Well that certainly went fast! And for the most part they all have in the past, but this year especially so. This year I represented Big Dog's Studio, the Dollar Bin, Sketch Charlotte and I even moderated and participated in a panel for Heroes. Throw in a visit from my lovely wife Jaimee and our 15 month old son and you can start to see why this one went so fast. This is my first "Con Report" so I'll break the events into days for easier reading enjoyment...I hope!
We kicked things off a day earlier by hosting an "out-of-town" sketch group meet with Sketch Charlotte on Thursday night. For those that made it you could see either the look of relief or panic in their eyes depending upon the amount of prep they had remaining. For the most part it was another relaxed evening at Showmars. We had the usual suspects in place for the event and were joined by a handful of new attendees. John (aka Doctor Fantastic) Schweiker made the trip with his fellow art collecting buddy Chad Garrett. Terence brought Scott Wegener of Atomic Robo fame and Jason brought his pal the super talented Robbi Rodriguez. It was a really fun time, but my night was cut short so that I could get everything ready for the big show!
I got to the Convention Center early so I could get things in place before setting out to get stuff signed & sketched. I hit up Darwyn Cooke first thing. I'm normally not a commission kind of guy, but this year I looked into possibly getting one, but he wasn't drawing this year. He did have a portfolio of incredible pieces he was selling. Unfortunately they were out of my budget, but thankfully drooling was free! I absolutely LOVE Darwyn's art and his storytelling is top notch as well, but what puts him at the top of my list is how personable he is. When it's your turn in line there's no one else at that convention. He's dialed in to each person as if they were the only one in line. I was able to have a brief, yet involved conversation about the Parker books and it made my convention...on day one! I offered to do a sketch for him on the back of one of our sketchbooks and he asked for the Green Lantern...no pressure!
Next up was Tim Sale. I met him last year and he was incredibly nice and laid back. This year was no exception. I offered him a sketch as well, and he chose Batman. I can draw Bats in my sleep, but this is for friggin' Tim Sale! I knocked it out back at the table figuring the less I thought about drawing Batman the better, but it still took two tries before I was happy enough to give it to Tim.
From there it was back to the booth and back to sketching with my partner in crime Terence Hoskins.
From previous years’ experience of working a table at Heroes Con on a Saturday I was prepared for things to get busy, but Saturday was ridiculous! To start things off Terence and I manned the table and drew our butts off! The big draws of the day (no pun intended) were Terence’s Thor print and my Steve Zissou print. They brought people up to the table and on occasion we’d seal the deal with a sketch on our sketchbook. We stayed there off and on until about noon.
I got up and nervously delivered Darwyn’s Green Lantern sketch to him and he was not only excited to get it, but he remembered my name! I’m a 37 year old man and that made me giddy…one of my idols actually remembered my name…how cool is that?! :)
I was also excited to deliver a Rocketeer sketch (scan coming soon I hope) to Con workhorse and all around great guy Seth Peagler. You can see the Princess Pinky sketch I did for his blogmate and girlfriend Heather Mckinney here.
Next, I made it up to the Inkwell Awards. I wanted to support the guys that were going to be on my Inking Panel and to do some research for the panel.
From there I went to lunch with my pal Henry Eudy. We ended up running into fellow Sketch Charlotteer Jeremy Brooks on the way. (that was another cool thing...a familiar face just about everywhere you turned!) I had to have my Fuel pizza fix for the weekend. After that it was back to the table to knock out a few more sketches. I was hoping to either swing by the Westin bar or at least attend some of the art auction, but it wasn't meant to be.
I got there super early to work over my outline for the Inking Panel. I'd gone by and introduced myself to just about everyone at some point in the previous days, so I was ready to go! I was a bit nervous early on, but those guys really stepped up to the plate and made it an interesting, funny and informative panel...despite me! I made a point to have everyone sit close and I stood out of the way behind the audience. At one point I caught myself just staring, thinking about all the talent on that stage. What they've been a part of over the years - Karl Story...Tim Townsend...Bob McLeod...Mark Morales...Scott Hanna...Dexter Vines...Bob Almond...it blows the mind!
The panel went off without a hitch and then I was, you guessed it, back off to the table! I managed to go around and get a few more autographs and sketches and with Vy's help was able to get most of Brian's stuff signed too (thanks Vy!)
Upon my return I saw the placard announcing my panel back at the booth signed by the contributors...thanks to Ted & Andy for pulling that off...meant a lot guys! :)
Time flew by and 4:00 was closing in fast. On the way to meet my wife and son I ran into Doc talking to Kevin Nowlan. I stopped to mention how much I'd admired his work over the years and it turned out he had time for one more head sketch!!! I raced back and grabbed my book and the last 3 Big Dog Sketchbooks and dropped them off on the way to meet Jaimee.
My son is only 15 months old, so I doubt he'll remember much, but he had a ball. (side note: turns out my Dad took me to my first Heroes Con way back in 1986...now 25 years later I was there with my son for his first Heroes Con)
My wife showed up wearing her Big Dog's Studio t-shirt...on her own! That really made their trip that much more special. I walked them around and introduced them to friends and even a few pros. I even took him by Kevin Nowlan's table and showed him my own Jack B Quick! :) What a fantastic way to end another great Heroes Con. But there's even more...
SUNDAY NIGHT: the after party
I decided I was going to swing by, shake hands say hello and congratulations on another fantastic con, but I ended up staying for a few hours. The night started out hanging with Herc, Rich, Bridgit and John...next thing I know I'm talking about comics and family with Roger Langridge! That was pretty amazing. I've always known him to be very personable through brief exchanges on the con floor, but he's as nice a guy as he is a terrific draftsman. Unbelievable. After a few quick conversations I ended up talking SEC football with Steve Epting while waiting for the chicken wings to arrive. Chicken wings and cold beverage in tow, I was finally able to sit down and share a drink with my comrades. A job well done and another Heroes Con in the books....until next year!
With Chris Schweizer - seriously check his stuff out, a must stop for me EVERY show.
The Inking Panel I moderated (Guests were: Karl Story, Tim Townsend, Bob McLeod, Mark Morales, Scott Hanna, Dexter Vines and Bob Almond...a serious gathering of talent to be sure!)
The Sketch Charlotte Panel I was on...seems like I was talking...a lot. Surprised they still have me around! The Panel included SC regulars: Herc Petmezs, Henry Eudy, Bridgit Scheide, Rich Barrett, Jerry Stanford, Jason McLellan as well as a few new members and was moderated by Seth & Heather!
Sketches from the weekend:
Furious Fist of the Drunken Monkey sketch by Rich Stahnke. We sat next to each other at the show and hit it off. He's ultra talented and a nice guy to boot!
Ambrose Chase for my Planetary sketchbook - by Doctor Fantastic!
Two amazing surprises by local artist Jason McLellan - Spider-Man and Poison Ivy!
Catfoot Crogan by Chris Schweizer. Chris has a book of 4 x 6 illustrations that are amazing! I try to get one every time I see him!
Rashy Rabbit by Josh Latta:
Perhaps the grail of my weekend...Jack B. Quick by Kevin Nowlan:
A few of the books I got signed & sketched in...Adam Hughes, Tim Sale & Darwyn Cooke...not too shabby! :)
Missed you guys: Mark Godby, Brian Eison, Tom Davidson, Rob Young, Rob Ullman
- Shelton Drum, Rico Renzi, Seth Peagler, Heather McKinney, Shelly Drum, Andy Mansell & the rest of the Heroes Crew
- Adam & Shawn Daughhetee; Ted Tarver, Devin, and the entire Dollar Bin crew for having us.
- Terence Hoskins & Henry Eudy for making the sketchbook incredible and just being good peeps!
- Jason McLellan for some really great art..thanks man!
- John "Dr Fantastic" Schweiker for the most positive attitude and excitement about comics and comic art; and the Amrose Chase piece was pretty cool too!
- Herc Petmezas, Rich Barrett, Bridgit Scheide, Jerry Stanford, Jeremy Brooks, Chris Brunner, Jason Latour, Chrissie Zullo, Julian Blake and the rest of the Sketch Charlotte Family
- Karl Story, Tim Townsend, Bob McLeod, Mark Morales, Scott Hanna, Dexter Vines, Bob Almond and Art Thibert for giving their time, sharing their wealth of knowledge and making me look like a better moderator than I actually am!
- Everyone who came by our table and shared their experience with us, let alone those who actually bought something!
The bulk of the pics in this report were taken by Vy Tran - check out her Flickr site:
I'm sure at some point I'll post some of the pics Heather McKinney took as well:
Henry Eudy took the Darwyn Cooke pic; Danny Kilpatrick took the Chris Schweizer pic