Hello everyone! So I just wrapped up my 3rd year of Chicago Comic Con and man what an awesome progression I have had since my first year. Thank you all so much for the love and support and chatting about nerd things with me. I saw a lot of old faces and a whoooole bunch of new ones. I am very grateful indeed.
This year of Chicago Comic Con marked the first year I had not one but FIVE Comic Con Exclusives! I was so excited to have people come up and hear them say "I'm here for the exclusive". Definitely a wow moment. I have a few exclusives left which will be released for purchase on a first come first serve basis. I'm hoping to have a few new exclusives for Ohio Comic Con in September! So be on the look out for them! This was also the first look at my original character concept Killy Murderson. With a graphic novel currently in production by Chaz Schoenbeck and myself.
I came up with the character concept originally while driving on the highway and starring at traffic cones and thinking (with distracting creative ADD per the usual) "I should make up a female heroine character based off of just a ridiculous name.....something that you could not ignore if you heard it or saw it......Killyyy Murrrrderrrson..that sounds cool". And it was just that simple and odd. It came very naturally out of nowhere. I knew I wanted her to be something different from the typical female character you see in comics and film. I wanted to embrace real curves and classic beauty. Not big tits and revealing clothing. I wanted her to be desired and respected. But above all else I also wanted her to be feared.
I called up Chaz pretty much on the spot. Chaz is, safe to say, my best friend who still for some reason lives in Las Vegas instead of Chicago. He is a talented film maker and visionary with smart taste in movies, comics and really all things nerd worthy. I explained this new (at the time) art line I wanted to do. He suggested immediately that we just make it into a comic book. We had discussed doing a comic book to together for a while now but at the time I only knew I wanted this to be a new art line. Now, Chaz you see, connects great lines in the dots of the gritty and the fictional. You know those things that many creators are striving and often failing in accomplishing now a days. He came back with some ideas based off what I told him. And then I bounced some back. Then him back to me. And so on and so on. After much excitement and dare I say, brilliance this idea for a comic/graphic novel became UNDENIABLE. It HAD to be made. Basically what I'm saying is that we are the Voltron of awesome ideas and the stuff we have come up with is just pure chaotic and beautiful greatness.
I cant leak too much info on it because there's a lot of twists. Even giving just a small plot synopsis could be too touchy. It's going to be fun making people constantly think "whhhaaat no way?!" while they read it. So descriptions will have to stay somewhat in the dark even upon release. You'll have to find out everything as you read it. Just like in the old days. I can only say that its new and fresh and mysterious and brutal. I have a lot of plans on making its art direction stand alone. And as far as the story...well as you have probably gathered, I have never read anything like it. We are doing a lot of, what I think are very new things, and the goal is to make it the anti-comic comic. Time to break a lot of rules. Prints were limited to only 25 11x14 and some prints ARE still available. Killy Murderson is projected to drop in 2014.
They really duked it out but I would have to say that the most popular of the prints this time around was the Daryl Dixon exclusive titled "...but things changed". With its mass amount of sharing on Instagram, Norman Reedus himself caught wind of it and one of the Con mornings Instagramed it as #holyfuck. To say that my excitement was of Beiber fan girl equivalence is pretty accurate. I did a good job at containing it within though. I made a point to drop one off at his booth for him to have along with another one in hopes maybe he would doodle his little John Hancock on there. I have to say that it went over pretty darn well. Aside from being a fan of his work I do have to say I admire him as a person and how he treats others. Some of us have a hard time being good to a random person who may be in a check out counter and he is being beyond engaging and attentive to thousands of people a day. I always hope that people that acquire mass stardom really appreciate it and treat their fans and supporters with love and Norman is a really good example of someone who does just that.
My two other highlights were getting to walk through the Frank Frezetta museum and getting my first Jedi master lessons from Tommy Castillo. Okay, so the Frezetta museum was beyond words. Growing up and seeing them on books and in comics and posters now doesn't even come close to experiencing them in real life. I remember my uncle having a poster of Frezettas Death Dealer standing in a lake of blood with bones around him and it being one of the biggest impacts on me artistically. I must have been like 8 or 9 years old. I drew it at his house on McDonalds Cooperate notepad paper. You probably know Frank best from his Conan piece which was also there and one of the greatest pieces of art my eyes will ever see. That includes all of the great masterpieces hanging in museums from Chicago and NY. I wish I could go on and on about them but you just have to see them for yourself. The price of a comic con ticket is worth it just to see them in person.
My Tommy Castillo experience was brief but full of awesome ancient master vibes. I met Tommy during my first year showing at comic con. Totally admiring his standing in the business and his fan base. And he couldn't be more of a normal and sweet man. Having him recognize not just me but also my work and my progression as an artist was a really good feeling. He complimented how well I seemed to be doing for "just starting out". I basically asked him to teach me his ways and where to go next and as I said earlier it was like an ancient master speaking to a young eager student. As I was getting ready to hop into my truck to go home I heard someone call my name. I turned around and it was Tommy. He was holding a print of a Wizard of Oz inspired Flying Monkey (oh by the way he just completed a new telling of the Wizard of Oz which is projected for a TV series and video game) with his email written on the back. "Here's my personal email. Get a hold hold of me on here with any questions. We'll get ya going". Did I mention the whole ancient master and young student thing? Here's to hoping I will be the new Tommy Castillo or Frank Frezetta and BROM. I am very fortunate and grateful that some of these huge inspirations are stepping in to show me which doors to open next and how to get there in general.
Alright so now in another topic: my poor website updating. If you didn't notice I produce A LOT of work. I am in the process of updating my site so that EVERY print is available but that is faster said than done. I run my own website and although it would be grrrreeeeeeaaaat to have a webmaster I don't quite know how I can constantly go to him or her sometimes days between and say "ok I have 4 new things for you to put up". The work load could most likely get....annoying. SO I am hunkering down to give you guys everything you would find at one of my shows. There are some new pieces I am especially excited to get up and available.
Sorry to those I didn't snap a picture of but thank you ALL once again for the awesome support! See ya in Ohio!