A Cartoonist’s Diary

Shannon Wheeler: Day Five — Portugal

The Amadora comics festival is a European convention spanning several weekends. It celebrates comics and comic creators. It’s one of the best conventions I’ve ever been to. If my local convention could be 2% more like that one, it would be 100% better. Of course, having an elderly Egyptian cartoonist force-show me his work sort of sucked.

My schedule during the first morning of the show was free. The local town was mine to explore.

I only had a few hours to see the town. I spent only a few minutes on each drawing.

Amazingly, I made it back to meet the bus and shuttled to lunch.

A morning on the town, then chow with a cavalcade of cartoonists, a half gallon of wine, and a small river of espresso.

I started learning some foreign expressions... mostly French.

Everyone laughed at me for sleeping on the bus every time we went anywhere but I was exhausted.

The morning tours were amazing: castles, mansions, and townlets everywhere.

Everyone drew each other constantly. Wine at lunch with espresso dessert.

People walked with weird jogs in their path. They were avoiding the dripping laundry.

Drunk, tired, and wide awake. They bus us to the convention.

Saturday... I’d only gotten there the night before.

Saturday Night... an award ceremony.

Last day at the Festival I went out with Erik and the crazy Egyptian. Some silly adventures in the subway. More signing of books. More food, booze, and espresso. It was amazing.

Shannon Wheeler is the Eisner Award-winning creator of Too Much Coffee Man, and contributes cartoons to The New Yorker. His latest book, Oil and Water, is in stores now. He is currently at work on the Bible.