Saturday, July 21, 2012

San Diego Comic-Con 2012- thank yous.

Yes folks, you guessed it. Time for me to take a moment to thank those who I recently touched base with, or met while overseas at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con. I make no apologies for "thank you" posts like these; as I've said previous, I am a firm believer for being thankful for the kind people I meet in this job, particularly in comparison with the sort of people I run into in one of my other jobs (:P). I'm not here to put anyone up on a pedestal or suck up/grovel. I am merely showing a small piece of appreciation for the other human beings I happen to encounter while doing comics :D 

Trying to get back into the swing of things after returning from another fantastic San Diego Comic-Con trip is proving to be very difficult; it's not because of the fact that I've gone from nice, sunny, summer California to chilly, wintery Brisbane (although... ;P), but it's because I'm so very busy now that I've returned.
Regarding the trip, I am very pleased with the meetings (before and during the con), contacts and opportunities that occurred, and am very pleased with the progress thus far in achieving validity with my comic book art practice within the scope of the industry. For the sake of not wanting to come across as a "wanker", fanboy, or unprofessional in general, I am refraining from mentioning any of the companies, details  or people I and my traveling companion/mentor/collaborator Chris spoke to, only to say how pleased I was to receive those opportunities, and say thank you to not only them, but Chris for his help and guidance too :) Thank you also to Dave Elsey, who was kind enough to show us around his current working studio in LA and pass on kind words regarding our work. What a thrill to finally meet the other mastermind behind 'Dark Detective:Sherlock Holmes', and the creator of those fantastic covers. A lovely guy.

In the short term though, the focus post-con will be not only stay on the radar, but also on the new uni lecturing job to add to the list of things I do in a week (4 jobs now is crazy, I hope to give at least one or two away in 6 months, but the future is much brighter in this respect), plus the next issue of Soldier Legacy in time for Brisbane Supanova, my 20,000 word (or around about) uni thesis (*sigh), a collaborative project with excellent prospects, and maybe training to attempt to return to tournament fighting o__O (we'll see if I have room to sleep in the schedule :P)

To spare you all from the 100's of photos taken at San Diego Comic-Con, including the San Diego SeaWorld and Disneyland photos, I've thrown up a small selection of pics taken as we made our way around the con floor, talking, meeting and enjoying ourselves. I want to thank Chris and his wife Jacqui, and daughter Valentina for taking care of me while overseas, and making me feel (as always) like part of their family, Jason Franks, Matt Emery Chewie Chan, my family and Sarah Ellen for the pre-trip support, and my Australian publisher Baden Kirgan of Black House Comics for providing me with the resources I needed not only for this trip, but for Oz Comic-Con the days before I left. Thank you of course to the well wishes from close friends and fans also.

...yes, I'm a jerk.

A pleasant surprise while walking the con floor: I heard my name being called out, I turn around, and this gentleman says " Hey man, I'm Dean White, I recognize you from your photo." DEAN WHITE! Up there with my all-time favourite comic book illustrators, I had no clue he was going to be at the show visiting a friend, and so awesome to meet him in person. I tried to catch up again later, but was unable to locate him. Arguably the best colourist currently in the business, it was a highlight of the con for sure. And I guess proves the power of tweeting, too :P

Nicola Scott draws for a huge crowd of fans at the DC Comics booth. It is always great to see her, and I very much appreciate the encouragement and support she has given me in my comic book endeavors.  It was also great to catch up with other Australians on the trip, includingWolfgang Bylsma and Justin Randall from Gestalt comics, Paul Abstruse, Tom Taylor, Tristan Jones, Royd Burgoyne, Carissa Avenhouse and Rand Ratinac.

While standing at the Neal Adams table, I suddenly hear a familiar accent, and as the conversation turns to my favourite topic (Jack Kirby), I realised I'm standing next to British television host, and creator of the Steve Ditko doco, Jonathan Ross. A terrific guy, who was very gracious in accepting a copy of 'The Soldier Legacy', and taking this photo with me.

Another highlight was touching base with comic book legend Mark Waid, and partner Christina Blanch. Mr Waid has been a supporter of Chris's writing for a while, and I too have appreciated the support and feedback in my comic book endeavors. What was even cooler was that at the end of the day this photo was taken, Mark won three Eisner awards for Daredevil and his writing, and then during his spotlight panel the following day, won the Inkpot award! What a massive haul of awards, congratulations once again to one of my favourite writers. Speaking of which, his new digital comics project "Thrillbent" is a must see, so go to when you're done here ;D  

"Kneel before Doom!", This guy is the coolest.

The influential comic book illustrator, Neal Adams, with a signed copy of 'Superman vs. Muhammad Ali'. Fantastic!

Now this guy was cool: a spot-on impression of Stan Lee, and never dropped character. "Excelsior!"

The passionate Arlen Schumer at the annual Jack Kirby tribute panel, discussing his illustrated essay 'The Auteur Theory of Comics'. 

Images from the Jack Kirby panel, featuring panelists such as Comic creator and Jack Kirby's assistant Mark Evanier, 60's Marvel colourist Stan Goldberg, Prof. Charles Hatfield, author of 'Hand of Fire: The Comic Art of Jack Kirby' (an Eisner award winner also, a really nice guy, and a wealth of Kirby knowledge), Comic book/animation writer/producer Paul Dini.

Probably the less said about these, the better...

I had to get in on the action too. "Excelsior!"

As Chris put it "The Hard men of Aussie Comics". That's two! Two idiots, ah ah ah ;P

I also want to thank, and shout out to Agnes Garbowska and Francis Manapul, Jamal Igle, Ben Abernathy, Bobby Curnow, John Barber, Rand Hoppe, Lisa at the Jack Kirby Research Museum booth, John Morrow, Steve Saffel, Arlen Schumer, Brett Smith, James and Robyn Coburn, John from Twomorrow Publications and "Iron Mate". Thank you folks, great to meet/see you again, and to talk to. I do hope I haven't forgotten anyone, let's just blame my tiredness, ok?

All the best, everyone. The work beckons ;)

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