Summer's here! For me, summer begins when I give my last final and post all the grades. It feels like freedom that will last until late August. Last time I mentioned about the convention season and discussed the potential for C2E2. I seem to be in agreement with most people that the show was a bit disappointing and as with most of those same people, that was probably due to unrealistic expectations. Don’t get me wrong, it was a really good show. Some people had some set up problems but I wasn’t aware of any of that at the time. The venue was great, the attendance actually was pretty good (the reported number is around 27,000) and the vibe of the show was centered around comics. There’s advantages and disadvantages for being at the McCormick Center as opposed to the Rosemont and all in all, I guess they end up as a push. The expectations were high, since the NY show was such a phenomenal success and I plead guilty expecting something similar possibly happening in Chicago. It didn’t. But if you were to look at the show itself without doing any comparison with the NY show, it was a really good show. I think most attendees (fans, guests, dealers, etc) would at a minimum, compare it favorably to the competing Wizard show although most I talked to would place it above Wizard. One of the main reasons is that Wizard is much more of a media convention rather than a comic show. There were some complaints that being “downtown” limited the get togethers of the attendees---it seemed as if the Hyatt was the happening place, although I just stopped in one time. I spent both nights I was there with Rafael and Amy Nieves as my dinner companions and that was preferable to hanging out at bars. I guess I didn’t realize just how many conventions there are out there. Right now, I have offers to attend 5 shows as a guest and of course, that doesn’t include any of the bigger shows where I would have to buy an artist alley table or a booth if I went as Transfuzion Publishing. There’s a lot of creators who travel the convention circuit and hit many of the shows and when I had Caliber (and my stores), I also did a lot of conventions. But I actually don’t like doing conventions that much. I usually dread going but that’s balanced out by enjoying myself once I get there but overall, I still prefer not to do them. It seems I am always short on time and conventions really take a lot of time away from doing other things. I usually anticipate having lots of free time since I take time off of teaching in the summer but have found I never have as much time as I thought I was going to have. I look at my hopeful schedule and I already feel the weight of deadlines pressing against my brain, so not likely to do too many conventions. I know I’m not a big name and certainly not going to be a big draw for conventioneers so when I do get an invite and offered accommodations, I almost feel like I have an obligation to go since they extended the invite. Perhaps it’s the ego stroke, I don’t know. But I have to limit my convention excursions even though I really appreciate the gesture. One thing that will take up some time this summer is a trip that I’m taking to California in the next couple of weeks and since I’m driving, that will take awhile. From Michigan to California is something like 35 hours drive time and I’m one of those drivers that can only do about 8 hours a day so I’m looking at 4+ days of driving. Later in the summer, the wife and I have a similar trip planned to Texas so I will be doing some traveling. I’m going to California as I’ve lost another daughter to the Golden State. Now I have one in San Diego and one in San Francisco. The clan is typical of what’s happening in Michigan it seems. With both of my parents passing in the last few years and most of my brothers moving out of state, the family get togethers are getting quite small. I have one brother that moved to Florida, another to Las Vegas, one to Texas, and then another one that sort of roams around the country and last I heard, he was in Colorado. My last brother here is planning to move to either Texas or Florida. I’ve got two of my daughters in California now, another one that is planning on going there and then one that has taken a shine to New York instead. Pretty soon, there isn’t going to be any family here but me and my wife. So, we’re actually considering a move. We both like Colorado and North Carolina but we’re planning to explore other areas. Just coming out from Transfuzion Publishing is SIN ETERNAL: RETURN TO DANTE’S INFERNO which is the collection of the Sinergy series from Caliber but there have been some changes in the different levels of Hell. This was a really fun project to do all those years ago and it was great to have all the different artists each drawing a different level of Hell. Coming in about a month or so are some stories in the SHERLOCK HOLMES READER including the title story, MURDER AT MOULIN ROUGE, illustrated by Michael Zigerlig. He really crafted a unique style to the story and the always dependable Wayne Reid illustrated another all new tale that deals with Sherlock Holmes in retirement and how he spends his time. No, it’s not bee-keeping but rather with dead bodies… Even though I’m not officially a creator on the early issues, IDW will be releasing the first volume of DEADWORLD CLASSICS in July in association with Desperado Publishing. This is all Vince Locke artwork and it’s amazing to watch a teenager ply his craft. Of course, Vince went on to many bigger things (Sandman, for example) but it was Deadworld where he learned on the job.