I just got back from the CGS Super Show over this past weekend in Reading, PA. For those of you that aren’t aware, CGS stands for Comic Geek Speak and is an awesome podcast about everything you would want to know about comics. They release episodes like madmen, often one a weekday and have a great forum that hosts many other podcasts and indie comic titles.
Please be warned, this is going to be a moment by moment account of this past weekend.
Friday morning I woke up, packed, grabbed some lunch and picked up Stev around 1:30. Using the handy GPS that Bing let me borrow, we arrived without incident to the Days Inn – Reading by 3:00pm.
As we got out of the car, Stev went to have a cigarette and who was standing outside but none other than Buzz. I knew of Buzz from the CGS Podcast but didn’t know anything else about him. He is a real nice and hilarious guy. I introduced myself and we talked and laughed about the con a little bit before he headed inside.
After our run in with Buzz, we checked in and headed up to the room. The room was a decent size for the price with two big beds. Really there’s nothing more I would need for the weekend other than a place to keep my stuff and a place to sleep. I thought the room was pretty darn good until I stepped into the shower. Now I’m a pretty tall gent, my height is anywhere from 6’4” to 6’5” (depending on how short the person measuring me is) but I’m not the tallest guy ever. There are plenty of people taller than myself and many more that are shorter. The problem I have though is that the shower head came to the middle of my chest. I wish I were exaggerating when I tell you this but, alas, I am not.
Stev and I have some time to kill before we are going to meet everyone over at Third and Spruce, so we play a couple games of Vs and Stev gives me the quick refresher course on how the game is played.
It’s about 6:30 so we decide to head out to the bar early so we can get a table for food. We get there and I finally get to meet Bryan, head of the CGS crew. We get our Super Show pint glasses and head over to a table and order, as the place is pretty empty. After getting and eating our sandwiches, the place is pretty jumping. Wayne and Bruce ask us if they can sit down to eat their food and we all start chatting.
I may have forgotten to mention at this point that I am a complete n00b when it comes to comic books. I was completley frightened that it would come to that uncomfortable silence when they realize that you have no idea what they are talking about. Thankfully, we talked about stuff other than comic books! Like Kids in the Hall, Jim Dale vs Stephen Fry and other geek essentials. After a couple hours, Bruce left our table and with him so did everyone that came just to talk to him. As it turns out, Bruce is kinda a big deal. He hosts KomicsKast and everyone from writers and artists on comics to the geeks themselves came over to say hello to him and through him we met a lot of people.
Once Bruce left we sat at our table for a little while but since we wanted to get an early start on Saturday we decided to head back to the hotel early. When we got back to the hotel, I went up to the room and flipped on the TV to watch before I fell asleep. Stev waited back to grab another cigarette before heading up for the night.
Steve came back to the room and instead of getting into his bed, he started going through his bags pulling out Magic cards. He told me Vince B (from 11 o’clock comics fame) and his buddy Marty were downstairs playing in the lobby. So we both ran down to play some Magic.
We played until about 2:15am, then just started chatting. Stev headed up to the room because he was tired but I stuck around joking with the guys. Soon more geeks from the Third and Spruce meetup started showing up at the hotel very, very drunk. We all joked around and Vince started telling us funny stories about when he used to work in a Burger King. It was a great time and I pretty much lost all the shyness that I had towards the rest of the people attending the con after that night.
With the urgency as if the building were about to go down in flames we get up, get ready, grab a bagel from the free breakfast buffet and tear off to the convention center. The show is slated to open at 10am sharp with pre check-ins starting at 9am. The first 100 people to recieve a goodie bag get two free trade paperbacks so Stev and I arrive at the convention center at 8:30am. We were the only people that weren’t setting up tables there.
Lucky for us, the convention center had some DAMN comfy couches to sit on until 9am rolled around and we got our goodie bags. Then we went back to the couches and sat looking through our bags until 10am when the show started.
When we walked in Stev made a beeline to the $0.50 comic boxes which from what I heard everyone else did too. My first purchase of the day was made over at Harold and Wayne’s table. You may remember Wayne from the Stealing My Genius blog I posted a while ago. I was there to pick up copies of his M.I.M.E.S. book and CGS The End book. I also picked up my first sketch of the con. It’s a steampunk Batman drawn by the very talented Harold Jennett (you can see the sketch below in the Lewt section.
After picking up my comics and talking to Harold and Wayne about Action Mime for a while I wandered off to the InStockTrades booth to look for the Star Wars Legacy vol 1 book. After hearing Vince B highly reccommend the book, then the CGS guys having it as their book of the month for September I just knew I had to get it. I looked and looked through the Star Wars box of trades they brought but couldn’t find it!
My next stop was over to Dave Wachter’s table to pick up his Guns of Shadow Valley con preview book with free head sketch! I had been looking forward to getting this book for a long time, being a fan of the Western genre, and the gimmic of it being in landscape mode really brings out that wide open country feeling that you get when you watch a good western movie.
After visiting Dave, I stopped by Katie Cooks table to pick up my steampunk Batman sketch but demand for her sketches were very high and she didn’t get them all done before showing up at the con.
Stev and I decided to take a break and head over to the mall and visit Golden Eagle Comics. Golden Eagle is pretty much the thing that brought everyone in CGS together from either working there or being a loyal customer. It was very cool to finally see the store that I’ve heard so many great stories about and it was also very sad. Lem, the shops owner, died earlier this year and it really hit the community hard. It was nice to see his sons working at the shop (even though at the time I didn’t realize that they were his sons). We hit up the pizza place in the mall and then headed back to the convention to see the live taping.
We got back with just enough time for me to head back to the InStockTrades table and grab the Star Wars book I had been looking for. It was on the main display table! I’m sure glad that I hadn’t asked if they had any copies because there were about 10 right there! After that I left to grab a spot to watch the live show. You can all download the show from the CGS website. Some stand out moments from the show would have to be:
Finally seeing what all the geeks actually look like! I’d have to say the biggest suprise for me would be Pants. With all the trips to Golden Corral and triple helpings of steak I thought he would be a bit bigger around the middle.
Paul French’s “Super Show Song” it was great! Very funny, good going Paul!
Charlito’s puppet musical. I don’t think I’ll ever view Peter and Bryans in the same light again!
- The tribute to Lem. Very fitting and moving that instead of a moment of silence we had a moment of joy. He brought all the geeks together and the geeks brought us all together, without him we would all be still in our basements reading comics, afraid to let our geek flag fly.
After the show was over, Stev and I headed over to the WaWa for some grub then back to the hotel to buy some time & relax before we headed out to The Works for the meet up with the rest of the gang.
We arive to The Works late, cause that’s money. Actually it’s because we already ate dinner and didn’t want to buy some crazy expensive crappy bar food. I don’t think we actually stayed for more than an hour. I got a bottle of beer, walked around and checked out the arcades. Got a 20 credit game card and played 1 arcade game. After Stev and I pretty much had our fill of The Works we went back upstairs to see if anyone was done eating dinner yet to hang out. Lousy service ment no one was doing much other than complaining about being hungry and not eating.
Met up with Ian there and told him we were headed out, we all agreed that this place sucked but they had to still wait for their food. Ian invited us back to his hotel room later that night as they were going to record their podcast. So on the way back to the hotel, Stev and I stopped off at the beer store and grabbed a bunch and then went to the target and I bought a cooler (which I had been meaning to do for some time) to keep them cool.
We showed up to the infamous room 206 where we found Ian and Raph setting up something much more than I had expected. Instead of using a little mini-disk recorder with a cheap microphone plugged in, they had a full set up with microphones and a laptop to record. We joked around for a while, waited for some more people to show up and we were off and podcasting. I have to say that I was just expecting to be part of the “studio audience” instead of actually being a full blown guest on the show so I kind of let my whole DJ’ing skills get rusty after graduating college. It was a lot of fun and we stayed up pretty late, recording about 2 hours worth of material and crazy stuff. A couple times throughout the podcast legit people came in and talked about actual issues but for the majority of the time, it was a bunch of guys drinking and making crude jokes.
After the podcast ended, we went back up to our room ready for the next day.
Thanks to blowing our cash on Saturday, Sunday was pretty quiet. We weren’t so gung-ho about getting to the convention early for anything so we got to take it easy. When we got into the convention we walked over to the Living Corpse guys. They were giving away the first three issues of their comic for free as well as a free sketch. In addition to the first three issues, I ended up buying the next three because the art style was really good and it seemed right up my alley. I got a kickass free sketch of Leatherface (shown below) as well!
After visiting the Living Corpse guys, Stev wanted to check the $0.50 boxes again and I saw there was a guy that looked like he was doing sketches of muppets. I walked over and realized that they were sketches of stuffed bears as super heroes and they were free! Stev asked for a Galactus in bear form and I asked for maybe the wackiest sketch of the convention so far. A rabid Lincoln bear. The Mumblepuss.com guy really did a great job, as you can see below and it’s one of my favorite sketches of the whole con. I also picked up a very nice steampunk Batman from Katie Cook, also pictured below, on Sunday.
The main event for Sunday was a suprise fight between Harold Jennett and Frank Rincon. Harold is the guy from M.I.M.E.S. and the one that drew my first steampunk Batman and Frank is a host on a podcast called Half Hour Wasted. It was great fun and I managed to get a pretty good video of it.
After the fight Stev and I hit the old dusty trail back to real life. I’ve never had so much fun hanging out with all these like minded geeks. Even though I wasn’t posting on the message board, didn’t know a lot about comics and being a con virgin this was a great time. I will be going back every year, without fail!