New Art from C2E2 and Boston Comic Con

I’ve been to a couple conventions in the past few months, I so figured I should eventually show off my new acquisitions.

ART!

C2E2 – This may be new my favorite convention. It may be smaller than the big shows, but that just means it’s more manageable. It didn’t have a flashy guest list, but I got to meet dozens of creators over the two days.

Captain America by Sean Forney. I just saw this guy in the aisles and liked his style.
Captain America by Sean Forney

Nightcrawler by Skottie Young. Uh … awesome, much?
Nightcrawler by Skottie Young

Superman by World Wrestling Entertainment Legend Jerry “The King” Lawler. One of the greatest heroes of all time drawn by one of the greatest wrestlers of all time? That’s a two-fer.
Superman by Jerry "The King" Lawler

Tara Chace by Brian Hurtt. Possibly the best drawing in my sketch books. You can’t even call this a sketch. This is a full blown commission. Unbelievable. It’s blows my mind that artists can do something like this, but when they show it to the person who asked for it, they say “Is that good?” Holy hell yes it’s good! Also, Brian knew my name by the end of the first day. May have to do with him having the same one. Maybe not.
Tara Chace by Brian Hurtt

Thor by Sean “Cheeks” Galloway. People hated on the Teen Titans strip from Wednesday Comics, but I liked Sean Galloway’s art. I asked him for a Thor with a big ol’ beard. Well done.
Thor by Sean Galloway

Boston Comic Con – BCC has grown by leaps and bounds since the first one I went to about three years ago. It used to be in the basement of a convention center, now it’s taking over a huge room at the Hynes, in the heart of Back Bay. As it’s gotten larger, to guests lists have been incredible. This year alone had Frank Quitely, Darwyn Cooke, J. Scott Campbell, Art Adams and dozens more. I wasn’t really there to shop, so I finished everything in one day, but it was a fun day.

Gwen Stacy by Tim Sale. I love Tim Sale. His minimalist sketches are really classy. I had him sign my hardcover of Spider-Man: Blue and got this sketch for my friend Jane’s birthday.Gwen Stacy by Tim Sale

Juggernaut by Declan Shalvey. Readers know how much I love the current run of Thunderbolts. Regular artist Kev Walker does a great version of Songbird, but Declan Shalvey has impressed me every time he’s filled in, especially with his Juggernaut. Look at the drawing! All the gray tones, the white out he used for smoke. There’s even sections where you can see his fingerprints in the dust. Pens and brushes be damned! Also, it’s incredible. A new favorite among my friends.Juggernaut by Declan Shalvey

Wolverine by Ming Doyle. Ming Doyle is a local Boston artist. She’s a hip lady with a great style. When I saw her art, I knew she was the one to get Wolverine from. He looks grizzled, haggard and ill-tempered, just like Logan should. Wolverine by Ming DoyleX-Factor #215, pages #7-8 by Valentine de Landro and Pat Davidson. As I said about Thunderbolts, readers know I love X-Factor. One of the main reasons is how far into the future Peter David plans. The Madrox/Layla marriage has been in the works for years. As I flipped through Pat Davidson’s original art pages, I saw this, the proposal scene. I had to have it. At $50 for the spread, it was a steal. I’ve got my fingers crossed I can one day find De Landro’s penciled pages.

X-Factor #215, Pages 7-8

New York Comic Con 2010

I realize it’s been two weeks now, but I’ve been dreading this post. Long story short: I found this year’s NYCC to be too big and too overwhelming. 96,000 people? I don’t care how big the hall is, that’s a lot of people. 96,00 people means the main floor is an ocean of people, carrying you with them down each aisle and through each booth. It’s almost to hard to browse. If you’re not going to a table for a specific reason, it’s not worth fighting your way though the crowd. You wanted to see the Marvel booth? Too bad. It’s packed like the floor at a Gwar concert. But with more costumes.

By the end of Saturday, I had bought three books (reviews … to come) and a t-shirt, gotten a bagful of signatures and received five sketches. All for under my budget. I didn’t even go on Sunday.

So before the con, I posted a list of things to check out. How’d it go?

Podcast Alley – I got to meet the guys from Comic Geek Speak for the third time. Nice dudes. Always fun to talk to. I finally met Adam (Murd), which means I’ve met all the geeks.  I also bought a sweet shirt from them: “Tosche Station Power Converters – Worth Whining About.” Easily the nerdiest shirt I own. Good times.

Free Stuff – Marvel had a generic selection of posters and preview issues, but once again DC had a good spread. Recent issues of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and DV8. Also, What’s Next issues of Jonah Hex, Hellblazer and more. A smart way to expose people to your properties.

Speed Dating – Yeah. About that. My speed dating session started Saturday at 2. I got there at 1:45. At 2:15 someone came out of the room and told us they had already started. REAL NICE. When was the last time something at a comic convention started early? So speed dating was a bust. Too bad. It sounded … interesting.

The Cultyard – Remember that sea of people I was talking about? Well, it flooded the Cultyard. I walked by once and it was too crowded to step in to. Too bad.

ART! – I can’t say I was disappointed with the art I manged to pull.

The White Violin from by Gabriel Bá

The White Violin from The Umbrella Academy by Gabriel Bá

Tara Chace from Queen and Country by Leandro Fernandez

Tara Chace by Leandro Fernandez

Tara Chace from Queen and Country by Clara Speed McNeil

Tara Chace by Clara Speed McNeil

Penny from Phonogram by Jamie McKelvie

Penny by Jamie McKelvie

Siryn by Valentine DeLandro

Siryn by Valentine DeLandro

I didn’t realize until after the show, but all five of the characters are female. Interesting.

The only other person I was hoping to get a sketch from was Nicola Scott, but her list for the weekend was full less than two hours into the con (WHAT?). Oh well, one for the future.

Everything Else – 1) I got Jeph Loeb to sign my Daredevil: Yellow hardcover. Now my favorite story is signed by the writer and artist. Awesome.

2) Nicki Clyne (Cally from Battlestar Galactica) is super nice. I went up to tell her I loved her on the show. Her smile and “Thank You” were so genuine I just wanted to take her home and love her* be her best friend forever.

3) I talked to Kieron Gillen about the (hypothetical) future of Phonogram. Specifically, what Emily Aster would think of Lady Gaga. The next miniseries would have had a theme of identity as it relates to music, focusing on Emily/Claire. And she would have loved Gaga.

4) Quotes of the weekend:

Some dude in the men’s room.: “Nice lightsaber.” – It’s probably a common compliment at a con, but dude, there’s better venues for it.

My buddy Ron, while looking for a bar: “What does that sign say under ‘The Continental?’ ”
Me: ” ‘Five shots of anything $10.’ That’ll do!!”

___

So yeah. It was fun, but it was nicer last year. Having such a big floorplan means you spend a ton of time just going from place to place. I think Fan Expo Toronto is still my favorite con I’ve been to. I’m planning on checking out C2E2 next year. Always nice to try new things.

Any one else at the show? Did you have the same experience or am I turning into an old man too early?

*Sexist comments redected.

Five Things To Do at NYCC

It’s days away now, but with the entire Javitz center filled with fanboys and otaku, you really need a gameplan. Here are five things I wouldn’t miss this weekend.

5) Podcast Alley – I listen to four comics podcasts: Comic Geek Speak, IGN Comics Smash, Word Balloon, and 4th Letter’s Fourcast. While Comic Geek Speak is the only one of those at the con in an official, exhibiting capacity, NYCC has given a good dozen podcasters their own area on the floor. Like sex, comics are so much better as a community activity than a solo one. Meet your favorite hosts and buy some swag from them to help support their show (which they probably offer for free).

4) Free Stuff – I won’t deny it. I love walking around the con seeing who’s giving what away. Free books are a good way for smaller publishers to get their name out, so you can often find sampler issues or even full comics by a creator trying to get their name out there.

DC always puts out a nice selection of new books, posters, pins, and recently rings (Lantern, Flash, etc.). Last year, Marvel also had giveaway hours that included hardcovers, toys, apparel and even some art. Careful of those crowds though. A tip: send a small child to the front of the crowd. The giveaway guy is always a sucker for kids.

3) Speed Dating – Do you want to tell the best story at your next party? The same group that hosted speed dating at the recent Star Wars Celebration (“Lookin’ for love in Alderaan places” is the best tagline I’ve ever heard.) is back! Spend two hours: The worst that could happen is you don’t make a connection. The best that could happen is you meet someone who likes to dress up like Sailor Moon (or Tuxedo Mask). Pre-registration has closed, but you can still register at Room 1A20 on Friday or Saturday. I don’t want no one to get too excited, but I’ll be there Saturday from 2-4.

2) The Cultyard – Now this is something I haven’t seen in the past. I’d describe the Cultyard as a corral of urban artist. Here, art can mean fashion, toys, animation, anything. It’s more hipster than nerd, but with comics “becoming more mainstream,” maybe the groups are blurring. One specific artist I want to mention is Tara McPherson. She did a recent Women in Comics event at my local shop, where she sketched a nice piece for me:Sketch by Tara McPherson

The scan doesn’t do justice to the pencil work, but you get the idea. And speaking of sketches …

1) ART! – I’ve said before that my favorite part of convention is meeting artists and getting sketches. Let’s see a few pieces that I got last year:

Batman by Rags MoralesBlue Beetle by FancoEcho by David MackRobin by Todd NauckWonder Girl by Franco

Batman by Rags Morales, Blue Beetle by Franco, Echo by David Mack, Robin by Todd Nauck and Wonder Girl by Franco.

So yeah, lots of art. Some people will do a quick sketch for free. Some charge for more involved pieces, but where else can you get custom art like that? And sketchbooks area great thing to show off when someone scans your shelves.

The con begins in four days.

See you there!

Convention Sketches – Daredevil

One of the best parts of fandom, for me, is being able to get original pieces of art from my favorite artists. I’m a big fan of Ed Hopper, but I’m not about to own an original painting or have him draw something just for me. But as a comics fan, I can buy a book on Wednesday and commission an original piece that weekend. It’s my favorite part of conventions, so I though I’d share my pieces here.

My first convention was Baltimore Comic Con 2008. On of the reasons I wanted to go was Tim Sale. He drew my favorite story of all time Daredevil: Yellow. His minimalist sketches are great. It was one of Captain America in the back of Captain America: White #0 (yes, that came out in 2008). I made my way to his booth. He’s a really nice guy and gave my first sketch:

Daredevil by Tim Sale

Also at that show was David Mack. I love his Daredevil work as well as his creator-owned Kabuki. He had some great prints at his table, but his con sketches are unique. It’s hard to even call them sketches, as he draws them with a calligraphy pen. Matt Murdock truly lives up the “devil” in his name here:

Daredevil by David Mack

I have to admit though, my favorite piece is by Cliff Chiang. His comics work is great because of his simple, confident lines. But his sketches are great because he brings so much to the table. I asked for Daredevil and got Daredevil and two ninjas! Bad ass. In every one of his sketches, he really brings something to the table. Pick any character, between his style and willingness to go further than everyone else, he’ll be the best in your book:

Daredevil by Cliff Chiang

More to come. And hopefully even more after New York Comic Con next week.