Thursday, June 26, 2008

HeroesCon '08 - Day Three

Sunday started with little fanfare. No breakfast, though I did drink coffee, which is a rarity for me. Read SHANNA, worked on another sketch and waited for that magic hour of 11am when the convention opened. While in line I recognized a face in front of me - none other than Chris Sims of The Invincible Superblog. I stammered through a greeting and asked if he was drawing Batman yet. (He wasn’t.) I then asked him what W.E.I.R.D. was and before I could blink Jay Potts, his penciller, had placed a HARD ONES ashcan in my grubby little mitts. Nice work and a very nice guy that Jay. We continued to talk as the line moved and eventually parted ways as we hit the floor. I did a quick run over to the ‘Ringo booth for hellos before I had to head up for the inking panel at 11:30.

Not knowing what to expect from the panel, though I was hoping we’d be doing some inking exercises, I got a decent seat and proceeded to work on my Quickdraw idea. Thought I really had a chance today with the QD as I overheard the judges were looking for a drawing that told a story, so instead of humor I was going with a macabre theme today. But those thoughts had to wait as Roy Richardson began the panel. A very soft spoken man it was rather hard to hear him at times. The panel didn’t really teach me much more than I already know through the Kubert book and DVD, but it was good way of spending two hours and not any money. After the panel I headed back down for another quick visit with the gang before hitting Fuel Pizza again for a couple more slices.

I scarfed down my slices in the room and did some more sketching to keep the drawing fresh in my mind and hand. I decided to hunt down Evan Dorkin after talking to him the previous night. He had a small crowd around him, so I waited and picked up a copy of HECTIC PLANET and he was kind enough to do a quick drawing in the book for me. It's always nice to meet someone who's work you've respected and enjoyed and you find that they're good people, too. Makes the world seem a little better.

The hour of the QuickDraw had drawn nigh, so I headed over to try my luck one last time. Hopefully, the fear of an elder god would claim me some sembalance of victory. I present you with Cthulhu:

Hands smeared with pencil lead I headed back down to the floor to check in on the family. Everyone was around except Mafus, so Squeeze gave him a call. He said he’d found something for me and he was waiting in the 300 aisle. I refrained from yelling, “This is Sparta!” and headed over. Seems Mafus had found the volume of JLA ELITE that I was missing, so I snatched it up. Having broken the seal, so to say, I bought a few more items before listening to the list of QuickDraw winners without my name on it. Defeated again, we packed up shop and called it a con.

A quick change and we headed out to the after party at Heroes Aren't Hard To Find, Shelton Drum's store. Now I love me some Velocity Comics. They keep a mean store, but HAHTF is a flagship store if there ever was one. I could spend days and thousands of dollars in that place. Yowza. Beverages and food were provided, but the BBQ disappeared with a quickness, so we had to go elsewhere if we wanted vittles. Luckily there was a cajun place two blocks down. We hoofed it with a storm threatening and ordered up. The dinner was excellent, though they ran out of bread before we got there (I'm looking at you, Kirkman!), so the meal might have even been better with some baked goodness. We swapped stories and laughs before heading back in the rain.

As we had acquired Uncle Boom (Mark Waid) at dinner (thanks for dinner again, too!) we were even more cramped in the Squeeze-Mobile than before. Mafus and I ended up in the back and I had water running into my arse. Later at the hotel bar I'm sure the wet circle over my rectum raised many an eyebrow, but I didn't let me phase me as I was "assing" people many questions. Todd was handing out Choopie Butt Cards like crazy. It was rather amusing. (He even gave one to Darwyn Cooke.) A few drinks and we all called it a night as everyone was leaving in the morning. No sketching, just a little reading and then lights out.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

HeroesCon '08 - Day Two

You may notice a lack of pictures with these stories. Mainly because I forgot my camera. Mafus and Squeeze took plenty and hopefully they’ll be posting them in the coming days.

The second day started with breakfast at the hotel with a small gathering of Mike's friends and family. Todd held court and told us some of Nick Cardy's greatest hits involving latrines, MPs banging on their doors and other things not safe for children. Fortified with our $23 breakfast bar (if I had known it was that much I would've eaten more!) the group dispersed as the pros went to set up and us normal schlubs waited for the gates to let us in.

As I had spent more than I wanted to that first day I tried to curtail my spending, which didn't really work out as I bee-lined to David Crosland and Jim Mahfood's set-up. Jim wasn't there, but David was, so I expounded on his latest series EVERYBODY IS DEAD and picked up an anthology from him, which he was kind enough to do a sketch in. After that I hung out a little at the 'Ringo booth and chatted with my family. Also asked Mr. Cardy about the stories Todd had told at breakfast and ended up hearing about all the latrines he had seen during the war complete with sketches of them and how they worked. Unfortunately, he erased the drawings before I could ask him for them. Would've been a nice conversation piece and keepsake. Since I missed out on that opportunity I decided to not let another pass by so I hunted down the TEEN TITANS SHOWCASE and got Mr. Cardy to sign it for me. He then told me to hunt down a BRAVE AND THE BOLD SHOWCASE that had three issues drawn by him in it, which struck me as odd because 3 issues versus a whole book seemed a little weird, but Nick said, "It's my best work, those three issues."

More Fuel pizza for lunch and a quick stop back to the room to work on today's QuickDraw sketch. Thought I'd mix it up a bit and try a little comedy on the judges today and pay a little homage to Mike as he drew one of the best Ben Grimms around. Here's Momma Grimm's ever-loving, blue-eyed boy:

Of course, I didn't place, but I think the drawing turned out fine and dandy for only having 20 minutes.

My ego slightly bruised I did a little retail therapy and met back with the gang in time for closing and dinner plans. There was a car show going on Saturday and there was this constant bass line that reverberated the entire convention center, but just as we were getting ready to leave the sounds of thunder were heard. A maelstrom had moved in just as the con was ending for the day and we were carrying back portfolios of art. After waiting five-ten minutes Mafus and I decided to make a break for it. He stuffed a portfolio under his shirt, we waited for the light to change and booked. Drenched, but home, I dropped off the art at their room and got ready for dinner at Cosmos.

Side story: While waiting for everybody down in the lobby, Evan Dorkin came up to me and thanked me for wearing my MILK & CHEESE bowling shirt. I've had the thing for years and haven't seen another-ever. Evan clued me that there are probably only a dozen of them left, due to production costs and yadda-yadda. He said he knows everyone with one by name, so I guess I've been added to the list.

The meal was excellent and the company even better (though Squeeze sat at the other table). I had the jambalaya and a couple pints of Skipjack and Bare Knuckle. Was hoping to find Sweetwater 420 down there, but I guess we weren’t close enough to Atlanta for a distributor. We then headed over to see the last two items from the Heroes Auction being sold. Mafus had a commission to work on, so we all headed back for Rum-n-Ginger at the ‘Ringo Room. A couple of drinks, some half-hearted sketch attempts and I crashed with some more DOOM PATROL. Lights outs.

POE: An Ugly Doll (for Lilah)
PUNISHER: Man Of Stone
SLOP: Analecta

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

HeroesCon '08 - Day One

The trip down to Charlotte didn't seem to take that long at all. I think it helped that I crashed at Matt and Squeeze's the night before, so we could just get up and roll. Our first stop in Charlotte was, of course, Fuel Pizza. Wolfed down a couple slices and then headed back to the Squeeze-Mobile for unloading. Let me tell you a little secret, those art portfolios may look like they don't weigh much, but when they're full of sweet, sweet 'Ringo art they weigh a ton. We got the booth set up, said hello to our extended family of Todd and Craig, proceeded to hunt down some trade deals and snagged a couple copies of the 'Ringo Tribute book. I then hit the Quickdraw Contest and whipped up a quick Tom from TELLOS.

Of course, I didn't place in the contest, but I did get a free sheet of bristol out of it and art for a blog post. (Expect two more drawings.) After that the show pretty much shut down, we picked up Nick Cardy from the Hilton and headed over to Fuel for the Tribute Book art auction. Todd started us off with some humorous stories of Mike followed by Mark Waid and Mr. Cardy. I ordered some 'za and the auction started. After about 15-20 minutes security came and tried to shut us down. Matt's face went white when sirens started wailing around us, but the situation resolved itself as we weren't actually exchanging money on the property, which was their major bone of contention. The auction wrapped up a few pieces later and I escorted Mr. Cardy back to his hotel. Meeting and getting to know Mr. Cardy was one of the real pleasures of this year's HeroesCon. Funny, genuine and still drawing his rear off, Nick Cardy is always quick with a smile and a story. I'll elaborate more on him as I go through the other two days of the con. Though I will say took us twice as long to walk the block and a half back to his hotel because every ten steps we were stopped by someone wanting to talk to Mr. Cardy. He'd oblige them for a few minutes before saying he was tired and needed to go to bed. Another ten steps and, "Hey, Mr. Cardy!" As the day drew to a close I curled up with some DOOM PATROL and a bottle of water. Halfway through I started kicking myself for not reading these books earlier. Good, crazy stuff and Richard Case can draw his arse off. Lights out until tomorrow.

DOOM PATROL: Musclebound
PERHAPANAUTS - Pages 2 & 3 (1st Issue Image)
PUNISHER: Up Is Down and Black Is White
WHAT IF? A Tribute To Mike Wieringo
WONDER WOMAN: Who Is Wonder Woman?

Monday, June 16, 2008

A few days shy of a month.

As Mafus pointed out to me yesterday, "Dude, you gonna post something or what? It's been almost a month." That statement took me back a bit as I like to think I'm somewhat regular about posting. Guess life's been flashing by too darn much as of late. So without further's a vampiric Hawk-Girl drawn by Uncle Byrnie and inked by yours truly. I still haven't found my original inking gear and was forced to buy a new brush and quills. I tried to ink most of this with a brush mainly because I'm stubborn, but luckily reason took over and I threw some quill work up in it. As with all my stuff I like sections and hate others, but it's been too long since I actually inked I can't complain too hard.

Very much looking forward to Heroes Con this weekend. Not looking forward to the drive though. While it won't be the same I still think a good time will be had by all. Plenty of friends, announcements and celebrations to keep away the gloomy feelings. If you're attending make sure to stop by Mafus' booth and pick up Mike's WHAT IF? tribute book. Then head all the way over (one booth actually) to Craig and Todd's place and spend like crazy.

In other news...if you haven't seen HULK yet, you need to do so. No spoilers, just trust me.