Sorry for the lack of updates. Between moving, pulling my back, work, Nana dying and trying to edit old Scotty’s. So much to do. Hopefully back to a normal schedule soon.
Last week was the annual HeroesCon in Charlotte, North Carolina. Just like Christmases of my youth, it feels like it was forever ago even though the calendar says differently. HeroesCon is my favorite convention. Notice I didn’t say favorite comic convention? Well for me, it’s the only true comic convention I’ve been to. I’ve been to MegaCon, DragonCon and even C2E2. All of them have a lot of comics, but they also have celebrities from shows long since ended and other forms of entertainment. Hell, C2E2 even had an X-Box station.
HeroesCon is different in four major ways. One,: it’s clear off the bat that this show is about the love of comics. The show is nothing but professional artists, comic writers, independent creators and up-and-coming creators. It’s almost overwhelming, but you get to see lots of different types of creators. Two: it’s a relaxed, laid back show. I’m not saying it’s a lazy Sunday afternoon, it’s hard work and there are busy times for the artists, what with the many commissions they’re often working on. However, it’s easy to approach an artist and chat with him or her, enjoy the conversation and not feel rushed. I’ve gotten to know a lot of artists just from being able to really dive into their work and enjoy a small conversation with them. It’s also a treat to watch people work. I’ve learned more from watching Phil Noto, Brian Stelfreeze and Andrew Robinson paint than I have from hours of reading about or looking at art. (Nothing beats doing it yourself though unfortunately.)
The third reason it’s one of the best shows is that it’s cheap. A weekend pass costs $40 bucks. If my math is right, the total number of hours of the con is 21 for the whole weekend. (Split up from Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so you do have to take that into account.) The grand total then is about two dollars an hour, per person to enjoy the con. That’s dirt cheap! The best part is, that means each person has more money to spend. That’s more art, sketchbooks, prints and books to buy. Wondering how can they keep costs so low?
That leads to one of the biggest reasons I look forward to HeroesCon, and that is the HeroesCon art auction. They ask artists to donate art to auction off on Saturday night of con weekend. This helps keep the show cheap and about comics. I am happy I can support the show each year (Even if I’m not tabling, which has been the last two years. Next year might change, we shall see.) which helps to keep price down and the celebrities out. However for me, it’s one of two times a year that I get to see how much I’ve grown, and how I measure up from last year. The second is the holiday card I do each year. These are the only times I roughly do the same project around the same time. I can look at old comic pages, but it’s just not the same. Those are a different story, set-up, and things are always changing. The art auction is more important in some ways, since I am forced to do more traditional art. For example, I love to paint and work without a screen. It’s something harder and harder to do it seems. So each year I try to beat last year’s model. I do this not worrying about how much my piece sold for each year, but just focusing on the piece itself. This year I brought the big guns, which means next year might be a tank…
I also have to say I love how Shelton and the whole staff of Heroes Aren’t Hard to find out do themselves each year. I remember when the drink and draw (The Friday night event.) was a small group of people at Fuel Pizza. Now it’s almost impossible to find a seat at the Hilton bar. I love going to that and drawing and chatting with friends. (One side note, I do wish the live band was a little lower. When it’s nearly impossible for me to hear some three feet away, it’s way to loud.) It was also a big treat to see some Bill Waterson originals. He is the reason I am a comic artist, to finally see one of his originals made the weekend.
I also have to say, I love how Sheldon and the whole staff of Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find out-do themselves each year. I remember when the Drink and Draw (the Friday night event) was a small group of people at Fuel Pizza. Now it’s almost impossible to find a seat, as it’s now hosted at the Hilton hotel bar. I love going to that event, and drawing and chatting with friends. (One side note, I do wish the live band was a little lower in volume. When it’s nearly impossible for me to hear some three feet away, it’s way too loud.) It was also a big treat to see some Bill Watterson originals. He is the reason I am a comic artist; to finally see one of his originals made that weekend.
I also liked that the floor layout of the con was spaced out a lot better this year. It didn’t feel as long, and it was nice to see some big names and not-so-big names closer together. Nothing is more heartbreaking than tabling at your first con, and seeing people stop or turn around a few feet from your table because there is no big name creator there. HeroesCon really makes an effort to treat everyone the same, because this year’s no-name person might be the next big thing a few years from now.
My last piece of advice about this show, is to make sure you visit the Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find comic store. It’s the cleanest, best designed store I’ve ever seen. It’s my benchmark on what comic stores should be. It feels like a classy, fun bookstore filled with…well, comics. Heroes comics is also very family-friendly and well organized. This year I ended the show with buying Brian Selfreeze’s complete run of Domino art. I won’t lie, I couldn’t think of a better way to end the weekend! Buying comics as a fan, is just what it’s all about.
Thank you again guys, and I can’t wait for 2015!
P.S. Here is my piece, it was shown earlier, but here is the scanned version.
P.P.S. Thanks to Micheal Morris for editing this. A lot of work.
So I’m on a lot of social network sites, I know you were dying to know. One of the ones I’m on is Pinterest. Some people rave about it, I’m hardily on it. I was bored and looking at it through when I saw this image.
I never knew that Waterson did politic style comic on the industry. It’s interesting to see an artist’s view on his industry. This got to me thinking, “Do we love Calvin & Hobbes so much since there is only the books?” He hardly license a couple of things outside of the book (when I mean a couple like 2?) So when you think of Calvin & Hobbes, it’s the books, the characters, the story.
Now a days, if something is license from a character. You are giving up a little part of that character. So are you doing a good or bad to that character by taking a piece of him? It’s hard to say. I mean Mickey, Snoopy and Garfield have grown because of all the marketing. That’s the only reason why things get made. I mean the book, the comic, movie doesn’t sell. The toys video games.I won’t lie, I would still buy a stuff Hobbes if I could, however I rather have the complete volume.
I guess it’s a little sad we can’t tell a story any more unless it’s independent publish. Maybe this is how it always just time destroys everything but the thing that made it great. The story. I’m a huge Calvin & Hobbes Fan, that was the first book I ever read on my own. You can see a lot of influence in it here. So I think as this grows to not just throw my characters into a grinder to make things. Thanks again guys.
Now Entering Stone Cold Steve.. wait no?! That’s not it. What else could I be talking about? In the early nineties with the Warner Brother Studio’s Batman Animated Series was being made. The Censors made a lot of complaints and made them change a lot of things. The Broadcast Standards and Practices made a list of nine things couldn’t be shown. They were; Guns, Drugs, Breaking Glass, Alcohol, Smoking, Nudity, Child Endangerment, Religion, and Strangulation.
Now after the recent storyline, with Scotty and Jake flying through the glass. After finishing that page, I realize a couple things. Well one thing, I have broken four out of nine of those rules. I have shown smoking, guns (lots of guns) Child Endangerment (how couldn’t I right?!) and now breaking glass.
This got me thinking. What is appropriate for kids? I mean, a lot of those points I understand and agree with. However how you do you a children show and not show child endangerment? I can understand a couple of things, religion, drugs and nudity. After making this thought I remember Batman Beyond episode with Slappers. A drug based off of venom, that teenage boys in athletics where taking. This was a child show, showing drugs.
I’ve been reading some Terry and the Pirates, an old news paper comic strip by Milt Caniff. In the comic, I’ve been introduce to a character named Big Stoop (Best name ever!) However another character cut out his tongue. Now I don’t know if they showed them doing it. However, just even talking about it is a big,WOW. I mean news papers are more censored then television ever has been.
It use to be ok to show children with guns, I mean how else are they going to find villains? Now a days it’s unthinkable to show a child with a gun. The other way to get around this was, well let’s make every villain a robot. So that way if get’s destroyed, it’s just a toaster. I’ve notice shows are going back to human villains.
I do try/feel like this is an all ages strip. The way I judge is simple, would I show this to my grandmother? The answer is a simple yes. This strip might not cut it for tv but I will always make it safe for children. Take it easy guys.
How are you guys doing? I’m doing good. Now as you guys know, one of the main stars to this strip is Jake. He’s a little king cheetah. Well last week I saw a couple of cool cat videos. Now, wait, don’t run off. I know the internet is full of random cat videos. The first one is a little cat that is amazing to watch. I don’t wanna ruin anything but just watch. The second video is a slow motion of a cheetah running. It’s interesting to watch it move. Just picture that cat chasing down prey. I know I picked the right animal. Also a video on how they got the shoot. Enjoy guys.
Hows it going ya’ll? Well this year I started to read Terry and the Pirates, this is the comic strip that inspired a lot of works. Including Jonny Quest, which is one of the things that inspired me to do.. well this. It’s a great series and I would recommend it to anyone. I was writing a comment on a site, looking how to spell Caniff when I came abound this little gem. There are some spoilers to the story, but great to see a master at his craft. Also watching him do this with markers and crayons. Just wow. So take about an hour and enjoy the old school way of doing things shine through. Also the first video is a breid history of the man. Enjoy kids.