Unshelved comic strip for 4/1/2007

Ask Maridee

Today's Unshelved Book Club is brought to us by guest cartoonists Scott and Georgia Ball of Ask Maridee. Maridee is a charming young woman whose level of self-absorption is put to shame by her friends and coworkers. The Balls, a married couple, are trained animators. Georgia does the writing and coloring, Scott does the illustration, and they both make me sick with how talented they are. Our thanks for this great guest strip.

We experimented with guests for the weekday strips last year. It was fun seeing our characters through the different eyes, but we got a lot of feedback from folks who were downright confused. I think guest Book Clubs work a lot better, and have the bonus attribute of introducing both a new book and a new comic strip. I'm looking forward to publishing more of these. Let us know what you think.

ECCC, day one

First of all, can I just say how nice it is to have two conferences in a row in our home town? Everything has just been so much easier. Of course a lot of that is also due to our fabulous store manager Jana, who did all the heavy lifting (literally) to set up the booth Friday. Everyone should have a Jana. But you can't have ours.

This show has really grown up. I went a couple of years ago and it was, to be honest, a bit of a rinky-dink affair. Things have changed. It's bigger, it's better, the guests are more impressive, and the crowds are thicker. But not too thick, and therein lies the charm of ECCC. It is still, and will probably remain for some time, a smaller and more informal affair than the major shows like Comic Con International. That show is so big that it's impossible to see it all. And if you do find your favorite creator the line will probably be around the block. At ECCC there were lines, but they were doable.

For our part the more intimate scale of ECCC means we get to meet lots of folks who have the time to check out new things. So they were introduced to Unshelved (and vice-versa) and more than a few went home with a book, t-shirt, or both. We've also met a large number of fans, including a few who came to the show primarily to see us. That's about the nicest compliment we could get. I'm also impressed with how many people came large distances to attend ECCC, including one couple from Florida.

After the show we hosted a small BBQ at our house with some cartoonists friends. Cartooning is a lonely profession, and it's nice to get a chance to talk to our peers and, in this case, show off our little operation. Terry Moore was particularly wowed by my Cintiq, which I think means his wife Robyn will never talk to me again.

Sunday will likely be more of the same. I'm looking forward to being on the webcomics panel with Penny Arcade's Robert Khoo, Starslip Crisis' Kristofer Straub, Evil Inc.'s Brad Guigar, and PVP's Scott Kurtz, who are, respectively, smarter, funnier, taller, and more talented than I. On the plus side I am older than all of them, possibly combined.

This Unshelved strip

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