As I trudged down the crowded streets of San Diego with my pals, Gordon, Donna, Darryl, Karen, and several more friends, I complained bitterly that I’d had it. I was seventy years old, and I had finally decided that this kind of thing could not continue. After all, how can a crotchety old man hope to keep up with all these kids? The San Diego Comic Book Convention is exhilerating but it’s also exhausting. There was no way I could continue this special brand of madness at the ripe old age of seventy. Ten years have passed since that miserable evening so many years ago. You would have thought things would have changed in that time. No, it seems they haven’t.
This years ComicCon began with a first look at what I call the “Floyd Documentary.” Yes, it’s true. It’s a movie about my life and career. And, it case you’re wondering, I haven’t seen it either. However, filmmakers, Michael Fiore and Erik Sharkey whet our appetites with a brief view of the documentary on Thursday evening. Then, I was joined on panel with a host of my favorite people. My long time friend and colleague, Leo Sullivan was to my left, along with animation historian and USC professor, Tom Sito. I was delighted to have writer, Paul Dini and director, Gary Trousdale join the fun. Of course, I had to have my pal, Ken MItchroney who happens to be Jack Benny next to my Rochester. Composer, Ryan Shore was on board and I’m thrilled to know he is going to score the film. Finally, for the first time ever, my wife and colleague, Adrienne sat on a comicCon panel. Naturally, the filmmakers, Michael Fiore and Erik Sharkey were there to guide the discussion. Unlike the brief filmclip that is currently available for viewing online, the filmmakers screened a much longer segment of the upcoming film. It included material that I had not even seen. Of course, it’s always an odd experience to view yourself onscreen. There’s a strange disconnect between me and the movie image and I often feel the person I’m watching onscreen is someone else. In any case, the filmmakers have done a remarkable job and I cannot wait to view the completed film.
Our old pal, talented cartoonist and actual founder of the San Diego ComicCon was not able to join us this year. Scott Shaw! had recently undergone surgery and was still on the mend. Regretfully, Scott had to sit this one out, but we’re looking forward to his return to San Diego next year. I never wear Hawiian shirts, but in honor of Scott Shaw! I wore a different Hawiian shirt every day of the Con. Plus, I was delighted to return to “QuickDraw” for another madcap session with draw-master moderator, Mark Evanier along with the worlds fastest cartoonist, Sergio Aragonés. Sitting in for Scott this session was master cartoonist, Mike Kazaleh. As always, the zany hour flew past and before we knew it, another round of “QuickDraw” was in the bag. As always, the audience had a great time watching the cartoonists try to keep up with moderator, Mark, along with a few surprise guests. Clearly, a good time was had by all.
It’s difficult to believe that the grouchy seventy year old who complained bitterly so many years ago is still walking around the exhibit hall of the San Diego Convention Center and doesn’t even need a wheel chair. Perhaps it’s because he surrounds himself with comic books, or maybe it’s because he’s in the company of attractive young women. Whatever is it, it appears he’s found the Fountain of Youth. That grumpy seventy year old cartoonist is now eighty years of age and he continues to behave like the kid he is. Is it possible he’s found the fabled Fountain of Youth where one stays young forever? Maybe he has found that legendary place after all. Only today we call it the San Diego Comic Book Convention.