[Groop] Overly Long Con Report

Grossmann, Gary GaryG at DOR.WA.GOV
Tue Aug 8 14:13:50 PDT 2006

Hi Folks!  

Well, here is my belated Con Report.  Hope you have taken your No Doze.  No
goofy trips to LA this year.  (If you newbies want to know what THAT's all
about, ask Eric to post the video he made after Larry & I missed the Groo
Panel a few years back.) 

Anywho, as indicated in Eric's Scoop 1 video, I spent a lot of time at
Sergio's table.  I hope I didn't give the impression that Sergio isn't there
a lot. He is!! I'm sure he spends more time at his table signing stuff,
talking to folks, and doing quick little sketches than any other person at
the Con.  As for me, hanging out there is a blast.  I get to visit with
Sergio, tell people (who don't already know) all about Groo and Sergio's
other work, talk to other big fans, meet with Groopies, and generally have

Thursday I arrived at about 9:30 and went straight to Sergio's table.  It
was great to see him after a whole year. After helping him finish setting
up, I zipped by Dark Horse to say "hi!" to my contact there and then to
Stan's table, which is literally a quarter mile away from Sergio.  Stan and
his wife, Sharon, are two of the nicest folks in the world.  Then for much
of the rest of the day I did my thing behind Sergio's table, periodically
wandering around the convention floor, ogling the occasional "booth babe"
and taking in the various displays, some of which are spectacular. (Or is it
ogling the various displays and taking in the occasional "booth babe," some
of whom are spectacular?)  Whatever.  

At one point, I ran into The Incredible Shrinking Man, Mark Evanier.  Mark
looks great!  I can't wait to see him next year.  We talked a bit as he made
his way to Artist's Alley.  Of course, I forgot everything I had intended to
talk to him about if I got the chance.  I also saw a number of Groopies, as
previously mentioned, including Dougie McCoy, who had thoughtfully gotten me
a hotel key. Dougie is a wonderful hotel room host, supplying us with a
seemingly bottomless box of doughnuts.  Late in the afternoon was the Groo
Panel, which has already been discussed in detail.  Unlike other years, the
Groop did not get together for dinner after the Groo Panel.  Maybe next
year.  Eric, Dougie, and I had dinner at one of San Diego's finest
restaurants, Che' Wendy's.  

Friday was more of the same fun for me, and it was as crowded as it usually
is on Saturday.  The costume folks start showing up on Friday, some in truly
marvelous outfits, others in costumes that might best be termed ill advised.
At some point during the day, the lovely and talented Carolyn Kelly stopped
by.  Since she missed last year's con, it had been two years since I'd seen
her.  Of course she is as wonderful and sweet as ever.  Later, she very
kindly invited me to dinner with her and Mark, which Mark very kindly
insisted was his treat.  And that's when I pulled my first of several

You see, on Friday, Sergio gave me a bunch of change (ones, fives, and tens)
so I could start taking $$ from fans for his books.  This gives him more
time to sketch and talk.  The Con floor closes at 7:00, so as soon as I was
done helping Sergio close up shop, I zipped over to the Hyatt restaurant, a
couple blocks away.  In the middle of dinner Sergio called Mark's cell phone
to tell me I had walked off with a big wad of his money!  Oops!  I told him
I would give it to him at the Eisner's and try not to get mugged in the
meantime.  Mark had to leave early to rehearse a presentation and instructed
me to escort Carolyn to the Eisners.  (Which I would have done anyway, of
course, but Mark is always appropriately protective of Miss Carolyn.)  On
the way over, I realized I'd left my backpack at the restaurant (but not
Sergio's money. Even I'm not that bad.)  So when I escorted Carolyn to the
Special Persons entrance at the Eisners, I told her that if she spoke to
Sergio to tell him I was going out to try and get mugged.  

Of course, the Eisners being the Eisners, by the time I got my backpack,
dropped it off at my hotel, ate a couple more of Dougie's doughnuts, and
tried to get mugged, before finally wandering into the regular persons
entrance, the award show was only about one third over.  Sheesh!  Mark is
right.  That thing is too darn long!  (Kind of like this Con report.)  

Anywho, Saturday was another great day to be at Sergio's table, talking to
folks, people watching, watching Sergio in action, and stuff like that.
Sergio spoke Italian, and later said he didn't speak Portuguese-in
Portuguese!  It was also Quick Draw day, which really has to be seen to be
fully appreciated.  Scott Shaw! and Kyle baker are very funny and very much
compliment Sergio's improv cartooning skills with their own.  I also got to
talk to Ray Harryhausen and Joe DeVito at the Dark Horse booth.  It was not
a good day to wander around.  In the central part of the floor, where all
the mega booths are located, you literally could not walk at times.  

Now I told you a couple weeks ago that Sergio has supernatural powers and
here is the proof:  I had an 8:40 flight to catch and we decided that
leaving the Con at 6:00 would be safe.  But all of a sudden at 5:50, Sergio
says "You should go now."  So we said goodbye (I almost walked off with
another wad of his money) and I got to the bus stop just as an airport bus
was leaving.  At the airport, I got to my gate just as an earlier flight to
Seattle was finishing loading.  I asked the gal at the counter if there were
any seats and in two minutes I was sitting on the plane next to a guy with a
cell phone who let me call The Long Suffering Mrs. G. to tell her I'd be
arriving early.  On the way home we saw the traffic that Becky would have
been stuck in had she picked me up as scheduled backed up for miles because
of an accident.  So because Sergio told me to leave 10 minutes earlier than
originally planned, we saved at least 3 hours and a lot of frustration.  

All in all I had a great time.  I wish more Groopies had been able to come
and we had been able to get together.  So start saving your kopins.  Take
care all -Gary G.  

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