Monday, June 18, 2007

Back from Heroes Con

This last week has been pretty busy, as will likely be this upcoming one. I had set a deadline for myself that I needed to finish the first sixth of Crogan's Vengeance before I went to Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC this weekend. I pulled a couple of almost-all-nighters, and did just that. I'm really pleased with how it came out, but it also made me realize that the book MAY be a few pages longer than I originally thought. This sequence, thumbnailed out at 24 pages, clocked in at 26, and that in itself was squeezing it.

On Thursday I rode up with Justin Wagner, Doug Dabbs, and Shawn Crystal. The trip is supposed to take four and a half hours, but it ended up taking closer to eight. A dumptruck turned over ahead of us and demolished the road, and we didn't move for a couple of hours. The heat in the back window melted all of my business cards together into a relatively useless cube.

Our hotel was great. Doug booked it a while back and we were right next door to the convention. I had the forsight this time to bring an air mattress, so each of us had a bed - quite a change from the usual revolving-shifts-on-the-floor system that we've utilized the last few trips.

I'd never been to Heroes before, and had I known what to expect I likely could have made a little bit of money selling prints or originals or the like, but as it was I didn't bring much with me. I did do a few sketches, mostly for kids, and mostly for free. Here I am doing one of the many Spider-Man 3-inspired pictures that these kids seem to eat up these days.

I had a good time wandering around the show, though; I picked up a few books which I'd been wanting: The Mourning Star, The Aviary, Journey Into Mohawk Country, The Black Ghost Apple Factory, Eats, and the Black Coat. I've since read Eats (which makes me want to get in one the doing some shorter stuff with Wide Awake Press) and Tinder's book, and I'm about halfway through Mourning Star. It's really, REALLY good so far. It's a post-apocalyptic action/adventure/science fiction/horror story, as best as I can tell, and it proves that you can tell any sort of story in a cartoony/indie style, provided that you're a good storyteller, which Kazimir obviously is. I can't wait to finish it.

Mostly this trip was a good chance to see some cartoonist friends. I spent a lot of time with fellow Atlanta cartoonists Brad McGinty and Josh Latta, who for some reason I never see in Atlanta, but have run into at the past three shows I've gone to. Brad did a great picture in my Pirate Sketchbook. I need to eventually start posting the drawings that I've collected somewhere.

I also got to talk a bit with Francesco Francavilla and his wife. They're in Atlanta, too. They even passed on an extra copy of the Black Coat trade to share with my class this summer.

Thursday night we stayed in the hotel rooms, trading stories and thoughts on women and whiskey with a group of Shawn's friends - Andrew, Jason, Jeremy, Robbie, and a few others - last names, I'm afraid, aren't my specialty.

Saturday evening Justin, Doug, and I went to dinner with Dean Trippe, Jason Horn, and two guys who I hadn't met before, Vito Delsante and Chad Thomas. Chad's stuff is really, really great - cartoony but incredibly tight and controlled. I got his mini, the first story in which looked and read like it should be in the Flight books, and he gave me a print he did of the Harry Potter kids, which is really nice.
Here's a few of us outside the bar at which we ate:

left to right: Me, Doug, Jason behind a pole, and Justin

I also got to meet Chris Pitzer at AdHouse, and was amazed at how great their production values are - it looks like Top Shelf has some competition in the nicest-looking-books category.

In any case, the show was fun. Now, it's just putting together stuff for MOCCA - for sale copies of the Shoot the Moon book, binding up a couple of pass-around copies of Giovanni Potatoe, etc - the down side to working on primarily long projects is that I don't have any mini comics to trade for OTHER mini comics. Sigh.


Jason said...

jason behind a pole is my favorite phrase as of now!

cool seeing you again.
good luck at mocca.

Jacob York said...

"relatively useless cube" is a great phrase.