I'm back from Year 3 of the New York Comic Con. It was a really fun and exhausting show. I think I only got up and wandered for a total of 2 hours the whole 3 day con. It was great to see ASP with such a large space (last year's San Diego was like being in a sardine can). And I am proud to be published by a company that boasts the creative works of A.Dave Lewis, Sean Wang, Jon Rea, MATZ, Mark Smylie, Nick Tapalansky, Alex Shiekman, Jeremy Bastian, Alex Eckman-Lawn, Grant Bond, and many many more.
Mouse Guard RPG
When I arrived in NYC on Thursday I was whisked off to Burning Wheel Headquarters where Luke Crane had me playtest the Mouse Guard role playing game. To save some time, we used sample characters and got right into an adventure. I could go on and describe the system, the situation, or the details, but instead I'll sum it up with the most important part: I had a lot of fun playing it. Thanks Luke and Thor for the dinner and adventure!
Jeremy Bastian, his girlfriend Emily, and I shared a hotel room, which was lovely. It's always nice to be able to go back to a room and relax with old friends. Saturday night Jeremy and I were each behind in con sketches and stayed up 'till the wee hours of the morning finishing them. You can see some of the stuff Jeremy did this weekend on his blog: http://jeremybastian.wordpress.com/
I was also really pleased to meet some great folks at this con. Joao Lemos, who's Avenger's Fairy Tales #1 artwork blew me away, was in from Portugal. I was pleased to exchange artwork with him and see his incredible journal/sketchbook he kept to document the Peter Pan history and his adaptation for AFT#1. (his versions of the Avengers as the Lost Boys can be seen to the right)
James Gurney has been on my list of great illustrators for some time. I discovered his work in an issue of Smithsonian magazine where he discussed his process. There were photos of his dinosaur models and gadgets and goggles he had modeled as reference for authenticity in Dinotopia. James and I have e-mailed back and forth a few times recently and I was really excited to meet him face to face. If you haven't check out his blog, it's AMAZING (and if you have checked out his blog, you know it's amazing). He posts on composition, color theory, painting techniques, model making, history, and concept thinking. It's like a refresher for all the things you wish had been explained better in a college art curriculum.
It was also fun to catch up with Runner artist/writer Sean Wang and his lovely wife Peggy. I met Sean a few years ago and read his first self-published collection of Runners on the plane ride home. I have been hooked ever since. Runners is the continuing adventures of alien smugglers, rouges, and outcasts in a sci-fi setting that brings the best parts of Star Wars, without ever crossing the line of being derivative. My favorite of Sean's characters from the book is Grissom, a smuggler from our heroes' past. Sean did this awesome sketch for me while in NY this weekend. Thanks Sean! A new Runners series will be coming this summer through Archaia Studios Press.
Calgary Comics Expo:
This weekend I'll be in Calgary, Alberta (that's right, now that it's 70F in Michigan, I'm headed for 30F Calgary) for their Calgary Comics Expo! If you remember in a previous post I showed the image that would appear in their western themed artbook. I'll be signing that book, any Mouse Guard book, sketching, and meeting fans. I'll also be on a panel about being an artist with an indy published book (I don't have details on the time or date of the panel)
Free Comic Book Day!!!
May 3rd is Free Comic Book Day. I'll be at Green Brain comics in Dearborn, MI (unsure of the time yet, but I'll aim to be there by 10AM.) I'll be giving out a Free Mouse Guard print especially made for Free Comic Book Day. (I'm sorry to say that the print will not be available though sources other than Green Brain...sorry out-of-town fans, I'll try and get something out there in a national way next year) So stop by and chat and pick up some free books!
This Wintery piece comes from the hand of Matt Strackbein. Thanks Matt!