Saturday, March 21, 2009

Weekends and Webcomics

Massachusetts has been a state of great births, the greatest of all being this country after a bunch of tea was thrown into Boston Harbor. This weekend finally saw the creation of something equally as important and groundbreaking. The first annual New England Webcomics Weekend!

Surrealy, I found myself driving myself and several friends back to our Alma Mater, UMASS Amherst. Yes, folks, it was here we wiled away our days at UMSFS and laughed mightily at our medical ethics professors (A common refrain from him: Eat your phone!). Arriving at just past 7 pm we parked our butts at the Hanger for some sumptuous chicken and relived a little of those carefree days, listening to grad students complain at the table next to us and snickering behind our hands with our 9 to 5 jobs.

After dinner, it was time to get to Northampton (or NoHo as the locals say) where the pub crawl would be taking place. We left the car at Modern Myths and took off toward the Toasted Owl to get our drink on and hobknob with the famous webcomic artists and writers.

Enter the bar, look around, hmmm....don't see anyone I recognize. It's just 8 pm so maybe they haven't got here yet. I have my Berry and am looking at Jeph Jaques tweets, it says he's at the Dirty Truth. We go over, but, weird, I don't see him there either.

We end up at Herrel's, but I'm too excited to eat any ice cream. We meet up with these guys from Chronillogical and strike up a facinating conversation about the time/space continuum and where the webcomic people might be. We all decide to head out to Haymarket.

At Haymarket, we are directed downstairs where FINALLY we discover the Webcomics Weekend people! They are very accomedating, and give us all stickers. While I'm thanking the sticker-man, I notice Spike sitting at the table nearby. Scott has to practically push me into the chair next to her. She is, of course, completely charming and unassuming and tolerates my fangirl questions with calm and wit.

Reluctantly decide after twenty minutes that I should probably try to find other webcomic people. Unfortunately, we end up back at the Toasted Owl but still can't find anyone else. Probably because I don't know what anyone looks like :P

Next day after horrible sleeping at Econolodge, book it down to the Eastworks at ten AM. End up at Spike's table first, and immediately slap down some cold cash for a signed and sketched Book 2 plus a picture!!

Move on to Scott Kurtz table where a huge line is forming. PVP is probably the most famous and oldest webcomics here. I get a sketch from Kurtz's bromactic interest, Kris Straub. Because I'm super nervous, I tell Scott Kurtz "Draw anything you like. Even a penis is okay." The thing is, I say this and Scott gives me a strange look. He repeats what I said to Kris, and then proceeds to draw an anatomically correct Scratch Fury. Bitchin.

Move upstairs to find Jeph Jaques (been looking for him since last night!). Find him in Topaco tshirt room and ask for sketch, repeating request made to Kurtz. He laughs, and gives me a sketch of Hannalore with a penis on her shirt and a speech bubble "I hate this shirt." Jeph relates to me that Hannalore is just a slight exaggeration of himself, which is impressive since Hannalore showers about fifty times a day.

Final highlight of the day was Scott and I got to see Randall Monroe, an "unofficial guest" and the creator of XKCD. Scott doesnt read a lot of comics, but he does read XKCD and meeting this guy was a real honor for him.

Finally, we decided it was time to leave, but not before we exchanged contact info with the Greg/John, Chronillogical creators, since we'd really hit it off with them and wanted to keep in touch.

All in all, it was a blast, and I absolutely, positively, can't wait for next year.

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