San Diego Comic-Con: 2011 Edition!

2011 was my eighth San Diego Comic-Con International. It will certainly go down as one of my most memorable.

First of all, we scored a room at the Marriott. What a great hotel! And it's connected to the convention center, which is really convenient if you need to run next door and grab supplies or drop stuff off, or if you just need a few quiet minutes. Also, their pool rocks.

My friends at the Flight booth were generous enough to give me a few inches of table space, so I could have a place to sell Smile. It's also just great fun to hang out with everyone there! Such a talented, funny, friendly bunch of people. Flight just produced their 8th and final volume, so it was especially nostalgic. I'm so lucky I got to be involved with this project. And, the spinoff anthology, Explorer, will debut in March from Abrams Books--Dave and I will have a 16-page story in the book!

Dave signs Astronaut Academy at the :01 booth, while Vera Brosgol and Mark Seigel look on

Scholastic threw a party in honor of the 25th anniversary of Jeff Smith's Bone, and all of the Graphix authors were featured guests at the party. Considering Jeff is one of my biggest influences as a cartoonist, it was a humbling evening! And so much fun. A great many of my friends came, and we ate and talked late into the night. I signed books, took some pictures in the Photobooth, and enjoyed introducing my publishing friends to my comics friends. Worlds collide, in the best way.

At the Bone 20th Anniversary Party! The Hilton rooftop is a great party spot.

And of course the main reason I had to be at Comic-Con this year, was because I was nominated for an Eisner Award. Let's skip over the part where I was a nervous wreck, and the part where i got sunburned that afternoon and looked a little lobster-esque, and get right to the good stuff:

I won!!!!!

My category (Best Publication for Teens) came up second in the three-hour gala, so after giving my super-nervous acceptance speech, I was able to relax and enjoy the evening. And the rest of the weekend, for that matter.

Saturday I put my award on the Flight table with my book, and had a wonderful wonderful day! So many handshakes and congratulatory hugs and people asking if they could spin the globe on the award itself.

My one panel was a great time. As promised, I announced my new book title there. Here's that post, if you missed it!

Love & Comics panelists: Jason Shiga, Sheila Keenan, Amy & Kazu Kibuishi, Dave, Raina

Saturday evening, I attended another really fun Kidlit meetup--last year's event introduced me to so many talented people, and this year was no exception. Sadly, I have no photos, but it was a blast!

I was sold out of books by mid-day Sunday, so the last few hours of the con were spent chasing down friends on the show floor, eating tacos, and buying a few small but nice things (a Gallery Nucleus t-shirt by John Klassen, and a purse hook from Debbie Huey).

The show floor, from high above...

I owe a great many thanks to everyone who voted for Smile in the Eisners. I certainly wouldn't have come this far without the support of my friends and fans, and I'm grateful for each and every one of you. It means so much to me. The more diverse the comics industry gets, the greater by far.

Till next time, San Diego!

Raina Telgemeier