Reporting From Comic-Con: Lou Ferrigno Beats Arnold After All

Today I got to meet the grown son of the man who gave me my first entertainment job in 1991. He said he was a big fan of Earthworm Jim and I told him there would be a very good chance my most famous character wouldn’t have existed without his dad.

Twenty years ago a retired lady bumped into me while I was in line to see “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” when she said, “Oh, you like to draw? You should come to the San Diego Comic Con. Here’s two free passes.” She came to my booth today and I gave her a big hug.

I had over ten young industry professionals who work in comics, animation and video games and tell me that they decided to learn to draw because they liked my work. An incredible 25-year-old Russian kid said that he was raised on a pirate version of my game, “The Neverhood,” I did with Dreamworks in the mid ’90s. I looked at his comic pages and he could draw better than I could. I drew a character for him and he gave up a tear.

I’ve been on the receiving end of so many people’s kindness on my way into this industry that it makes no sense to avoid helping other up-and-coming artists and writers. One thing is for sure; there will be no shortage of great ideas funneling through Hollywood for the next generation. But talent is secondary to what’s really important, that there are people of character and substance coming into this industry that make me feel like entertainment will be in good hands as time goes on.

But let’s get away from this raw sentiment before we might actually feel something and get down to the bottom line–today was my biggest day of book sales ever. I was limping around with a bigger wad of bills than Bill Maher in a strip club.

I loved seeing Lou Ferrigno signing headshots. He looks younger than I remember and his arms are still huge. Sure, Arnold won the title in “Pumping Iron” but he’s the hare to Lou’s turtle.

Patricia Heaton and David Hunt brought the family to my booth to get some books. She’s a true friend and we’ve been working on a few pitches. I loved introducing her to a few pals I’m in business with in Japan. Just to be ironic they started taking pictures of her.

There was a panel introducing Tim Burton’s “Alice In Wonderland” and the audience went nuts when Johnny Depp made a surprise appearance. Producer Sean Bailey talked about “TRON 2.0” and the footage made the audience erupt with excitement.

My management (Gotham Group) in partnership with Darkhorse Comics has their big yearly drink-n-schmooze then I’m going out to drinks with some Disney executives. With all of this drinking I have a great excuse to be an even bigger jerk so I’m looking forward to that.

Friday brings the Oscars of the comic kingdom known as The Eisner Awards. My buddy Ethan “Eef” Nicolle is up for Best Humor Graphic Novel with his book “Chumble Spuzz”…I’d be nervous, but then again I have a lot of confidence in his work.

Tomorrow (Saturday, when I’m sober), I’ll be on a panel from 11:00am-12:01pm talking about Spirituality in Comics. It will be in room 3. Don’t be a stranger.


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