Lots of pictures today, so I’m going to try for briefer descriptions. Here’s Scott Hampton at his table with a great Batman commission piece.
I’ve been having breakfast with him as well as these guys, artists John VanFleet, Chris Moeller, Durwin Talon, and Dave Dorman, a group I think of as “the breakfast club” at my hotel. Had a great discussion with John this morning about 3D modeling, something he does a lot of now.
Here’s Chris Moeller working on a pencil sketch.
And Durwin Talon with a very nice print from a new graphic novel project he’s doing for Archaia. You can find more about all these artists on their websites.
Something new in Artists’ Alley this year was this group of about six digital workstations sponsored by DeviantArt.com. They were being used by artists to create digital art, and fans as well.
Here’s Gary Gianni with an upcoming project, a lavishly illustrated version of H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Call of Cthulhu.” Behind him is a poster promoting another project with Ray Bradbury that looks great.
Had a good chat with artist Peter Kuper, doing “Spy Vs. Spy” for Mad Magazine in his unique style, but of course based on the work of the feature’s creator Prohas.
I also enjoyed talking to artist Sergio Cariello, who I think I’ve worked with but never met in person. I was interested to learn that his comics career began on staff at Marvel doing lettering, among other things.
As a break from comics stuff, I love to browse at the Century Guild booth, where original prints and paintings by artists I love can be seen, though all are well out of my price range.
This year they had pages from one of Alphonse Mucha’s printed works, which were a delight to see.
Here’s another page, and there were a dozen more unframed. Less well-known than his advertising posters, this is prime Mucha work. I talked a bit with Century Guild Head Curator Stuart Tomc about how he finds the great art they sell, and as I suspected, it’s not easy. Have a look at their website, www.centuryguild.net to see more.
One of my favorite panels is Quick Draw, hosted by Mark Evanier, where Sergio Aragones, Scott Shaw and other guest artists do quick, funny drawings on demand, projected onto screens for the large audience to enjoy. It didn’t disappoint, and provided lots of laughs. One surprising guest in the “mystery words” game was Saturday Night Live alumni Laraine Newman, who did well guessing the words from the artists’ drawings.
Heading back down to the Exhibit Hall from the program area, the inevitable “Time Tunnel” shot you’ll probably see in many con photos.
In the hall I once again ran into friend and fan Henrik Andreasen, and had a good talk with him…
…along with writer/artist Don Rosa, who I hadn’t seen in a few years. Sadly, vision problems have pretty much ended Don’s art career, though he can see well enough to enjoy the con, and seemed happy to be here. We talked about some new collections of his Uncle Scrooge stories coming from European publisher Egmont, among other things.
I had a good talk with Vertigo head Karen Berger in the DC booth about Vertigo’s position now that DC has become more of a movie studio-run company. I came away feeling encouraged that Vertigo’s direction and product will continue much as before, though Karen did admit she has to be a lot more budget conscious now. But Karen assured me she still has the strong support of the company management, and I was glad to hear that.
You’ll probably see these radio-controlled flying shark toys in other con photos, but they are quite cool.
I don’t take many costume pics, but I liked this Lobo costume (don’t know who the lady is meant to be).
In the afternoon I attended the spotlight panel for Anina Bennett and Paul Guinan, where they were surprised to receive Inkpot Awards, and I enjoyed hearing about how they got into comics, their careers in the business, and lots about their latest project, BOILERPLATE, which I have at home but haven’t read yet. It’s been optioned for a film by J.J. Abrams, creator of “Lost,” so I hope that works out.
Artist Bruce Timm working on some Joker sketches in his wonderful, lively animation style.
I enjoyed talking to Terry Moore, shown here with his latest project. I worked with Terry recently on an issue of FABLES, where he was the guest artist.
Here’s a bit of personal trivia. Of all the hundreds of cover and character logos I’ve designed in my career, the one with the longest continuous use was not done for DC or Marvel, but for this small press magazine that reprints classic comic strips. I did it for publisher Rick Norwood in 1985, and he’s used it ever since. COMICS REVUE has recently passed the 300 issues mark, quite an achievement for a small press book.
“A Game of Thrones” series author George R.R. Martin signing at the Tor Books booth. I can’t wait to read the latest volume, and am tempted to buy it here, but I don’t want to carry it home, it’s quite a heavy book!
Michael Zulli’s new graphic novel, “Fracture of the Universal Boy,” is finally out, and I’m looking forward to reading it. Michael is so photogenic, isn’t he?
And in the same gallery booth I finally got to meet FABLES cover artist Joao Ruas for the first time. Love his FABLES covers, as well as the short “Three Blind Mice” story he did for FABLES 100 that I got to letter.
Caught up with writer Steve Seagle, here holding a Vertigo graphic novel we worked on together a few years ago. I should be working on a new one of his soon.
My day at the con ended on the annual FABLES panel, along with a growing lineup of artists and writiers, which included cover artist Adam Hughes this year. As has become my tradition, I took some audience photos from the podium.
Bill Willingham was his usual entertaining self hosting the panel, and giving out FABLES projects info along with introducing everyone. There were also bonus giveaways and prizes again this year, including a new one-page story produced just for this panel.
The fans loved it, and we could have easily done two hours instead of one, not to mention filling an even bigger room, so maybe that will happen next year. Info on new FABLES series FAIREST, which Adam Hughes is doing covers for, was well received, along with news about the ongoing monthly and other things. I’m sure you can get all the details on the comics news sites.
The biggest giveaway was Boy Blue’s bugle, an actual bugle with Boy Blue’s name engraved on the case, which was signed by everyone on the podium. The lucky winner was this happy fan, first name Aprotim(sorry I didn’t get your last name). FABLES fans are the best, and Bill and crew work hard to make these panels fun and rewarding!
Later I attended the annual “Fables and Friends” dinner, where good food and great conversation was the order of the day. I sat next to and enjoyed talking to actor Phil LaMarr, a FABLES fan, as well as Allison Hughes, and enjoyed talking to Adam, Bill, Chris Roberson, Matt Sturges and others, though the group was so large I couldn’t talk to everyone. I’ll be signing at the DC booth today with the FABLES team, too.
One more con report coming for Sunday, either later today or after I’m home, depending on how the day goes.