It was a 3 day event last weekend (the final weekend of April) in Monroeville PA.
I had an artist alley table and shared a hotel room with my buddy Dave Dwonch (Big Monster Productions/ Special Education - pictured above with my table) and new buddy Ryan Spano (forum regular from Comic Geek Speak and all around clown - pictured left). Both were a big help and a blast to hang with.
Right off the bat, the main thing that stands out for the Pittsburgh show are the many online friends that I finally got a chance to meet, and the pair of outstanding fans that I met at Wizard World Philly Con last year who hit me up again this year (Mike and Brian, you guys are awesome). That alone would've been great fuel for the weekend, however, the icing on the cake was the way the show is organised, the promoters of this show take care of the exhibitors like no other con. Not only do they provide beverages up to two times a day, but they also provide lunch on Friday and Saturday, to every exhibitor. That's artist alley, small press, dealers, and yes, even the guests. Now any other show caters to their guests and calls it good, not in Pittsburgh. To make things even better, even sweeter, the con hotel adjoins the convention hall, and the organisers host an open bar and poker tournament on the hotel's penthouse floor every night, also open to any exhibitor with a badge. So, you've got the hotel bar where everyone goes, or the penthouse for those in the know, where there's sketching and schmoozing til the wee hours each night.
Suffice it to say, with me and my roomie Dave being on West coast time (3 hours earlier than Pittsburgh's Eastern time zone) it was tough to get any sleep.
The con itself went well, and I was busy sketching all weekend, on through mid day Sunday. Now, it wasn't necessarily that I had sooo many sketches, but I was moving pretty slow on Saturday. I even had a couple chase me down after a much needed break and ask for their sketchbook back. I felt really bad, but I did what I could. I did lots of fun sketches and met lots of cool people.
Aside from taking in the all-you-can-eat buffet at the GOLDEN CORAL (yes, that's the name) Friday night, Saturday night we travelled a little ways to a cool local Sandwich/Pub chain, Primanti Brothers, where they take some fresh bread with your choice of sandwich meats and pile it on with cole slaw, french fries, and tomatoes. Sounds strange but tastes excellent (especially with a big brew).
Among the folks I got to meet were the entire ID Comics crew, of which I'd met Bryan Turner the year before at WWPhilly, but they're all super talented and super cool. You can see Bryan (below left) and Jose's (above) pinups here that they did for me at the show (which are both amazing)! More on the ID comics crew and Super Real to come...
I also got to meet Mr Skootles creator and TSL regular, my friend Howie Noel (pictured below left). Howie and I didn't get to hang out as much as I'd have liked, but he did do this awesome sketch of Holly during the show (above right).
Also in attendance was my friend Ryan McLelland (Philly, Newsarama), another person I'd have liked more time to catch up with. David Montoya (pictured above right) my former neighbor at SDCC and now good friend, Dave does an awesome book called Moho.
I also ran into Dirk Tiede, creator of the webcomic Paradigm Shift, I'd met Dirk a couple years back at SDCC when we were both at Modern Tales. We did a book swap, and I'll have a post on his incredibly good manga here soon.
Another awesome book I'd been wanting to pick up for years now, that I grabbed the whole now complete series of was Sentinels by Rich Bernatovech and Luciano Vecchio. Look for a post on that soon too.
So there you have it, a quick rundown of the faces and things I saw at the con. It was a great time. So many cool people, and so much hanging out and talking shop. A couple nights Dave and I ended up in the lobby after the bar or penthouse closed and one night he even ended up pitching his drunken idea for a new series based on creator David Mack (a guest at the show) to him after I turned in one night. Dave's idea was called MACK FOR A DAY, and basically the premise was, what would you do if you could switch bodies with David for one day? One of those things that sounds funny at 3am after a few too many, but not really something you approach the guy about and pitch. Ha ha! Funny stuff, and good times.
So once again, big shout out to all the cool people I hung with at the show and all the cool fans that stopped by the table!!
I Hope to return next year.