San Diego, July 23 – The morning started with a surprise visit from Bill Poon who is the All-Star slugger from the Giant Robot softball team. He briefly chatted with Eric Nakamura (Publisher, Giant Robot) and others.
Second David Choe Signing
Just before noon, fans of David Choe began forming a line around the booth. Choe, a Los Angeles pop artist, arrived to sign merchandise including his new art book and Munko vinyl figures. His devoted fans were pretty excited to meeting him. One of them even showed me her Munko tattoo on her wrist. It was pretty awesome.
Ed Chavez and Felipe Smith
I took a few minutes to visit the Vertical Booth and found Mister Ed Chavez at the helm. Apparently both volumes of Chi’s Sweet Home were big sellers. Despite having two shipments delivered to the convention, he sold most of them with only four copies remaining. Chi is irresistible.
Moto Hagio Redux
As the day progressed, I received a text message on my cell phone. It was a twitter direct message from a friend in Florida. He read my tweets about yesterday’s Moto Hagio (萩尾 望都) signing and wanted a signed copy of A Drunken Dream and Other Stories as well.
Again, I made the trek over to the Fantagraphics booth for Hagio’s second signing. I spotted a small line of people and queued up. For a brief moment, I was staring off into the distance and zoning out.
Suddenly, I noticed that I was surrounded by several people from the manga industry. Dallas Middaugh, Associate Publisher of Del Rey Manga, was standing in front of me. Jonathan Tarbox, manga editor, was behind me. Other notable people were Mari Morimoto (manga translator) and Paul Tuttle Starr (prose translator). While I was waiting, I started conversations with both Morimoto and Tarbox. We briefly discussed the state of the manga industry and recent developments in publishing.
Hagio’s signings seem to attract a lot of anime and manga industry people. I hope this translates into big sales when the book hits the stores.
When I heard about her appearances, I wanted to stop by Mizuno’s booth and catch up with her. It’s been nearly three years since we last met. We had a lengthy discussion about changes in her life and her artistic career. She also talked about upcoming projects.
Martin Wong, Giant Robot Editor, introduced me to Jeffrey Brown. Brown is the genius behind many critically-acclaimed comic books like Clumsy and I am Going to be Small. We looked through some of Brown’s custom trading cards as he explained the inspiration for each one. They were pretty hilarious, and he was very chill.
Other notable visitors to the Giant Robot booth: Grace Park (Battlestar Galactica), Daniel Dae Kim (Lost), Joe Hahn (Linkin Park), James Jean (artist), Saelee Oh (Multi-media Artist), Hope Larson (Gray Horses) and Brian Lee O’Malley (Scott Pilgrim).