Friday was the first official day of the convention, and I headed down to breakfast with Russell and Steve Horton (DC Holiday Special) at O’h (the restaurant at the Hyatt).

After breakfast, we headed out to the floor to set up the tables (which were right by the main entrance of the show – we couldn’t have asked for a better location). As people started filtering in, I was approached by several groups of people for pictures and autographs – which I’m always glad to give.

Our tables were over by the other comic guests including Misako Rocks! (Savage Love) and Fred Gallagher (MegaTokyo), and we were also joined by our good friend Josh Elder (Batman Strikes, Mail Order Ninja).

Around 1pm, I was escorted to the stage in the Hyatt for Opening Ceremonies. All of the guests are invited and encouraged to attend, even though the event tends to start a little late. Unfortunately because of that late start, Josh and Steve had to step out to get to a panel that they were both on, and since Russell wanted to stay on the floor to sell, it made me the resident comic guy at the show.

Behind the stage I met some cool people, including the band members of the Spoony Bards, many of their members being from Chicago. They even invited me to one of their shows this coming weekend, but I digress.

So while Vic Mignogna is on the stage, I’m told that I’ll be next. Suddenly a very cold sweat hits me – one of the most popular people at the show is on stage, and I have to follow his act. Thankfully, our speeches were separated by the announcements of the missing comic creators.

I came out when my name was called, looking out at a good thousand plus people in the audience. The lights mostly obscured my vision, so I couldn’t count exactly, but I could tell that the room was filled. The amazing thing was that the clapping that welcomed me wasn’t just polite and sparse – but a roar from the crowd!

“So I guess they selected me to represent the comic creators at this show,” I said. “Which means we’re all in some kind of trouble.”

(pause)

“Just kidding, the rest of the guys are at a panel right now.”

Opening Ceremonies

After informing the crowd about my panel schedule for the weekend, and why they should stop by and buy my stuff, I exited the stage and watched a few more presenters before returning to the floor.

I met fans and sold my heart out until my first panel of the weekend, Marketing and Advertising your Comic at 5pm. For what promised to be an education (and therefore less entertaining) panel, a good chunk of people showed up. Many were actually looking to promote something other than a comic – some even just looking to get into marketing or advertising as a career – and I tried to keep the panel as open as I could. Come Q&A time, the questions went flying. Thankfully, I was able to follow up with some of the people after the panel ended to make sure that they walked away with satisfying answers.

I went back to the floor with just enough time to pack up the table, and then the group of us went to dinner at the O’h restaurant again (at the behest of one of the convention coordinators). After dinner, we returned to the green room for relaxing and drinking. I met one of the con liaisons and we ended up playing DJ Hero (which I suck at), and then went to the rave (where we watched some 16 year olds in a sweaty “hump train”), and then back to the green room for one last drink of the evening before bed.

Saturday would be the big day, and I didn’t want to miss a moment of it!

To be continued…