Saturday, May 17, 2014

Comicpalooza 2014 Countdown Cheat Sheet

What a difference a few days can make! I started this pre-show post on Monday because I wasn't sure when/if I'd have the time to work out my game plan for the con otherwise. I was going to have to juggle and barter my remaining off-time without clear indication that I would even make it to any but the last day of the 2014 Comicpalooza Texas International Comic Con. I was also beaten down mind, body, and soul by a terrible job for nearly a year with a ridiculous schedule that read like an algebra problem. Now, I'm free of it, with enough money in the bank to be comfortable spending at the show and keep my options open for the future. I'm still not sure if I hate my career path or just the vehicles I've been forced to travel down it in, but we'll see how things go. I haven't had any nightmares that I can recall in the last few days, and I don't feel like all my lifeforce is being drained out of me-- bone tired down to the marrow. For the first time since probably 2012, I'm excited about attending a show! It's a good thing too, because the prospect of juggling commissions on a sprawling concrete convention floor after spending so very many hours without a break on my feet professionally was feeling more like a burden than a boon. Don't tell me you hadn't noticed the shallow depths of the blog's output in recent months, mostly plumbed from searches of deviantART pages.

All that having been said, I'm also frankly pissed at the promoters for failing to disclose a list of artist alley attendees so that I can make any sort of plans for who I would like to commission what from. I'm typically less happy with my spur of the moment choices for commissions than my well considered ones. It won't do the artists any favors either, since the crunch on time and information means I'll likely spend my money with the "name" artists and the folks I've most happily patronized at past shows. To help myself, other attendees, and the artists, I've decided to work out as best as I can who will be available at the show in this handy post.

Unlike last year, Comicpalooza isn't in direct competition with Phoenix Comicon for Memorial Day Weekend, only sharing the date with the vastly smaller Pop Culture Expo of Boston, Cherry Capital Comic Con of Michigan, Lake Effect Comic Book Convention of Ohio, and a few others so tiny that there aren't any announced guests. Unfortunately, I just learned that Amazing Houston Comic Con will debut over Labor Day weekend at the same venue as Comicpalooza, the George R. Brown Convention Center. Personally, I think it's kind of a tacky move, and while that regional franchise has been able to pull some names for other shows, the short notice on this one means I've already made other plans that preclude my attending. However, Jerry Rascoe and Adrian Nelson will be there, so say hi for me!

Returning to Comicpalooza, I hear Jim Steranko, Mike Mignola, Greg Capullo, Don Rosa, Shane Davis and Arthur Suydam don't do much commission/convention art. I've got a project I may try to entice them with all the same, but I won't count on it.

Late addition Pat Broderick is a lifelong favorite of mine, dating back to '70s Captain Marvel issues my uncle left me in my youth. He's both ideally suited for the Martian Manhunter and has rarely drawn the character, with only Justice League of America #200 and Captain Atom's tie-in issues to Invasion! coming readily to mind. He also drew Drax the Destroyer in his prime J'Onzz clone years. I wanted to find out how much one of those big beautiful cover quality commissions that are up on his site cost, but when I dropped him a line earlier this week, I never heard back.

Carl Potts also joined the guest list within the last month, and though he's best known as an editor and writer, he also laid out some of Marvel's most distinctive covers/pin-ups of the '80s. He's someone I at least want to talk with, though I hear commissions are elusive.

I missed Paul Maybury last year, but it would be cool to score the Pyre, the Swarm, Cabal, the Renegades of Mars, the Martian Mandrills, the Lizard Men, or Till'all from him.

I really don't think I can swing a Neal Adams, who quotes $200 for a quick inked head shot and a grand for simple single figures. Well, maybe something small...

Doug Hazlewood is one of the great inkers of the industry, but I couldn't find very much from him on the sketch/commission front that wasn't a recreation. I've got some pencil-only pieces that could use his touch though, so if all he does is embellish, I can work with that. Likewise, Josef Rubinstein is an all-time finisher, best known for his work over John Byrne, Dan Jurgens, Kevin Maguire, Ron Lim, Ron Frenz, Jim Starlin, and probably most famously, Frank Miller on the first Wolverine mini-series. That, or his being the unifying inker across three volumes of The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe spanning 1983-1993. Given how often I've referenced OHOTMU with regard to past figure commissions, you'd think I'd jump right on having Rubinstein apply his Adamesque style on one of those. However, Rubinstein also does some lovely paintings, and I have a project that would be wonderful for. Wonder what those run...? Meanwhile, Sam de la Rosa waits in the wings.

I'd still like Brent Peeples to do Dynamo on my T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents blank sketch cover, but he'd also be good for N'or Cott, Futureman, Gypsy, or the Conjurer. Similarly, Kitten Kane by Aaron Lopresti would be peachy, but on the Alien Atlas front, how about Diane Meade or D'Kay? Playing around with Michael Golden could get expensive. Still, this. Meanwhile, Paul Gulacy is one of my art "gods," so he's a lock for a full figure Martian Manhunter, probably New 52 flavored. I really want a B'rett sketch from James O’Barr. I finally figured out what I wanted from the outstanding Kevin Maguire, so hopefully I can get it done. David Petersen would be good on The Lizard Men or Jupiter, plus I might have room for The Human Squirrel somewhere.

There is a select group of artists that I revisit at pretty much every show, because they deliver. Lane Montoya was the only artist to get featured in Comicpalooza's alley list for the months it was up without revision. I figure I've thrown enough lady drawings at her, and may requests some monsters this time. Cabal and The Headmaster come to mind, though we may go more esoteric. My list of subjects for Thom Zahler remains long, including Human Falcon, the Thythen, the Headmaster, the Martian Criminal, Mr. Moth, Prof. Hugo, Lt. Saunders, Capt. Harding, Patrolman Mike Hanson, Sally Winters, Futureman, Marie Fouchere, Tybalt Bak'sar, and the Osprey. Nicholas Pitarra has done gone and gotten famous on me, but maybe he'll still be up for a Professor Arnold Hugo or Futureman? Cody Schibi would be swell on Professor Ivo, Asmodel, Cabal, the Bloodworms of Mars, the Lizard Men, the Pyre, or the Swarm. The Saturnian or Human Flame would suit Johnny J. Segura III. Should we deep dive with Jamie Kinosian on Sally Winters? Mark Nasso finished a piece for me last year, but my schedule got in the way of my picking it up until now. Some ideas for piece #3 include Asmodel, Cabal, Inflict, the Bloodworms of Mars, the Lizard Men, the Pyre, or the Swarm. Finally, Kaleigh “Kalo” Hvizdos will be back this year. Any suggestions?


Anj said...

Great to hear that life in general is looking up.

And loved this post. As a commission nut, it is great to hear other fans thoughts and approaches. Sounds like you have a bunch of options.

Broderick is coming up to the Rhode Island con in November, so let me know details if you run into him.

And Rubinstein was very affordable when I met him, something like $40 for a full figure.

Can't wait to hear the recap! And welcome back to life!

LissBirds said...

I'm happy to hear things are looking for you, Frank. I had a feeling things had been tough there for a bit. I hope things keep looking up.

I can't wait to hear more about the Kevin Maguire commission--I hope it pans out!!

I'd like to see a Diane Meade in there somewhere. Or maybe some Silver Age creatures? Or the Orchestra of Doom rendered even more horrifying than it already is? (If that is even possible...pretty terrifying to start out with.)

Diabolu Frank said...

Liss, I wasn't sure where to go with Kevin Maguire at first, but now I have several different directions that I would be very happy to pursue.

The Orchestra of Doom is kind of up in the air, since that would be a potentially pricey group shot. Firm plans in mind for Diane Meade and emissions from the Diabolu Idol-Head, though.

Say Anj, I hear Mark Texeira is also coming, which ups my excitement level that much more. Gulacy & Texeira are two of my absolute favorites, so to score both at the same show... whew!

Wow, that's a big difference between Rubinstein's actual convention price versus the quote for "convention-style pieces" on his site! Glad to hear it, because the competition for dollars at this show is getting fierce. Usually, I have a few "must haves" in the $100+ range while the rest either price themselves out of contention or I'm broke before I can get to them. Here, there are a bunch of outstanding talents that are also reasonably priced, which to be honest means the hit will probably be felt in my artist alley budget. Well, there was one or two very big names that I was halfway considering ponying up extravagant prices for, but not if I can get several pieces for the same price from fellows I feel as or more passionately about.

I'll be chiming in on Boston Con closer to time/once you start posting on it. If I were running a Supergirl blog, I'd prioritize Nick Bradshaw, though you have an awful lot of fantastic options. I'd plotz if that many great artists showed up in Houston. Seriously, too much of a good thing. That's an overwhelming, panicked indecision inducing line-up!

LissBirds said...

Ahhh, I didn't think of the Orchestra of Doom as counting as a group shot. I don't know much about how these things work. How about some other Idol-Head manifestations? (Horn-firing creature? Chulko?)

I lost track, but whatever happened with that possible Maguire piece you had? Were you still planning on getting that inked?

Diabolu Frank said...

I'm going to take the piece to Maguire and ask if it's really his, then progress from there. Three inkers will be at the show, but I've learned they don't necessarily bring their inking tools. Often, they just want to freehand sketch and use Sharpies.

Depending on the artist, the Orchestra could count as 5+ figures at $30+ each, and that's an extreme lowball. More accurately, 7+ figures at $50+ each, so probably $200-$700 total for a midrange or unknown. Since they're instruments, I might be able to catch a break.

Rest assured, I have plans for the Idol-Head beasties...