Monday, October 28, 2013

2013 Detroit Fanfare recap

This last weekend I was an artist exhibitor at the 2013 Detroit Fanfare Comic Book convention.  I shall try to summarize the experience, though there is too much to tell and I’m likely to forget many things worth mentioning.

 First I must complement the organizers of this event.  Detroit Fanfare isn’t the largest Comicon around, but it’s just about the perfect size in the eyes of many exhibitors and attendees.  The small number of media stars present allows for more emphasis for the artists and more interaction between artists and individual attendees.  The attendance at the event was large enough to create a steady flow of people in the aisle all weekend without getting clogged, which I think allowed people to stop and look and talk as they wished.  I talked with many attendees who said Detroit Fanfare is their favorite convention!  One person in particular said that at other, bigger cons they felt like they were getting pushed around and yelled at all day, while everyone at Fanfare, including workers and volunteers, were very nice.

Personally, I did very well with sales and had a great time talking with attendees and other creators.  I bought a couple odd back issues I found plus some great priced trade collections. I also got some art and comics from other creators.  I’d like to say how nice the other artists around me were and how much they added to my enjoyment of the weekend. I’d also like to thank everyone who came by a talked to me at my table, whether you purchased anything.  If you did buy something from me I hope you are satisfied with your purchase!  I try my best to produce some nice products, and I’m still awed that there are people out there who want to own stuff that I make.

Finally, I must add how much fun all the kids at the con were!  Fanfare does a great job with children’s activities, including the Trick-or-Treating on Sunday. It’s great fun! Well, I hope everyone else’s weekend was as good as mine.  And I can’t wait until Detroit Fanfare 2014!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Statues- pre Detroit Fanfare

I thought I'd post some pics of statue art I've made recently in prep for

Thor, Cap, Iron Man
Mario, Yoshi, Link
Loki and Cthulhus

Some Halloween statues with glow-in-the-dark elements

Monday, October 7, 2013

Review: Astro City #4

Let me start by saying a few things in general about Kurt Busiek’s Astro City.  Astro city is a special comic series to me because it affected the way I thought about Super-hero comics.  Many years ago I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do artistically.  I realized I wasn’t going to jump into a job at a large comic book company.  But that was okay, because I really enjoy teaching and I’m proud that education is my profession.  But I still wanted to do something artistic, if only for fun.  I wanted to make a comic book of my own.  So I had to figure out what to do a comic about.  I thought about comedy, sci-fi, and fantasy ideas.  Anything but superheroes.  Superheroes just seemed like an idea that had been destroyed by the bad decisions of the major comic companies.  I didn’t think there was any way to do a superhero book that wasn’t a retread or a parody.  But then I read some superhero comics that were original creations, not parts of the major comics companies.  And these comics renewed my faith in superheroes as a genre.  The comic that affected me the most in this way was Astro City.  Astro City proves that superheroes are interesting and cool.  There’s nothing lame, condescending, or apologetic about the characters and situations that Kurt Busiek and company create in their world.  Superheroes in the Astro City universe are the most perfectly normal occurrence.  I’d even say Astro City proves that if super-powers existed in the real world, we would have costumed heroes fighting for truth and justice.  The idea doesn’t seem goofy, it seems…right.

Astro City’s current run has reached issue #4, and it’s a good point for me to write a review.  Issue four, titled “On the Sidelines” tells the tale of Martha Sullivan, a telekinetic who lives in Astro City among all the costumed super-folk but has no desire to become a crime-fighter.  She uses her powers to earn an honest living working in film.  There have been other comics I’ve read of super-powered people with no desire to use their powers (The magnetically powered character in New Teen Titans comes to mind.) but Kurt makes the best case for someone not wanting to be involved I’ve ever seen.  The flashbacks to her early use of her powers and her path to her current status are excellent.  But this is standard fare for Astro City.  Kurt doesn’t just tell about someone with powers, he lets you really get to know the character so you understand and care about her.  Martha isn’t perfect, but she’s competent.  I should add that I loved that she doesn’t have the “super hero physique”.  She looks and acts like a real person….who is a telekinetic.  I worried for her and I felt joy and sadness when things went well or badly for her.  The cameo by The Samaritan was very well done, also, showcasing the differences yet sameness of the two characters.  One last comment: the art is top-notch.  Perfect mood and action inside and an excellent cover.  And I love the pink thing.

I eagerly await for more!