This was the last sketch I got at San Diego Comic-Con 2005. What a beautiful way to finish!
This was the instance where I learned that sometimes it's best to let them draw what they know.
I waited in line a long time to meet Gabriele. Probably close to an hour. I shook his hand and he did not have the firmest of handshakes. Also, I am quite sure that English is his NOT his first language.
Being a big fan of the X-men, I asked him if he would draw WOLVERINE. He asked if it should be 'Secret War Wolverine' from the series he recently did with Brian Bendis. I said, "Sure".
For the next 30 minutes or so, we did not speak. He lowered his head and chiseled away at the paper. He kept adding more and more detail.
Plus, anytime an artist uses his eraser it is always a good thing. It means he is interested in what he is doing and wants to do a good job.
He finished the drawing and i was blown away. Wow, way to go man!
I have heard he does not make a ton of appearances in the U.S. and I feel very fortunate to have been able to not only meet him, but get a sketch of "SECRET WAR WOLVERINE"!
--Thanks Gabriele Dell'Otto!
Here is a classic example of when you need to bring a reference. San Diego Comic-Con was going great. I met some of my favorite creators, writers and artists. I saw some neat gadgets and promos for videos yet to be released. And, I spent too much money on art prints and cool toys. The whole time, loving my my new sketchbook!
While in the Marvel area, I happened across Mike Norton. He was signing comics and doing sketches. Sweet!
At the time, Mike was promoting a new character called "GRAVITY". Sometimes it's best to let these guys draw what they know.
Step by step it approached my turn. I gladly shook Mike's hand and said 'Hello'. Once again, it's as if I have met the nicest person on the planet. He was rather large, but not in a fat way. He wore a goatee and had big hands. I got this feeling that he was a true fan of comics and was now living out part of a dream job.
Everything was going great. Then, I asked him if he'd do a sketch of Iron Man. "Um ..." he said, and then looked around. "He's wearing new armor now, isn't he?" said Mike. Uh ... I don't know. I think so.
He began to sketch lightly, stopped, and looked around again. "Do you have a reference?", he said. A reference? You mean, you guys don't have every character ever created devoted to memory? I didn't even know if that was cool. Should I bring references? (Yes you should. The artisits absolutely do not mind, and often prefer it. Since this trip , I have brought references but did not really start imploring them until 2010)
Above us was a wavy banner that had an Iron Man illustration on it. "There's a pic of him there", I said. That seemed to help him out, but the final drawing seems kind of ... not right.
When asked what sketch he'd like, the guy in front of me said, "Gravity!, my good man." That sketch looked awesome!
This Iron Man has an eggy sort of head, small eyes, and a weird mouth area. I actually really like it and the over all experience was truly great. I cannot thank Mike enough for taking time out of his day and sharing his talent with me. And look! He wrote "Thanks" on the sketch to me. What a nice genuine guy.
--Thanks Mike Norton!!!
Phew! I finally got out of the DC area. Now it's time to buy forgettable toys or maybe a T-Shirt. What's this? Getting sketches has taken control and I want another one real bad? Okay. Let's go see what this thing called "Artist's Alley" is all about.
Boy, ... Artist's Alley is intimidating. There are lots of people sitting behind desks. Some look friendly, some don't, and some look desperate. I must look like a deer in headlights.
I stroll up and down the aisles and I eventually strike up conversation with a man sitting behind a desk with his daughter.
After an introduction it is revealed that his name is Howard Simpson. He is casual, suave and friendly. He has a drawing of Cat-Woman displayed proudly. It is a fine pose!
I bring up the prospect of sketches and he then explains his rates. Oh ... I am not sure if I am ready to pay for a sketch.
He must have noticed I looked uncomfortable as he followed with, "I can draw a headshot for free if you'd like."
Would I?! Yes!
He asks me what I'd like to have drawn. Out of ideas, I left it up to him, with a few parameters. The sketch needs to be a Marvel character and a villain! He said, "Okay" and began his drawing.
He began to draw and I watched him closely. Wait. Why is he drawing a lady? Didn't I say Villain? Didn't I say Marvel? What's going on? Who is that, the Scarlet Witch?
He is finished. It is a good drawing! It's "THE ENCHANTRESS"!!!! She is one of THOR's enemies!
I am excited. Mr. Simpson did a real good job adding ink. It really makes the image pop.
Not only did this fine artist provide me with my first villain, he also gave me my first female sketch. The Enchantress is beautiful and I always make an effort not to drool on the page.
--Thanks Howard Simpson!!!
A classic DC double whammy! Mere moments after meeting Dave Gibbons from WATCHMEN, I am getting a sketch from David Lloyd. I never read the comic but, "V for Vendetta" is one of my favorite movies from past years.
As before, the gentleman sketching this new addition to my book is one of the nicest people I have met. Kind and courteous, Dave brings life to the previously blank page. Where there was nothing, now exists the grin of V. Leering back at the viewer, you just know he's going to laugh last!
This was the first page to have color added to it. On the car ride home, more than once I asked my friend to show me pages from my book. As I was driving I'd glance down with excitement. This sketch being one of my new treasures.
--Thank you Dave Lloyd!!!
Are you kidding me?! Dave Gibbons is 10 ft away from me and he's doing sketches? Hurry!
I quickly scamper over to the line with my friend George. There's only like five people in front of us. I am excited! When I am in line at least 50% of my brain is stressing out about the what character I will ask the person to draw.
I have learned that many aspects go into the part where you ask them which character you'd like to see added to your sketchbook. They may not remember what certain heroes look like and there's a good chance that they've never even drawn them before.
That was not the case here. Dave Gibbons drew 'WATCHMEN" and Rorschach is my favorite character. This one was easy. Having a clear head allowed me to enjoy my surroundings and conversation. George decided to get a sketch of Dr. Manhattan which turned out very nicely.
When it was my turn I excitedly asked Mr. Gibbons if he would draw Rorschach and as you can see he did. He was a warm fellow, and in a very friendly mood. Smiling the entire time he answered all of our questions. Though Dave Gibbons believed that my name was also Dave, Rorschach forever remains skeptical.
--Thanks Dave Gibbons!!!
The unfortunate thing about getting free sketches, is that sometimes you have to get them from DC artists. Within 30 minutes of being at Comic Con, I found myself trapped in the DC area. My friend George traveled with me and he refused to move. Thus I found myself in the enemy camp. However, I was able to blend in and escape with my life.
This sketch was drawn by Todd Nauck. Todd was nothing but nice! A class act all the way. Kind. Courteous. An absolute pro. I am always slightly scared when I turn the page and see Deathstroke glaring am me.
Thanks Todd Nauck!
You go through pretty strange emotions while trying to get sketches. Page two of my sketch book taught me a valuable lesson. Talk to the artist and be prepared.
I am a big fan of David Mack's run on Daredevil. Upon arriving at comic con getting a sketch was the main thing on my mind. I saw Mr. Mack and he looked busy. There was a group around his area but after a few moments we conversed and he offered to do a sketch.
Wait? He didn't ask me what I want. What's the standard procedure here? I bet he'll draw something neat!
He gave me back the sketch book and I had to force a smile and a 'Thank You'. I walked away and looked down in horror? What the crud is this?! A what? A Kabuki mask? I don't know what that is but, already I know I don't like it!
Though I am grateful to have his signature and the drawing of the ... Kabuki mask, I think it's totally lame. Now you see why I am so glad I left my first page blank. Could you imagine if my book started out with this?
Little did I know David Mack would redeem himself in a much cooler way.
Thanks Dave Mack!!!
Though this is the first page you see upon opening my Con sketchbook, it's not the first sketch I received. I had the foresight to leave the first page blank, and it's lucky that I did. (Story to follow in next post)
Walking around San-Diego comic con was fun. It was packed with people. Toys and comics were everywhere and neat promos were being given away left and right. I had already got a few sketches and was quickly learning the ins and outs of the sketch seeking crowd.
In the Marvel area, there was a sign stating that Esad Ribic would be signing comics. More often than not the Marvel reps do not do a good job of letting the fans know if sketches are definitely going to happen. Waiting in line politely and patiently is the best way to get rewarded.
After waiting for close to 30+ minutes Esad showed up. Oh no! Why is he sitting at that table? Why are those people allowed to go first? After some confusion the people waiting including myself were moved to the front of the now large line. Phew! And another victory comes as I realize that he's doing FREE sketches!
I really like Esad Ribic. He did cool art on LOKI and all the covers for 'HOUSE of M'. Now for the tough decision. What hero do I ask him to draw? Can this guy even speak English? Oh no. It's my turn. I approach and lay my sketchbook before him. I notice quickly that's he is a big dude. He's Croatian and I imagine him as some sort of warrior due to the size of his large hands.
I sheepishly asks him if he can draw Spider-Man in his black suit. He looks at me as if he wants to give me a black eye. Then, his head tilts down and the magic unfolds. It was really neat watching him come up with his version of Spidey! His black marker never seemed to leave the page and I love the negative space he left near the eye and left arm.
Esad was very nice, generous, and I can never thank him enough for the coolest opening page ever!