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Saturday, October 30, 2010
ONE MORE DAY TIL HALLOWEEN HORROR SKETCHBOOK FLASHBACK!
With just one more day until my favorite holiday of the year, I thought I'd dig through the sketchbook archives and post up a few horror themed pieces from days gone by.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed this quick post. Have a happy and safe Halloween!!
Friday, October 29, 2010
NYCC 2010 Con Report (Part 2)
For the first time in a few years, I decided not to set up in Artists Alley at NYCC. I love setting up, doing sketches and meeting with fans. This year though, with signing at multiple publishers and having a lot of running around that I needed to do, I just couldn’t justify leaving my table unattended for half of the show. Well, to be honest, I also really liked getting to sleep in.
We got up around noon on Friday, ate some lunch and then headed to the con. The show opens at 1:00, so getting there at 3:00, after the initial chaos was a nice thing. We met up with Filip from Top Cow, got our badges, and walked around a bit to get the lay of the land.
Our first stop was the Top Cow booth to say “hi!” to everyone. The people at Top Cow are damned good folks. The booth looked great. They recently added more of a “store” area to the booth and it was pretty much packed with people. I’m SURE they were there looking for copies of Berserker...because, you know, It’s kind of awesome. They still had a few copies of the ULTRA-LIMITED EDITION Berserker hardcover. The book is BEAUTIFULLY designed by Phil Smith. The guy does some AMAZING design work on these books.
From there we headed over to DC to get the lay of the land and say our hellos. Bat editor- Janelle Asselin Siegel was manning the booth so we hung out for a while and admired the chaos with her. We got to meet Batman group editor Mike Marts wife and baby daughter. The guy has a wonderful family. It’s always great seeing creators and editors families at these shows. I checked my signing times and then we headed on to see the REST of the show.
A quick aside--
I have to say that NYCC, from the moment they sprung up a few years back, has been EASILY my favorite show in the US. I love the city. I love Reed expos approach to putting on cons. I think the Javits Center is a beautiful site for the show. NYCC has a real place in my heart. As I walked around this year, though, I have to admit that a couple of things really fell flat for me. The con has gotten big. BIG! Dangerously close to the utter chaos of San Diego big. I really want NYCC to stay as much a “comic con” as possible. This year, with the massive influx of other media stuff to the show, it kind of threatened to go full on SDCC. I’m not sure that does a lot for me. I fully understand why they do it, I’m just not sure how I feel about them getting that huge. My second real problem with the show KIND OF couldn’t be helped. This year there was a huge section, right in the middle of the hall, that was under construction. Because of this the show kind of ended up being divided into two rooms: the main exhibitor room (with DC, Marvel, Image etc) and the “other room” with artist alley and small press booths. To be honest, I think this really hurt things for people in Artist Alley and Small Press. You would walk in to the main area, see the “show” but if you wanted to find your favorite creator you had to traverse this serpentine series of hallways to get the the other room. Like I said, I don’t think it helped. I mean, it wasn’t a ghost town over there, but talking to a lot of the creators in AA they felt it. And lets face it, if you’re shilling out money for an artist alley table stuff like foot traffic matters.
After some looking we found the Small Press/Artist Alley room. It was DOMINATED by this ridiculous Intel Games set up. Getting past the “Intel experience” lie a sea of the industries best and brightest. As usual, I intended to slowly make my way down every isle, scouring for sketchbooks, meeting other artists, and saying hi to friends. It didn’t work out so well.
I managed to run in to a handful of friends, chat a little, and not get all that far, at all. I dropped by Jamal Igle’s booth to say hi. As always, on the first day his sketch list was maxed out and he was absolutely killing it on piece after piece.
From there I wandered a bit and found the table of my good pals Jason Latour and Shawn “Jungle Bird” Crystal. In case you don’t all ready know, these guys are absolutely dropping the science right now. Latour has been working on the Vertigo crime OGN “Noche Roja”, Daredevil and Wolverine shorts for Marvel and writing his upcoming southern fried crime story “Loose Ends” for 12 Gauge. Shawn Crystal is KICKING SO MUCH ASS over at Marvel on Deadpool. I got a peek at some of Crystal’s upcoming work and it’s going to be niiiiiiice.
I ran into color maestro Lee Loughridge at Rick Remender's booth. We chatted a little bit about wanting to work together. The guy ABSOLUTELY gets what I’m wanting to do with my stuff. If I don’t get to work with Lee soon, the world is going to be a poorer place for it.
I finally ended up over at the Cadence Comic Art booth to drop of some pages for my art rep, Paolo. Cadence is becoming one of the biggest and best art dealers in the comics industry. It’s that way for one simple reason: Paolo is a good honest guy who treats his artists AND customers well. Cadence Comic Art a family of some of the best comic art talent in the industry. I’m happy to be a part of them.
After that I ran into my Wildstorm editor Ben Abernathy wandering aimlessly around. We chatted a bit about this and that. Talked a little about a project that we have coming up together very shortly. Very hush hush stuff. We talked about grabbing a beer that night at the DC party. Ben then reminded me that I’m a bit of a girl for not actually drinking beer. I promised to drink my dainty umbrella drink with dignity while he had a pint of some bitter or whatever like a real man.
From there we wandered around for a bit until the delightfully overzealous security staff began to push us towards the doors.
We decided to forego a cab (which are IMPOSSIBLE to get near the convention center) and walked back to the room. Along the way we HAD to stop at Gray’s Papaya for a couple of dogs and a papaya drink. I mean come on, you can’t go to NY and not have a Papaya dog at least once.
We got back to the room, chilled for a bit, and then headed across town to the Heartland Brewery at the base of the Empire State Building for the big DC Comics dinner. It’s a GREAT event put on by DC where everyone from freelancers to production and editorial staff get to hang out, have a few too many drinks and enjoy a good meal. We got there and Lori found one of her favorite people Kristyn Ferretti and her man Ivan Brandon. We had a few brown sugar mojitos that weren’t half bad. At some point we ran into Janelle and Paul and ended up sitting with them, Krystin, and Nick Filardi (colorist of my Manhunter work), for dinner. I had a good chat with David Hine who wrote my Arkham Reborn series...among so many other things. Somewhere in there, with the open bar the night gets a liiittle fuzzy. Still, we had a great time.
After the party shut down a few of us headed over to the Irish Rogue. The place was packed with comic people. The girls were a bit tipsy so we hung around for a bit and then stumbled back to the room. Along the way, I opted for the 3am greasy NY pizza. Lori decided to skip it...which paid for in the morning. But that’s a story for the next part of my NYCC 2010 con report.
I’ll try and get the next couple of parts out quickly so that we can wrap this up! Check back soon for part 3 which includes, me losing my phone in a NY taxi, the Top Cow BERSERKER signing, and me getting a birthday serenade on the street outside of NY’s best sushi restaurant!
Friday, October 29, 2010
"Doing my part to counteract a little of the bitchiness here on the internets!”
I’ve decided to start doing a little thing called “Positive Thursdays”. The internet gets to be a LIIIIIIIIIITTLE negative. Fans gripe about creators. Creators gripe about publishers and one another. It’s a regular snark-fest. I’ve decided, every Thursday, rather than bitch about the things with comics that annoy me to focus on what I LOVE. My rule is simple: It has to be something that I’m really into. It might be a particular artist or writer. Maybe a book I’m fawning over. Some of it will be mainstream stuff (I do like a lot of that) but other things are going to be books and creators that are near and dear to my heart, but don’t get the kind of love that they deserve. If you don’t want to hear some unabashed love for the medium, feel free to skip it. I won’t mind. So here it is folks, the maiden voyage of “POSITIVE THURSDAY”!
The name Sean Murphy might not be familiar to some of you that have been living under a rock for the past year or so. Sean has been around comics for 5-6 years now, doing a variety of things from Off Road (Oni 2005) to Hellblazer (Vertigo 2008) to his magnificent 8 issue series with Grant Morrison, Joe the Barbarian (Vertigo 2010).
I liked Sean’s work from day one, but REALLY became a fan during his Hellblazer run. His stylized environments and characters really grabbed me. He also did this thing with the inks. Something that I’d been trying to bring to my own work but just failed miserably at. It had this gritty looseness to it. They guy kind of threw in everything there was dry brush and thumb stamping alongside this micro fine background linework. It was beautiful stuff.
Sean really brought things to the next level with Joe the Barbarian. He handles the balance of the real world with fantastic dreamlike environments. His angles are just superb-- really adding to the odd, off kilter feel of the book. I’m torn on Joe the Barbarian ending in a few issues. I can’t wait to see how it wraps up, but I just don’t want it to end!
I keep intending to buy a couple of pages of Sean’s work. We share the same art dealer, Cadence Comic Art. I don’t really have a good excuse not to. Well...aside from I’d hate to ruin a perfectly good piece of artwork drooling over it incessantly. The opportunity to look up close and dissect Sean’s technique is just too good to pass up. Guess, I’ll have to go check out what he has available after I finish this.
So anyway, if you love great comic illustration, you owe it to yourself to check out the work of Sean Murphy. I mean, you probably already have...the guy is everwhere and doing some damned fine stuff!
So I hope you enjoyed the first of hopefully many "POSITIVE THURSDAYS". I've done my part. Now feel free to get back to bitching about the tensile strength of Spider-man's webs. :)
Monday, October 25, 2010
NYCC 2010 Con Report (Part 1)
I'm a little late getting my NYCC 2010 con report up. But hey, what can I say, I'm a busy fella! I kind of ramble on, so it looks like this will be broken up into at least three parts. Hope you dig it!
This years trip to NY for the 2010 New York Comic Con was easily one of the best experiences I’ve had in a while. It was really the perfect mix of meetings, convention hijinx, parties and vacation...oh, and food--LOTS OF FOOD!!!
We arrived in the city around noon on Wednesday. I’d pretty much been up for something like thirty six hours finishing up the final issue of Red Hood: the Lost Years. As soon as we arrived at the Paramount Hotel, the first order of business was a nap!
Oh, an aside about the room-- hotel rooms, in general, in Manhattan are TINY. Our room at the Paramount was no exception. Tiny. That said, it was a stylish, clean, comfortable room with a GREAT view of urban Manhattan.
So following the nap we made a trek down Broadway, through the insanity of Times Square and the barrage of people, to the DC offices. We were greeted by editor extrordinare, Janelle Seigel. Upstairs we hung out a bit with Batman group editor Mike Marts and met a ton of the other people that keep things rolling at DC.
After we leaft the offices we had a quick bite to eat and then, on our first night in NY went to bed at 8pm. Lame, I know. I’m pretty sure that’s the thing that kept me from catching the full on con plague.
Thursday, we woke up late, ate a bit of breakfast from Dean & Deluca downstairs, and then headed out into the city. I had a couple of meetings and then we walked back uptown to Central Park. Well...kind of along the outskirts of Central Park, but it was nice.
With a few hours to kill before dinner, we decided to walk trhough Museum of Natural History. I pretty much spent the entire time there geeking out over the dinosaur skeletons and the structure of the museaum itself. It’s an amazing place. I’m not sure that we even came close to seeing the whole thing. I took something like 600 pictures in a little over three hours.
That night, for dinner, we met up with Top Cow Publisher and easily one of my favorite people in comics, Filip Sablik and his absolutely wonderful wife Danielle. The Spotted Pig, located in the West Village, is one of the most interesting and tasty places I’ve had the chance to eat. It’s an amazing combination of a perfect British pub setting, with a gourmet twist on classic “bar food”. We drank wine, ate delicious food, including crispy pig’s ear, chicken liver pate, and possibly the most perfectly cooked and unique burger I’ve ever had. I seriously can’t recommend The Spotted Pig more. Maybe it was the atmosphere, maybe the food, perhaps it was the company, but it was one of the best meals I’ve ever had.
From there we dropped by Alice’s Tea Room for Archaia’s “Return of the Dapper Men” party. I ran into Mel Caylo, Chris Neesman, Lucas Seigal, my pal John Suintres, and an array of dapper comics peeps. It was a great time. The book looked fantastic and getting to see the HUGE decopage pieces of original artwork was a lot of fun.
After that we headed across town to catch the end of the CBLDF party at the Pourhouse. The bar was insanely crowded with comics folk. I got the opportunity to meet the majority of the Eclectic Micks, a group of rather amazing talent from Ireland...hence the name. After a few drinks, we called it a night and walked back to the Paramount, to get a bit of rest before the official first day of NYCC ‘10.
Okay, that's is for part one of my NYCC 2010 con report. Check back in a couple of days for part two...when I actually talk a little about the show itself.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
PORTAL ART BOOK UPDATE…AND APOLOGIES
I’m sure some of you are a little curious about what happened to my PORTAL: 10 YEARS IN COMIC ILLUSTRATION art book. I know, it’s been...quite a while.
We were ready to go to press and there were a couple of problems with adjusting the sizing, doing both the smaller softcover and larger hardcover editions. It was the sort of thing that was just going to take some time to fix and with my drawing schedule I haven’t had that time.
So here is my promise to you, dear reader, I am going to completely put the book together, have the full proofed book in hand before I open up pre-orders again. I’ve FINALLY cleared some time on my calendar and will be able to finish everything up over the next month or so. I am really happy with the way the book has come together and I really want to make sure that it does come out this time EXACTLY when I say it’s going to.
Those of you who have pre-ordered the book will obviously be given first dibs on the book. I haven't forgotten about you. Expect an e-mail outlining everything soon.
Again, I’m really sorry that it’s taking so long to get this out. Thanks for your patience. I really do want PORTAL to be a special thing. I promise you’ll be hella happy with the book once it hits your hands!
Sunday, October 3, 2010
THIS WEEKEND, October 8th - 10th, I'll be heading to the island of Manhattan, for New York Comic Con 2010.
I won't be setting up in Artist Alley as usual, this year. I will however be signing at the DC and Top Cow booths. Here is my schedule as of the moment.
SATURDAY: 1:00-2:00 DC COMICS BOOTH (2243) 2:30-??? TOP COW BOOTH (2129)
SUNDAY: 2:30-3:30 DC COMICS BOOTH (2243)
For those of you that are interested in getting a sketch from me, since I won't be set up in Artist Alley, I AM taking a very few sketch commission pre-orders. If you're interested, please contact me here and we'll set one up.
Hope to see you all there!!
Saturday, October 2, 2010
And we’re back!
Has it really been four months since my last post? I really suck at this new media thing. In my defense, I've been busy...very busy. This year, I've done Arkham Reborn, Detective Comics, some one-offs, and currently the Red Hood (issue #5 on stands Wednesday!). I've also got some secret projects coming up in the near future, so stay tuned. After some prodding, I've renewed my commitment to updating this site and giving you a more inside look at my process and little world. My goal is at the very least weekly content, but hopefully a lot more than that. For up-to-the minute info, follow me on twitter (@jerhaun), where I yammer on about what I'm working on, what I'm watching, and way, WAY too many posts about what I'm currently eating. It's riveting stuff.