Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My Montreal Adventures

The Con. itself wrapped up on Sunday but I just got back from Montreal yesterday. My shoulders are still sore from lugging all my stuff around. All in all, I'd say it was a fun time. I sold more than a few copies of my book and a few little framed pictures of the Censor Monkeys that I brought along. I even managed to sell one the decorations I had for my table. Y'see, I took a few selected panels from my book Jesus Needs Help and blew them up as sort of a sneak peek into the contents. One guy wanted to buy one of those. I sold it for $1. he was happy, I was happy. Everybody wins.
I also had the good fortune to be seated beside the creators of a popular comic series Kill Shakespeare. I haven't read it myself, but I listen to the guys give their pitch about it over and over. It's basically Shakespearian fan fiction in way only much more sophisticated. Different artists take various characters from Shakespeare's plays and creates entirely new scenarios with them. The example they kept giving was "Juliet meets Hamlet". I'll have to pick up a copy and read it sometime. I should have bought one there damnit, especially since they were so nice to even help me with the promotion of my book. Whenever some people came to my booth, one those guys would say "that is the best book about Jesus and monkeys
ever written". There's certainly no argument against that. Although at one point I let one of them read a copy of my book. His opinion of it after that was "fun and surprising". That's pretty much what I was going for with this book so in that sense it's a success.
Sitting on the other side of me was a 13 year old prodigy named Devon Anthony-Leneveu. His mom was there to support him too. He only liked drawing guns and images he's seen playing the Halo games. I personally prefer to draw a bigger variety of subjects, but he's doing what all true artists do, he draws what inspires him. That is exactly what everyone should do. The art with the most integrity is created that way.
As far as reactions to my book goes, I definitely got a better reception than I did from those brainless people at the flea markets. Here at the comic con, responses ranged from "I love the way your mind works" to "What is this?" Yes, somebody actually asked that question. Well, let's see, we're at a COMIC BOOK CONVENTION and the product I'm selling has a front cover and some pages with panels containing artwork and speech balloons. Gee whiz, I wonder what it could be. Oh well, like another girl who approached my table commented, this book of mine does not appeal to idiots (which unfortunately seems to be a huge market these days).

Anyway, here's a floor plan on the convention hall. My spot is marked with a little black arrow.

And also, this was my "back in a few minutes" sign:

Okay, there's a bunch of pictures to post. I'll organize them here by the day they were taken. Here we go.


Friday was the day for us to come in and set up our booths. This was mine. This display definitely caught many people's eyes. There's a copy of my book all propped up for display along with those 10 small pictures of the monkeys I mentioned before. Not too shabby, I'd say.

I knew Stan Lee's table would be a zoo. I certainly wasn't looking forward to paying $50 just to be treated like cattle on my way to meet Stan Lee. So, on Friday, before anyone was there, I sat in Stan Lee's chair and took this picture. Yes, I know, in the comic book industry that's like peeking under the Pope's robe and letting out a wolf whistle. But, there I am at the big man's table. Instead of me getting his autograph, he got my bum print in his chair as my autograph. I hope he appreciates it. (He won't.)

Next, I went over to Burt Ward's table and also took a picture there thinking that's the closest I'd get to him. But, I was surprised that on Saturday I was able to get Burt Ward's autograph with ease. Adam West's table was the predictable zoo while Burt's was more like a small petting zoo. In hindsight, both Adam and Burt should have been seated at the same table I guess. If I was just a simple patron of this event I'd consider it a huge inconvenience to pay $50 and wait for Mr. West's autograph and then pay $40 to wait for Mr. Ward's. But, like I said, I did get Mr. Ward's autograph and I didn't even really spend too much time away from my own table either. Here it is:

I got him to sign the proof copy of my book. His agent told me that "Mr. Ward will sign anything within reason". When I showed him the copy of my book, he considered it within reason, so on I went to Burt. He seemed apprehensive about it at first conferring with his agent making sure my book was thoroughly checked out. Once it was a go, I got that autograph from the Boy Wonder. Although, I think he would have been happier if I had him sign one of the little glossy pictures of himself as Robin instead. He may think I'm kind of a dick. But hey, Burt Ward thinks I'm kind of a dick!!! That's still exciting.

Then it was on to Adam West's table. Some people caught me before I could get a decent picture so I just snapped this one quickly. That's why I'm kind of a fish mouth right now. Hey, that would make a cool Batman villain: Fish Mouth. Get working on it, DC.


Ah, the big day has arrived. Let the profiteering begin!

Obi-wan Kenobi stopped by my booth to look at my wares. "The force is strong with this one." he's saying to himself.

Did you know that some Stormtroopers were Mormons? I did not know that before this convention. I guess they're the ones at the Cantina just having Wookie Milk. Here's one of them now looking at my stuff. (I betcha he also thinks the Ewoks are another lost tribe of Israel. I could see that happening.)

I thought it would be funny to have someone with a sign saying "The End is Nigh" right beside a book with Jesus in it. But, it turns out that this girl was just a snob who didn't care. Whatever. Keep walking, Missy.

Uh oh! Look who I caught in a quiet little corner of the convention. I always knew there was something between those two.

Great costume. I wish I knew what book or movie it came from. Anyway, she liked my stuff too.

R2D2 made an appearance near my table as well. He didn't buy a book though, the little bastard. I hope Darth Maul cuts him in half.

Oh hey, this was fun. There was a film crew making a documentary about super heroes at the convention. They stopped by my table, got a shot of my book and gave me an interview. That's a nice bit of free publicity for me, if they use any of my footage that is. Hopefully they don't make me look like a jerk.

Scooby Doo even stopped by. But he couldn't solve the mystery of who took my pants. Oh well, I'm sure the ladies in attendance preferred that mystery to remain unsolved yaknowhatimsayin. ;)

Ah ha! Captain Jack Sparrow stopped by for a look-see. I think he wishes he was back in Davy Jones locker right now.

Here's two cute girls who look interested. One is dressed like Sally from Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas and the other is dressed like a character from Death Note.

This right here is Sergio Aragones, a veteran artist who has been contributing to MAD Magazine for a little over 5 decades now. And here he is looking at my book. I pointed out to him one panel inwhich I "borrowed" a facial expression that he quite often puts on his characters. I put that expression on Jesus' face in this panel right here:

When he saw that, his face lit up and he said, "that's how we learn". And you know what, he's right. Our conversation ended with him saying "good luck with that" in a way that sounded a little backhanded to me. But maybe I was just hearing things. It was very cool to meet him.
Apparently, Mr. Aragones speaks fluent Spanish AND French along with a smattering of broken English. I never knew that before. Wow! The surprising things you learn at conventions.


It was on Sunday that I got a picture of the Batmobile. As you can see, it's guarded by the military AND Spiderman. Good luck hot wiring that sucker.

Also in attendance was the delorian from Back to the Future.

Sunday was also the day that I got Neal Addams' autograph. He also signed the proof copy of my Jesus Needs Help book, right beside Burt Ward's. He made me shake hands with him 4 times before he did it though. He must be Catholic +1. He's a super nice guy though. Some of his drawings cost a whole $600. Respect!

This one will mostly be of interest to my sister and future brother-in-law. Hey, you guys, your cat Sgt. Slaughter had a booth at the Montreal Comic Con this year. Do you recall any time last weekend when he seemed to have "mysteriously disappeared"? Well, he was in Montreal charging $20 for his autograph. Every time I passed by his booth there was a line up that went waaaaaaaay around the corner. Stan Lee was even a little jealous. Most of the time, the good Sgt. was well behaved except for that one time when he scratched Burt Ward. But, most of the con's attendees will tell you that Burt had it coming. Even Adam West was telling Burt a thing or three afterwards. But, that little bit of ugliness passed pretty quickly. Most of the time it was fun.
I'll bet you're wondering what happened to all of that autograph money. Well, you should have seen him at the Montreal Casino that night. Holy jeez, he was knocking back $50 margaritas at the roulette table until dawn. He would have won more often at roulette if he didn't try to play with that white marble all the time. I heard he was finally kicked out at about 6:30 am.
I hope you two are feeding him catnip-blend coffee to help him wind down after this weekend. You can bet he needs it.

Here's Jeremy Bulloch, the original Boba Fete. I found him before the con started up on Sunday and got this picture of him. I even showed him that picture of "him" kissing Darth Vader. He thought it was funny, but I also think he thinks I'm crazy. He gets no argument from me.

Here are some girls who stopped by to take a look at my stuff. I'm not sure who they're dressed like, but one of them wore leather and had a whip. Come to think of it, that might have been more of a work uniform than a costume. Either way, I'm glad she stopped by.

The characters from Pokemon stopped by to check out my table. Then later they used those mystical balls to shoot lasagna at the moon while a small army of fruit flies masturbates to ABBA. (I think that's what happens on the show. I've never seen it.)

Next, it was celebrity-meeting time for me. Here I am standing beside one Erin Grey of both Buck Rogers and Silver Spoons fame. There was a small incident at first though. As soon as I stepped behind the curtain standing face to face with Mz Grey, an assistant with a deep, raspy Tone Loc type of voice kept saying something that sounded like "Take it!" Either that or "Naked!" "Take it naked?" "What kind of photo shoot is this?" I was thinking. But, after the third repetition, I realized he was saying "Ticket!" So, I handed him the ticket I had paid $30 just moments before and then I and Erin snapped this picture. (Seriously, lose some phlegm, guy).
In this picture, you'll notice that with my arm wrapped around her my hand is clearly visible on her shoulder. However, her other hand is nowhere in sight. Well, there's a very VERY obvious reason for that. (I still can't sit down because of the bruise).
As I was leaving, I said to her, "thank you, Mrs. Straton". I felt stupid immediately afterwards. Oh well. I got this picture. I'm fine with that.

While I was waiting for my Erin Grey picture to be ready, Mercedes McNab walked passed me and stepped behind the curtain for her photoshoot. I missed my chance to take a quick picture, so the best I could get of her was this. She's the tall blond figure in the centre of the frame. Hopefully other attendees got better shots of her.

Here's a shot of a landspeeder. Oh, and look, there's R2D2 again.
"Hey, R2, buy a book why doncha?!"
"Bleep. Bleep. Blorp-a WHEEP! Burmp burmp!"
"Ok! I am totally going to find C3PO to have that translated and THEN you'll be in trouble."

Here's a costume I didn't think I'd see at any comic con. Someone came dressed as a Saskatchewan resident. Coincidentally, these people happened to actually be Saskatchewan residents which made their costumes look much more authentic. These people showing up sure made me homesick. GO RIDERS!!!

Hey, it's-a Mario. He's-a come-a to look at-a my book. Well, he's not glowing orange so he can't shoot fireballs at me. That's a relief.

And then this stitched up cat lady came over to look at my stuff. For the record everyone, it was not my intention to arrange everything on my table so that girls had to bend over just to get a closer look at everything. That's just the way things happened. Not that anyone's complaining though.

Well, the Con was officially over at 6:30 p.m. At that time we were all
required to take our displays down, packthem up and go. So, I did just that. I packed everything of mine into one suitcase and walked three blocks back to hostel at which I was staying. I decided to have supper at the hostel's little cafe called The Globetrotter. I had eaten there before with no problem. But this time, the sandwich I ordered contained some very hot jalapino peppers for which I was not prepared. All I will say about that night is that my digestive system was NOT happy with me and I consider it a divine miracle that I managed to get any sleep at all. (I'm still feeling the effects of that ordeal in fact).


With the Montreal Comic Con just a memory to me, Monday was my day to go sightseeing. Some friends of mine recommended that I check out Old Montreal and the casino. I found time for both.

Here's a nice looking statue. Who is it? Let's find out.

Apparently, it's a statue of Hon. John Young who lived from 1811 to 1878. I'm assuming he did other things besides pose for this statue. If anyone here knows, please inform me. Thank you.

There's a nice building.

There's another nice building.

Here's a great looking church. I forget the name of it though.

Here's the Bonsecours Market. I bought some gifts for my nephews there. I hope they like them.

My friend was right about Old Montreal. It is a beautiful area of town with cobblestone streets that take you right back to the days before confederation. Lots of quaint little shops and restaurants too.

After my visit to Old Montreal, I hopped aboard the Metro and travelled down to John Drapeau Park which is located on one of the dirt islands that was used to hold Expo 67. Right there is the Biosphere, the biggest set of monkey bars in the world. No, the big kids won't let you play on it.

This is one of the three rivers that runs through Montreal. Let's see if I can name them all. Okay................ first there's the................. um.................. Framboise Poutine, ................... the Cochon Dans le Salle de Bain, ........................... and......................... French Toast. Yeah, I think that's right.

Hey, I think this was the site of an Olympic event back in 1976. I'm not quite sure which event it could have been. The 100 meter sprint jump maybe? Or the long distance bobsled? Dwarf toss? Whatever the event was, I'm sure Canada lost.

My last visit of the day was the casino. I must that my friend was right, it is an impressive building. The inside is nice too although I had some trouble finding my way around. I did manage to do some gambling though. I'm proud to say that I turned a measly $20 into a staggeringly impressive jackpot of $25. BEST GAMBLER EVER!!! I celebrated with an overpriced hamburger and then went back to the hostel.

The next day I flew back home and thus that concludes my Montreal adventure. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to all the other artists in Artists' Alley. I would have loved to visit each of your tables and maybe purchased a drawing or two, but I was busy with my own stuff at my own table. I wish all of you the best of luck.

Like I said before. This trip was exhausting but fun. But, most importantly, it was productive. I definitely do not regret attending. I'd love to attend next year with a whole other book to sell. Who knows which celebrities I'll be annoying then.

Longue vie expression artistique!