Comic Con 2011 all in one big post

Note: These are all in separate posts, so there were some edits to them while I was posting. There are links to the individual posts at the bottom of this one. If you are so inclined to comment, please comment there.

I arrive

So, Comic Con 2011, yay! As usual I took the train from LA to SD, but this was the first time I did preview night and I loved it. So, I think I’ll do preview night from now on. I got to talk to a lot of artists under less stress than the usual Thursday through Sunday show. Anyway, as you can see from the list below, those reports will be up in the next few days.

The show was as crowded as ever even though I learned later that several big studios (Disney, Warner Bros) didn’t exhibit this year and that there’s a 125K cap on tickets. It still felt like there were way too many people in the hall, but maybe that’s just me.

Arkham City was everywhere. I saw a billboard from the train; the side of a bus; the entire side of a hotel, the trams:

And one of those billboards that get driven around town:

I guess it worked because I added it to my pull and I’m enjoying it so far.

Also Batman, Batman in Legos:

There were also leafleteers:


I hope she was still smiling on Saturday

And cosplay,


That wasn’t his car


I wasn’t expecting to see a Lolita at Comic Con, but she was there and I took her picture


They were a cute family, but why would you bring a babe in arms (costume optional) to Comic Con?


They were sweet and kept their CCSD bags when I asked them to


It was a warm day so I hope she got into air conditioning soon


Loved the goggles

I’ll have more on Comic Con 2011 in the near future, so please keep an eye out for reports on these artists:

Anson Jew (agoynamedjew.blogspot.com)
Ron Brown (freefallart.com)
Sabrina (sabrinabellydancer.com)
Ben Henderson (goldencrusader.com)
Steam Crow (steamcrow.com)
Kirstie Shepherd (curioandco.com)
Paul Roman Martinez (19xxad.com)
Ryan Claytor (elephanteater.com)
The Frantic Meerkat and The Mincing Mockingbird (mincingmockingbird.com and franticmeerkat.com)
Karen Knighton (birdenvy.com)
Mary Bellamy (marybellamy.com)
John L. Brooks II (11thhourbooks.net)
Mike Bocianowski (artistmb.com)
Anthony Hon (motenaicomics.blogspot.com)
Shannon Wheeler (www.tmcm.com/tmcm)
Brett Bean (2dbean.com)
Celine Chapus (purpletophat.com)
Amy Mebberson (mimisgrotto.com)
Sho Murase (shomurase.com)
Katie Cook (katiecandraw.com)
Cat Staggs (www.catstaggs.com)
Bryan “Kaiser” Tillman (dark-legacy.net)
Sze Jones (szejones.com)
Maddox (maddox.xmission.com)
Thien Pham (thienisawesome.blogspot.com)
Ben Costa (shilongpang.com)
Jeannie L.S. Galster (jeaniels.com)
Debbie Huey (bumperboy.net)
and my recap over the next few days.

Mayerson arrives at Comic Con 2011.

Anson Jew

This year was my first preview night. In the past, I’d always turned up no earlier than Thursday to get the most bang for my buck because a hotel night for 3 hours at the con seemed wasteful to me. After the crush last year on Thursday, suddenly that didn’t seem so wasteful. Even preview night was intense, but it was easier to talk to people in Artists’ Alley and I started the con right by talking to Anson Jew first. He’s busy as usual, more with storyboarding commercials than making comics, but he did have a copy of his latest 24-hour comic “The Hand of Fate.” Anson said it’s loosely based on Oedipus Rex. I haven’t read it yet, but I still think Anson is a noir wunderkind, so if he says it’s based on O. Rex, then it must be based on O.Rex. He’s still drawing comics (that’s not something a goy named Jew could just stop doing), but not working on a comic book at the moment. He is working on a non-fiction book on storyboarding, which will be useful for those interested in such things. Anson didn’t say what it’s based on, but I’m sure it will be a noir book on storyboarding and it will be wunderbar.

Anson Jew (agoynamedjew.blogspot.com)

Ron Brown

After talking to Anson Jew, the next artist I spoke with was Ron Brown. He’s mainly an illustrator and fine artist (one of his paintings was on a cover of Harlan Ellison’s “Dream Quarters”), but he has self-published his own comic. He’s tabled at Comic Con six times, but he was on a five year hiatus getting a masters in fine arts at the Laguna Collage of Art to go with is undergrad from Art Center. Attention aspiring artists: Ron is teaching art at Mount San Antonio in Walnut, California, you could learn something.

Ron Brown (freefallart.com)

Sabrina

Sabrina! I was fascinated by her eyes, her eyeglasses, and her highly stylized cosplay/belly dancer bra. So much so I had to apologize for staring at her breasts. She’s nice; she said it was okay. Sabrina is an award winning dancer, teacher and a craftsperson. She was having a panel on how to make a cosplay bra that fits and won’t hurt your boobs on a long hard day of cosplaying. Looking, once again at her upper torso, I’d say she knows what she’s talking about. She has two new books out: “How to Build a Better Bra for Cosplay” and charity book for the Hero Initiative of belly dance themed comics (hotcha!). I can’t find links for either of these books, but if Sabrina! sends me links, I’ll add them. I should have taken a picture with her, but she’s so gorgeous, she just wipes the floor with me and would lower you readers’ opinions of me. If that’s possible. Anyway…Sabrina!

Sabrina (sabrinabellydancer.com)

Ben Henderson

First Comic Con ever! From Orlando, Florida. Has always wanted to come to Comic Con and this is the year to do it. He’s been an illustrator, but this is his first comic book. His comic book is about a retired superhero coming back into the spotlight out of necessity. This is his first comic book and first attempt at comic drawing. Found it a lot of work and has new respect for comic book artists now that he realizes how much goes into it. He came up with the art first (elderly superhero) and then wrote a story about it. He printed his books himself due to time constraints. He has been reading comics all his life.

Ben Henderson (goldencrusader.com)

Steam crow

I headed out of Artists’ Alley for the long walk to the Small Press area and came across the half end-cap booth for Steam Crow. Steam Crow was mostly prints and a few books (I didn’t see any actual comic books), but, interestingly, as I was talking to Daniel Davis of Steam Crow, I realized that I read his Web comic Marketing blog. I read this blog because it’s unlikely that I’d ever put the words web comic and marketing together, but he does have some interesting ideas on how to generate buzz for your web comic, how to managed your convention exhibitor forays and more marketing stuff like that. Steam Crow is a personal brank that he and his partner dreamed up to illustrate the things they wanted to see illustrated, like monsters and things they like. They’ve done five books so far: Hot Creatures, a monster haiku book; Clawberry, like a Grimm fairy tale; After Halloween, what monsters do after Halloween to make a living, and two volumes of his web comic, Monster Commute. They’ve been doing Comic Con for six years. They started in Small Press, but found it easier to get more attention with their own booth. He studied art and became a graphic artist. He paid his dues as a screen print artist and worked his way up to his own company. The larger prints are glecee prints, there were a few prints on canvas, but most of them are what he called color process. I don’t know what color process means, and I couldn’t ask because the booth got busy and I never stand in the way of commerce.

Steam Crow (steamcrow.com)

Kirstie Shepherd

Kirstie (rhymes with thirsty) Sheperd is the writer on “Finding Frank and his Friends,” the Eisner nominated Best Graphic Album New. These are the lost images for everyone’s favorite comic that never existed. These images were hidden in a garage that never existed for the past 60 years, so no one has ever seen them. Kirstie is co-owner of Curio and Company, which creates entertainment memorabilia for books and things that never happened. (I have mucho simpatico with that idea; the idol of our parent company, Fabrice Eugene Wapshott, is the most fabulous gay man that never lived.) Kirstie is an American living in Vienna (I’m so jealous), she and her partner came over for Curio and Co‘s second Comic-Con. Curio and Co is a new company, only a year old. Last year they debuted “Frank and his Friends.” This year they are debuting “The Gadabout GM 10-50,” which is user’s manual for a time machine. “Everyone says they need more time,” Kirstie told me, “We’ve finally got the book that gets it.” Kirstie is originally from San Diego. She and the artist, Cesare Asaro (sp?), met at the Discovery Science Museum in Santa Ana, where the Gadabout idea sparked and gelled. They share an interest in science and making sciency things more accessible. Now that they live in Europe, they have that “the farther you get from home, the better you see it” thing, so a lot of their products are based on Americana. One such item is “Spaceman Jax,” a 1950s TV spaceman show that never existed. They’ve been in Vienna for 10 years, so, she mused, maybe this is a way of dealing with voluntary ex-pat homesickness. They had cool stuff; I’ll keep an eye on the webpage to see what they’re up to next year.

Kirstie Shepherd (curioandco.com)

Paul Roman Martinez

This is Paul Roman Martinez‘s first book and his first booth at Comic Con. “The Spirit of 19XX” takes place in the 1930s about a group of adventurers who are trying to prevent WWII from happening. Another alternate timeline of things that never happened that’s been well received. The book is has magic, adventure and history. PRM said he didn’t try to stray too far from history with it. PRM is nominated for the Russ Manning award for Most Promising Newcomer. Decorating his booth were historic posters from the era. However, the girl on the tank is his original poster. He’s only been making comics for a year and a half, but he’s loved comics all his life and has been attending CCSD since 1997. I was somewhat surprised he wasn’t in Artists’ Alley, but he ran the book through his graphic design company thereby making him a Small Press. He’s looking for a publisher for his next book, but he didn’t divulge any details.

Paul Roman Martinez (19xxad.com)

Ryan Claytor

Ryan Claytor‘s father had a saying about any big project: It’s like eating an elephant, just do it one bite at a time and before you know it, you’re all done. Sage words for anyone trying to get a big or small project done. In honor of this wisdom, Ryan named his company Elephant Eater to publish his series of autobiographical. He’s been making comics since 2004 after he got his art degree from UC Santa Barbara and then a MFA from UC San Diego. His thesis on autobiographical comics was on sale at his table. His table had thinky words, comics, prints, and cool bookmarks.

Ryan was born and raised in California, but is now living and teaching at Michigan State and loving it. He said the long cruel winters are good comic-making weather.

He’s just finished the third part of a three part autobiographical story arc. He’s musing on a story about his father, who grew up in rural Arizona. I think this will be a good story because his father grew up to such a philosophical guy, and that must have come from some kind of background worthy of graphic storytelling. So there is something to look forward to.

Ryan Claytor (elephanteater.com)

The Frantic Meerkat and The Mincing Mockingbird

Matt Adrian (the Mincing Mockingbird) and Kim Bagwell (the Frantic Meerkat) were sharing a table, I think they’re married, but I never assume anything. Kim got into making comics because Matt needed a comic for one of his books and she came up with her first clip-art comic, the outlaw one. That one went over so well, she continued to make clip-art comics of serious looking animals with soap-opera relationship issues where the text is so outrageous with the art, and vice versa, the finish comic transcends it’s elements and to become a satire on romance, relationships, honor, etc. David Rees’ Get your War on did that with more serious material, but it works here as well. At least I liked it, but I like things that take a moment to sink in. Her background is in fine arts, but her bread and butter has been in graphic design. She’s been using clip-art up to now because she didn’t have time to paint. But more recently, she’s been painting.

Matt started painting “troubled” birds about three years ago and he’s done three books with unusual titles. He’s a fine artist educated in art at Columbia College in Chicago. He didn’t paint for a long time after he graduated, but didn’t start painting again until five years ago and then exclusively birds about three years ago. His paintings are done in acrylics. His troubled birds are lovely paintings with punch-line titles that make you look at the painting until you get the joke and smile (or don’t).

This is their first Comic Con. They know Karen Knighton of BirdEnvy.com and she inspired them to get a table in Small Press. That doesn’t surprise me; I find K Knighton very inspirational and I just met her.

The Frantic Meerkat and The Mincing Mockingbird (mincingmockingbird.com and franticmeerkat.com)

Karen Knighton

I learned from Karen Knighton that to get a table in the Small Press area, the artist must have a new comic for the convention and that comic must pass CCSD’s approval. Ms. Knighton’s new comic this year is Snowsville; it is a 20 page, printed and handmade, edition of 50. Snowsville is more visual poetry than sequential art. It is a sequential story, but not a linear narrative and has no dialog or narration. The main character is injured and journeys to Snowsville, as much externally as internally. This book does for me what only certain kinds of art do for me: it stops the world for the duration I’m engaged with it. It’s an ontological pause in the chaos of being. I am very grateful to Karen Knighton for making it and Comic Con for having it where I could find it. There were only 49 remaining of the numbered edition after I left with mine. I hope 49 other lucky folks are having an experience similar to mine with Snowsville.

As with many other artists at what Comic Con has become, Karen is selling more cute pillows than comics. I find this sad, but if she wasn’t here selling more pillows than comics, I would never have read Snowsville, so how can I not be okay with the pillows? But in a perfect world…we’d all die of boredom. Anyway…

This is Karen’s sixth Comic Con and she’s been making comics and art for a long time. She’s always been an artist. The comics split a table at Comic Con in 2003 and she put together a book with the bird and bunny she’d been drawing for a while. She does a new book with those characters every year. She went to Cal Arts for animation and is an animator by trade. I met a few animators at Comic Con that made comics because they love comics and it got them away from the computer screen for a few hours. I can dig it.

Karen Knighton (birdenvy.com)

Mary Bellamy

Mary Bellamy writes comic books about a girls who are not princesses. “Ah Heck” is about a girl who ends up in the underworld (y’know, Heck) and her adventures in different realms while trying to get the heck out of Heck.

In one realm, she’s forced to be a maid to evil bunnies (I think this is an all-ages book). After she escapes the evil bunnies, she ends up in a realm where she’s turned into a doll, forced to wear cute clothes, and she hates that, too. That’s volume 1; in volume 2 we learn that this is a retelling of the Job story, except God and Satan are using a video game for this bet. The other book I asked about, “Faux Facts,” is about a group of friends who have supernatural things happen to them. Mary has always been into comics and cartoons, she has a degree from the Art Institute of Orange County, and she finances her self-publishing with animation jobs. She’s been attending Comic Con since 1999, but has only been exhibiting there since 2007. She’s planning volume 3 of “Ah, Heck” and will be making some new merchandise to go with the buttons.

Mary Bellamy (marybellamy.com)

John L. Brooks II

John L. Brooks II has been publishing books and comics at 11th Hour Books since 2008. This is his first Comic Con, he said he got in at the 11th hour, no less.

The name “11th Hour” refers to the endangered species his books champion to children and, hopefully, their parents. Trying to teach kids environmental stewardship, which can only be good for all of us. John was inspired to start writing books after a 26 year career as an agent for the Federal Fish and Wildlife Service. He saw a lot of people breaking laws and doing hurtful things to nature just because they didn’t know any better. He hopes his books, some of them translated into other languages, will bring a little more environmental consciousness to the next generation and anyone else who reads them. He is a native, from Oakland but now settled in San Diego for the weather. He’s the writer on the books and has been working with a variety of artists. I think he’s publishing lovely books and the next time I know a kid who needs a gift, this is what they’re getting. And they will LOVE it.

John L. Brooks II (11thhourbooks.net)

Mike Bocianowski

Mike Bocianowski writes comics about critters that have no names yet, so they are called Yets. It’s a story about an adventuring guinea pig and a chihuahua that go looking for dragons in the great magic tree world. And then it gets weird.

Sounds good to me! Mike also works with 4th graders teaching them to draw comics while teaching them math and English skills. At the end of the course, they compile them and print their own comic book. I don’t remember fourth grade being that much fun, but things might have changed since the last ice age. Mike’s background and education are in commercial art and animation, but he loves comics and has always been drawing and publishing comics in whatever spare time he can carve out. He’s been attending comic con for 10 years. Coming up, he’ll be reprinting volume 1 of Yets with a new introduction by Donald Duck drawing Patrick Block, he’s working on volume 4, and also has a new comic with those lucky fourth graders called “The Field Guide to Yets.”

Mike Bocianowski (artistmb.com)

Anthony Hon

Anthony Hon Was helping promote Wahab Algarmi’s “Society of Unordinary Young Ladies,” which is about 1980s sitcom heroines doing unordinary things, like fighting communism and stuff like that.

I recognized Christina Ricci, but that was it. Anthony’s most recent work is “Barry the Benevolent Ninja.” The crocheted ninja doll was the inspiration for the story. Anthony’s been making comics since 2002 in his off-time from making video games. He said he has no time to draw at his job, where he’s on the computer all day, so coming home and working on comics is a joy. Making comics is another way for him to continue to write and draw. He has a degree in Illustration from the Academy of Art in San Francisco. Originally he wanted to work for Disney in 2-D animation, but the animation industry changed before he could do that. A friend offered him a job designing video games and he’s been doing that ever since. Anthony’s been attending comic con for about 8 years.

Anthony Hon (motenaicomics.blogspot.com)

Shannon Wheeler

Between now and the last time I saw him, Shannon Wheeler shaved off his beard. Then he won an Eisner. Is there a connection? Discuss.

Shannon’s upcoming book from Top Shelf is “God is Disappointed in you” in which the other author Mark Russell boils each book in the old and new testament down to three paragraphs/book and Shannon draws a gag cartoon for it. What would William Tyndale do? As Shannon says, the old testament is just a string of God being disappointed in man and doing something about it: flood, tower of Bable, plagues, Elijah, etc. The sampler is only seven books (I don’t know which 7, but I took Shannon’s word for it), but Mark has finished the 66 books and Shannon’s finished cartoons for 52 of them. Shannon is working on a book with Boom (publishers of “I thought you’d be funnier”) called “Grampa won’t wake up,” which sounds absolutely charming. That book will release in October. Shannon’s been doing Comic Con for the past nineteen years and has seen the show change a lot, but all his friends are still here so he’s happy with it. He also does APE and Stumptown in Portland Oregon where he lives and where you can no longer swing a cat without hitting a comic artist. When I lived in Portland in the late 90s, it was the other way around.

(By the way, Shannon isn’t the only one who changed his look this year. Bryan “Kaiser” Tillman did. He also fine tuned his Dark Legacy game and wrote a successful art book. Is there a connection here as well? Discuss.)

Shannon Wheeler (www.tmcm.com/tmcm)

Brett Bean

Brett Bean was selling art prints and original commissions. This is his first Comic Con behind the booth. He’s working on a digital comic book. He makes video games, role-playing games; he started out as an environment artist.

Brett Bean (2dbean.com)

Celine Chapus

Celine Chapus has been working as an illustrator since 2007, but she’s been drawing her whole life. She decided to pursue this full time after she accidentally walked into a pirate themed store in North Hollywood (Chest of Divas, I think she said), and there was a small gallery in the back of the store. The store manager, Crystal, was curating shows on a monthly basis and Celine had her portfolio with her and got a show! And it was a hit! And that’s how she got started devoting all her time to art making.

She made her first comic in 2009 and started doing conventions shortly after that. She’s done MegaCon in Orlando, FL, and got into CCSD in 2009. She’s primarily an illustrator, but she loves drawing characters, so her comics are more illustrations about relationships between characters. (I’m not sure where the line is between a one-panel comic, an illustration, and an artwork are and I won’t presume to expound on it here.) Celine feels the life drawing course she took curtailed her development as an artist. She always recommends to young artists that learn to draw bodies. She dropped out of an art school she declined to name because they said her art was too commercial. She continued her art studies at UC Irvine.

Celine Chapus (purpletophat.com)

Amy Mebberson

Amy Mebberson draws very pretty girls. She had some cool artwork. She’s been a comic book artist since she moved out of animation at Disney at Sydney when it closed in 2006. After the studio shut down in Sydney, she and her husband moved to Portland, Oregon, the comic artist vortex of the universe. She didn’t decide to become an artist right away, she has a degree in music, and spent one bad year in design school before she started making a living at it.

She got the job at Disney on the strength of her drawing and they trained her in everything else she needed to know. Her table at Comic Con was her own work, but she’s drawing Strawberry Shortcake comics for Ape Entertainment. Maybe Strawberry Shortcake will get a bit of cheesecake from Amy. This is Amy’s third Comic Con, her first with her own table in Artist’s Alley. She’d been at CCSD as a guest of Tokyo Pop when she was one of their original English language manga artists. She was drawing for T Campbell on Divalicious, it lasted for two volumes, and then it ended. She’d like to revive her webcomics “As if” called “Thron” (sp?), but she had to quit doing them because she had paying work to do and we all have to pay the rent.

Amy Mebberson (mimisgrotto.com)

Sho Murase

Sho Murase has been working in animation as a freelance character designer and storyboarder for the past ten years. At this year’s Comic Con, she’s showing and selling her personal work. She was raised in Spain and went to art school in Canada. She’s been exhibiting at CCSD, APE and WonderCon for the past five years. I got a copy of her comic book, “Sheila,” volume 1.

“Sheila” is the story of a little girl named Sheila, who isn’t like other little girls and this this story, that works in her favor. This is a charming comic and becomes charming squared when you get to the end and have three, count ’em, three endings to choose from. The comic is subtitled “How Dark are You?” and the choice of ending scores you on the darkness meter. The story is dark, but cute (yes, it is), and I love the artwork, but I’m a sucker for negative space in black and white comics. Sho will be at APE, NYCC, and Austin Wizard World in October and November (more information on her webpage where I was hoping for a shop, but, alas there isn’t one).

Sho Murase (shomurase.com)

Katie Cook

Oh my God, can Katie Cook ever draw! I got a copy of “F*ck you Box,” a mini-comic about her cat’s inner dialog and, um, challenging approach to his environment and I was laughing my ass off reading it on the train back to Los Angeles.

Katie Cook calls herself a comic artist, illustrator, and nerd. She draws comic books and children’s stories. Her own comic is called “Gronk, a monster’s story,” which debuts this year. As an artist, she’s worked for Fraggle Rock, Star Wars, and Marvel to name only a few. This is her sixth CCSD in Artist’s Alley. She loves CCSD because the fans are there to have fun and be nerdy. She lives in Ann Arbor Michigan and says they don’t have cons like CCSD there. She has volume 2 of “Gronk” in the works, which runs as a free webcomic at gronkcomic.com every Friday and has several more cons scheduled. She also has a seven month old that she’s raising. I imagine that takes quite a bit of her time, but she said it’s fun. She left the baby with the grandparents because, and I totally agree with her, that CCSD is no place for a babe in arms.

Katie Cook (katiecandraw.com)

Cat Staggs

Cat Staggs has been doing CCSD Artists’ Alley for seven years. She has a comic in the upcoming Womanthology from IDW in December. She started out in comics doing trading cards. She’s been drawing her whole life and has a bachelors degree in art from University of Texas as San Antonio.

Cat Staggs (www.catstaggs.com)

Bryan “Kaiser” Tillman

I talked to Bryan “Kaiser” Tillman last year (CCSD 2010 scroll down) and was a total idiot because I know nothing about gaming of any kind except you use these cute dice and cards and everything is so elegant and organized. Thank God Wendy Lee was there taking pictures for me (my camera battery was locked in my luggage at the train station [total idiot that day, really]) to smooth things over by laughing her ass off at me.

Bryan is not laughing at me in the 2010 picture, he’s too nice for that. By the way, that’s my hand holding a tape recorder, not some unspeakable horror. Anyway. As you can see Bryan, like Shannon Wheeler, changed his look since the last time I saw him. He’s wearing the same shirt though.

Well, Bryan is still a very nice guy and still making a very nice game called Dark Legacy, which will make its official debut at GenCon in August 2012, which is very soon.

He also published a book on life drawing, “Creative Character Design” (Focal Press), between now and the last time I talked to him.

Betwixt and between all this, he’s busy running Kaiser Studios and making comics.

Bryan “Kaiser” Tillman (dark-legacy.net)

Sze Jones

I am a big fan of Sze Jones! Anyone who can draw an octopus girl like that has my worship.

She’s an illustrator. Part of her work is trying to combine traditional Chinese ink painting with gouache on subjects from the mythical realm. She said it’s kind of like a journal. She thinks vampires are romantic subjects because of their immortality and power in the mythical realm. She’s been working for a video game company for the past three years so she likes to get off the computer and do some drawing and painting. Her mother knew she liked to draw, so she sent her to classes from a very young age. Sze went on to get a Masters of Fine Arts at William Patterson University and she’s been working in the arts ever since. Some of her artwork at CCSD were in acrylics, but most were gouache and Chinese ink. She showed me her ink stone and brushes (I should have gotten a picture, but I didn’t, sorry). A few were oil, acrylic and color pencil on watercolor paper, like the one below:

This is her third Comic Con in Artists Alley. She’s currently working on a children’s book for the 8-10 year old set that will include music. So there is something to look forward to.

Sze Jones (szejones.com)

Maddox

So, I met Maddox! and his lovely companion, Marie the Lumberjack, this year.


Comic Con Gothic

His bestselling book, The Alphabet of Manliness, was inspired when he was reading a field guide to lesbians. Well, that’s what he said.

The Alphabet debuted at number four on the NY Times Bestseller list and went up to number two before dropping off. After having a writer website for nine years, he “came out of the blue,” as they bizarrely say in mainstream publishing, with The Alphabet, which was released in 2006 and re-released in 2009. He has a new book, I am Better Than your Kids, which is based on a piece that went viral last year where Maddox! graded children’s artwork. This book will be published next year by a publisher whose name I didn’t get, alas.

Maddox! also did an indy comic, The Best Comic in the Universe, for which Leah Tiscione did the artwork.

Maddox! doesn’t consider himself an artist, but a writer who draws. He’s been doing CCSD for the past six years. Maddox! is doing a show on YouTube and he’s making a line of hot sauce.

Other than promoting I am Better Than your Kids book, YouTube and hot sauce, the rest of Plan Maddox! 2012 are under wraps for now.

Maddox! (maddox.xmission.com)

Thien Pham

Thien Pham was more into talking about the other artists at his table than his own work.

Actually, the table belonged to his wife, Lark Pien. Ms. Pien’s book, The Long Tail Kitty, was published by Blue Apple Books in 2009. Thien and Lark had been publishing the story as a mini-comic with hand silk screened covers for a few years before a publisher picked up a copy at a comic convention and the rest is history. I love these kind of comic book success stories, don’t you?

Thien, Lark, and Gene Yang, (American Born Chinese) the other person’s work at the table, have all gotten book deals from their mini-comics. Thien and Gene have a new book, Level Up, about video games and being adopted that they’re promoting this year.

Also to promote Level Up, they did a mini-comic called Legends of the Joystick, which is a behind-the-scenes look at superheroes growing up. Gene’s third book, Prime Baby, is nominated for an Eisner.

And because you can never start too early in comics, there were a few of Gene’s kids comics on the table.

Thien has been doing Small Press at CCSD for seven years. He’s always loved comics, he drew and copied them as a kid, and eventually graduated from the Academy of Art in San Francisco in 2000. When not making comics, Ben teaches art at Bishop O’Dell High School in Oakland California, where Gene teaches computer science.

Thien Pham (thienisawesome.blogspot.com)

Ben Costa

Ben Costa

won a Xeric Award

and made Pang, the Wandering Shaolin Monk, which he worked on for four years before publishing the book. It was inspired by his interest in Kung Fu movies that inspired him to take martial arts classes and then make this book. He’s working on volume two of three. The books are set in the 17th century and are a mix of history and legend and Kung Fu.

Yay! And he also made Eight Herbs Mtn.

Yay! He’s always loved comics and is self-taught as an artist. Pang, The Wandering Shaolin Monk is also online. The next volume will be published next year. This is Ben’s second Comic Con.

Ben Costa (shilongpang.com)

Jeannie L.S. Galster

Jeannie L.S. Galster is the author and artist of Reverence.

Volume one was published last year, volume two and three will be published this fall and 2012

Reverence is the story of a girl who takes the name Reverence whose tragic past leads her into drugs and crime and least of all tattoos. During one tattoo session a gun fight breaks out in the parlor and during it the electricity from the tattoo gun infuses Reverence’s body and her tattoos come to life, thus activating her superpower to right a few wrongs in her past.

Jeannie grew up on horror films and comics, and took art classes in High School. This is her first CCSD.

Jeannie L.S. Galster (jeaniels.com)

Debbie Huey

Debbie Huey publishes Bumper Boy comics and toys and they are adorable.

She’s been making Bumper Boy since 2003.

Prior to Bumper Boy, she was an art student at UC Santa Cruz. Bumper Boy is an all-ages comic about the adventures of Bumper Boy and his Pals. She has many more stories for Bumper Boy. She’s been exhibiting at Comic Con since 2004

Debbie Huey (bumperboy.net)

Comic Con 2011: ninjas, smart phones, crowds walking and looking at their smart phones, gah

So, the links below are my Comic Con San Diego 2011 reportage. I didn’t have a Smart Phone, so I missed out on a few things. Like these ninjas. This is their front side:


Adorable!

And this is their back side, which is important if you have a Smart Phone:


I don’t have a Smart Phone, so, yeah…

The other Smart Phone experience I had, which I don’t have any pictures of, was of convention goers crashing into me, each other, baby-conveying strollers, really anyone and anything because they were glued to their Smart Phone for events and swag and whatever instead of watching where the fuck they were going. I mean, it’s bad enough in the exhibit hall when the crowds are paying the usual amount of inattention. Yeah, and babies of the infant human kind. Parents, please please stop bringing your infants and toddlers to Comic Con. I like kids, most of them will grow up and pay my Social Security benefits, so I really do like them if for no other reason. But, for God’s sake, parents, just the bacterial level alone in the Convention Center during CCSD, not to mention the crowds and possible injury from said crowds, should make you think twice about bringing your little bitty kids. I know you parents want to be at CCSD, I understand, really I do, but it would be better for the kids and the elderly women who worry about kids, if there was a minimum age of about 8 years old for admittance to certain parts of the convention, particularly the exhibit hall. And if you can’t leave the under 8 kids home, then stay in a hotel that has day-care or get a sitter or do the convention in shifts or bring a spinster aunt and take her to the Zoo or Balboa Park or a host club as a thank you for child care but for the love of God please don’t bring babies into the exhibit hall. End of sermon.

A very big thank you to all the artists I spoke with this year. Please click on the links below to read about the artists I talked to. Whatever Comic Con SD might or might not be now or might or might not become in the future, there are no comics or comic book movies without the creativity and steadfastness of the artists and writers who make them. And God Bless them each and every one.

Mayerson arrives at Comic Con 2011 and talks to:
Anson Jew (agoynamedjew.blogspot.com)
Ron Brown (freefallart.com)
Sabrina (sabrinabellydancer.com)
Ben Henderson (goldencrusader.com)
Steam Crow (steamcrow.com)
Kirstie Shepherd (curioandco.com)
Paul Roman Martinez (19xxad.com)
Ryan Claytor (elephanteater.com)
The Frantic Meerkat and The Mincing Mockingbird (mincingmockingbird.com and franticmeerkat.com)
Karen Knighton (birdenvy.com)
Mary Bellamy (marybellamy.com)
John L. Brooks II (11thhourbooks.net)
Mike Bocianowski (artistmb.com)
Anthony Hon (motenaicomics.blogspot.com)
Shannon Wheeler (www.tmcm.com/tmcm)
Brett Bean (2dbean.com)
Celine Chapus (purpletophat.com)
Amy Mebberson (mimisgrotto.com)
Sho Murase (shomurase.com)
Katie Cook (katiecandraw.com)
Cat Staggs (www.catstaggs.com)
Bryan “Kaiser” Tillman (dark-legacy.net)
Sze Jones (szejones.com)
Maddox! (maddox.xmission.com)
Thien Pham (thienisawesome.blogspot.com)
Ben Costa (shilongpang.com)
Jeannie L.S. Galster (jeaniels.com)
Debbie Huey (bumperboy.net)
CCSD 2011: that’s it for me.

So, yeah, Comic Con has changed. But if you’re me, and you refuse to be anywhere except Artists’ Alley and Small Press areas, it hasn’t changed all that much.

See ya next year.

CCSD 2011: that’s it for me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *