Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sly Stallone

One more from Heroes that I had to bring home and finish. It's Sly from the 1978 movie Paradise Alley, done for the proprietor of this groovy website that's dedicated to Rambo himself:

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Heroes Con 2009 Report - Conclusion

Sunday at the show, about 2 in the afternoon, I finally took some time to walk the show floor, talk to some folks, and buy some art. I tend to get into meaty conversations with fellow creators at their table and before I know it I've spent an hour on the floor and only been to 5 or 6 tables. There was so much incredible work to see. I could have gone to this show as an attendee and spent all three days in it's fabulous Artist Alley. Mainstream, Indie, whatever, it's all there. I nabbed a funky print from Evan Dahm of a character from his webcomic Rice Boy. I haven't read the strip yet but from the look of things I definitely will be checking it out. I got a beautiful print of Tarzan and Jane from Chris Samnee. Brian Hurtt let me have a print for the new book he and Cullen Bunn are working on for Oni. It's a supernatural Western. (Hmmm, that's a pretty good idea.) I bought a charming print illustration of a dragon serenading a dancing girl by Kei Acedera of Imaginism Studios. And I picked up a gorgeous little print from illustrator Kim Feigenbaum. She does some remarkable illustration work and it was hard to choose from her selection of prints. I don't have much money to spend, luckily there was a great deal of quality art there for very reasonable prices. If I had more time I would have dropped much more cash, whether I could afford it or not. I'm well on my way to covering every square inch of every wall in my apartment. This was an art lover's kind of show.

Oh yeah, here's something I thought was kind of cool. Anyone who knows me might also be aware that I think 30 Rock is currently the funniest show on television. First seen at the Westin, then at the show, was 30 Rock star Scott Adsit. If you know thew show, he plays the show's producer and trusted friend to Tina Fey's character. And he's hilarious. While I was working on a sketch of Captain Cold, he stopped by and said some nice words about my work. If I was any good at being a fan I would have mentioned that I like his work, maybe even gotten a picture with him. But I never think that fast on such matters, so I sincerely thanked him instead. Anyway, a little geek moment for me.

Another thing: The Guns of Shadow Valley convention preview book sold out once again. Just thought I'd mention it. ;)

Sunday after the show some of us go back to Mert's. It's just that good. This time I'm with Zack, Pat Loika, and Mike Woods. I decide on the Red Beans and Rice with turkey sausage with a side of slaw. With it not being so crowded this time, I'm able to greater appreciate the ambiance of the place. Very layed back, not pretentious, but not crappy either. Just comfortable, with some of my favorite old r&b and soul music from bygone decades playing lightly in the background. I recommend Mert's to anyone who visit's Charlotte. You can even follow them on twitter! We say goodbye to Mike and Pat. Zack and I head for one last night at the Westin. Sunday is always straggler's night at a show, where whomever may be left hangs out before leaving the next day. It was very laid back chilling with the folks there. A nice way to decompress and try to hang on to the event before we finally have to admit that it's actually over. Artist Buzz was doing sketches and out of the blue he does a quick ink brush head sketch of Frankenstein's Monster for me. How cool is that? Very cool, my friends. Very cool.

The next day Zack and I pack it up, check out and get on the road back home. The weather had cooled a little. It had been stiflingly hot and muggy pretty much all weekend. Like breathing in soup. But Monday was perfect driving weather. A good thing to because we started the trip by getting lost and ended up adding an extra hour and a half to the trip. Not a big deal though as I don't mind that trip. Zack and I were a little quieter this time, both pretty worn out. We still had some time for some silliness, though. Finally back at my place, Zack transfers his stuff to his car and sets out for home in Indiana. He's a good guy, that Zack Kruse. I drive up the highway to my folks place to get some dinner, and recount some of the events that they eagerly want to hear. They were taking care of my cat Rusty, so I retrieve him and finally head home.

This is one of the best shows I have ever been to. I know I say that after every show as I reminisce like a kid who has just come home from Summer camp, but it's true. Heroes Con has a strong sense of community. It's a big medium sized show, maybe a little larger than my last show, the Emerald City Comicon. It was busy and yet organized. The folks around Charlotte love their comics and love the art and they really go out of their way to show their appreciation of the medium. I definitely want to come back next year. If it could just be about 20 degrees cooler out next time...

This concludes my Heroes Con 2009 report. I hope you received some modicum of enjoyment or at least killed some time by reading it. Here's a few more pics from the flickr set:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Heroes Con 2009 Report - Part 2

It's Friday, the first day of the show, and almost immediately, I'm busy as a one eyed pervert at a burlesque show. Books and sketches jump off the table like it's on fire. It may be the busiest first day I've had. By the end of Friday, half of my books were sold and my sketch list was already filled half way through Sunday. Lots of folks from the various forums I'm on, like 11 O'Clock Comics, Comic Geek Speak, and The Bendis Board, stopped by and I received a lot of visits from folks who just happened to be walking by. Lots of familiar faces and I was finally able to match faces with names I've only seen on the internet. The attendees of this con seem to be hungry for the art. On top of sketches, I was able to sell a good number of prints. I managed to break away from the table for a few moments and find Gabriel Hardman's table. I've been looking at his art online and loving his work on titles like Agents of Atlas for Marvel as well as his original graphic novel Heathentown, written by his wife Corinna Sara Bechko. I knew that he was doing sketches for cheap so I hightailed to his location for a drawing of the Boris Karloff Frankenstein Monster. After reading Heathentown, I knew he'd knock it out of the park. Talking with Corinna and Gabriel was a real treat, too. I managed to stop by their table a couple more times and see them after the show. I wasn't stalking them, really. I swear.

I was determined to find a restaurant that served local cuisine. There's nothing I hate more than traveling across the country just to wind up at a chain restaurant that serves mediocre food the same way at a thousand locations. On the recommendation of CGS's Bryan Deemer, we go to Mert's, a small soul food place a few blocks up the street. It was Zack, Tony, Scott Bradley from Resolution Comics, and myself. There were three more tables there packed with friends and acquaintances and it looked like just about every diner was coming from the show.The place was phenomenal. They start you off with a mini loaf of moist, crumbly cornbread and butter. I had the pulled pork with cole slaw and yams. It was dreamlike perfection on a plate. The place was hopping, we had a short wait for our table, but the wait staff was moving fast and keeping up with the crowd all while showing unflappable courtesy.

Saturday at the show started off a little slow. Despite that, my sketch list for the weekend filled to it's brim. I hate to turn people away but it had to be done. It takes me at least an hour to knock out a full figure sketch and after almost five years of exhibiting I still don't quite have the hang of apportioning my time correctly. By the early afternoon the crowd picked up quite a bit. At the end of the day I was sold out of Scar Tissue trades and had only 6 copies of the Guns Preview Book left to sell.

The great Braxton Harrison, private eye, artist, and a buddy from various forums finally showed on Saturday, traveling from Atlanta, and we all went out to a nearby Mexican place. It was decent, nothing too special. It was next to a pizza place where a bunch of people we knew were going to go, but when we checked it out we saw it was cafeteria style, New York pizza, with few open tables. In my book, that's three strikes. On to the Westin ballroom for the annual art auction they have to raise proceeds for next year's show. For those who don't know, like me at the start of the con, artists at the show donate a piece of original art to be auctioned off. There was some beautiful art available and several pieces went for nearly $5000. Some of the bidding was fast and furious and the tone of the whole thing was laid back and fun. I hope to donate something to the auction next year now that I get what it's all about. The auction ended up going for almost 3 hours so a bunch of us who weren't bidding anyway, headed out early for some hang out time in the lobby. The service there was getting pretty swamped, it could take some time to get a drink, fortunately I have perfected the technique for fast service at a hotel lobby bar and waiting more that 5 minutes was rare. If I see you at a con, and I like you enough, and you ask very nicely, I may just let you know my technique for getting speedy service. Maybe. Saturday night we had to say goodbye to Braxton and Tony. It was great to see you, fellas, and I hope to see you both again soon.

This has been Part 2 of my Heroes Con Report. Part 3, the finale, is coming soon. Until then, enjoy a few pics from my Heroes Con set on flickr:

Heroes Con 2009 Report - Part 1

It's Tuesday now, I got home after a long drive last night, the con has been over for two days, but I'm still feeling it's affects. This was my first venture to Charlotte and the Heroes Convention. I had heard many great things about this show, my expectations were high, and I was not disappointed. This is a really great show.

The Wednesday before the event, Zack Kruse, creator of The Contingent and the upcoming webcomic Mystery Solved!, a burgeoning comics writer, Steve DItko enthusiast, and raconteur, travelled from his home in northern Indiana to my apartment in Cincinnati. We had some dinner at a local Irish pub, packed up the car, then stayed up way too late talking and gossiping like teenage girls. Early the next morning, we set out for North Carolina. It wasn't too bad of a drive. Long, sure, a little over 8 hours, but the trip through the foothills and Appalachian Mountains gave us plenty to looks at as we curved our way up and down the tree covered landscape. Sharing a harrowing turn at the top of one of those ancient hills at 60 mph alongside a speeding tractor trailer weighed down with military equipment is all part of the adventure. The conversation with Zack was sometimes silly, sometimes insightful, and always entertaining. His Pee Wee impersonation is dead on. So in all, the trip seemed to fly by. It would have been a lot less without the quality company and it sure beats the hell out of flying.

After checking in to the luxurious Days Inn motel, we were soon met by our third roommate and pal Tony Guagliardo. Hailing from a tiny village called New York City, Tony and I have roomed together previously, including San Diego Comicon last year, so I know that he doesn't snore too loud or fart too much. I'm not sure the fellas can say the same of me. We're too late for the Comic Geek Speak get together at the Golden Corral, so we start walking and find The Fox and Hound. The name and exterior suggest an English style pub. However, the walls of televisions, girls serving in skimpy outfits, techno beat pop music, and over priced Mexican party food suggest more of an American sports bar. Still, it's the company that counts and Zack and Tony are good peeps. After that we head to The Westin, where anyone whose anyone knows to go for expensive beers and cheap conversation.

Up early, too damn early, on Friday to set up the table. Drive into the convention center, unload, and find our table number. Here's where bad news turns into an unexpected bonus. Finding our table number, the space is filled with somebody else's supplies. The owner of said items vehemently tells us that it's his table and he has the paperwork to prove it. I didn't need convincing, I've had cons mix things up on me plenty, so Zack and I talk to the show organizers who are courteous and apologetic and scurry to find us a new table. I had to take the car back to the hotel and hoof it in a hurry that mile back to the show in hopes of getting set up before the doors flew open. By the time I arrive, a new table has been assigned. Our original location was in the Small Press area, sort of the show ghetto, back aisle, with a beautiful view of the exit doors. Our new table location, however, is a corner spot along a heavily trafficked aisle in the middle of Artist Alley, across from comic art legends Michael Golden and Mark Texeira. Crisis becomes opportunity: Crisitunity.

This has been Part 1 of the Heroes Con 2009 report. Part 2 coming soon. Until then, a few pics. More pics can be found on my flickr account.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Johnah Hex and Galactus - head sketches

A couple of head sketches that I'll have on sale at the table (# SP-638) for Heroes Con, just $10 each!

Emma Frost

I tried an ink wash with this one instead of markers for the rose bushes in the background.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Falcon and the Spider-man

A couple of head sketches for Heroes Con. The Falcon was a request, Spidey will be available for sale at the show.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Ukulele Jim's album cover finished

The completed album cover for Ukulele Jim's Authentic, Down Home Marital Aid. You can listen to some of it here:

Friday, June 12, 2009

Koj of Tellos

I need to read this book, I really dig the design of it's characters. I'm a sucker for anthropomorphism and a big dude with the head of a tiger and a big sword is just magnificent. I took suggestions on Twitter for characters to draw to have at the table for Heroes Con. David A. Price, podcaster extraordinaire, made this brilliant suggestion.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Black Terror

For Heroes Con. I've never drawn this guy before. I dig his look, like Punisher before there was Punisher, and with a cape.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn

Aka: Fun with Foliage. A Heroes Con pre-order.

By the way, I received my table assignment for Heroes Con, it's small press table # SP-638. You can download the floor map here.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Batman, Iron Man, and Josh

The request for this commission was the client's son leading the two superheroes into battle, for his birthday.