I-Con 2011 Sketches (part one)
I had a great time yesterday sketching at I-Con, Des Moines’ very own comic book convention. Scott Wirth, who organizes the event, made sure I had a table. Jeni and I showed up just as the convention got started at 10am in the Adventureland Inn. I set up my light table and I got to work. Jeni set up a little dvd player next to a stack of movies I have storyboarded on. Throughout the day, we played Despicable Me, Rio and Tom and Jerry meet the Wizard of Oz. (The most kid friendly stuff I have worked on.) This was the most diverse year of requests…almost no repeats on characters. (Strangely, no one asked for any characters from the movies we were showing …) I asked for a $10 donation per character with an additional $5 for more characters. I was able to raise $215 for the Leary Firefighter Foundation at the show. I am working on a few more sketches for people who couldn’t make it to the convention, so the grand total will be a little higher.
What am I Looking at?
I took pictures of my rough pencils next to my inks. I messed with them in Photoshop a little bit, trying to make the pencils show up a little better. (I have a light touch and the pencil doesn’t show up too well in photographs.) I also try to remember to take a picture of the person who requested the sketch before they take it away.
Bring the right tools …
Memo to myself: Next time, I need to also bring a ruler and some circle templates. I am claiming Cap’s shield has suffered some battle damage in this sketch.
I have never drawn “The Darkness” before and was starting to be rushed at the end of the day when I got this request. (I suspect it was on Joel’s mind because I was sitting next to Phil Hester who writes “The Darkness”, among other things …)
Armed with a tiny picture on my R2-D2 Droid phone, I sketched this baby … and for once, I really liked it. (It probably looks nothing like the Darkness, since the image I found was a profile from the elbow up … but hey, I think his armor can change forms. It’s some kind of organic costume, right?) I’ll need to find out more about this character; having a gun seems a little redundant with all that wicked looking spikey armor.
A blast from the past … Longshot and Juggernaut. John and Katharine got to my table before I did! John was ready with printed out reference for the characters he wanted. I don’t think I’ve drawn Longshot since the ’80s … when I was obsessed with him. I can’t remember which Art Adams comic I saw first, Longshot #4 or the New Mutants Special Edition #1, but I was hooked. To this day, Art Adams blows my mind with his art. I wish he did more! I was a little dismayed when Longshot joined up with the X-Men full-time … it made him a little less special. (And is he a mutant, really?)
Anyways, it was great fun to draw and revisit a favorite from my childhood.
Energy vs. Accuracy
So, I have this problem … I like my ruffs and I hate my inks. I think most artists run into this. The only way I can keep the energy going in my inks is to do really loose pencils and treat the inking kind of like continuing to pencil… only holding a brush instead. This leads to some wonderful accidents … and some weird stuff … like Robin’s leg. This is a pretty standard “kicking at camera” thing that I draw a lot. Kirby can pull this stuff off. I’m trying to be like Kirby. Being Kirby is hard.
I thought it was great that Baylor came dressed as Robin and asked for a Robin sketch. He and his sister watched “Despicable Me” while they waited … then they decided they had seen enough of the convention and watched the rest of the movie at our table. Eventually, Jeni put the dvd player on the floor so the kids could sit down while they watched.
The Long Wait is Over
I worked on the Thor: Tales of Asgard movie a LOOOONG time ago. I started in 2007 … so this movie is older than my daughter! I don’t know if there were plans for a live-action movie when we started it, but by the end of production, Marvel knew they wanted the cartoon to come out at the same time. So, I waited. Finally, the dvd came out this summer. I had forgotten how cool it is to draw young Thor. Those are not my pretty fingernails in the photo … but it is the cover of the Thor: Tales of Asgard dvd!
More to come …
I will get the rest of the photos cropped/brightened to share tomorrow(ish)…
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