Friday, June 12, 2009
Sketchbook Archives Part 1
I've been collecting sketches from various comic artists since 1993. I thought my blog would be the perfect venue to share some of these treasures. What point does it serve to collect these wonderful items if I can't share them with like-minded fans? So, once a week, I will share a few from the archives with you.
On the left is a great sketch of Dr. Blasphemy from Bratpack by creator Rick Veitch. This is a great opportunity for me to push this book. This book owes a big debt to Watchmen of course, but Veitch pushed the envelope a little father. Next time your are at your local A/F ask for Bratpack, you won't be disappointed. I was lucky enough to meat Rick Veitch in 1993 at the what was then Chicago Comicon. The Chicago Comicon went on a few years later to become Wizard World Chicago. 93 was a great year at the con. I picked up a bunch of sketches. That year marked the first year that I worked at a booth. I helped out at the Kitchen Sink booth that year because they had recently acquired the under appreciated, and sadly bankrupt Tundra. My shop was a huge Tundra supporter, and Tundra had asked me to come help them out at the con, but right before the show Tundra went under and Kitchen Sink took over. This is how I came to be at the Kitchen Sink booth, and how I met the great Rick Veitch. Kitchen Sink was hosting his signing at the con and selling his Bratpack books because Tundra had published his Maximortal series. This sketch just blew me away then, and I still love pouring over the detail.
That same year, I managed to get the sketch above in the middle from the Books of Magic team. This marks the first and only time I had the whole creative team do a sketch for me. It's hard to find the penciler, inker, and writer of a favorite book at any one con together. I totally lucked out. Books of Magic, the ongoing series, not the prestige format mini-series, was just launched and there sitting together at a table in the DC area of the show was writer John Ney Rieber, penciler Gary Amaro, and inker Peter Gross. Talk about major win! I asked Gary for a quick pencil sketch of Timothy Hunter, and next to it I asked Peter Gross to also do a Timothy Hunter sketch, but with ink, and then I asked John to write something for Timothy to say. If you can't read it, because the picture I have included is a little small and hard to read, Tim's word balloon reads: "Angels? Oh, I don't know...they can't all have wings can they?"
Last, but not least pictured above on the right, I think in 1993, Amazing Fantasy won some contest or other and we had Jae Lee out at the shop for a signing, at the Calumet City store. That was loads of fun! I asked Jae for a Sandman sketch, and voila his interpretation is seen here. I love it! Mind you, it sort of looks like every character he was drawing at the time, Namor and Hellshock, but no matter, it still looks cool as hell. Jae at his sketchy and dark best! The Cal City store still has evidence of this signing in their backroom. I believe Jae Lee spray-painted his "signature" in their back room. Looks pretty cool. I think there are a few more "signatures" back there. Next time you happen to be at the Cal City store, ask them who else is on the "wall of fame."
Next week in "Sketchbook Archives Part 2" I will be showing off my Jon J Muth sketch from 1994 and more! I have SO many sketches, but alas several have been lost over the years. I sold a couple that were loose, including my Charles Vess Sandman sketch that I had. (I'm still kicking myself over that one, but sometimes you need to eat). I also used to have a nice collection of original comic art, various pages and paintings, but most of those too were sold due to various problems, such is the way things go. I still LOVE looking at original art. There are so many great pieces out there, it just takes cash, and you too can acquire your favorite original comic art. I highly recommend starting your own sketchbook. It's fun to collect original sketches at conventions. Yes, they do cost, but odds are good you would blow a bunch of money on other stuff at the con, so why not original art? The money goes directly to the artist you want to support. If there is a particular artist you want to try to snag a sketch from at a con, you do need to approach them first thing when the con begins because some of the more popular artists fill up their time slots pretty damn quick. A lot of folks these days have a "theme" to their sketchbook. My first sketchbook's theme was suppose to be Sandman, but that got tossed out the window pretty quick. So my first sketchbook that spans from 1993-2005 is all over the place with lots of different characters and styles represented. My current sketchbook I started in 2006 and is all Wonder Woman related. So fun and so cool. I will eventually get around to sharing some of those sketches too, but first I will be picking and choosing some gems from my original sketchbook.