The wonderful world of comics 

Ready, get set, borp! Bumperboy, the adorable portal roving comic creation from Debbie Huey, pops — or should we say, borps — into town this weekend when the 22nd installment of WonderCon, the comic book and pop-culture convention, returns to San Francisco.

With superheroes and sci-fi owning much of the programming, Bumperboy and his trusty sidekick Bumperpup offer a breather of sorts — think Gumby and Pokey — from the buxom and the badass.

On Saturday, Huey talks shop about cartooning and creative life in the Bay Area as part a spotlight on local cartoonists at the Cartoon Art Museum.  

Moderated by museum curator Andrew Farago, the panel discussion also features MariNaomi ("Estrus Comics"), Fredo ("altgeek.net"), Lloyd Dangle ("Troubletown"), Justin Hall ("True Travel Tales") and Michael Jantze ("The Norm").

When it comes to appreciation of sequential art, the all-ages comic creator arrived a little late to the game; itwasn’t until Huey went to the Alternative Press Expo with her college cohorts in 2000 that she discovered the genre.

"Once I got there, I fell in love," says the Redwood City-based cartoonist of the Alternative Press Expo.

"There were all these people making their own comics and actually selling them. Really unique, talented people that you could talk to that didn’t have an attitude about being successful. I thought, ‘I could do this.’"

Huey, an avid doodler with a fine arts degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz, decided to finally take the plunge and forgo the intimidation she felt about writing stories for her sketchbook creations.

Shortly after her first convention experience, "Bumperboy Loses His Marbles" was born. Since then, Huey has published "Bumperboy and the Loud, Loud Mountain," which was named one of Booklist’s "Top 10 Graphic Novels for Youth" in 2007, and most recently the mini "Bumperboy Learns How to Ride a Bike."

Now a seasoned comic convention vet, Huey shares a few tips on navigating the world of WonderCon:

» Check out the program guide and plan ahead. Budget your time accordingly so you don’t miss what you want to see, she says. If you’re itching to check out a highly anticipated panel — this year the reunion between David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson and Chris Carter of "The X-Files" is certain to be huge — arrive early and be prepared to wait in line.

» Not everything is kid friendly. While Huey’s comics are intended for all ages, the same can’t necessarily be said for other exhibitors. She recommends parents scan comics before purchasing, so they don’t discover inappropriate content at home.

» Scan the area and then buy. Conventions are dangerous for the spendthrift. Huey, who’s quick to describe herself as "pretty frugal," suggests bringing a limited amount of cash and checking things out before you whip out your wallet. If you really want something and run out of dough, you can always return the next day.

IF YOU GO

WonderCon

When: Noon to 7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

Where: Moscone Center South, 747 Howard St., San Francisco

Tickets: $5 to $12 ($30 for three-day pass)

Contact: www.comic-con.org/wc/

Note: "Spotlight on Local Cartoonists" is at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Cartoon Art Museum, 655 Mission St., San Francisco.

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Staff Report

Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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