It’s a fun little one day show. Click
HERE for all the details. Hope to see you there!
That’s Matt Fraction pictured above. He’s about to autograph my copy of Last of the Independents which I highly recommend! It was my first time meeting Matt who also writes the popular Casanova comic series.
Rick Remender not only autographed my Doll and Creature graphic novel [review coming soon], but did an amazing piece for my Stallone gallery. I’ll post it once it’s scanned. Rick said that The Last Days of American Crime is in the works. I can’t wait. Rick has so many irons in the fire with Fear Agent, Sea of Red, Strange Girl and more that I was starting to think that he’d never get to it.
Another first was meeting Kyle Baker. I’m a huge fan of Kyle’s work. You Are Here is one of my all time favorite graphic novels. Kyle signed mine and told me his an idea for a sequel. I truly hope that someday he’s able to do it. I also picked up Kyle Baker Cartoonist Volume 1 & Volume 2 and Nat Turner Volume 1 & Volume 2. I was also lucky enough to get a Rocky sketch from Kyle [which I’ll post later]. Kyle Baker is an amazing talent and it was a pleasure meeting him.
One of the best parts of each Heroes Convention is watching artists create pieces for the auction. That’s Craig Hamilton working on his “300” piece. Craig’s an amazing artist who puts some much thought into everything he does. One of the cool things about Craig’s painting is that it works both horizontally [as seen above] or vertically! Tony Harris worked on a wicked “Phantom of the Opera” piece, while Phil Noto brought Batman, Batgirl and Catwoman together as Andrew Robinson started “After the Parade” .
That’s Gus Vasquez and his lil cousin Rosario Dawson. [Yeah, Rosario Dawson as in “Sin City”, “Grindhouse”, “Clerks 2”, and a whole lot more!] Rosario and Gus were back as special guests of the show and also the auctioneers! They did a great job and a new record was set when Adam Hughes’ Star Wars painting topped out at $5K!
It was so cool just to spend the weekend among friends, many of whom happen to be talented artists. Andrew Robinson definitely falls into both categories. The drawing above and this one are just two pieces that Andrew had created for his latest sketchbook. I was also lucky to see an advance copy of Andrew’s new art book that will be coming from Alberto Ruiz’s Brandstudio Press. Andrew’s book is going to be a hot seller and I can’t wait to get my copy!
Raf and Alberto spoke and Raf may have an “art of” book coming soon. I can’t believe I didn’t get any pictures of any of the sketches Raf produced. I was just too in awe of his work since it had been so many years since I’d been able to sit and watch him draw. I did get this shot and this one of two Punisher sketches that Beatty worked up for some lucky fans.
I guess I was just too busy actually talking to friends [Gary McKee, Jason Walker, and Eric Layton to name just three] and saying “hi” to artists [Jeff Parker, Brian Stelfreeze, Cully Hamner, Adam & Alison, Casey Jones, Cliff Chang, Tommy Lee Edwards and so many others] that I didn’t take many pictures. I promise I’ll do better next year… but please understand, no one does it as well as Pat Sun.
If you’ve made it with me this far, then you know a good time was had by all. Thank you and good night!
Yeah, I’m always ready for Heroes… and now more than ever!
Raf’s not only an extremely talented artist [as in creating artwork], but also a highly accomplished martial artist [as in can kick some butt]. In the comic field he’s worked on everything from Conan to Star Wars. In the film industry he’s done everything from storyboards and conceptual art to serving as technical adviser and fight choreographer on major films. You just know he’s got some great stories.
Raf will be at a table next to Big John Beatty. You just know that this is going to be THE place to be. Hope to see you there!
I decided to take a walk around the room before the doors opened. There were quite a few dealers set up. Tim Gordon was there. Tim’s a great guy and he puts on the Tampa show that you’ve heard me brag about over the years. Keith Mallow and Tim are working together cross-promote their shows and see that they don’t overlap. Pictured above is a shot of the America Man table. They were giving away free copies of their America Man comic. Since the doors were getting ready to open, I headed back to Beatty’s table.
From the time the doors opened until almost closing time, the show stayed busy. Every fan I talked with said he/she was having a great time and making some good purchases. Dealers seemed to be doing good business as well. When both the fans and dealers are happy, you know it’s a great show!
Ethan was able to finish Higashi’s sketch, but then about an hour into the show suddenly had to leave. Hopefully, whatever emergency called him away was been positively resolved.
Beatty had a sketch list that kept him busy through the show. That coupled with a ton of autograph requests [and even a couple of newspaper interviews] made the day flow by quickly. Beatty was in the zone when it came to his sketches. Each one was a winner, but this Punisher sketch [purchased by uber Punisher fan Bart ] was my favorite of the show.
As the show came to an end, everyone started to say their good-byes. We told Tim that we’d be at his show in August, if we didn’t make the one in May. Cadre said that he and his crew would be down for the next Sketch Society meeting. We told Joe “Ladder Leg” that we’d see him at the next show. There was just one last thing to do before hitting the road… and that was to thank Monica and Keith for putting on a great show… I decided that it would be best for Beatty to thank Keith…
After lunch Chris and I hung out with the guys from Tsunami Studios [Gary McKee, Mike Torrance, and Jason Walker]. They’d prepared a studio sketchbook. It was a bargain, especially since they all drew small headshots free with every purchase. I’ll post up mine later this week.
Before I go… let me leave you with a shot of Darwyn and his take on Sly as Jack Carter!
FX, Day 2, got off to a much better start. I was able to breeze right in. John Higashi was already there and we met at Jason Palmer’s table. Then it was over to Matt Wagner. Matt said that he had finished my Jack Carter sketch, but wasn’t happy with it and wanted to re-do it. I told him that I didn’t want him to have to do double work, but he said it was no problem.
John and I decided to walk artists’ alley. We visited with Andrew Robinson, Mike Perkins [I set up a Judge Dredd Stallone sketch], Gene Ha, Whilce Portacio, Billy Tucci, Andy Smith, and others.
I swung by Miguel’s booth where I met up with some Stallone fans that were familiar with my site. Miguel and I talked about the Rocky Balboa card sets that he’s putting together. Stallone / Rocky fans are going to love them.
I saw that Matt Wagner was getting ready to have Q & A session and headed over. The 45 minutes flew by as Matt talked about his career in comics. It was interesting to learn that Matt postponed doing Mage when he learned that DC was doing a take on King Arthur with Camelot 3000. Then after seeing what they had done, Matt decided that Mage would still be a new spin on the legend… and the rest is history. It’s hard to believe that Matt has been in comics for 25 years. It’s cool to see how his style has changed and he has matured as an artist. It’ll be interesting to see where the next 25 years takes him.
After the Matt Wagner panel, I swung by Steve Niles’ table to get a couple of books autographed. Steve said that the “30 Days of Night” movie is going to make a lot of fans happy. Of course, I can’t wait to see it! Then I made my way to Mike Higgins’ table to pick up my Stallone Judge Dredd sketch.
Joe Pekar and I shot the breeze over a couple of Cokes. Joe’s a guy to keep an eye on! I hope to get a Stallone piece from him at some point.
Higashi and I met up again. We stopped by to talk to Andy Smith, Gene Ha, Bill Tucci and others. Although Bill is best known for his creation Shi and drawing the female form, he showed us a cool Sgt. Rock piece that he created for a proposed series. We stopped in for a visit for Dave Johnson and then back over to Matt Wagner’s table. Matt had started the second attempt on the Jack Carter sketch, but wasn’t happy with it and decided to take a third stab at it. Higashi agreed to pick up the piece for me since I wasn’t coming back on Sunday.
Then it was over to Miguel’s booth again to touch base. The “Rocky Balboa” card set will be out in March featuring 72 cards from the movie. Originally, the card set was going to cover all of the Rocky movies, but after seeing how well received “Rocky Balboa” was, Miguel worked out a deal for two separate card sets. The second set, out later this year will cover all five Rocky movies. Each will be sold as complete sets in custom binders. I’ve seen mock-ups of some of the cards and the binders. Stallone / Rocky fans are going to love them! I’ll premiere the items and post updates on the SZ as they become available.
FX 2007 was a worthy show. It had something for everyone. If they can get back artists like Dave Johnson and Matt Wagner, I’ll return next year. And who knows, maybe by then they’ll have the opening day kinks worked out.
When I got into the show I made a beeline for Dave Johnson’s table. I already had one sketch by The Potentate in my collection, [a cool Rocky Balboa] and was hopeful that I’d get another to compliment it. Reverend Dave arrived about 15 minutes later and seemed surprised that he had people waiting. I spoke to Dave about my admiration for his work and he was genuinely humble. As he looked at my Stallone sketches, he commented about ones that he particularly liked. I think it’s always cool to hear artists talking about their craft and other artists that they admire. We agreed on the price and Dave said that he’d do me a nice Jack Carter.
My next stop was Matt Wagner’s table. Matt, like Dave Johnson, is one of my favorite comic creators. I’ve followed Matt’s work since his Comico days. Mage remains one of my all-time favorite graphic stories. I knew that Matt’s sketches were out of my price range, but I still wanted to meet the legend. Matt was as down-to-earth as Dave Johnson. We talked for a bit while I was looking at his pre-done con sketches. They were all sweet. Of course there weren’t any of Stallone. ; ) During the course of our conversation though, Matt agreed to do a smaller Jack Carter sketch that would work with my budget.
Getting a sketch from both Dave Johnson and Matt Wagner made my show. I wouldn’t be looking for more sketches despite the fact that it was a slow day for the artists. Still, I did make my way around the show to visit with Miguel at his Rocky Balboa booth, Andrew Robinson, Joe Pekar, Andy Smith, and the guys at Cadre’s Corner. In fact while I was talking to Cadre another guy came up and had a couple of pictures taken with some of the crew. As the guy was telling them how much he enjoyed their work, I realized that it was William “The Greatest American Hero” Katt! He must have noticed me looking at him because he reached out to shake hands and say, “Hi.” Surreal.
Dave Johnson finished my Jack Carter piece. It was a knockout… absolutely perfect. Then to top it off, The Potentate presented me with an autographed copy of his latest sketchbook as a bonus! [Later that evening, as I was looking at my sketchbook, I was surprised to find that my Rocky sketch was in it! Too cool.] It was a great ending to a fun day.
In just a little over two weeks I plan to attend the annual FX Convention in Orlando, Florida. This year the show looks to be the best ever due to the strong guest list that includes: Matt Wagner, Steve Niles, Michael Golden, Dan Brereton, Dave Johnson, Steve Niles, Whilce Portacio, Andy Smith, Phil Noto and many, many others.
DragonCon is a smorgasbord of fun… movie & TV celebs, directors, authors, artists, bands, professional wrestlers… well, you get the idea.
I’ve never been to a DragonCon, but if I went, I’d want a weekend like The James had. Yeah, that’s The James sitting with George “Night of the Living Dead” Romero. [And that wasn’t the highlight of his weekend.] Click
here to find out what was.
Well, I’m home from Tampa. Although it was a quick trip, and I didn’t get much sleep; I did get to accomplish my major objectives of assisting Bill Black with filming some scenes for two movies he’s currently shooting and seeing my old buddy, Jim Ivey.
That’s Brenna Barry, star of
Bill Black’s Gargantarama, and Jim Ivey [looking pretty content at 81] in today’s header photo. I’ll tell show and tell you more about the trip later this week. You’ll also get to see some cool reports over at John Beatty’s Blog. As for now, I need a rest!
Then tomorrow we’ll head to the show. It’s got a pretty impressive guest list for a small one day convention. There will also be a costume contest, door prizes and a film room. I’m really looking forward to seeing an old [as in longtime, not because he’s 81] friend of mine, Jim Ivey.
If you’re within driving distance of Tampa, come on over and join us. If you want to hook up with our group, more than likely I’ll be wearing a StalloneZone shirt, or just look for a 70’s lounge singer who was bitten by a vampire.
Big Beatty, Jazz and Papa will hold down the fort while I’m gone.
Talk to you soon!