Mark dispensing wisdom on this panel discussion
An older picture of Mark, Sergio and me at an L.A. convention
Many has been the time I have linked to, referred to and/or sung the praises of Mark Evanier‘s News From Me blog. Mark is one of the best writers working in comics, especially on the humorous side, today. Imagine my surprise when I visited his blog the other day to discover he was currently acting as the guest of honor at a sci fi/fantasy convention taking place about 15 miles from my house in Bloomington, MN!! What, no phone call?? In defense of Mark, Minneosta is a big place and he didn’t put two and two together to realize I might be in the neighborhood.
Fortunately after I contacted him he still had enough time in town to get together yesterday for lunch.
Actually I went to the CONvergence convention early and caught his panel discussion on comic book history, which was fascinating. Mark is a veritable walking encyclopedia of knowledge on the history of comics, animation, TV, movies and the entertainment industry. He was rattling off the names involved with and dates of major and minor events that changed the comics industry over the last 40 plus years. I can’t even remember the name of someone I was just introduced to. The panel was very informative and of course Mark made it fun and interesting as well.
Jody, one of the CONvergnece organizers, gave me a tour of the convention. I had never heard of this event before and here it is practically in my backyard for the last 10 years. It was very well run and organized with a ton of programming including panels on everything and anything, film screenings, guest appearances (Peter Mayhew of “Chewbacca” fame was there this year but I didn’t see him… I did meet comics writing legend Len Wein) a dealer room with all manner of cool stuff nobody really needs and tons of parties all over the place. I never really got a handle on what the CONvergence convention is a convention FOR, but it seems to celebrate science fiction and fantasy together in any and all media you might find it in including movies, TV, gaming, animation, comics and this new fangled inter-web thingy.
Typically when you attend these things you may have intentions of getting out at some point to see the world about, but it doesn’t happen all that often. Knowing this, I resolved to take Mark away from beautiful downtown Bloomington and off to some other site in the Twin Cities. I briefly toyed with the idea of the Mall of America, but somehow I didn’t think that would be of much appeal to him. Therefore I turned for advice to the ultimate source for all knowledge… my wife The Lovely Anna (I’m finally figuring out this marriage thing after 20 years). Her suggestion was that I take Mark to a resturant called Cue located at the new Guthrie theater in Minneapolis, as he is a theater buff and it’s a new architectural and culture wonder in downtown Minneapolis. Cue it was. Good time with good company. I even got my copy of “Kirby: King of Comics” signed! Thanks, Mark!