It was 7:50 when Lenny and Jimmy Aquino picked up Charly and I at 41st and 9th. And that car ride down was a treat as we drove on fumes, almost rammed through a toll gate, stopped at McDonald’s and Dunkin’, and talked endlessly about Chick-Fil-A. Other conversation topics were Dave Sim, Popeye, subtleties of how race is portrayed in comics, and what we would be doing if we weren’t in comics or any other creative-oriented field. Getting into Pennsylvania was really beautiful; we were all kinda stunned by its hills with varying shades of green.
We got into the Reading Expo Center at around 11, and I set up at the Adhouse table with Chris Pitzer. We BSed the day away with Phil and Charly. That day I did one of my favorite sketches for Brian “Pants” Christman.
I also got to catch up a bit with Jamal Igle, who, as I was working on JH1, gave me some good advice with my comic. In the few times we’ve run into each other, I’ve very much enjoyed his company. And I’m excited for his upcoming run on Supergirl.
The CGS crew recorded a show and Charly did an amazing puppet show. I think it’s YouTubed.
After the show, Chris and I headed to the EconoLodge. It was a pretty amazing motel. In the bathroom, when I tugged at the toilet paper, the handle fell off the wall. Chris found that the batteries had been stolen from the remote and when he talked to the front desk, they replied “Usually they take the whole remote.”
Eventually, Chris and I went to the Works where we waited endlessly on burgers and fries. We played Air Hockey, Evil Dead 2 (my favorite game), rode virtual snowmobiles, and did some virtual boxing. Man, it’s been a long time since I went to an arcade.
Chris had driven all night to make it up here, so he ditched out on 3rd and Spruce. Everyone from the Supershow seemed to head that way. I mostly hung out with Dave Wackter and Tony Mobilehome. I headed back to the good ol’ EconoLodge at around 2. A sleeping Pitzer managed to mumble “Lock the door behind you” as I snuck in.
The next morning, after Chris cleaned off the cigarette butts tossed at his car, we picked up some breakfast at the Wawa and sat outside the Expo Center. It was one of those perfect not-a-cloud-in-the-sky type mornings as we enjoyed our coffee and egg sandwiches. And while talking about–I dunno–healthcare, comics, and the like, we heard a “SCREEE… vrrr… vrrr… SCREEE” from the expo parking lot. Two beat up cars were just flooring it and driving in donuts, skidding ever intensely. Chris dubbed this the “Reading Drift,” which I loved. Soon enough, one of the tires busted, and both cars drove past us, one car with three inflated tires, banging up that last rim.
I sketched the day away at the expo center, picked up a few comics, watched impromptu nerd-boxing. And packed up.
Tony, Charly and I grabbed some dinner at Chili’s, and headed on back to New York.
It was a really nice weekend getaway. The highlight was definitely hanging with everyone from the CGS forums–Lenny, Paul, Mike Finger, Kevin Freeman, Wraithmaker, etc. And unfortunately, there were people I didn’t get to hang out with enough like Shawn from PKD, Lin Workman from BushiTales, and the Angry Gnome guys. Next time.
And incase anyone from CGS checks this out, thanks so much for putting this show together. We all had an amazing time.
Now I’m off to China for two weeks. Be well!