Monday, February 19, 2007

One Mega-Great Day

Usually when I'm going to a comic convention, I try to post the news well in advance in case there are other friends/ZONErs who are planning to be there. A lot of the fun of these shows is hanging with friends you seldom get to see! I hadn't posted anything about this weekend's Orlando MegaCon because I had decided not to attend. Just two weekends ago I was at FX and decided that my wallet needed a break. So even though Darwyn Cooke was scheduled for MegaCon [and I really wanted a shot at a Stallone piece from him], I figured that I would sit this one out.

You can imagine my surprise when at 7:30 on Saturday morning I received a call from my good buddy, John Higashi. John knew how badly I wanted a Stallone piece from Darwyn and he called to say that it might be possible! Darwyn was sketching and his prices were very reasonable. Unfortunately, there was no way that I could get over there on Saturday since I had made plans with my son Chris [who only moderately enjoys comic conventions].

At 11:30pm John Higashi called me again. He said that Darwyn still had a couple of slots open and if I could get there bright and early on Sunday, I might still have a shot at one! To sweeten the deal, John [knowing that I was trying to watch my $$] had managed to come up with two one day passes! [Talk about a true friend!] I spoke with Chris and he wanted to go [if only to hang with the crew].

That's Chris and "The James" Howell looking all gangsterish. Now back to the con report... Chris and I get up bright and early and drive over. I'm the first one at Darwyn's table. Right behind me comes Randy Martin who's hoping to get a piece for his Edward Scissorhands collection. A few minutes later and the line behind us is huge! When Darwyn arrives, he says that he has room for just two more sketches. I'm in! As long as Darwyn doesn't run out of time, I'll get my Stallone piece!!

Usually when I hit cons, I have two or three days [depending on the show] to hang with friends, set up sketches and look at what the dealers are hawking. Since this was the last day of the show, I had to make the rounds fairly quickly. I was able to visit briefly with Cadre and his crew, Alex Saviuk, as well as Joe Pekar and Alberto Ruiz. [That's Joe and Alberto in the photo above. Alberto's the one flashing the lettuce!] Keith and Monica Mallow were there. They joined Chris and I for lunch at the convention center cafe. Chris is pretty reserved the first time he meets someone, so he REALLY didn't know what to make of Mallow, who's a joke a minute guy. [Unfortunately his funny jokes only show up every five minutes or so... but I kid...] Keith is planing a one day show in Port St. Lucie, Florida on April 22nd. I'll post more about that as the date draws near.

After lunch Chris and I headed over to hang out with the guys from Tsunami Studios [Gary McKee, Mike Torrance, and Jason Walker]. "The James" has been friends with the guys for years, and I've hung with them since I started doing shows again. They'd prepared a studio sketchbook. It was a bargain, especially since they all drew small headshots free with every purchase. I'll post up mine later this week.

The cool thing about hanging at the table is you get to see the guys working on the sketches that fans commission, plus you get to see other artists who stop by, as well as the folks who come to the show in costume. [Hopefully "The James" will post some of the photos we took on his blog.] Although he wasn't in costume, I was surprised to see Jimmy Sanders III! It had been about 12 years since I last saw him. He'd made a splash in the comic biz as an inker and was going full bore for a while. Then a lot of things happened and he seemed to have dropped off the planet. He said that he's hoping to back into comics.

As the afternoon wore on, I began to wonder if Darwyn would get to my sketch. He always seemed to have a huge line of fans who wanted to shake his hand, get a photo, and have him autograph a stack of comics. Darwyn was always friendly and took the time to make sure each fan left happy. He was making progress on his sketch list, but the clock was ticking.

Matt Halloub hung at the table for a bit. He picked up some great additions to his collection. Hawaiian Dave visited and shared some of the great pieces that he scored at MegaCon. John Higashi would suddenly teleport in, and then just as quickly be off again. "The James" rounded up all the sketches that he'd set up. I had come to the show hoping to set up one sketch with Darwyn Cooke. I'd been able to, but the show was almost over when...

...word got back to me that Darwyn was working on a drawing of Sly! I swung by his table and it was ready! I thanked [and paid] him. I then made my way back to table Tsunami. After just a few minutes the end of show announcements started. Before we said our goodbyes, Chris snapped a photo of us. That's Gary looking proud of his pencil, and Jason to our right. I'm behind Gary, and Mike Torrance is behind me. Hawaiian Dave is directly behind "The James" who seems to be putting the Vulcan grip on Jason.

Before I go... let me leave you with a shot of Darwyn and his take on Sly as Jack Carter!

1 comment:

Jesse "Cadre" Hansen said...

always a pleasure to see the Craigster and was extra cool to meet one of the "boys". :D