Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Heroes Con Report—Part 3

If you've read this far, thanks for your patience. This stuff always seems more interesting to the person doing the writing than to the people doing the reading. Hopefully, I haven't bored you completely to death.


I'd brought workout gear with me in the hopes of hitting the hotel gym in the mornings but after the late night debacle at work Thursday into Friday, I was a long time recovering and ended up sleeping in both days. Sunday was worse because we also had checkout time to worry about. We quickly gathered our stuff, including my fifty pounds or so of trades, and hauled everything to the car. Then we checked out and headed to the convention center to take one last look around and say our goodbyes. Though we'd originally intended to stay over Sunday night, it didn't work out. I think we were all glad of that and anxious to hit the road, though, so maybe that was for the best. Christian missed his wife and daughter and Suze and I were looking forward to vegging at home before returning to hell...uh, I mean work.

We hit the dealers again and I found the Steranko NICK FURY AGENT OF SHIELD collection I'd foolishly passed up the day before. Unfortunately, after I relocated it, I noticed it had a fairly damaged front cover. For 10 bucks, though, you couldn't beat it and I snagged it anyway. We spent an almost comical amount of time trying to locate a copy of DEATH JR. I'd recommended to Christian and he passed on it. Then, five minutes later, he changed his mind but we couldn't find the damned thing. Even though we knew roughly where I'd seen it and there were multiple copies. We never did find it.

I knew we were leaving so I picked up a few things I didn't really need and called it quits. Then, as we were walking back to the artist's tables, we stumbled across a dealer we hadn't seen. His trades were only 40% off but his selection (and their condition) were amazing. He had EVERYTHING I'd been hoping to find at the con. The trouble was, I'd spent nearly all my money. So I settled for a couple of 100 BULLETS collections. Suzanne bought a Wonder Woman tee because she'd been trying for years to find one in her size and couldn't. This fella had one. He was everything we'd hoped for in the trip and we never saw him until the end. Weird.

My last purchase was a surprise. When Suzanne, the night before, had heard how inexpensively Jamal Igle was selling his beautiful original artwork, she withdrew her moratorium on buying pages. She told me I could get one of Jamal's pieces. We stopped by together and, behind his FIRESTORM pages, were a few really nice pages from his issue of MARVEL AGE SPIDER-MAN. I saw one page with a panel showing Spidey in a dumpster with a banana peel on his head and knew I had to have it. Christian said that if I didn't get it, he would. So, to keep it out of his dastardly mits, I forked over the bucks and took my prize. I'll try to scan it and post it here later with the FIRESTORM page I already own.

We went to lunch at Jolina's, a Mexican joint that shares building space with Fuel Pizza. The food was excellent and they had beer. That was much appreciated as the cool temperatures of the last two days had given way to a blistering 95-degrees.

Next, we attended the STEPHEN KING'S DARK TOWER panel with Peter David and a really nice lady whose name I don't recall. Which is a shame because she seems to have been the backbone of the writing team, doing all the heavy lifting of research and organization. From where we sat, we couldn't really see her and she spoke so quietly we almost couldn't hear her. Contrast that with Peter's loud, booming voice. The panel was moderated by Matt Brady of Newsarama. If you've ever wondered what he looks like, he's the big redheaded guy at the podium in the picture below.

The panel was interesting but I didn't really know what they were talking about. I don't read the comic and I've never read King's Tower books. I plan to because I've read just about every other book he's ever published and I'm a huge fan. But, by the time I was able to get my hands on any of the Dark Tower books, he'd already published three of them and I never got around to reading them. It's on my Things To Do Before I Die list.

Christian and I left Suzanne in the care of Mike, Todd and Craig and went to try our hand at the Quickdraw contest again. I'd resigned myself to defeat after my poor performance the day before. In fact, until the guy yelled, "Go!" I had no idea what I was going to draw. I was toying with drawing Werewolf by Night but then, the need to draw Frankenstein's Monster overtook me and I did that. I remembered my own advice to Christian (that I didn't follow with Bender 2.0) to "fill the page." I quickly sketched out my monster with a rough background of trees, castle and moon. The 20 minutes seemed to pass a lot slower this time and I was a lot calmer. It gave me time to focus on my figure's face and the wrinkles in his coat. I actually had fun this time. Christian did a really sweet Captain America drawing (pretty ambitions if you ask me) and it reminded me a little of Chris Bachalo's version.

After, we went down to the artist's tables to wait for them to announce the results before saying goodbye. We didn't have to wait long. The ambient noise in the hall partially drowned out what was said but everybody started looking at me and saying, "Was that your name?" I couldn't tell, so we went over to the Heroes booth and they confirmed it. I'd won first place in my age group. I'm back, baby! Anyway, this year the prize was a big box full of stuff from Blue Line Pro, the folks that print those handy pre-trimmed sheets of Bristol with the non-repro guidelines printed on them. I was glad to get the paper but the rest of the stuff was kind of uninteresting. I was actually hoping for a Heroes T-shirt like they used to give out but free stuff is free stuff. Strangely, the best part of the prize was the box it came in because it's great for storing original art. I've got quite a bit of it laying around in my office and the box will come in handy. So, thanks Blue Line guys.

We all said goodbye to the gang. Mike and his buds were staying another night and had fun plans together. I'd like to have stayed but it would have been pointless without being able to hang out with them and we were all anxious to get back to our own beds and familiar surroundings. As with every year, I felt a little sad to be leaving. This year's con seemed to fly by. Maybe it was having a friend attend with us. Maybe it was the warm reception we got from Mike's friends. Whatever it was, it felt like we were leaving as soon as we got there.

Christian was "on" the whole way back and had us laughing until we cried all the way home. We dropped him off to be with his ladies and headed on home, already looking forward to next year.


Eric said...

I withdraw my previous condolences on your quickdraw loss and replace them with congratulations....

Ink Blatt said...

That's how I knew I was finally feeling better, when the "on" switch got stuck and my mouth wouldn't shut up. Too bad it was on the last day. Next year it's all vitamin C and echinichea the whole week leading up to. Taking no chances.

Let me know if buyer's remorse sets in again and you want to unload that Jamal page....

Ink Blatt said...

Also, Mafus isn't that small...I just have big hands.

Denis said...

Dude! That sounded like a great trip all round! Nice commentary. I'm glad to hear you got so much cool stuff, especially the original art! Also, nice to hear you like the Death Jr. stuff too. I only have the first issue from the first volume, and the 2nd and 3rd issues from the second volume, (odd mix-up on my part in a back-issues bin!) so I really need to pick up the trades some time! Beautiful art, and funny, funny writing.

Major congatulations on the art contest victory! Any chance you have photos of your and Christians entries? I'd love to see them.

Finally, Machine Man: He's made head to toe from a repainted Marvel Legends Captain Marvel. I cut away his wrist bands, sanded down the mask on his face and added the lens's, then a bit of paint and some elastic bands for the belt and leg straps, and voila! Done! You might have seen in the other photos how he goes together with magnets. That was fun to do! Glad you liked him.

Leaf said...

Denis, I'll probably post Sunday's Quickdraw, but we didn't know you could pick up your drawing for the Saturday exercise. I've got a thumbnail of it I can post, but the original is probably stinking up some recycling bin in Charlotte.