We had a blast! The organizers were all so nice and helpful; they made it a delight to be there. I'm so glad they selected me to be a guest of their show. Here's the lowdown:

Thursday, April 10: We took the plane from Seattle to Atlanta and arrived at our destination around 6:00 pm. We were greeted by the Comicon's chief of security, who kindly drove us to our hotel in Duluth. Riding with us was Terry Moore, the famed creator of the excellent comic series Strangers in Paradise. Terry is currently celebrating the tenth anniversary of his creation. From our hotel, Terry, Nancy (my beloved wife) and I, walked to the Roadhouse Grill where we had a relaxing dinner. We chatted about working in the comic biz, doing FX on The Iron Giant (Terry's favorite animated film), and the various progressions of our respective careers. Terry is a very swell guy and a tremendous artist.

Friday, April 11: First day of the convention. The hall opened at 1:00 pm. We were at the table right next to Mike Kunkel, creator of Herobear and the kid. Mike is such a nice guy; it was a pleasure to have him as a convention neighbor. He was promoting his new hardcover that compiles the first 5 issues of his series: a very slick package that delighted all the Herobear fans. Our "Insanely Twisted Rabbits" banner caught the eye of many unsuspecting attendees. A lot of them came to chat with us and were delighted when I offered to sketch for anyone who happened to have a sketchpad handy. After the hall closed at 7:00, we all headed to the Gaijin Studio where food and drinks awaited us. We had fun socializing with the many great artists who were present. Back at the hotel, I had a pitiful game of pool with the talented Mike Jantze (The Norm), who ended up defeating me in the end. Truly, we were closely matched in our inability to make a decent shot!

Saturday, April 12: The convention hall opened at 10:00 and my table was immediately mobbed by a group of animation students. Their enthusiasm was very refreshing. I also met two cool guys from The Animation Nation Message Board, who are known under the names Fooksie (thanks for the mug) and LooseToon (who provided the pictures you see here). Those guys were a lot of fun to talk to. I sketched and signed books, and everyone was very thankful. The Insanely Twisted Rabbits sculpture from Sideshow Collectibles was on display at our table and was a massive hit, to say the least. Too bad it isn't for sale yet.

At 2:00pm, I headed for the ASIFA room, where I was part of a panel about "Animators Doing Comic Books". The panel, moderated by Sarah Fay, went extremely well. Mike Kunkel balanced my insanity with mature reasoning, while Stephanie Gladden and Robert Pope offered some good insights on the business. The fan reaction was great. After the panel, I rejoined Nancy at the table where sales were picking up quite well. The doors closed, at 6:00pm, and Thom Trainor (one of the organizer and a nice guy to boot) took us to a Jamaican restaurant where we joined the amazing Shane Glines, Mike Kunkel, Thom's wonderful wife Rhonda, and a few other artists. The food was fabulous and so was the company.

Sunday, April 13: Last day of the convention. I did a one hour presentation (Inside the Animator's Studio) at 2:00pm and the response was fantastic. Prelude to Eden, as always, was a big hit. Back to the table, I did more sketching and signing, and we nearly sold everything we had shipped. I feel so blessed to have such wonderful fans that support my work. Their enthusiasm and kindness truly fuels my creative energy.

Michel Gagné, April 16, 2003.