Wednesday, June 28, 2006

My Erlangen Diary part 3

As you have probably already noticed I didn´t get to post in the last few days. That is in part due to the fact that I was trying to free some space on my computer. Add to that the fact that I made the mistake to surf aimlessly so I ended up uploading tons of files and burning CDs left and right. Which has freed some GBs on my computer but which hasn´t helped with getting posts done for this blog.

The second reason is that I normally sleep a few hours directly after work because when I get home the computer is not always free so I take the chance to catch up on my sleep so I can post later. But in the last few days my brother insisted to let the sun in and let some fresh air into the bedroom - of course while I´m trying to sleep. This can´t be done in the seven hours BEFORE I get home or AFTER I´m done with sleeping. And it sure as hell it can´t be done when he´s alone there, sleeping and stinking up the room. I don´t know how it is with all you readers out there but I don´t sleep very good in a room that is bombarded with sunlight and a constant draft. When I was younger ( meaning very little, like when I was a little boy ) I had trouble sleeping with the lights out but over the years I got used to sleep in darker lit rooms. Now I can sleep best in absolute darkness and light just bothers me when I´m trying to sleep. Of course my brother has no such limitations being able to withstand the fiercest environment when he´s trying to sleep. No lights, no winds, no thunderstorms, no hail, no rain, no explosions, no earth quakes or apokalypses. I think it is not possible to wake him from sleep with conventional weapons. But enough of the deathlike state my brother enters whenever he sleeps ( the only thing that partly resembles this it the " odin sleep " of Marvel´s Thor comics ) and my sleep deprivation problems.

Just one last comment - in a case of an attack by aliens on earth and the following enslavement through mindcontrol I would be the only eartling who is immune to it. Sleep deprivation, changing the daily routine constantly, malnutrition, not getting enough water to drink, being constantly bombarded with insults and / or propaganda and undergoing grueling work ? Dude, that´s my daily bread and butter. Like Rick Jones once said : Try counting to one billion in the negative zone without going crazy.

But I really should get to the next part of my Erlangen diary since I´m not sure how often I will get to post in the next two weeks. The rest of my family will be in Spain on vacation which means that I will finally be able to get the comics back into my desk, label my videos and watch all the tv shows I have been taping like the last season of 24 ( which was shown like six months ago ) and six videos of CASE CLOSED. Since my brother will only be gone for only two weeks this will be my only chance to catalogue my videos and get them in order. So I guess I will spend the next two weeks in front of the VCR and trying to get as much done as is humanly possible without collapsing - leaving me no time for the column. So I want to post as much as I can this week between my preparations for next week. The first two things I will be doing this weekend after the rest of my family has left will be buying and drinking water till it comes out of my ears and making and eating one big salad ( meaning a real salad with green salad leaves in it and tuna fish and feta cheese - not just some tomatoes and cucumber and calling it salad ). So without wasting any more time let´s get to the next day of my diary :


Today I awoke at six o clock. We didn´t have any showering gel with us so I washed myself with the soap and a small pack of dove showering gel that the hotel provided us with. Which worked out pretty good. At the breakfast I finally saw the pool, which according to my brother is just as big as the pool in Spain. Since I haven´t seen that much of it because on my last visit to Spain it was constantly raining I had to take his word for it. For breakfast I had spiced ham and salami and no jam or nutella this time. After finishing breakfast I woke my brother and emptied the comics I bought yesterday from my suitcase. While my brother ate his breakfast I read the new issue of DIE KLEINEN MUTTERFICKER and then we drove to the Kongresszentrum where the convention was held. This time we found it rather fast but we were a bit early and had one hour till the con opened again. After half an hour the shopping mall near the Kongresszentrum, Galeria Kaufhof, opened and me and my brother took turns to buy the most important thing for the next days in Erlangen.

Which in his case was showering gel ( which he later on forgot in the car so we ended up using the small packs of gel from the hotel for the rest of our stay ), tooth paste, deo spray, water and - socks ! That´s right, socks. My brother has this strange obsession with buying socks whenever he gets the chance...which from his account stems from the fact that I never buy any socks. But that´s only because he buys enough socks for both of us and I normally spend most of my money on important things like comics. He wanted to share the water with me but I bought my own because he had only two bottles of water and I need one bottle of water per day at minimum. He bought some cheap water anyway that did not taste that good ( of course I sampled it before I went to buy my own ) so I decided to pay a little more and get some Volvic water with just a taste of orange and apple. The orange had a bitter aftertaste but apple was okay.

Since I bought way to much comics yesterday ( and the big comic fleamarket hadn´t even taken place since it was scheduled for Saturday ! ) I decided to try and get some sketches ( yesterday I got a sketch of Charon by Levin Kurio and a sketch of Aische and one of the little motherfuckers by the Dinter brothers ). At first I went to the table of SCHWARZER TURM where I had a quick chat with Robi ( comparing our t - shirts again ) and then went to the CARLSEN booth to ask how the requirements were to get a sketch from Humberto Ramos who was one of the main reasons I went to Erlangen and got a number for Ralf König. You always have to ask what you have to do to get a sketch which was one of the reasons why I didn´t even try to get some sketches from the PANINI booth since their requirements are like a mix between SURVIVOR and the LAS VEGAS GAMBLING TOURNAMENT.

If you don´t know Ralf König you probably don´t leave the house very much, he´s this guy ( or gay which term you like better ) who draws this hilarious comics about gay people. It doesn´t matter if you are pro gay or anti gay but his comics are ( the ones I read anyway ) damn funny because he´s just a master of situation comedy and timing always focusing on how strange the customs of heterosexual people must look to gays. A few of his comics have been adapted to film like DER BEWEGTE MANN or WIE DIE KANICKEL. Sorry, I don´t know the american titles. Anyway he´s know everywhere and I know his comics are translated to spanish by LA CUPULA and his stuff has appeared in comic magazines like EL VIBORA ( kind of the spanish version of HEAVY METAL ) which sadly has been canceled this year. So he´s pretty famous and I decided to get in line for a sketch while waiting for the start of the signing of Humberto Ramos. I had a quick exchange with the master ( I asked which comic was his latest one since everybody in line had a different book to sign ), got a nice sketch and a number for Humberto Ramos. My number was 39 so I didn´t expect to get a sketck at the first day but there were two signings sheduled for the following days so I counted on getting one eventually. I mean I especially bought the REVELATIONS hardcover from to get a sketch. Not that I minded, the art was mind blowing and I didn´t have the american issues, but it would be extra plus good to have it signed. I already counted on having to purchase it to get a sketch which ( as I mentioned in one of my earlier postings ) is one of the reasons I stop buying new comics published in Germany six months before Erlangen.

Since I had some time before the start of it I went looking for some comics and found the booth of Andi´s Comic Express where I gave them a big thank you for saving my comic collection and where I looked at the trades of Mike Grell´s JON SABLE trades. I didn´t buy them because I have to buy them one at a time because of my tight budget but I hadn´t had a chance to see the actual trades and I don´t like to buy comics without seeing them first. But I bought two issues of Kelley Jones´run on BATMAN. Then I went around the vendor tables buying some comics and went on to the signing. I stood in line for two and a half hours ( it was supposed to go for two hours but Humberto decided to add an additional 30 minutes ) but I didn´t get a sketch. At the end of the signing the people of CARLSEN told the remaining people in line that the numbers of today would be valid for tomorrow. The best thing about waiting in line for a sketch is talking with other fans and comparing the sketches from your sketchbooks. The worst thing is that you always are next to a person who loves all the comics you hate. In my case it was a die hard fan of the Ennisher. After the end of the signing for today I was pretty exhausted so I went to the stairs near the entrance where some pillows were spread out and a monitor was showing clips from animes. I sat down, listened to my jazztracks and made some notes into my diary ( by the way there IS a new episode online of RedJazzRadio - link in the link section of this blog ) which were the last ones I could make of this day and the next so for the rest of the second day and the third day I have to rely on my memory which is not sooo good.

If my memory is correct at the end of the day I met up with my brother only to find out that while I was pretty tired and only wanted to get back to the hotel as quick as possible he insisted on going to the meeting of the Comicforum, a german online message board. We had no idea where it was taking place but with the address and a city map of Erlangen I managed to get us there without many detours. Altough I was initially against it ( and the fact that my brother drank too much beer for my taste ) it was really nice. Of course I sat next to a femal gambit fan but as the night progressed we had a really good time the discussions getting more absurd and funny as the meeting progressed. During one of the conversations I realized that Gambit is in fact the Kenny of the X - Men, which in hindsight is one more reason for Marvel to let me write an X - Men comic because I promise to kill him off in the worst way possible in every issue. Now before you dismiss the idea of Gambit as the X - Men´s Kenny just think about all the things they have in common : nobody understands them because they have a speech impediment ( Kenny´s coat and Gambit´s accent ), they both come from poor white trash families, both wear stupid coats and their death is highly entertaining.

Afterwards we went to the SCHWARZER RITTER with a few of the Comicforum people. There was not much room at the table so I sat down at the next table where some time later three other comic fans ( two guys and a woman ) joined me. We got to talk and I found out that they were MOSAIK fans who had come all the way from Leipzig to the convention. The woman was especially impressed that I, as a superhero comic reader, knew who the ABRAFAXE were and we had a good exchange till another guy sat down at our table who was weird at the beginning ( I am always suspicious of people who start singing without any apparent reason ) and who got really annoying over a short period of time. He was really starting to insult the guys from Leipzig till we told him to shut up. After being thrown out he even tried to get back in but we all decided to call it a night and head back to the hotel.

The others wanted to call a cab but I insisted that they let us drive them because in our conversation we found out that we were staying at the same hotel ( what a coincidence ). Which sadly meant a long walk since our car was still where the meeting of the Comicforum had taken place. But we arrived at the hotel safe and sound where some of their friends were still up and we were introduced to them ( one of them was the husband of the woman ), had a short conversation but went to bed pretty quick.

So although I didn´t like the idea of going for some beers we met some nice, fellow comic fans. But I fear that´s all we have time for today. I hope I can post more of what happened the next two days in Erlangen tomorrow.

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