It’s been roughly two years since my last blog post, I hope you’ll forgive my negligence. You see I’m quite happy to while away the hours alone, with my work. I can commit myself to my writing (not blogs obviously) or painting for days on end. I fritter the time away, blissfully ignorant of where the dawn of one day begins and dusk bleeds into the first darkling hours of the next. Solitude is my refuge, but unfortunately as an artist by profession, I seldom make art for my own purpose. No, I am obligated to make art for other people, people who are rather unlikely to wander in to my hovel and discover my work. Ergo, if I hope to garner interest in said work, I cannot remain cheerfully withdrawn-and thus, I went to Comicfest 2018!
While this is my second Comicfest, the meet up was actually started by the original creators of the larger, and better known Comic-con International. Comicfest was born in protest of how commercial Comic-con International had become. While I still have a great love for Comic-Con, artists, especially independent one’s like myself, simply can’t compete with the inclusion of Hollywood studios and the star studded panels that they bring. Comic-con’s original inception, in the 70’s, had been as a place where people, who shared a love of comic books, could meet with others who harboured the same passion. This was a time before Superhero movies had conquered the box office, and reading comicbooks was still seen as something a touch juvenile.
Comicfest’s intimate environment allows for fans, artists, writers and other industry professionals to converse with one another. People from all walks of life congregate to discuss their passion for comics, fantasy, pop culture and scifi. Rather than sprawling out over the entirety of a convention center, this year’s Comicfest was held at The Town and Country Resort and Hotel in San Diego California. While this may seem an unusual location, Comic-Con in it’s infancy, was held at San Diego’s El Cortez Hotel. As an artist, the smaller venue means I won’t be swallowed up by the crowd, or drowned out by the fanfare for the latest blockbuster movie.
On the subject of hotels, my constant companion, Weirdsley, decided it might be nice to make a trip of the three day event, and booked us a room at The Keating House Inn. Weirdsley shares my passion for history, and the Keating House was a pleasurable indulgence in this. The home was build in the 1800’s, during a time of prosperity in San Diego, atop an area called Banker’s Hill. Today Banker’s Hill is home to many beautifully refurbished Victorian manors. The Keating House is one of the most resplendent, and features “The Yellow Room” which you might recognize as an inspiration for a room that features prominently in the “Lost Bread” series.
We readied ourselves for Comicfest with Breakfast at Hob Knob Hill Cafe and Bakery. It’s a beautiful little place adorned with stately wood columns and twinkling chandeliers. Perhaps even more impressive, is the fact that this eatery bears the Guy Fieri seal of approval.
I had a crab and avocado omelette with the obligatory mimosa. I say obligatory because socializing with fellow humans is a rare enough occurance for me that I sometimes require a touch of assistance. By the time my second glass was empty, I was ready to greet the day.
After a rollicking, madcap romp around the premises in a hunt for both Le Summit Room, where I would be participant in Artist’s Alley, and an ATM so I could secure change for the day, I took my seat among my fellow artists. The walls of the room were lined with five, 6 foot tables. Each artist was allocated a 3×3 foot square in which to display and hopefully to sell their original artwork, prints and comics.
To my left was my table mate, one Jeremy Cox. Jeremy is a reknowned industry professional whose worked for DC and has created his own original works “Vampirates”, “Zombie Love”, and “Skink and Skunk”.
To my right was Vince Alvendia of Beensentoe.com He provided the illustration for the book “Dark Agents Book One: Violet and Trial of Trauma” by Janina Scarlet. FYI the book is scheduled to be released February 2019.
Directly accorss from me were Emily Rocha and Scott Lost of the Accidental Aliens . This organization is a group of talented San Diego artists and writers, who pool their collective talents in the creation of original comic series and story anthologies.
The company was intimidating to say the least. Fortunately, in a relaxed atmosphere such as Comicfest, artists at various stages of their career are free to talk with one another and benefit from each others insights and experience. There is no velvet rope seperating the comic virtuosos from the novices.
While the conversations between artists were lively, I must confess one of my favourite parts of Comicfest is always the cosplayers. I asked permission to snap a few pictures when one would walk past my table.You can check out my Instagram account for pictures and links to these cosplay artists personal profiles. I love the creativity and ingenuity that people apply to their ensembles.
I made a few free sketches to enertain myself
and managed to sell out of “Lost Bread” volume 1.
Out of a run of 25 prints for volume 2, I sold all but 9. These survivors of the original run are available for purchase in my shop right now! Go get your very own!
In what I consider to be sort of a right of passage, this year I was very fortunate to acquire two commissions from art afficionados making their rounds through artists alley. I consider drawing pinup art and glamorous depic
tions of the female form to be my bailiwick and I was pleased that both requests were of that variety.
The first request, for an anime mermaid, came with very specific instructions. The client told me the entire back story of the mermaid to be drawn. I really appreciated his inventiveness! Basically, this young mermaid had been living amongst humans, who were unaware of what she was. She was transformed in the locker room when she accidentally got her legs wet. Now, she has to drag herself to where the towels are kept and try to dry herself off so that no on will learn her secret.
The other request was for a sensual painting of two of my favourite comic book minxes, Betty and Veronica, to be finished one month from now. You may see progress shots of it popping up around my social media soon.
With the success of Comicfest under my belt, I had hoped to add my new prints an merchandise to the site immediately after, and strike while the iron was hot. I made many connections with interested parties, and had my business card eagerly snatched up.
Unfortunately, I ran into major issues wrestling with outdated code on the website, which lead to a discourse with a very surly designer, and ultimately unhelpful designer. This tragic tale deserves an entry of its own, so stay tuned for that. I say this, hoping that in promising a new blog entry, I’ll feel compelled to make one rather than ignore my blog for the next two years, but the efficacy of this approach remains to be seen.