From late 1990:
Every year the San Diego Comic Convention attracts thousands of people interested in comic books and animation. They can shop at 400 dealers’ tables, buy sketches from 80 artists, meet scores of industry professionals, participate in seminars on the art and industry, and watch endless reels of science fiction and animation. For four days, August 2 to August 5, attendance swelled to over 10,000 visitors. What an opportunity to promote Sullivan-Bluth!
Over a hundred companies — publishers, distributors and studios — had booths at Exhibitor’s Hall. The Don Bluth Animation Gallery was Booth 76. Not surprisingly, the Bluth Booth attracted a huge audience.
Mary Ann Lewis and Carol Raikes managed the booth (with Frank Suarez assisting), selling plenty of cels from All Dogs Go to Heaven, plus f1ipbooks, buttons and posters. Some Rock-a-Doodle illustrations were on display, but not for sale. People were also entertained by a rough cut from All Dogs, in addition to special showings of Dragons Lair II: Timewarp.
Then on Saturday, we unleashed our biggest draws to our unsuspecting public: The She-Devils of Animation. Linda Miller, Lorna Pomeroy-Cook and Cathy Jones dazzled the fans with their squiggles and doodles, selling sketches for $15 a character; $25 for two. (Alas, I was the wrong gender to wear an official “She-Devils of Animation” T-shirt.) Don Moore, our illustrious background painter, came by in the afternoon to demonstrate his talent. A PBS film crew from Utah filmed them for an documentary on animation to be broadcast this fall.
And then there was Charlie. Yours truly donned the dog suit Saturday morning, and later in the afternoon, to greet the fans. Itchy wasn’t with me, though, presumably because he didn’t want to get fleas.
“Charlie! It’s Charlie!” Little kids recognized me and were thrilled to hug me and shake my paw. I was told one little girl marched behind me as I marched my way through the hall.
As I passed the Streamline Pictures booth, the guys offered me rolls of money if I removed my doggie head. A tempting offer, but I declined. I liked my job.
What was it like in the costume? Was it hot? Yes. Was it hard to see? Yes. Vision was restricted; I could only see out of the mouth, and I needed an escort to guide me through the crowds, and to help me in and out of the costume.
Sometimes the folks at the Bluth Booth were too busy to interact with me. Fortunately I was able to recruit Will Ryan, the voice artist extraordinare responsible for Digit the cockroach, Petrie the pterydactyl, Stewy Pig, Praline the skunk, and one of Stanley’s pansies, and he was glad to direct me. I posed for pictures, and I was joined by the Bluth Booth gang. I even got to hug a She-Devil of Animation. It was a propitious moment, for I was the embodiment of a character she had drawn two years earlier.
Afterwards, I marched back to the dressing room, waving farewell to the crowds of Charlie-lovers, who were now certain to buy the All Dogs videocassette to watch their hero go to heaven. Or so we hope.
Someone asked if Burt Reynolds was in the costume.
I nodded, of course.