This past weekend was the Phoenix Cactus-Comic Con, of which I was graciously enough invited to attend as a guest. Friday night was pretty fun but short, I arrived around 6, with just enough time to get to my table, unpack and head off to to a "sketch-duel" with a group of artists. The premise is simple, they take two artists names randomly and then pick a random topic and we have 15 minutes to sketch it out. I was on the panel with Tony Parker, Ben Glendenning, Madam M, Daniel Davis, Patrick Sherberger, James Owen and Daniel Bradford. At first the only person in the crowd was my girlfriend, but before the first duel was done it started to fill up a bit. It was fun and a good time was had by all. After that we headed off to the welcome dinner where my girlfriend and I sat at a table with most of the previously mentioned artists and had a pretty nice dinner. It was weird to be sitting in a room having dinner with so many talented people, people I grew up looking at their art like Whilce Portacio, or watching on TV like Chekov from Star Trek. Chewbacca and Bob Fett were there too, out of costume of course, and Peter Mayhew is gigantic.
Saturday was great, but busy. I couldn't have asked for a better spot, situated between Patrick Sherberger, an artist on the Marvel Adventures line of books, who really needs a web presence to direct to, and Mike Kunkel of Hero Bear and the Kid and the upcoming Shazam ongoing for DC kids. More on Mike in a bit. Saturday started slow for me and I once again wondered why the hell am I doing this, to be honest I had already been at this same con, twice before, with the same product, and for the first hour I no business as I listened to Patrick jot down commission after commission. But after about an hour or so, I got my first sketch request of the day, and from then on, for the next 6 hours I sketched constantly, no lunch, no bathroom breaks, nothing that would disrupt my flow and luck. I think in total I did at least 12 or 13 sketches on Saturday. Not counting the free head sketches I included with a purchase of my book Hollow. Sales on that book were decent, but Villains (with a low con price) did pretty well and I think this specific convention turned a lot of people onto it, so that's great. I also had alot of people with the Hero Initiative Spider-Man books coming around as there were probably about 10 artists at the con who did work in there, so that was fun. I did 2 pieces for the Art Auction and was lucky enough to meet the guys who bought those, both excellent guys and real fans of comics and comic art. I did a Captain America sketch cover that I almost wanted to keep, but the guy who bought it has been big supporter of mine, independent of any type of friendship, so I'm glad he got it.
Sunday was slow, as is typical, but it rained all day so I think that stopped a lot of the full event ticket holders from coming back out. I only sold a handful of books and 2 sketches, but it was still a fun day. I didn't socialize that much, or get out of my booth, but after watching a pro like Mike Kunkel all weekend, it really made me re-evaluate the entire convention mindset. He was gracious to everyone, completely humble, never without a smile and always excited to talk to all of his fans. He goes out of his way to make all his fellow creators and all the fans comfortable, and make the whole event a good time. His example and enthusiasm has really re-lit the fires under me to produce not only solid work, but fun work and stuff to be proud of.
So thanks to Mike, Patrick, to Stephen and all the Pearson and Comic Geek Speak guys who bought stuff from me, retailers like Mike from Samurai, Shawn from Spazdog and Brain @ Khepri.com, and to all the local guys I only see a few times a year at these things.
I didn't have a camera so I have no pics of any of my sketches, but here is a small camera phone pic of a Hulk I did that didn't sell and a She-Hulk I saw posted on the CGS boards, I don't think the owner was 100% happy with it, but it is what it is, and yes, the "3/4 pose with the right hand pulled back into a fist" was very common for most of my sketches this weekend.