Thursday, August 4, 2011
Scott Morse or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying About SDCC and Love the TR!CKSTER
SDCC 2011 is over, though it doesn't quite feel like it for me since I haven't made my way back to Chicago yet. Making the trip to San Diego was a very last minute thing, and I was so busy getting plans together that I didn't get the chance to get really excited until I began making my way to California. Sure, I was thinking about the friends I'd see out there and wondering about the friends I might make, but the one thing that grabbed hold of my brain (and ended up monopolizing it) was TR!CKSTER.
For those that don't know what TR!CKSTER was about: see my last post here or their website over here.
I rolled into town, bags in tow, hooked up with the Tiny Titans crew, and then my hotel-mates, and started thinking about plans for preview night. Yeah, it was SDCC, but all I kept talking about was wanting to hit up this "thing that's supposed to be across the street from the convention center". As I was wandering around town, bags still in tow, thankfully not stinking up the joint because my Scary Godmother came to my rescue (thanks Jill!), I kept blabbing about having to find TR!CKSTER.
It was only my first night in town and my record was already beginning to skip.
Now I don't mean to belittle preview night. I had a great time walking around the floor with my friend Shawn (who I hadn't seen since SDCC several years ago), and had a wonderful fanboy moment with Walt and Louise Simonson. I had a few drinks in me by that point and was on cloud 9 over how awesome they were. But when the floor closed for the night, Shawn was talking about where to head to next and I knew it was time to go find this place.
I fell in love at first sight.
I shot this video, and it's a crappy phone video, but it gives you an idea of the layout of the space, the variety of things that were displayed, but it doesn't even show you the patio area which became the place to relax and have a drink through the week.
With music that actually had a beat playing in the background, the gallery layout/presentation was inviting and stylish. Without pretense, the fact that it was set-up by artists was apparent and comforting at the same time. It was really surprising to see how much actual product TR!CKSTER had to offer; loads of books, prints, t-shirts, and even original artwork by the likes of Mike Mignola (among others). The small floor space was dense with product but wasn't cluttered, had a good walking flow to it, and the casual vibe allowed you to slow down, take a look at whatever you wanted to see, talk to your friend (or maybe make a new one) and then purchase something whenever you were ready. I'm taking a guess and saying that most folks, myself included, didn't feel like leaving after they had bought their books. Luckily for us, you didn't have to go anywhere, and were actually encouraged to stay for a drink and conversation all week long.
Comic books, the people that make them, the people that read them, perfect weather, perfect company, and drinks. Oh, sweet Jeebus, I had died and gone to heaven but was getting better stories.
So, throughout my time spent in San Diego for the con, TR!CKSTER became my travel shampoo: I washed, rinsed, and then repeated. Justice can not be done to how incredible it was to have such a haven across the street from the convention center. Anytime I had an inkling of con fatigue or (more likely) a frustrating build up of rage, the realization that I could just walk over there was amazing.
So I did. Often. Every day.
As for the Symposiums they offered; I attended Invisible Ink: The Understructure of Story with Brian McDonald. It was held on Friday afternoon and I went in without any goals or expectations. Not only do I have to say that McDonald impressed me completely, but the entire experience was actually quite inspirational. Though you could tell that he had probably given variations of this presentation many times, it was obvious why he had been asked to give it again. He has an ability to point out aspects of storytelling that we all inherently respond to, yet might never have known where that response came from. I'm not going to do him the disservice of paraphrasing his talk, so I'll just leave it at "The man was awesome".
As if all of this wasn't enough, then came the live music...
I was told (though I missed it) that Tom Morello from Rage Against The Machine did a set. Andy Kuhn performed as did Mike Allred's band The Gear. Jill Thompson apparently fell in love with a ukulele and, basically, it turned in to the best block party ever thrown for those of us that love this medium.
Scott? Can we do this again and again? Pleeeaaassse?
I would be rude if I didn't close this by giving out the following shouts:
To Steve and Monica: it was beyond a pleasure. Steve, I'll see you in Detroit and I think Monica should let me do a remix as soon as she's done with the record!
To the Chicago crew (Two Mikes, a Jenny and a Steve): So glad to have shared that vibe with such good people. Norton? You're my new definition of "This is how you relax on vacation". You are awesome, sir.
To the always fantastic and super-awesome Jill: it ain't a real party until you show up! You're just the greatest, each and every time.
And finally...with utmost sincerity and respect...
To Mr. Scott Morse: What you have accomplished with TR!CKSTER is something admirable, incredible, heartfelt, and unequivocally amazing. You should be proud and know that your efforts are not only appreciated, but celebrated. I can not give you enough thanks in all these regards and know that you've got my support in any way shape or form with whatever future plans you have after this. Yeah, I can get your logo on those monitors anytime, anywhere, but I'd even help you move at this point (and lifting couches sucks).
*Note: I started writing this before I had left California. Lest anyone be confused or scared for my safety, I am back in Chicago and doing well.