Larry’s back! Larry’s back! OK, so he’s been back for a week and a half but things have been so hectic that I haven’t been able to post. You see, the San Diego Comic Convention was quite a whirlwind this year (no different from other years) but there’s been a lot more media attention about the convention which has made it a more viable marketing vehicle for mainstream entertainment. That means that the crowds are bigger and have more diverse interests (and expectations) than the core group of folks who have been going to SDCC for years. (NPR did an interesting report on this topic).

While I wasn’t able to attend, the booth was in the very capable hands of Larry, Pat Donley and Ash Aiwase.

There were over 139,000 people who flocked to San Diego and many thousands stopped by the AiT/Planet Lar booth to talk to Larry (who is quite the celebrity in his industry). More than 200 went to his Thursday evening panel on how to get your comic published –- an extension of the very popular book, TRUE FACTS, that he wrote on the same topic. As a result of all this hob-nobbing, Larry lost his voice in the first few days (which always happens and, knowing that, Glenn Farrington stopped by the booth with a bag of Riccola to help heal Larry’s voice!) and Larry came home with what we affectionately call the “Con Crud”. This year it seemed to only impact the poor man’s digestive system but the “Con Crud” is contagious and it passed to me in the form of a 5-day cold which was passed to Walker as a 2-day cold which has now passed back to Larry as an undetermined-number-of-days cold.

Other than developing the usual convention ailments, SDCC was very good to us. Larry had a new book out called THE BLACK DIAMOND and people were extremely complimentary — both fans and the Hollywood folks who flocked to our booth. (I’m thrilled for Larry because it is an excellent book but, also, the cover photo is one I took on a Sunday between pregnancy naps.) At the Eisner Awards (the Oscars for the Comics industry), one of our books, THE HOMELESS CHANNEL, was nominated and two of our creators, the twins from Brazil (Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba) who created a wonderful fairy tale called URSULA and drew SMOKE AND GUNS, won seven awards between them for their more recent work. During their thank you speeches, they made a point to thank Larry and me as very early supporters who took a chance and published their work (in the case of URSULA, just by hearing the storyline and seeing the book in Portuguese). To this day, it is one of the books I’m most proud of to have published (aside, of course, from Larry’s books).

We also had the opportunity to announce a deal we’ve done with Disney to have a feature film created based on MONSTER ATTACK NETWORK. The buzz really started after SDCC when the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER did a story on the news which was picked up by VARIETY, AIN’T IT COOL NEWS and a number of other media outlets. We’re not in production yet, but it’s really exciting. I look forward to visiting the set like we did for NOBODY when they were shooting the pilot for ABC Family (a book by Alex Amado for those of you Adobe-folk). However, that is a few years away and we hope visit the set of THE COURIERS next summer when that goes into feature film production. So, we have a few things going on and it’s wonderful to be able to talk about the Disney deal since we’ve been in communication blackout for some time. (Thanks to our lawyer, Ken Levin, and our producing partners, Kickstart Productions — Walker thanks them by sporting a KSP shirt and has become their mascot.)

I don’t want to gloss over the fact that I had a cold. Aside from being cranky that I wasn’t the one surrounded by throngs of comic fans but still got sick, there were two notable things.

  1. The cold only lasted for 5 days
  2. I got to take Cold Tylenol

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m not a very good sick-person. When I’m ill, I don’t take a day off to sit around drinking fluids and sleep. Even less inclined to do so since I became a Mommy. So, when I get a cold, I’m miserable in the beginning when my head is stuffy and my eyes are watery. I move more slowly and am fairly unpleasant to be around (both physically and personally). I’m thrilled after a few days when the cold migrates to my chest because while I still sound terrible, I seem to be able to handle it much better. However, the illness generally lingers in my chest for a week or more, causing me to forget what it feels like to breathe clearly… or not to speak like Demi Moore. But this time, oh this time, I was able to take Cold Tylenol. Please excuse me as I profess my love to what I attribute my rapid recovery.

How I missed you, Cold Tylenol! We were parted for so long because I was pregnant and then breastfeeding but now, Cold Tylenol, we can be together. I love your yellow color and your smooth oval shape. When I see you, I know I will be fine. I will feel better. I won’t have uncontrolled streams of gunk from my nose. I won’t feel like crawling under my desk and putting up a “do not disturb” sign. I won’t want to take a hostage if someone asks me to do the most simple thing. You are my hero. Thank you Cold Tylenol, for just being you.

Now, on to Walker news. He’s doing a lot more walking with his little push cart and has gotten great at maneuvering it around. For example, when he veers into the wall or a doorway he exclaims “Uh oh,” swings it in a different direction, and continues on his way. We’re also making it a point to make him walk holding our hands. He’s not been asking us for help on his own and so we’ve decided it’s time for him to understand that walking is the preferred method of locomotion and we can assist him with reaching this milestone. He’s also doing a bit more standing on his own. We trick him by getting him to stand and then to clap his little hands. After a few seconds, he’ll realize his ability to balance is the only thing keeping him upright and he’ll grab at the nearest stationary object.

Another observation about his locomotion — he moves enough now to a) get tired and b) sweat. Let me elaborate. Walker will be cruising around the house and decide that he’s done moving. Rather than just sit for a moment, he lies on his back across the floor and plays with whatever he has in his hands (he almost never crawls without something — his stacking rings, his cars, his trains, or his Bunny Foo Foo or Flat Frog). It is actually very adorable. Within a moment or two, he’s up and moving again. As far as the sweating goes, it’s not like he’s an athlete with beads of perspiration running down his face but Larry and I did notice that one day, he was doing a lot of particularly active crawling and standing and jumping, and when he came over for a hug, he was moist. We had a moist little guy. One day he’ll get all those hormones and his armpits and feet will smell like old cheese but today, he’s moist and sweet and it just makes me want to eat him up.

I’ve previously mentioned his love of music and he learned early to express his appreciation though vigorous applause. When we sing to him, he claps. When he plays his keyboard, he claps. He is so cute when he listens to the Polka CD, he always stops what he’s doing and claps at the end of the songs when he hears the audience applause. And now, he’s started to do the Walker dance. When he gets excited about the music he hears, he jumps up and down — high enough to get an inch or so between his little feet and the floor. Of course, he claps when he’s done. I’ve also spied him singing the “Itsey Bitsey Spider” to himself, complete with hand motions. He’s sooo advanced. (More teeth comin’ in too — three out of four molars and one more bottom front tooth to keep the “rodent teeth” company.)

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