Like a mini Free Comic Book Day, but better because there’s candy. And more horror. And it’s freakin’ Halloween!
Like FCBD, Carol and John’s comic shop holds an event every year. Anyone in costume can grab one of each of the free books, (and candy) but those not in costume are still welcome to grab three if they like (and candy). There’s also a photo op setup with a giant Pop figure box (and candy), and the shop cat Winston even dons his festive holiday sweater (he guards the candy)! Maddie and I donned this years halloween costumes and headed out. It’s one of my favorite events every year and no one does it as well as Carol and Johns (though my other regular shop; Comics are Go do thier best as well, inviting artists and making a big deal about it as well!). Not every comic shop does Halloween comic fest, so I hope you were all able to get out and find one who does! Here’s our photos from the day!
It’s hard to believe that it’s this time again. The annual Christmas party at the comic shop has become a longstanding tradition in Cleveland; easily as important event as Free Comic Book Day. There’s cookies and cupcakes and beer and art. There’s mingling with friends as well as the yearly food drive.
This time around, I contributed two covers to the art show, pieces which were raffled off to raise funds for the local food bank. I always feel a little inadequate next to some of the stunning art displayed (someone crossstitched a cover. Another one this year had LIGHTS!) but it’s not a competition. Just fun for a good cause.
Comics were being given away alongside the custom brewed beer (seriously, I just want the bottle with Winston’s face on it). Even that got passed along to the son of my wife’s hairdresser (Who couldn’t have been more excited!). I arrived with a group of friends who immediately got lost in the crowd. (How do I manage to lose Superman and Batman anyhow?) Still, everywhere i looked there were familiar faces. It’s a party after all. It took me half an hour to make it to the door when I was ready to go and outside I found Santa and Mrs. Claus sitting on an overturned grocery cart with a PBR and a cigarette.
We basically captured Christmas in Cleveland pretty perfectly. Can’t wait to do it all again next year.
I’m not a huge Star Wars fan. That’s what made it difficult this year. The theme was something Star Wars – anything. It didn’t have to be Cleveland or Christmas, but definitely Star Wars. Part of me wishes I had gone with my initial idea – The Doctor (probably ten) fixing an X-Wing. there would have been more detail but it would have stood out better. Instead, I went with A Christmas Story. So did everyone else.
I still think I had an interesting take, and here’s the process behind it!
First pencils are done separately. This is completely a test run- to figure out placement and size. A lot of things ended up being a LOT smaller than I had intended.
You’ll notice that Artoo doesn’t even appear yet. He was added later….once I saw how much empty space was between Shimi and Qui-Gon. I could have filled that up with a cityscape, but Artoo seemed like a better idea. The dialogue in Anakins thought balloon is diffrent to. I really struggled with that. I wanted something true to both A Christmas Story and to Anakin’s character. Revenge is cute..maybe even funny. Maybe a little disturbing. It didn’t fit. I tried a few diffrent phrases, and none did it for me. I then decided to list all the memorable qoutes from the movie. A Christmas Story has a LOT of them. Oh Fudge came up and was as perfect as I could get.
By the way, Artoo? I’m never drawing that sucker again. I had no idea how complicated he was. That design seems so simple – it’s a lie! He’s fiendishly hard to get right…and if you get something wrong BELIEVE me you’re going to hear about it.
So now that we have a plan, I move on to actually drawing it on the cover. If there are any changes (like adding the droid) now is the time. I really wish I could have figured out a good place I could sneak in the leg lamp. Even at this late date I was trying – maybe in the adobe building? Nope. No room. (That’s really what that initial drawing is for – to figure that stuff out).
Also now that we’ve settled on “Oh Fudge” as Anakin’s thought, it changes his demeanor. He’s frustrated and upset, but not necessarily angry. The clenched fists go from active to passive.
Inks are next. I hate inking. I’m terrible at it and I don’t have the proper equipment for it. When I do something for Kreepy Kastle, or Angel Lite comics, or Lazer Comics or Violent Blue, I ink digitally. Not an option here. It has to be done on the cover and that means good old fashioned inking – and only one shot at it.
You’ll noticed that there’s parts I left uninked. There’s some pencils still showing through, ones I hoped would fade away once I dove into the coloring process. Last year I used colored pencils. It worked reasonably well, but still left a bit of a rough “crayon” look to the pieces. A couple of watercolor covers caught my eye and put that in mind for this time around. I stuck with the pencils for a few highlights- the blue on Artoo for instance; it required a precision Watercolor paint doesn’t afford. It was an adventure to mix some of these colors, trying to get the right tone for shadows and folds. The twin suns are my favorite part. To achieve it with negative space…the areas I DIDN’T paint, that was really rewarding to see succeed. I was hoping that the water wouldn’t warp the paper too much. It did a bit, but no enough to ruin anything.
I can’t complain too much about how it turned out. The spelling on Anakin’s name is a mistake – google misled me. I should have tried Wookiepedia. Still I really like the idea of Anakin going all Sith on us because of that horrible pink bunny suit, and the amount of research this took to get the images right was genuinly surprising. Shimi had parts to her outfit I didn’t remember. Artoo has ports in places I never thought about.
A big thanks to Carol and John’s for including me in the art show and an even bigger thanks to the person who bought my art. That money will go to the Cleveland food bank and help someone in need this winter.
Merry Christmas to all.
Yes I saw it. Saturday afternoon I headed out to Amherst cinemas and plunked down my $4.00 for the newest Star Wars movie (We’ll talk about that later). It seemed like something I should do sooner rather than later since spoilers were already starting to leak out and I was headed out to a Star Wars themed party at Carol and John’s later that night.
I had done a piece for thier art show that would be raffled off as the night went on. The Christmas party was great fun as always, with snacks and deals and friends. They brew a craft beer every year just to hand out at this event (I don’t even drink beer. I just want the bottle!)
And of course they showed us that the one thing that can make a Christmas party better is Lightsabers.
Hope your weekend was just as eventful.
Last year I decided to just swing by Carol and John’s comic shop for the FCBD midnight release, and hit the place around 11:45. This was a mistake. The line stretched almost to the end of the building complex and moved slow. It wasn’t the comic shops fault, they didn’t expect this many people. I didn’t end up getting out until around 2:30, and it was too crowded and I was in a bad mood altogether. The next day, people kept running out of comics and it was a drag -my favorite shop Comics are Go really saved the day with nice sets of FCBD comics for my girls. This year, I came in with a plan. I expected to be up all night. I pulled out my mazinger costume and grabbed a lawn chair. I met up with people from POP the Comic club and you know, the night flew by. Carol and John’s really worked things out too. They rented an empty space next to the shop, and set up two lines for the comic tables – plenty of space. On one side of the room, they held a comic related art show, on the other, they had vendor and information tables with cupcakes and concessions, along with familiar faces like the Akron Comicon, the Doctor Who Society of Cleveland and POP. Also, being the most kid friendly comic book shop on the planet, Carol and John’s had a special play area set up for the kids. There wouldn’t be a whole lot of children at the midnight party (but still more than you might expect), however, they would be out in full force the next morning! Mazinger was a big hit by the way. Carol and John’s was giving out patches to the cosplayers and I love mine, but I would have dressed up anyhow. I may have taken more photos over three hours at the party and in that line than I did over five hours in the costume at Shinboku con. If a person knew the character, they immediately recognized it. If they didn’t know him…there was a lot of Optimus Prime and Voltron guesses. For the most part I didn’t correct people. Why harsh someone’s buzz anyhow? I took advantage of the artist alley for a change too. I got Thom Zhaler to draw my girls a My Little Pony. “”You don’t have to say it’s for your girls,” he smiled at me. “It’s okay if it’s for you you know!” It really was for my girls though. If I’d been getting one for me it would have been Doctor Whooves. Actually, that still might happen sometime. The Twilight Sparkle sketch is up in the girl’s room now, right above their autograph from the Little Mermaid. The love it. The next morning I got the girls up and I headed out to York comics. York had a really cool set up as well. They were doing a food drive. Everyone who walked in the door got the main set of books – the 12 “Gold” books. They already had these bagged in a large box and just handed out bags to everyone who walked in. In addition, if you brought in a few canned food items, you could grab ten more from the “silver” book (the other FCBD books – these are optional to order) table. I like the idea because raising food for the Cleveland food bank is a good cause, and even if you don’t participate, you’re still going to walk out with 12 free books. If you do participate, there’s a greater chance that you will walk away with the “Silver” tier books you want. I talked with on fellow in line who couldn’t get the Mouseguard hardback at Carol and Johns the previous night. That was why he was here, and I noticed he did manage to get his copy that morning. I headed back over to Carol and Johns. I was mostly here because Marc Sumerick was giving away signed copies of the collected Franklin Richards strips that he scripted, and was only going to be there from 11:00 to 1 I believe. Marc singed a copy for each of my girls and Maddie in particular is loving it. It feels like Gus Beezer to her, though to me it feels more like Calvin and Hobbes. It almost feels strange. I know Marc. I see him a couple times a month, so getting an autograph from him is kind of weird. But still, the girls loved it. I ended my day by swinging by Comics are Go! which I’ve mentioned earlier is my favorite comic shop. They had a nice selection of the Gold books along with a TON of Rocket Raccon. Scott was also have a sidewalk sale and a table full of .50 cent bins! I dove in and emptied them of all the Shadow, Green Hornet and Daredevils I could find. Actually the best discount bins of the day. It’s worth mentioning, that even though I didn’t make it to it (the girls just didn’t feel like going out), there was a great event going on in downtown Elyria where I live with superheros putting on a live show, the bank being robbed and Batman putting a stop to it! All in all, I had a great Free Comic Book Day. I came home with over 40 free comics and bought about 30 more from different dump bins (I make a point to buy something from the shops I get my freebies at. That’s only fair). More importantly, I got to spend some time in the comic scene this weekend, hang out with friends and dress up as a giant robot. I hope you’re FCBD was a good as mine! This little guys was my biggest fan. he kept coming up to me all night! I love the tricked out Mini cooper as a Ghostbuster car. Best idea ever! We actually started our night off with a game of Spider-man Monopoly before I left for the party! BEST. COSTUME. EVER. Had to get a photo by the TARDIS Special thanks to Mark Brown who took a lot of t he better photos in this post!