Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Marty's ECCC 2015

Dedicated to all the basterds who di'n't show:
Blair helped me set up Thursday night. I saw my pal Andy Suriano had a table nearby, so I left him a warning from Big Barda (you remember Andy did that A-MAZE-BALLS Big Barda in color fer me a couple ECCC's back, yah?). I just whipped this basterd out so quick n' easy...thought surely it must bode well fer the weekend's on-demand sketching. T'weren't so, sadly...I had some rocky moments! But then, it's never easy, izzit? 
My first customer was none-other than the hon. Stuart Ng hisself. Such a great guy! He said Dawn of the Dead was the scariest thing he'd ever seen. Then he saw this drawing.
 Grace likes Batman. In this case, Aqua-Batman.

Here is an outstanding example from Rick's amazing array of handmade Monster/Dino/Skeletal Victorian cards. As he said in the comments to the prev. post, he was dealin' all weekend!! Got a magnificent response, which was lovely to see. As were the cards! (Note customer's credit card in hand--I caught this as it was goin' out the door!)

There are two guys who run the marketing company that handles the Con's promotion; they come around every year with a couple of themed sketchbooks. Last year they had me do the lady books--Red Sonja and Black Cat. I remembered being really happy with these, but didn't get any pix...they brought the books around again this year and I was glad to grab a snap. And this year one of them asked me to do a Hellboy, which I did--and it KILLED. Baby Hellboy being held by a WWII era army officer asking for a clean diaper. I did it in color. I took photos of it. And the photos are nowhere to be found. DAM-MIT. The guy loved it so much he took it over to Mignola, who said he loved it (or at least so I was told). Woulda' been nice to hear THAT in person.
I did not vacate my post but for bathroom breaks. On one such sortie, I ran into Andy coming out of the men's room. He looked green. I asked the reason, and he said some poor girl had become violently ill in front of his table and vomited...and not just a little splurter. He showed me a pic (ick). We're talking ochre pool the circumference of a good-sized throw rug. He was waiting on the clean-up, trying to compose himself. I felt for the man. We'd already agreed to swap some work--one of his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle drawings for a FUME with sketch...but given his state, I had to do something a little extra special to lift his spirits. Hence this drawing of Inhumans Cosplay silliness.

 Colin dug the old-school Green Lantern. We decided he should seriously fanboy Neal Adams into a nervous breakdown.

I asked Joe what he dug. He said he wasn't that into superheroes...(my kinda guy!), but he'd been watching a lot of Ingmar Bergman lately...how about a Seventh Seal shout out? He really cracked up when I showed him this. Spent his last $10 for FUME, so I owed him something good.
With the movie ball rolling, Donny jumped in and asked for Snake Plissken. Can you tell I have Donny surprising Snake as the sole occupant of the Presidential Survival Pod?

Tuns out Donny (last name Cates) is a Dark Horse writer. He and pal/partner Elliot expressed admiration for my work, and they thought that if maybe one day something in the future might come up...? I said sounds good--call me!

Rick's pals Paul and Jon came by--super-nice guys. Paul was exasperated that I have yet to beg Mad Magazine for a job (Paul, I'm working on it!). It's Paul who's buying Rick's Creeple card up near the top of this post--he cited the exquisite lighting effects as the deciding factor. A man of rarefied taste!

Speaking of men of rarefied tastes...Ronnie Ashlock, caught facing the crowds with great courage and composure. He looked happier come dinner time that night, at our annual TAG Reunion chow-down. I did a semi-funny sketch of him in knightly garb, but danged if that photo didn't vanish with my Hellboys...no clue how they could've evaporated like that.... 
Probably my fave caricature sketch of the Con: a good likeness, bold n' confident lines, balanced on the page, and funny(ish). Like a real comic pro.

Of the commissions, weirdest was from a promo team sent out on behalf of a musical stage production looking to get some comic book illustrators to do little spot sketches of their show. They had handouts for reference. The story was quite something: Mt. St. Helen's erupts, releasing a giant lizard whose blood infects a young man who, in turn, becomes half-lizard. His nemesis is a ukelele-playing enchantress...while he whittles on the cello. I'm not making this up. They loved the sketch and doubled my "fee." Nice!

And yeah: pet sketches. I will let this one speak for itself. Dudes, Tom Moon got to stand next to me and hear the (very nice, very well-meaning and generously-motivated) commissioner map out what he wanted...11" x 14", color, 5 or so images of same dog...and when I said that was gonna cost $40, he baulked--! But that wasn't the half of it...it was more of the specific directions and strictures...however uneven the final piece, I think Tom will agree I earned that double Jackson! 

This was a gag involving a German Shepherd and a joke from "The Office." I added Dwight to flesh it out even more. Alex seemed happy. $40 well spent!
Overall, a really good time (Blair came along! We stayed in a great hotel downtown! We ate lots of tasty meals! We saw Rick and fam! and Tom n' Patty! And Ronnie n' Hiromi! And I even got to talk to Ron Thompson on the phone--!).

BUT, monetarily, I didn't do quite as well as last year. I put this down to my underwhelming presentation, and lack of a following for FUME (remember, last year I only had prints and sketchbooks--no comic). With my belated prep for this shindig (inexcusable at this level, I know), it was all I could do to get some product on the table. Needed to spend more time thinking about what could get passers-by hooked in and curious...must do better next year--WHEN WE'RE ALL THERE!

BTW, Rick did a great job at this--his presentation was well thought-out, even down to the black posterboard he used to cover the table's surface--it showed his cards off to striking --and effective!--effect. And of course, the doggie-gate mini-grid display wall was genius (we think he should call his publishing imprint "Doggie Gate Press").

That said, it WAS incredibly gratifying to have the positive response I did get for FUME. Those who stopped and looked often dug it (one notable exception: Rick's pal Royden, maker of "Rust," who showed a most TenNappel'ian disinterest in discussing anyone's work but his own--good to know!). Got lots more folk signed up for the mailing list. Also, for the first time ever we (Rick and I both) had buyers of the Monsters n' Dames charity book come by and BUY STUFF. Normally they only stop by to get an autograph (a flattering experience but one that becomes stress-inducing when you're trying to finish a drawing and people are waiting).

All in all, exhausting and elevating. Adding colored markers into the mix made for some rocky times, and I probably spent too much time with my head down working for too long on drawings that weren't paying enough, but...meh, that's where the challenge is.

Oh, one other glaring shortcoming on my part: when potential FUME customers would ask, "So, what's yer comic about?"  I could only stammer idiotically. This continued all weekend (Rick got me out of this jam lots of times--thanks Rick!). Before flying up for ECCC I'd thrown a wild stab in the dark for some celebrity endorsements to put on the back cover (Eric Shannower came thru--thanks, Eric! Ranjo sent...an emoticon). Didn't have the time to get them on this edition, but the one person I didn't know well who I'd asked was Eric Haven, the creator of the "Bed Man" strip that everyone here got such a kick out of (and who was a super-sweetheart when I met him at last year's APE Con). Much to my surprise he said yes. And in one of those great cosmic timing moments, he emailed his write-up as Rick and I were literally tearing down our booth and dragging our carcases out of the Convention Center. It was the perfect tonic to that twilight mood that hits when you're doing a load-out, soused in that post-Con half-elation, half-despair. Here's what he wrote:
 FUME is fun! Marty Davis knows his way around a brush pen. Bookish youngsters, lumpen outer space aliens and self-loathing rabbits all come alive in this collection of tales which shift easily between adolescent angst and the existential dread of adulthood. Fun... and unsettling.
"...Adolescent angst and the existential dread of adulthood." That's it!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Greetings from Emerald City Comic Con

Waded through the crowds at ECCC to find Rick and Marty drawing away and keeping their adoring public happy and entertained. ECCC gets bigger and crazier every year. It was a chore just negotiating the venue. I couldn't take too much of it. Having dinner with Marty, Rick, Tom, Patty, Sue and Blair at the Icon Grill was definitely the highlight of the weekend for my wife and for me. Here's to 2016.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Guns of the Goofus

And a weirdo.
Have fun at ECCC.
The 3 that are going.
4 that are going. Ronnie will probably show.
 I wanted to give this sketch an url. Show it to the okie comic creators.
It's the basis for the cover of my lulu book on anatomy.
I like the sketch better unadulterated.

Decided to do my roughs digitally this time. 
I'm enjoying it more than the pencil-scan process.
I'll turn this sentence into a link later for a Billy Mumy podcast with Gilbert Gotfried - I think Gorham would be entertained.
Music Video. I did the song with garage band.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Pencils Done for FUME #1

Now to do a marker version...before Monday morning.

(This one took forever...I'm not used to doing covers, so I had to edge my way up on it, adding one figure at a time and seeing how it looked...I think when I add color I can knock back some of those tertiary figures...gonna use a faint printout of the pencils to do my markers over, then scan that and combine them via the magic of MULTIPLY!)
 this thing is killing me.

UPDATE THE THRICE: Revised and finalized for the "art print" version. Elz, thanks for the color input--it really helped!!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Friday, March 20, 2015

RIP Ib Melchior

The Angry Red Planet
Some great movie making. Cheezy but the best kind.
 Commission's 'final' color.
I'd change it if someone convinces me it's got something too weird going on as a color choice.
The badly calibrated cintiq screws things up as well.
 The commissioner reacted and likes it. But would like some of my overlay on colorizing sloppiness cleaned iup. Here's the grayscale I colorized. That could stand some value changes and clean up as well.

MARTY UPDATE: possible desaturated alternative approach: do a super simple multiply layer of desaturated color blocks. I brushed in a little ultramarine blue/purple over the sky on opposite corners...You've already got all the important stuff. You can see my mouth mod, and I shrunk her jaw and smushed her nose in just a wee bit...

Thursday, March 19, 2015

I Like When The FF Are A Dysfunctional Family

My favorite times. When I read my first FF story as a kid (Dr. Doom's first appearance as reprinted in "Bring On The Bad Guys"), the thing that stuck out was all the hard-edged bickering between the group. Left me severely uneasy.
Reed is saying something like, "Easy lad!"

Been meaning to finish this and post it for weeks. Of course, I should be preparing for ECCC....

Table Banner- Haven't sent for it yet

I'll go through Vistaprint again
2.5 by 8
Got two local cons coming up.
Trying to get a good table design.
This banner can fold in half for when I'm sharing a table.

 Gave a fathead rino superhero proportions.
Having second thoughts about the table banner. I've got a couple of weeks leeway to decide.

Another page, another 80 bucks.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Kuratake Fill It yourself Brush

Filled a Kuratake squeezable cartridge brush pen with old Badger airbrush pigment- air-opaque- plus 40 percent water. 
Made for a very nice wash brush.

Looking forward to Emerald City Comic-Con 2015! Shall we have a get together Saturday night?
 And another Arthur Rackham painting, just to add to the magic of the occasion.

Tuesday Doodles -enhanced

Have to get this inked. Got it well gridded.
Try and have fun with it at this point.
Ought to be able to ink this in one day.
Done all the boring part. Panels , grids, reference search.
Including 'unsnapping bra'-
Got a hit that was so perfect I just dropped it into the layout.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

ECCC prints

I now have a plan for some prints.  My Victorian Skull series of index card drawings have been the best received out of all the stuff I've been doing, so I'm going to make some prints of them, complete with a faux matte so they really are ready for framing.  Then, these originals I'm putting in actual frames and selling them for a substantial mark up.  Now I just need to build some sort of display to put the prints on that I can easily transport.  I'm considering a black foamcore structure of some sort.  Or perhaps a PVC pipe something or another.  Or maybe something that piggybacks off of my banner.

Update:  Tom asked to see the image I mentioned in the comments.  Here it is: