Posted by Curtis Westman on April 21, 2012
Have you ever fallen asleep on a Sunday evening only to wake up 6 days later lying in two inches of soot, with a loaded revolver and a phone full of pictures you don’t remember taking? Welcome to my world. The following is a reconstruction of what I can only assume happened at the Wizard World Toronto Comic Book Convention based on those images, a handful of fragmented memories and the lunatic ramblings of an anthropomorphic cocktail glass who’s been following me around for longer than I care to mention.
My last definite memory is of being elbow-deep in a printer on Friday night, birthing a crumpled oriental fan made from a rogue piece of 300-pound card stock that accidentally got fed into the duplexer sometime in the middle of printing the 46th copy of The Adventures of the Unlikely. If I can attribute my lack of awareness of the next 192 hours to anything, it would probably be a combination of the searing hot printer drum against my forearms and the fumes of the half-set toner that was then running wild over my hands. But it got printed. And stapled. And cut. And folded. And packed lovingly into a cardboard box I had ineptly fashioned from the butchered remains of a larger box about thirty seconds before realizing there was a box the size of exactly 50 issues of a comic book sitting right next to me on the shelf. Mine, having been made entirely from corrugated love, was better.
At that point I knew, though, that the hard part was over and the rest of the weekend would go without any problems whatsoever, and I curled up on the hard cement floor under my desk and fell asleep.
The next morning began with Owen, Anya and I getting out of a cab to the dulcet tones of a Toronto police officer, hands on his weapon, screaming at us to get our arms in the air and step away from the vehicle. The driver, who at this point was so scared that he, too, put his hands on his head, had accidentally hit his silent taxi alarm, though considering the three of us look like we sculpted our gang-tattooed bodies in a federal prison, I don’t blame him.
We set up our booth next to comic book superstar Kagan McCleod and exchanged pleasantries, pencils, and lovelorn stories of working with Conor McCreery and Anthony del Col on Kill Shakespeare. Before we could relax completely, though, we had to scope out our competition, which for this event consisted of a book called Adventures of the Likely, a cartoon character with the catchphrase, “wowzers, if this ain’t the most unlikely of adventures,” an artist who had legally changed his name to “Adventures of the Unlikely” and Bunch of Lice Productions, who left after the first 45 minutes due to poor sales and a burning, itching scalp.
Soon afterwards, we made our first two sales. We have to credit the Toronto crowd, they buy more than any of the other zero crowds we’ve ever sold to. So much more, in fact, that at the end of our first day, we had very nearly sold out of our entire first printing run of books. Not only that, but Anya had been drawing so many free sketches for keen visiters to our booth that around three o’clock, Owen and I had to amputate her hand. It was a shame that she wasn’t able to participate in the lightsaber arena. A damn shame.
We were visited frequently, like naive first-time homebuyers in an underwritten Hollywood ghost story. Our visitations, however, were fraught not with splattering blood and gratuitous nudity that upon further speculation wasn’t at all integral to the plot, but instead with friendly faces, unique people and conversations that only made us question humanity once or twice. Some highlights:
UysFaber‘s numerous booth attendants.
Panel Culture, who bought the first and second books of the weekend.
NerdBiskit, a.k.a. Lisa Bell, who has turned cute crafting and unabashed geekiness into the kind of hybrid artistic presence that defines “geek chic,” a phrase I’m confident I just made up. Also, besides Frida Kahlo, one of the only talented women I know of who is so proud to wear a mustache, even if it is plush.
Paradise Comics. Why? Why not!
Conor McCreery (and Anthony del Col who was absent) of Kill Shakespeare.
And, of course, all of the 59 people who bought our book. Who bought our book. We have a book, and they bought it. According to me, that makes us authors.
On behalf of Bunch of Ice Productions, thanks for a great weekend. At least, I think so. That is, if I actually am one of these three people.