Friday morning I got up and found a message on my phone from Constance. She had seen my message online about the chair with the mystery stains on it, and had gone downstairs to complain to management about it on my behalf. This was super sweet of her (so much for that low maintenance status I was going for), and I thanked her and ran downstairs to the gym. The room was kind of small, but had everything you needed for a workout: bikes, treadmills, a few machines, and free weights. I went into lifting, and ran into a guy that works in Valiant’s Marketing Department. Valiant had a number of Harvey Award nominations this year, so he was very excited for the show. We got to chatting about cons, and then he broke off for the treadmill and I was joined by Joe Rivera – father to Paolo Rivera, a famous penciler. Joe was inking a lot of work for Valiant, and we got to talking about the con, the industry, and our mutual places where we live.

After a while, Howard Chaykin came in and he and Joe started chatting. I finished up my routine and headed off to the room to shower.

Now, I know I said there was a questionable stain, but upon going into the shower I also found a number of paint chips in the tub that were clogging up the drain. I quickly cleaned up, packed up my stuff, and went to the management desk to see if they could get me another room. They said they could, but wanted to inspect it first after what I had encountered. I said that was fine, and I would be by after the con to get the new key.

I headed to breakfast, sitting with Fred Van Lente and his wife, Dean Haspiel, and my good pal Paul Storrie. Our conversation last later than I had anticipated, so I headed straight for my room to grab my set up items, and then headed across the street to the convention center.

My table was in the Kids Pavilion (fitting, since Albert the Alien is for younger readers). I was next to two very incredible creators: one one side was Mark Stokes, and on the other was Alexis Frederick-Frost. Across from me was Justin Castaneda, Franco, and Jimmy Gownley. It was an incredible isle to be in, but also a lot more eye-catching talent than I consider myself to be!

The table is set up and ready to sell comics!

I made friendly with my table neighbors, all great guys, and eventually they let in the VIPs. Then the rest of the attendees. I was told this show used to be a 2-day show, and therefore adjusted my expectations for Friday traffic. It was Labor Day weekend, after all, I and hear there was a baseball game. But despite all that, the floor was quite packed! I kept selling to people as they passed by on their way to artist alley, introducing a lot of new readers to the books. People were in very high spirits, and were quite impressed with the Harvey nomination we received. I even ran into a cosplayer, Han Pan, dressed as a character from my buddy Alan’s Evan’s webcomic series Rival Angels.

Was visited by Han Pan, cosplaying as Ultragirl from Rival Angels

“What do you mean Brooke is your favorite character in Rival Angels?” She asked as he punched my lights out!

The show floor was only open for a handful of hours (kind of like a Preview Night), so after I headed back to the hotel to sort out my room situation. They hooked me up with another room (this time with no mystery stains), and then I headed out to dinner at Kona Grill. Since I was a last minute addition to the show, many people had already made dinner plans – while I didn’t want to impose, so I headed out solo.

Dinner at Kona Grill – macadamia nut chicken

After dinner I met up with my old high school friend, Katie Cook, and we had some drinks down at the bar. A gentleman (who had had a few already) was kind enough to buy us our first round, and we chatted him up for a bit before slipping away to a booth and catching up. I hadn’t talked to her in any meaningful way for a long time, and it was good to reconnect and talk about how different our lives are now versus when we used to hang out in art class.

After a few hours, they closed the bar so everyone headed upstairs for more drinks. I ran into Paul Storrie and Justin Jordan, chatted for a bit, but then called it a night early – because it was only day one, and the next night would be a late night. AND the Harveys….

The view from the Pieces room, top of the hotel