Monday, November 19, 2007

Old Friends, Old Spaghetti, Old School

Over the weekend, I got together with some old friends for dinner.

The meet-up was instigated by Tara Tallan, writer/artist/creator/soooper-genius behind Galaxion, one of my favourite comics and favourite works of science-fiction in general.

Tara and I got involved in small press (that is, amateur) comics at around the same time, through about the same people. She made the transition to professional self-publishing a couple of years before Greg Beettam and I did with Xenos's Arrow.

Over those long and strange years, we, and the others in the group that became known as "the Toronto comics gang with the weird obsession with Big Boy" travelled to many, many conventions, went to movies, gamed, and generally were totally awesome together.

Well, that was a while ago. Most of us are still in touch, but some of us moved away. Many of us dropped out of comics, as creators, at least temporarily. Many of us have families now.

Tara's recent insight was that, since we generally all still do like each other, that at least those of us in the Greater Toronto Area should actually try and get together for once.

And that is what as many of us as we could schedule did. Tara, her husband David, me, Rob and Franz. Dinner was at one of our favourite old dinner-after-the-comics-convention haunts, Toronto landmark The Old Spaghetti Factory.

Except for the fact that we're all older, tired-er and more cynical (I was cynical to start with, so no loss in my case) it was pretty much like old times all over again. We talked about what we've been up to, creatively and otherwise. We talked about what was inspiring us, in comics and in other media. We debated the origin of the word "spumoni."

(Bonus fact: I was wrong - it's not named after a place called Spumonia!

We did everything we used to do, in fact, except flip over a placemat and draw comics on the back.

It reminded me how much of an impact that camaraderie and being part of a community has on my creativity. It's part of what jonesed me up to finish Chapter Two of Cold Iron Badge. It was, in fact, totally awesome.

Thanks, guys. Let's not wait another five years for the next one, okay?

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