Friday, September 16, 2022




Sunday, August 28, was the second and final day of the Eastern Rim Funny Book and Vintage Con at Goose Creek Memorial High School in Baytown, Texas. My day started with a most unsatisfactory breakfast at the Staybridge Suites. The “eggs” offered were minuscule cheese omelets of the sort you can find in the frozen food section of most grocery stores. Just a few years ago, you could get a decent-size and tasty buffet at hotels. That’s rarely the case now.

My disappointment was short-lived. I knew I had another day of the Eastern Rim event. I was definitely looking forward to that event. Last time out, I talked about the convention venue, the vendors and the wonderful fans who attended. This time out, I’m going to talk about the guests, a great bunch of creators to be sire.

British superstar comics artist and painter Glenn Fabry was set up next to me, so we got to chat quite a bit during the weekend. He’s as affable as he is talented. I’d love to work with him on one of my bucket list projects.

Anthony Tollin was next to me and, next to him, was another friend of many decades. Val Mayerik and I worked on “The Living Mummy” for Marvel Comics in the 1970s, though he’s is somewhat better known as the co-creator of Howard the Duck. He’s a former Ohio resident who now lives in Texas. It was great catching up with Val and I hope to see him again soon. Which isn’t impossible since a couple promoters asked for my contact information with the hope of bringing me to a convention of theirs.


He didn’t have a table at the show, but I was nonetheless thrilled to finally meet comics art collector supreme Alex Johnson. We’ve been online friends for a decade or two. I always love seeing his new acquisitions, especially his long-running series of commissions featuring Sheldon Mayer’s Sugar and Spike. What Alex does with that is get amazing artists to draw Sugar and Spike faux-covers. I’ve shared some of them on my Facebook page.

One of the most entertaining guests was Michael "Boogaloo Shrimp" Chambers, the American dancer/actor known for his role as "Turbo" in the 1984 film Breakin' and its sequel Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo. We met, chatted and bonded to the extent that whenever I walked past his table, he would break into dance moves and sing a song using the words “Black Lightning.” I don’t dance - don’t ask me - but I think Michael should take some of those made-up-on-the-spot songs and make YouTube videos of them. He was great fun to be around. I also had enjoyable conversations with several other guests during the show:

Artist Mark A. Nelson, whose stunning work has appeared in comics, role-playing games and more, gifted me with a copy of From Pencils to Inks: The Art of Mark A. Nelson and what a stunning collection of illustrations it is. I can look at some of the pieces and find myself thinking about writing a story around them.

It’s always great to see Pop Mhan at a convention. His distinctive style has graced many a fine comic book and yes, like every artist I’m writing about there, I’d love to work with him.


Keith Kez Wilson is one of my favorite cartoonists, comics artists, illustrator and animator. His pastiche prints, which include covers for Doc Savage paperbacks that never were, are wonderful. I bought four of them and - I swear to Godzilla - I will find a way to get all of them on my walls.

Comic-book artist Vo Nguyen and I have been Facebook friends for a long time, but we had never met before this convention. Hopefully, we’ll see each other again and another Texas convention next year. I like Texas, its citizens and its restaurants a lot. I think it speaks highly of my tolerant nature that I have only made one Ted Cruz joke in this multi-part convention report.

I can’t praise the Eastern Rim event and all those who were part of it enough. I can’t think of a single unpleasant moment during the time my son Eddie I were there. Aside from the one unfortunate meal from Sonic. I’m thinking the burger and fries were cooked in actual hedgehog grease.

After the con ended, Eddie and I went to the famous Cavender’s Boot City. My son bought an expensive cowboy hat and a pair of slightly less expensive boots. They look good on him. As for me, no cowboy hat or boots are going to make look authentically western. I just bought hilarious t-shirts for my wife, my daughter and my gay best friend.

That Sunday night, Eddie and I had Ricky’s Burgers. It’s not a big restaurant, but the burgers were some of the best I’ve ever had and were not expensive.

Monday morning, on our way to return our rental car and check in at the airport, we stopped at Buc-Ee’s. As least as big if not bigger than a Costco, the place had all manner of hot sandwiches and other food-to-go plus pretty much anything else you could need. It also had the biggest restrooms I’ve ever seen anywhere. When you hit 70, my current age, you’ll understand the importance of this.

After we checked into our flight and passed through the TSA stuff, my cane was even more useful than on our previous flight. We got a ride to our gate from a friendly cart driver. This happened after we landed in Cleveland as well. And, as previously, the cane got me early boarding.

The only less-than-wonderful thing about our return flight was it left almost an hour later than scheduled. Still, since we were on a direct flight, that wasn’t nearly as anxiety-provoking as if we’d had to make a connecting flight.

Eddie and I enjoyed our visit to Texas. As I’ve said, the people, the food and especially the convention were first-rate. I’m hoping to return to the state next year.

Next up: what I read in Texas. See you then.

© 2022 Tony Isabella

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