Thursday, July 27, 2006
Comic Con Lessons Pt. 2
Comic Con lessons part 2- Thursday July 19th- the first full day! This was the day that we ended up doing more at the con than any other day. We arrived early around 9 am, and found the parking lot to be full (no surprise). We ended up parking in the underground lot at a nearby Ralph's Market- they had a 2 hour time limit, but I was in a hurry to get to the DC Comics Portfolio Review meeting, so we parked and walked to the convention center. I ran upstairs to the DC session, and my family left to hit the show floor downstairs. The DC session was pretty lackluster, they basically covered the same info that can be found on their website regarding portfolio review. There were probably a good 150 people in the room, and it was actually pretty amazing to me the stupid questions people can ask- things like "If we get chosen to meet with you guys, should we bring our portfolio?" Good grief- I guess thats why they have to hold these meetings. If you want to be a professional comic book artist, take the time to do a little studying before hand. Ask questions to people in the industry, whatever it takes, but do it before you get to the comic con to show off your stuff. They want professionals, so take the time to be professional!
After the DC session, I walked out to head down to the DC booth to submit my sample portfolio. Right out of the door I was confronted by a TV camera and crew that wanted to interview me for something- I thought it was "Divix" or something to that effect, but I can't remember. After the interview I headed downstairs and dropped off the portfoilo at the DC booth. They take all the folios submitted and review them in the evening. If you are lucky enough to be chosen, they post your name on their video monitor at their booth the following day. I didn't make the list, but it was still fun to give it a shot. I met up with my family, and my wife and daughters were ready to leave- my 6 year old daughter got pretty scared on the showroom floor when a couple of idiots dressed up as bloody goblins started walking towards her. Even though her Dad draws insane monsters all the time, she is NOT fond at all of scary things, and those goblins really flipped her out. Lucky thing I wasn't with them when they scared her or I may have ended up killing a couple goblins... So, my son Christian and I ended up staying at the con while the rest of the family went to move the van and they headed to a nearby beach.
Christian and I had a lot of fun that afternoon, wandering the showroom floor to find all the cool goodies and meeting all of my heroes. We found the table of BERNIE WRIGHTSON, who was cool beyond words. He signed my Frankensten graphic novel plus my Creepshow book and 3 or 4 other comics, I bought one of his sketchbooks and he signed that as well. I showed him one of my drawings and told him what a big influence he was on my work. He gave me a really nice compliment on my art, and I mentined to him that "anytime I start feeling like I am a good artist, all I have to do is look at his work on Frankenstein and it makes me cry"- he laughed and said "It makes me cry too when I think about drawing all of that!" I can't say enough good about Bernie- One of the greatest horror artists and a very cool person!
Christian and I then headed upstairs to catch the session on the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Monsters. The panel consisted of Forrest J Ackerman of Famous Monsters magazine fame and Basil Gogos, the artist responsible for all those eye popping colorful painted covers for F.M. the session was really cool, Forry told a story about seeing the premiere of Frankenstein, and how the theater had hired a lady to scream and pretend to faint at each showing of the fim- along with several other very interesting stories relating to those classic monsters. Afterwards, I was able to meet Basil and have him sign a copy of F.M. for me- he too was very humble and very fun to talk to.
We spent the rest of the day talking to other artists and checking out the showroom floor. We had to take a lunch break and walk to the Nordstrom's building downtown, to the eatery they have on the top floor there. If not, you need to plan on spending $7 for a cheeseburger at the convention center- if you wanna wash that down with a Coke, plan on paying $3 for a 24 oz'er. Wow, and I thought the prices were a rip-off at movie theaters! Definitely plan on bringing a backpack with some snacks and a soda can or water bottle or two when you go to the comic con!
Other artists we met that day included JOE JUSKO, WILLIAM STOUT, TOM HODGES (my son loved the drawing of the female mandalorian warrior!) and too many more to remember. We also walked up to the autograph area and met a ton of actors like REGGIE BANNISTER of PHANTASM fame, IRWIN KEYES (House of 1,000 Corpses, The Warriors) EDWIN NEAL (Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and more. Got our pictures taken with Marc Singer from the old BEASTMASTER movies- he was a genuinely nice guy too!
We finished off our day at the con by attending a premiere showing of a movie called "Tales of the Rat Fink", about another of my heroes, Ed Roth. Pretty good movie, done in an interesting way where they have these hot rods that "talk" about different times in hot rodding history. Learned some cool stuff about the Rat Fink character too. Ed was a great man- I was lucky enough to meet him a couple of times before he passed away. After the Rat Fink film, we watched a few Star Wars fan films- pretty funny stuff. We got in on the last 2, and then the show was over. It was a long and exhausting day, but it was a lot of fun. Cool stuff!! Pictures above: TOP- my son Christian tangles with an Imperial TIE fighter pilot at the Master Replicas booth. NEXT- A great YODA bust at Sideshow Collectibles booth. NEXT - My son Christian and a "Storm Chick"? Wow, I think we need an entire legion of troops like this one!! NEXT - an SUV that passed us on the freeway on our way to San Diego. NEXT - Christian and some friends at the Sideshow booth.