Friday, July 14, 2017

Queer Cartoonists At Queer Comics Expo 2017 in San Francisco: Was It Fun? Did we HAVE Fun? Let's Find Out!

Click HERE For My Meager Photoset of the Con

QUEER COMICS EXPO! Was it fun? How fun was it? Let's find out!
So this was my SECOND year attending QCE and I gotta tell yah, it's gotta be one of my absolute favourite conventions now. Right up there with Gaymer X and Fanime. Actually ranking them would actually be impossible but I feel like 1. Gaymer X 2. QCE and 3. Fanime might be a fair assessment.
This con was made ALL the more special by the inclusion of MANY of my good friends who helped me out with setup, manning the table and hyping me up to every random passer-by who hoved into our general field of vision. Plus many others who came by just to say hello, or catch up on their TransCat collections.

So lemme give you the play by play!

I arrived in San Francisco on the evening of Friday the 7th. My long time friend and cartooning partner Courteney met me there and actually hooked me up with one of the maybe 10 or 11 free parking spaces in the city. We had a mini slumber party in her apartment with her now BF, Robert, another very close friend of mine.
Woke up the next day ready for action. Setup was kinda early in the morning and I didn't wanna lose ANY time. We plodded back to where I had parked my car before, and loaded all my comic making supplies into a Lyft, and headed on over to the con. This was a different setup from last year's con. Last year the con took place surrounding an art gallery showing (which I was also part of) but this year, there was no gallery, it was PURE CON! It was a little bit bigger than it was last year too. Us artists got a lot more space than last time, PLUS attendees got more walking around room. They opened up this up stage area to give the whole floor a better flow.
My setup has always been super simple so I was ready and set in like, 15 minutes. Robert and Courteney took a seat beehind the table with me. They took turns venturing out on the artist's floor, but I mostly stayed with my table. In the early parts of the con, I wanna always been there, repping my product. The beginning was slow, but got really busy 'roundabout noon time. My friends Winnie and Jenn showed up, who were great big proponents of TransCat very early on in her life cycle. It was great to see them, because they actually left the state for about a year and only recently came back. Hanging with them at a con was immensely nostalgic and gave me a lotta good feelings.

Later in the day my friend Tony came. He had never been to QCE before, and I really hope we made a good impression on him. another dear friend, Banannah came by almost at the end of the day, but got about an hour to look around. Banannah has tabled with me a number of times at other conventions. They wound up moving kinda far away too which is sad because it means I don't get to see them nearly as often as I used to. It's not so far that the distance is insurmountable, it's just really inconvenient, and that especially sucks cuz we know we COULD see one another if we wanted, but so often apathy and laziness get in our way.

Needless to say, it was wonderful to get to see them again at this con.

I finally got to meet in person a fellow artist and author Hann Lindahl. We been internet buddies for a little under a year and I GUESS we kinda met at the last QCE but that was before I knew her. NOW we know eachother, AND we got to meet in person which was fantastic! i got to absorb some of her art in person, which was a real treat. I got a book she did on what it means to be intersex. I have not read it yet because I'm a genius who left half my shit at Courteney's place when i went home, but I'll be getting it back soon, so no worries. I can't wait to read it, along with all the OTHER great books I snatched up at this event.

I also ran into Tara and the rest of Prism Comics, which was a LONG overdue reunion as far as I'm concerned. If you been following me on social media, then you know all about the Kickstarter she's in charge of for the All Trans Comics Anthology called "We're Still Here", a project I'm PROUD to be part of.

If you haven't been following me, then here's the quick rundown. It's a great big comics anthology, not unlike Alphabet, which i was part of last year, but the twist this time is that every story is by a trans artist/author. TransCat WILL be making an appearance, and this time in FULL COLOUR! That's important because TransCat isn't coloured in all the time! I would HIGHLY recommend you back the Kickstarter, it is already funded, but the best way to secure your own copy of the book before it comes out because I assure you it WILL go FAST! ALSO, every dollar OVER the target amount goes into making this the best looking book possible! Everyone who was involved in it's making, including the artist, the editors, the printers and everything will get a cut of your pledge, so please! Pledge EARLY and pledge OFTEN! you still got 35 days left to get on it, so GIT ONNIT!

AFTER day one was over, i packed up what little I actually needed and me and my rolling crew set out for adventure. We wound up getting dinner at this place that was a LITERAL hole in the wall (literally just a kitchen in a building with an order window on the street.) I can't remember what the place was called but I remember it was on Natoma St. which if you're familiar with SF at all, you'll know is just a step above an alleyway (and not a big step either). I will say this though. The food was OUTRAGEOUSLY good. I got a Reuben Sandwich with some potato skins. They were perfect! tony wound up getting the most fancy, done up corn on the Cob either of us had ever seen. Everyone else's food looked amazing too. I would have docked MAJOR points form this place because I hate standing and eating, but thankfully, thy had an agreement with the dive bar next door that their customers could have a seat and eat their meals in there. It was amazing.

We headed back to Courteney's place and all of us, me, her, Rob, Banannah and tony would up having a GREAT political discussion in the living room. I feel like I haven't been a part of a talk so lively in years. There's something to be said about a room full of respectful people who are genuinely interested in hearing the opinions of others. I feel like discourse on the internet has totally ruined me, and has forever associate the words "talk" and "fight" when it comes to politics. i'm glad I still have friends where this is not the case.

Tony went home, Banannah slept on the couch and I slept on an air mattress on the floor. Day two was just around the corner!

Today, we decided instead of getting a Lyft to the con, we'd just walk. we didn't have a lot to carry with us this time and it was a gorgeous day. I have a prejudice against SF as a city, but with this many good friends by my side, i felt like nothing could ruin my mood. We arrived at the con in plenty of time. This day was kinda more of the same of yesterday, but that's not a complaint at all. I met a bunch of great new people. I met a really sweet lady named Puja who runs a podcast on the topic of queer dating. I told her I'd be super down to be on the show someday if she ever needs a guest. I hope I get chosen, I think I'd rule on a show like that. Met these other two ladies who were trying to put together a podcast on Queer Comics specifically. I REALLY hope they get that one together because that's EXACTLY up my alley!
I also met these two brand new Bay Area transplants named Jem and Val whom me and Banannah took an IMMEDIATE liking to! I think we're gonna try and get together sometime soon, maybe go to the beach before we run outta summer!

The day came to a close. I wandered around the artist floor for the first time with only 30 minutes left to go. I do my best to try and save this stuff for last so I don't wind up blowing ALL my cash as I'm making it. I got a very respectable handful of books, which i'll be reading soon. I can't wait.
After the con was over, we wheeled all my comic shit back into my still safely parked car, and went on another food adventure. This time our journey took us to a Shabu Hot Pot place. It was me and Banannah, Rob and Courteney, Tony plus friends Michael and Jenni plus Tara came by with her friend Sonya. a rolling crew nine deep all chowing ddown on hot pot post Comic Convention. It was miraculous. We started talking about karaoke towards the end of the meal, but by that time I was SO full and soooo tired that as much as it pained me to say no to karaoke, I HAD to.

We all went our separate ways, everyone hopped on their respective trains or back to where they had parked thier cars and prepped for the long journey home. Me and Bannah went back to Courteney's place with Rob and had one more final round of our deep and heartfelt political discourse before it was time for my take Banannah home. It was a great, long drive back up to Marin to drop them off, and a nice relaxing ride back home afterwards. I picked up a drink at 7-11 for the road and listened to Dir en Grey the whole way. something about Dir en Grey and a warm summer night is always just gonna seem right to me.

So that's my story! It felt so, so good to return back to the convention scene. Wish me luck and I'll hopefully be able to return full time in 2018. If you wanna wish me MORE than just luck, there's always the Petreon. toss a few bucks my way ;-)

Speaking of Patreon, starting next month, I'll be uploading a brand new project to it. Those of you who are eager and anxious to get your hands on TransCat Issue #9, now is your chance! I'll be uploading all my pencil proofs to Patreon for all you early birds to get your hands on.
I normally make everything accessible at 1$, but this is a big deal so it's gonna be a fiver. don't worry, it will be worth it. I'm super proud of this issue, and if you wanna see it before any of your friends do, here's the way.
Keep you eyes on this space come August! :D

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