Thursday, December 22, 2011

All I want for Christmas...

Yep, you guessed it! This kiddo is hoping for her two front teeth. Her design is loosely based upon myself as a kid, although her hair is a bit more red and a tad more unruly than mine was. Almost all my childhood holiday dresses sported a variation of that smocking which was so popular in the 80s.

I had the idea for this last year, but didn't finish a drawing for it at the time. It felt fitting to paint it up since I finally paid off the two new teeth that I got last January!

(Short back story: I fell on my face in high school, broke my teeth and had the same caps for about 5 years longer than I should have. One came off in a sandwich last December after a trip to the Met. So they got replaced with shiny new ones that only took me an entire year to pay off. Merry Christmas to me!)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Keep warm this winter. Even if your pets need to help out.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Life Drawing

I finally made it back to a life drawing class before the end of 2011. I was pretty pleased with the quick poses, considering I haven't drawn from a model since...February?! Yikes. Sometimes it's nice to reset my drawing style and loosen up a bit with pencil. I really liked the model's hair, it was fun to draw. The last page contains possibly the first extremely foreshortened pose I've been remotely happy with.

If you didn't catch it on TV last week, the Eureka holiday episode I worked on is now online at SyFy! There's also a link to credits for each of the animated segments. A lot of people put months of work into the ep and it turned out great!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Eureka Christmas special

The Eureka Christmas special that I worked on is airing on SyFy at 8pm (7pm central) this Tuesday December 6th! Here's a preview of one of the stop motion sections:

I worked on the Flash animated sections of the show with a super small team at Curious Pictures who also did the awesome stop motion sequences with another team. I'm looking forward to seeing the whole episode, I've only seen the rough cut.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I got the idea to draw a hand turkey right on the cintiq from my twitter stream yesterday. I can't find the actual post, but I'm pretty sure it was via Dave Pimentel from Dreamworks. He posts some beautiful life drawings on his blog that you should check out regardless.

I'm thankful for many things especially my family, my partner, his family, two crazy cats, having so many great friends in this city I call home and drawing for a living! Hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

It's still Fall, right?

I'm still busy freelancing, but I finally had some time on Sunday to do a Fall self-portrait before Winter is upon us. I've been carrying my camera when I take walks during my lunch break. Most of my photos are of the ever changing graffiti in NoLita.

I had the opportunity to give a guest lecture for Martin Wittig's character design class at FIT last week. I haven't done too much public speaking, but I think it went rather well! Thanks to all of the attentive Grad students for participating and to Martin for inviting me!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Halloween!

A page of quick sketchbook pro doodles. Wish I had time to do something better than some shape studies but I wrapped one project this week and am onto the next gig already. Can't complain about paid work but hopefully I'll have time to put back into my neglected comics soon.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Vegetarian at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival: Champagne and Dessert Booth

The final thing I ate at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival was something that caught Allan's eye: The White Chocolate Macadamia Mousse with Dark Chocolate Pearls at the Champagne and Dessert Booth! It had a ridiculously long name, but it was the dessert I'd most recommend to try. It was also the best presentation of anything I'd had that evening in it's little clear square container and swirled top sprinkled with Macadamia nuts.

There were two items on my list that I wasn't able to taste that night. I was hoping to try the Bunny Chow at the South African booth, which looked like one of the few truly vegetarian meal options at the festival. We'd passed the kiosk at the beginning of the evening because I was still full from lunch at the time. At the end of the night it turned out to be much further from the entrance than I remembered, so we ended up turning around before reaching it.

We also wanted to try the Lamington (chocolate and coconut covered yellow cake) at the Australian booth but there was a sizable line. We had plans for later that night and still had to check into our hotel and change into some semblance of dry clothes. So we decided to pass on trying one last dessert and squished our way back to the parking lot.

I had a great experience at my first Epcot Food and Wine Festival despite the miserable weather. (It took 2 days and several passes with a hairdryer until my sneakers and jeans dried.) Perhaps because of the weather, we never had to wait long for food. I'd highly recommend the festival to anyone visiting Epcot in the Fall. I didn't attend any of the additional events but there seemed to be quite a few guest chefs and other events at the park for an additional fee.

For those budget minded people like myself, sampling food at each kiosk was still an adventure of its own. The prices for each item were very reasonable, mostly between $3 and $5. The most expensive thing we tried at the Food and Wine Festival was the $7 mojito at the Caribbean booth. Truly an affordable experience (aside from the park admission) if you plan it out!

I posted a bunch of photos of rainy, atmospheric Epcot over here, if you like that sort of thing.

Palm trees and the geodesic dome at night.

Many thanks to my friends who recommended rides and sites at Disney since I hadn't been there since I was a kid! Special thanks to Abby Denson for initially mentioning the Epcot Food and Wine Festival would be going on when we were in Florida. Abby does great dessert reviews and comic posts over at The City Sweet Tooth, check it out!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Vegetarian at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival: Greece

I had boarded the cheese train at this point of the night and there was no turning back. After devouring the giant cheese plate at the Ireland kiosk, I got the Griddled Greek cheese with pistachios and honey. It was the most delicious thing I ate at the festival. It may have been because I was soaking wet and it was nice and warm or maybe it was the combination of honey and pistachios with a giant slab of toasty cheese. Either way, I highly recommend trying it at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

One more watercolor post planned for this week! Hope you've been enjoying them so far.

Epcot looking beautiful in the rain.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Vegetarian at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival: Ireland

I had taken my sweet time exploring the pavilions and taking photos on the first half of the marketplace, but by the time we were on the far side of the lake, it was dark and we were wet and hungry! The Ireland kiosk was a well placed outpost after we got turned around near the French marketplace. Allan and I had been comparing the weather the entire day to the downpour we witnessed in the Aran Islands off the coast of Ireland a few years prior, so it was only fitting to eat some Irish food.

France, complete with the Eiffel Tower in the background

The Kerrygold cheese selection at the Ireland kiosk was the heartiest food I tasted at Epcot. The plate was piled with a thick slice of brown bread, a packet of Kerrygold butter, three types of cheese (aged Irish cheddar, Dubliner and Ivernia) and a little dish of apple chutney. Just what I needed at this point in the evening!

Allan and I ducked into the foyer of a gift shop across from an English pub to enjoy the cheese plate.
We almost witnessed a brawl outside the British pub.

We also got a miniature chocolate lava cake with Bailey's ganache to share. I easily could have eaten an entire one myself! It was warm and delicious.

It wasn't until after I was going over my notes that I realized I forgot to try the Bunratty Meade at the Ireland kiosk. Perhaps next time!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Vegetarian at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival: New Zealand

As a vegetarian planning to eat at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, first I checked out the handy online menu of each country to see which ones I'd want to try. It turned out that most of my choices were either drinks or desserts. Good thing I like both! With my soggy map in hand, (see previous post) Allan and I continued our way clockwise around the marketplace.

Yep, still raining.

It was dark by this point, and the Japan pavilion was lit up although most of the food kiosks in that area appeared to be closed.
Lantern outside the Japan pavilion

I only eat seafood occasionally, but I did try a bite of Allan's selection from the New Zealand kiosk and it was delightful. The curry purée and radish salad were a wonderful complement to the delicate flavor of the sea scallop. Definitely a dish to taste at Epcot!

I didn't take any photos near the New Zealand kiosk, but here's one from a courtyard in Morocco.
Moroccan courtyard fountain

Monday, October 17, 2011

Eating Vegetarian at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival

I just got back from a very rainy but delicious weekend at Epcot's Food and Wine Festival! Allan and I had passes for entry to the park after 4 pm, so we went after our flight arrived on Saturday. It didn't stop raining the entire time we were there, but soggy shoes didn't stop us from enjoying ourselves! The crowds were greatly diminished because of the weather and we rarely waited in lines at each kiosk.

Sign for the Food and Wine Festival

We'd eaten a late lunch at Bongo's Cuban Cafe in Downtown Disney hoping the rain would let up, so we were fairly full when we started our walk around the World Showcase a little after 5 pm. Our first stop was for Mojitos at the Caribbean kiosk which we enjoyed under an awning overlooking the lake while it poured rain. They were good, but fairly tame on the alcohol (probably because we looked more underage than usual, dripping wet.)

Are we in Ireland or in Florida?

A little further along we tried a beautiful looking chocolate covered cannoli from the Italy pavilion. As someone who's had the real deal in NYC's Little Italy, I'm sorry to say this version was just ok.

Italian pavilion lit up at night.

I was hoping to draw on site, but it was raining so hard that I left my sketchbook in the car. I did a few sketches and took some notes later that night. I whipped up the watercolors and inks while Allan was in meetings at the beginning of the week. It was nice to paint again, it seems like such a long time since I've had the time to. I'll be posting a few more watercolors of food we ate in Epcot throughout the week!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Thoughts on PMZF

Although my second time tabling at Pete's Mini Zine Fest wasn't as financially successful as the first, I think I actually enjoyed myself more this time around. Between the rain and the lack of a live music event, there wasn't as much foot traffic. But the conversations I DID have were all pretty great even if most of them were with other creators. It also didn't hurt that the music selection at Pete's was top notch. If I'd spent the whole day sketching and listening to good tunes without selling a thing, I'd have been pretty happy. I bought a new sketchbook and a bunch of pens from NY Central on Friday and was eager to try them out.

New sketchbook and pens from NY Central

Since I was coming from Queens, I took a scenic detour through Long Island City on the G shuttle bus. By the time I had a nice walk down memory lane past McCarren Park, all of the tables in the front of the place were taken, so I set up in the little area next to the food pickup window and the bathrooms. Hey, I figured I'd at least get some foot traffic and it had a bit more light than the cavern near the stage.

View from my table at PMZF

The rain held off until most of the tablers had arrived (and some had already set up outside) but the clouds quickly covered Brooklyn for the rest of the day. Everyone from outside made themselves at home near the stage.

The cavern of Pete's Candy Store

I definitely got more chatting in with the other tablers than I had in May. Conversation fluctuated from printing comics and paper types to stories about other peoples' cats. From drawing archaeological digs in Greece to punk bands from Virginia. I even got schooled on the type of art deco wardrobe I'd drawn in Counter Attack (it's a waterfall, who knew?!) One guy bought a comic then brought me a button from his punk band! At one point I got up to check out some of the other tables and the nice punk guy selling pizza t-shirts across from my table made a sale for me while I was gone.

I had a nice talk with Paul Hoppe who does lovely childrens' books, a great walking sketch tour comic of Red Hook and has an upcoming show at the Brooklyn Museum. I chatted with Glynnis Fawkes for almost an hour before realizing she wasn't even tabling at the event, but had come from NJ with her kids and comics in tow. She had some great content about being a mom and drawing archeological digs in Lebanon and Greece. I hope to see her at some other cons in the future. I also got to catch up with Matt Hawkins of Fort 90 and met some of the creators of the Rabbid Rabbit anthology. I had a great conversation about hardcore music as well as vegetarian Guyanese and Trinidadian food locations in Jamaica, Queens with the creator of Mirrored Mitten. Another new tabler, Kyle Fewell, had a great little zine full of illustrations of cats, birds and people.

But my favorite sale of the day goes to Gene, the Brooklyn local in a FDNY shirt who perused my table while I had taken a bathroom break. He asked what kind of event was going on, then handed me a $20 and said "You artists do a lot of hard work and deserve to be compensated. I'll take one of your comics. I'll give it to my kids, but I'll read it first." With less than 15 minutes left in the show I figured I wouldn't top that and started to pack up. Luckily the rain held off and the G shuttle bus arrived exactly when I got back to Metropolitan Ave. I had lots of new reading material for the ride home.

Here are some of the rad trades from the other tablers. There was an unintentional red, white and yellow theme and a surprising amount of cat content. Fidget approves.

Zine haul

I did get to do a few drawings in the new sketchbook. I felt rusty drawing from life, but I had fun playing with the new pens.

Thanks to Pete's Candy Store for hosting us, to everyone who came out despite the rain and to Andria and Marguerite for putting it all together!

In other news, I have an interview up on Animation Insider!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Pete's Mini Zine Fest this Saturday Oct 1st!

A final reminder that I'll be tabling at Pete's Mini Zine Fest this Saturday October 1st! Check out the awesomeness from 2pm-7pm at Pete's Candy Store (709 Lorimer Street, Brooklyn) It will be indoor/outdoor (they have a great garden out back) but if it rains, we'll all be inside. It's FREE to get in! Buy a beer, buy a zine, make some new friends, it's all good!

Here's the invite for an updated list of attendees.

I'll have copies of Counter Attack,

Urban Nomad,

Rock On!

the last of the food buttons,

and a very limited number of Conan the Librarian prints!

See ya there!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Anniversaries this weekend


Due to a rainy weather forecast, Pete's Mini Zine Fest is being rescheduled to NEXT SATURDAY October 1. It will still be from 2pm-7pm at Pete's Candy Store in Brooklyn.
Sorry for any inconvenience.


This Sunday will be two years since Allan and I became official domestic partners!
Here is one page of the six page comic about our day at City Hall. You can read the whole thing in issue 3 of Urban Nomad. (Click to see it larger.)

When I wrote this comic, Prop 8 had just passed in California and I was feeling rather angry about the whole situation. Happily two years later, my home state of New York now acknowledges same sex marriage. Because of this, I'm assuming the role of domestic partnership is going to be short lived in the state. But I haven't heard anything about it regarding our health insurance yet. Anyway, Happy Anniversary of our many anniversaries, Allan!

Sunday is ALSO my little sisters' one year wedding anniversary! Total coincidence that they were the same date, but kind of neat. Happy Anniversary Kelly and Erick!


Final reminder that I'll be at Pete's Mini Zine Fest on Sunday from 2pm-7pm. Pete's Candy Store is at 709 Lorimer St. Brooklyn. I'll have the last of my food buttons, Conan the Librarian prints, copies of Urban Nomad and Counter Attack. There is also a kickoff party on Saturday the 24th from 6PM-8PM featuring live zine readings, comedienne Emily Heller and the band Phil and the Osophers. Full details are on official Facebook invite. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fall Into Zines this Sunday, September 25th!

Come out to Brooklyn and Fall Into Zines at Pete's Mini Zine Fest this Sunday! A portion of the table fees benefit the New York Public Library! Come buy comics and zines from some awesome people and enjoy the onstage entertainment and refreshing beverages at Pete's Candy Store!

Flyer designed by L. Nichols

Sunday September 25th from 2PM to 7PM at Pete's Candy Store (709 Lorimer St. Brooklyn, NY) The fest is indoor/outdoor and Pete's has a great little garden in the back that will be packed with zinesters!

Here's the official Facebook invite which includes a list of the attendees.

There is also a kickoff party on Saturday the 24th from 6PM-8PM featuring live zine readings, comedienne Emily Heller and the band Phil and the Osophers.

I will have copies of Counter Attack (they're dwindling, so get'em while I've got'em!) Urban Nomad, Rock On! and even a limited number of Conan the Librarian 8.5 x 11 prints! See you Sunday!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fall into Zines

Hello! It's been a busy couple of weeks now that I'm working full time on another animation project. The blog will be a bit slow for the next two months since all of my spare time is spent working on a long term project that isn't quite ready to unveil yet. I do tend to post updates more frequently to my twitter if you like hearing about vegetarian food I'm cooking, what the cats are up to, and sometimes comic and animation links.

In the meantime, I wanted to give a heads up on the final event I'll be tabling at for 2011: Fall into Zines, another installment of Pete's Mini Zine Fest! A portion of the table fee benefits the New York Public Library! Come buy comics and zines from some awesome people and enjoy the onstage entertainment and refreshing beverages at Pete's!

Sunday September 25th from 2PM to 7PM at Pete's Candy Store (709 Lorimer St. Brooklyn, NY)

There's an official facebook invite over here if you like stalking the attendees.

There is also a kickoff party on Saturday the 24th from 6PM-8PM featuring live zine readings, comedienne Emily Heller and the band Phil and the Osophers.

If you missed Pete's Mini Zine Fest in May, here's your second chance to check it out!

Flyer designed by L. Nichols

I should also add that it's the final hours of the Kickstarter for the Syndicate Product Zine #20: The META- COMICS Issue. I have a comic in this issue and am so excited to see the final book! A.J.'s project has reached its goal (woo-hoo!) but any additional funds make the final zines that much more snazzy and send them to zine libraries around the world. If you like reading self-published comics and zines, consider making a donation and getting some fun rewards!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 years

I try not to get sentimental about non-art related things on my sketch blog. My childhood art teacher had a sign in her studio that said "If it's not about art, don't talk about it here." Ten years have gone by very quickly and if I hadn't gone to art school in New York, I wouldn't be writing this. I had just moved to Brooklyn with a friend and was starting my thesis year at the School of Visual Arts in September 2001. On Tuesdays I had life drawing late in the afternoon so I usually slept in that morning. I awoke to two messages left on the answering machine by my roommates parents around 9 am. My roommate had a morning class and was already in the city.

After listening to the frantic messages half awake, I turned on the TV. I stood in shock, remote in hand, as the impossible newscast glared before me. Smoke billowed from the World Trade Center buildings in lower Manhattan. Eventually I sat on the couch as I tried to make sense of what I was seeing. I don't know how long I sat there, flipping from channel to channel with similar footage. Two planes had crashed into the Twin Towers.

There was a sudden billow of smoke, exclamations from the newscasters and in a few seconds time it was apparent that one of the towers had gone down. Almost silently. Eerily similar to the two red checkered tanker towers that had been demolished only months before in Greenpoint. Eventually it hit me that this was happening here. The Twin Towers were visible from Grand Street in Brooklyn. I put on some clothes and grabbed my SLR camera.

When I stepped outside the apartment on Scholes Street, this is what I saw to my left.
In front of my apartment on Scholes St. Brooklyn looking towards Manhattan

I walked down Graham Avenue, passing other confused pedestrians wandering on the streets. I turned left onto Grand Street. Shop owners had turned their TVs to face the street and some had their radios on loud enough to hear the newscasts from the sidewalk. I snapped a photo of the billowing smoke and walked west towards the obscured Manhattan skyline, following others who were doing the same. As I crossed between Leonard and Lorimer Streets someone called out. People gasped and some crossed themselves. The antennae of the second tower pitched and disappeared into the mass of smoke. I clicked the shutter.

Grand St. near Lorimer St. in Williamsburg as the second tower came down.

I don't remember how much longer I stayed outside, but when I got back to the apartment and tried to make a call, the phone was busy. Eventually my roommate called from a payphone and told me she was ok, that the subways were closed. At some point I got through to my mom and I assume my boyfriend at the time, but I don't recall the particulars. The smoke flowed over Brooklyn and was visible from our kitchen window. In the days following, my roommate and I walked to our friends' apartment in Greenpoint to watch the news together and stand on their roof to see the long lines of ambulances and rescue vehicles on the BQE. Lights flashing red, but their sirens silent. Walking by the Williamsburg bridge, someone had scrawled "Nuke the West Bank" near the overpass trestle. I shook my head and thought this was an ominous sign.

Classes were cancelled. I went into the city for the first time by Thursday or Friday with my friends. We stood in Union Square watching a candle light vigil. Unless you lived in lower Manhattan, you couldn't go below 14th St. We continued up to Lexington Avenue, planning to eat dinner at Curry in a Hurry. Across from the Lexington Ave armory, flyers for missing persons papered the wall of a construction site. A crowd of people walked slowly along the wall, searching the faces and black and white descriptions of the missing. Hundreds and hundreds of people who had lived and worked in the area of the World Trade Center. Wedding photos, photos with their children. The faces of lives lost that day. I'd been in shock all week, but this was the first time I really felt the magnitude of this tragic event.

I thought about leaving school and New York. My mom and brother had just moved across the country to Arizona. My sister was in college in PA. If I left, I really had no home to go to. I'd have no degree. What was I planning to do for a career? I decided to stick it out. It's amazing how quickly you adjust to changes. My gig painting carousel horses was downsized within two weeks and I was jobless. Showing ID to access some of your classes because the police precinct is next door. Snipers stationed on the roof for the same reason. Constant heavily armed police with dogs and national guard presence in the subway stations. Color coded "terror" alerts. Every time I left New York on a bus and arrived again via the Lincoln Tunnel, the altered skyline was a constant reminder of the world we now lived in.

Life goes on. People go about their days. New Yorkers are strong. Ten years go by. One day the skyline doesn't look so strange. I didn't leave then and I'm still in this great city, scraping by a living as an animation artist. There is no doubt it was a tragic day. Many lives were lost, countless people were affected. Still more will be lost to diseases caused by the debris and toxic fumes people were exposed to as they volunteered for the cleanup and lived in the area of the World Trade Center during those months.

To me, the even more tragic event is that we're still at war. Lives of soldiers and innocent people are lost every day, not to mention billions of dollars spent because of the "war on terror." A war started in one administration that probably won't see an end in the current administration. It's an unwinnable war, the Vietnam of our era. Yet few people are protesting to end it. Protests have broken out in countries across the world to change their own governments, yet we stand silent as atrocities from hunger, homelessness and sex trafficking to government overspending, stock market scams and bank bailouts happen in our own backyards.

Thanks for reading if you'd made it this far. I promise this won't become a regular installment of the blog. Writing, making comics and art in general have been very therapeutic for me. I've been trying to work on a comic of this day for years, but it never seems right. It always seems too soon, too trivial an account. I felt that it was time to at least share my experience in writing and photos. Time does heal all wounds and I hope that everyone affected directly by this tragedy finds peace. Most New Yorkers I know have found a way to move on and I hope the rest of the country follows suit.

The only photo I have of the Twin Towers was taken while waiting for the fireworks to start on July 4, 2000 at the waterfront in Williamsburg near the Domino Sugar factory.

July 4, 2000

I'll leave you with these words about New York from Speed Levitch.

My boyfriend introduced me to his beautiful black and white film "The Cruise." There's some fantastic footage of NYC in the late 90s including the World Trade Center. His poetic and sometimes hilarious commentary on New York as a bus tour guide is just great. It's available on Netflix watch now.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

PACC sketches

I feel like I sketched just about everyone who was wandering around PACC this past weekend. This is a selection of drawings from 10 pages of sketchbook drawings.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

PACC recap

This past Sunday I attended the Philadelphia Alternative Comic Con (PACC) which was my first convention in my home state of Pennsylvania. Despite the rainy weather, it was a pretty good turnout and I got to meet a lot of new creators. I didn't take tons of photos and the ones that I did came out pretty poorly, but I've included a few below.

Rotunda sign

The quick synopsis:

I really liked the vibe of the show. The Rotunda was a small venue and it felt intimate without being too crowded. All of the tables were very colorful and everyone seemed excited to be there. It did have a bit of a ska show feeling (as in everyone who was in the crowd was also in the band who's playing after yours) but maybe it's just because Philly is full of artsy, punk types. There was a definite crowd surge in the middle of the day when the rain had let up. By the end of the day (as with most cons) any casual attendees had left and everyone seemed tired and ready to go home with about an hour to go.

My view at PACC

First, I'll get the Not So Good / Stuff to Learn From out of the way (none of which really had to do with PACC itself):

1) Sleep: Between having to wake up at 6 am and waking up in the middle of the night because of the massive thunder and lightning storm, I didn't get a lot of sleep.

2 Annoying transit stuff: The LIRR station ticket machine at our stop was broken so our $7 tickets were $24 into the city.

3) The weather: Traveling in the rain sucks. I'm glad that I decided to wear my rain boots AND to wrap my sneakers for the con in a plastic bag inside the suitcase. My 'extra pair' of 'dry' socks were soaked while the ones I'd worn were fine. I'm glad I packed my stuff for the con into Allan's rolling suitcase, but it still wasn't waterproof. The box my comics were in got warped and wet as did my Urban Nomad sign for my table. Luckily none of my comics or other products got soaked. The sign wasn't totally ruined, but it's pretty bent out of shape so I'll still need to get a new one printed before my next con. Next time: put everything in a plastic bag in addition to inside a box.

4) Foot traffic: I'm pretty sure the buckets of rain kept a lot of people from attending PACC. Sales were fairly slow and I didn't quite make back my table money (which wasn't much to begin with), let alone the price for travel and food. This isn't a terrible thing as financial achievements are rarely the mark of a great con experience and I feel the good stuff at PACC makes up for it.

It finally stopped raining after we'd packed up around 7 pm.
Hey it stopped raining just in time for us to leave.

Okay enough whining, now The Good Stuff:

1) Travel:
Aside from the first leg of the trip, the rest of our travel went very smoothly. We had an hour to kill after we got into Manhattan so we got breakfast at the Tick Tock Diner next where to where the Bolt Bus stops. Taking the Bolt Bus was cheap, quick, comfy and Allan and I both had time to nap. Once in our destination city, taking SEPTA (Philly's transit) was pretty easy to figure out. I did end up with an extra token because we only had a $5 to put in the token machine. Our walk back to the bus wasn't too bad since we stopped for dinner in between. The bus was full on the way home, so I was glad I'd booked our tickets weeks in advance.

Rainy Philly from the Bolt Bus.
Rainy Philly from the Bolt Bus

2) Music!
This was the first small convention I've been to that had a DJ playing music throughout the show. Although we were pretty close to a speaker, it only seemed too loud a few times. The larger publishers and distributors situated on the stage right next to the speakers may have felt differently. It did seem much louder up there. But any show where you can look at comics and listen to Hot Water Music, Cursive and Against Me! is pretty awesome, in my book.

Ad House Books

3) Table space:
I'd gotten a half table, but it turned out to be almost 4 feet long which was great. It was kind of narrow between our table and the one at an angle from us which is where everyone who was coming or going had to pass through. There were a few traffic jams. All the windows were open and fans were strategically placed throughout the venue to circulate air. It was a bit muggy at times, but the on and off rain seemed to cool things off. We were at the end of a little alcove facing the rest of the convention space, so I had a nice view. Another note for the future: Get a longer table cloth or table skirt to hide things underneath like the giant suitcase and wet rain boots from general view.

The table all set up. Thanks to Allan (my #1 supporter and partner in crime) for coming on an adventure to Philly with me and braving the rain to get giant sandwiches for lunch.
Allan and I at my table

4) The exhibitors:
There were only a handful of people exhibiting at PACC that I've met before (like Sarah Lindo, Stephen Seck, Pete Lazarski and Mike Turzanski) so it was a great opportunity to meet new people. Some I know via twitter (like Carolyn Belefski and Joe Carabeo of Curls' Studio) and it was nice to meet them in person. I met at least two of the ladies (Carrie Pietsch and Claire Folkman) behind the Dirty Diamonds anthology which looked pretty cool. I also met two other Queens based lady cartoonists, Monica (forgot her last name) and Kat Fajardo.

Nothing like meeting other cartoonists from Queens when you're in Philly!

As far as the crowd went, AJ Michel stopped by to pick up Urban Nomad and dropped off some flyers advertising her kickstarter campaign for printing the Syndicate Product Meta Comics Issue that I have a comic in. I also got to meet Rob of Panel Patter from twitter and he picked up my Counter Attack Comics. Fellow NYC animator Will Krause and his gang drove all the way from the city in the rain to check out the festival. I also met the lovely Corinne Mucha and traded an issue of Counter Attack for the hilarious I Hate Mom's Cat and Other Tails.

5) Feedback:
A bunch of people stopped by to say they'd seen my comics at the Grawlix Awards the previous night. I hadn't been able to make it out, but it's awesome that everyone's submissions were on display for people to read. It was pretty cool for people to say they've seen my work somewhere. I also didn't realize at the time that one of the people who said he enjoyed Urban Nomad was no other than Philadelphia cartoonist Box Brown! That and someone who compared Urban Nomad to Lucy Knisley's comics were some pretty flattering compliments. I had some nice conversations, thanks to everyone who stopped by and especially those who bought a comic!

6) Dinner:
There was an after party planned by the ladies from the Dirty Diamonds Anthology that I would have totally gone to if we weren't getting back on a bus. I'd looked up the White Dog Cafe in my research of food in Philly and it seemed like a nice place to try for dinner.

White Dog Cafe for dinner

Friends who used to live in Philly had seconded it, so we packed up a few minutes before 7 and headed over there. It was in a little row house and was separated into different dining areas. We were in "old couple land" sprinkled with other multi-ethnic/young couples. The wait staff was very courteous and checked up on us/refilled our water religiously. Allan had a beer, mushroom soup and lamb with risotto. I had a Savignon Blanc with an appetizer of fried green tomatoes. The main course was grilled tofu and veggie skewers with spicy sauce and cous cous. It was delicious and just what we needed to induce a nap on our 2 hour bus ride back into the city.

Grilled tofu and veggie skewers with spicy dipping sauce, cous cous and arugula salads.

Here's a page from my sketchbook at the con. I did loads of sketches of people at PACC. I'll have a few more up on the blog on Wednesday.