Sunday, November 10, 2002

Comicard Convention!

When I woke up this morning, I seriously did not believe I was going to the Seattle Comicard Convention today. Indeed, I knew I wasn't going, because hubby-Eric and I had discussed it quite seriously last night and determined that we really couldn't afford it.

So, when I found myself entering the doors to the Northwest Rooms at the Seattle Center at noon, I wasn't quite sure how we had suddenly gone from "not going" to "ok, we'll go." I'm still not sure. But... we went!

We had just enough cash to pay for parking and to get in the front door, and since we had not a cent more, we went to the signing area and ignored all the dealer tables.

The first booth we went to was the great Studio Foglio where I got a signature from Kaja for my green-book-o-autographs and chatted a bit with them. We then wandered over to Greg Rucka's table where I got another signature.

Then we went to Jim Calafiore's table and hubby-Eric got a sketch for his Green Lantern/Oz sketchbook while I drooled over original pages of Aquaman. Eric's sketchbook is a thing of wonder! His concept is that the nature of Green Lantern is such that any character could be a member of the GL Corps, so when he asks for a sketch he tells people that they can draw any character they want... as Green Lantern. This approach has led to some fascinating, and funny, sketches. One of the first is "Carnage Lantern" by Randy Emberlin. Amanda Conner did a funny self-portrait, Steve Lieber did Stetko as Green Lantern, and Brent Anderson did an Octopus Lantern. Because Eric is also a Wizard of Oz fan, Eric Shanower did the Green Lantern of Oz, and Leah Adezio did a portrait of Dorothy and Toto... with Toto wearing a GL ring. There are a lot more images in the sketchbook, if you happen to run into us at a con, ask for a peek.

Getting back to today, Jim Calafiore drew Nocturne of Exiles with the GL Ring.

I asked Jim about an Elseworld he had submitted, and he showed me his pin-up of Kal-El as Aquaman (his ship having landed in Atlantis instead of Kansas). It was fantastic, and if I'd had $300 to spare I think I might have bought it. I mentioned The Aquaman Chronicles and he said he had to dig out some stuff for it, but John has already asked him about doing a feature on it in the fanzine. I hope we get a print of the pin-up, it was great.

Both Eric and I next visited Peter Gross, who drew Aquaboy for me, and DC's Death as Green Lantern for Eric.

Next up, we wandered over to Frank Brunner's table and I asked about sketches, but he said he was only taking commissions. I got his autograph in the green book.

Next off we visited Chisai publishing, home of the all-new book The Witch and the Jackal which has been getting quite a lot of press from me, despite me not having reviewed the first issue yet (although I've read it). The artist on the book, Steve Ratch, was willing to try his hand at sketches, but didn't want to try Aquaman. He drew one of the main characters from his book, Jack. Aka Jackal. Then came Eric's sketchbook, and the pun-of-the-con, as Steve drew Jack as the Green Lantern (with a ring-created sword). His associate and business manager promptly dubbed the sketch "Jackal Lantern".

We then wandered over to Committed Comics, and I was remembered by the amazing Quenton Shaw, who apparently never forgets a face. He's seen me maybe once a year, if that, since 1999 and remembers that I'm the Aquaman fan every time we meet. Mark Brill was at the table, and since I've already got a fantastic sketch by Mark Brill of Aquaman, Eric got to ask for a sketch for his book, and got Brill's character Platypus Rex as "The Green Platypus"!

Then it was off to Rick Hoberg's table. He's currently working on the Batman Family crossover in the Batman books with inker Stefano Guadiano, who was sitting next to him. Both did sketches for both our books. Rick did a Silver Age Aquaman for me, and R2-D2 as Green Lantern for Eric. Yes, R2-D2. From Star Wars. The short robot. Stefano did a cool "modern" Aquaman with the harpoon, which we jointly decided he didn't need to ink. He drew a demon as Green Lantern for Eric.

We wanted to get a sketch from Karl Kesel for Eric's book, since Kesel's Aquaman sketch in my book is so cool, but Karl needed a break and started to wander the floor at that point. So we scoped out the remainder of artists and visited a couple of dealer tables. At the Modern Pulp table we ran into artist Brian Meredith who did a somewhat animated style Hal Jordan Green Lantern for Eric, and the harpoon version Aquaman for me. Both are fantastic. This guy can draw.

At this point we were tired and there weren't any more artists that we could approach, so we decided that if Kesel didn't return soon, we'd leave and hope to catch him at a future con. Of course, the moment we decided that, Karl wandered back to the table.

After flipping through my original Aquaman sketchbook (in which his sketch is the fifth one, so he hadn't seen most of the sketches), he agreed to do a sketch for Eric. He pondered it awhile, and while he pondered, I decided to try something I had tried once before.

Way back at the third con I ever got sketches at, I asked Art Adams to do a sketch for me. He apologized and explained he wasn't doing sketches at cons at the time, and I understood... but it was Art Adams! So, right before we left that con, I went up to him again and said, "I would never forgive myself if I didn't try a second time to get a sketch from you," at which point he took my sketchbook and drew a wonderful rendition of Aquaman.

Today it was Frank Brunner's turn.

Brunner doesn't make it to many west coast cons, and I had never met him before this, and I felt it was unlikely I would ever meet him again, so I went up to him and said that I would completely understand if he didn't want to do a sketch, but I really had to ask, since I have to live with myself, one more time. He reluctantly agreed to look at my sketchbook, and even more reluctantly said he would try an Aquaman, although I repeatedly said he didn't have to do Aquaman if he didn't want to. He told me that he really liked Mermaid Man from SpongeBob Squarepants, and I said he could draw him if he liked. To keep the pressure off, I told him I would just leave my book with him and go over and talk with Karl Kesel. I honestly wasn't sure if he'd draw anything, but at least I gave it my best shot.

In the meantime, Karl had come up with his idea and sketched away. The result was "The Most FANTASTIC Green Lantern Ever!" Yup, he drew Mr Fantastic of the Fantastic Four as GL, complete with a "4" inside the GL Logo.

After he finished and laughs were exchanged all around, Eric and I walked over to Frank Brunner's table, and he handed it back to me saying, "I'm not sure if it's Aquaman or Moses." If anything, I think it may be Neptune. He couldn't remember how to draw Mermaid Man, so he was going for the modern Aquaman look, but the hair got a bit curly on him. I like it quite a bit. I felt a bit like yelling "I got a Frank Brunner sketch!" but managed to contain myself. That makes me two for two on second tries.

After that exciting bit of fun, Eric and I left the con, and decided that it was worth the cost to have a bit of fun and get some more sketches together.

And we learned that coming next February is the debut of a new ComiCon in Seattle, The Emerald City ComiCon. It will be interesting to see how well it goes.