Archive for Con Report

Z-View: HeroesCon 2014

That’s the self-titled Corduroy Mafia at Heroes Con 2104.  From left to right we have John NacinovichJeff Streeter, meJohn BeattyBrian Jones and Royce Thrower.. How we gave ourselves the name Corduroy Mafia is a tale for another time.  Instead I present my HeroesCon 2014 summary.

The Drive Up:

Doralya and I left Thursday afternoon.  We drove halfway up and spent the night in Savannah at a Fairfield Inn.  We got up early the next morning and finished our trip to Charlotte in plenty of time to get to the show.

The Convention Hotel:

We used to stay at the Weston, but for the last two years (and the foreseeable future) our con hotel is the Hampton Inn Charlotte – Uptown.  What a great hotel!  It’s super-clean with the friendliest staff I’ve ever seen.  Free shuttle service and free breakfast made the stay even better.

Main Sketch Goal of the Show:

My main sketch goal was to meet (for the first time) and get a sketch from Hoyt Silva.  I’m happy to report that Hoyt is as nice as he is talented — yeah, he’s really that friendly!  Hoyt and I discussed a couple of possible Stallone characters and decided on Jack CarterHoyt said he could make that happen and is doing the piece as a take home commission.

Books signed:

  • My original Berni Wrightson’s Frankenstein (personalized to Doralya)
  • The Package pin-ups by Andrew Maclean and Robert Wilson IV
  • Scout: The Four Monsters by Timothy Truman
  • Crimeland by Rafael Albuqerque
  • Black Beetle: No Way Out by Franchesco Francavilla
  • The Goon: Nothin’ But Misery by Eric Powell
  • The Fifth Beatle by Andrew Robinson

 

Sketches:

  • Jamie Cosley: Rocky (surprise gift from Little John and Patricia)
  • Andy Fish: Lords of Flatbush
  • Corin Howell: Lords of Flatbush
  • Dave Wachter (mini-head sketch): Rhinestone
  • Derrick Fish: Expendables
  • Drew Moss: Get Carter
  • Hoyt Silva: Get Carter
  • Joel Carroll: Get Carter
  • Kevin Mellon: Get Carter
  • Mike Torrance: Jack Carter / Gravedigger plus several sketch cards

Panels, Drink and Draw and HeroesCon Art Auction:

  • The Inkwell Awards (and keeping with tradition, LittleJohn312 and Patricia joined Doralya and I — or did we join them?) were fun.  It is always great to see deserving artists receive recognition.
  • Doralya, Little John, Patricia and I attended the Drink and Draw.  It’s a tradition that continued again this year!
  • For the first time I ever, I missed the HeroesCon Auction.  I had a bad cold/flu bug the week before HeroesCon and was still feeling worn down.  Since we had the rest of our vacation ahead of us, I decided to pace myself at Heroes and sadly missed the auction.

Meals:

The biggest surprise is that we only ate at Fuel once.  It was good to keep that tradition alive, but not over do it.  The best meal we had was at Fujo Bistro — we will definitely hit that place again next year!  Buffalo Wild Wings also got our business.  Sadly we did not make it to Mert’s.

In closing:

HeroesCon this year was huge.  The wider aisles made movement easier.  There were also additional sections this year with chairs and tables for con guests to sit, eat and visit.  The bigger painting area was also a plus.

Seeing old friends and meeting new ones is always a fun part of the show.  I won’t try to list them all because invariably I would leave some out.

This year I was able to talk Doralya into coming into the show on Saturday. We walked the floor and met a lot of artists (new and old friends).  Doralya’s highlight was meeting Berni Wrightson!  She has always loved his work and he personalized my copy of Frankenstein to her!

Thanks to Shelton and his crew for another great HeroesCon — see everyone next year!

HeroesCon 2014!

If all went as planned, Doralya and I will be arriving in Charlotte today for our annual trip to HeroesCon.  It’ll be nice to get away for a “long” weekend… especially since I’ll be spending it at Heroes.   There’s always plenty to do.  Look at the guest list and schedule of events and you can see I’m not kidding.

Hope to see you there, but if you can’t make the show, don’t worry, I’ll post a full report later in the week.

[And Chris, remember: No parties!]

 

Kelley Jones, John Beatty, Batman & Daytona Beach Comic Con

Nice, huh?

Batman by Kelley Jones and John Beatty… how could it be anything less than nice?

It couldn’t.

If you’re in traveling distance of Daytona Beach this Sunday, June 8th, you can get a signed, limited edition of the print from John Beatty his-own-bad-self.  John will be at the Daytona Beach Comic Book Con signing and sketching along with…

  • “Captain Cartoon” Dick Kulpa
  • Rob Smith Jr. “Swampy’s Florida”
  • Jim Fern – Marvel and DC Comics artist

Heck, I’ll even be there… but don’t let that keep you away.   Source: John Beatty.

Scott Quick Draw Jack Carter

One of the things I love about going to comic book conventions is meeting new artists… or at least artists that are new to me.  When I was at MegaCon this year, I met Scott Quick.

Scott does the web strip Camden Bottoms.  I took a look at Scott’s sketchbook and decided to see if he’d be interested in doing a Stallone sketch.  He was.  I ended up getting two.  This is the second.  I’ll post the first next week.  In the mean time check out Scott’s Camden Bottoms!

 

Celebrity Encounters at MegaCon 2014

This Friday and Saturday I spent time at MegaCon with my buddy John Beatty.  While I was at the show hanging with Big John, my wife, Doralya was relaxing at the hotel.

On Friday afternoon Doralya sent me a text that Steven Yeun (who plays Glen on The Walking Dead) was staying in our hotel and she saw him getting into a limo.  I could tell from her text and the number of exclamation points that she was excited to see a celebrity up-close.

At dinner that night Doralya told me of an encounter that she had with Bryan Johnson, one of the stars of Comic Book Men.  Doralya was sitting outside reading when Bryan Johnson walked by.

They made eye-contact and Doralya said, “I know you! I watch you on tv every week!”  Bryan smiled and replied, “You do?”  He was probably surprised since my wife doesn’t look like someone who would watch Comic Book Men.

A few minutes later Bryan walked back through the area and made a point to say, “Good-bye” to Doralya.

I teased Doralya a bit that the only thing she could think to say was, “I know you” to a complete stranger.  We laughed and headed back to the hotel.

Doralya was standing in front of me as the elevator doors opened and I heard her say in a surprised voice, “Well, hello!”  I heard a voice say, “Hello.”  It was Ming Chen of Comic Book Men.  As he left the elevator we made eye contact…

… and the only thing I could think to say was, “Well, hello.”  Ming replied, “Hello” as he continued to wherever he was going.

As we got on the elevator I expected Doralya to return the teasing I gave her.  At least her comment to a celebrity was original.  All I could think to say was to repeat what Doralya had said.  She didn’t tease me though.  I guess she understood that I wasn’t as used to celebrity encounters as she was.

MegaCon or Bust!

This Friday and Saturday I’ll be in Orlando.  My buddy, John Beatty will be there Friday through Sunday. We’ll be hanging out with several thousand other like-minded folks.  Yep, it’s time for MegaCon

John is going as a guest  of the show.  That means while John is sketching for fans, I’ll either be hanging at his table keeping the fun at it’s maximum level or I’ll be visiting with other artists/friends looking to get a sketch or two for my Stallone Sketch theme collection.

If you’ve never been to MegaCon, you’re missing out.  There’s something for everyone.  There are celebrity guests, comic book creators, dozens of artists sketching for fans, panels, gaming, and more.

If you’re in driving distance of the show, come on down.  If not, there’s always next year.  Hope to see you there!

10 Years of The Walking Dead


The New York Comic Con had a panel to celebrate 10 Years of the Walking Dead.  Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard were there to answer questions and CBR.com has the report!

Z’s Review: HeroesCon 2013

That’s the self-titled Corduroy Mafia at Heroes Con 2013.  From left to right we have Brian Jones, me, Gene GonzalesJohn Nacinovich and Royce Thrower. How we gave ourselves the name Corduroy Mafia is a tale for another time.  Instead I present my HeroesCon 2013 summary.

The Drive Up:

Doralya and I left Friday morning.  We planned to leave earlier, but a late start got us on the road at about 5am.  Traffic was terrible, two different wrecks slowed us down and it rained almost the entire way.  From now on, we plan to drive up the night before the con starts.

The hotel:

We usually stay at the Weston, but this year it was the Hampton Inn Charlotte – Uptown.  What a great hotel!  It’s super-clean with the friendliest staff I’ve ever seen.  Free shuttle service and free breakfast made the stay even better. I’d definitely stay here again!

Main Goal of the Show:

My main goal was to meet (for the first time) and get a sketch from Rick Burchett.  I’m happy to report that Rick is as nice as he is talented — yeah, he’s really that friendly!  I hoped to get Rick to draw Jack Carter (Stallone) with Chris Mills/Rick Burchett’s character, Grave Digger (Lee Marvin).  Rick said he could make that happen!

I then got Greg Rucka to autograph two of my Atticus Kodiac novels.  I’ve been a Rucka fan since before he started working in comics — and was pleased when he teamed with Rick Burchett on Lady Sabre.  Eric Newsome was at the table as well.  Eric assists with the Lady Sabre website and more.  Since I am a backer of their Lady Sabre kickstarter, I knew the password to get an advance look at a Lady Sabre script!  Eric also reminded me that he had done a Stallone sketch for the SZ!  It was great talking to Rick, Greg and Eric.

Books signed:

  • My original hardcover Berni Wrightson’s A Look Back
  • My first edition Chandler by Steranko
  • Two of my Greg Rucka Atticus Kodiac novels
  • Road Trip by Sean Murphy.  

All books autographed — mission accomplished.

 

Sketches:

  • Dave Wachter (mini-head sketches): Lords of Flatbush and Bullet to the Head
  • Drew Moss (busts): Get Carter and Rocky
  • Jerry Gaylord: Get Carter and Demolition Man
  • Mitch Gerads (head sketch): Expendables 2
  • Mike Torrance: several sketch cards
  • Gene Gonzales (head sketch): Get Carter
  • Manny Aguilera: Over the Top and Demolition Man (surprise gifts from LittleJohn312 & Patricia), Get Carter.
  • Rick Burchett is going to do my piece from home.

Panels:

  • The Inkwell Awards (and keeping with tradition, LittleJohn312 and Patricia joined me).
  • Jim Steranko (again with LJ & P) – Steranko is a charmer and captivated the crowd with his great stories!
  • Crime PanelGreg Rucka (Whiteout), Jason Latour (Loose Ends), and Jason Aaron (Scalped) interrogated by Vito Delsante.  

It’s only been in the last several years that I’ve made a real effort to attend panels.  Without a doubt, they have made the con experience even more fun.

Drink and Draw:

Because of weather it was held in the lobby of the Hilton.  Jack the Radio provided live music — they’re good!  The place was packed, but the Hilton staff was very accommodating and brought out more seats. Patricia, Doralya and I enjoyed watching and messing with LittleJohn312 as he attempted to win some art — and he did!

HeroesCon Auction:

As always the auction was a fun night.  LittleJohn312 won a Wizard of Oz piece (as well as the companion piece that was in next day’s auction).  The move to have professional auctioneers is helpful, but Alison’s presence as the Mistress of Ceremonies was missed.

Kickstarter:

Some HeroesCon guests had Kickstarter projects that I had backed.  I made sure to swing by and congratulate each on their Kickstarter success:

  • Greg Rucka / Rick Burchett with Lady Sabre
  • Jeremy Haun with Bad Karma  (I missed seeing Alex Grecian, B. Clayton Moore & Seth Peck)
  • Eric Powell with The Goon movie

Meals:

The biggest surprise is that we only ate at Fuel once.  It was good to keep that tradition alive, but not over do it.  The best meal we had was at Fujo Bistro — we will definitely hit that place again next year!  Bojangles and Einstein’s Bagels also got our business.  Sadly we did not make it to Mert’s.

The Drive Home:

We left about 5:30 and arrived home at about 12:30am.  Traffic and rain were both light and we were exhausted, but in a good way.

In closing:

HeroesCon this year was huge with twice the floor space as previous years.  The wider aisles made movement easier.  There were also additional sections this year with chairs and tables for con guests to sit, eat and visit.  The bigger painting area was also a plus.

I’ve had to rewrite this sentence several times, because I come off like a real fanboy trying to say how “cool” it was to meet Rick Burchett and Steranko.  Let’s just say it was great and leave it at that.

Seeing old friends and meeting new ones is always a fun part of the show.  I won’t try to list them all because invariably I would leave some out.

Thanks to Shelton and his crew for another great HeroesCon — see everyone next year!

HeroesCon, Here We Come!

In just a few hours, Doralya and I will be heading up to Charlotte for our annual pilgrimage to HeroesCon.  I can’t wait.  It’ll be nice to get away for a “long” weekend… especially since I’ll be spending it at Heroes.   There’s always plenty to do.  Look at the guest list and schedule of events and you can see I’m not kidding.

Hope to see you there, but if you can’t make the show, don’t worry, I’ll post a full report later in the week.

[And Chris, if you're reading this, remember: No parties!  Be sure to feed Bruiser!]

 

MegaCon or Bust!

This Friday, Saturday and Sunday, my buddy, John Beatty and I are going to be in Orlando hanging out with several thousand other like-minded folks.  Yep, it’s time for MegaCon

John is going as a guest  of the show.  That means while John is sketching for fans, I’ll either be hanging at his table keeping the fun at it’s maximum level or I’ll be visiting with other artists/friends looking to get a sketch or two for my Stallone Sketch theme collection.

If you’ve never been to MegaCon, you’re missing out.  There’s something for everyone.  There are celebrity guests, comic book creators, dozens of artists sketching for fans, panels, gaming, and more.

If you’re in driving distance of the show, come on down.  If not, there’s always next year.  Hope to see you there!

Daytona Beach Comic & Toy Show


Later this morning I’m heading over to the Comic and Toy Show.  It’ll run from 10am to 5pm at the Holiday Inn on A1A in Daytona Beach, Florida.  

The theme of the con is to celebrate the 30th anniversary of AC Comics.  Bill Black the founder of AC Comics will be there.  So will a ton of other folks who have worked for AC Comics over the years. If you live within driving distance, you should come too. 

Celebrate 30 Years with AC Comics


On Sunday, November 18, 2012, my buddy Steve is putting on a Comic and Toy Show [his 11th].  It’ll run from 10am to 5pm at the Holiday Inn on A1A in Daytona Beach, Florida.  

The theme of the con is to celebrate the 30th anniversary of AC Comics.  Bill Black the founder of AC Comics will be there.  So will a ton of other folks who have worked for AC Comics over the years. Myself included.  Hopefully John Beatty will make it.  He should since he got his start in professional comics with Bill Black!

I have no doubt that this is going to be a fun show.  How could it not be with the AC gang coming in for a reunion?  If you’re able to make it, you should plan on being there too. 

Heroes Con or Bust!

If all went well, Doralya, Mike, Erin and I should arrive at Heroes Con in Charlotte, just before it opens this morning.  I’m really looking forward to the show.  It’s always a blast, with something for everyone.  Look at the guest list and schedule of events and you can see I’m not kidding. 

It’s been a few years since Mike has attended the show, so he and I will hang out at the con while our ladies play tourists around Charlotte.  Then we’ll all come together for the Drink & Draw Session at Fuel on Friday and the annual Heroes Con Art Auction on Saturday.   The rest of the time will be spent roaming the convention floor looking for fun. 

Hope to see you there, but if you can’t make the show, don’t worry, I’ll post a full report later in the week.

[And Chris, if you're reading this, remember: No parties!  Be sure to feed Bruiser and Jack!]

Tales of MegaCon 2012: Morning Funnies

The photos today are of folks who came in costume to MegaCon 2012.  They have nothing to do with the following post other than the fact that the nonsense I’m about to tell you took place at  MegaCon 2012.

If you’ve been following my previous posts about MegaCon 2012 [Paul Gulacy and Mitch vs BIG RUSSIAN GUY] then you know I spent most of the weekend hanging out with my buddy, John BeattyJohn was a guest of the show, and had a table where he sketched and signed autographs for fans.

On the way to the convention Saturday, John and I decided to swing by McDonald’s for a breakfast to go.  The McDonald’s was packed and the drive-through closed for construction.  So, I ran in and got our breakfast while Beatty circled the lot for a parking spot.  Soon enough I had our orders and we were on our way to the show.

We ended up parking in a lot next to the convention center even farther out than on Friday.  The difference this morning was that there were bicycle-rickshaws that would ride you over to the convention center for five bucks a head.  Since I had my convention bag full of reference, sketchbooks, a camera plus a small cooler with drinks and snacks for Beatty and I, I thought the bike-shaw was a good idea.  Beatty had his drawing board and bag of art supplies, and so he agreed.

A bike-shaw rider pulled up and asked us if we wanted a ride.  We said we did.  He said he could take us both at the same time.  Cool.  I climbed in with my two bags and McDonald’s Sugar-Free Vanillia Iced Coffee with non-fat milk.  I had taken a sip and it was perfectly made.  I couldn’t wait to get to the convention table to drink it with my McSkillet steak burrito. Once I was settled in the bike-shaw, John came on with his art board, art bag and McDonald’s Mocca Frappe.

As the bike-shaw driver started to get us moving, the bike and then ric-shaw started to shake back and forth.  My iced coffee went flying and landed spilled across the parking lot.  The driver apologized.  Beatty and I repositioned our gear and the guy started off again.

It was slow going… at first.  Then the driver got his momentum and we’re were going at a fast clip.  Which was fantastic until it came time to make a fairly tight curve.

Have you ever tried to stop a loaded locomotive?

Apparently neither had our driver.  The bike went up the curb and the ric-shaw lurched as Beatty and I came out of it.  Surprisingly, Beatty never lost hold of his frappe.  The driver again apologized.  We straightened out the bike-shaw, pushed it around the curve and re-loaded.  Soon we were on our way and arrived at the convention center without further incident.

A short walk and we were at our table – ready for our breakfast burritos John still had his frappe and I could drink a Diet Coke from the cooler.  I asked John for my burrito.

He said, “Didn’t you get the bag out of the back seat?”

“Uh, no.  You put it there.  I thought you got it.”

Beatty wasn’t sure if I was messing with him.  I wasn’t.  Our breakfast was sitting in the back of his Charger… and neither of us were going back for it.

The next day Beatty and I hit the McDonald’s again for breakfast.  This time we got a MUCH closer parking spot and walked in to the convention.  We ate our breakfast at the table and all was great…or so I thought.

After I ate, I decided to walk around and talk to some artists.  When I got back, Beatty wasn’t at the table.  I asked Bob McLeod, who had the table next to us, where John was.  Bob started laughing and said, “You don’t know?”

“No, I really don’t.  What’s so funny?”

John finished his breakfast and decided to get started on a sketch.  When John opened his art bag, he realized he had his clothes bag and his art supplies were in the bag in his car.”

At least we were parked close by.