Thursday, July 20, 2006

My Erlangen Diary part 4

It seems we are in an episode of Flash Gordon since scientists have now discovered that a death ray from mars is responsible for the devastating heat wave of the last few days. well, they didn´t call it exactly a death ray but that´s what it really is. And like always it just shows that german people really don´t know how to handle heat.

You want heat ? You can´t handle the heat !

Yeah, doing impressions via internet really sucks. Anyway, I remember this one joghurette comercial about putting the chocolate bars into the fridge so they don´t melt during summer. Dude, that´s like.....common sense. But there are lot of other things to write about. Luckily at work I´m at the moment cleaning up the basement where it is convieniently cool. Now, for this post I thought it is high time to wrap up my Erlangen diary. Maybe it is not so interesting anymore but it´s the duty of the chronicle to to leave no gaps in history and maybe some of the readers want to know how it all turned out. I don´t have very extensive notes for the last two days but nevertheless I´m trying to piece it together as best as I can. As you may remember we had finished with the second day where I had stood in line for hours without any success and now Saturday was coming. The day of the big comic flea market.


I awoke pretty early this morning and started to get my swimming trunks. Yesterday we met the MOSAIK fans from Leipzig and since we have a pool at the hotel we decided to meet there in the morning. To swim a few laps and get the body working. So I put on my swimming trunks and went down to the pool only to discover it was closed. I went to the hotel manager and he was kind enough to open it for me. At first the water was very cold but after a few minutes it was refreshing and relaxing. I swam a few laps and was just ready to call it quits when the MOSAIK guys arrived. So I stayed in the pool and we were fooling around and having a lot of fun. When I finally left the pool I was relaxed and wide awake. There are few better ways to start the day than taking a quick dip in a pool ( and very few that don´t involve Halle Berry or Beyonce, or both ) and the bonus is you can storage the experience. If you know that the day is going to be hot, just take one moment and stay absolutely still. Don´t move an inch and just float in the water. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. Feel the coolness of the water around your body and make a mental recording. And during the day when it is really hot and you are standing in line and sweating like a pig just close your eyes for a moment and relive the moment. You will feel a little cooler and relaxed in a minute.

After the pool we met at the breakfast table were we had a nice conversation. It turned out that the guys from Leipzig had their own MOSAIK fanzine but I don´t recall if it was their first time in Erlangen. I finished breakfast ( this time I ate some Nutella since I would need the calories later ) and went to our room to wake my brother. While he did his morning routine I prepared my suitcase for the day, taking out the comics I had bought yesterday. If you go to a comic convention you just need a suitcase with wheels because no matter how many comics you buy after a few hours they will weigh a ton. And you can keep all the important things for standing in line ( like a water bottle, some music and other comics to read ) in it. And stasnding in line was just what I had decided to do. Yesterday I had no luck with my sketch from Humberto Ramos but since the numbers we got were still good I took my chances. But the signing was not sceduled to start before noon so I had a few hours to waste at the flea market. Which is the first thing I did. My brother again took his camera equipment and split faster than you can say : Holy cameracrew, Batman !

It was really hot outside despite the fact that a strong wind was blowing but a lot of people were kneedeeep in comic boxes nevertheless. I searched for a few hours and found some stuff. Some BATMAN ADVENTURES issues, the last missing issues of GREEN LANTERN - MOSAIC, some early Paul Pelletier issues of OUTSIDERS ( some of which I already had ), issues 1 to 16 of ATARI FORCE all for 50 cent each ( which has some fabulous early Jose Luis Garcie Lopez art ), the missing NEW AVENGERS issue, the first five issues of JUSTICE by Doug Braithwaite and Alex Ross and the JSA classified issues also by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez ( one of which was defect )- I already wrote about the story and art in an earlier post.

Then I decided that it was time to go inside and the first thing I did was pass by the table of the SCHWARZER TURM. I sat down to relax a little since it had been exhausting to walk around in the heat all this time. No wait, this was the second thing I did. The first thing I did was to go to the booth of Andi´s Comic Express where I bought the first half of the JSA issues because the dealer outside had only the second half ( I had seen the first half of the story yesterday ). Then as I wrote I sat of the table of SCHWARZER TURM where I waited for the signing to begin and helped out a little selling comics and restocking issues on the table. After a while we ran out of change money so I went to look for a bank like the Kreissparkasse or Volksbank but being Saturday they were of course all closed. Luckily Holger Bommer from AMIGO COMICS changed some of the bills. We met during my brother´s first big comic project EINSAME SEELEN ( LONELY SOULS ) and he´s just a nice guy. I stayed at the table till an hour before the signing and then went to take my place in line.

There is not much to tell about the time I stood in line. I was just reading some comics, drinking water and looking at all the cartoon books at the CARLSEN booth. But I finally got my turn to get a sketch from Mr. Humberto Ramos himself, who is much cooler than he appears on pictures. He made a sketch of Jenny Ognats a.k.a. XS, Impulse´s cousin from the future, for me and since he´s from Mexico we talked a little about his time in Germany and how long his stint on Wolverine would be ( for all who want to know : six issues ) and stuff. I had brought some comics to sign but since there were so many people in line and I was happy to finally have my Jenny sketch I gave him three comics to sign : the REVELATIONS hardcover I had bought to get the sletch, IMPULSE 4 which was the first comic by him I ever got ( he was a little surprised that it was not issue 1 I wanted signed ) and WOLVERINE 42 which was his latest work. I think he liked the idea to have them both signed, two issues from opposite sides of his artistic spectrum, so to speak. I thanked him and made way for the next guy in line. Man, I was a happy camper, let me tell you. The next thing I did was heading down to the stairs, listen to some music of RedJazzRadio on my new mp3player while taking a quick siesta and then to oogle at my sketch for the next fifteen minutes. I had finally done it. This had been the main reason for coming to Erlangen and I did it. So now I was free to do whatever I wanted. Wow. If I ever find out how to work the scanner I will put a picture of the sketch up. Promise.

The rest of the day I wandered around and looked at some comics and talked to some other comic freaks. I met the guys from Leipzig who ( of course ) were waiting in line at the MOSAIK booth to get some sketches and we talked a little. I passed the PANINI COMICS booth were they were doing their version of the circus games of the roman coliseum to decide who would get a sketch from Olivier Coipel or some other big name artist. The CASE CLOSED artist was supposed to have arrived but since there was no chance of me getting a sketch or something it did not pique my interest. At the PANINI selling table they had big softcoveer editions of the CROSSGEN comics which contained the first 15 ( !!! ) issues for ten bucks and they looked so good I almost bought them. I had to remind myself that I had already spent too much money and that I already owned all the issues - except the MYSTIC series. Maybe there will be another chance to get some of these trades at the COMIC ACTION because they just make perfect birthday or christmas presents. Later I wandered a little around and found the issues 3 to 12 of John Byrne´s SUPERMAN BATMAN : GENERATIONS III. Since I was in some kind of rediscovery of John Byrne at that time ( and still am as a reader of BLOOD OF THE DEMON and the FANTASTIC FOUR : VISIONARIES compilations ) I decided to buy them even if the first two numbers were missing. I had read the first two parts of GENERATIONS and although it was not the holy grail artistically it was still solid art and the stories were highly entertaining. I really like all tipe of Elseworld, What IF-, parallel world, mirror universe type of story. Later I got the first two issues from blackdog but I still haven´t gotten around to read them. So I can´t tell you how the story is. I also have read the Green Arrow issues I got but I will make a seperate post about them when i have read the issues of the new Green Arrow series so I can compare them ( maybe even throw in a quick analysis of the Kevin Smith / Brad Meltzer issues ).

After the end of the convention day I drove back to the hotel. My brother went to the Max - and Moritz gala which is the big award gala of Erlangen so I had to drive myself. There was not much traffic so i arrived safe and sound at the hotel without too many detours. Since I had already gotten something to eat at the local Burger King I didn´t have to go out to eat. I drank a Coke from the hotel and slept till half past nine. I was really tired from all the latest nightly activities. After waking up I zapped through the cannels and finally decided to watch the second part of STEEL starring Shaquile o´Neil. Whenever I watch the movie I wonder why they let out his original origin story. It would be a much better film and if it was too expensive to mention Superman in the movie you can also do it without really saying or revealing that it was Superman who inspired John Irons to become a superhero. While I was watching the end my brother came back from the gala which apparently was not the highlight he had hoped. The show was very boring and afterwards you even had to pay for the food and drinks. Let me tell you one thing : if you pay 22 bucks for the ticket that should include food and drinks especially if the show sucks. Otherwise people will feel ripped off. We quickly went sleeping and that was the end of the third day in Erlangen.

I´m off to make some food now. I don´t know if I will post some more of my adventures as we come to the last day in Erlangen.

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