I finally managed to make it to Athens, GA for FLUKE over last Saturday. Holy cow, what took me so long? It was a great weekend!
I flew into Atlanta Friday morning, and made my way out to Decatur, where my pal Brad McGinty had already commenced celebrating his 30th birthday. J Chris Campbell and Josh Latta soon joined us, and we continued celebrating with burritos and beer. Around 7 pm, I left to make my way downtown to Cypress St. Pint and Plate, where I joined my friend Todd for some in-depth conversation about illustration, design and Pittsburgh sports between periods of the exciting Penguins/Senators playoff game. The Pens won 2-1, and I'd already had an entire weekend's worth of fun in less than 12 hours.
Yet there was more! Saturday morning we headed for Athens, getting in just as the Fluke crew was opening the doors. We grabbed a table, and set about selling our wares. Saw a few more friends, including Tim O'Shea who asked me a few questions about the show for Robot 6, and the Dollar Bin folks, Brian Eison and newly-married comics super-couple Shawn and Adam Daughetee. Also managed a quick head nod or two to FLUKE organizers Patrick Dean and Robert Newsome. For as much as they like to joke about being disorganized, you sure wouldn't know it from the turnout...the place was packed all day! You always have to adjust you expectations a little bit the first time you exhibit at a show, since its gonna be the first time most of the folks have seen your work, but even with that being the case, I had a good day...better than at some other shows I've been attending for years. I brought along a very stripped-down version of my regular stock, and by the end of the day, well over half of it was gone...and I later sold much of what remained to Devlin Thompson to sell at his famous Bizarro Wuxtry comic shop, just a few blocks up the street.
What can I say about Athens? It's as cool and beautiful as I remember. I took a spring break trip through the southeast with my pal Bill way back in 1993, and we spent a couple days hanging around Athens... I didn't take more'n a couple photos, and I never made it back, so all I had were vague memories of how much I liked it. A few minutes walking the streets verified that my memory was exactly correct, because I instantly felt the same good, homey vibe that I had back in '93. I even managed to replace my old, shredded Wuxtry Records t-shirt, the tattered remains of which I reluctantly disposed of a few years back.
Sunday, we left the Days Inn early and headed back to Atlanta, where I was soon on a plane headed for Virginia. A final stroke of good luck, in the form a an overbooked flight, landed me a free upgrade to business class. We landed early in Richmond, where I soon found myself exchanging hugs with my wife and daughter. The perfect end to a perfect trip.
Life and schedules being what they are, I'm not sure when or if I'll get to go to Fluke again anytime soon, but it'll definitely be up for consideration every time I make out that little list of shows I'd like to visit at the start of every year. Thanks a million to Brad, Cate, Josh, J Chris, Robert and Patrick for making me feel welcome!
Looking confused, as usual.
The venue's exterior, front door, and most importantly, BAR!
The busy sales floor...like I said, PACKED!
A sketch I did of Tigra on the cover of a Marvel comic book, which'll presumably be given away as a prize by The Dollar Bin.
Til next time, Athens!
Posted by Robert Ullman at 1:19 PM