Calgary Expo 2012 Fancy Photo Comic Part 3

Calgary is a weird town. Everything is pretty nice and clean and Canadian and there is a series of above ground tubes that you can navigate most of downtown with to avoid actually being on the street, but pretty much everything closes at sundown and NOTHING is open on Sunday. Visting cartoonists need to drink on Sunday too, Calgary! I don’t think Canadian Jesus will mind. Incidentally, Canadian Jesus is the same as American Jesus (the one true Jesus) except he does some occasional ice fishing and pays too much for his mobile data plan.

The Holodeck is for porn! The Holodeck is for porn! 

The Holodeck Is For Porn T-Shirt, funny star trek parody shirt

If you are a long time reader of HijiNKS ENSUE, you probably know what Star Trek: TNG means to me. It was more than a show. It was a friend and a guide when I was a confused, ignored and bullied little boy. I learned so much about respect (how to earn and give it), problem solving, avoiding violence at all costs, but still not letting anyone push me around, and what the future can (and should) be if we aren’t too childish, greedy and stupid to get ourselves there. I very large part of who I am, and how I view the world is based on the lessons I learned from TNG. So, with that in mind, I’m sure you can gauge how much it meant to me to be present at the 25th Anniversary reunion of the TNG cast at the Calgary Expo. It was nothing short of magical.

As the cast members recollected and joked with each other, I quickly realized that they were not performing; not putting on a show, but instead they were just catching up. It was as if 8000 grinning geeks were not in the room with them as they told stories, and reminisced. We were scores and scores of flies on the wall to the greatest geek conversation we could have hoped to hear. That is not to say they ignored the audience or seemed in anyway ungrateful for our contribution to their legacy (quite the contrary, actually). It’s just that they almost seemed lost in their affection for each other. Patrick Stewart in particular spent most of the evening facing not the audience, but turned to face his friends. If asked a question directly, he always had to look for the mic and pick it up because he had long since put it down in order to pay closer attention to what Frakes, Wheaton or Sirtis were saying. It seemed like the whole thing was sponsored and film by Space in Canada, so I am hopeful that the discussion will be broadcast in some fashion soon. I cannot stress enough how perfect a cap that evening was to 25 years (20 for me) of Star Trek: TNG fandom. I must thank Sohmer and our Calgary Expo volunteers for getting me the ticket. It’s one of those things that I wasn’t going to let myself splurge on, but knowing now what I would have missed… let’s just say I would have regretted it.

Speaking of splurging, when I saw that an entire cast photo with the TNG crew was available for $500 and up to six people were allowed to split the cost, I immediately grabbed five friends and got ready to do some convincing. Turns out this is a proposition that, among Star Trek fans, requires little to no convincing. Thanks again to our fantastic volunteers, we were able to score some line-skipping passes which meant we only had to wait for about an hour instead of three to four. Now I normally am not one for photo-ops or impersonal signings at events where celebrities are present. I much prefer a casual encounter, a brief exchange or words, etc. But this was potentially the last time these people were going to be in the same room… forever! I was already mentally clearing family photos off the mantle to make room for this picture. The photo-op itself took all of 15 seconds. Honestly it wasn’t even enough time to make eye contact with the whole crew. We were in, somehow I ended up next to the Captain (in Troi’s spot), they snapped the pic and we were out. As we left I heard Wil say, “Everyone wave to my friend Joel!” That was, uhh… pretty fucking rad. And as you can see, the picture turned out amazing! Look at that grin on Patrick Stewart! I’m going to have it tattooed over my own face so I can see it every time I look in the mirror. Damn, that was a good day.

COMMENTERS: What events go on your “life flashing before my eyes” hit list? What awesome things have happened to you that made you say “I WAS THERE! I ACTUALLY DID THAT!“?

Calgary Expo 2012 Fancy Photo Comic Part 1

“Winter Is Coming” shirts are now IN THE STORE!!! [based on this comic]

I am dead, Calgary. You killed me with your booze. Also with your meats. That bacon wrapped corn on the cob was NO JOKE. Neither was the pulled pork poutine, which A) Is an actual thing, B) Would either be illegal in the states or elected to public office and C) Is transcendently delicious. Seriously, Calgary, with your meats, meat sauces, oil derricks and cowboy hats I wasn’t entirely sure I had left Texas. I mean, sure, it was cold and the people were polite, unarmed and generally in good health, but a lot of it was like Texas. Ok, the hats were the main thing. Also, the con took place inside a rodeo arena. Luckily the two events were not happening simultaneously.

This Fancy Photo Comic features my friend and convention adventuring partner Angela, the Blind Ferret crew and a guest appearance by Josh Cagan who was at the con to do a panel about the 10th anniversary of Undergrads.

COMMENTERS: In your international travels, have you ever found little pockets that felt like home? A BBQ joint in Calgary might as well be a portal directly to Dallas except for the lack of US beers, and flagrant racism. Have you ever been pressured or otherwise encouraged to take part in a local custom while traveling? What?! Binge drinking is too a custom!

JoCo Cruise Crazy 2 Fancy Sketch/Photo Hybrid Comic Part 2

“George Hurt You” shirts are in the store!!!

Show Us On The Trilogy Where George Hurt You - funny star wars t-shirt, george lucas shirt, star wars parody

Rob, David and I hosted an officially unofficial event on JoCo Cruise Crazy 2 called “Advanced Drinking and Drawing” (AD&D for short). The idea was, as panel one lays out, fairly simple. We (3 dude whose job it is to draw pictures on the Internet) will sit in the hot sun and drink cold drinks (purchased by YOU) and draw pictures for you until either A) said drinks run out or B) said cartoonists fall over the railing and are swallowed by what is about to be a extremely drunk whale.

I have to say it was a SMASHING success. Well, it was a success and we were SMASHED. We drew for about 3 hours and there were a good 20 or so Sea Monkeys (JoCo Cruise goers) hovering around us with cocktails and shots for most of that time. The only idea I’ve ever had that approaches the genius of “Give us free booze and we will draw dick pictures for you (I DID draw David like one of my French girls)” was “give me a living wage and I will draw dick pictures for you.” While the latter may have a greater impact on the well being of myself and my family, the former is somehow more profound. Like, I want to go set up a reverse hard-lemonade stand on the side of the road and sketch lewd Batmans while strangers poor drinks down my waiting gullet. Sadly I think the success of AD&D relied more on “right place, right time, right people” than “Best idea ever, this should work anywhere, hey is that a daycare? They have booze, right?” and thusly its ability to be replicated in the real world is certainly marred with difficulty.

One of the things that I love the most about events like JoCo Cruise Crazy is that the performers and organizers basically just set the wheels in motion. It’s the enthusiasm of the participants that keeps the whole fantastical thing moving. The days were JAM PACKED with official events. There were multiple concerts, sanctioned hangouts and late night party times EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, but in addition to all of that there were at least several dozen fan created and curated events through out the week. The Sea Monkeys were running games, teaching classes, putting on concerts, scribbling on cardstock for hard liquor… making things, and just making things better. Participation and augmentation are why a geek audience is such a special thing. They can’t help but get involved and leave things weirder, better and more covered in felt and hot glue than they found them.

I hope to get into more of the details and specifics of the AD&D shenanigans in the coming photo comics, but if you crave more Rob, David and Joel goodness, the three of us were guests on the Paul & Storm Podcast which took place live on the cruise. It should be uploaded soon and available HEREish.

[special thanks to Carrie Landers for use of her photo in panel 2 and to Sara Chicazul for requesting the Batman tryptic sketches]

COMMENTERS: What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever accepted in trade for work provided? Booze for drawing is nothing compared to barrels of squid for roof repair or a case of pickled turnips for putting a bunch of squid into barrels (to pay the roofer).

Side Effects May Include

“George Hurt You” shirts are in the store!!!

Show Us On The Trilogy Where George Hurt You - funny star wars t-shirt, george lucas shirt, star wars parody

Purell: Kills 99% of germs and rewrites 99% of your DNA!

I am still very sick and the things happening in and around my head are still quite horrible. It is as these moments that I reflect on how lucky I am to not have a real job. It used to infuriate me when I had to decide between staying home, losing money, getting shit from my boss, but actually getting well and going in to work no matter how ill I was in order to save face, impress my boss and not impact my finances. People get sick. I never understood the vilification of illness in the average American workplace. Every real job I’ve ever had has viewed getting sick as a form of betrayal, a character flaw or a lack of commitment. I once got sick the first week of a new job. It was a 24 hour virus that my wife (then girlfriend) got at the same time. Unspeakable terrors were exploding out of all available evacuation points with little to no warning and we only had one bathroom. It was a god damn nightmare. When I came back to work the next day my new boss told me that he strongly considered firing me right then and there, and that I should have come to work, thrown up to prove I was sick, then been sent home. He turned out to be a heroin addict, so… hey, whatever.

COMMENTERS: What’s the worst state you ever forced yourself to go to work in despite your better judgement? What’s the best “playing hooky” that you’ve ever pulled? Have you ever tried so hard NOT to get sick that you made yourself ill? Once I felt a cold coming on so I started eating vitamin-C like TicTacs. I had a crazy adverse reaction to an overdose of the stuff and had to go to the hospital. Then it happened again a few years later when I didn’t realize the cough drops I was sucking down by the bag full each contained “100% of my daily recommended dose of vitamin-C.” Considering that each time my entire body began swelling up in a freak-show maroon rash, I am now deathly afraid of anything that has more than a standard amount of C. If I even see an orange in a grocery store, I set the entire building on fire. It’s the only way to be sure.

Good news for Chicago Fancy Bastards: It looks like I will be at C2E2 again this year with the Blind Ferret crew. That’s one of my favorite shows of the year. I’ll post more details when things are finalized.

 

Dragon’s Lair Webcomic Rampage 2011 Fancy Photo Comic Part 2

Funny T-Shirts, Geeky shirts, Doctor who parody shirts, Team Edward James Olmos shirt, Groverfield Shirt, Sci-Five Star Trek Parody T-Shirt in The HijiNKS ENSUE Store

The HIJINKS ENSUE STORE Is where you can buy stuff that I made! It supports me and my family and keeps this littler operation going.

IMPORTANT HOLIDAY SHIPPING INFO!

If you want something from Sharksplode to arrive before December 25th, your best bet is to place your order by December 14th! What Sharksplode items make the best gifts? How about:

Blind Ferret says, as of today, orders from The HE Store can still be delivered by Xmas. I don’t know the exact cut off date, but I would place your order soon. Like today. Maybe someone you love needs one of these things:

This Fancy Photo comic stars RandyRob, Jeph, Danielle, David, Nick, and Josh and takes us from the hotel after party all the way through to the final Q&A panel of Dragon’s Lair Webcomic Rampage. Those of you who were there can testify to the accuracy of the final panel-panel of this comic. At some point the audio will be posted and you will see that I am in no way exaggerating. If anything, I am underselling it.