Comic-Con Sketchbook Project (pt. 1 of 2)

Comic-Con was interesting. I decided to try to get a sketch pertaining to a particular subject, “Grass,” from various people at the convention. It was sort of inspired by the fact that I’ve been working on a story by the same name for the past four years or so. I took an empty sketch book in order to remind me to pick up drawings. When the convention finally hit I started visiting different booths and asking if I could possibly to get a quick sketch in my theme book.

This will be a very tall post, so you’ll have to click below to see the whole thing. Also, it was getting to be a bit too long, so I’ve split the artists in half. Here is the first half, and I’ll post the second half tomorrow.

Here are the handful of artists that humored me in my art-seeking haze.

Listed alphabetically for some reason. Click on an image for a larger version.



“Grass man,” by Brom.

Brom is an artist that I’ve been following for a while. Being something of a fan of fantasy-based games, such as Magic: the Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons, I’ve run into his art fairly frequently. His publisher had a little booth at Comic-Con, somewhat hidden(as almost all the good stuff was), and while visiting the booth Thursday I found that he would be around Friday for a signing. I showed up the next day and there wasn’t really anyone around except him and the main booth lady that I’d talked to the previous day. So I got to have a little conversation with him about his artwork and previous books. I picked up his new book for the signing and he made the above entry in my sketchbook. Despite the darker nature of most of his works he’s actually a pretty friendly and easygoing guy.



Grassy sketches by Corey and Tod.

Corey and Tod were at a booth for an organization of their own design called Young American Comics. In talking with them for a bit I found that they’d put it together as a means of getting some independent artists together for projects and talent building. It’s based in Illinois presently but due to the magical nature of the internet they have members from all over. They’ve put out a few books and collections and are always looking for new talents to add to their growing numbers. They have a project coming up called the “52 Comics Challenge” that seems worth trying.



“Mowing,” by James Baker.

James and his buddy were dressed in cheap tweed suits and had a big sign that said “Everything Must Go!” hanging behind them. They even had a shiny toaster with a sign attached that said, “Spend over $900 and get a FREE TOASTER!!” He had a lot of artwork pertaining to very animated-looking elephants. I picked up one of his short books, “Jock,” which he said was made in a style very different from how he usually creates comics(one panel per page). He was soft-spoken with a British-sounding accent and needed some time to come up with something for my project.



“Grass gator,” by James Burks.

Two James with B in their last name! This James was in a booth with another guy, Kyle. I bought a button from Kyle! It was one of the blue-topped girl head that you can see by clicking on his name and scrolling down a bit. I bought lots of buttons at this convention. All of James’ artwork was very cheery(as seen above) and felt very animated. The above character is from a short comic he made entitled “Gabby and Gator.”



“Grass girl,” by Javier Guzman.

I picked up Javier’s new sketch/art book, Glam, while I visited his booth. I didn’t get to talk to him much myself, as a number of people were walking up to check out things, but I did get to listen to him explain his method of art exercises for someone curious that had asked.



“Joy,” by John Nevarez.

Someone whose stuff I managed to misplace. Fortunately I had him attach a sticky note to his sketch with his contact information and everything, so I can at least give a link out to him. Hooray for technology!



“The Prairie,” by Kelsey Mann.

While he at first didn’t have a good idea of how to start his sketch, Kelsey Mann really got into it after he got going. I tried to emphasize that I only wanted a very quick sketch, as I knew that there were fans and potential patrons wandering all around, but he just wouldn’t look up after he picked up the first pen. Every time I thought he was about to finish up he’d dig into his pen case and pull out another darker shade of gray to add more detail. Eventually he had to just stop himself and he pointed out that if I e-mailed the image to him he’d probably give it a final once-over in Photoshop just because. So much enthusiasm! I wish I could draw with that kind of energy.



“Grass skirt,” by Kevin Dart.

Kevin was the first one to make a sketch in my book. He and his accomplice, Chris Turnham, had some really great stuff at their booth. I was obliged to pick up their newest creation, Fleet Street Scandal, which contains a number of their works. One of the titles of Chris’s works, “The Bagman’s Gambit,” looked familiar, and I asked him if it had anything to do with the Decemberists song of the same name. He admitted that he was a big fan of their music and pointed out a couple of other works in the book that were inspired by Decemberists songs. If I had a ton of money I probably would have picked up all of their hand-printed pieces.


That’s all for today! More tomorrow! I have plenty.

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