Page 41

Mystery man arrives aboard Mr. Cavalier's train.

Suspense follows!





It has finally arrived. My apologies, writing and drawing new pages

and getting things ready for SPX has slowed me down on coloring

new pages lately. But, since I'm between jobs right now, you should

be seeing new pages here more often in the next two weeks!...

Not making any promises though. Enjoy today's strip.





Hello everyone! Yes, it's been a long time once again, I know. But I was busy, busy, busy, learning how to bind a handmade, hardback book...



I'd decided a couple of weeks ago that It'd be nice if I made a professional-looking hardcover preview book of Sam Hill to show around at SPX. Something impressive beyond that of just passing around a stack of photocopies held together with a paper clip.



Craziest fucking decision I've ever made in my life! It took almost the entirety of those past two weeks to accomplish my task. I had to make two copies (you were right, Erin!) in order to get it right. The first time, I was practically finished with the whole book, only to fuck the whole thing up on what should have been my final day of bookbinding. This was done by trying to trim all of the pages AFTER the damn thing was already glued to a spine. Stupid me.


But, I calmed down after a few hours of desperation and anger, and I started all over again, from the beginning. I found a better instructional video to follow on YouTube, and presto! It came out looking better than it did the first time! The trick was getting the "kettle stitch" part of the project right. If those stitches are off kilter then the stacks of signatures will not line up perfectly with one another. The second decision was to just have Kinko's hand cut and fold all of the pages beforehand, so that they are perfectly aligned at the outer portion of the book.





Anyway, with a generous offer of a ride and a hotel room from my pals, Drew Weing (That's WINE-G not WHEN-G) , Michele Chidester and Joey Weiser--my plan was all set to show-off my fancy, new abomination into the world of comics artists, friends and publishers at SPX in Bethesda, Maryland.

I had a very nice time at the show. However, it was my first con in four years, which made the event quite bittersweet for reuniting with my close NYC and CCS friends after not seeing them for so long. Highlights of the show were definitely re-connecting with all of them again: Karen Sneider, Joe Lambert, Jon Lewis, Robyn Chapman, Alexis Frederick-Frost, Sean Ford, Chuck Forsman, Alex Kim, Barry and Leon of Secret Acres, Denis St. John, Tom Kaczynski, JP Coovert, Lauren Weinstein, Colleen Frakes, Zack Soto, and Gabby Schulz...and other comics pals like Chris Pitzer, Kim Thompson, Chris Duffy, James Sturm,  Jesse Recklaw, Andrice Arp, Chris Staros, Tom Devlin, Vanessa Davis, Gary Groth and his sixteen-year-old son, Conrad--who I hadn't seen since he was three-years-old! But, what a good kid. Very polite and always waving "hello" to me. Hopefully, I'm not leaving anyone out...

Re-introductions with old comics folks were in order too-- Dean Haspiel, Tom Neely, Julia Wertz, Dusty Harbin, Melissa Mendes, Alec Longstreth, Kevin Burkhaulter, Bob Sikoryak, Heidi MacDonald, and Jaime Hernandez, who I had lunch with on Saturday afternoon.

It was also nice to meet some new people as well, like the hilarious Lisa Hanawalt, who was very sweet and easy to talk to (introductions to new people can be often nerve-racking for me)...and David Yoder, David Libens, MK Reed, Greg Means, and Derek Van Gieson.


Okay, now my Extras moment of shame: Approaching Kate Beaton to buy her book and have it signed for myself and my girlfriend, Amy:

I caught Kate very early on Sunday morning to see if she still had books left over for sale. To which, after glancing down at my pass and back up at me she replied: " I haven't set up yet, but don't worry, I'll save a copy for you."

Now, when people say things like that to me, it usually ends up meaning, "Oh, Rich Tommaso--yeah, I'll save a copy for YOU." Meaning: They know of me or/and my work, you know? Quite conceited, aren't I?...


When it came time to get my book, she was in a hurry to get to her panel discussion which was rapidly approaching, so she asked, "Who is this for now?" and I replied, "Amy."

Upon finishing her sketch I said, "You could make it out to me as well, that'd be great."

A minute goes by, she finishes her first signature and then turns up to me and asks, "What's your name?"

Ego bruised, I say... "Rich"... Ouch.

It was funny as hell to me though, and felt very much like a sad Ricky Gervais Extras moment of arrogant presumptuousness.

Well, that's it. It was a con not unlike any of the past. I spent too much money, I drank too much booze and I had my ego boosted and stomped on both. A complete comics convention experience.


More Sam Hill to come soon! I promise.









To PART TWO of our story...Chapter One, "The

Grifter"--where we finally introduce this particular

novel's titular character, Mr. Thompson. Now the

book begins to see some real action!...

...well, after a few more pages, anyway. Enjoy.








Today's new page takes us to the end

of the "Big Spring" portion of our story.

Our next installment will introduce the

last of our cast of characters... Mr. Ross

Thompson. Enjoy today's chapter close.