Maine Comics Arts Festival

MeCAF is and was marvelous.

The workshops on Saturday were really neat and informative. John Shableski from Diamond Book Distributors had a great presentation on Graphic Novels, taking a lot of references from Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics. He had a really good point about Norman Rockwell as being more of a cartoonist than an illustrator (and just because it's painted doesn't mean it's no longer a cartoon - look at how many comics and GNs are painted with gorgeous watercolor!). And Robyn from the Center for Cartoon Studies did an interesting workshop on panel composition. Dave and I went to the PBJ Time place above the Portland Public Market in Monument Square for food (Nutella, Almond Butter, and banana toasted on Cinnamon Raisin Bread - DELICIOUS) and we made it back just in time to see the last half of the discussion with Brian Wood and Jeff Lemire. Then we stayed to see Susan and Everett Soares talk about Small Press Publishing. I learned a LOT about a LOT and even took a few notes that day.
Afterwards, the volunteers and all the guests were invited to a reception on Peak's Island at the Inn on Peak's Island. I'd never taken the ferry nor ever been to the island, so I was puuumped. I spent the evening talking to Stacey Kardash as we ate delicious hors 'douvres including delectable pieces of lamb. Mmmm, lamb.
Then I went to watch the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre and stayed up until 2am because I am a genius.

Sunday was the big day of awesome, despite being 45 minutes later that I meant to be due to sleeping in, and all the guests were really nice. For those that have ever been to PortCon, or almost any other convention, MeCAF is just a giant Artists' Alley. Ocean Gateway is a beautiful building and the talent that shows up to display their work there is just so...inspiring. (I found it kind of hilarious that everyone who knew me said something along the lines of, "Sorry about Skottie Young" immediately after seeing me. I guess I really made it clear how pumped I was to see him, eh? Hehe, but it's okay, he'll be coming to Portland another time for a signing. (:)
As soon as I was given the chance, I went to Brian Wood's table and had my copy of Demo signed. He was very nice, and not once did I hear anything about him being short with anyone. Right after that, I headed to Jeff Lemire's table and he signed my copy of the Sweet Tooth trade, as well as drew a picture of Gus in it. I'm still so happy; I love it when they do that :D

The first biggest highlight of my day were when a little boy came up to say hi to me: "I remember you, you drew me that picture of Spider-Man and Batman at the comic store!" It was so cute! He was the first person I drew a picture for on Free Comic Book Day and him being what, 8 years old, tickled me that he remembered. I smiled and thanked him as he shyly hustled away.
The second best thing to happen is when Jeff Lemire came up and I handed him a doodle I drew of him with antlers (like Gus from Sweet Tooth) and told him it was fanart. He thanked me, said he'd put it on his wall, and then handed it back saying, "Hey, you didn't sign it!" I felt SO COOL. He said it was "really cute" :D And later after everyone packed and cleaned up, he thanked everyone for coming, said he'd be back next year, whether it'd be for MeCAF or for a personal appearance, thanked me again for the drawing, and pat me on the back. It was awesome.

What I love about artists and writers is meeting them and finding out they are the coolest people on the planet. All the other guests were friendly and so grateful for the hospitality. I'm already pumped to see what guests make it next year...Here's hoping one of them is Bryan Lee O'Malley :D

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