Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog Archive
Laura "Tegan" Gjovaag

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Sketchbook - Greg Mannino

You can read all about Greg at the cast info for Dorothy of Oz. And I recommend it. Now, those of you who have read Dorothy of Oz may be a bit astounded at the style of this Aquaman. I was just impressed. It took awhile to pick my jaw up off the floor. It also took me two days to figure out who this Aquaman reminded me of, and if you ask nicely maybe I'll tell. This sketch was done at The Emerald City Comicon, and you can read my con report for more details.

by Greg Mannino
6 February 2005
(permission to post given 6 February 2005 in person)
Dorothy of Oz

As a reminder: Almost every sketch in my sketchbook was non-commissioned and done on the floor of a con. These are not the best works of the artists. These are only representative of what the artist can do under pressure in a loud, crowded, and often stressed-out environment. Most of them were done as quickly as possible, to prevent huge lines from forming. Don't judge any of these artists negatively by the artwork you see, instead be as impressed as I am by what they accomplished in far-from-ideal conditions.

To see all the sketches I have permission to post so far, check out my Sketchbook Page. If you have any contact information for any of the other artists I'm trying to contact, please e-mail me. Click for a random Aquaman sketch.

The Saturday Sketch ™ is brought to you by the letters "G", "M" and the number "84", and also courtesy the fine artists who pour their lives into producing wonderful comic books, then come to conventions only to get asked by geeky fangirls for a sketch of Aquaman. Support an artist, buy a comic book.

by Tegan at 9:52 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

More on Emerald City Comicon

The links are popping up for the Emerald City Comicon...

First off, check out the Official Photo Parade.

Then follow their links to some con reports, like The Pulse, Scott Kurtz, Exhibit A Press, Anglcon, Comic Book Resources, John Layman's After Hours, Indecisive Ramblings, Animation Closet, Eclecticism, Flickr Photo Set, Fans & Cons, and Eddy's Photo Gallery.

And, if you haven't already, you can read my report right here.

And hey, if you know of a report I didn't mention, please put it in the comments so we can all visit it.

by Tegan at 8:21 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Friday, February 11, 2005

Various Thoughts

Logan does some linkblogging, and don't forget to enter his Loki Contest. What would you do if you were the Norse God of Mischief?

Elayne points out that Spike & Mike's Sick and Twisted Animations are available on-line, in part. Hmm. I know somebody who might be really interested in this, and now he knows.

Wil Wheaton on his current job.

Are you ready for Pi Day this year?

The Dorothy team now has a store. You can get both issues for $8 for a limited time, and you can also check out the cool buttons that I mentioned in my con report (bottom of the page). I hope hubby-Eric gets a t-shirt, too. And they've also put up photos from the con.

North Korean Propaganda posters at Boing Boing.

It's better to get caught shoplifting than to get caught downloading.

Nothing is truly off-topic on a blog, but since my fitness stuff didn't fit in here, I've moved it over to Gjoblaag, the boring blog, where I also keep my political rants and other personal life stuff that's too boring for most readers.

by Tegan at 12:10 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Happy Birthday Jenna!

Happy birthday to my niece Jenna! May your day be bright and filled with fun!

by Tegan at 9:15 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Flipping Through Previews...

It's that time again... time for "Things in Previews That Look Interesting But I Can't Afford To Get (with a list of things I am getting just for contrast)". As usual, I'm going to start with the bulk of the book, and then come back and cover the "big four" at the end. Please remember, I'm listing what looks interesting. My actual purchase list is going to be smaller. The numbers after each title are usually the page number in Previews Magazine, so you can follow along at home.

Let's start with the covers. Front cover features Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. If the first two prequels had lived up to expectations, then I might be eager enough to see this one to want to order the comics. As it is, I think I'll pass. Back cover features Superman and Captain Marvel. I'd be tempted to get Superman books just to see more of Captain Marvel, but I'll probably pass on those, too.

Moving on, let's hit the Splash Page (8-9). It looks like something is happening in the Spider-Man books. I hope it isn't a crossover, because I'm more likely to drop the one Spidey book I buy than try to pick up every part of an annoying storyline. I'm likely to get Invincible #0 since the price is only 50 cents. Image has been putting out some good books lately. That's it of interest on the Splash Page for me.

Free Comic Book Day is covered on pages 12-15. Once again, let me remind people that the free comics are NOT free for the retailer. If you, as a regular comic book reader, want to support your retailer's efforts to expand business through free comics, then throw in some dough in support of your retailer. Talk with your local shop owner to find out how much of a contribution will help. I intend to pay for my "free" books, some of which cost retailers up to 75 cents each (which is an awful lot for a free book, don't you think?).

Ahem. Now that I've got my ranting out of the way, let's look at the books offered. Archie Comics is focusing on the women of Archie's world. Beckett Comics is pulling the same stunt they pulled last year with The Ballad of Sleeping Beauty, which you may have noted I'm still buying. This year the new title they are launching with FCBD is Ronin Hood of 47 Samurai. Hmm. Samurai. Bongo Comics has what looks like a fun little sampler. Dark Horse Comics gives a peek at Star Wars. DC retreads familiar ground with *yawn* The Batman Strikes. Devil's Due gives us GI Joe. Gemstone reprints a true classic Uncle Scrooge story, which I hope to see lots of people get on FCBD. Image Comics shows off their Flight anthology, which seems like a good use of the FCBD comic. I'm not sure who Impact Books are, but the sampler of lessons they are offering looks pretty cool. Marvel Comics pulls the same old same old with Marvel Adventures. I wish they'd do a FCBD Mini-Marvels book.

Moving on to the Silver Sponsors... This year we get Adhouse, Alternative, Arcana, Caption Box, Comics Festival, Drawn & Quarterly, Fantagraphics, G.T.Labs, Heroic Publishing, Jetpack Press, Keenspot, Oni, Renaissance, Serve Man, Sky Dog, Top Shelf, and Wizard. I love samplers, and it looks like several publishers are doing those. Wizard is doing a top 100 list. Amelia Rules, Johnny Raygun, Buzzboy, and Owly all appear to be getting some solo-ish action in various books. I'm looking forward to most of these.

Jumping forward over the Premier comics section, I hit Wizard's books (188-196). The upcoming Wizard has more on DC Countdown, while ToyFare has a striking image of a whole bunch of Batman action figures. Yet another edition of Twisted Toyfare Theatre is solicited... Volume 5. I don't think we got volume 4.

Moving on. Comics & Graphic Novels Featured Items pages (198-201) show off The Tourist from AiT/Planet Lar and Beowulf from Speakeasy Comics. Those are the only two that spring out at me.

And into the main section of comic books I dive. I'm a little late on this, so I'm going to rush a tiny bit. Still, I don't see anything of interest until page 217, which contains two ads for AiT/Planet Lar books. Both of which sound intriguing, but only one of which I'm likely to get. More on that in a moment.

Airship Entertainment (218) is actually next. I probably don't even have to say I'm getting Girl Genius #14, but I will anyway. I ran into Phil and Kaja at the Emerald City Comicon. And both the experiments, as well. On her blog, Kaja reports that Phil is getting GG14 finished. The sooner it comes out, the happier I will be.

Now we get to AiT/Planet Lar (218-219). I am certainly thinking about getting The Tourist, as it sounds like a moody bit of adventure. I don't think I could read Surviving Grady, as neat as the concept is. Maybe if the M's win the next world series I can go back and read about the Sox.

There seems to be a new publisher in this issue, Alias (219-234). They've snagged a few pages to promote themselves, and some of it looks promising. Their ad on page 221 says they are publishing Comic Book Digest, which was decent. They are also releasing four books at a 75 cent introductory price. Hmmm. At that price, I might be willing to give one or two of them a shot. Only problem is, none of the 75 cent books actually appeal to me. What does appeal to me is Pakkins' Land, which is listed at $2.99 in full color. The ad says it appeals "to all who enjoy the works of C.S. Lewis, L. Frank Baum and J.R.R. Tolkien."

Next up for me is Bongo Comics (260-262) which is issuing another issue of Simpsons Classics.

Caption Box (266) has a book called Lone and Level Sands, which would appear to be about Ozymandias. I wonder how historical this book is. Definitely enough to get me to look twice.

Comics Conspiracy (270) looks at current events with a book called American Inquisition.

Dynamite Entertainment (275) gives us a 25 cent Red Sonja book. That's almost worth checking out. I'm enjoying Dark Horse's Conan, should I try this one out?

Dork Storm Press (288) will get my money with another issue of Nodwick. I particularly like the cover of this one, an illustration of a Clue-By-Four.

Fantagraphics (298-299) is soliciting the next volume of The Complete Peanuts. They still have really ugly covers, but this one features Pigpen, so I guess it's appropriate.

Barbarossa and the Lost Corsairs from Kandora Publishing (316) has taken a turn for the fantastic, and now I'm seriously thinking about back-ordering the first issue to read this series from the start. It's looking like it might be a lot of fun. They have another series starting this month, Jade Fire which also looks good. See the ad on page 317 for more. Hmmm. Tough decision time coming up with these...

Layne Morgan Media (319) solicits the third issue of Chickasaw Adventures, which I'm still ordering. I'm really hoping these live up to my expectations.

Mahrwood Press (319&322) has a book called Junior Pirates - Beginnings which is "Published in a widescreen format." Exactly what does that mean? Other than that oddity, looks like a decent little book. Apparently it's written by Chuck Dixon.

Reney Editions Inc (328) has a book called The Blue Tunics which has been translated into English. What's odd about that is that the story is about two Yankee soldiers during the American Civil War. I'm curious to know what this book was translated from... French?

I'm sailing through these listings! Next up is Speakeasy Comics (332-336). I ordered The Grimoire, so I'll be ordering issue #2. This is the most annoying thing about modern comics. I'm ordering these sight unseen. I don't know if I'll like it or not, and there just aren't many ways to be sure. I have high hopes for this series, but I may detest it. Who knows? Anyway... Another comic debuting this month from Speakeasy is Beowulf about an outbreak of superpowers. I'm tempted by this one, but I really need to see more of the interior art before I make a decision.

Viper Comics (363) has the second issue of Oddly Normal which I ordered. Yup, in for a penny, in for a pound. I'll be getting this one.

Whew. Through the main listings. And mostly unscathed. I think.

Zipping through the Magazines and Books, nothing of particular interest to me, although I did spot an Oz-related book that hubby-Eric wasn't aware of. No Aquaman logo t-shirts yet (hope springs eternal). Nothing in games or DVDs that grabs me either. So, back to the front of the book to cover the premier comics. DC last, but the others in whatever order I feel like.

Dark Horse starts out with a lot of Star Wars stuff this month for some strange reason. Yeah, that was sarcasm. Never mind. Of interest to me is Go Girl! Volume 2 (34), Conan #15 (35), and Conan and the Jewels of Gwahlur #1 (36-37). I'd be interested in getting The Amazing Adventures of The Escapist (40-41) if I expected it to come out before it's collected. I was burned once on that book, I'm not inclined to buy it again. I'll get Samurai: Heaven & Earth #5 (42).

Next up, Image Comics. They've changed the design of their solicits, and it will take a little getting used to. I think it's likely that we'll order Invincible #0 (137), especially at that price. I'll also get Battle Hymn #5 (147), Lions, Tigers and Bears #4 (155), Lullaby: Wisdom Seeker #3 (155), and Noble Causes #10 (157).

On to Marvel Comics (180), who continue to fail to impress me by forcing me to take home an extra catalog if I want their full listings. So, working only from the shipping list: Shanna, The She-Devil #3, Amazing Spider-Man #78/519, and Powers #10. I'm sure I'll end up reading more, but I most likely won't have bought them for myself.

And finally, into DC Comics.

Batman (61-67): Nothing I want to get, and nothing that jumps out as worthy to be mentioned.

Superman (68-74): I'll admit that I'm tempted by the Superman/Captain Marvel story-arc. I don't know if I'm tempted enough to actually get it, though. I like the Alex Ross cover to the Flash/Superman book, too, but I'm not interested in getting it.

DC Universe (75-94): Aquaman #29 continues on, with guest-stars JLA. I'm feeling a smudge of real excitement about this one. Bloodhound #10 is the final issue of that gory but good series. I'll also be getting Birds of Prey #81. I'm not so sure about Day of Vengeance #1. With Hal Jordan returning as GL, what is The Spectre in this book? That's enough to get me curious, is it enough to get me to buy the book?

Speaking of GL, Green Lantern Secret Files 2005 will make the pull list, along with Green Arrow #49, JLA #113, JLA Classiried #6, JSA #72, and Outsiders #23. I'm thinking Legion of Super-Heroes #5 will also make the pull, but I'm not certain of that one. Another one I'm not certain about is The OMAC Project #1. Another DC Countdown one, with less of a pull than the other.

Solo #4 features Howard Chaykin. Looks like fun. And Seven Soldiers continues with Seven Soldiers: Klarion The Witch Boy #1 and Seven Soldiers: Zatanna #1. I'm inclined to get both of them because they both feature characters I'm interested in. We'll have to see. And lastly, Teen Titans #23 has Tempest, so I'll get it.

Johnny DC (95-96): Justice League Unlimited #8 and The Batman Strikes #8. I like the cover to JLU this month.

DC Library (97-103): nothing.

Wildstorm (104-114): nothing.

Vertigo (115-126): nothing.

DC Direct (127-132): nothing.

So that's it for this month's "Things in Previews That Look Interesting But I Can't Afford To Get (with a list of things I am getting just for contrast)". Comments? Questions? Did I miss any really cool books that you know about and would like to point out? Do you disagree with something I wrote, and want to correct me? There's the comments, right below. Post something. And, yes, I accept review copies. I'm willing to give almost anything a try.

by Tegan at 10:35 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Rapid Reviews - 2 February 2005 - Part III

Lions Tigers & Bears #1: Joey is moving, and he needs some protection from the beasties. His grandmother provides protection in the form of a set of stuffed animals that are more than they appear to be. This is a fun little book, although I have a hard time identifying with Joey since he seems to be scared of every shadow. Then again, it appears that his fears may be justified. Mildly recommended. 3 1/2 starfish

Justice League Unlimited #6: "In The Dimming Light": An old Green Lantern doesn't know when to hand over the ring to a successor, and when his enemies bring their fight to Earth his problems become the Justice League's problem. A nice little tale of respect for elders. The not entirely-sly commentary of Zibar about John's choice of friends is pretty amusing. This is a pretty good issue, even if Aquaman appears only on the cover. 4 starfish

Incredible Hulk #78: "Tempest Fugit" Part 2 of 5: I had to know where the second Hulk came from, so I went ahead and bought this issue. And although I have a better idea of what the second Hulk isn't, I still don't know what it was. I think I'm going to have to read some more. 3 1/2 starfish

by Tegan at 1:54 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Rapid Reviews - 2 February 2005 - Part II

Shanna The She-Devil: "The Killing Season Part One": Ok, so this unit of guys has been on this island or whatever for nearly four years. And they are still stupid enough to split up to investigate a huge facility like this? Ri-ight. How'd they even survive 3 days? Other than that... not bad. Typical Cho art, nice little mystery set-up. I'm curious to see what happens. 3 1/2 starfish

New Avengers #3: "Breakout! Part Three": "Hey, we worked together well in one instance, let's pull together as a permanent team!" Whatever. Decent art, decent writing, but the central premise seems a little flawed to me. 3 1/2 starfish

Supreme Power #15: "Collateral Damage": The group turned over the serial killer to the government, who has plans for him. Most of this issue is taken up with the explanation of the history of the killer along with his future. But it also covers other plot threads, touching on just about every character we've seen so far. In this issue it seems like everything is pulling together, like there's an overall plan just barely visible. Recommended. 4 starfish

by Tegan at 1:35 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Random Thoughts

Gutterninja has some good advice for marketing comic books. Number one is, in my humble opinion, the most important first step. Having a presence on the internet in the form of a website helps in countless ways to promote your book.

Shane is linkblogging again.

Wil Wheaton gets a part and his audition story is a really good read. Check it out.

Various and Sundry points us to impressive photography. Go through the story images in order, and you'll understand what they mean.

For the one person out there who still hasn't seen this: We Are Zogg. Someone took a badly drawn little golden book and changed the captions to fit the pictures.

This one is just odd: ORZ.

by Tegan at 11:00 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Rapid Reviews - 2 February 2005 - Part I

Reviews are coming along very slowly this week...

Java! #3: The Swizz Mizz wants to destroy all caffeine, and has been having enough luck to get the specialists on her tail. So she goes to get help... at least, that's what I think is happening in this slightly frenetic issue. Sadly, although it's billed as the last issue of the mini, it leaves on a bit of a cliffhanger. It's cute, but any book in which I consider the bad guys to be completely in the right is one I'm not sure I should be reading. Then again, I really like Swizz Mizz... 3 1/2 starfish

True Story Swear To God #12: Hrm, what should I say about this? How about BUY IT NOW! BUY IT! ORDER IT THROUGH YOUR SHOP! WHAT ARE YOU SITTING THERE READING MY BLOG FOR??!?? GO BUY THIS! *ahem* Tom has moved to Puerto Rico and must deal with his family, Lily's family, and roachzilla. Those of you who've read 100 stories may remember roachzilla, this issue puts the story into context. There is also a lovely cover by Scott Morse. 4 1/2 starfish

by Tegan at 7:05 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Monday, February 07, 2005

Emerald City Comicon Report 2005

I'm absolutely exhausted, and yet pretty happy as well. I made it through seven hours of convention with very little pain. My convention reports are more for helping me to remember what happened than to share the fun with you all, but I post them because people do seem interested. My report of the first Emerald City Comicon is here and the second is here.

First off, as you all may have read, I didn't make it to the con yesterday because I had to work. This was the first year that the Emerald City Comicon was two days. It was apparently very busy on the first day of the convention, with "insane crowds" according to a few of the artists I talked with. Sunday, in addition to being dreary and rainy in Seattle, was Superbowl Sunday and thus the crowds were lighter. There was more downtime for most artists.

Hubby-Eric and I started to the con pretty early, leaving Bothell around 8:30 am. We set up the Superbowl to tape, but when we got home we discovered that there was yet another power outage (the third in the last two days) and the game didn't tape, so I won't be doing any coverage of ads this year.

Being on the road so early allowed us to head down 405 and cross the lake at 90, which is no longer a pleasant trip most days due to traffic. Crossing the lake on the floating bridge reminded me once again just how cool it is to have a floating bridge, something I didn't think about much when I crossed the lake twice a day while commuting. We got down to the stadium so early that we managed to get free parking pretty close to the exhibition center.

We sat reading in the car for awhile to pass the ample time until the con started. After reading awhile, I realized needed a trip to the restroom, and so we walked down to the exhibition center looking for one. Unfortunately, the only ones open were in the center, so I begged the convention staff to let me in just to use the restroom, and they agreed. After I returned, hubby and I waited in line in the very light rain with the rest of the friendly nerds. A staff member came by handing out Plastic Man mailbox heroclix, and some other folks came by with fliers for local comic stores.

Once in, officially this time, I headed for the freebies table. I picked up "The Atom" heroclix, which was just a base with no figure. I also started to pick up some Dorothy of Oz buttons and chatted with the guy putting them out. This led to Eric and I going to their table first.

For those few of you who haven't yet read Dorothy of Oz, this is one of my recommended series. The artwork is far different than most comics, as it incorporates photos within the art. Check out the gallery for an idea of the style. Two issues have come out so far, both of them are recommended by myself and a couple of other bloggers. Check them out, even if you aren't a big Oz fan. The whole team came out to Seattle for the con, and we got to meet the model who "plays" Dorothy. In fact, Hubby-Eric got to have his picture taken with her:

The crew of Dorothy recognized me once I identified my blog, and even claimed to have come out to Seattle just to see me. Flattery will get you everywhere... but Aquaman sketches will get you farther.

To my delight, Greg Mannino, the Director/Producer/Creator of Dorothy, was willing to give Aquaman a try. The result was a really impressive piece which I'll be sharing with you on a future Saturday Sketch™. I didn't really set a sketch goal for this con... I was thinking a couple of sketches and three permissions. Well, one down already. One truly fantastic one down...

After saying good-bye to the Oz folks, who will be attending a lot of cons so you have plenty of opportunities to see them, we headed over to the Mercury Studios booth, where I had planned on meeting The Comic Queen's Erin M. Schadt. Since we were a bit early, we stopped by Scott Kurtz at the Image Booth. As he was busy sketching in a large sketchbook, we started talking with the lovely lady next to him, who was delighted to look through our sketchbooks. After Scott finished with the sketch he was working on, he took Eric's sketchbook and drew Skull as Green Lantern. He then provided me with Skull as Aquaman, with a lovely Skull-ish twist. Yes, it'll be posted. All the sketches I got at the con will make it to this blog.

While we were at the PVP table, they gave us copies of Dork Storm's PVP #6, which has a PS238 story in it. I think I squealed a little in joy when I saw that, which made Scott tell me that I was going to talk with Aaron Williams. Lovely Lady dialed, and I realized he was serious. Well, I didn't get to talk to him, as he didn't answer, but I did leave a fangirl message on his voice mail. I don't recall leaving my name, so he probably has no idea who was talking to him. Oh well, I think the point was letting him know that Scott ran into a major PS238 fan in Seattle.

After hanging out with the PVP's for a bit, we wandered across the aisle to Jeff Parker's table where we were to meet Erin. We chatted with Jeff, and Kurt Busiek wandered up and talked about Conan with me, and con organizer Jim Demanakos stopped to say hello to me too. I felt a wee bit like a celebrity. Unfortunately, Erin didn't show, and after waiting about fifteen minutes we headed out to see some more folks.

The next stop was back at the Image Booth, where we met Ovi Nedelcu and asked him for sketches. He obliged with an Aquaman sketch for me and a traditional lantern for hubby-Eric. Ovi is best known for Pigtale. Ovi was also the first artist at this con to add a fish to his drawing.

After chatting with Roy Thomas at the ACTOR booth (donate if you can afford to), we headed out to artist alley! Note: hubby-Eric did the "I'm not worthy!" thing to poor Roy, who seemed flattered and embarrassed.

Artist Alley... the mere name brings chills to the spine... where the geekiness flows freely and everyone on the other side of the table is someone totally cool...

First up was Brian Joines, writer and creator of The 7 Guys of Justice, which I've heard about but never tried. When I mentioned that, Brian gave me issue #6, which he says is a standalone, to give it a shot. The website is apparently not working at the moment as their webhead flaked on them, but he gave me his e-mail so I could contact him to get more books if I'm interested. So far, I'm interested. The book looks quite funny.

Next up were Jay Faerber and James Francis, who we've talked with many times before. I chose to move on to the next table, at which was Andy Owens and Steve Sadowski. I waited for quite awhile, and asked Andy for a sketch. After he finished, his sketch jumped into my top ten. I'm really going to enjoy sharing this one.

I then asked Steve if I could post his sketch from San Diego 2000. He was pleased that I asked, and gave me permission. I then asked if he wanted to do another sketch. He did, and I'll be posting both sketches in back-to-back weeks like I did with the Jeff Johnson sketches.

After getting my fifth sketch of the con, well over what I expected, I moved up the line and talked with Cary Nord, best known for his current work on Conan. I told him how his work has pretty much inspired me to look up the original stories. He wasn't sketching, as he was working on Conan #14. I got a few looks at a couple of pages. Seeing the pencils is quite interesting, as the art on Conan is amazing.

After seeing Cary, I walked up the line and chatted a bit with Gail Simone. Then I went around the table to get in line for Tim Sale. It was quite a line, let me tell you. Tim was sketching. I got hubby to stand in for me for a moment while I stopped to say "Hi!" to Tom Peyer and ask permission to post his autograph on my blog. Yes, I'm going to treat his autograph as a sketch. You'll see why when I post it. He also pointed out to me that he now has a blog. Go check it out.

I got back in line for Tim Sale, and spent a great deal of time in the line. It was important to me to say hello to Tim though, as he was the one artist at San Diego 2000 who wasn't able to do an Aquaman sketch due to time constraints in the DC booth. I didn't expect him to do an Aquaman sketch at this con, but I hoped to get a sketch of some sort from him. I let folks who were just getting autographs ahead of me, which made the line ever so slightly longer for me. When I reached the front of the line, he was very gracious and willing to try Aquaman. I only hope you all will be as impressed by the sketch as I am. It's amazing. Tim is the first artist, that I can recall, who used watercolors in my sketchbook.

After that long wait, I needed to walk around a bit. I stopped by Sean Chen's table and asked permission to post his Iron Man sketch, which he gave. That made all three permissions I hoped to get at this con. Sean politely declined to try Aquaman, explaining that he charges for sketches now.

Moving on, I went to the Madison Middle School Cartoonists table. Every year of the con so far, kids from this school have been coming to the con and participating as professionals. I was on the hunt. I've been meaning to get a sketch from one of them since I first learned about them. Bryonne K Langlois was up to the challenge, and her sketch will get a place on honor on my blog along with all the other pros at the con.

At this point it was getting into the afternoon, and I'd spent most of my time in Artist Alley. So I went wandering into the rest of the con with hubby mostly at my side (during my sketch-getting time he wandered a little, and rested on the chairs that Jim thoughtfully provided for all the tired congoers).

Way back at the beginning of the con when we were visiting the Dorothy of Oz folks, I said hello to Batton Lash as he walked by. It suddenly occurred to me that he probably had no idea who I am, so now, after my sojourn in Artist Alley I headed back to explain myself. Jackie Estrada was there, but Batton was not, so I said hello. I swear Jackie is superhuman as she clearly remembered me. I only had to remind her of the dinner with Nick Cardy for her to remember exactly who I was. She suggested I return in a few minutes and get Batton to sketch Aquaman for me.

So I wandered a little more, met up with hubby-Eric again, and we returned to the Exhibit A table after a short chat with Roberta Gregory. Batton was back, and certainly willing to sketch for me. He drew "Prince Curry, The Aqua-Mariner?" You'll just have to see it when I post it in a couple of months.

We chatted a bit about the reaction of old comic book pros like Nick Cardy to being at a convention and being adored by tons of fans. I related my experience in leaving San Diego right after the convention closed, with Nick Cardy, walking through the small press area (story here). Jackie mentioned a number of other creators who were surprised at the warm reception they got at conventions. Some of whom seemed to be waiting for somebody to come up and say, "yes, this is a joke, you're on Candid Camera!" We were laughing about renting the entire San Diego Convention Center just to play a joke on an old-time artist... even so, I'm sure the adoration some of the artists get just amazes them. I know Nick was as humble as could be.

I figured at this point that I'd gotten all the sketches I was likely to get, but I really wanted to bug the guys at Penny Arcade, but hadn't really mustered up the nerve yet. So Eric and I wandered over their way and started listening in. Mike Krahulik, the artist also called "Gabe" by everyone, was sketching incessantly. In fact, I don't think he was capable of stopping. And they were discussing an ambulatory dresser, a seagull, and a lightning summoning fellow who they called by a term which I cannot remember but I know it seemed like a mistake the first couple of times I heard it until I realized they were saying it that way intentionally. Note: in their news section they identify the fellow as a "rogue elemenstor". The writer, Jerry Holkins (Tycho), was explaining the concepts while Gabe was drawing them out. I somehow got involved in the discussion and said that an ambulatory dresser is all well and good, as it takes the place of a servant or minion, but having a seagull as well is just too much. In any case, I managed to redirect Gabe's efforts into sketching Aquaman, which he was delighted to do, and I have a genuine Penny Arcade Aquaman sketch to post now.

At this point I realized I was completely wiped, and hubby-Eric and I wandered around to some of the tables I hadn't been to, mostly the dealer side of things. Eric had found one dealer with some old coverless Adventure comics, but he didn't have anything I wanted in a price range I could afford. After a short time, Eric convinced me to go up to the DC writers panel in progress upstairs. It was nice to sit, and the panel, which I think consisted of Gail Simone, Kurt Busiek, Greg Rucka, and Ed Brubaker, was very fun. They were taking audience questions while we were there. I think the first question answered after we arrived was "which Green Lantern is the best?"

I regret that I didn't get a picture of the panel, as that would have been a nice thing to insert here and break up the text.

After the panel, we took our dear sweet time going back downstairs, pausing to take pictures from the balcony of the con floor, which you can see in the text above. The con was already starting to break up by then, as most of the folks in the booths had been there since Saturday morning. I wanted to see a few more people, and Eric wanted to sit in on the last panel, so we split up and I wandered Artist Alley some more.

I got to talk with Alex Maleev, who did some great covers for Aquaman. He was willing to do an Aquaman sketch, but really didn't have time. I refused to add pressure to him and told him I'd catch him at another con or commission something sometime.

I also met Tony Harris, who did the lovely "fishtank" cover on Aquaman #11 of the current series. I did not ask for a sketch. A lot of folks I just wanted to talk to, a sketch is just an amazing little bonus.

I went around the tables and talked with quite a few other artists, including Steve McNiven and Travis Charest. I got close to Dexter Vines, but he was mobbed most of the time, and I never got to chat with him at all.

I went to visit Suzanne Kaufman and Karin Yamagiwa. I wanted to tell Karin how other artists always stopped on her sketch to look at it more closely. She was delighted to hear it, and Suzanne gave her a bit of a hard time over it, "Will you still hang out with me when you're famous?" I think it's the expression on the fish that does it. Everyone has to pause and look at the fish, who is just a moment away from rolling his eyes. It's one of those, "Oh, NOW what does he want me to do??" moments.

I went down to the end of the table to chat with the other artists near the pair, and got to talking with Paul Whitehead, who liked my sketchbook and wanted to add to it. He did a small sketch. Next to him was Edward Pun who also did a sketch. This one a Manga-ish Aquaman.

I then waited for a bit until Dev Madan came back to his table, with an assist from Karin (who was sitting next to him and waved at him to bring him back over). Anyway, I had to show Dev both sketchbooks, as his sketch is the first one in my first sketchbook. So I had to show him what he'd started. He looked through my second sketchbook first, and was impressed with the number of Aquaman sketches, not to mention the quality. I then let him go through my first sketchbook, with his sketch right up front. He was impressed, especially as he got to the middle of the book with Art Adams, Ramona Fradon, Walter Simonson, and others. But the zinger for him was the last page. He couldn't believe I had a Neal Adams sketch, or that it was the last page of a sketchbook he had started. He described it as being a bookend with Neal Adams. He was also humbled when I explained how many artists had used his sketch as a reference, because he'd drawn the entire figure of Aquaman (minus feet).

After visiting with Dev, I wandered down the table to visit other artists. Walking down the table I met Kevin and Kendra Hanna. Their table said "free sketches" so I asked if they would like to do a sketch for me. They did a little jam session with Kevin drawing Aquaman and Kendra providing the fish that he's talking to. Kendra is 8 years old, and quite the accomplished artist, if this entry on their website is any indication: "3-12-04: Thanks to everyone who came out to the ECC, I had a ball even though my 7 year old daughter outsold me ten to one with her comic." Heh.

I also chatted with Siya Oum very briefly, then went out to the Committed Comics booth. I had no intention of getting a last sketch, but Siya ragged me on until I asked Kensuke Okabayashi for a sketch. I'd stopped by his table earlier to tell him how much I enjoyed Java, particularly Swizz Mizz, the villain. Ok, I admit it took me until the third issue to get the thing about the "braids" but the guy is a fantastic artist. And yes, he drew Aquaman. As he was drawing, hubby-Eric returned from the panel, and the announcement came down that the con was closed for 2005.

Holy Moley. I went seven hours without any significant rest and no food.

Eric and I left after Kensuke finished my sketch, taking it slow and easy since my heelspur was bothering me a lot. I'm still reeling from the intensity of the convention, but I wish I'd been able to do the first day of it as well.

Some final thoughts. I'll add more in future notes if I think of any... Tim Sale asked me to scan his sketch at 300 dpi and send it to him, once I asked permission to post it... There were plenty of chairs and places to rest this year... The exhibition center is a much nicer space than the concourse of the stadium itself, where the last two ECC's were held... This was the first year there was a nice Program Book, at least I don't recall one from previous years... I'm still amazed at how many comic book pros recognize me on sight, for the ones who don't I'm tempted to start wearing a name tag to cons: "Laura 'Tegan' Gjovaag of Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog"... The Dorothy of Oz folks gave Eric a boost of energy. I admit that their praise of my blog overwhelmed me, especially so early in the con. What a way to start the day! ... Erin e-mailed me this morning to let me know that she was delayed by the snow in the North, which is why she missed me. I didn't even know it had snowed up North... The final tally for this con was 13 sketches and three permissions. Wow... Bob Schreck of DC Comics was doing portfolio reviews, but he was in pain from a surgery. He was amazingly patient for a man in agony... I was wearing a special Girl Genius button, with the Trilobyte on it. I got asked what it was by a ton of folks, and I directed them to the Studio Foglio booth for more information... Having cell phones turned out to be handy for Eric and I as we could call each other to find out where we were on the con floor... On the way home, my sister called and asked if I had a recipe for sugar cookies handy. No, sorry, not in the car...

Oh wow, I'm looking forward to seeing how this con goes next year.

by Tegan at 9:42 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Light Or No Blogging Today

Gonna be at the con.

Speaking of cons, enjoy this tale about a vanity press being stung by the same writers it insulted. Via Slashdot.

by Tegan at 6:58 AM Seattle time - Permalink