Monday, February 05, 2007

FX Day [A Long Day] One

FX 2007 billed itself as “the coolest show on Earth.” After looking at their guest list which included comic superstars: Matt Wagner, Dave Johnson, Michael Golden; film and tv celebs such as Michael Biehn, Lance Henrikson, and many others, I decided to check out the show for myself.

Unfortunately the convention got off to a shaky start. None of the con workers seemed to know their roles. The lines for “will call” tickets as well as the “day of show” tickets were backed up and it was long past the early opening time before things got rolling. I had purchased an advance three day ticket knowing that the odds of me attending on Sunday were slim, but because advance ticket holders were allowed into the show an hour early, I figured that the extra cost was worth it since I really wanted a sketch from Dave Johnson. Unfortunately advance ticket holders did not get in an hour early, nor did they get the promised “goodie bag” [which didn’t bother me]. To slow things even more, all advance ticket holders had to wait while a con employee stuck a temporary tattoo on them so that they could gain admission the following days. Sheesh!

When I got into the show I made a beeline for Dave Johnson’s table. I already had one sketch by The Potentate in my collection, [a cool Rocky Balboa] and was hopeful that I’d get another to compliment it. Reverend Dave arrived about 15 minutes later and seemed surprised that he had people waiting. I spoke to Dave about my admiration for his work and he was genuinely humble. As he looked at my Stallone sketches, he commented about ones that he particularly liked. I think it’s always cool to hear artists talking about their craft and other artists that they admire. We agreed on the price and Dave said that he’d do me a nice Jack Carter.

My next stop was Matt Wagner’s table. Matt, like Dave Johnson, is one of my favorite comic creators. I’ve followed Matt’s work since his Comico days. Mage remains one of my all-time favorite graphic stories. I knew that Matt’s sketches were out of my price range, but I still wanted to meet the legend. Matt was as down-to-earth as Dave Johnson. We talked for a bit while I was looking at his pre-done con sketches. They were all sweet. Of course there weren’t any of Stallone. ; ) During the course of our conversation though, Matt agreed to do a smaller Jack Carter sketch that would work with my budget.

Getting a sketch from both Dave Johnson and Matt Wagner made my show. I wouldn’t be looking for more sketches despite the fact that it was a slow day for the artists. Still, I did make my way around the show to visit with Miguel at his Rocky Balboa booth, Andrew Robinson, Joe Pekar, Andy Smith, and the guys at Cadre’s Corner. In fact while I was talking to Cadre another guy came up and had a couple of pictures taken with some of the crew. As the guy was telling them how much he enjoyed their work, I realized that it was William “The Greatest American Hero” Katt! He must have noticed me looking at him because he reached out to shake hands and say, “Hi.” Surreal.

I decided to walk around the tv and movie celebrity section. It was cool seeing MichaelTerminator” “Aliens” Biehn and Lance “Aliens” “Near Dark” Henrikson. They had huge lines of fans waiting to get their autographs. I’ve always liked Michael Biehn and look forward to his role in Tarantino and Rodriguez’s “Grindhouse” this summer. A couple of the stars of the hit series “Heroes” were there, but since I don’t follow the show, I can’t tell you about them. I also Peter “Mission Impossible” Graves, King Kong Bundy [not as big as I thought he’d be], Ron “Serenity” Glass and a few others.

John Higashi showed up and we hung out for a bit. It’s really hard to keep pace with Higashi when he is in full-con mode. He was like a shark in fish-infested waters as he made his way from artist to artist, setting up commissions, buying sketchbooks and laying the groundwork for later art deals.

Dave Johnson finished my Jack Carter piece. It was a knockout… absolutely perfect. Then to top it off, The Potentate presented me with an autographed copy of his latest sketchbook as a bonus! [Later that evening, as I was looking at my sketchbook, I was surprised to find that my Rocky sketch was in it! Too cool.] It was a great ending to a fun day.


The James said...

Saw your Wagner sketch also...sweet, man. Wish I could have been there, or hung out with you guys, but I'm looking forward to Megacon.

Anonymous said...

Hi, thanks for posting the blog. Can I ask if you took any photos of Michael or Lance?

Craig said...

The James: Yeah, you were missed, bro. I saw YOUR Matchstick piece, and talk about COOL! Congrats. We need to talk before MegaCon...

Anonymous: I got one photo of Michael but it came out pretty bad.