Jenni Gregory's Comics, Art and Stuff

The digital home of cartoonist Jenni Gregory

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

more various and sundry

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Still working on my as yet untitled period piece comic. I’m excited. I’ve got 13 pages done. Well, penciled anyway. I’m undecided how to proceed.
Do I computer color it? This would be MUCH easier to do…much less time involved. But I really want to watercolor this thing. Problem is, I see it as an ongoing series (well, 7 issues or so) and can’t think of where I’d find the time to do all that painting.
I’m thinking about trying to learn Adobe Painter. It’s supposed to give you more painterly effects the photoshop. We’ll see.

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Also working on my China story. Kinda played around with a character design. I LOVE autumn time. We don’t really have seasons here in Florida so I’ve had to draw on memory or fall colors. I like this piece. I wish I’d had more time for it.

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Some of the cards I sent out as thanks you’s for out wonderful time in CA. Takes me forever to do a watercolor and drawing (yeah, I know I complain about that alot!). But I had fun.

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Every once in a while after I drop Barry off at the office I take the kids over to Festival Bay (a sorta kinda mall/tourist trap place). Fox and Chloe have become really familiar with the place and know where these coin operated rides are. Fox goes NUTS because one of these gadgets is a car and Chloe goes nuts because she likes to make me spend money. No, really.

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It’s hard to get pictures of the whole family together. Luckily I always have my camera with me. So I ;l;lk a few in.

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We got a package from Mawmaw. The kids went nuts. Chloe fell in love with the outfit that she got–it has orca’s on it. I occasionally can get her out of it long enough to wash it.

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Same with Fox. His has trucks on it and he couldn’t be happier.

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He was the one that discovered the tin of homemade chocolate chip cookies in the box. He lunged for that in spite of seeing the truck outfit first.

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Molly waits patiently for her cookie. Sorry baby : O (

Good note on Molly. WE got her last PKU results and she had her lowest numbers EVER!!! She was 3.1!!!

Her numbers before that were some of the higher numbers–4.6. Don’t know what changed but I sure hope she keeps it up. Dr Malone said that her numbers were ALMOST normal!! There never will be a true “normal” because this is a genetic thing, but the fact that her phe levels are down really makes us proud, happy and more then a little relieved. We can’t add meats to her diet at all yet–who knows when or if, but we’ll take good news when we can get it.

We had our 2 year check up for Fox and 9 month check up for Molly on the same day. They both are doing really well. Fox is in the 95th percentile for size still. He’s just turned 2 and is 37 inches tall. He weighed almost 40 lbs.

Molly was 26 inches tall, was in the 75th percentile for her group.

Dr. Kahn was kind of concerned about her head size. Who’d a thunk head size would be an additional problem. Anyway, he said she’s in the 95th percentile for her group. He’s concerned because her head seems to be growing rapidly. We have to take her back to see him Sept 13th. He’s going to measure her head again and see if we need to do a CAT scan. He thought her head size could also be familial. I’m not too worried about it. I’m betting it’s just genetics.

But we try to make light of if. Her super hero name is now: Noodle noggin or Super Noodle. We also say her head size is because of her advanced cranial capacity.

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Took the kids to the park (the one down at the end of our street) for a few hours yesterday. It was fun.

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Molly LOVES the swings.

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She’s always in such a good mood. Curious about everything.

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Such a handsome kid.

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He’s never without at least one truck1

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My rough and tumble Chloe.

Bought tickets to SeaWorld yesterday. I’m glad we did. We can’t afford Disney (who can!!!) as they keep raising their prices, and Seaworld appeals to the kids more because of all the animals.

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Fox had been there before but this was Molly’s first trip out there. Chloe couldn’t wait to get to the Shamu area. And the dolphins. Had to see the dolphins.

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Tried to get Fox to pet a dolphin but he wasn’t too interested.

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The underwater viewing area on the other hand was a BIG hit!!

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The kids are looking forward to when they can hitch a ride on a dolphin. Save up know babies.

Really hated the first font I had this in. Hopefully I can made this one work better. Grrrrr.

posted by admin at 10:53 pm  

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Here’s a few more picts of our wonderful trip to CA.

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We got to stop by the cemetery my Dad was buried at. I think it’s the first time Barry was here. The kids came, of course, but I didn’t tell them what the place was.

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Chloe is the only one who would have been interested and she has such a fascination with macabre things I’d never had heard the end of it (oy, I’m still dealing with the death of our bird, Stonecold). We didn’t stay long but it was nice to drop by. Meant a lot.

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After, we went over to my sister Jolene’s house for swimming and hamburgers. It was awesome! See, I’m both blessed and cursed with two of the most beautiful, kindest and intelligent sisters you can have.

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Fox is fascinated by Jo’s jacuzzi.

The kids had a BLAST in the swimming pool.

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My Mom gets a snuggle with Molly. Neither seem to mind.

Later that night…

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Mission accomplished! Exhausted kids!!!!

Totally creepy thing…we walked in later that night to check on the kids. Fox was SITTING up in bed…eyes still closed just sitting there. We freaked.

I wish our CA trip could have lasted longer. 3 days with my family was too short.

Mom sent us home with far too many gifts.

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Anyway, here’s some photos of Molly in her beautiful new dress:
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Molly does her scrunchie face pose.

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Good thing we can’t see her face ‘cuz she was mighty scared standing up!

We came home and Barry and Thomas got ready to head off to Chicago. Or was it North Carolina? Anyway. While those two went, Rene’, the kids and I headed off to…Disney. Of course. Tradition has it was ALWAYS get a hotel room when the guys go to conventions.

This time we stayed at Coronodo Springs. It was beautiful!

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While Rene’ checked us in, the kids colored. The loby here is beautiful. Very rustic mission kinda feeling.

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We had a character breakfast at The Grand Floridian.
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Fox and Molly didn’t like the costumed characters. He’d turn his head and try to act like they weren’t there. It was funny.

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It’s funny, Fox doesn’t hold a grudge, because he now recognizes Pooh merchandise and doesn’t go into fits. Guess he’s gotten over it.

Chloe had NO problems with meeting the characters.

With Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter.

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Fox got bashful around Alice. He loves the ladies!

Mary Poppins!

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And Tigger, too!

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It was a great weekend! Nice to get away. As luck would have it, it was the weekend our air conditioner went out…again. It was miserable to say the least. Glad we got out for a few days.

How did people do Florida (anyplace!) without air conditioning???

Stopped off at Pop Century and let the kids run amok at their outdoor water area.

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Chloe loved it. Fox wouldn’t get out of the stroller. Even though there was a car at the other end of the water spout area, he froze in the seat.

The other day we went to Festival Bay Mall. The kids like it. For me it just needs more stores.

We got ice cream and sat by this really cool indoor fountain area.
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I feel bad, because of Molly’s PKU, she can’t have ice cream. So she just kinda sits and takes in the scenery while the kids ate. She did get a little tub of mixed vegetables. Mmmmmm…veggies.

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There is this area where they demonstrate an entertainment speaker system…very flash. It has smells, the floor shakes, and it snows (well, soap bubbles…but this IS Florida after all).

The kids must have played there for over an hour. It was fun. I just chilled out on a chair and watched.

posted by admin at 10:30 pm  

Sunday, August 5, 2007

California part II

Before we went up to see my Mom we stopped off to the world class San Diego zoo! We had a blast.

We took a guided bus tour that was really worth it. It gave a nice overview of the zoo. Lasted about 30 minutes. It was right at the beginning of the park, so we just hopped aboard. The zoo has this cool program where if you print and bring these tickets you pay a less amount and get to ride the tour bus, express bus and air tram as many times as you want. It was well worth it.

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We got prime seats on the top of the double decker bus, first row.

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We were up pretty darn high in addition to being almost on top of a mountain. Here’s looking into the polar bear cage.

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Chloe sits enraptured by the zoo tour.

All Chloe wanted to do was see the giraffes.
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Fox and Molly eagerly looking at all the cool things around them.

The grounds are incredible. SO much foliage!!! So many mountains…No, really…San Diego Zoo is built INTO a mountain. At some points it’s so steep there are moving sidewalks that take you up these behemoths.

The bactarin camels…two humpers

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I wish I could remember what this little deers name was. He was tiny, and sooo dainty. His hooves were on tip toe!

Fox loved watching him.

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Scimitar antelope?

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Some of the HUGE elephant exhibit.

They had both Asian and African elephants in the same exhibit. It rocked!

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The koala’s were so cute! I just wanted to take ’em home with me. In fact someone tried to do that a few years ago and they rebuilt the exhibit to make it a lot more difficult to get to these cuddly critters.

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Zebras exhibit. I’ve always like zebras. They look so nice and calm…pity they are the bullies of the grasslands. Bad zebra, bad!

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Rhino keeps it cool.

The panda exhibit was the best.

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Darned lazy critters. All I have ever seen a panda do in ANY zoo it just lay there.

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No…I take that back. At Atlanta zoo the panda was SITTING there eating bamboo.

I missed the kiwi. We saw him back in ’97, but couldn’t find the little fella this trip. I found out later looking at a map that we missed most of one side of the zoo.

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Chloe makes friends over at the polar bear exhibit.

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We spent a lot of time at the petting zoo. I always liked these places the best when we went to zoos as a kid. It was fun to just sit and watch the kids faces as they interacted with the animals and other kids. I’ll treasure that.

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The goats and sheep had these places where they could go rest and people couldn’t get to them. Not our kids. They wouldn’t be denied.

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Chloe LOVES the animals. Fearless thing!

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Fox kinda hangs back a little bit more.

Here’s some of the grounds of the San Diego zoo. The trees are amazing!

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Everywhere you turned was so much beauty.

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We arrived about 8:30 p.m. at my Moms. We left SD about 6 and it shouldn’t have taken us anywhere NEAR that amount of time. But we later found out that on the weekends everyone goes to Mexico to their second houses. So the 5 was backed up from everyone returning from their weekend.

Anyway, after a quick stop at Pizza Hut we then made our way over to Mom’s. My sisters and their families where there. It was awesome. I didn’t take any picts of that event because I had been in a car all day after a convention and…ewwww.

Monday we took the kids to see the ocean. Keep in mind this is all Chloe wanted to do. Nonstop for weeks it’s been beach! beach! beach! beach!

Grammy and CHloe walk to the water. Thankfully Mom only lives about 15 minutes from Laguna Beach.

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My sister Lyn hold Molly.

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Fox tests the sand.

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This was Fox pretty much the whole time we were close to the water. Death Grip on a hand, shoulder, hair …whatever.

So after Chloe got hit by the first wave (in fairness these were BIG waves) she pretty much hated the water part of the beach.

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Both kids take this beach thing hard. Dad has it rough.

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A calm moment with Fox. Good thing you can’t hear Fox shrieking into Barry’s shoulder!!

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A couple of nice moments for the boys.

It was really cool because we did get to see a small pod of dolphins swim past. My sister Lyn caught sight of them first. I didn’t get a good picture of them. But it made Chloe a little happier. For a moment or two.

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Lyn, Chloe and her cousin Andrew play on the beach.

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Andrew is THE coolest kid EVER. He really made Chloe feel special after the beach slapping her down incident. I kept telling him if he wants to come out and Manny for us next summer, I’m all for it!

Me on vacation!

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Some of the gorgeous homes built into the cliffs of Laguna Beach.

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Some of my favorite photos I took while at the beach:

This series is from the “Chloe takes the beach rejection thing hard” series.

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But she gets over it…eventually

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The guys wake boarding were fantastic! I could have watched them forever. Is no one in California unfit?

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C’mom! It was a good shot!! Nice framing…well, I cropped the other dude out and it was even nicer, but I haven’t uploaded that one yet.

That night we FINALLY found our Chinese restaurant!! Woohoo!! They even had octopus for the girl!

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Grammy and Molly play before our big dinner.

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Fox dug the seafood wontons

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Grammy and Chloe bond over ice cream and egg rolls

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Tummy…fulll…

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Molly’s fingers just don’t taste the same.

Tuesday Mom, Chloe, Molly and I went to the Sawdust Festival in Laguna Beach. It was awesome! It’s this huge arts/crafts local artists thing that runs thru end of August.

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Some cool art I saw.

There was this PINK wall by the womans restrooms. I had Chloe stand in front of it. I liked the results.

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Molly hams it up.

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Chloe found this octopus booth and it was VERY difficult trying to get her to leave it.

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We found a kids craft corner
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Chloe makes her mosaic.

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Some of the cool scenery around the festival.

Guess there will have to be a part III of this post since I’ve not downloaded some of my other California picts.

I was really impressed with how nice people were to us in California. I use to live there, and I don’t remember them being as helpful or friendly. I asked a transit worker for information on the train into Mexico. She was amazingly helpful and in fact ran after me to hand me a brochure. I was quite a ways down the street. We didn’t get to go to Mexico because I didn’t bring any birth certificates for the kids along with me.

I am amazed at how relaxed I got on vacation. I knew I was stressed, tired, beat, but I didn’t realized how deep I was. I loved and treasured each second with my family and watching the kids take in all they got to see and experience. I learned to take the small moments and enjoy them. The big stuff is great, but treasure the little bits in between. I learned again how quickly this childhood thing is going. Scares the pants off of me, but makes me oohhhh so proud.

posted by admin at 3:55 am  

Friday, August 3, 2007

San Diego Comic Con part I

Been a while since I’ve posted here. I’m mostly over at Myspace of late. Barry finally patched my old web page with this site so I’m back in business.

Here is my Comic Con report.

AWESOME!!!!!

July 25, 2007

We leave for San Diego at 4:15p.m. I really tried to get things packed early so I wouldn’t be running around the last minute throwing things in the suitcases. But I was.

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Chloe decides to help pack.

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Straps…are….tooo….tight!!!!

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We make it to the airport fine. Security although a farce went smoothly. Barry and I handed our I.D.’s too this lady and she literally never looked up at us. I didn’t say anything but Barry started laughing about it after we walked thru–in a nervous kinda way.

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We let the kids do some playing around in the Orlando terminal while we waited for the plane to arrive.

Plane ride actually went pretty well. We went to Atlanta first. I booked it so we’d stay on the same plane (‘cuz Atlanta airport sux!), but as it turns out we had to make a made dash for the train and go to another flight next wing over. We made it barely!

Chloe had to make a break for the potty. That’s what held us up. We literally were the last folks aboard the plane.

Fox fell asleep for a couple hours which made things REALLY nice. About half way there he wakes up and throws a couple tantrums…2 year old, confined space…tantrums are bound to happen.

We land, get out luggage, get the taxi to our rental car (after schlepping 3 kids in and out of the Chloe mobile (aka PT Cruiser) a mini van was a treat!!! This one even had built in car seats!!! It was AWESOME!!

We make it to the hotel. Oh MY GOSH! Words cannot describe this place.

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We booked a hotel way late and nothing was available in the area of the Con so we went out a ways. I don’t think I have every slept in a smaller room then this.

We had 1 double size bed for a family of 5.

The hotel had no cribs. First night Molly and I slept on the floor (believe it or not we ended with the better deal)

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The next night we put her in a drawer from the cabinet (which she actually liked!!) and we all 4 slept on the stupid double bed lengthwise. Funny thing? The kids NEVER complained.
They were champs.

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Our first room they tried to put us in was actually SMALLER then this one. Barry finally went down to the manager when we saw the door safety lock had been kicked off. The room was a TINY bit bigger…not much.

I can laugh about it now. But those were probably the most miserable 3 mights in a hotel EVER. I mean EVER!!!!

But ya know? It’s a memory. I enjoyed the crampedness just because it was fun to be with my family again. A couple times we just had to get out of the room in a hurry because it was too small, but inspite of everything I had a blast.

Can’t say I want to do it again… Next year it’s back to the OMNI across the street!

Barry gets Fox ready for the first day of the convention.

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Various pictures of San Diego around the convention center.

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This is Petco Park

It’s a really beautiful city. Lots to do around the area. The weather was beautiful. HOT, but beautiful.

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The habitrail that IS the San Diego Convention Center.

The historic Gaslight district which is just steps away from the convention center.

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From the parking lots they have these little rickshaw things that would carry you to the convention center. I wanted Barry and the kids to do it, but they never did. The only thing it costs were tips. Next year.

Lines. Lots and lots of LINES! Only to be followed by waiting…lots and lots of friggin’ waiting!!!

COMIC CON IS LINES, PEOPLE! lOTS AND LOTS OF LINES!!

When we arrived to pick up our tickets which had been prepaid for we saw lines everywhere. Turns out everyone had to wait in this friggin’ line that wrapped around the convention center. All. The. Way. Around. The. Friggin’. Convention. Center!!! The place is one of the largest convention centers there are!!! Thousands and thousands of people.

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Again…I can laugh about it…now.

So we walk all the way around the building. Walking and walking. Along with all the other Con attendee’s. More walking and walking. Then we reach the end of the line…it would have been quicker and kinder just to send us around the building the other way, but for some stupid reason everyone gets sent the long way.

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So we wait for 3 hours (did you read that 3 HOURS!!!) in the heat with 3 kids. Luckily I brought sun block but they still ended up burned!

These two guys were awesome! They were dressed as old western sheriffs. They walked by while we were in line. Their spurs where clinking, and they had on these AWESOME leather coats. Must have been totally miserable under all that leather! But they sure looked cool.
We never saw them inside the Con. Must have passed out from heat exhaustion.

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Chloe takes a rest.

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Fox is hot and tired and thirsty

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Finally we get in the building for yet more waiting. Only be told 2 things that REALLY set Barry and I off:

1. We’d have to take our 3 sleeping kids OUT of the stroller to go up the escalator (what would they have done for a person in a wheelchair)

2. That we had kids we could have just come in!!
Oh my gosh…did a dark cloud descend on us then. We yelled at poor Edna (that was this ladies name) who told us this. We told her we waited with babies, there were OTHER people with babies out there and we only find out about this now?!? Ooooohhhh we were pissed!

Anyway, we finally get our stupid passes. And go into the dealer/artist room.

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Now, I go to a LOT of conventions. TONS of conventions. The last time I was at San Diego Comic Con was back in 1997. MAN had it changed!! IT was huge.

HUGE!!!

Words can’t describe how huge the thing has got. Four days we spent there and I still don’t think we saw everything.

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Everyone in the entertainment business has these incredible displays:

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Sci Fi channel had this totally cool organic looking display

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Pirates of the Carribean display

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LucasArts had probably the largest display. It was HUGE.

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DC area

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Some DC toys
This is from the set of “Golden Compass”

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The Mach 5 from Speed Racer
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One of the Batmobiles
Fox is fixated on cars. It was HELL trying to get him away from all the car displays!

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Every major publisher was there…the displays were great. They were huge and they were cool. A lot of times they had actors dressed as major characters around their area. It was fun.

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This is Lego’s display. R2D2 really made sounds. It was awesome.

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Batman all out of legos.

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A cool dragon sculpt from one company.

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THe upcomming and already out Justice League action figures. Gotta feed the geek.

Artists alley shrinks every year. That’s not where the con makes it’s money, so it’s the first to suffer casualties. But we saw LOTS of cool artists and met lots of people that we’d printed books for.

The small press area was fun. I thought there would be more folks there…but again…that’s not where the con makes money.

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Poor Fox crashes

These areas were MUCH bigger last time we were there. I only hope they will increase next year like it was rumored.

We spent quite a bit of time over at Randy Reynaldo’s table. He does one of the best books out there called: Rob Haynes: Adventure Strips Digest. Randy is also one of the best comic people out there. I HIGHLY recommend giving his book shelf space.

How I geeked out during the Con.

I have tons of artistic influences. One of my current favs is a cat from California by the moniker Gris Grimmly. One of the sharpest, talented illustrators out there. Just a touch of the twisted…gotta love him. I got his newest book which doesn’t hit the shops until Sept signed. I turned all girly mush when I met him. Yeah…I geeked. And he was nice. In a tweedy, stand-offish sorta way. Yeah, he wanted me.

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Jericho. Ok, I’ve pleaded, bitched, cajoled and just about offered my first born to get folks to watch this show. In May word came down that it got canceled, then thru one of the biggest campaigns in history (NUTS!) got put back into production. Anyway, there was a special Jericho panel on Sunday. The room was filled to capacity. Barry and I totally enjoyed the panel (the only one we were able to get to). Skeetch Ulrich was there (tasty mosel), Ashely Scott, the incredible Lennie James (there was an audible gasp when he spoke for the first time…most folks don’t realize that he’s a total Brit). The guy had an incredible sense of humor. Love dem brits!

NCN (National Caricaturing Network) had a booth set up…kinda dumb when the space SHOULD have gone to a comic book publisher. But I got Chloe drawn by Joe Bluhme. I like it…Barry says she looks like an old woman.

Same with folks who sell jewelry and other nonsense in comic book artists alley. Away. Away with you I say!

Cool costumes we saw:

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Still not sure if this blue thing is a chick or a dude. You decide.

TONS of stars where there. You’d be standing next to celebrities and not know it. I didn’t anyway…chalk it up to blondeness. But anyone who is anyone was there.

Famous people I saw:

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This is Stan Sakai. Does a book for Dark Horse called “Usagi Yojimbo”. One of the best out there.

Guy who plays the sheriff from Eureka. Didn’t get a pict.

This is Katie Segal…Married with Children, voice of Leela on Futurama. Chloe was in Day care at the Con and didn’t get to meet her. Drats.

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Sargent Slaughter–Damn, his jaw IS for real

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The guy who played Apollo from Battlestar Galactica (the first series). We were waiting at a stop light with all the other Con attendee’s when this guy strikes up a conversation with Chloe. A girl next to me asks the guy if she can take a picture with him. After, I ask her who he was and she told me.

Most of the cast of Star Trek and Deep Space Nine

Below is Mareena Sertis–played Deanna Troy. By her is LaVar Burton–Jordy La Forge.

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The guy who played “Q”. He said “hey there” to me. Squeek!

Bobcat Goldwait–stood right next to me…again didn’t get a pict.

Sunday we went back to the Con and had a lot of fun. Barry met other creators and spent some good will money. I walked around wishing I had a lot more money then I did. So many great things.

Things I loved about the show:
Cool folks in wacky costumes.
Amazing company displays.
Seeing old publishers/artist friends
TIME I GOT TO SPEND WITH BARRY AND THE KIDS!!!

Things I didn’t like so much:
Poorly planned entry into the Con. I could never have imagined a Con this size could start out soooooo horribly.

One of the most surprising things about our trip to California as my reaction to the geography. Mind you, I lived there and my Mom and sisters still live there, But I found the hills/mountains really REALLY unnerved me.

I also use to be a skier…I use to fling myself down mountains going outrageous speeds at least once a week. BUT there were a couple times when we were driving down these HUGE hills with the ocean in front of us that I got disoriented. It was the strangest, least expected reaction. Ever.

California makes it amazingly difficult to find grocery stores, places to eat, and gas stations.
We tried a couple times to find places off of 5 to eat…Chloe was craving Chinese (when isn’t she?). It was hell finding a Chinese buffet. Actually, I don’t think California HAS buffets…only in the lower class areas ; o )
We ate three nights at 2 different Mexican restaurants. As much as I love Mexican…I was getting tired of it.

We did go to In and Out Burger. If you’d never had one…OH MY GOSH! The best burgers and fries. Except for Tommy’s in LA. DEMS the best burgers with chili sauce and yumminess!

We’ve turned in the paper work for next year. I can’t wait to return. More about the California trip tomorrow.

After we closed the Con on Sunday we went up to Laguna Hills to be with my Mom for a couple days. I would also be able to introduce my children to my two sisters. I’ve felt really bad about that…my oldest is 3 and none of my kids have met their aunts.

I was so proud of the kids. They held up on the plane really well, they behaved themselves amazingly well (for the most part) during the convention.

I can’t wait for next year!!

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