Finally sorted out the technical difficulties that have slowed done my blogging. Sorry about that…back to Spain! The Vinetas desde O Atantico Festival kicked into high gear on the weekend. There are many outdoor exhibits and booths. Waiting to greet me on the mall was my old pal Tintin.
When I arrive at my signing there is a good crowd waiting.
In this picture you can see the young woman standing next to me behind the table. That's Elena, one of the translators who helped me tremendously at both of my signings not only with speaking to people, but name spelling and even crowd control. Thanks, Elena!
This guy brought all the old b & w Cartoon Books volumes. I used to see that all the time, but it's rare now with the color versions and One Volume edition.
Vijaya and I met Mark Buckingham and his wife Irma in the lobby. Mark, of course, is the artist of Hellblazer and Fables, and he lives nearby here in Spain.
We had dinner with the Mayor, and it was a big deal, with people buzzing around and having us go here and there, getting our pictures taken. The Mayor,with the blue tie, gave a nice speech about the tenth anniversary of the festival. He was especially immpressed that Yoshihiro Tatsumi was there – -a contingent from Japan. Even the Mayor of A Coruna has heard of manga!
Our host, Miguelanxo Prado, head of the Festival responded with his own remarks. After which, the food was served!
At diner I sat next to Carlos Portela, co-organizer of the festival. He has also written several comics, the newest one is called A Contra Atras with artist Sergi San Julian.
The next morning's paper had a two page spread dedicated to the show.
And of course we had seafood and tapas galore. This dish was a highlight: navajas, or knife clams straight out of the sea, served with butter and garlic. I've traveled quite a bit, and you can believe me when I say the seafood here is as fresh as any I've ever had.
However, this is the dish that I couldn't get enough of. Fried peppers covered in sea salt. Unbelievable. Juicy, hot and spicy. I ordered this appetizer at every possible opportunity.
On my way in to my official panel, Laureano and I stop to stand with Torpedo, the character originated by by Alex Toth.
The panel was a lively question & answer session, and the crowd asked great questions. My old friend Diego (in the orange shirt, and also in a better photo here.) was doing the translating, and he did an amazing job. I would forget to keep my answers clipped, but he didn't miss a beat, even waving his arms and doing funny voices whenever I did. I first met Diego about seven years ago when I was a guest of another comics festival in Spain. Muchas gracias, mi amigo!
I can't reccomend this festival enough. If you are a comics professional and you enjoy travel, other cultures, good food, wine & company – - and an appreciative public – - this is one of the best. If Vinetas desde O Atantico invites you over, do it. I'm sure Tim Sale, Mark Buckingham, Jean-Louis Tripp, and Yoshihiro Tatsumi and all the other guests would tell you the same.
Well, I can't believe it, but my year long world tour comes to an end next month at The Small Press Expo in Bethesda, MD. The schedule for the event has been posted by Heidi MacDonald over on The Beat. Heidi herself will be moderating my spotlight panel – - I'm really looking forward to that. It'll be fun to get back to my old stomping grounds, especially now that I'm working on RASL, my first indie book in three years. Hope to see you there.