The tech conference people from Toronto posted a few photos of our panel. I
n the second one, I'm doing the classic "What we needed to make digital comics different was this" while holding up my phone.
I arrived in Toronto on Saturday morning, disoriented from an overnight flight from L.A.
“Purpose of travel?” asked the Canadian border agent.
“Tourist,” I said. I learned long ago not to elaborate. If I start telling the passport stamp person about me speaking at an event on Thursday, there’s room for confusion about “Is this work, and do you have the right to work in Canada?” She paused, looked at me, and asked one more question.
“Do you know anyone in Toronto?”
I thought for a second and shook my head. Was that weird? Who comes to Toronto as a solo tourist? It’s not exactly a hotspot of wildlife or archeology or adventure.
But she let me in.
I picked up my bag (yes, I check bags occasionally, you philistines, so sue me) and caught the train to the center of town. I used an app to find a spot to store my bag until the apartment would be ready at 4, then headed to a nearby breakfast spot.As I sipped my morning coffee, I wondered what I might do today in Toronto. I vaguely remembered seeing a FB post of someone trying to get to Toronto recently…what was it?
TCAF. There’s a comics con in Toronto this weekend! If finished my coffee, bought a subway ticket, and headed to the con. I guess I’d lied when I’d said I didn’t know anyone in Toronto.
The Terminal 6 TSA agent told me about a dating site for UFO aficionados.
This happened because I'm wearing a shirt with flying saucers silkscreened onto it.
When I wear a shirt with a cat or pony on it, I get the same sort of response but more like "Is that your cat? I love cats!" or "Do you like horses?" The dating site bit was new to me.
This is not my story to tell—it's the office archivist's. But it's too good to overlook.
As you know, our Burbank office is moving across the street. All our personal items are long since removed but a few things needed special treatment.
Our rarest, most valuable comics were packed in special crates which did not easily fit in a car. A cargo vehicle was required but using brute force and moving trucks was out of the question as the likes of Action Comics #1 and New Fun #1 require a delicate touch and constant supervision.
Fortunately, we have access to a seldom-used van that could be driven by our librarian and facilities supervisor. I wonder how many "ruh-rohs" were uttered as they drove over potholes.
I wound up the power cord I’d scavenged off the top of the office e-waste heap, and slid my MacBook into its lime green padded sleeve. I shoved both into a knapsack along with my water bottle and two pens, then glanced around at my emptied office.
Oh—those Wacom pens I’d salvaged were perched on the edge of my desk. Would I need them? Someone would. I shoveled them into the knapsack too.
This move was easier than the last office move, this final day simpler than the final day in New York, where we’d been finding homes for bookcases and drawing tables, where we’d puzzled over the Daily Planet front desk we could not ship from Broadway to Burbank. This time, we were moving a mere thousand steps away to an under-construction Frank Gehry puzzle, a craggy fortress arising from the shoulder of the 134, in a Hollywood real estate deal only business majors and commercial real estate agents understood. I wasn’t sure how long the Pointe had been home—pandemic had made all measures of time elastic and unreliable. The internet tells me we moved from New York to Burbank in 2016.
I’d spent the first four years of working at the Pointe being annoyed at the food options nearby—most of which consisted of a series of food trucks. How dare corporate America pry me out of Manhattan after I’d striven to settle down post-globetrotting? Then I’d spent the pandemic years trying to get out of my apartment, wistfully recalling the days someone else would prepare my lunch, even if it was fried meat and cheese from a diesel-powered portable deli in a quirky suburb built for the creation of movies and TV.
Sunday morning in Guadalajara. This photo is the Jalisco state government office on the main square by the cathedral. Some of the paintings I saw yesterday are in this building. I was just passing by on my way to the Covid test center at 8 a.m.
I had my test results in my email about 20 minutes later. It's truly the same test I'd buy at the pharmacy and give to myself, but they make a letter for the airline that addresses the points requested by the CDC.
Interesting change since the last time I did this--my results were supposedly verified "by the blockchain." Okay, seems like a lot of effort to swab my nostrils, but it does discourage me from lazily forging my own results. Not that I have, but I've been tempted a few times because how the hell would they even know? Maybe now they would.
I headed to Tonala for the Sunday market. I'd read it was full of crafts! Then I'd read that wasn't actually true, it was full of the same plastic crap you'd get at a Sunday market in LA. That sounded more likely. Oh well, there's another pottery museum in Tonala and what else was there to do anyway? When in Guadalajara...go to pottery museums. Isn't that what they say?