I THINK IT'S TIME TO DO A NYC CON!?!?
After all, it's been a good 20 years since my last one. I'll be at the Wizard World New York City Experience over the June 28-29-30 weekend. Ready (I think?) to mix it up with the NY posse again. More info about the convention at the Wizard World site or simply click the banner above.
As with the other couple of shows I attended over this past year, not planning to sketch at the show, nor do interviews or other things that tend to slow things down at the table. I hope to have a selection of pre-con sketches with me, whatever time allows. Also hoping to have some on-sale prints at this show. Plus some sketchbooks, Damned TPBs, and whatever else I can find. Bring your books! I'll be signing throughout the weekend and will hopefully get to everyone. There will be a small amount of free signatures and a fee beyond that, but not planning to put a limit on signatures (unless, of course, I see a couple of long boxes coming my way!).
I'll be with Renee Witterstaetter's Eva Ink Artist Group at this show. You can link to the Eva Ink blog HERE for more information and to find out which other artists will be at her tables. You can also email Renee directly if you have other questions about the appearance.
ANOTHER YEAR, ANOTHER CONVENTION!!
HeroesCon last year after a 20+ year absence, and now Toronto ComiCon this year after not having been there for a good 20 years as well. Toronto was a very frequent stop for me during the 80s and enjoyed it each and every time. Looking forward to seeing what has changed over the last few decades and maybe seeing a few familiar faces, I'm sure older and grayer like me.
Not planning to sketch at the show, nor do interviews or other things that might slow the signature line. Just planning to get to everyone's books if possible during the limited show hours on Saturday and Sunday. Like the Charlotte show, there will be a limit on free signatures, then a charge per signature after that. Not sure if the show runners might have some rules in place for managing lines, but I'll do my best to sign what you bring, time allowing.
Friends, fans, Facebook friends, Twitter followers,.. please come by to say "Hi" even if you don't have items for signatures. Who knows when I'll get back up that way? Toronto ComiCon website HERE for more info.
FALLEN SON SKETCH COVERS AT AUCTION THIS WEEK
I completed a set of Captain America sketches and some sister Fallen Son sketch covers last year and all were auctioned... well, all that is except these three stragglers. They're tardy but they're up on eBay today. If you want to check out the auctions, you can link to my eBay seller page HERE.
A BUNCH OF PRELIM SKETCHES AT AUCTION
I've completed this year's variant cover sketch opportunity for collectors who have their books CGC graded. Stayed with my habit of working out the drawings on paper first, and that has resulted in a handful of prelims to offer up on eBay. That Wolverine sketch below is a sample and if you want to have a look at all of the auctions, you can link to my eBay seller page HERE.
If you don't feel like driving all the way to eBay, you can browse the sketches at this GALLERY PAGE right here on my site. Then decide if you want to drive over to eBay!
A COUPLE OF SKETCH COVERS ON EBAY THIS WEEK AS WELL
My last round of Captain America sketches that were up for auction were derived from a set of cover sketches created for a small series of CGC graded Fallen Son variant cover editions. Those are now graded and eBay seller "onestopcomic" has posted two of the Fallen Son covers on my behalf. You can click HERE to link to Fallen Son auction 1 and HERE to link to Fallen Son auction 2.
HEROESCON CHANGES YET STAYS THE SAME
I guess the impression I left HeroesCon with was how little had changed over all those years, other than the fact that it just keeps getting bigger and bigger.
Thirty years ago Shelton Drum, with the help of his parents, organized the first HeroesCon. There were a handful of guests (me included) and around 400 attendees. I had done mini-cons and store appearances for Shelton prior to the first HeroesCon, and was already aware that the 'family' that organized the show treated everyone that entered the doors, guest artists and attendees alike, as 'family'. That always made the trips to Charlotte stand out when compared to other shows.
Thirty years later it's still Shelton but his kids are helping now, and HeroesCon can now draw in something in the area of 15,000-20,000 attendees and fill up nearly half of the convention hall with industry guests. And while that's an amazing growth curve, the incredible thing is that the sense of 'family' that existed in the early years is still intact. Between Shelton's family, staff, and volunteers, there must have been at least a hundred or so friendly folks working hard to make sure guests and attendees had everything they needed or knew where they needed to be. The only difference today is I miss the intimate evenings out with Shelton and the other guests that were a staple of the early cons. The scale of the current HeroesCons makes that impossible.
I was signing books all weekend for fans both young and old. There was no longer a line on Sunday when I left the convention so I hopefully scribbled my name in everyone's books.
With my many year absence from conventions and with the incredibly long guest list at HeroesCon, a real highlight of the show was being able to chat with so many creators there who I haven't seen in ages. That and greet some other creators who I know of but hadn't yet met. Too many to list here and I'm sure I would leave someone out, but great to see everyone.
Joined some of the Eva Ink Artist Group (Renee Witterstaetter, Michael Golden, and Constance Katsafanas) for dinner Friday night. George Perez joined in as well. Good company and good food!
Different restaurant on Saturday and much bigger group. Fortunately someone came up with the idea of a group pic after dinner. Some of these fine folks are fellow pros, some are spouses, and some are our gracious hosts for that evening (thank you). The five seated in front are Teresa Davidson, Michael Golden, Joe Staton, Peter Roe, and Nick Cardy. The middle group are Renee Witterstaetter, Mike Zeck, Constance Katsafanas, Hilarie Staton, Candi Jones, and Marilyn Adams (just behind Candi). At back are Jim Clark, Ann Valeri, Scott Valeri, Roy Thomas (in front of Scott), Paul Levitz, Jim Amash, Neal Adams, and Marv Wolfman.
I always figured if I emerged from hibernation for a weekend it should be for HeroesCon. Thanks to Shelton and all the folks who make it the best true comics show in the land.
AI CS6 (64bit) IS ACTING SLOWER THAN AI CS5 (32bit)!?!?
Curious if other Mac-based Illustrator users may have had my experience with Illustrator CS6? (By the way, my set up is 2010 iMac, i5 quad core, 16 gigs RAM, OS X 10.6.8)
Could not wait to receive AI CS6 (as part of the Design and Web Premium Suite) since they were finally releasing a 64bit version. Installed it right in the middle of a project so that I could experience the smoother, faster workflow immediately. Shock and disappointment when it actually seemed a bit more sluggish than the CS5 32bit version!
Finished the project in CS6 and found other tweaks in the new version that seem like steps backward, but the sluggishness was baffling. I started to open some files and run some intensive tasks like Image Traces and others that would take many seconds to complete, and then monitor what was happening with CPU usage and memory usage. First discovery is that multi-threading is not here yet. Limited to accessing one core only, meaning it continues to be unable to take advantage of modern processors. Just like its CS5 predecessor.
Well surely then having access to my available RAM should help? Nope. In every instance, monitors showed it accessing between 1 and 2 gigs of RAM while leaving 10 or 11 gigs free. Just like its CS5 predecessor.
I've used Adobe products for 18 years and the one thing I avoid like the plague is calling tech support since it's always the highest form of mental torture, but I really wanted to find out why AI wasn't at least accessing my available RAM. Maybe there was a simple answer? So I called, I used live chat, I used the forums, and after that turned into extremely long sessions of mental torture without even progressing a single inch towards an answer, they broke me and I gave up. The product return window is thinner than the product support window, so nothing to do but return the suite and get my $800 back before my window of opportunity closed. Surprising that Adobe can keep a customer base with that kind of support system, but I liken it to GAME OF THRONES. If a potential threat is born in the kingdom (like Macromedia) they slay it. Then we peasants have not much else to do except continue to pay rising taxes and accept what few bones are thrown from the castle.
I'd still like to think that a way exists to somehow transform AI CS6 into something more responsive than its predecessor rather than a bigger slug. And partly the reason for this off topic post I guess. If someone has information about AI CS6 and the way it accesses memory, or if your experiences on a similar configuration are totally different than mine, I'd like to hear about it. Apple's "ACTIVITY MONITOR" utility will display usage stats for open apps. Third party app "iStat Menus" is much beefier and will allow you to monitor what's happening with each processor core as well, right from your menu bar.
GOING TO HEROESCON... WAIT... WHAT!?!?
Haven't traveled to a convention since around the mid-90s, but I'll be coming out of hibernation weekend after next for Shelton Drum's HeroesCon.
During the 80s I was a frequent guest at Shelton's conventions and even his mini-cons which preceded HeroesCon. And why not?.. Heroes has always been one of the friendliest and fun comics shows for both attendees and guests. When key HeroesCon anniversary shows roll around, Shelton has always tried to reassemble the guests from the very first HeroesCon. There we are over there at right in the small pic. It was 1982 and pictured at the top row are Tony Wike, Shelton Drum, Sam Grainger, Butch Guice, and Pat Broderick. Bottom row... Mike Zeck, Romeo Tanghal, Marv Wolfman, and George Perez. This being the 30th anniversary, I figured I should get my butt back up to Charlotte and see some folks I haven't seen in decades. Unfortunately Sam Grainger died over 20 years ago, but the rest of us are still kicking around and causing trouble Just with slightly less pep than 30 years ago.
For those of you who have Tweeted or emailed about the appearance, I'll try to answer your questions here.
I plan to be at my table all day Saturday except for an afternoon break to sit on a panel with the other original guests from the first HeroesCon. Looking forward to that! It's possible that I'll be at my table for a few hours Friday afternoon and/or early Sunday, totally depending upon when I drive in on Friday and drive out on Sunday.
Dan Partouche, will be sitting with me to manage the table and help keep things moving signature-wise. Some of you may know that Dan arranges a CGC signing for me once a year which also includes a limited number of sketches on variant blank covers . That's a separate thing from our appearance at the show and I won't be sketching on any blank covers at HeroesCon. We may try to add some more CGC graded sketch covers to our schedule rather that wait a year between offers. You're welcome ask Dan more about it if that's where your interest lies. Meanwhile CGC will have an official presence at HeroesCon, so there will be an opportunity to get signatures for CGC books. That will be a separate and unique fee as opposed to the non-graded books.
I don't plan to sketch or take commission requests at the show. Nor do I foresee any time for interviews or other lengthy interruptions. I'd much rather put signatures on everyone's books if possible and acknowledge some faces I haven't seen in many years in the process. You folks whom I've not met, but have shared emails or tweets, come by and say "Hi".
I encourage you to bring books for signatures, but if the line gets long we'll probably have some limitations in place to keep it moving. What we're discussing is maybe 5 signatures free, with a fee for additional signatures. That will hopefully create an opportunity to collect some funds for a Hero Initiative donation. There would still need to be some sort of upper limit, but you're welcome to rejoin the line until I hopefully get everything signed for you.
I plan to have some copies of my sketchbook and some copies of Damned at the table. Also planning to bring complete pencil art from an 80 page Iron Man children's coloring and activity book. (see jpeg below) That would be the extent of the art I have to offer for sale, unless I find some of that rare free time to complete a pre-con sketch or two.
Looking forward to getting back to Charlotte and seeing some old and new faces. See you there.
MORE JLA CLASSIFIED AND JSA CLASSIFIED COVER PRELIMS AT AUCTION
I posted the remaining cover preliminary art from the JLA Classified and JSA Classified series, 5 cover sketches in all. That's all I have left from that particular run of covers. That's also all the time I have to devote to sketching and eBay for the moment as my plate is filled up with Mattel Toys work again.
To view the auctions, follow THIS LINK to my eBay seller page.
AUCTIONS ARE LIVE
Seems that I do these sets of Captain America art more often, but looking back, they're pretty close to a year apart. The current crop are at auction now. Thumbnails of six of them are just below, and you can have a look at the seventh one in the post just below that. Prior to this the art was rendered on letter size bond paper. This time around I've upped the paper grade to 2-ply bristol board and the figure art is larger as well, in the area of 11 inches in height.
To view the auctions, follow THIS LINK to my eBay seller page. A couple of JLA Classified original art items are up this week as well.
OVERDUE UPDATE AND UPCOMING AUCTIONS
Well, still not feeling totally moved in here yet but little by little getting used to this place and more accustomed to Georgia in general. Finally found some time to knock out a set of sketches. That means some upcoming eBay auctions after a long layoff, and some long overdue site updates.
The character is Captain America again and the sketches were originally conceived for some variant sketch covers that will be CGC graded and marketed later in the year. The comic cover sketches are not full figures nor pencil shaded. So I decided to redo them on bristol board as full figure art (all but one anyway) with pencil shading. That'll give some art collectors a chance to grab some original art after my long layoff from eBay. Seven total, and if all goes well, I'll try to post the auctions on Sunday. (sample below)
Thought I would create a status update page concerning commissions, convention appearances and other subjects that still crop up in my email inbox. You can link to it HERE or you can follow that link over there just under the Twitter widget.
MORE PENCIL ART FOR SALE
The X-Men origin story book for young readers was mostly completed when I was asked to re-pencil a few characters and faces. Some Magneto figure work and some young Professor X and young Magneto faces were all I penciled. It's this book, [LINK] which is a companion to the Captain America book mentioned below. As with the Cap pencils, I'll offer these for sale as an 11-page set and they can be viewed in this gallery [LINK]. And again I'll leave them up for offers for a few weeks and close the set to offers on Wednesday, Sep 28th at 6:00PM.
PENCIL ART OFFER ENDS TONIGHT
At 7:00PM tonight (Eastern Time) I'll close the pencil art to offers and award the sets to the highest offer submitted before that deadline. Will be out part of today and probably won't be updating the high offer amounts until mid-afternoon today. Click here to link to the gallery and high offer info.
LOCATION UPDATE AND PENCIL ART FOR SALE
To date, this year has been taken up by house hunting in Georgia, selling a home in Florida's depressed market, performing some renovation on the GA place, then a move, and I'm still trying to get completely settled in here. A small amount of work was peppered in here and there, but very little to speak of. On the plus side, I'm living close to my sister for the first time since high school.
A few posts back I mentioned doing some pencil work for some Marvel books aimed at young readers. Two of those, Captain America and X-men, were a series of character pencils or in many cases character parts meant to bring them more "on model" or closer to a Marvel style. Those were incorporated into the existing pages, then more changes followed, and the books were eventually fully digitally painted. My pencil work for Cap is now viewable in this gallery [LINK] and is also for sale as a set.
OTHER COMICS CHECKLIST GALLERY COMPLETE
More scanning and more rearranging galleries this weekend. The OTHER COMICS galleries in the Checklist section all have content now. Deleted the Charlton Comics separate gallery and placed that stuff in with the Other Comics where it belongs. Also decided against separate galleries for things like trading cards. Very few of them anyway, and those can sit in the Miscellaneous Other Comics gallery or in cases like Topps cards, just include them in the Topps gallery. Some Fanzines scanning ahead of me, and I may finally get the Checklist section wrapped up.
A FEW MORE GALLERIES UPLOADED
Continuing to work on the 'Other Comics' Checklist galleries, but having to pay attention to a small coloring project at the same time. The Dark Horse gallery, with the few covers I produced for them, is active,.. the Editions Deesse gallery, with my limited edition Punisher portfolios, is active,.. and the Devil's Due gallery, with my G.I.Joe work that came some fifteen years after I ended my Joe covers at Marvel, is active as well. Clicking [HERE] will take you directly to the Devil's Due gallery.
BYRON PREISS PUBS GALLERY IS ACTIVE
Been scanning and working under the hood on my site this weekend. Hopefully not screwing up my links in the process! The scanning is part of an effort to make some progress with the 'Other Comics' section of the Checklist galleries. The Byron Preiss gallery is up today and I'll hopefully add more content to the Other Comics section soon.
Some people took my Feb. 15th post to mean I was doing some Captain America work for Marvel again. Not exactly. Disney Publishing was working on a storybook featuring Cap's origin. I was lending a "pencil revisions" hand with that. Not completely sure what's going on with that book at this point since some restructuring of projects placed that particular book back at the Marvel offices before the painting process was completed. Hopefully it will be completed and I will see a copy at some point?
To a much smaller extent, I contributed some pencil revisions to an X-Men origins project for Disney Publishing too.
And to a much larger extent, I contributed some finishing pencils for an 80-page Iron Man coloring and activity book for Disney. That one remains in the Disney offices, will be a black and white publication, is in the hands of an inker now, and is of course aimed at young readers. If I see printed copies of the Disney projects as they're released, I'll note it here on the site.
ANOTHER SET OF CAP SKETCHES AT AUCTION!
Planning to list these six sketches on eBay later this afternoon or evening. When they're up, you can check out my eBay auction page here [LINK]. I have some preliminary sketches connected with these pieces as well. I'll post those in my Art For Sale gallery at the Comic Art Fans site. You can go directly to that gallery here [LINK] (*** Well, never mind that last link! The prelims sold the second they were posted to the Comic Art Fans gallery. At least you'll have 7 days to visit the auctions before those are snagged!)
Would like to be able to get to a few more Cap sketches between now and the release of the movie but not sure I'll be able to find the time. I'm planning to relocate over the course of the next few months (nothing so disruptive as moving!!). Also still looking for some pockets of time to contribute pencil art to a Disney project, but time is pretty scarce. Okay, so let me see about getting these auctions underway tonight...
CAPTAIN AMERICA FOREVER!
Seems that way for me anyway. Since I drew the title some 30 years ago and a number of covers after that, a year hasn't gone by where I haven't drawn some Captain America commissions, or pinups, or recreations, or??? And now I find myself lending a hand on a book again.
I don't think I can say much about it at this point. One of many Cap projects prompted by the upcoming movie I imagine, and will cover the Captain America origin. It's undergoing a fair amount of modifications as it passes through the editorial and approvals process and that's where I come in.
I've been revising some figures, helping to bring some characters "on model", and anything else I can do to help. In the end it will be a digitally painted graphic novel and from the few examples I've seen of finished work, it should look really nice. I'll post more info when I can and will surely mention the book here when it's published. Anyway, that's what has been keeping me busy these past weeks. Into my fourth decade now of an on-again off-again relationship with Steve Rogers.
DC COMICS CHECKLIST GALLERIES ARE NOW ACTIVE
Some more scanning and some more gallery building equals some more progress in the Checklist Galleries. All of the DC Galleries have content now. Kind of time consuming, but still trying to find little pockets of time to keep moving forward on the checklist. Would like nothing better than to check that off the 'bucket list' this year. Hopefully back with more soon!
A LITTLE MORE GALLERY PROGRESS
All Marvel Checklist galleries have content now. At some point I'll get back in there and edit and item or two, but much more to look at today than yesterday. (Pictured below, from the Marvel Miscellaneous Gallery, is Nick Fury wearing Gucci for his appearance in the European fashion magazine, Arena.)
THOSE CAPTAIN AMERICA SKETCHES ARE ON EBAY TONIGHT
The sketches that I mentioned in yesterday's post are now on ebay. Six separate auctions, all are on letter size bond paper, and all are rendered with pigment brushes and markers with pencil shading. Ganged image below. Check the auctions for a bit larger image view.
MORE GALLERIES UPDATED
The previous CHECKLIST gallery state was MARVEL 1, MARVEL 2, and a portion of MARVEL 3 completed. Those have been converted to the newer gallery format and I finished out MARVEL 3 while I was at it. Meaning that Punisher, Rom, and Secret Wars now have galleries where they didn't before. I'll more than likely stay within the Marvel universe and work on MARVEL 4 next.
Visit again in the next day or two as I'll surely have another update. I found a half dozen sketches I didn't realize I had here. All Captain America and done a few years ago. Totally forgot about them, but now that I ran across them, I'll prepare some eBay auctions and post the info here once I've done that.
ANOTHER PRINT ADDED TO EBAY LAST NIGHT
This time a classic Dave Stevens limited edition print, "Betty's Bath". Betty hung in my bath for many years, but time to redecorate. Seller's page here if you want to visit the auction.
SOME ZECK OUT OF PRINT POSTERS ARE UP FOR GRABS!
Visited the flat file drawer containing my personal set of posters from the 80s and early 90s. Shot some pics so I can hopefully add them to my checklist galleries in the near future. Then posted them on eBay as a 17 Poster Set!
Most of these are single copies only, I don't have duplicates, so it's a one of a kind auction. I'm pretty sure it represents my total on-sale poster output plus some promotional posters thrown in there too. Image below is a group shot, and if you want to visit the auction page click here.
A GALLERY UPDATE!
The Licensing Art Galleries are updated to the new gallery format. The scans are newer, so there may be some images absent which were in the former galleries and there may be some new additions as well. Two galleries are totally new...
BRAVE AND BOLD
Images there from Batman: The Brave and the Bold style guides as well as a few images created for the Mattel line of BBB action figures and toys.
Enjoyed recreating some classic DC covers for style guide use as well as appearances on a number of items celebrating DC's 75th Anniversary.
The READ ME page in the Licensing Gallery is also updated if you want to find out a bit more about the gallery contents.
(BTW... I recommend clicking the 'full screen' button on these galleries. You'll see much larger images depending on your monitor size, and you can also browse with the arrow keys in that mode.)