So the San Diego Comic-Con ended a few days ago but I’m just now feeling somewhat normal and rested – physically, if not altogether mentally – so I thought I’d tell you guys about how the con went before I start feeling the overwhelming need to take a nap again.

Basically? It was awesome. If you’ve read my previous post or have been following my tweets on the subject, you’ll know it’s been a dream of mine since I was a wee bot to someday be on the other side of the booths and tables and be promoting something of my own creation at the San Diego Comic-Con. Well, that day came this year and it did not disappoint (well, for the most part. I’ll get to that later.)

First off, I met a ton of JEFbot readers, so I ended up giving away all the special SDCC BOTtons I had brought to the con. Although the majority of the fans that came by were people I’d never met before, several were people I’d talked to at the cons I’ve done in Seattle, L.A. and Phoenix, so it was cool to not only start new friendships, but continue conversations I’ve had with people from the past. There were even a few that might be familiar to some of you regular commenters. So, thanks to everybody who showed up to chat and/or buy some merch! You guys were my touchstone throughout the weekend, when the sea of anonymous con-goers threatened to drown me behind my booth.

Secondly, it was so much fun being able to hang with my usual crew of convention friends and peers, as well as encounter several I haven’t had a chance to meet in person yet. Special shout-outs to Audra and Scott of nemu*nemu and Kevin (as well as Stan, who I haven’t seen in ages!) from SubCulture, as I’ve “virtually” known them for years but haven’t met them in the flesh until SDCC. Was also cool to finally talk to Kris of Starslip (I still shed a tear for its conclusion) and chainsawsuit, as I think he’s hilarious and has been making some brilliant stuff for quite some time.

Thirdly, you may have thought that I would’ve been able to get away to see some of the awesome panels that were all the buzz coming out of the con. Like the emotional Firefly panel, where tears were shed, or the Hobbit panel, where they showed a bunch of new footage from the upcoming film, or any of the Marvel panels where they announced “Phase 2” of the Marvel Movie Universe. But no. I was pretty much locked behind my booth the entire time, except for the few occasions where I ran out to go to the bathroom or to get some coffee during a lull in the crowds (which generally happened when there was a huge panel going on somewhere.) Thanks to my booth neighbor, Josh, and the occasional BOTfriend for making that happen. I did manage to leave my spot and trek across the convention floor when I heard one of my favorite animators, Chris Sanders, was giving away free prints promoting The Croods, an upcoming film of his. I couldn’t resist buying a Kiskaloo book and mug while I was there, too. That and a beautiful book – Gwendolyn and the Underworld, from my other talented neighbor, Bill - shout out to his awesome girlfriend, Mayka! – were all that I allowed myself to buy, though. Although there was a ton of other stuff I wanted to get, I’ve found that if you don’t put limits on your wallet at these things, you’ll find all the profits you’ve made at your own booth going down the tube.

So, the only disappointment that somewhat sullied (although not enough to ruin it) my first San Diego Comic-Con was that my my books didn’t come in. I don’t want to devote much more than a few sentences to this, as it will just dredge up more Nerd Rage than has already been expended, but yes, I had no JEFbot Volume 1 books at the con, so sincere apologies to all those who came by the BOTbooth expecting them, only to be subjected to my embarrassment, frustration and more (possibly empty) promises. Until I actually hear they’re en route or I have them in my hand, I’ll refrain from making any more proclamations about their availability. That said, I’m hoping I’ll have them for sale on the site soon, or at the very least, by the time my next convention hits in mid-September. Fingers (and toes now) are tightly crossed.

Other than that, the con was amazing to be at. Although the endless throngs of attendees can be overwhelming and exhausting, the sheer excitement generated by so many people also gives SDCC a vibe that I haven’t experienced at any of the cons I’ve done in the past couple of years. Now, the wait list to get onto the main floor is long and there are no guarantees of me getting back into small press, but I’ve already sent in my applications, so here’s hoping for SDCC + JEFBOT 2013! Again, a hearty thanks to everybody – new and familiar – who came by the BOTbooth. You all made this convention the one I dreamed about in my youth and I can’t wait to experience it again!

Okay, now it’s time to shake off my exhaustion and get back to making comics. New strip tomorrow and new storyline soon!