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Island graphic novelist attends Comic Con in San Diego

by Troy Little

Comic Con, the annual Mecca for pop culture in North America took place in San Diego this past July. This hedonistic playground of geekdom was attended by over 140,000 people, of which I was one.

Once upon a time this event was much smaller and geared strictly towards comics but it’s now been by and large taken over by Hollywood, TV and video game marketers, catering to all genres of pop culture. While they may be somewhat obscured in this stew, comics are still the hub and core of this monolithic event.

Troy at book signingOver the next five days I managed a few book signings, did some shopping, stayed up very late and met a lot of really amazing people. Attending an event like this reminds you that you are not alone in what you do. It’s a community of artists, writers and creators from all over having a rare chance to leave the isolation of work and connect with like-minded people. It’s both challenging and humbling to see the vast caliber of talent out there.

Comic Con hosts the coveted Eisner Awards show, the comic book equivalent to the Oscars. It was for this event specifically that I made my pilgrimage (special thanks to the PEICA for their assistance in that regards). My graphic novel Angora Napkin was nominated with four others in the category “Best Publication for Teens”.

On Friday night I found myself in line at the bar prior to the award show with the most likely winner of the award, Jill Thompson, standing behind me. I turned to her and offered to buy her a drink if she agreed to give up the Eisner (she has a few all ready) to the new guy. She’s a fiery red head, a tough competitor and has a twisted sense of humor. We conspire to have the losers rush the stage and steal the Eisner from the winner.

Finally, the show begins. The casts from the “Scott Pilgrim” movie walk on stage to announce the first few categories and give out awards. The second award of the night was for my category and for a brief, thrilling moment I thought…. What if I win?

Hearing “… And the nominees are: Troy Little for ‘Angora Napkin’, IDW Publishing” and seeing my book projected on the big screen was a very surreal moment, one I never really expected to happen. I felt very happy. The second nomination was “Jill Thompson & Evan Dorkin for ‘Beasts of Burden’, Dark Horse Comics” and the place erupted in cheers and applause. I turned to my publisher, laughing and said, “Oh well, it was a good run.”

As expected Jill took the Eisner and no one rushed the stage. I can happily and honestly say, “It was an honour just to be nominated” now. Although things turned out as I thought I felt strangely challenged; I made it to the Eisners! I could do it again….

I had a great time at the after party and practically leapt out of bed the next morning after only 4 hours of sleep, fired up the hotel coffee maker and immediately starting inking pages from my next book. Jill Thompson watch out, it’s so on.

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