Maryland Ren Fest, Tom Stoppard and SPX

Maryland Ren Fest: We took Katie for the first time since she was very small, and she loved it. She got to run around in a princess dress, get her face painted, get her hair braided, ride a pony, play in bubbles, and eat deep fried macaroni n’ cheese on a stick. I finally bought the boots I had been eying for five years. Unfortunately, it started to rain on us around 4 and it was not the sort of rain you can just wait out. We went back to my parent’s house and then we left Katie to spend the night.

Tom Stoppard: Once home, we watched a little Tivo and then watched the 1990 production of Tom Stoppard’s Rosenkrantz and Guildestern are Dead. I had forgotten how wonderful the dialogue is, how hot a young Gary Oldman was, and how much I enjoyed the artistic structure of the play. Unfortunately, I was falling asleep at the end but I still need to own a copy on DVD.

SPX: … and I went to SPX in the afternoon! I nearly exploded in the squee of happiness. I also have far less money but I have far more comic books. I cruised all the tables leaving behind a little trail of butterflies and rainbows in the air wherever I went. I did notice that, since the last time I went to SPX, the quality of the mid-tier comics has really picked up. Also, last time I went the porn – comics ratio was fairly high but this time actual comics outweighed the porn about 20:1. I still don’t have any interest in hand-drawn super-artsy books on xeroxes and stapled together. I like my books to be books and I’m enough of a snob that I do put a huge amount on production values. I also refused to buy anything I could get off the web trivially or pick up in a Barnes and Noble. I must support my favorite artists who are awesome! I ended up with a huge haul:

Never Learn Anything from History by Kate Beaton with a little drawn FAT PONY in the front cover;

Beards of our Forefarthers, Clever Tricks to Stave Off Death and the Annotated Wondermark, all Wondermark collections by David Malki!

To Afghanistan and Back by Ted Rall who drew a whole little Osama bin Laden for me on the front page;

Dignifying Science and Bone Sharps, Cowboys and Thunder Lizards by Jim Ottaviani. He was a little taken back by someone showing insane enthusiasm over his science comics but Two-Fisted Science was one of the best collections on 20th century science I had ever read. I was being evangelizing it to the Unsuspecting around me. He threw in a copy of Charles R. Knight: Autobiography of an Artist.

The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook by Eleanor Davis for Katie Rose. The production value on this book is spectacular and the whole team did a full color picture for Katie on the frontspiece.

From Top Shelf Books, a copy of the Surrogates (Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele) and VEEPS: Profiles in Insignificance by Bill Kelter and Wane Shellabarger. How was I supposed to pass up a book on Vice Presidents? You tell me that because I could not. I was beholden.

Sadly, all the books for Rice Boy were gone by midway through yesterday. But woo! Comics!

Now I must disappear to read.