Thursday, 20 June 2013

Petunia Con

Petunia Con
Oakland, California, USA
20-22 April 1984
(from A Note From The Publisher, Cerebus #62, May 1984)
This has been a busy month for Aardvark-Vanaheim. Obviously, the biggest thing was our going out to California to attend Petunia Con. I must admit to feeling a certain amount of trepidation at the thought of attending a convention that focused so intently on A-V, (and Cerebus in particular). But, as I should have known, the convention was one of the easiest ones I've attended.

One real nice surprise came when we sat down to do an 'Aardvark-Vanaheim Panel'  with Gary Groth as 'inquisitor'. I was braced for the worst, but it was probably the most enjoyable panel I have sat on. Everyone there (Dave, me, Arn Saba, Bill Messner-Loebs, Joshua Quagmire and Valentino) had a chance to say something about what they did, and defend their view of what comics are and should be. The only problem was that at the end of the 45 minutes, we were just getting started and the panel had to be discontinued. But I think that for the first time I felt the impact of publishing a line of comics. It was like I had been adopted by a second family. What a feeling to be surrounded by such supportive people! If I ever had any doubts about wanting to be a publisher, they were erased by the time the convention was over.

Deni Loubert was Aardvark-Vanaheim's publisher for the first 70 issues of Cerebus, and each issue featured her 'Note From The Publisher'. Deni and Dave Sim were married between 1978 and 1983, with Deni subsequently moving to Los Angeles to start her own comics publishing company, Renegade Press, which closed its doors in 1989. She was inducted into the Joe Shuster Hall of Fame in 2010.

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