A new book project I'd worked on (The Next Day) was coming out, and debuting at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, so the publisher and I made some plans for a short Canadian tour.
Then, a week before leaving, Stephanie and I were in Chicago for the Jim Nutt exhibit at the MCA, and I stopped in to Quimby's to drop off some comix. Turns out there was a "Midwest Zine Fest" happening the following weekend in Urbana, IL, so I promptly dropped them a line and managed to snag a table.
Spit and a Half table, Midwest Zine Fest.
Zine Fest presentation.
Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center.
All day long I only managed to eat some chocolate and a Diet Dr Pepper, and driving home I was overcome with the most awful hunger pangs. I got back and ate some food, only to have the pain grow worse. Turns out I was developing the stomach flu. Hooray! (I was supposed to leave for Toronto in 36 hours...)
I spent all day Sunday laying in bed bemoaning my fate. Monday I was feeling a little better, but not better enough to get in a car and drive 12 hours. The Next Day book launch was Tuesday night in Toronto though, at 7 PM, so I packed up the car, set the alarm for 5 AM, and went to bed to see what would happen. I finally fell asleep around 3:00 in the morning.
5 AM rolled around and I felt even better than the day before, with just a little bit of pain left. So I got in the car and headed out, hitting Chicago at 6:30 for the start of rush hour, then through NW Indiana, and into Michigan. In no time at all I was at the Canadian border and on my way to Toronto.
Outside the city, the rain and traffic got more intense but I only got lost once. I found the venue and parked in the garage across the street, ate a can of beans, and headed over. It was 6 PM. I had made it by one hour!
First thing I saw upon exiting the garage was this wonderful three-window-wide handpainted image from the book, on the side of the National Film Board of Canada's offices!
Inside, there was a display of original artwork from the book.
Video stills from the animated website.
After the launch I went over the University of Toronto, where I had a dorm room waiting for me. I promptly fell asleep for 14 hours. The next day (*ahem*) I woke up at 5 and went over to do another talk at the Toronto Animated Image Society. Afterwards I wandered around Bloor Street for a bit and went back to bed. But I was wired and didn't fall asleep until 7 AM. So I spent all day Thursday in bed too.
Pretty cool, huh?