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!