First, the big news that I haven't been able to share for a few months now. The ever-talented and ever-awesome Guy Davis, former artist on Dark Horse's "BPRD" comic, is returning to his creator-owned book, "The Marquis", which Dark Horse is also publishing. And Guy has brought me aboard to be the book's letterer! This is a wonderful opportunity to work on a book I love, and to work with a person I respect and am friends with, as well as my biggest credit in the comic industry to date. More news on the book's development as it comes. But I'm all kinds of excited to be a part of Guy's creative process!
On the convention front, I just got back last night from my wild weekend at the C2E2 comic con! It was an amazing experience filled with amazing people. Check out my photos below for an illustrated overview of my trip!
I rode in late Wednesday night with Gapo the Clown creator Tony Miello. My first night in Chi town, I bunked with Tony and his pals from Wonderworld Comics at their penthouse suite in the Hyatt, which was across the street from the con itself. This was the scene from the suite, which coincidentally, was pretty sweet.
Thursday morning we walked over to McCormick place where the con was held, to take care of pre-show business. This was the street view across from the building. I briefly convinced Rich, the manager of Wonderworld, that this is where they filmed the 70's sitcom Good Times. I rule.
Despite what that TV says, this was actually the beginning--my first day in my own hotel room a mile or so north from the con at the Essex Inn on Michigan Avenue. It was cozy, but for one person, it was an ideal place to crash. Close to some good restaurants and coffee shops, comfy bed, flat screen TV, and four different HBO channels. It was heaven, I tells ya.
I was all set up and ready to go on Friday when the con opened up. Here's my table set up--only slightly different from when I did my first con in 2009. I sold copies of Dead Duck, copies of my sketchbook, and lots of prints, original art, and offered commissions.
Here's a left shoulder-view of artist alley from where I sat. I was very fortunate to be flanked my some very nice talented artists. In the blue there is artist Lynell Ingram, who has an incredible style that reminds of Sandman artist Dave McKean with a little Tim Burton as well.
And here's the king of all monsters, Godzilla. This was probably my favorite costume that I saw all weekend.
If not THE first, this was one of the first commissions that gradually came to me that first day. I was asked to draw a "70's chick with big bellbottoms". That kind of iconography is key to my artistic repertoire, so this was a blast to draw. The afro puffs were my idea.
This was a great commission I got for an old Dick Tracy villain, Nilon Hoze. Drawing Tracy villains is always a treat for me, but this one was especially significant...
...since the man who requested it was Richard Pietrzyk, a fellow cartoonist who worked on the Dick Tracy strip in the 70's (and also worked on the comic strip Brenda Starr). I met Richard at Wizard World Chicago in 2009, and we've keep in touch ever since. At C2E2, Richard also commissioned me to draw the Tracy villain Mumbles, which you can see below.
Flattering a cartoonist will take you far. But flattering a cartoonist while expressing interest in the same long forgotten cartoon that he idolizes just wins you the prize every time. This young woman took immediate interest in my "Last Happy Meal" print (click here to see it), and was determined to buy it even though she was almost flushed out from other con purchases. She also saw me doodling Bullwinkle J. Moose on a blank Spider-Man cover (dressed as Spider-Man, naturally), and told me how much she loved the old Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon. I about flipped, and immediately presented her with my WATCHMOOSE print, featuring the whole Bullwinkle crew as the Watchmen. I told her she could have it for free, since I never found anyone who appreciated that show like I did. She was thrilled, and it was one of the highlights of the con for me.
This was a commission I got for a caricature of actress Eliza Dushku, who happened to be in attendance at C2E2 while I was there. Evidently, the person who commissioned this got the actress to sign it, but Dushku scribbled her signature all over the drawing's boobs, much to the commissioner's dismay.
Though mistaken for a furry (look it up if you don't already know what that means), this was actually a very cool costume of G'Nort from DC Comics' Green Lantern Corps.
This was possibly my favorite moment of the whole con. This is Christina, an up and coming cartoonist and a BIG fan of Dead Duck and Zombie Chick. She brought her own copy of my book from the con to have me sign, and also presented me with the most beautiful original artwork that she drew of my characters (click here to check it out). I was so touched that I gave her an autographed copy of my sketchbook for free. Moments like this really help me understand that meeting the people who enjoy my work is the best part of my coming to conventions.
This was a fun commission I got from one of C2E2's show runners. She had me draw her children as Jedi, which is subject matter close to my heart.
This was a caricature I did of my friend Steve and his friends. I met Steve at last year's C2E2. He's a great guy, and along with his friends, a lot of fun to draw.
Though I hate to pick, this was one of my three favorite commissions I got all weekend. Master prop and puppet builder and co-creator of the web puppet show Transylvania Television Gordon Smuder asked me to draw the ROCK-eteer by Cave Stevens, a Flintstonian parody of the comic character Rocketeer by the late great Dave Stevens. I was given a free hand to imagine this however I wanted, and it was such a blast to create.
Gordon's next commission suggestion, Pogo Fett (comic strip character Pogo Possum as Star Wars' Boba Fett) was an absolute dream commish. I really enjoyed including Albert the alligator frozen in carbonite in the background.
And the last of my favorite commissions was for my great pal and equally great artist Kyle Latino, who requested the classic comic character Magnus: Robot Fighter, engaged in bullying a smaller robot. The pee-trickle of transmission fluid was obviously all me. I'm so weird.
So the con was a huge success for me, and I'll definitely be returning next year. A huge shout out to Tony Miello for driving me to the con and helping me out so much during the course of the show, to Dennis and the gang from Wonderworld for letting me crash at their place that first night (and to Rich for "barkering" for me on the last day at the con and consequently pulling in a few sales for Dead Duck), to Kyle Latino and his friends for some great company and great food at Girodano's Italian restaurant on Saturday night, to the awesome folks who put on C2E2 and who were so helpful and kind to me (and who accidentally gave me a full sized table when I only paid for a half size), and most of all, to all my fans who came out to see me, and the cool new people I met during my stay. It was an experience I'll always remember.
Lastly, my Live Sketch show returns this Wednesday at 8 pm eastern time on Ustream. You can find it by clicking HERE. And if you want to instant message me during the show, you need to log in to Ustream to use the window, but registering is easy. It only takes a username and an email address. Once you've entered that info, you can chat with me and suggest stuff for me to draw. This week's theme is BATMAN CHARACTERS! Hope to see you there with some good suggestions!