Search Results for: dave wachter

Dave Wachter’s Rocky

It couldn’t be more appropriate [since there were several pieces about Rocky and the Oscars in this week’s update] that we have Rocky by Dave Wachter for this week’s Stallone art. Dave’s work has appeared on the SZ before with his riff on Sly from Paradise Alley.

After the recent earthquake in Haiti, Dave offered everyone who made a donation to Doctors Without Borders to aide earthquake victims in Haiti a free sketch. The piece about is what I got for my donation. You can see what others selected, and more of Dave’s art by heading over to his website.

Thanks to Dave for my great sketch as well as his efforts to help the people in Haiti.

Dave Wachter’s Cosmo

This week we have Dave Wachter’s take on Sly as Cosmo Carboni from “Paradise Alley”. I’d never seen Dave’s art until this year at HeroesCon. I immediately got on board for the sketch above. Since then I’ve picked up two more small pieces from Dave. He’s talented and very reasonably priced. You can see more of Dave’s art at his site. Plan to spend a while!

Dave’s New Deal: Everyone is a Winner

Less than a week ago, I wrote about a neat idea that Dave Wachter had to encourage folks to make a donation to aid the people of Haiti.  Dave was doing a raffle for free drawings to anyone who donated to Doctors Without Borders to aide earthquake victims in Haiti.  Several people took Dave up on his offer and some of the raffle winners’ art has started to show up on his blog.

Today Haiti was hit with another devastating earthquake.  They’re going to need help more than ever so Dave decided to make a new offer to those considering a donation to help the Haiti relief effort:

NEW DEAL: No more raffle, everyone gets a sketch

That’s right EVERYONE who makes a donation to Doctors Without Borders and sends a copy of the receipt to Dave will get a FREE SKETCH CARD.  Click HERE to read Dave’s post.

It’s a cliche that the worst times bring out the best in people.  It’s also true.  If you can spare a few bucks or more, why not send some to help the folks in Haiti?   You’ll feel good and get a great drawing for your troubles.  And if you believe in karma, you’ll earn some points… you know Dave should surely have some good mojo heading his way!

Wachter’s Charity – Drawings for Drawings

If you’re considering a donation to aid the people of Haiti, then you might want to check out Dave Wachter’s blogDave is doing a raffle for anyone who donates to the Doctors Without Borders in aide of earthquake victims in Haiti charity.  That’s right, Dave’s doing drawings for folks to win drawings.  There are a few simple rules which you can read here.

I’ve always thought of Dave Wachter as an excellent artist.  It’s even nicer to know that he’s an excellent human being.

HeroesCon 2016 / Z-View

HeroesCon 2016 was, as are all HeroesCons, a blast.  Read on and I’m sure you’ll agree.

The Pre-Show:

Doralya and I left Thursday morning.  Several of our friends were going up early and so we decided to meet them for dinner the night before the show.  We met at Merts Heart and Soul.  By we, I mean Doralya, John Beatty, Little John and his bride Patricia, Mike Cross, Richard Cox and his wife.  The food was good, but the company was even better.

The Convention Hotels:

This was the first year that we stayed at two hotels.  Usually we can either be found at the Westin or the Hampton Inn Charlotte – Uptown.  This year, depending on the night we could be found at either.  When we decided to go up early the Westin (our main hotel that we had already booked for the con) couldn’t fit us in.  Thankfully, the Hampton came through.


  • Hung with John Beatty at his table on and off throughout the con.  Joined by Doralya, Little John & Patricia and Mike Cross while John sketched in his room on Friday.  A lot of laughs.
  • Went to the start of the HeroesCon auction.  Saw a lot of nice art.  Happy that Little John won a few pieces!  It was cool seeing DMC from RUN DMC take the podium and get the crowd rocking.
  • Even cooler meeting DMC in the hotel gift shop later that night.  What a nice celeb!  Very gracious and willing to pose for photos.


  • Picked up HeroesCon Black Panther by Brian Stelffreeze t-shirts for me, John Higashi, The James and one of his friends.
  • Picked up sketches from Mike Torrance: 1] Jack Carter and Lono from 100 Bullets, 2] Jack Carter and Marv from Sin City, 3] The Specialist Card, 4] Capone (Sly as Frank Nitti) Card and two Sly Artist’s Choice Cards.  Mike came through like a champ and selected Rocky from Creed and Judge Dredd for the Artist’s choice cards.
  • Picked up Jack Carter sketch from Uko Smith.  Iconic.  Second year in a row for an Uko piece!
  • Picked up Jack Carter and Lono piece from Megan Levens.  First time commission from Megan but will not be the last.
  • Picked up Bullet to the Head mugshot by Dave Wachter.  The HeroesCon/Dave Wachter sketch streak stays alive.
  • Picked up Rocky sketch by Shamus Murphy.  Dug it so much, I went back for a bigger sketch by Shamus and he came through with Sly as Jack Carter.
  • Saw Casey Jones, who was drawing for Heroes Initiative, and was able to serve as the middle man to get John Higashi the Audrey Hepburn piece he wanted.
  • Commissioned and got a head sketch from Joe Delgatta.  I love Joe’s art and the Cobra sketch he did for me is a real highlight!
  • Met Reid Beaman and got a Jack Carter sketch from him.
  • Met (after many mail commissions) Thomas Boatwright and got a Rocky and Apollo watercolor sketch from him.
  • After hearing Little John talk about a sketch he got of Gargoyle on Batman on a Gargoyle all weekend, I got Chris Flick to do a Rocky with arms raised in victory on a gargoyle.


  • Danniel Warren Johnson – my Space Mullet trade.  So happy for his success!
  • Eric Bonhomme – his pinup in my The Package trade
  • Vanessa Del Rey – my Hit 1955 and Hit 1957 trades
  • James Harren – my Rumble 1 and 2 trades
  • Jason LaTour – his new sketchbook, my Noche Roja hardcover, my Southern Bastards 1 hardcover, and my HeroesCon 2016 Southern Bastards print.


  • The Inkwell Awards (and keeping with tradition, LittleJohn312 and Patricia joined me — or did I join them?) were fun. It is always great to see deserving artists receive recognition.  It’s even better when Steranko is the keynote speaker!
  • Went to the Drink & Draw at Buffalo Wild Wings on Friday.  Got a Chris Flick Sly from Rhinestone sketch.
  • Crime Panel – Joe Rauch talked crime/noir comics, tv and movies with Justin Greenwood (The Fuse), John Lees (And Then Emily was Gone), Rich Tommaso (Dark Corridor), Christopher Sebela and Ibrahim Moustafa (High Crimes).

The biggest surprise is that we only ate at Fuel once. It was good to keep that tradition alive, but not over do it.

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.

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 Sunday. We walked the floor and met a lot of artists (new and old friends).

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

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



  • 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.


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!

The Guns of Shadow Valley Creators Speak

Under the Radar posted a nice little interview with The Guns of Shadow Vallery co-creators, [artist] Dave Wachter and [writer] James Andrew Clark.  

If you’re already aware of The Guns of Shadow Valley, you’ve probably backed their Kickstarter project.  If you aren’t or haven’t, please consider learning more or doing so.

I did and am looking forward to to getting the book in my mitts.

“The Guns of Shadow Valley” Now on Kickstarter

The Guns of Shadow Valley by Dave Wachter [co-creator & artist], James Andrew Clark [co-creator & writer] and Thomas Mauer [Letterer] is now available on Kickstarter.

The Guns of Shadow Valley started as a weekly web comic set in 1870’s in the mysterious Shadow Valley where a…

“posse of gunmen with special abilities must come together and defend against a tribe of ghostly warriors, an advancing army led by a deranged Colonel, and the perils of the valley itself.”

It’s more than just a western, it has elements of “science fiction, steampunk, superpowers, mysticism, and folklore.”

The Guns of Shadow Valley was nominated for the Eisner Award for ‘Best Digital Comic’ in 2010, and for the Harvey Award for ‘Best Online Comics Work’ in 2011. Dave Wachter was nominated for the Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award in 2012.

If you’ve never read The Guns of Shadow Valley, why not check it out?  Then if you like what you see, please consider swinging by The Guns of Shadow Valley Kickstarter and become a backer.  There are backer levels [with cool rewards at each level]  to suit every budget.

Z-View: 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


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


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!

Heroes Con Report – Thursday & Friday


Doralya [my wife] and I left Port Orange in the Jack Carter mobile headed for Charlotte at approximately 11:30am on the day before the show.  I had a free night at the Westin and so we decided to make a long weekend of it.  My IPOD was full of enough music to get us there and back and we even had a little cooler of Diet Cokes, water and snacks.  Life was good.  My Garmin didn’t let me down and the weather was perfect.  Once we arrived in Charlotte, Doralya dropped me off at the convention center so I could pick up my con pass and then we got our room.

After a bit of unpacking and freshening up, we decided to walk down to Mert’s Heart and Soul for dinner.  If you like Soul food, then this is the place to go.  Doralya had the fried catfish and I went with the traditional fried chicken.  We both had cornbread [as good as cake], mac and cheese and I also had some greens.  Doralya opted for lemonade and I had sweet tea.  We were full of great food so I was thankful for a beautiful evening as we walked back to the Westin.


That’s Dan Panosian and Jeff Johnson, two of the founding members of Drink and Draw.  I had a Jack Carter sketch commission set up with Dan.  So his table was my first stop.  Dan said that he’d sketched out a piece on the plane, but wasn’t happy with it.  The way he described it was pretty cool, Carter holding a hand gun up and facing the viewer at an angle.  Dan said he might just go ahead and give me the rough if he went with another idea.  I was definitely cool with that.  ; )

I asked Jeff to sketch in my Drink and Draw, Volume II sketchbook. Jeff put an awesome Viking warrior on the inside front cover to go with Dan’s equally cool Red Sonja and Dave Johnson’s creepy guy.  I asked Jeff if he’d be interested in doing a Stallone sketch.  Jeff agreed and did a very cool and on-point sketch of Sly as Cobra.

After setting up the sketch with Jeff, I decided to walk the con floor and see where everybody was.  I’d also set up some sketches before the show with artists so picking them up was also on the list of things to do.  Mike Torrance was at the show, but not set up at a table.  He had some sketch cards for me: Rocky Balboa, Jack Carter, Barney Ross from The Expendables and Sly as John Spartan aka Demolition Man.  I also had Mike do a Rawhide Kid card for my buddy, LittleJohn312.   I had set up a Rocky sketch with Chris Brunner, who went above and beyond by giving me a piece with Rocky and Adrian! Chris is one of the good guys and his comic series with Jason LaTour and Rico Renzi, Loose Ends is gonna kill.

I also had set up two pieces with Robbi Rodriguez.  The first piece I asked for was an iconic shot of Sly as Jack CarterRobbi knew exactly what I was talking about and created a piece that just floored me.  I liked it so much that I asked Robbi if he was up for another Stallone.  He said he was and I told him to do what he wanted.  Robbi decided to do Sly as Machine Gun Joe Viterbo from Death Race 2000.    Robbi drew Machine Gun Joe standing on his car with a smoking machine gun and threw in the female co-pilot to boot.  Robbi is the man!  LittleJohn saw the sketches that Robbi was doing and jumped on board for a Snake Plissken.

LittleJohn312, his wife Patricia and my wife met for lunch in the convention center.  The company was better than the food, and the food was a step up from most meals available at conventions.  After lunch, LittleJohn312, Patricia and I made our way to the Comic Twart panel and Doralya decided to go out and enjoy CharlotteChris Sims moderated the Twart panel which consisted of Ron Salas, Dan Panosian, Dave Johnson, Declan Shalvey and Tom Fowler.  The panel was a lot of fun as the artists all worked on Black Widow sketches as they took questions and shared anecdotes with the audience.   The sketches were all later put in the Heroes Con auction.  It’s cool that the Twartists took their show on the road.  If you ever get a chance to see one, don’t miss it.

After the panel I made the rounds of the convention floor to see old pals, meet new artists and set up some sketches.  Although Dave Wachter’s sketch list [photo above taken after he’d done my sketch] filled up quickly on Friday [and again on Saturday], he felt he could get me in on Saturday.  He did and I got one of his best Stallone sketches yet.  I spent the next couple of hours walking and chatting with Michael Golden, Andy Smith, Gene Gonzales [hiding behind his lil’ Punisher sketch below], Joe Pekar, Pat Broderick, Chris DiBari, Dustin Harbin, Casey Jones, Bob McLeod, Chris Moreno, Eric Skillman and others.

At 4pm, LittleJohn312, Patricia and I headed over to the Kickstarter panel.  Dustin Harbin, Jay Potts and Jeremy Bastian answered audience questions and explained why their Kickstarter projects were successful.  At 6pm I made sure I was at the Drink & Draw Social Club PanelDan Panosian, Dave Johnson and Jeff Johnson entertained the crowd and gave us a preview of what to expect at the Drink & Draw scheduled for that evening at Fuel.

That evening Doralya and I met up with LittleJohn312 and Patricia who’d saved us a table outside at Fuel.  The place filled up inside and out with folks there to eat and participate in the Drink & Draw Social.  Specially created Drink & Draw coaster and paper had been created for the event.  Artists would draw whatever struck their fancy and then place it on a centrally located table where folks could buy the art for a donation.  Chris Flick of Capes and Babes and Thomas Zahler of Love and Capes joined us at our table.  I’d never met these guys before [they’re friends of LittleJohn] but they were a blast.  Chris had my wife cracking up with his humor and enthusiasm for art.  Thomas entertained us with a professional level William Shatner imitation.  Not only could Thomas improv as Captain Kirk, he had enough material that he could literally take his act on the road.  Before the evening was over, Chris and Thomas drew Stallone sketches after LittleJohn tipped them to my collection.  Naturally I purchased both with donations to the cause.  LittleJohn ended up with several pieces from the session.  It was growing late, so we called it a night, with the knowledge that Saturday would be a busy day at the show…

Tune in tomorrow for more from Heroes Con 2011.

Heroes Con 2010, Part 5

I can’t think of a better way to jump start Part 5 of my 2010 Heroes Con report than with a photo of Dave Wachter holding a commission of Sly from The Expendables that he did for me at the show.  I first met Dave at Heroes Con 2009 and got a head sketch from him.  Since then I’ve been back for several other sketches.  As you can imagine, I hope that the one pictured won’t be my last.  You can bet I’ll post a scan of it soon so you can see it in all it’s glory.

Mick Foley was a guest at Heroes Con this year.  I took along my copy Have a Good Day so that I could get Mick to autograph it.  Mick was only going to be at the show on Saturday.  Since he’d never been at any convention I’d ever attended, I wasn’t sure what kind of crowd he’d draw.

Saturday rolled around and still no buzz about Mick being at the show.  Perhaps getting his autograph would be a piece of cake.  I went by the booth where Mick was going to sign and asked when he could be expected.  They said he had just arrived in town, was getting lunch and should be at the booth around 1:30.  They said if I showed up then, I’d be right on time.  I checked my watch and saw that I had time to run across the street, grab a bite and still be back before 1:30.

So that’s what I did.  In fact I got back about 1:25.  I headed over to get in line and was surprised to find Mick already signing.  I started back tracking the line which wrapped around a corner and then down a long aisle and then out of sight.  Before I had taken 3 steps I was stopped by a young lady working at the show.  She said, “If you’re wanting to get in line for Mick Foley, you’re too late.  The line has been capped.”

I was stunned.  She repeated herself.  I explained that I had checked at the booth and was told if I returned by 1:30 I would be okay.  She said the demand for Mick was more than anyone anticipated and the line was capped.  I thought about arguing my case, but realized it would do no good and it wasn’t her fault.  The line was huge, by far the biggest I’d seen at any show for any guest.

I hought, “Good for Mick Foley.”  I was happy that so many people wanted to meet him and get a photo or autograph.  Perhaps I’d meet him at another show.  How could I complain?  The day before I had gotten the most amazing sketch from Brian Stelfreeze for my Stallone art collection.  I’d also received a call from my boss saying that I was getting a promotion!  Heck, maybe I really would get a chance for Mick Foley’s autograph at another show… little did I know that my good luck wasn’t over (and I’ll tell you about that in another post soon)!

I wish I knew more about this piece.  It was donated to the HEROES CON art auction.  I don’t know the artist or who won the art, but I did think it was a pretty cool piece.  Hope you like it as well.

Two Guys Talkin’ The Guns of Shadow Valley

Dave Wachter and Jim Clark created a web comic, The Guns of Shadow Valley, which was recently nominated for an Eisner award.  Although Jim’s name may be new to you, regular ZONE readers should know Dave’s because of my posts about the Stallone pieces he’s drawn for me.

At any rate, here’s an interview from the good folks at Fandomania with both Dave and Jim about their creation The Guns of Shadow Valley

“Somewhere in the mysterious Shadow Valley lies a secret that could forever change the face of the frontier. To protect that secret, a posse of gunmen with special abilities must come together and defend against a tribe of ghostly warriors, an advancing army led by a deranged Colonel, and the perils of the valley itself.”

Heroes Con 2009 Report

Heroes Con 2009 was an amazing show. There’s just something about the friendly, laid back atmosphere that runs through the Heroes convention that makes it so appealing. That and the guest list… and the panels… and the auction… and the costumes… and the…

What follows is a long, but abbreviated con report [as if THAT makes any sense].  If you just want to see the photos, then click here.  Otherwise, read on, Leon

I drove up to Charlotte the day before the show with a brief stop in Jacksonville to meet up with “The James”, Matt “Pecker” and “Sweet” Will. We took two cars [in order to accommodate “The James” protein shakes, vitamin pills, yogurt, cheese, water and other supplements — the dude has gone hard core after losing nearly 100 pounds in the past year]. The 6 plus hour ride went by quickly as we rotated who was in each car.

We stayed at the Hilton directly across the street from the convention center. Hal, who had reserved the room, was already there. After the normal amount of visiting, blowing up air mattresses [and popping one – don’t ask], we decided it was time for lights out.  Of course we didn’t go to sleep and instead got on the topic of strange sketch requests — which led to a long riff about a mythical guy who wanted “Granny Goodness” drawn the way he likes her.  Yes, it was all silly and we’d been up for far too many hours, but I can’t remember when I’ve laughed so hard. The laughter would die down and then someone would start up with “I want ya to draw Granny Goodness…” and then we’d all be howling again. Guess you had to be there.

Friday at the show I was able to pick up sketchbooks [with head sketches] from Francesco Francavilla and Gene Gonzales. I also picked up a model sheet that Dick Giordano had drawn prior to working on the Demolition Man comic adaptation. I saw Craig Rousseau and dropped off reference for a sketchbook sketch. I visited with Evan Bryce and gave him reference for a sketch. I met Chris Samnee for the first time and entered his Heroes Initiative Charity Raffle. I got autographs from: Eric Powell in my Goon: Chinatown hardcover, Ed Brubaker in my Sleeper trade and Ivan Brandon signed my Viking #1. I talked a bit with Steve Niles, but he’d already signed my novels. I also made it a point to stop by and say hello to all of the guests that I knew. It’s always great to see them again. Everyone said that they were having a great show.

“Superman” Dave set up dinner for us at the Fox and Hound. I’d never eaten there, but enjoyed the food and company. In addition to “Superman” Dave, there was “The James”, “Sweet” Will, Matt “Pecker”, Zack and his soon-to-be-wife, Gary McKee, Jason Walker, Matt Haloub, Tom Fleming and at least 8 or ten others that I didn’t know. On the walk back to the hotel, we ran into Evan Bryce. He had his IPhone and showed me a photo of the sketch that he’d done for me. Whoa! Evan is a really talented artist, and I was expecting good things, but he went beyond my expectations.  I’m saving the scan of Evan’s Stallone sketch for a separate post soon to come.

On Saturday I set up sketch commissions with Robbi Rodriguez, Andy Kuhn, and Jeff Wamester. I picked up my Craig Rousseau sketchbook/sketch, and Evan Bryce sketch. “The James” was impressed with Evan’s piece and so I introduced him to Evan. “The James” being the sketch master that he is, set up a watercolor commission with Evan. I bought Jason Walker’s sketchbook and he threw in a Demolition Man headsketch.  When I wasn’t visiting with artists around the convention floor and taking photos, I hung out with Jason and Gary as they worked on their commissions. By accident I ran into Mike and Sandy who put on the Florida SuperCon. They were there supporting Heroes and talking to artists about a possible appearance at the next FSC.

Dinner was going to be at a Mexican joint across from the convention center. Unfortunately it was full and the place was hot.   Since some of us wanted to hit the auction, we decided to split up. I ate at Fuel [a Heroes Con tradition] along with Matt Haloub, Zack & his better half, and Tom Fleming. Tom is into MMA and we had a great discussion during dinner. He’s really a funny and cool guy. I was glad I got to get to know him a bit better at this show.

We then headed over to the auction. Eric Cante’s auction piece was stunning, but I had a feeling that the Frank Cho painting would break the previous Heroes Con Auction Record of $4,200+. I took several pictures and decided to tweet results of key pieces from the auction floor. The Cho piece ended up going for 5 grand… and so did the Mark Brooks’ Scarlet Witch painting! Evan Bryce came in and we talked for a bit. I stuck around to the end of the auction since I wanted to see if Rico would win the Andrew Robinson painting. I was pulling for him, but unfortunately he didn’t get it. I was happy to learn that Dexter Vines was the winner — it’s always cool when someone you know wins.

Matt Haloub and I headed back to the Hilton. When we entered the room the place was empty. Everyone was still out partying. Matt asked me my plans for the last day of the show. I said, “’The James’ still has a couple of pieces to pick up and that it would depend on when they were ready as to when we left. “The James” is really excited about them.” At that point Hal came out of the bathroom laughing. He had heard us speaking and he thought I was “The James” and couldn’t figure out why he was speaking about himself in third person. Of course that led to each of us speaking in third person.

Soon after “The James” and crew showed up at the room. Matt Haloub called it a night and headed to his hotel. “The James” was feeling pretty woozy and conked out… followed by Will. It seemed like a good idea and so it was lights out. I was expecting some “Granny Goodness” talk, but instead we got on a riff which began… “So You’ve Been Dating This Chick for Six Months…” she would then proceed to provide you with some information about herself and the question was, was the info a deal breaker?  Some were easy [she has a vitamin B deficiency] but most were strange and totally funny.  Again, it was one of those things where you just had to be there.

Sunday, as I was going over my list, I realized that there were two artists that I really wanted to see, but up to this point had missed. Otis Frampton wasn’t there [I later learned that his father had passed away. My condolences to Otis and his family] but Derek Fridolfs was.  I walked over with Hal and “The James” to see if Derek was available for a sketch. He was. I got him to do his take on Cosmo from “Paradise Alley”, “The James” and Matt liked Derek’s work and so they got sketches too! James got a sketchbook and a Batman sketch and Matt got a two figure commission of Zatanna and The Demon. I also set up a sketch with Dave Wachter who said he’d have to finish it and mail it to me. [Dave has already sent me a scan of the piece — he went above and beyond on it since he didn’t have it ready at the show!]

Finally we said our goodbyes and packed out gear. It had been a great show. As I was pulling up to pay for parking [$18 a day times three days] I couldn’t imagine how the weekend could have been any better and that’s when the parking attendant waved us on through with no charge!

I am already looking forward to Heroes Con 2010.