kinds, mostly humorous. Sergio Aragones and Scott Shaw are the usual anchors, with guest artist Floyd Norman this year. It was great, but I was too far away from the screens for photos.

I enjoyed talking to Bill Morrison, until recently the new editor of MAD magazine. The impending demise of MAD was the talk of the con, with most people bemoaning its end. I have to admit I rarely saw it, but from all reports, Bill was doing a fine job. Fortunately, he’s found plenty of other work in animation and elsewhere.

Thom Zahler told me he’s recently been able to write some Star Trek material, and as you can probably guess from the pin he’s wearing, it’s a thrill for him. He’s also selling his own self-published books of humorous romance comics.

A good friend and workmate for many years, Steve Leialoha was busy doing sketches at his table while we caught up.

Here’s Top Shelf publisher Chris Staros holding the final issue of THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN: THE TEMPEST, which I’ve been lettering for him. It’s been said by writer Alan Moore and artist Kevin O’Neill that it’s their final work in comics. The end of an era. Now I just have to get the collected edition out the door.

I chatted briefly with the always busy Walt Simonson while he sketched and signed an Artist’s Edition of his work. I told him I was sorry I hadn’t worked with him more, but was happy that he and letterer John Workman had formed such a great team for many years.

Here’s my obligatory photo of part of the Con floor from the window on the second floor. This is about ten percent of the total.

Saturday’s favorite costume was this one of Howard the Duck. It doesn’t look all that much like the comics character, but the attitude is perfect.

Here’s a PEANUTS display of strips from 50 years ago featuring Snoopy on the moon, something I’d forgotten. Charles Schulz was always in tune with the times.

I’ve been trying hard not to buy any new hardcover books, but there was one recent issue wonderfully illustrated by my friend Charles Vess that I knew I had to get. I caught up with Charles at the Simon & Schuster booth, where he was happy to inscribe one for me. (Here he’s signing someone’s SANDMAN comic.)

The book is a massive tome collecting all of Ursula K. Le Guin’s “Earthsea” novels and stories, including a new one, the last thing she wrote before she passed in January of 2018. Charles worked closely with her for several years on the art for this book, which includes color plates and many black and white drawings.

Charles did a great sketch on the title page, and I’m looking forward to reading or rereading the stories.

Here we are with the edition of Neil Gaiman’s “Stardust” that he illustrated and I did some title lettering for. It was good to catch up with Charles.

Saturday evening after dinner I spent some time at a DC party, talking to Ben Abernathy and Jim Chadwick briefly, Marv and Noel Wolfman, Benjamin LeClear and others. As the sun set over the bay, I made my way back to my hotel along the harbor promenade.

I passed the steps up to the bay side of the Con Center, which I’d never realized were lit this way at night. Soon I was getting to bed earlier than Friday, which was fine with me. I’m not a late night person, and the late Con bar and party scene is something I’m just as happy to skip. One report to go.

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