Why does it feel like the Monday after Comic-Con always sucks? Here’s how this Monday has gone: Trog seems to have caught Capt’n Trips (ask Buttery Wholesomeness about it) and is spewing snot all over the place; I’m flat busted broke; with the two clients I currently have, one can’t make up his mind (but absolutely won’t listen to my advice), and the other tried to change the terms on a contract we’d had both agreed to last week (that one I kind of tore into today… we’ll see how long he remains a client); My microstock account won’t seem to budge and the inspectors are dicks (it’s kind of taken the fire outta me for that lately). Today has been a big rolling diseased ball of stress and madness. It sucks because I just spent the last four days meeting and listening people who are successful and are doing what they love to do… while I’m just bumble-fucking around trying to figure it out… oh and I turn 35 at the end of the week… yaaaaay…
Okay, I need to clam down… it’s been a rough day, but at least now I get to reflect on all the cool things that happened at Comic-Con, and hopefully gain back some of the inspiration and fire I was feeling during it. I really was impressed by the creatives there, and walked away with a feeling that I could be doing more. Hopefully by keeping an eye on these people, and continuing to bust my ass both for myself and Atomic Moo, I can make something happen. So, I guess I’ll go through this day by day and share with you, our fellow Moos, some of my experiences.
Thursday started out kind of funky with a four or five mile hike to the Coaster station. By the time we actually caught the Coaster and arrived at the convention center we were already worn out a bit (note: next year we need better traveling arrangements). Once we got our tickets, the con wasn’t open yet, so we walked around the Gaslamp area and came across the Conan O’Brien art exhibit.
I got to keep the cape, and Trog kept the oven mitt.
I’m really glad we did this. Not just for a chance to see Smith and Mewes… and Chuck, but I really thought Smith had some very good advice. I liked when he said to surround yourself with “why not” people, and that he’s trying to make money by just being himself. I dunno, I don’t think I’m explaining it very well, but I hope they do this again next year.
I tried to get into the Game of Thrones panel, but unfortunately couldn’t make it in. Later though, I did make it to a panel with Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon (the guys from Reno 911). They were plugging their book “Writing Movies for Fun and Profit”. On the way to the panel I walked passed their signing booth and got a signed copy of the book. I don’t know if I would ever write a screenplay (hell, I don’t know if I’ll ever read the book), but I figure maybe there was something I could pick up from them that I could apply to what I do. And I feel there was. One point they made about screenwriting is if you’re serious about it, then you need to keep doing it. That really can apply to anything though. If I want to be an illustrator, then I need to illustrate more; if I want to be successful blogger then I need to blog more; if I want to be a better lover… you know…
After that I got shit-face.
A mojito, 2 Irish carbombs, and (?) beers later I was feeling GRRRRRREAT!
That morning I woke up feeling like shit. I was told the previous day that the would be selling passes to next year’s con at 8:00 am over in the Hyatt, and if I was smart I would be there at least by 5:00 am. I am AMAZED that I woke up at 5:30. Some how I stumbled down to the Hyatt and found the line for tickets. This thing went all the way back to the docks.
Eventually we were herded into the hotel like cattle, and bunched up into tight little claustrophobic rows. I know what hell is. It was way too uncomfortable to stand, and even more so to sit. Every now and then a heavy wave of nerd funk would come wafting by, and it took every thing I had in me not wretch all over my new line buddy with the curly mustache. By 11:00 I got our passes (which were more expensive this year…). I wasn’t too upset I didn’t get the preview night; it’s just not that big of deal to me. I did get four day passes for both Trog and myself. So we have that to look forward to. Next year though, Trog is standing in line.
I managed to meet up with Trog and we headed over to the Hilton for the Venture Bros. panel. Both Trog and I are huge Venture Bros. fans, and it was great to see a music video for Shallow Gravy, “Jacket”.
Afterwards we went to an Indian restaurant, Masala, for a $19.00 a plate buffet… I’m not going to bitch too much about the price (though it was only $15.00 last year…) because the service was great, the hostess was very cute, and the food was awesome! Both Trog and I stuffed ourselves on their chocolate mousse… had to sit awhile after that. Even when Buttery called and told us he had arrived we were unable to move and told him we would eventually meet at the hotel.
Buttery had actually arrived Thursday with his kid, but I didn’t get a chance to see him. He had some issues with parking (or lack of) and had to take off that night. Once we did meet up (sans kid), I had to lay down for a bit (still feeling hung over, sleep deprived and now stuffed), while him and Trog went down to convention hall to spread the Moo. Eventually though I waddled my way into the dealers hall. It was there we ran into these two:
The Winner Twins. Two very cute, sixteen year-old identical twin girls that have written their own science fiction novels. Trog and I being two not-so-cute identical twins in our mid-thirties, who barely manage to pay the rent each month, felt… I dunno… a little jealous… bummed… humbled… awed… insecure… amazed… I’m not sure what the exact word is. Even their name put us in our place: THE WINNER TWINS! …and we’re the Murray twins… yay…
I honestly hope the best for these girls. After talking with them for a little bit we found them to be bright and full of energy and very charismatic. Still, Trog and I couldn’t help looking at each with the thoughts of “we’ve wasted our lives” and “what the hell have we’ve been doing?” They did give us a book to review, and believe Buttery has it. Hopefully he’ll get the review on soon, and we can get hold of the book and have a chance to read it.
It was about 7:00 when they announced the dealers floor would be closing and all us con trolls had to leave for the night. We felt like we were in no hurry so we took our time leaving and it was a good thing we did cause we came across a childhood hero of ours Rowdy Roddy Piper.
This guy was freaking awesome. Even when they were trying to pack things up and clear out for the night, he took a little bit to talk with us, and he didn’t ask for a dime when Buttery asked for a picture. I haven’t really followed wrestling since I was eleven or twelve (is the Boss Man still around?) but hell, if this guy is still performing I’d go see his show.
Eventually the “Elites” caught up to us and ushered us out of the convention hall. We wanted to hit the Spike and Mike Twisted Animation showing, but we had some time to kill before then. Why not relax with some cigars, right? Cigars in the Gaslamp are slightly overpriced (as is everything), so we went shopping for cheap but good. I ended up with a $14 cigar, and Trog and Buttery I think got a $8 and $9. I don’t know why the hell we did this, but when this cute little dark haired Turkish girl offered us a ride in her bike/cab thing, we said “okay.” She was very cute, and she said the ride was only $10.00!
Okay, we’re suckers for a pretty face… The three of us tried to wedge our fat asses into the cab, and somehow managed, but there was no way we were getting those seat belts on. She proceeded anyhow. When we got to the hotel, and somehow managed to squeeze our fat asses out of the cab, Trog pulled out a $10 to pay her. She said no, it was $10 EACH! See that’s where they get you. I know she’s from another country, but Americans usually like to hear “each” before we agree to something. Begrudgingly we paid her, except when I paid her all I had was a twenty. I don’t know how long I stood there looking at her with my hand out for change. A ten dollar fucking tip for that, are you kidding me?! I don’t know if it was to break the awkwardness, but Trog asked for a picture. Hell for ten bucks I was getting one to.
Look, she is no doubt extremely pretty, but I still don’t think we should’ve paid $40.00 for that ride. Lesson learned: avoid the bike cabs, no matter how nice the ass pedaling it is.
Okay, we had the cigars and I had a couple glasses of drink that had some Jeremiah Weed in it. I don’t remember drinking much more than that, but even after we left the bar and went to the Spike and Mike showing, but stomach started bugging me. Eventually I had to get up from the showing and grab a Coke, hoping the carbonation would settle my stomach… It didn’t. I did manage to comeback in and see a really great animation of a Viking trying to in vain to die in battle, but I can’t remember the name of it now. Dammit!
So after the showing we went back to the hotel room. Both Trog and Buttery started to get on me that we didn’t have any Atomic Moo cards for the con. My stomach was still bugging me, but I went ahead and put something together on the my macbook. It really wasn’t much. Trog agreed to go first thing in the morning and have something printed at the Kinkos inside the convention center. I got a little upset because after I put the card together, I couldn’t get Trog up off the couch to take a look and give me some kind of feed back. So I took off for a little bit to cool down and wandered in to some mock-irish bar. I had one beer and left. That was a mistake, and only made my stomach situation worse. When I got back to the hotel room, I kicked Trog off the couch because I wasn’t tired and just wanted to relax with some television until I fell asleep. With some cursing eventually he yielded.
It was about six or seven in the morning when the nausea over took me and I bolted for the bathroom. Neither Trog or Buttery were awake yet, but that was about to change. Throwing up is like reverse drowning. It even sounds like that. And that wasn’t the worse part yet, because that’s when the Indian Buffet kicked in. I was spewing shit and vomit from all ends. I was surprised none got on the walls… hell maybe it did… I don’t know. Eventually, when it was done, I felt completely hollowed out inside. I could hear both Buttery and Trog laughing their asses off in the other room (thanks for the concern guys… bastards), but I just slunk into the tub, turned the shower on, and tried to feel clean again.
It was much later that I met up with Trog and Buttery inside the con near the Artist Alley. I was feeling horrible. Weak. Dizzy. Nauseous. I watched with envy as Trog and Buttery moved from booth to booth spreading the moo with enthusiasm, while I fumbled around with my camera taking a shot every now and then. I’m sorry to say I wasn’t much help to them, and in no mood to be a pitchman.
Somehow I stumbled in to a few of our friends from the Okoré Meet-up group (a monthly Anime Meet up in San Diego Trog and I have been going to), Katie, Louie, and Noemi.
I’m sorry I forgot your name Noemi. I really really really wasn’t feeling well, and had a temporary mind block. I won’t let it happen again. I do have to say that you looked pretty sexy in your steam punk Annie Oakley outfit.
Okay, so we’re wandering around from booth to booth, or at least Buttery and Trog are, while I’m trying to keep up with them. Trog has this thing where he tries to collect images of himself with girls in Slave Leia cosplay. He’s got a thing for Slave Leia cosplay. I have something similar, but for girls in Psylocke cosplay. As it happens Buttery spots a gorgeous girl in a smoking hot Psylocke costume, and starts bugging me to get a shot with her. I’m really not feeling well, and there is a large crowd around this girl, and the last thing I want is to get in the middle of that crowd feeling like I did. Still, Buttery won’t let up. Pussy, coward, and whelp were some of the encouragements he paid to me, and eventually I relented and pushed my way through the people. I tapped her on the shoulder to ask for a picture, and when she turned around I realized who she was. It was Vamp Beauty.
Her real name is Linda Le, but she goes by the name of Vamp Beauty on Deviant Art, and I’ve had a pretty big geek crush on her since I discovered her and her work on there about a year ago. She does some great cosplay, and I consider her easily one of the prettiest women in the world. Turns out she’s very nice too, and happily agreed to the picture. Unfortunately I immediately lost all cooth when I realized who she was, and went into stammering/goofy fan boy mode. I even look like a dork in the picture…
I figure my only chance of ever being with a girl that looks like that is Science. My hope is that very soon there is a major breakthrough in cloning technology, and then I can have a Vamp Beauty copy of my very own; or some mad scientist develops a mental ray gun that can scramble her mind in such a way that she’ll develop a fetish for chubby white guys in their mid-thirties… C’MON SCIENCE!
We eventually ran into her again, and Trog was able to get a photo with her. Trog was way more composed and seemed not to come off as such a dork like I did. Again she was extremely nice. I wish her the best, and she was definitely the highlight of Saturday. I’ll keep following her on Deviant Art, like the old creepy troll that I am, but I seriously doubt I would ever have the courage to approach her again.
So, we spent the rest of the day wandering the con.
When it turned to the evening, Buttery had managed to score himself a ticket to the Masquerade. That was great for him, but it left Trog and I in the dust. We were about to take off for the hotel room, and then maybe a drink, when we notice they were setting up tables, and food, and booze in the autograph area (I’m not sure what else to call it). I asked a random attendee what was going on, and she told us that this was for overflow for the Masquerade and that we could watch it out here… and there would be cupcakes! Trog and I were in.
Of course, like everything else at Comic-con, there was a line. The thing is, I started not to mind the lines so much, because you always end up with one or two “Line Buddies”. These are the people who obviously share your same interests (’cause they’re in line to see the same shit), and you can geek out with as you wait to get into said event. It was there we met Brandon and his very cute girlfriend… who’s name I can’t remember, but she was very very cute. So much that Trog and I were sending mental email to each other, plotting to toss Brandon into the ocean so we could flirt with his girl for the rest of the night. It turns out, both those two were really awesome, and you couldn’t ask for better line buddies.
Well, once inside, Brandon and his girl wandered off to the cupcake line, while Trog and I found some seats at a table. We were having a great time. We ran into someone who knew Buttery and was from our home town of Hemet. We even got a “table buddy,” Brianna (I think that was her name), and she was dressed as Triana from the Venture Bros.
Couldn’t have asked for a better table buddy, and we hope we run into her at next years con.
So we enjoyed some cupcakes and nachos, geeked-out over the Venture Brothers, and saw some great cosplay from the Masquerade… then the party began…
I’ve been going to Comic-Con since ’95 and I had no idea they did this after the Masquerade, and I had an freaking awesome time there.
Trog had even a better time, but I’ll let him tell that story… and there’s way more to it than what’s in the pictures below.
The rest of the night is kind of fuzzy for me, because I kept drinking those “Super Serum” drinks they were making. I swore I ran into Hunter S. Thomson there… didn’t he die a few years back?
Again, I woke up feeling a little hungover. Still, we geared up, and headed back into the fray. Sunday always seems like family day at the con, and I think that was why I was having a miserable time that day. I can’t count how many times I got stuck behind some waddling fat bitch lazily pushing a stroller through the crowd, and backing up traffic behind her. I know me and D20 have had this argument before, and he almost got me to his side when he explained that after so many kids you just don’t give a fuck, and you want to go out and have some fun. Okay, fine, but not at other people’s expense. I don’t see a reason to punish everyone else around you, just because you failed to use a condom. And if they’re so young that they have to be pushed around in a stroller, I don’t think they’re going to appreciate, or give shit, about Hasbro’s con exclusives. Stay at home with your damn toddlers, or find someone to watch them. Or at the very least, find another way to pack them around that doesn’t involve those fucking strollers.
Okay… now that I’ve got that rant out of me… We didn’t really stay too long on Sunday. By that point I think the three of us were getting conned out, and a little sick of each other. There was one high point of Sunday I’d like to mention, and that was meeting the creator of Geekscape.net.
Sorry, my memory is a little fuzzy right now, and I can’t remember what his name is, he was super nice though and very friendly. Listening to him talk about his site I realized he’s doing exactly what I want to do with Atomic Moo. Basically to have a site to create for, to present your creations, and talk about the things you love. So, I’ve subscribed to their podcast, and I’ve hit their Facebook like button, and I plan on visiting their site often in hopes of learning a thing or two.
I doubt the guy remembers us talking with him, or is even aware of our presence, but in a weird way I feel like I’ve found a site to look up to, or a “mentor site” if that makes sense. Which sucks, because now I feel I need to destroy them. As much as I see Geekscape as a site to look up to, they are a competitor, and now I want to increase traffic on my site large enough to topple them. I want to bring all their visitors over to Atomic Moo, and steal their fan base right out from under them! I want to crush their spirits and bring them down to their knees in tears before the mighty MOO! MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!
So after that, we moved through the con for a little while longer.
Meta right? I have no idea what that means, but that’s what Buttery called this…
Then tragedy struck. My bowels started to rumble and I knew I needed to find a restroom fast. I knew the lower restrooms were going to be filthy, so I shot up to the second level hoping they would be a little cleaner. They weren’t. The stall I busted into had massive puddle of piss surrounding it. By then though, there was no turning back. I threw down a hand full of those cheap paper ass-gaskets, hoping to clean up some of the mess around the toilet, but I had to act fast. From there on it was a balancing act from hell trying not let my pants touch the floor, and my shoes away from the puddle, while I did my business. And I failed miserably.
When I was pulling up my pants, I saw a massive stain from where the piss on the floor had soaked up into them. I just about lost it then. I immediately took them off and threw them over the plastic toilet paper holder. So now I’m stuck in a San Diego convention center restroom with no pants on. Does it get any better? Yes! I call Trog for some help. I’m trying to be as quite as I can and whisper into the phone what the situation is, but he keeps playing like he can’t hear me, and finally I have to shout out him that I’m stuck in a stall with no pants and I’m about to lose my fucking mind!
“Huh, well gee Jas, whad’yer gonna do?”
Earlier we had checked our bags at the hotel to hold onto for us while we were at the con, even though I had checked us out of the room (and thanks for chipping in on that too dicks!), and I had to keep my cool long enough to explain to Trog that he needed to run back to the hotel, find my bag, grab my last pair of clean shorts, and bring them back to me. Asshole that he is, it took me almost losing my mind over the phone, and punching the stall door, to convince him to do this for me. My fault I forgot to say “DO NOT TELL BUTTERY, OR BRING HIM WITH YOU!!!” So, after twenty or thirty minutes of enduring some of the most gawd-awful smells on the planet (What the fuck are you nerds eating???), Butter comes busting into the restroom shouting at the top of his lungs “JASON! JASON! JASON! JASON R. MURRAY! CHUDD! JASON MURRAY WHO IS ALSO KNOWN AS CHUDD ON ATOMICMOO.COM FROM CARLSBAD CALIFORNIA, ARE YOU IN HERE! WE BROUGHT YOU A FRESH PAIR OF SHORTS SINCE YOU GOT PISS ALL OVER YOUR PANTS! JASON! JASON! JASON R. MURRAY…”
Of course Trog joined in with the same chorus.
Murder… the only word running through my mind was fucking MURDER…
They didn’t stick around after throwing my shorts over the stall door, and I had to take some time away from them so I could cool down. Eventually we did meet up, and all agreed it was time to go. If you want to read the events that followed from there, I suggest you read Buttery’s overly exaggerated tale of our journey home. On our way out the door we did stop to take one final shot in the convention.
Wow, I think this is the longest post I’ve ever written. I’m definitely going to count this as my morning post even though I’m about to publish it here in a few minutes. I just wanted to close on the thought that, over all, I’m glad I went to Comic-Con this year. And (for the most part…) I’m glad Trog and Buttery were there with me (though next year I’m making damn sure you’re both chipping in on the room). There are a lot more things I feel I could bitch about, and that need some serious fixing (and I probably will later), but despite its faults I enjoy going. I know the con has gotten massively popular these few years, and I wouldn’t mind seeing it go back to the state it was in back in ’95, but still, you just gotta roll with the problems and actively seek out the good. Every year I meet artists and creatives who’s work I admire and I hope to someday be on level with. Just a few I met this year and whose work I was really impressed with were:
and Alberto Ruiz
There are a bunch more, but I gotta end this post sometime…
I go because I want to be inspired, and I’m looking for ideas, and every year I feel I find it. Hopefully someday I’ll be able to put all of what I’ve found together in a very creative way, and that I, and my brother and my friends (and maybe even Buttery) will benefit from it greatly.
…also I go because it’s the one time of year a dateless troll like myself gets to rub up against some of the sexiest women on the planet, and briefly feel the softness and comfort that only a female body can provide. Yes, I’m that desperate, pathetic and lonely. Enjoy…