Con Doodles, Autografias, and miscellaneous bought books. Part 1
I purchased a brand spanking new Moleskine sketchbook for the sole purpose of heading out to SDCC and getting folks I admire to sketch in it. It’s tougher to do this, given the economy now, and folks wanting to get paid for doing this. Some folks wanted to get paid a little too much, which was a shame, but I don’t blame them. I guess if I had the opportunity to do so, maybe I would. Emphasis on the maybe.
- Chunky Rice by Craig Thompson at Top Shelf. He wasn’t going to do anymore sketches by the time I got up to him. I asked if he’d do a quick Chunky Rice, one of his first graphic novels. He agreed once he heard the Chunky. Something about Artists and their first works that people appreciate, I guess.
- Farty Kitty by Chuck BB, of Black Metal published by Oni Press. He was a nice guy. Nice bearded gentleman. His pen however, was not enjoying the moleskine pages of my sketchbook. It was a nice brush pen that gave varying weight. I should search it out. I’m a sucker for good pens.
- Savage Dragon by Erik Larsen, published by Image comics. This was a total guilty pleasure sketch. I was kicking myself for not bringing my Savage Dragon #1, and he said he’d kick me too. He holds his pen really weird, curled almost. His clenched fist heading towards his wrist. He’s a leftie. I wondered to myself how he drew all those comics like that. He was sort of a quiet guy.
- I really wanted something by Sergio Aragones, El Maestro. Mad magazine legend. I wanted a sketch, but they were PRICEY. To the tune of $100 bucks and up. Which I, and my wallet, did not have.
- I asked if he’d do a quick little Groo cabeza (head), and he agreed. was stoked as I didn’t have to pay extra for it. Whew!
- It was an amazing treat to meet him in person and watch him draw. This was for the guy in front of me, and I was sad he didn’t want Sergio to personalize it for him. I should’ve asked him to personalize mine. Next time, I guess!
- He was very kind, very genuine, very real. He plugged his new book, and I asked him advice for a chronic doodler and how one can break into the “biz”. He gave me amazing advice to publish sketchbooks, posters, prints, etc. and to get a booth in artists alley at sdcc or APE (alternative press expo) and sell them, build my name, brand, get known. People have expressed this to me before, but coming from a living legend like Sergio… it really wants to make me get my ass in gear.
- I’ve had this TMNT graphic novel since I was in the 5th grade. 1987. And it shows. Kevin Eastman was really impressed w/ how ragged it looked. I’m proud if it. It’s one of the very 1st graphic novels I ever owned.
- Kevin also really liked the turtle head I drew back then. I gave him a copy of Wee Straw-Beary to show him how much I improved. He really seemed to dig the mini and was excited to have something to read on the plane ride back home!
- I was in line strictly for Kevin’s autograph, after having waited for 45-1 hour in line due to Kevin being extremely gracious to his fans and drawing them con doodles. I had to get going so I opted for a signature, but i think when Kevin saw my Turtle it touched him and he doodled me a smiling Raphael.
walking away from Kevin’s Heavy Metal booth to a trash can to put my TMNT book back in my pack, I almost started crying. Not in a crazy, sad sort of way, I was actually really happy after having met him. I think it was because he was so gracious, took the time to talk w/ his fans, the people who bought all the comics, watched all the toons, collected all the tmnt toys. The people who put him where he is today. That he never forgot us. Normally, they tell you to never meet your heroes. But in this case, he disproves that theory. It meant a lot to meet him, and that he appreciated my mini-comic. I felt he really took a genuine interest in me.
Reflecting back, I know precisely why I felt like crying happy tears.
About a year ago or so, a dear childhood friend had passed away. Chris Ellis was one of my best friends growing up in elementary school, and was also a like-minded artist. Even way back then.
Anyhow, my friends and I were really into TMNT. We even pretended to be them on the schoolyard playground. I was Leonardo (because I was the oldest), Chris was Raphael, Ryan Hill was Michaelangelo, and Ronald Puga was Donatello. I believe my other elementary school pals, Brian Reyes & Frank Stevens played as Shredder and Splinter as well.
I remembered a story my friend Daniel Levitch told me about meeting Kevin Eastmen, and getting him to doodle a turtle head in his sketchbook. He asked Daniel, if he knew which turtle that was. Daniel didn’t know, but Kevin smiled and told him it was Raph, and that Raph is the only turtle he draws with that particular smile.
It’s Chris and Chris’ sly smile.
That’s why I felt like balling in the middle of comic-con, out of happiness and thinking of my friend Chris Ellis.
Thank you Chris, Ryan, the rest of my elementary buds, Kevin Eastman, Sergio Aragones, Craig Thompson, Erik Larsen, Chuck BB, and everyone else I happed to run into at comic-con this year.
I had a great time, and I VOW that next year, I will get a spot in Artists Alley!
I apologize for any sideways pics.
Welcome to San Diego Comic Con 2012!
My Exclusive SDCC 2012 mini-comic, The Wee Straw-Beary debut!