Before the San Diego Comic-Con, I spoke with several creators related to their San Diego activities. Over the next couple of days, we’ll be catching up with them to see how things went and if they accomplished everything they were hoping to at the convention.
First up is Marc Bernardin who, as you may recall, had a checklist of things he wanted to accomplish at the con. He told us in mid-July:
If I were to get everything I want out of this year’s con, we’d have another book lined up by the time I get on the plane coming home, I’d have met more people than I knew going in, I’d have drank my fill, I’d have spread the word far and wide about The Highwaymen and Monster Attack Network, and I’ll have a kiss from Katee Sackhoff resting on my unwashed cheek. Now, some of those have better chances of happening than others, but that’s the wish list.
So, let’s see how he did.
JK: ” … we’d have another book lined up by the time I get on the plane coming home.” Did you get a chance to pitch anything?
MB: We didn’t do much pitching, to be honest, because San Diego is no place for that sort of thing. The absolutely wrong environment. Too much stimuli, not enough sleep, and crazy anonymous anime characters everywhere. No editor is in the right frame of mind to give anything real thought, and if they did greenlight something on the basis of a San Diego pitch, they’d only get back to the Real World and realize the grave mistake they’d made. That said, we managed to stoke some fires under people who we’d already been talking with about new stuff and showed some new-to-us publishers that we’re housebroken, well-mannered, and hungry to keep proving ourselves.
Oh, and there’s definitely gonna be some more Monster Attack Network goodness coming.
JK: “I’d have met more people than I knew going in.” Who did you meet? And who were you the happiest to meet at the show?
MB: We met a bunch of folks who’d been very kind to us, critically: Randy Lander, Hannibal Tabu, Fredrick Hautain, your own damned self. So it was nice to be able to put faces to those names. Got to know the Boom! Studios guys, Ross Richie and Andy Cosby, a bit…and they seemed like top men. Top. Men. (Sorry, I can never resist a Raiders bit.) But, you know, the dude I was happiest to meet, even more than Joe Morton? Nima Sorat, our Monster Attack Network artist. He’s just a swell guy.
JK: “I’d have drank my fill.” What parties did you attend, what’s the most exotic thing you drank and did you have to bail anyone out of jail?
MB: Let’s see. Hit the Lionsgate cocktail thing on Thursday, where I shook hands with the crazy-buff Jon Favreau. The IDW/Heavy Metal/Circle of Confusion party after that, where I had a water with a water chaser. Because I was tired. Friday was the DC jammy-jam, which was full of the Hollywood crowd. That’s where I met the awesomely bearded Gary Dauberman, who’s writing the Deadman script for Guillermo del Toro, and caught up with Dark Horse’s Scott Allie–who I always seem to miss. (Also, I was able to direct friends towards my location by saying “I’m the black guy at the party. The one who’s not Xzibit.”) And Saturday was the star-studded EW/Sci-Fi Channel party, which was at some luxe rooftop bar with a smoke-covered pool in the middle. It took all my willpower not to shove Ross Richie into that pool, Grease 2-style. Exotic drinks? Not me. I’m a beer and scotch man. Anything that’s not a shade of brown will leave me writhing in a pool of my own sadness.
JK: “I’d have spread the word far and wide about The Highwaymen and Monster Attack Network.” How did sales go for Monster Attack Network at the AiT booth? How many copies of MAN and Highwaymen do you think you signed?
MB: Sales for MAN were ridiculous. We sold everything, EVERYTHING that Larry brought to the Con. Of course, we were shouting at the top of our lungs at anyone who passed by, tantalizing them with “Monsters! Attacking stuff! Partial nudity! Harsh language! Uncomfortable one-night-stand sex!” How could you not buy a book with all of that in there? As for Highwaymen, we signed two copies. And one of those was from someone I knew. (Hi, Rachel!) But the other dude lugged his copy of #1 all the way to San Diego for us to sign. And that was really sweet.
JK: “I’ll have a kiss from Katee Sackhoff resting on my unwashed cheek.” So?
MB: No dice. I find that saying “I promised a comic book blog that I’d kiss you” does not actually prompt the desired behavior. But I did get a hug from Mary McDonnell and did shots with Tricia Helfer, so I’ll put that in my pipe and smoke it.
JK: When you look back at San Diego 2007, what memory do you think will stand out more than others? (Besides what you mentioned above, of course …)
MB: Aside from taking a whiz next to the sheriff from Eureka and having Lucy Lawless flip me the bird in front of 6,000 people? It was sitting down at the DC booth for our first signing. DC’s Con wizard Fletcher Chu Fong disappeared into his Bag of Holding and pulled out a couple of cardboard name placards that had our names on ‘em and the Wildstorm logo: “Marc Bernardin. The Highwaymen.” It felt like we weren’t crashing the party anymore…we’d been invited.