Shortly before the convention, I had a deadline to finish inking Stone #2 for Avalon Studios, and I made it just a few days before I left. I even inked the cover to Wolverine #143 over Leinil Francis Yu in the meantime. I spent the last few days preparing, packing and making many lustful (I wish) goodbyes to my girlfriend. I would miss her, but I was also eager to go, excited at the thought at being in America once again. I had planned on going first to San Diego for the con, go to Detroit for a Bruce Springsteen concert, and then off to New York for some serious sightseeing.
After a 2-and-a-half hour delay at the airport due to "mechanical problems", my plane finally left the Philippines at 11 in the morning. And due to a time zone quirk, I arrived in San Diego on the same day, at 3 in the afternoon, seemingly a nice 4 hour trip. Not so. I was in fact travelling for more than 26 hours. I hadn't had any sleep, I was tired and my stomach was going ballistic and I needed a bathroom real quick. I arrived at my hotel, the Ramada Inn/St. James Hotel at the Gaslamp District at around 3:30 pm. After an hour-long bath, and inspite the fact that I was dead tired, I was so excited at finally being in America again that I immediately went out to see downtown San Diego. One of the first things I looked for is a place where I can find some phonecards so I can call home and to my girlfriend who was by this time going nuts waiting for a call. And I was right! he.he. I then went to the nearby Horton Plaza Shopping Center and just basically looked around and window shopped for the next several hours. I got several gifts for my family at Sam Goody's and looked around for an internet cafe, if there was one. One thing that I noticed about San Diego, and later New York, is that there are probably more internet cafes in Manila, heck, even here in San Pablo, then there is in San Diego or New York. And this was confirmed by comics artist Rafael Kayanan whom I would meet later in New York. He said that there was really no need for internet cafes because practically everyone has a computer and they're all online. Having cafes would be extremely redundant. And yeah, I guess that's true.
Exhaustion and sleepiness
finally took over me and I woke up at 10:30 in the morning. I called Brian
Haberlin at his phone and left a message in his machine that I was there
and if Avalon needed me to help out set up the booth, I asked him to just
let me know. I did some more sight seeing during the day and by 5
in the afternoon, I headed off to the Convention Center to get my badge.
Convention Day 1
coudn't sleep the whole night because of jetlag, a problem that I would
have for my entire stay in San Diego. Just as I was about to
fall asleep at 2:00am, a phone call woke me up. It was fellow Filipino
and Wolverine artist Leinil
Francis Yu. He has finally arrived in San Diego from the Philippines
and he was already downstairs at the hotel lobby. We were to
share that room at the Ramada for that night. I was expecting him much
earlier but things got late that he arrived only then. It seems I won't
be getting much sleep this day either.
Convention Day 2
the picture on the left is Brian Haberlin
working the Avalon/Artis booth. Right next to him in the dark pink shirt
is Deadpool and X-Men writer Joe Kelly,
who is at Avalon writing M-Rex,
his new creator owned book. Beside him is Aaron
Sowd, inker of the book and beside
him is Duncan Rouleau,
penciller of the book. I met
all of them at the start of the day and all of them were extremely nice.