A list of everything I bought at the con:
Tim Biskup's "The Jackson 500 Volume 2" - I have volume one already and over the last few months, I've become a huge fan of Biskup's work. I had to stop myself from buying everything at the table.
Javier Guzman's "Amalgamation" sketchbook - I fly all the way to San Diego and meet Javier Guzman, fellow Chicagoan and alumni of Lane Tech High School. Javier's style is awesome and I can't wait to hang with the man in our wonderful Windy City.
Dave Johnson's Full-color 2006 sketchbook - Released by Boom! Studios and coming in at $10, Johnson's second sketchbook benefits from the joys of color. Lots of sketches and finished pieces demonstrating Johnson's killer talent. And after speaking with Joe Casey, member of Man of Action, creators of Ben 10, the cartoon was greenlit for a fourth season. So we get to see even more of Johnson's designs in the future, which is always a good thing.
Ragnar's "Kings of the Road" and "Vernaculis" - Kings of the Road is " A cartoonumentary of a life on the road." It's a great-looking and well-packaged look at the folks Ragnar met during his cross-country travels. Highly recommended. Vernaculis is the follow-up to Ragnar's first artbook, Chromaphile. More awesome artwork...and less money in my pocket. But no complaints.
The Shadow - The first in a new series of trade paperback reprints of the original pulp novels. This one features two complete Shadow stories: "Crime, Insured' and 'The Golden Vulture." I'm a sucker for pulp fiction so this one was right up my alley.
Salem: Queen of Thorns - I was aware of this book because one of my favorite artists, Mike Hawthorne, is handling the art chores. But I had a chance to meet the writers at San Diego and they were pretty cool guys. They were debuting the preview issue and I was more than happy to purchase a copy. They also hooked me up with a Salem t-shirt. Sweet.
Rose and Isabel Volumes 1 and 2 - Written and drawn by one of my favorite creators, Ted Mathot, Rose and Isabel is "a story of two sisters who join the American Civil War to save their three brothers." I read both volumes on the flight home and believe me, it's a lot more than that. Surprises abound and the artwork is freakin' amazing. Thanks for the all the hard work, Ted!
Best of Draw! Vol. 1 - Lots of great, in-depth interviews with creators in comics and animation. Among industry pros such as Phil Hester, Klaus Janson, Bret Blevins, and Jerry Ordway, volume one of the "Best of" also features an interview with my hero, Samurai Jack creator Genndy Tartakovsky.
Comic Book Artist #11/Alex Toth - With his passing in the foreground of my mind, I've been trying to find out as much as possible about the late/great Alex Toth. This issue of Comic Book Artist was dedicated to the comics and animation legend and discussed his impact in those industries. It featured a breakdown of Toth's carreer, an autobiographical essay, interviews with creators that he inspired, and a checklist of his work.