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Minnesota Fan Fest 2017

August 30, 2017

So I did a fun thing. I went on an actual road trip out of state and managed to visit a new comic book convention. The Minnesota Fan Fest! And for a attendee, it was great. Great comic guests. Great deals on books from vendors. And if you don't like crowds well, that worked in your favor too.

From my understanding this is the first show for Fan Fest which ran for two days (Sat & Sun) August 19th & 20th. My wife Rachael and I pulled up to the venue shortly after the show started on Sunday. Not really a convention vibe outside. But anyway. Pulled into an adjoined car garage, and that was when I got worried. I wish I had taken a picture. The garage was almost totally empty, on every level. We parked and there were no signs pointing that we were even in the right place. Until finally at the end of a hallway did I see the Fan Fest logo with an arrow, signaling that we were indeed, at the right place.

A quick pass through security and we were there. Not a bad convention floor. I navigated through quickly to my one main goal. Artists alley. More importantly. This guy.

Dan Jurgens.

Writer/Artist of Superman #75 "The Death of Superman". The comic that got me into collecting comics. So yeah, he's kinda a big deal. In real life and to me personally.

Dan was setting up his table for the start of his day before I approached him. I was nervous and excited, cause they say you shouldn't meet your heroes. But Mr. Jurgens was super nice and awesome. I told him I drove from Kansas City to meet him and he mentioned that he was contacted by my local con to maybe be a guest for next year's show. It was nice to be able to drop names and talk to him on this. It's just cool to be able to do that.

I didn't mention my campaign to him. I just, I didn't want to sour the mood by even chancing it. I walked away with a photo with him and many books signed. I hope to see him again real soon in Kansas City. That would be great!

OH, but how there were many more comic book artists and writers in attendance to whom I did hand out Draw Me In fliers to. First off was Peter Tomasi. I told him how much I really enjoyed his writing. There are certain writers who just resonate with you and he was one that popped up on my radar long ago with DC. It was good to meet with him.

Sitting next to him was one of his more frequent collaborator's Patrick Gleason. Patrick had been a guest at Planet Comicon in Kansas City a few years back, so this wasn't the first time chatting him up. I handed him an updated flier and he said he remembered me. I mean, even if an artist is or isn't inclined to go out of his/her way to partake in my fanboy quest, it is at least nice to know that I can make a memorable impression. It's always a hard fine line to dance around meeting a creator and then turn around asking something of them. I want to stress the fanboy part first. It's about the love of comics!

Let's see, who else. Phil Hester. I should have a nice collection of pictures taken with him on my computer. As he should have a nice collection of my fliers. It's almost a running joke at this point. I see Phil all the time at shows everywhere. I believe he lives in Iowa which gives him a nice location to travel to some of these Midwest shows. I chatted up with him for a while, being nice to see a familiar face.

Stopped by to say hi to Gordon Purcell. Had him sign a Deep Space Nine and Gargoyles book he drew. Talked a little about Gargoyles. He had some original artwork and right on top was a page with a great likeness of Jonathan Frakes as Riker. Ugh. I kinda wish I'd bought it now. I'd be nice to have more money to spend on creators.

Francis Manapul. It was cool talking to him. The guy can draw. I mean, and to put a fine point on it... this two page spread specifically.

I mentioned my love of that spread, and that's when he told me this cool story about it. When the editor assigned him to work on Adventure Comics with Geoff Johns, Francis did a mock up story for it with four pages of artwork, just to see if it fell in line with the overall tone of the book. Geoff liked the pages so much that he wrote them into the story. They are the very first pages in issue #1. Including the two page spread above. That's badass.

Last on this guest list was Bob Layton. A guy whose work you might recognize on the iconic issue of Iron Man #128 "Demon in a Bottle". Bob was very friendly and engaged with my wife and I. Very nice guy.

With very little competition, it was easy to go through ALL the comics from the many exhibitors at the show. Got a lot of books and a lot of good deals. I had a good time and was glad I went.

Exhibit hall photos and cool swag pics can be seen after the page break:

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