I walk through this badly illuminated corridor at the North Bethesda Marriott Hotel, surrounded by five or six other people. We get the elevator, make some lefts and rights and get to the specific door. They open it just a bit, recognize some of us, and let us in. They salute us. Some of us have beers. Some of us are not twenty one.
The rooms at the North Bethesda Marriott Hotel, naturally badly illuminated, get even darker in this saturday night. The absence of light is compensated by the excess of people and noise: there are at least fifteen people in the crowded, small room, with its two double beds, a small desk, a tv and some luggage. With every chair and space occupied, most of us can’t sit, but we don’t mind, really. Our focus is on the people and the conversations that are going on right there.
As soon as I get there, I try to get myself somethign to drink. It was hard to get some beer, but soon enough someone finds me a half glass of cheap whiskey. Whatareyougonnado. Our initial group dissolves itself and blends in very quickly, some of us finding old friends and acquaintances, meeting new people and exploring that environment.
The thing is, up until a few hours ago, I didn’t know any of those people. Making conversation, this girls turns to me and asks in the most casual way:
“So, what kind of comics do you make?”
I hesitate for an intant, and begin a description that’s becoming more and more familiar with each passing week:
“Oh, they’re mostly about high school, about these five teenage friends and their daily lives. It’s kind of semi autobiographical, really down to earth, and slice of life, I guess.”
And in the insant of my hesitation, I realise: everyone in that room makes comics, of course. Because they are all staying at the Marriott for spx, one of the largest independent comics events in the US. It takes a while to absorb that information, this reality that is being presented to me, and from then on, the conversations only get deeper and more complex.
It’s all really exciting.
This is where the magic happens.