To the three or four people who read this blog, I apologize for the delay. I felt wiped out after my trip, and I couldn't get things into gear. Part of my brain felt locked up, which explained why I wound up getting off the local train one stop too early and looked for a car that wasn't near where I actually parked it. Also, Blogspot has been annoying me; for some reason, I get these empty, stillborn media players pop up in my posts whether I'm away from home and browsing with Explorer, and I have no idea how they got there.
So . . . final day in Baltimore. I wanted to hit the breakfast buffet, but the hotel restaurant was packed, mostly with Yankees fans loading up before the series finale against the O's. So I wound up grabbing a cinnamon bun and scarfing it down in my hotel room. I had to check out early, though the hotel was nice enough to hold onto my luggage while I went to the convention center. By the way, I move that a group of Yankees fans should be called a "giuliani." Just a random thought.
Looking back, the day was rather mellow. I got my sketchbook back from Danielle, and her sweet sketch of Emma Stone as Gwen Stacey. I wound up with six sketches in the book, as well as Emma Frost from Sara Richard on a blank covered X-Men Giant-Size #1. Most of the time, I wandered the aisles, looking for new artists to draw in my book. What can I say? I'm an addict. Because I wanted to save money, I had to skip some of my usual targets . . . like veteran penciller Jamal Igle. I've been getting sketches from him since 2002. The man actually once addressed me by my full name . . . and when I mentioned to him about that freaking me out, he just laughed. I wound up going to a panel featuring him and writer Ron Marz. Turns out Jamal got his big league start in 1994 with eight pages on Green Lantern #52. Marz was the guy who introduced Kyle Rayner as the sole GL of the DC Comics universe . . . and as much shit as he took for it, he did a great job. The duo wound up announcing their contributing on The Historians for IDW Publishing. Ten days later, it turned out they were exiting the book. Ah, well.
I wanted to leave early . . . I hate driving long distances at night. However, I had one idea to burn. Back in 2010 at C2E2 in Chicago, I got Khary Randolph to sketch Poison Ivy in front of the ivy-covered wall at Wrigley Field. Last year at Fan Expo Canada in Toronto, Niall Eccles drew Blue Jay flying, with the CN Tower and Rogers Centre in the background. I figured that I could match a city's sports team with a character of the same name. So when I met Griffin Shawn, whose commissions started at $18, I had two options. The first was Raven (notably from Teen Titans) with the Inner Harbor in the background (I had a reference). The other was a little kinkier . . . it was Iron Man, but instead of Tony Stark in the armor, it was Orioles legend Cal Ripken, Jr., whose biggest feat was playing in 2,632 straight games. Griffin had a laugh with the latter, and opted for that subject. So I waited. And waited. And waited. Don't get me wrong . . .the finished product was worth it, but nothing sucks like walking around with little to do, waiting for one guy to wrap up a sketch. It's not like going into Zombie Mode while in San Diego, but there's a listlessness involved that sucks eggs.
After I got my book back, I walked back to the hotel, got my bags and car, and headed for home. Even if I hadn't stopped for gas and a stretch of my legs, I wouldn't have beat the sunset. I kept awake as best I could, what with all the energy drink I brought with me. On an unrelated note, I think that I spent a total of fifteen minutes in Delaware. I got home, and I was beat as hell. It took a while for me to get back into the swing of things at work, since my head felt like crap for a few days. I also made mental eras . . . like the time I took the train on Staten Island, got off, looked for my car, and realized I got off the train one stop too early. I wound up walking about ten minutes to get to my car. Not a huge tragedy, but I felt like a schmuck.
As I'm writing this, my local main event is coming. New York Comic Con launches in two weeks. So far, I've "warmed up" with trips to New Jersey for smaller shows. I got two other events in the coming week, but I might need the rest. I will say that Baltimore Comic Con is a nice convention to visit . . . as long as you got a hotel room nearby and cab fare if you're the skittish sort. And Camden Yards is a nice stadium to visit. Just make sure the Yankees aren't in town.
PS: I'm going to try and write about the Yankees/Orioles game soon. I hope. In the meantime, here's A-Rod's back-breaking home run, shot by me in the outfield stands. Not a photo I would've wanted to take, but here we are.
PS: Turns out the EZ Pass was in a compartment in my mother's car I never thought to check. And I found this out after three days' worth of trips to New Jersey, with tolls paid in cash.