Just got back from last weekend's WonderCon Comics Convention in San Francisco and then an extended vacation up in Napa Valley onto Sonoma Valley and finally through Point Reyes National Park. Whew!
The con this year was phenomenal! Attendance and sales were up from two years ago when I last went. WAY UP! I was completely unprepared for the amount of people coming through and, consequently, ran out of a few items for sale. So I'll definitely be back in 2011, folks, and I strongly recommend your attending if possible. It's a BIG show but not crazy big like it's sister show, Comic-Con. You can still comfortably mange the show floor without constantly bumping into other fans and there's still PLENTY of cool stuff to see. And most of the big publishers also attend.
This was also the first time I made available the original art from the upcoming BB WOLF AND THE 3 LPS graphic novel I illustrated and four pages and the cover sold. The response to the art was nothing short of amazing. I appreciate all who stopped by for a preview and the kind comments that you all had. I will start posting the original BB pages very soon on the site (I know, I've got some serious updating to do!). So keep your eyes peeled and get your pages!
Bottom line: Great show! Grade: A this year!
We then made our way to Napa Valley for some fine wine tasting. With my pockets full of comic sales cash we went hog wild and spent it all on some of our favorite wineries. If you're ever in the area we strongly recommend visiting "Frog's LeaP winery. They're an organic winery and produce some of the smoothest, finest tasting wine you'll ever have the pleasure of drinking. Their Rutherford red is unreal. It costs a few bucks coming in at $75 for a bottle but the quality is second-to-none and for that special occasion it's well worth it.
We then went to the world famous Chateau Montelena. CM became world famous back in the early 80s when it went to compete against the finest French wines and won 1st place for their Chardonnay. This propelled them to instant fame and fortune and the story was made into one of the best films we've ever viewed, "Bottle Shock" starring Bill Pullman, Alan Rickman and the then newcomer to hollywood, Chris Pine. Great movie even if you're not a wine fan. Anyway, we saw the movie a year back and committed ourselves to getting up to CM whenever we got back to Napa. Well worth the wait and the trip! The chateau is one of the most beautiful buildings you'll ever see, folks. Built in the 1860's I believe? Something like that. Beautiful architecture, beautiful surroundings with a lake, and fantastic tasting wine! We bought a bottle of the famous Chardonnay and an equally impressive Cabernet. Yum...can't wait to create a special occasion here so we have good reason to crack open all the fine purchases we made.
I'm guessing the releases of BB WOLF and the re-release of THREE FINGERS next month! Notice how I slipped in that plug? That's called smart advertising.
After Napa we made our way over to Sonoma Valley. WOW! We really liked it over in Sonoma. A very charming, quaint, village setting in the main square of town. Filled with lots of fine restaurants, boutique shops and historic hotels. The square was hosting it's weekly farmer's market as well while we were there. We took Stella horseback riding in Sugarloaf National Park and hiked up a waterfall. My rear end is still mad at the horse but the ride was fun (especially for Stella) and the hike was breath-taking.
All-in-all we highly recommend making the trip to the Napa/Sonoma valley area if you ever find yourselves in San Francisco. It's just an hour north and the ride alone through these two towns is worth the trip! Some of the most beautiful scenery on earth.
Point Reyes was also nice but we didn't see any whales as we had hoped and the super windy roads made Stella very carsick. Yep, she lost her cookies. Poor kid. By the way, Stella rocked at WonderCon selling 5 sketches in the short 30-40 minutes she set up at the show. Enough money made for her to go around and buy all kinds of goodies. She even met and got autographed copies of The Last Unicorn books and DVD from Peter S. Beagle. So she had a great time even though she got sick on the way back.
In other news...
ZOMBIES VS CHEERLEADERS! The 3 Geeks are back in this upcoming comic from Moonstone Comics and 5Finity. Just finished the cover art and it's pretty darned awesome if I do say so myself. I'll post a sneak peek soon...just waiting for the greenlight from the fine folks over at Moonstone. But the comic will be available this summer and I wil have copies at Comic-Con and at the site as soon as it's ready.
In other other news...
If you're not watching "Justified" on FX Tuesday nights get onboard! This show is based on an Elmore Leonard short story and it stars Timothy Olyphant (Deadwood) as a US Marshall who takes no shit...but in a very cool, subtle, smart way. Great writing, characters and dialogue. Right now it is the only "must see" network television on our radar.