The grand commission rush of 2013 is about to be on, such as it will be. We've looked at Comicpalooza's "name" artists as of mid-March
and this blog's returning commission "alumni"
. Now it's time to head down to artists' alley, as well as spotlighting some late additions to the featured guest list. To be frank, I'm trying to keep my expectations low. I'm not gearing up for a fifth anniversary celebration anymore, nor do I have anywhere near the kind of bread to toss around as last time. There are more famous artists than ever before, but the ones that aren't cost prohibitive either have problematic restrictions on their commissions or don't sketch at all. Phoenix Comicon* is a much larger and more established show competing for the same holiday weekend who are very specific about Marat Mychaels appearing all four days in Arizona, so we'll see if he makes it to Houston. There's a lot of familiar faces, which are welcome in most cases, but there's also the "oh, hi again" factor replacing the freshness of the new. With just over a week to go, there's an element of resignation riding alongside the excitement, but I figure we'll still end up with some peachy pictures by the end of this deal from some of these folks...
Last year I totally blew this guy off for lack of relevant reference, but he's started up his own art blog since, and it turns out he's quite good. Imagine for instance B'rett drawn realistically like the dude pictured above. I kind of had my heart set on Cay'an last year, but balked at $140 for a single figure from an up n' coming yet relatively unknown artist with a bit of an attitude. I'll chat this guy up to see if he's more reasonable.
I don't tend to hesitate in asking female artists to draw ladies, unless they're sexually provocative like Bette Noir or something. I tend to be more skittish about asking minority artists to draw "one of their own," especially as a white male who admittedly probably has factored their orientation into my decision making process. It's a good thing then that E.K. Weaver is not a gay man writing a queer strip like I initially assumed, but a married lady who just happens to rock the yaoi quite well, so maybe I can finally get a Triumph done. Then again, her husband's name is Brett, so wouldn't that be a twist?
A late booked guest rather than a part of "Artist's Alley." Obviously, Mack is a well known artist from his creator owned Kabuki
, his run on Daredevil
, and a great many comic covers. I believe he was in town in 2010, but I figured he'd be out of my price range, and never approached him. Turns out he'll do simple sketches for $20, so I'm hopeful to get some sort of whackazz, artsy-fartsy Post-Crisis J'Onn J'Onzz action.
J. Michael Stovall (Stovepipe Curiosities)
I adore this fellow's art style(s.) He's extremely versatile, bouncing from stark depression era imagery to smoldering Timm pin-ups to lighthearted cartooning to Fantagraphics indie fare. I think I'd want to tour Middletown with him.
I got a sweet Devil Men of Pluto piece from Maybury last year, but I'm not sure about a follow-up. I think that indie vibe worked well for L'lex Xanadar and company, but I'm having trouble picturing other rogues done up in that fashion, so I welcome suggestions. A B&W brush and ink single figure runs $80.
has eight pieces of good looking color anime/video game art that I can readily find, and then nothing else. I'd have to see more and scope her rates, plus I'm not sure of an appropriate subject. Chrislea
brings the chibi, but outside of Zook I'm not sure what to do with it. I like a number of Christa Deason
's pieces, but her base style and quality are wildly inconsistent.
I peek in on Schibi's blog pretty regularly, and he announced his attendance at Comicpalooza months before the official con site did. He's moved up from Artists' Alley to Guest, and I do wonder what the hell kind of criteria they apply to come up with that distinction. Not to imply anything against Schibi though, as he's become one of my favorite commissioners. His full color figures with lettered dialogue for under $100 are phenomenal.
It would be really boss to get a Vile Menagerie logo designed by Tony Casteel
, but I'm not sure if he would be up for that in terms of time and expense. Similarly, Ross Hughes Freelance Digital Colorist
might be just the thing to spruce up some of my old black and white pieces, if the terms pan out. If not, there's a couple of other colorists also in attendance...
I finally got Nasso's Space City Con Fernus piece up last week, and there's plenty of creepy, ookie characters I'd like him to do next.
I'm very happy Bowie got added in these final days, since he's excellent at doing the clean, crisp full figures that are easy for even me to color and convert into sidebar icons. He's an ace with intricate armor, and I've got some tricky characters I'd like him to handle. Even if he doubled his asking price from last year, I'd be getting a steal.
We have much love for the local hero and The Manhattan Projects
artist around here. He's a great illustrator and all around swell guy. That said, his asking price was something like three times Damon Bowie's last year, and his C2E2 quotes
are two-and-a-half times that for a bust. Sorry, but I think I've been priced out of the Pitarra business.
It's a sad statement when an artist you enjoy gets added late to a con and you're like "NOOoooo!" Nguyen just turned up on the Artist Alley roster at the last minute, so now I have to adjust my budget/plans, because the guy's too good to pass up.
*The Phoenix Comicon guest list makes me ill. I like my littler local Comicpalooza, because I get to meet and/or work with the artists in attendance that I have an interest in. It makes me feel I get the most out of the show. Phoenix is so big that I doubt I could just randomly shake hands with everyone I'd like to meet, much less decide on and pay for commissions. There's something to be said for a manageable, contained experience. However, it would have been nice if Comicpalooza's guest/programming lists had been locked down a lot sooner than nine days or so before the show.