Recap: “After resolving the death of his mentor and friend Ray Wise, the Cartoonist is back, this time he visits Comic Con….with murder”
It’s been six months. Six months since the death of Ray Wise. My friend and mentor. Also, six months since the death of his murderer. It was rough to process the whole deal. Ray having so many secrets that he kept to his grave. Well, there’s nothing I can do about that but try to heal. My work has taken much of my time. It’s been great. I am ahead of schedule and my publisher is happy. This weekend I will be attending the local Comic Con. While not as big as the one in Manhattan it’s a pretty decent size with a good turnout. I will be promoting my comic strip and my new book of collected material.
I get there early and set up my booth and say hi to some of the regulars. I come alone. I have no entourage like some of the dealers here. I’m a one-man band. I see my friend Dave from Atomic Comics with a few of his employees. There’s Mug the Dancing Bear aka Ralph. He works for the Dancing Bear Toy Company. He has his bear head off and taking a cigarette even though the place doesn’t allow smoking. Then there’s Cidra the smoking hot Cosplayer who works the various gaming booths. This time she is displaying her goods for the game Grand Theft Boating game. She looks at me, winks and blows me a kiss. It’s our thing.
I walk over to her booth. I ask how things are going. “Well, it would be nicer if you would come over to my booth more often, sugar” I nod and tell her maybe I will. “Don’t tease me, honey. You can’t avoid me forever”. With a body like hers I don’t think I can. I ask if there’s anything new in the comic con grapevine. Cidra is the Con Gossip. “Yes, Well I hear that there might be a new Mug in the near future”. That surprised me. Ralph has been in that suit for 10 years. Everyone loves him. Well almost everyone.
She continues “I hear that because Dave and Ralph always have a problem at every Con they appear in” (which is all of them) “the Mugs Bear Toy Company thinks it may be easier to let go Ralph to avoid any negative press” That is some news. Ralph will be devastated. This job has been his life. It also shocks me that the two of the nicest guys don’t get along. I say goodbye to Cidra and continue to tour the convention floor. The same old vendors and some new ones. The major comic book companies, comic book retailers, Toy Companies and a Few Stars from Past tv show most people forgot. A sad but true fact.
I end my tour of the floor and walk back to my booth to finish setting up. My comic strip is called Happy Tails. A cat named Whiskers and his Dog Pal. I know it sounds cheesy, but it pays the bills. I set up the art prints, the markers are ready for anyone who wants an autograph and a set of books to sell. I realize that everything is ready early, so I go get a bagel with cream cheese and a coffee. I am sitting at my chair when it happens.
A scream. The worse type of scream that curdles the blood. I jump up and listen where its coming from. The direction of the scream is or the Main Hall where the big boys get the spotlight. Right now, the spotlight was on this deadly scream. I run to the Hall where a group of people are tending to a woman who on the floor and she is frantic. I look to the main stage where Mugs the Dancing Bear is sitting. He looks like he is just sitting for a break. Difference is he has a big hole filled with blood. The cops are called. They close off the crime scene and talk to the witness which includes me although I haven’t seen anything.
The crime scene techs are finished, and the body is starting to move the body and the costumes head pops off and it’s not Ralph. Its Dave.
Oh boy Ralph. What did you get yourself into?
To be continued…