Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The San Diego Comic Con, Day Three

Elvis Trooper (and camera strap) with Darin Palmer in the background

Matt Busch at his display area

My favorite picture: Drew Struzan with Matt Busch

Friday was probably the most eventful day of our trip to San Diego. In the morning we once again loaded up and spent a few hours in the portfolio review area. This time I met with two companies with each giving very different reviews. The first was very positive and like the others left them with business cards and telephone numbers. We finally got in to see Wizards Of The Coast and let's just say that it was a scathing review, but in a very good way. Unlike the other companies, they focused more on what I needed to do to improve. To grow as an artist one needs this kind of feedback, no ego, no bitterness or judgements, just solid crits. I don't think that they were there to actually hire anybody, but to give the artists the feedback that they need to work for a company such as theirs. I actually felt very good when leaving them.

After that we again switched to fan boy mode and walked around amongst the exhibitors and other artists. One of the other guys in our group, Alex, found us and said that Kevin Eastman gave him a good porfolio review at the Heavy Metal booth, so off we went. Mr. Eastman looked through our stuff as well and liked what he saw. He told all three of us after looking through our art to submit ten of our best pieces and he would consider putting us in the Gallery section of Heavy Metal magazine. How cool would that be? I was actually pleasantly surprised at what a cool guy he was, not that I had any pre-conceived notion of what he was like or anything. Nice guy to talk to. So, I have some work to do on that.

Speaking of nice guys, there were two other artists that I talked to who actually asked me if they could look through my portfolio that are worth mentioning. Franchesco, who I believe is currently working on the comic The Savage She-Dragon, was incredibly nice to talk with. He has some alluring pin-up work, I might add. He was very positive and pointed out some things that I may want to consider and to focus on. The other guy was Erik Gist who I talked to for quite awhile and he was at the Watts Atelier booth. He had a lot to say about what I should focus on and the importance of life drawing and all that. It was great getting all of this feedback from such varied artistic individuals. One couldn't help feeling upbeat after talking with these guys.

Later, after Darin and I grabbed a bite to eat we thought we'd hit free happy hour at the hotel where we ran into Cheri and Mary (on the way down in the elevator, Farscape's Lani Tupu got in with us). So, we sat drinking margeritas and bloody marys discussing conventions and comic books from the 70's and 80's and at one point the older couple behind Cheri got up and moved obviously disgusted about her rather loud comment about The Beast snorting cocaine off a hooker's ass. My drink just about came out my nose.

But anyways...
That night we got into the party event of the con (so I was told the next day). On the third floor terrace of the Westingate Hotel was the party thrown by LucasFilms/Dark Horse Comics/Weta/Gentle Giant. Matt introduced us to his artistic idol, Drew Struzan, who if your not in the know, was the illustrator responsible for just about all of the movie posters throughout the 70's and 80's. And later, I found out that he did the cover for Sabbath Bloody Sabbath by Black Sabbath. Too cool. Anyways, we all talked with him for about a half an hour listening to funny stories in the biz and all of that good stuff. It was intersting to people watch too, as there were a few actors there incuding David Arquette, Tom Jane and Pee-Wee Herman. I found out later that illustrator Bernie Wrightson was there, too. We met some interesting and fun people there, handed out some more cards, hopefully they will call, hint, hint.

After that, we hit a party at the Hyatt for awhile. As we were getting drinks, Comedian Dave Posehn was on the other side getting drinks too. Elvis Trooper (out of uniform) sat with us for a few, but soon disappeared. An interesting and fun day that I won't soon forget.


Merisi said...

Wow, that sounds like a convention well worth attending! I share you opinion that being told "on what one needs to do to improve" is worth much much more than the usual "good work, mate!".
I wish you all the best and lots of calls. :-)

Bruce said...

Yeah, it was well worth it and hopefully, I can do it again. I would like to think that all of those art directors wouldn't waste their time or ours by just saying "good job." I felt they meant it when they said it because most of them said exactly why they liked what they did. Which was good.

Thanks a bunch Merisi!