Comic-Con Countdown

Gathering people together always yields interesting results, be it a family gathering, a neighborhood block party, your city's fireworks celebration, or the State Fair (good heavens, who chose that photo of the lady in the upper left corner...). It's always an interesting people event. Then there are the more specialized get-togethers, like the American Academy of Oral and Maxiofacial Surgeons, to the much more well-known yearly gathering of the AMPAS, and smaller galas like the NCS's Reuben's. (Congratulations, by the way, to fellow Minnesotan Tom Richmond for winning in the category of Advertising Illustration this year.)

Apart from all of these, standing alone in the corner, strangely self-confident and oblivious to the sideways glances and uncomfortable silence of the other "Cons" who don't really know what to make of this odd intruder in their august club, ready to speak Klingon, ready to discuss at lenght the untimely and unfortunate demise of Firefly, or wonder aloud (and discuss at length) why George Lucas hates Star Wars to the first anyone who shows too much interest, is the Comic Book Convention.

Of all the comic book conventions in all the world, there is arguably The One that rules them all, and in the darkness binds them: Comic-Con International: San Diego.

It is into the mouth of this beast that I'm casting myself for three days in July.

For the first time.

A bit dramatic, perhaps? Perhaps not.

My first "Comic-con" was three years ago, when I took my then infant daughter (strapped to the front of me in her baby bjorn baby-holder thing) to the Minnesota Fallcon for one reason: to have Michael Jantze sign one of his comic strips for me, if I could get close enough and if he had time for it. I'd been a fan of his comic "The Norm" from the first day it ran in the Star Tribune, and this particular Sunday strip involved baseball. My wife has always been a big baseball fan, so I thought it'd be really cool to give this one to her, signed and framed.

Fallcon (MN) is an impressive showing of local and actually a big draw (ha) for national talent and attention. It occupies a large building on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, and is packed full of fans, creators and vendors. As an animator and casual comic book fan, it doesn't pack a big whollop for me, outside of meeting some really cool people, and the artistry is always fun and amazing to see.

The San Diego con, on the other hand, is for more than comic books. It's comic strips, film, television, and animation for both film and television. It is pretty much anything having to do with artistic pop culture. It is simply huge.

And there will be people people people. People who go for autographs, people who go for art, people who go for panel discussions on Klingoneese and the proper useage thereof, people who go hoping for their "big break", people who go looking for the one lost and rare issue that will complete a story arc, people who go to dress up like their favorite character, and people who go to see people dressed up like their favorite character.

My reason for going?

I don't know yet. I don't think I'll really know until I'm there. I do know I'm going for work, as a professional, and will be involved in various meetings of one kind or another. I'm going, I think, to see where the business of popular art in general is going, what forms it seems to be taking, where the trends are and how I might fit into that future.

At any rate, I'm looking forward to the experience. I'll be going without my daughter strapped to my front, so I won't have her cuteness to protect me from the masses. I did get Jantze to sign that strip that first time, though. Turns out he's a pretty nice guy. Rumor has it he'll be at this year's San Diego convention. I'll have to take another one of his strips or books along and maybe I'll get lucky again.

Here's a drawing from my life-drawing endeavors. China markers on Canson Pastel Paper - 9x12

Something happened with her neck... but I do like how her face and the rest of her body turned out.

More from the life drawing endeavors coming.

Good luck,


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