Back in the Spring there was general talk about "let's get together at some convention this year." Chicago would have worked well for me, but it was far for a lot of my east-coast comic friends. My friend John Schwirian is from Baltimore, and he had suggested strongly that it was well worth the effort. Originally I had decided to go to the Baltimore Comic Convention in order to meet two of my all-time favorite comic-book creators: Nick Cardy (artist of AQUAMAN and various other DC comics) and Paul Levitz (LEGION and AQUAMAN writer). I talked to my Friend of Aquaman buddy and fellow Buckeye Rick Duncan and we decided to split the expenses and make the trip. And besides meeting up with Aquaman Chronicler John Schwirian, we would also be able to get-together with the Aquaman Shriner himself, Rob Kelly.
However, as soon as Rick & I had made specific plans (ie, hotel reservations & tickets purchased) the semi-final Guest List was issued and guess which two creators had decided not to visit Baltimore after all! (sigh). Luckily, this was the only real disappointment of the whole event, as we ended up having a wonderful weekend.
On Saturday, after we had a very pleasant breakfast with the Workmans, we walked over to the Convention and on the way I met up with living legend Jose Luis Garcia Lopez. Now if you don't know who this is, you just don't know the name. For several years, ANY DC merchandise you could buy would use his artwork on it. So if you've seen a GL or Flash t-shirt or something like that, on THE BIG BANG or at Target, you've more than likely seen The Great One's work. He noticed my Aquaman t-shirt, with art by him (!!) and said his favorite pose was the one of Aquaman diving. He was as nice as can be while we chatted about whether he would be busy at this convention or not. I told him I would definitely be coming by his table later to chat with him again.
After the convention officially opened, the first table I made a bee-line to belonged to Amanda Conner and her husband, Jimmy Palmiotti. She was famous as the artist of POWER GIRL and drew Aquaman in WEDNESDAY COMICS. He is a writer of such books as JONAH HEX. I had originally considered asking her for a sketch, but there was already a huge crowd around her so I decided to not even ask. I did get her to sign my WEDNESDAY COMIC and both of them signed a copy of BIRDS OF PREY that they worked on together. So that was fun. Jimmy even mentioned that the one other creator on that book was at the convention, and to get him to sign it, too, so I had a complete set! I ended up doing it, which makes these two issues totally unique in my collection.