Monday, July 21, 2008

Down To San Diego .....

It's that time again ......

Time for Rupe's annual visit to San Diego for Comic-Con, a Mecca of wonder and people and joy and costumes and back slappin' and jokery and stuff that just needs seein' to be believed .....

When The Con is mentioned, many roll their eyes. Words like "geek" and "Nerdfest" and "dork" and "freakin' no-deodorant-wearin' weirdos" pop up frequently and with conviction.

And it's true: There are those that attend.

Rupe isn't one of'em. Or so he likes to think.

But that's okay. Rupe gets lost in all the hubbub and excitement the four and a half days afford. 125,000+ people last year, an
Entertainment Weekly feature article (out this week!) and a sold out 2008 convention of comic book loving fans says something, I don't care what you're readin' otherwise.

It's not all about the comics. It's about the blood drive. It's about the stars and premieres and sneak peeks of the coming year. It's about our governor The Arnold popping out from behind a curtain unexpectedly when no one is expecting it to promote the new Terminator flick. It's about getting that autograph to complete your collection. It's about jaw dropping artwork at an art show. It's about heading to Perry's for a big breakfast to get you through the day and Dick's Last Resort in the Gaslamp District to cut loose at night. And so much more .....

Last year was probably the ultimate Con year for Rupe. Rupe finally got to meet one of his top-list heroes. A kindly gentleman by the name of Mike Ploog.

(... flashback ...)

Rupe was iller than ill and bedridden one elementary school day. In comes Mom with a motherly look of concern on her face and a handful of comic books to help get young Rupe through his illness.

A "How do you feel?", a warm kiss on the forehead and Rupe was left with his pile of kiddie books to flip through.

Now .... Rupe had never before read a comic book. And the wonder that unfolded before him as he began opening pages was otherworldy. Who was this Conan The Barbarian? Cool! Bugs Bunny, in panel form! The Batman! The Hulk sure was formidable!

But it was The Man-Thing that caught Rupe's young attention.

There were several Marvel Man-Thing books to peruse and, as they began to be digested, the artwork of one Mike Ploog was what really caught Rupe's eye. The lines and curves and unique style were impressive to Rupe and Mr. Ploog's artwork would not only influence but be a delight to Rupe for the remainder of days.

(... flash forward to last year's Comic-Con ...)

Going over the on-line schedule of the upcoming fest, Rupe noticed gleefully there would be several panels featuring Mike Ploog at the 2007 Comic-Con - one devoted exclusively to him.

Long story short, the panel was spectacular. Rupe sat rapt in attention. Rupe learned tons about this long-sought-after artist and film storyboardist, more than out of any book Rupe's read on the man.

Afterward, Rupe got the opportunity for a one-on-one with Mike Ploog - a 45 minute chat that culminated in a prized sketch and a commitment to commission a black and white ink piece from him.

The final, ultimate thrill was the photo below Rupe took with Mike Ploog.

See that giddy grin on Rupe's face? That's the kid in him - glowing, ecstatic and thrilled beyond happiness .....

(... today ...)

Onward to
The Con! One big, goofy, awe-filled long weekend of bliss and camaraderie and old friends and escape from the everyday.

*... now ..... where in the world did Rupe put his geek hat ... ?!?!?*

........................................................ Ruprecht ( STOP )