FABLETOWN AND BEYOND
The journey truly started on Tuesday night, three days before Fabletown and Beyond would be underway. Josh O’Neill in Philly and I in New York, we talked on the phone like protective parents of our partner Chris. “Make sure he has all his chargers. See if Rob can tie up that banner stand so it won’t give him too much trouble.” “I feel like I should pack him a lunch in the morning.” “Fill a bag with food that’ll stay good for a few days, in case he gets hungry on the last leg.” And so on. If you haven’t read his recap yet, you might not realize that the next morning, Chris would be boarding a train from Philadelphia to Winona, Minnesota. That spelled a 30+ hour trip each way. Josh and I had it easy. We got to fly.
Two things struck me within hours (really, the first hour) of my arrival in Fabletown, MN: how fascinating the indoor (post-apocalypse-ready) mini-metropolis of Rochester was, and how aggressively nice all of the people there were. But it wasn’t just the locals who treated us well. Something about Fabletown seemed to bring out the best in folks, and the good vibes permeated every nook and cranny of those subways and skyways and buildings that bled and fed into each other from block to block. Every last person we dealt with was kind and helpful – especially our international team of convention organizers, including Bill Willingham, Stacy Sinner, Mike Sinner, Stephanie Cooke, Brad Thomte, and all of those awesome volunteers.
Chris covered the key events and joys of the weekend pretty wonderfully, but I thought I should share some of personal favorite photos from the weekend here, as well.
Here’s our favorite character from the weekend……Josh, myself, and Chris with our #1 fan and awesome dude, Jacob……and some of our youngest readers.There was a trippy and oddly appropriate Barnes & Noble that we’d have to walk past on our way to and from the convention.And let’s toast the magical Kill Shakespeare Bar, open only for convention guests and attendees, which made the weekend’s “off-hours” just as important and rewarding as those spent on the convention floor. Finally, I think the wonderfully surreal Saturday night pool party fell pretty comfortably into the “and Beyond” category.Now go read Chris’s in-depth wrap-up, if you haven’t already!
ASBURY PARK COMIC CON
The Saturday after Fabletown, Chris, Dave Tanh, Jimmy Comey, Dave Proch and I headed to Asbury Park, NJ for a slightly more traditional comic convention.
We dug the unique setup of the room – most of us were down on the floor of this arena (you might be able to spot the Once Upon a Time Machine banner near the upper right corner). The only issue was the apparent need for frequent, high-volume declarations over the hall’s loudspeakers that a second floor existed. Here’s Chris, Dave Tanh, and I ready for business……and our neighbor, lovely fellow OUaTM creator, Rafer Roberts.At one point the awesome John Workman (who we were proud to have letter a story in OUaTM) stopped by for a great chat. We only got one awkward photo with him. Still worth sharing. Captain Ameridog also swung by our table for a minute.More artists and exhibitors were stationed at the top of the bleachers, around the edge of the building, with tons of natural light and views of the beach. We were jealous of our buddies like Ulises Farinas……and Mark Robinson.See the view Mark got to enjoy all day?We finished off the day with a jaunt around town to find the perfect spot to eat, drink, and unwind. The gang ended up at Moonstruck, a beautiful restaurant with great food and even better service. We raucous comic-folk probably stood out like a sore thumb in that fine establishment, but they treated us like kings & queens. And we went home happy.