Comic-Cons, Weddings, and Masquerades, Oh My!
It feels like I’ve been neglecting the writing updates all month, and for that, I’m eternally apologetic. At the same time however, it’s been a complete whirlwind with both Comic-Con to getting married abroad a few weeks later. What I’m trying to say is that I have an excuse for my absence, so get off my back, you vultures!!
Comic-Con is Comic-Con, so need to go into details of the sights and odors of the convention floor. The only noteworthy pieces of news on that front were Nickelodeon had the Krusty Krab restaurant as their booth space, and Amanda was employee of the month inside. I love the theory that the secret ingredient in the Krabby Patty is actually crab, and Mr. Krabs has been luring other crabs into his restaurant (a giant lobster trap) ever since he came to town. Why are there no other crabs in Bikini Bottom? What happened to his wife? What if Plankton is the true hero for trying to get to the bottom of this mystery? The questions are endless. The other notable booth was the new Warner Bros/DC Comics/CW Network/Starbucks/McDonalds booth that took up what felt like the entire upper left corner of the convention floor. They had moving sidewalks to get from one end of the booth to the other, plus they made it 12-stories tall and even had apartments con-goers could rent during the week. The amount of money that was spent was surely in the trillions. And the carpet, as usual, was very nice.
I had a few highlights that put a big smile on my face. The first was getting to meet one of my writing idols Raphael Bob-Waksberg, creator of Bojack Horseman, and get his new book signed, Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory, as well as my copy of the art of Bojack Horseman (with illustrations by the amazing Lisa Hanawalt). Raphael was a delight to talk to, and I mentioned how much I enjoy reading the Bojack scripts. If you don’t know, I work at a creative ad agency that designs posters for television and film studios. We’ve done the last several Bojack posters, and I read the scripts ahead of time to synopsize themes/characters/storylines for the season. I’ve signed NDAs, so don’t expect a peep out of me, but the thing I told Raphael was how much the scripts make me laugh, to the point of crying sometimes. He mentioned my love of the scripts in the inscription he personalized for me in his book.
The second big name I got a signature from was Chris Ware of Building Stories and Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth. When I was really getting into comics, a friend gave me a copy of Jimmy Corrigan for my birthday, and it completely changed how I viewed comics. The linework, the subtle touches, it all blew my mind. I mentioned it to him and he was very humble about it. If that wasn’t cool enough, legendary graphic designer Chip Kidd was right behind him helping roll up posters of Ware’s upcoming book! I left floating on air.
Outside of the convention, I made my way and stood in line for an hour for the Watchmen experience. The HBO show is debuting in the fall, and inside the big blue telephone box you watch yourself get obliterated and reconstructed into Dr. Manhattan. Plus we got enamel pins at the end. It was a cool experience, and makes me even more excited for the upcoming show.
On the con floor I was on the hunt for back issues of Kramers Ergot. They’re pricey books, but I managed to get volumes 9 & 10 at the Fantagraphics booth. I also swung by Tom Neely’s booth and got his Pastiche comic featuring a Popeye character versus hundreds of his doppelgängers. It’s a great little comic, and I’m always a fan of Neely’s art. It’s so amusing to me that back in the day when I was young and naïve, I would buy every comic I could get my hands on Day 1 of the convention, and lug them around in my bag, breaking my back from the weight. Nowadays? I’ll get a few items, but only on Sunday because they’re usually discounted, and it’s the shortest day. Nevertheless, I’m pleased with my haul this year.
Amanda had her photoshoots throughout, and one in particular took us back to Coronado on the beach in front of the Hotel del Coronado. Dante Padre, the photographer, wanted to get some sunset shots of her, dressed as Mera, and the results were fantastic. He later photoshopped her on a faux Mera cover and it looks completely legit. She was also Harley Quinn on roller-skates, inspired by a Babs Tarr cover.
The Sideshow Collectibles party was also fun, with an open bar and delicious tapas. We hung out with the DC Collectibles crew, and at one point I missed my opportunity to say ‘hi’ to artist extraordinaire Dave Johnson. The party is becoming a staple to our annual convention schedule, and I love it. I unfortunately missed the CBLDF’s Art Auction, which had original pieces by some big names. I had my eye on a Gabriel Ba The Umbrella Academy piece, but perhaps it was for the best I didn’t go and spend all my money. One can’t decorate a cardboard box with pictures on the flimsy walls that put one in said box in the first place!
With only a week to rest, Amanda and I then found ourselves packing and leaving on a jet plane to France to get married. We arrived a week early to ensure that everything was fine and take care of some last minute business, mainly involving personalized macaroons. The first few days in our little AirBnB were so horrible (tiny bed, 4-flights of stairs), that we treated ourselves to a very nice hotel a block away from the Palace of Versailles. We felt much better, and enjoyed our week with firework shows, exploring the gardens and the Palace, and even took a day trip to Paris where we unfortunately got drenched in the rain.
Once again while in Versailles, I noticed more art pieces by Invader hidden throughout the city. Then this time around I realized he had his own App, flashInvaders, where you get points for documenting his pieces out in the wild. It’s like Pokemon Go!, but a thousand times more fun. Needless to say, by the end of the trip I collected 20 different pieces (15 in Versailles, 5 in Paris) for a score of 27,663 points. He has several throughout Los Angeles, so I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled.
Amanda and I were married at the Waldorf Astoria Trianon Palace Hotel on August 10, 2019. We had our first look at the Temple of Love in Marie Antoinette’s Petit Trianon, where a year earlier I proposed to her. She looked absolutely gorgeous in her dress, as if she fell from the stars themselves. We don’t have any of the professional pictures back yet, but I’ll definitely post a few here when we do. The 3-person camera/video team that followed us around all day documenting everything made me feel like a Kardashian, only talented. There was a snafu getting to and from the hotel thanks to the horrible taxi services over there (I hope Uber puts every single one of them out of business), but when we got back everything was ready and we proceeded with the ceremony, vows, and the cocktail hour. When the stunning ballroom was opened, we ate course after course of delicious foods, then danced until midnight with our closest friends and family. It was a memorable night, one I will cherish for the rest of my life.
One of the best parts of our honeymoon suite was we overlooked a field with goats, and their bleating amused us thoroughly. We could even go down to them and feed them leaves off the trees. We met a few black goats we nicknamed ‘Black Philip’, and they were very appreciative of the leaves. Back to our suite, I felt like Kevin McCallister in Home Alone 2 after he enters his hotel room suite. It felt like it was bigger than our apartment! We’ve been spoiled now, and nothing else will compare. However, the hotel before the Waldorf Astoria had these amazing memory foam pillows from a company called Dodo, but they’re only available in France. To ship them to the states (we checked this) would cost double in shipping than the pillows themselves! Mon dieu!
The entire Versailles trip inspired me to start writing a 6-episode comedy series about a couple traveling abroad, where things keep going awry. It’s obviously embellished on our own experiences, but I see it as an opportunity to finally start giving serious consideration to writing scripts. I still want to finish The Patch, but I always manage to find more things to stuff waiting in the wings once it’s complete.
When we finally arrived back home a few days later, we got a stern talking to from our tortie Dinah, then went back to the daily grind. We promised ourselves no more extravagance for a while, then less than a week later we’re getting invited to the Labyrinth Masquerade Ball at the Biltmore downtown. Amanda’s fairy godmother Fiore Couture was a guest of honor, and helped us get tickets. Amanda’s headpiece she wore during the wedding was designed by Fiore Couture, and Amanda loves everything else she creates. Sure enough, Susan (Fiore) had a incredible outfit prepared for Amanda (a corset with classical artwork), and Amanda looked stunning. Because the masquerade is fantasy themed, I attended at the Dread Pirate Roberts and received a surprising number of compliments. I even met a Fezzik! It was an epic soiree filled with dancing, performances, and truly amazing costumes. We’ll definitely need to step-up our game next year now that we have some time to prepare. Special thanks again to Susan for the wonderful evening.
We’d love to pretend to be finished with the parties for now, but we’d only be fooling ourselves. At the end of the month is our stateside wedding reception for those who couldn’t attend our overseas one, as well as get officially married with the license and everything. After all that I think we’ll need another vacation from all these vacations and celebrations. Too bad our honeymoon is next May in Scotland!
As per usual, this post will end with a kitty picture that you can find in the gallery below.