[Groop] Gary G.'s Con Report: Part 1

Gary Grossmann grossfamm at comcast.net
Sat Aug 4 14:10:42 PDT 2007

Hi Folks!  

I'm afraid my Con report will be something of a letdown after Steve's Spectacular (and extremely well organized) Super Con Report & Photo Show. I've broken mine up into 3 segments so that I don't put you to sleep. (Or maybe I'll put you to sleep 3 times.) Like I've said before: Do the Con Like the Kuhnster! (Except don't miss Quick Draw!.) 

As I have mentioned before, I don't really do the Con the way normal fanboys and girls do. I come to see Sergio, Mark, Stan, Tom, all the wonderful Groopies who make it, (It was Great to See ALL of You, even if for just a minute of two!) and other folks who are Sergio/Groo fans. I always have a blast, but I undoubtedly have the narrowest focus of the 125,000 people who come. 

This year of course The Long Suffering Mrs. G. was with me and we made a week long vacation out of it. The first couple of days we were in SD we went to Balboa Park and saw the Dead Sea Scroll exhibit and a couple of other museums. Surprisingly, there were no Jedi Knights, Klingons, pot bellied Spidermen, Sailor Moon girls, or booth babes. Also no twirling lights, blaring sounds, giant promo bags that people fought over, or freebies to scoop into the giant bags and later sell on ebay. What kind of place is that? 

Then we went to the Con and saw all of those glorious things (Well, except the booth babes. Although The Long Suffering Mrs. G. allows me to ogle booth babes, I really didn't see any worthy of the name this year. A couple years ago, there was one stationed right across from Sergio's table. This year he had zombies across the isle. Oh, well.) But I digress. 

When we arrived for preview night we were able to blow past the line because Sergio had registered us as part of his staff. Except the folks at the Exhibitors registration table didn't have us down. He didn't even know who Sergio was!!! (Sacrilege!!) But in pretty short order Sergio straightened everything out. I should have gone to the Guest Registration booth instead of the Exhibitors'. 

Much of the Con for me is something of a blur, and separating out which day things happened is sometimes difficult. I spend a lot of time behind Sergio's table, talking to folks about Groo and Sergio's other work, explaining what's in the various books for sale, taking payments and making change to help the line move a little faster, keeping an eye on his two portfolio's, and looking over Sergio shoulder to watch the magic of his drawing. It is lots of fun for me. People of every possible description come to see Sergio. Old folks, little kids, people from many countries, old friends, total strangers, and Sergio has a great time with all of them and is his charming wonderful self. It's a blast. 

I was very pleased with the way the Mask gag turned out. Everyone did what the little instructions said and the whole panel, especially Sergio, really got a kick out of it, just as I had hoped. So that was great. The panel itself was one of the best ever. In addition to the things covered in Jim's very fine article, Gordon and Tom gave a lot of great information about the coloring, both the old way (by hand) and new way (computerized). With the computer, it's not just all of the detail that makes Tom's work difficult, but all of Sergio's open lines. Coloring Groo has got to be the most difficult job in comics! Stan also gave some great info about the Groo comic creation process, pointing out that he never sees Sergio's inks until the comic is published. All he sees when he is lettering is Sergio's loose (VERY loose) pencils. I gave them their 25th Anniversary Groop cards at the end of the panel, which worked out very well. 

George and I made a great team, along with assistance from TLSMG, assisting Sergio and holding down the fort when he took a break. George is great to work with. He's almost as crazy as I am and he was really excited to do a lot of cool stuff at the Con. He also got The Coup of the Con, but I will let him tell you all about that. 

OK, that's enough for one sitting. After you have woken up, I'll send Part 2. 

-Gary G.  
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