Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Big Apple Comic Con 02 _ WRAP UP

Thanks to those of you who stopped by and visited our little piece of Real Estate at the Big Apple Comic Con (adorned by placards produced by the lovely Chris Mangun). It was my first time behind the table at a con and it was extremely rewarding to witness the enthusiasm of fans and the talent and generosity of creators from that vantage point. The community around comics is definitely part of what makes me appreciate the medium.

I want to take the time to reach out and thank a number of creators who I had the great fortune to meet at this con. I don't feel comfortable posting their art on this blog but I'll include some of their self-promotion work. Please follow the links to their respective home bases.

First off, much respect to artist Juan Doe for inviting us to share his Artist's Alley table. I met Juan at NYC Comic Con back in February and we hit it off across a Marvel signing. His work is next generation cool. Juan's love and understanding of both classic Marvel and European comics are processed through a style that is distinctly his. When I first saw his work, I was struck by how fully envisioned and executed it was. His covers and interiors are complete pieces, not colored drawings, and have a graphic energy that is exciting amidst Marvel's current "realistic" house style. He finishes his work digitially as if it were any manual tool and, man, the guy can draw! He's the full package and, along with his Fine Art and children's stories, someone who is not content to sit still. Plus, I had to admire how laid back he is for the amount of work he takes on.

We were seated next to Tim Bradstreet whose work has set the tone for noir-fueled cover art of the last two decades. As is often the case, it was incredible to see his work in person. His pieces are extremely time-intensive, utilizing photo-reference with a command of mark-making that should be studied under a loop. His heavy blacks are bottomless and bleed out into fine detailing. Check out an interview about his work here. He couldn't have been nicer with fans and I was excited to hear that he's been extending his talents to film along with Punisher conspirator Thomas Jane.

Spider-Man artist Alex Saviuk shared essential advice on the business of being a professional artist (among other things, save those receipts!). He's a pro and I absolutely need to track down his team-up with Will Wisner on The Escapist, Eisner's last work.

Art school friends Paolo Rivera and Joe Quinones made for a pair of today's top artists. They both posesss and exhibit a fundemental understanding of the artform without leaning too heavily on style or cutting corners. In particular, Paolo poses for and sculpts (!) his own reference and posts often about his process. They are young guns with a master's work ethic. Plus, there's this really funny Jam Cover they did for the show (available as a print).

David Mack
is someone whose image-making has always stood out for it's use of collage and mixed media alongside traditionally produced books. But, now that I'm working on my own books, my brain is firing over the way he uses these techniques at the service of story. He's got a much-deserved fan base and a necessary voice in the field.

I also had the chance to catch up with two guys that I've had the chance to work with in the NYC animation industry, Emilio Lopez and Robert Crump. It was crazy to see how much their work has evolved and continues to evolve. Their stuff is fresh and explodes off the page. Catch up with them now because they're about to break out.

Finally, it was critical that I had the opportunity to meet up with the publisher and development team of Archaia. They are producing books, like Mouse Guard, The Killer, and Awakening, that meet and exceed the expanding tastes of the comic market and general public. Publisher Mark Smylie is a self-made man with a ballroom in Kearny NJ as his studio (true). His Artesia is classically illustrated Byzantine beauty. Along with Mel Caylo and Stephen Christy, I was impressed with how much these guys know comics. Stephen had constructive criticism of my work that was the panel to panel analysis I needed. He's enthusiastic about the medium with the big picture in mind - they're the first publisher to issue a Kindle-only release with the crime drama Tumor. Cheers to more great comics in 2010.

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