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  • EMERALD CITY, PART 2

    Just wanted to wrap up a few thoughts on that Seattle show this past weekend. It got off to a good start for me that Friday night because I finally took the train up to Seattle, a three or so hour ride in which I could pull out the laptop and get some work done. And, I’ll admit, watch the featured presentation Dream Girls. They must have lured Beyonce with the promises of all the costume changes. I wouldn’t call it a good movie, but it was fun to watch, and everyone was good in it. I wrote about three pages of script. Later I went back to the Coach cars and admonished Steve Lieber for not paying the extra thirteen bucks to have nice wide seat in the less crowded Business Class, reminding him that people were currently filming a movie of his in Manitoba. But Coach on the train is about as good as First Class on a jet, so I didn’t have much to argue with.

    The show was pleasant, and full of pleasant people. Very kid friendly, and one of the things I thought was coolest was the part of Artist Alley where several kids from a middle school were set up, drawing like a little Dickens-era child factory and giving away copies of their mini-comics. Studio assistant James and I walked over to learn more about them, and James paid their star artist five bucks for a Naruto sketch. She was amazed that someone gave her money for art, but if she keeps progressing as she does now, I think she’ll be getting used to it.

    Me, I keep it a buried secret that I can draw and almost no one asks me for sketches now. So I can get up and walk around and harass creators. I talked to Ande Parks about his book Union Station and got a neat anecdote about Ande meeting a photographer who had snapped lots of his subject matter and actually gave him a rare photo print from the era of the infamous shootup. I talked to Brian Wood about how cool it is to have little kids. I ate a crab with Ford Gilmore and David Tischman, whose hotel had plasma screen TV’s in it. We were captivated a bit by a remastered Star Trek on this screen, even though it was the sleepy Tholian Web episode. I knocked a cup of tea over on a page of David Hahn’s art from Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, right before a fan was about to buy it- YAY ME! Later he, Paul Guinan, Lieber and I sat up and worked on stuff at the Best Western while marveling at how unfunny Saturday Night Live was. I know, not exactly Breaking News.

    Sunday was much calmer as usual, but then Brian Bendis and Jen Gruenwald paraded by the table, and Brian nicely egged me on to come up to the Marvel Writers panel with him, Mike Oeming, Brian Reed and Ed Brubaker. Brian and Mike shared a seat so that I would have a chair, so I totally owe them a pan of cupcakes with sprinkles. As I suspected the Q and A went quickly to Civil War and rarely veered off of it, but it was fascinating for me to watch up close. Some of the questioners were every bit as harsh as they probably are online using avatars. You could tell Brubaker had been through the recent gauntlet of live interviews, because he had his repartee down cold. And Jen moderated the hell out of that panel. One guy was nice enough to ask me a few things about my work, and where ever you are That Guy, I salute you!

    Afterwards I motored around the room some more saying hi, and those champions of retail Andy and Adam from Portland’s Cosmic Monkey Comics took back a box of books for me in their truck so I wouldn’t have to lug the heavy things around. I salute them too. Talked to Jim McLaughlin about the Hero Initiative a bit. Got closure from Scott Kurtz on a moment from the previous year that had confused me- that guy is a born raconteur. At the end, Show Organizer Jim Demonakis and his bro George treated all the convention guests to dinner across the street, the exact right way to end a show. It really feels like a Northwest version of Heroes Con, which is the nicest thing I can say about a comics show. Most of my studio crew took off earlier on the train, and I caught a ride with Kieron Dwyer back to town. It sucked to stop for gas where they wouldn’t let us use the bathroom, but we did a lot of good concept brainstorming on the drive down.

    All in all, a grand old time. Unfortunately the show is moving to the Seattle Convention Center next year, which might be a good thing, but I think I’ll miss the Safeco Event Center. I like going to a show where I don’t feel like I’m in a basement because I can see out the windows. Thanks Emerald City!

    Comments

    Comment from Beast
    Time: April 3, 2007, 7:09 am

    Sounds like you had a ball. Shame I couldn’t get out there.

    Oh, I saw that X-Men: First Class #8 got delayed a week to 4/25. :(

    Comment from Tim O’Shea
    Time: April 3, 2007, 7:20 am

    I hope you’re feeling better (pursuant to yesterday’s brief post). I’m sure you felt bad about the tea spill, but your recounting of it (your framing and you pacing, everything! I tell you everything!) made it hilarious. You really should be a writer… Did the person still buy the art–I dare say the “layered in Jeff Parker spilled tea” might make it sell better on ebay down the road…

    Comment from George Tramountanas
    Time: April 3, 2007, 7:48 am

    Hey Jeff!

    I’m That Guy who asked the question at the panel. Your writing is always top-notch, and it was great to have you at the con. I hope I didn’t embarrass you with the question about exclusivity – I just want to make sure you don’t get McKeever’ed (I love your stuff at Marvel!).

    I think I mentioned at the panel, but I’m a reporter for CBR. If you ever have news or something you want to promote, shoot me an email!

    Cheers,
    George Tramountanas
    george@comicbookresources.com

    Comment from Brett
    Time: April 3, 2007, 8:06 am

    I find the whole artist’s sketches thing to be really interesting. It seems like a great way to earn money at the show, I am sure it pays expenses for anyone who has any history with the big comic book companies. I have seen some great sketches out there as well and it serves as a great ice breaker for talking to the artist, which must be a cool break from ‘I love yer stuff, sign mah books please’ that seem to be the level of conversation in many lines.

    There isn’t really an equivelent for writers though is there? I could walk around with a laptop and hand it off with a request for a story idea I guess. ‘Hey, could you write me a a short pitch for a story of Doctor Doom taking an inappropriate vacation trip?’ That would seem to be in line with sketches, but somehow seems not right. I may be stuck at ‘I love yer stuff, sign mah books please’ with some of my favorite creators I guess. And what about inkers and colorists? Hmmm. I am wandering, better wrap up. Glad you had a good show, hope you are still thinking about coming to Baltimore. That way I can say ‘I love yer stuff, sign mah books please’ in person and all.

    Comment from David Oakes
    Time: April 3, 2007, 8:38 am

    I have a “Writer’s Jam Book”, where I ask each writer to read what the last one wrote, and then continue the story on a new page. (Except for certain windbags-who-shall-not-be-named, who go on and on for over four pages…)

    I started it because every con I went to would have these *huge* lines for signings, but when you got to the front, you realized that everyone was there for the artist, and the writer was just sitting there waiting for it all to be over. So I thought I would give them something to do. Nearly all of them jump at the chance to look busy while the artist sketches. (Though with some, I have had to bring a roll of nickels. And smack them upside the head a few times.)

    Comment from Tim O’Shea
    Time: April 3, 2007, 9:16 am

    I just saw a picture of the Marvel panel and they really were sharing a chair. Do you think either one of them might sue you down the road for numb buttock syndrome (NBS), a common syndrome with writers in chairs?

    Comment from John Popa
    Time: April 3, 2007, 12:23 pm

    Mark my words, Parker, you will be sketching in Charlotte!

    Comment from Eric
    Time: April 3, 2007, 1:04 pm

    Inkers and colorists make the best sketches! Sometimes writers too. Mark Waid can draw a mean Flash head.

    I saw Marv Wolfman at a convention once selling cheap copies of his comic scripts, and I thought that was really interesting. I’d pay $3.00 for that….

    Comment from patrick hulman
    Time: April 3, 2007, 1:10 pm

    Be prepared to draw in Heroescon Parker, I’m thinking something along AoA, but i might venture off on something else.

    Comment from Jefferson
    Time: April 3, 2007, 2:56 pm

    Hey Jeff, it was nice to put a face to Marvel’s newest rising star. Thanks for the conversation and the bumper for the podcast. It was great to see you asend to your rightful place amongst the Marvel writing posses at the Q&A panel too. I totally forgot to ask you for a sketch…damn your hypnotizing glare!!!

    Comment from Parker
    Time: April 3, 2007, 9:28 pm

    Hey, I finally got on the internet, here at the end of the night. Thanks everyone! And George, may I still call you “That Guy?” You gave me some great setups at the panel- thanks!
    I shall be ready to sketch at these shows, you’ll see.

    Comment from George Tramountanas
    Time: April 4, 2007, 8:12 am

    For you Jeff? I am happy to be “That Guy”…

    Damn, if someone reads that out of context, it won’t be pretty.

    Comment from Jason Sacks
    Time: April 4, 2007, 3:20 pm

    Hey, thanks for the Interman script, and the cool sketch in it. I can’t wait to read it. If I knew you drew, I totally would have asked you to draw a Star Brand. (We chatted about Star Brand on Saturday)

    Pingback from Comics Should Be Good! » Friday’s Emerald City Con Report
    Time: April 7, 2007, 12:00 am

    [...] happened like this. Mostly, when we’re at the table, the kids just draw. Jeff Parker opined that it looked like some kind of Dickensian child labor operation, but I assure you [...]

    Comment from gene poonyo
    Time: April 11, 2007, 1:01 pm

    Jeff, I can totally relate to your predicament about gas stations/stores not letting you use their bathrooms despite you being their PAYING customer. It does suck!!!

    Sorry about Burma.