It was my first time at the show, and it was a lot of fun. It’s a little show, but it’s one that has a lot of character. You can tell the influence of it being so close to DragonCon, too. There was a definite party track, as I could see outside my hotel room balcony on Friday and Saturday, and the costuming was exquisite!
So you’re prepeared for the 2014 con season, the hot (or cool) trend in costumes is Frozen. Lots of Frozen. If I could get stock in a magenta cape factory, I would be a rich, rich man this year.
I did a couple of kids’ track panels, too. Both my "How to draw My Little Pony" and "Create a Superhero" panel were really well attended. The kids were great and they all did really well. It’s one of my true honors to help foster new talent, if even if such a small way.
I have to thank the Berns, the family who were my handlers for most of the trip and made sure I got to and from the airport and, when I left it at home, made sure I had toothpaste, too. They were even nice enought to take me to see Ruby Falls before I left. It was the coolest cave I’ve ever been to that didn’t have a giant penny and a dinosaur in it. Todd, the con director, treated me really well, too. Check out what was featured on the Saturday badges.
Chattanooga was a nice town. I got the chance to walk around, try some restaurants and Clumper’s Ice Cream, and then walk some more. And I stayed at the Choo Choo Hotel, which is the site of the famous train station, now converted to a pretty neat looking hotel. Some of the railroad cars have been converted to hotel rooms, diners, and more.
It’s in the newly-released March Previews, so I can finally talk about it! I’m returning to writing Ponies!
I’m writing issue #5 of My Little Pony: Friends Forever, which is kind of like Pony Brave and the Bold. My issue teams up Fluttershy and Zecora, which seemed like a great idea until I wrote my fourth page of rhyming dialogue. Still tons of fun. Here’s the official solicitation:
Fluttershy and Zecora take the spotlight in the new fan-favorite series! Fluttershy wakes up one day to find that all of her animal friends can talk to her! But what secret are they hiding? It will be up to everyone’s favorite rhyming zebra to determine the nature of this strange occurrence!
I am doing one of the covers, which I’ll show as soon as I can. In the meantime, Amy Mebberson did a killer cover that I can show. Wow, does that look good!
It’s order code MAR140390. It should be out a couple days before my birthday. You know, if you’re looking for something to get me, a crazy stack of orders wouldn’t be the worse thing.
Yesterday, I stopped at my local Dunkin Donuts to bring some coffee back to the house and fulfill my hunter-gatherer instincts. I had to get up a little earlier than I would have liked to get to church, and it was particularly snowy and sloppy, all of which may have grumpified my mood a bit. But as I turned into the parking lot, which has a weird little curly drive to get into the drive through line, this blue truck with South Carolina plates cut me off and hopped in front of me.
I’m generally a pretty calm guy. I try not to sweat the small stuff. But for some reason, this just burned me. I yelled some things in the car. When his rear wheel drive started to fishtail, I may have even rooted for him to smack into the big yellow pole. (That didn’t happen.) And look, I fully realize that this person cost me all of three extra minutes. In the grand scheme of things, this was nothing.
But, when I got to the window with my money out, the lady working there waved me off. "The guy in the truck paid for you. He realized he cut you off and felt bad about it."
It totally changed my morning. It was such a nice thing to do and shows the value of the little things. I don’t think I would have thought of doing what he did, even if I realized that I’d made the same mistake. This gentleman raised the bar. I hope I keep it in mind the next time I do something stupid.
Saturday was the big rush for Comic-Con tickets. I appreciate these people like you wouldn’t believe.
It’s easy to tease and make the Hunger Games references and watch from a distance. There’s certainly a place for that. But the thing I try to keep in mind is what these fans have to go through to attend the show. Heck, it’s hard enough for me to get a hotel and a guest badge, and I’m an exhibitor.
I have a very charmed life. Every day, I get to wake up, usually whenever the heck I feel like it, kiss my sweetie, and then put on some awesomely geeky t-shirt, pour some coffee in an equally geeky mug, and draw things and tell stories. I don’t have to wear a tie or go to an office or have to ask for time off to do a convention. The freedom I have is largely because my industry and I have fans who are willing to support our work, buy our products, and jump through the flaming hoops to attend these conventions.
So I just wanted to take a minute and say a big "thank you" to these Comic-Con warriors.
(Also, it was cool to see my little cartoon knocked out the morning of the big ticket rush show up on Robot6 with attribution. Thanks, guys!)
This year I’ll be making my first trip to the Indiana Comic Con. I’m looking forward to it, both to experience a new show and to see some old friends. And, since it’s a new place for me to visit, I’ve done another new con print. These things are expanding a bit, aren’t they?
You know, I’d love to do a Sydney one. Hint hint.
I want to try some new things at my 2014 conventions. One of them is this: a new "premium" commission. I want to take a limited number of much more complicated pieces, colored in watercolor rather than marker. I’m only going to do a couple for each show, and you can either place an order or select out of the ones that I already have done.
To start, I’m trying some My Little Pony stuff. I draw the ponies a lot, but I haven’t had much of an opportunity to play with the backgrounds and those are a lot of fun. Also, I haven’t done watercolors in a long time, so it’s nice to start refreshing that skill. Here’s Twilight Sparkle as a premium commission. I’ve got a Zecora one on the drawing board that I’ll be showing soon, too. Both of them will be available at Connooga next month.
If you’re interested in getting one, give me a shout and let me know. I’ll certainly do a few through the mail. For these, 9×12 in full color, one character in an environment, I’m going to charge $125.
The news broke on Twitter last week, but I wanted to officially announce that there will be a Complete Love and Capes collection from IDW this summer. It’s going to include all 24 issues of the series. The only new story page will be the one-page "Hostess" ad I did with Just Jenn (which is the only post-baby story so far). I’m going to put some rarely-seen things in the back matter, including the complete collection of Love and Capes con prints, art done by some comics pros that haven’t been seen before, all the t-shirt designs and more.
It’s going to be quite the package of goodness. You can preorder the book on Amazon here.
This past week isn’t just the anniversary of the Mac, but it’s also a work anniversary for me. I just lettered my one-thousandth issue of the online Deadbeats strip.
I started working for Claypool back in 98 or 99. Honestly, I don’t remember. It almost seems like I’ve always worked for them. At the time, Richard Howell contacted me about doing a pick-up Elvira story. The first one went okay. The second one was a little rocky because of production reasons on my end, but we talked through it and, the next thing you know, I was the regular letterer of Elvira: Mistress of the Dark. Along the way, I did an issue or two of Soulsearchers and I think even a Deadbeats. Then, in 2001, became the regular Deadbeats letterer as well.
Claypool has been an important part of my career. The regular assignments became the framework that allowed me to start a full-time freelance career. They were the known quanity that made taking the leap into the unknown so much easier.
We’ve gone through a lot of changes, from lettering on boards to paste-up to lettering completely digitally. Richard’s been a good friend, and I’d like to think I helped the company a little, setting up the Claypool website and helping the transition from print to digital using some of the lessons (and mistakes) I made along the way on my own projects.
We’ve had a good run, and I’m glad it’s still going.