I got to meet an astronaut!

Commander Chris Hadfield was in Calgary last night, signing his recent book The Darkest Dark, and it was awesome to be there.

I could not believe the size of the crowd that showed up. I got there about 15 minutes before the signing was to begin and I ended up parking a block away. When I got to Chapters (the store holding the signing) I found out it was a ticketed event so I grabbed a ticket and I was in group 17.  

Chapters must have started a little early because at 7:00 pm the event co-ordinators had just called group 2 and 3 to start lining up. So it was going to be a late night for Cmdr. Hadfield.

I actually had time to go home and take a family member to an appointment, at which point my daughter decided to join me, and we got back to the store by 10:30. By this time the line up had made it to group 13 and by 11 group 17 finally got to get in line.

While waiting in line I mentioned to the Chapters staff what I had brought to be signed and each time (a total of 4 interactions) I was told “he might not sign those”, one item for sure he would sign, but the other two…I was prepared to accept no for an answer. Thankfully, he did not say no.

What did I take?

For my wife I brought her copy of his book “You Are Here”, she already had a signed copy of his book "An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth”. And I brought a print I had given her a few Christmases ago by a fantastic artist named Mike Mitchell in which Cmdr. Hadfield is depicted as an action figure (it’s awesome…see for yourself).
Mike Mitchell "Hadfield" Print
For me I brought a test pilot helmet that I had picked up some years ago for a photo shoot at an agency I had worked at. This was already signed by Lee Majors when he was in Edmonton a few years back and when Cmndr Hadfield was inspecting the helmet he looked at the signature and I explained who it was, in case he couldn’t make out the signature, and he smiled, so I hope that meant he thought it was as awesome as I think it is.
So yeah, it was AMAZING...my daughter and I got to meet an incredible Canadian last night.

I read his tweet today where he said that it was a 7 hour signing, which means he got out of there around 1:30 or 2 and I heard tell from several people in line that they never saw him leave the table - quite the endurance test if you ask me, but then what would one expect from an astronaut.

Edmonton Expo Recap

My daughter and I drove to Edmonton on Saturday to attend the Edmonton Comic and Entertainment Expo.

It's always a great time going to an Expo with my daughter (okay, almost always…last year we got a flat tire on the highway half way to Edmonton and that pretty much set my mood for the whole day…but anyway). So we arrived pretty early (you should when you leave Calgary at 6 am) and got an amazing parking spot (incredibly close to the door…AMAZING), this was a great sign.

Aside from some slight nervousness because I was given the honour of moderating a panel for the phenomenally talented Gerhard, of Cerebus the Aardvark fame, I was really looking forward to the day.
(Here are some samples of commissions he's done for me in the past)

But first up…meet Carrie Fisher and get her to sign my Mondo prints by Mike Mitchell (Princess Leia (Boushh) and Jock (Into the Garbage Chute Flyboy!). I went to Carrie Fisher first because I anticipated her being really busy. So the show starts at 10, I line up at 9:50 (early access has its perks). I’m in a prime spot, 10th from the front…apparently she was not given the schedule.

As everyone patiently waited we would get the odd report of “she’s on the way”. It’s kind of funny, at 10, “she’s on the way” is cause for cheers. At 10:30, “she’s on the way” is cause for scepticism, at 11 “she’s on the way” is cause for grumbling. At 11:30 the crowd begins to thin out (I am now 5th in line). At 11:45 “she’s on the way” makes you think - “I’ll believe it when I see it”. But sure enough, 11:50 she’s there (1 hour and 50 minutes later). Well rested, and ready to go. The weird thing is, as soon as you stand in front of Princess Leia, the wait time (no matter how many times you thought “I could have gotten everyone else on my list taken care of by now”) disappears. That might be different for the people who waited another 3 hours to get a signature, but for me, I got my prints signed and all was right with the world. It was only much later (because once you get something signed you have got to move along) that I realized that when she signed my print - I asked her to write the title of the print, which is called “Into the Garbage Chute Flyboys!” (a line she spoke in the original Star Wars) - she spelled “Chute” “Shoot”…I actually like the typo.

After Carrie Fisher, I raced over to get Wallace Shawn to sign a couple of things, but by then the line was capped. So I run over and get an autograph of Shannon Purser for my wife, who is a big fan of Barb, from Stranger Things. So the only other person I need to meet is Wallace Shawn, he will have to wait.

I now had to rush and prep for my Gerhard panel. So off I go, to get my stack of “phone books” as they have been known to be called (some Cerebus fans are offended by that, but them’s the breaks), I get into the panel room, Ger and I are prepped by the Expo staff, and then it’s 45 minutes of freewheelin’ conversational jazz. I try my best not to go full on fan boy, but these things truly cannot be helped. I am a fan of Gerhard, I am a Fan of Dave Sim. I am a fan of Cerebus. It is the one book I re-read every couple of years, and I constantly go back to it and read sections that I love. Why? BECAUSE. IT'S. JUST. THAT. GOOD! DAMN IT!

The attendance was smallish (COME ON PEOPLE! IT’S FRICKING GERHARD!), but it was still fun. My daughter sat in the front row watching the whole thing unfold, and later I found my brother and nephew sitting in the back row. A real family affair. I got to ask a few questions I wanted to know, we opened up to the floor for a few questions, and we got some gentle “heckling” by Shelley - she did tell Gerhard that she was going to do it - and in the end Ger and Shel were happy with how it all went over and the fact that I included things that some people didn’t know, or might not know. So that seal of approval made me really happy. They even gave me a Gerebus drawing that Shel coloured. Very cool, then I walked Ger and Shel back to their table and hung out there for a bit.

After a little while I went over and got my wife’s Princess Bride book signed by Wallace Shawn. Which was funny because he thought I should be told that he did not write the book, so I politely mentioned to him that Carey Elwes, and Chris Sarandon didn’t write it either, and they signed it. He asked where my wife was (most people believe her to be a figment of my imagination), so I told him she’s not one for crowds, and with that, he wrote “Wish you were here”. Then off I went with my wife’s well read, newly autographed copy of Princess Bride. She someday hopes to get Mandy Patinkin to sign it. Dare to dream.

After all this, my daughter and I walked around, free of any obligations to get things signed, or moderate a panel, and we just looked at the wares on the floor. She grabbed a few things, and then, with a three hour drive ahead of us, we were off.

A fun time.

And we didn't get a flat tire at all.

James Marsters After Party Poster

@JamesMarstersOf just commented on the poster I did for the Saskatoon Comic and Entertainment Expo After Party. So that was kind of cool.

I don't post to my blog nearly enough…anyway…what we have here is another Shepard Fairey homage poster (based on his AMAZING Walk the Line movie poster…obviously), my first being the Welcome Home image I created for the great Leonard Nimoy back in 2010. I'm sure you can guess what that one was based on.

While the Welcome Home image never got used for the Leonard Nimoy/Spock homecoming to the town of Vulcan Alberta, I did turn it into an LLAP print and shirt…which, by the way, are available here at my shop. A shameless plug.

I have t-shirts in my shop now!

I decided to make a couple of T-Shirts and put them on my Etsy Store.

One of my favourite images that I've made is Spock: LLAP (Live Long And Prosper), so I decided to turn it into a 3 colour silkscreen shirt. You can find it (and the 11x17 print) at my store. Printed on black and in a variety of sizes.

Also available is a shirt that I created based on an idea from my wife, and inspired by the title treatment for the TV show Orange is the new Black, we have GEEK is the new BLACK. Two different shirt colours to choose from (black with white and orange type, and safety orange with white and black type) and in a variety of sizes.

This is my first foray into selling T-Shirts, so be gentle.

The Calgary Expo

Today is the day I go and set up shop.

This is kind of exciting and I'm not sure what to expect. Regardless, it will be a blast hanging out with my daughter at the event and seeing the Expo from the other side of the table.

For anyone going to the show I will be at booth N 11 hawking my wares.

I did a few screen caps the show where the booth is at…in case anyone is interested.

First the big one - The BMO Centre…

a little closer…

a little closer…

a little closer…