First up is ARTIST ALLEY COMICS, the new digital initiative being undertaken by some talented folk who also happen to be some of my favorite people in the world. Craig Rousseau, Richard Case, Chris Kemple, Rich Woodall, Kelly Yates, Jason Copland, Michael May and Shawn McManus have gotten together and published some really neat books online in easy-to-download PDF format. And like most addictive substances, the first one's free! Go check it out. There is some really great stuff there.
Second is a book called A ONCE CROWDED SKY by our new friend Tom King. Tom stopped by the table and was nice enough to give us a signed copy of his book. Though there are a few pages of comic art along with spot illustrations by artist extraordinaire Tom (MYSTERIUS) Fowler, SKY is actually a novel. Suzanne and I have been fighting over who gets to read it first. She won but I did get to read a few pages and I have to say I can't wait to dig in. Tom's is a really interesting person in real life (just read his bio) and he's a pretty darned good writer. He told us the publisher was so impressed they greenlighted a sequel before the first one was even published. Order your copy today and get in on the ground floor of what promises to be an exciting series.
Finally, I finally got to actually hang out with Dean Trippe. Dean is one of the nicest guys I know and we usually only get to shake hands and talk across the table for a few minutes at each show. This year, Dean missed half the show because of car trouble (We had ours after the show when Suze ("The Wolf") kept us off the jersey wall when we had a blow out at 70 mph.) but made it in time to have dinner with us and the 'Haps crew on Saturday night. He swung by on Sunday and gave us a copy of his awesome classic Avengers art. I showed the piece to some of my coworkers the following week and they loved it as much as I did. Thanks Dean! I absolutely adore this. I would kill to read an Avengers book drawn by you with the characters in their classic outfits.
As for me...I haven't been drawing much lately for reasons I've already blabbered on about, well, ad nauseam. And I've missed it. So, when two young men came up to me as we were setting up on Friday morning and asked if I would do some commissions to benefit the scholarship, I was not only extremely flattered, I was actually thrilled. If you follow me on Twitter, you've already seen these. If not...
First up was an inked drawing of Spidey in his Iron Spider costume on a sketch cover. I struggled with this one, trying to get the pose right and finally gave up on having him clinging to a wall and just had fun with it. I was pretty nervous because those sketch covers mean you can't just ball it up and start over. And it didn't help that Craig kept leaning over with a twinkle in his eye and saying things like, "You really going to go with that pose?" and "Are you still not done with that?" But, all in all, I was pretty happy with it. (Although I apparently forgot what year it is. They say the mind is the first thing to go. Sadly,...it's the hair.)
The other piece was even more daunting. The request was for an 11x17 piece in full color of the entire Superman Family. I changed the layout from what was requested to seem less rigid. Sadly, I only finished the inks by the end of the show...
...and had to finish the coloring at home and mail the piece out. But the "client" received it and emailed me that he was happy with it. So, I'm all smiles.
It makes me really happy that at least a few people think my art is worth paying for and that I can actually do something creative that helps raise money for the scholarship. That's pretty gratifying.
Anyway, that's it. Have a great weekend and try to stay cool. Ugh.