Upcoming Conventions and Other Appearances
Saturday, October 8, 2011
But understand that a fair amount of this was not the fault of FanFare's organizers. Between the city of Detroit's lack of communication regarding that Saturday's Bike Tour of Detroit, significantly blocking off traffic to Cobo Hall, to being in the middle of a Red Wings and Tigers game, respectively, the convention had a fair amount of carpet pulled out from underneath it. And of course when certain special guests cancelled, whether completely or in the middle of the weekend, like Peter Weller (Robocop) or Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead) respectively, it doesn't reflect well on the show. But again, those are turn of events that are beyond the control of any convention planner.
There are always personal criticisms that can be given with any convention. But it's in my opinion that any shortcomings that Detroit FanFare may have had were easily outweighed by its successes. Everything that I liked about last year's show was still there and it had more to offer this time around, as you'll read on.
Working a full-time job has definitely had an impact on my time as a freelance illustrator, whether for better or for ill. I'll at least say that you find yourself rather tired when working a forty-hour week, attend a weekend-long convention with after-show events, then return to the regular grind right after. But the regular job provides where the illustrating does not, at least until it starts to bring in enough of an income. And I genuinely like the place where I'm currently employed, which was very understanding in letting me leave an hour early that Friday afternoon to begin the drive towards FanFare.
The first stop along the way towards Detroit FanFare was actually more of a detour, really, to the home of a couple that I consider both good friends and mentors, Adam Withers and Comfort Love. Having packed the previous night and loaded into my vehicle in the morning before work, it made for relative ease to place their displays, merchandise, and the like inside. While Flint is certainly not along the route from Brighton to Detroit, the carpooling offers three upsides: splitting the cost of gas and parking, but more importantly having good company and conversation during the drive down. When we did arrive, it also helped to have three pairs of hands to carry everything in to Cobo Hall instead of just mine, or in their case just two.
We briefly parted ways to set up that evening, where I rendezvoused with my former Kendall classmate and regular table-mate Jason Westlake. We kept in touch during the months and especially weeks leading up to the convention, planning accordingly what details needed to be addressed. But it was very good to see him again in person as it always is. There I also met Joshua Werner for the first time, a friend of Jason's. Up until that point, Joshua had been simply a name to me, a kind of second cousin to Harvey the rabbit to quote 'The Shawshank Redemption'. So it was good to put a face to the name at last. The first meeting was brief, since he also was setting up his table, but knew we would have another chance to get better acquainted.
Then a funny thing happens while we began set-up. One of the FanFare organizers, whose name regretfully alludes me (Gary Reed, perhaps?), approached us. He pleasantly asked how we were, if we were looking forward to the show, and a few other like inquiries. Of course we both were, having anticipated this show since last year, and nodded in agreement. Then he asks, perhaps a little coyly, "You see this table, here?" motioning to the one next to ours. We in turn nod again. "How would you like to have it?" As it turned out, there were some cancellations in Artist Alley and were kind enough to freely give us another table.
This worked well to our advantage as we began setting up at separate tables, since we could cover each completely on our own. And it dawned on me then: we had reached the point where we needed our own tables from now on. Jason saw this as well, and as Adam later said that evening it is all a part of growing. Regardless, we still plan on going together to more conventions down the road, which will be just fine. As with Adam and Comfort, we'll likely share hotel rooms again and of course hang out both between and after the shows.
About this time they began to shut off the lights in the Cobo Hall convention center, which was our cue to cut out for the night. There was the standard intermission of checking in at the nearby Marriott Hotel, then trafficking and unpacking our more personal items from the vehicle to our room. This was shortly followed by the five of us (Adam, Comfort, Jason, Josh, and myself) heading down to the basement level, where we had our pick of Burger King and Subway. By this hour, the rest of the food court restaurants had closed up for the evening. It wasn't that late, but apparently they run a different operation working out of the Marriott.
Here we enjoyed our evening meal together and conversed as nerds often do on topics ranging from comic-movie adaptations such as 'Thor' and 'Green Lantern' to the more nit-and-grit business aspects of comic conventions, including a slightly humorous subject that Adam aptly named "the idiot brain." I would elaborate, but Adam would give a much better explanation than what I could. And this continued on until it came time for the VIP Creators Party, held in a bar back at the Cobo Hall. Admittedly, the setting wasn't particularly ideal: too dark to draw well (though Adam and Comfort managed, being the troopers that they are) and too many background conversations to hold one well, unless you were standing right next to the other person. On the plus side, there was a free buffet table. Dinner had for the most part filled me up, but why snub free grub? So I ate again, albeit more skimpily.
The night wore on, and after a respectable amount of time had passed attending this party we retired back to our room. As the conversation in the food court had been pleasant, so too was our talk whilst walking the dusky sidewalks with their copper-glow streetlamps to the Marriott. These particular memories of fellowship with good friends of like pursuits I already reminisce about in rosy fondness. (My apologies, that little part of the poet felt the need to chime in.) This comforting lull lasted the rest of the night, until we went to bed with the white sound of a rainfall recording play. With the morning would come our first official day at Detroit FanFare, and we gladly anticipated its arrival.
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Made this sketch card specifically for Detroit Fanfare, which included Bruce Campbell himself as a special guest. Sadly, he cancelled his Sunday appearance, which is when I had the card finished and ticket purchased to see him. *sigh* Oh, well. Maybe our paths will cross down the road and then I'll get his autograph on this.
This particular sketch card is not for sale, at least not for the conventional $25 USD. I'll be keeping this unless someone really makes it worth my while. If interested, make me an offer.
On a side note, thanks to my friend Jason Westlake for lending me his white Gelly Roll pen. I must make it a point to purchase one for myself. So much easier than touching up with white gouache.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Expect to see this done up later in digital colors and available as a print. I'll be selling them at the convention, as well as online of course. And while I'm there, I'll hopefully get media guest B.K. Taylor's autograph, since he wrote a select few episodes of the TV series. I wasn't aware of this at the time that I started sketching this out, so it turned out to be a happy coincidence when I read about his appearance.
EDIT: Didn't get around to making this into a color print as originally planned. Maybe I'll have it done up for next year's convention. But outside the Detroit show itself, I doubt that there would be enough interested buyers to make it worthwhile.
Been waiting for Burger Beast to post this before posting this, myself. This mock-up artwork is for the food critic's upcoming 2011 Burgie Awards, parodying a variant of the 1933 'King Kong' theatrical posters. This makes for the third annual poster that I've been commissioned, having done this for all the Burgie Awards events thus far. And I have to say, this year's poster is my current favorite.
The WIP sketch
Saturday, July 30, 2011
After last year's downpour during Perryfest, I had invested in a canopy tent meant more-so for tailgating parties. Not only did it serve well this time around to keep me in the shade, but it fit perfectly in the parking space where my table and displays were set up. As some of you may recall, the yard sale was held in the Haslett High School parking lot and each person, or group, is given two parking spaces: one for their vehicle, one for their wares. If you're at all familiar with the comic convention scene, tables are so tightly packed together. It's such a stark contrast, but I've begun to feel a little more accustomed to the extra space.
the table spread, which included: sketch books and cards, mini zombie prints, the watercolor female cardinal, and a copy of The Uniques Tales
Despite this, I was pleased with the response in regards to caricatures, though not without some patience on my part. The first pair of customers hadn't approached until towards early afternoon, which was well into the second half of the yard sale's hours. When an event only lasts for a single day, you tend to compulsively check your watch, wondering if you'll even get any business as hours pass by. Not so much pessimism, you understand, but more anxiety. It's fair to assume this is a common feeling. In the end the patience paid off, and that's what's important.
her in the elementary school for the twenty some-odd years, not me you wiserackers out there on the web.) She came back later with her daughter and three younger grandchildren, commissioning caricatures of each. Their time was limited, so I arranged to illustrate each child sometime thereafter and mail them out to her. So expect to see three more caricatures coming in the near future on this site.
The rest of the yard sale went without a hitch. Well, nearly without a hitch. A stronger gust of wind did cause some mischief and blew my canopy and displays over. Fortunately, nothing was lost or broken, though the same couldn't be said to my neighbor to the right (the shattered glass of a frame made for them a nice little mess). And speaking of my neighbors, a number of them came right to my assistance when it happened, helping catch and shift my wares and displays. For that I thank you, should any of you happen to read this.
My thanks also to the "ladies in pink," who helped coordinate this event and to Greg Spencer, a pleasant gentleman who discussed with me some interesting points concerning eidetic memory and artists. I'll definitely plan on attending the Haslett Community Yard Sale again next year.
Monday, July 18, 2011
The Harvey Awards are currently accepting votes and as it happens 'The Uniques Tales' has been nominated this year for Best Anthology! This is a considerable honor to myself and all the other talents that contributed to the book, and with your help perhaps we can win this award. If you would be so kind, visit the Harvey Awards website to fill out and submit a ballot before the August 6th deadline. Votes are accepted only from contributors in the comic field (independent or otherwise), however, so keep that in mind.
Thanks, and wish us luck!
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Monday, April 25, 2011
The Shiawassee Arts Center is hosting its 14th Annual Member Exhibition, lasting from April 26th 'til June 12th. This is my submission into the show. If you happen to be in Owosso within the next couple of months, be sure to visit the gallery! This framed, 5x7" watercolor painting of a female cardinal is up for sale at $60 USD. If it doesn't happen to sell while on display there, I'll make it available online afterward. Prints are available, so contact me if you're interested.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Read Doug Moench's vampire trilogy, ending with Batman: Crimson Mist, a while back and began this sketch card shortly thereafter. Then work came up a few weeks ago, so I hadn't gotten to finishing this until yesterday. Even though it's less emphasized in the third graphic novel, the imagery of the red rain seemed essential to include, here. It was a little tricky, but turned out well.
Purchase this original art for $25 USD, which comes in a plastic protector and includes no additional mailing costs (except for international shipping). Contact me if interested.
EDIT: This sketch card has been purchased, so it's no longer available.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Commissioned by Clowie, here's her original character, Gerxa. Have to say, this was probably one of my first few attempts at artwork with a steampunk theme, and it was awesome! The wallpaper in back was more Art Deco than the more appropriate Victorian style that's associated with steampunk. But I felt it needed those bronze and grays often used in the former style, especially after reading the character's biography.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Finished reading Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's Batman: The Long Halloween a while back, which inspired me to illustrate this particular scene where Poison Ivy has seduced Bruce Wayne. This series's rendition of Ivy was the catalyst, to be specific. But instead of illustrating the scene verbatim, I took the liberty of drawing artistic influence from Gustav Klimt's painting, "The Kiss." The backlighting with the window helped to preserve some of Klimt's original, golden palette.
Purchase this original art for $25 USD, which comes in a plastic protector and includes no additional mailing costs. Contact me if interested.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Commissioned for Susan, a local lady, as a gift for her mother, she requested a portrait of the Holy Family rendered in watercolors.
For our initial meeting, I brought along a big pile of art books from my personal collection. On a whim, I also did an online search for a handful of other paintings, which I took along on my handy li'l netbook. Like the books, I felt that my client would appreciate looking over various renditions of the Holy Family to help her decide on the details. Wouldn't you know it, she decides on one of the last minute, digital images.
As it turned out, this was a good thing. She took a real shine to "The Holy Family" by Janet McKenzie, whose work I wasn't familiar with in the least. So, I did some searching around and found that I liked a lot of her work and subject matter. While I may not completely agree with the artist's beliefs, I can still appreciate the paintings' beauty and themes. (Holiness & The Feminine Spirit: the Art of Janet McKenzie is a good reference.)
After some discussion, my client and I also chose to go with a more historically accurate portrayal of the Holy Family. So instead of White, or Black like in Janet McKenzie's original, here they are Hebrew. For this aspect, I referred to the artwork of James Tissot, whose attention to accuracy humbles me. Tissot's rendering of Joseph can be seen reflected in my own. (James Tissot: The Life of Christ is another good reference.)
Having finally finished this, I'm very pleased with the result. If you would like a print of this, or commission something similar, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
'Rainbow in the Dark,' #3 cover
Getting to the point of this post, I learned that in their third installment of 'Rainbow in the Dark,' this artist actually makes a little comic cameo. Look at the last panel in the page below, towards the bottom left corner. You can see me seated amongst the others, who I assume are being indoctrinated into the Gloom mentality, as it were. But fear not, for apparently I do make it out. Having thanked Comfort, she replied that I will make another appearance and in color. If that page should be posted, I'll be sure to include it in this one as well.
So be sure to get yourself caught up with the first two issues of 'Rainbow in the Dark,' which are available for purchase online in traditional paperback or PDF/CBZ form. (The third will be available for download today.) It certainly gets my stamp of approval, for what it's worth.
"Welcome, my son. Welcome to the
machine." -Pink Floyd
Friday, January 14, 2011
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Monday, January 10, 2011
Been going through some personal matters as of late, which has kept me near my family, but the circumstances have been difficult on us. So with what free time I have had recently, I've spent trying to lose myself, at least a little, in various stories told through graphic novels. Certainly, I have art projects to tend to, but everything has more or less been put on hold. (My clients have been very understanding, which I am thankful for.) And it just feels good to do something like this for myself. Gives me an outlet for what I've been reading while being productive at the same time.
At any rate, I'm a sucker for those alternate timeline, "what if?" type of tales (which you likely could tell by my previous, Superman: Red Son sketch card), and re-reading Wolverine: Old Man Logan put me in the mood to make this sketch card. Here's the Red Skull as the new American President in front of the former White House. As to why he's wearing Captain America's costume, the Red Skull eloquently explains, "The ancients wore the skins of their fallen foes. Why shouldn't I be allowed my eccentricities?"
Purchase this original art for $25 USD, which comes in a plastic protector and includes no additional mailing costs. Contact me if interested.