Saturday, March 11, 2017

Entry 293: ECCC 2017 Commissions

Last time I had a table at a convention was in 2013. At that time I decided that I wasn't going to do another convention until I had a book of my own to promote. And with my creator owned series, PAKLIS, coming out this May, I finally have reason to get back on the comic convention train. So this year I went up to my favorite con, Emerald City ComicCon in Seattle, and of course I did some commissions. There's one just up above, and here are some more.

I always kill myself on convention commissions. I've always taken on too many and had to work intensively to keep up, and even then, I've had to take some of them home at the end. This year I gave myself just one commission a day.

This is also the first time I directly told the people emailing me about commissions that I'd rather not do Marvel or DC characters. The main reason for not wanting to draw those characters is that I'm always asked to draw those characters. I wanted to do different things this time, but the response I got each time was "I was hoping for a (insert Marvel/DC character name here) but I understand and I'll think of something else. " At that point, how was I going to NOT do what they really wanted. Knowing that they would be less happy with the piece if it wasn't really what they wanted, kind of takes the fun out of it for me.

So I ended up doing a Rockabilly Batman, a Wolverine, a Spider-Man, and a Black Panther and Storm fighting Dr. Doom in Wakanda. Hahaha. The ol Black Panther and Storm fighting Dr. Doom in Wakanda piece AGAIN.

Man, this Spider-Man was tough. It was looking like hell up to the very end and then it fell into place. You know how in that show Project Runway that guy, Tim Gunn, would always say "Make it work." Well that was what was in my head. How do you take what you've got and make it work?

Many people have asked if I did these pieces entirely at the convention. The answer is not really. I take the commissions before the show and I do a little sketching in my sketchbook until I find some ideas I like. Then I scan my sketches, do some sizing and arranging in photoshop, and then I print them in a light blue onto the art board.

Here's a look at what was printed in blue for that batman piece.
I believe the whole "Rockabilly Batman" concept originated with artist Denis Merdi. You can see all his concept art for it here DenisMerdi/Batman-50-s-Rockabilly-Universe.

If you're interested in seeing the commissions I did at the last conventions I went to back in 2013, you can see them here ECCC 2013 and here Comic Con' France 2013.

Other than the commissions the convention went great. Having not been to a con in a while, it's the first time I've gotten to hear from fans of Infinity Gauntlet or Bebop and Rocksteady in person. Of course the thing I was asked about the most was when the last issues of SHIELD will be out. The answer to that is still I don't know.

Every time I go up to Seattle I stay with my pall D.J. Bryant. And every time I hang out with my pall D.J. we watch some movies. This time we watched the 1984 film "Streets of Fire" directed by Walter Hill. It's funny because last time I visited him we watched "Johnny Handsome", another Walter Hill movie. I liked them both. I might like Walter Hill movies. Looking at his IMDB I see that he also did The Driver and The Warriors and I like those movies too. He did 48 Hours, which I've never seen. I should watch that.

Anyway, I guess Streets of Fire had some real influence over some 80′s anime like Bubblegum Crisis and Megazone 23. Even before I was made aware of that fact, as I was watching it, I said, "This movie is an anime." It’s a pretty fun film.

Here's the opening music scene/song.

You know that Rockabilly Batman is going nowhere fast.

Blogged and blogged


  1. I think this is a great approach to commissions, and it produced excellent results. I just hope it isn't another 4 years before you make an appearance again!

    1. Thanks. Yeah, I'm sure I'll be doing ECCC again next year. I've thought of trying to get over to the New York Con. I should also do the Rose City Con since it's right here in my town.

  2. Are you going to keep the commission train rolling at c2e2 by chance?

    1. No C2E2 for me. I've actually never been to that show. Maybe next year.

    2. Cool. For what it's worth, I always ask artists to do commissions of batman characters for two reasons: 1) I want a coherence to the pieces that I have so they are like a set and 2) because I think that I'd like to see that artist's take on that particular character. So if I asked you to do like Deathstroke, I wouldn't care if you decided to do like a medieval version of him complete with armor a bow and arrow, swords, whatever, or to completely mess with the concept as long as it was your style/interpretation. I'm certain that's now how everyone else does it (which must be frustrating) but that's just my take. So needless to say, I really dig the rockabilly Batman. Anyway man, love your work, and hope we cross paths at some point in the near future.

    3. Seems like a pretty good way of doing it. I like the idea of encouraging a personal spin..
      I feel like I should make it clear in this post that what I really want to do is make the person asking for the piece happy. There is always room to be creative and get excited about a piece, even if it's the 20th time you've drawn that character. So, it's not so bad to be asked to draw these characters. It's great. And it's great when people know what they want. Makes it easier to give it to them.
      I only wonder sometimes if people are thinking of the possibilities.

  3. I would totally take something over the Marvel and DC stuff. Star Wars or maybe even old-school Image! ;)

    1. There you go. I'm especially into the idea of old-school Image.
      I'm actually making a list of things I'd love to do as commissions instead of Marvel and DC. Just to give people some ideas.
      Here's what I've got.
      Ripley/Alien, Akira, Aeon Flux, The Prisoner, Blade Runner, Evangellian, Astro Boy, Mettabaron, The Maxx, WildCats, Twin Peaks, Gyo, Adele Blanc-Sec, Predator, Possession, Biomega, Bubblegum Crisis, Gundam, Venus Wars, Ghost in the Shell, Godzilla, Cyber 6, Transformers, Voltron, GIJoe, Nausicca, Nicopol Trilogy, Death Note, Terminator/Sarah Connor, Mary Poppins, MW (Tezuka), Black Jack, Appleseed, Dune, The Fly, Lost Highway

  4. That's a good process. How large are your sketches that you scan? And do you remove the blue lines or just cover them up?

    1. The sketches are pretty small. I sketch like 4 of them on a regular sized sketchbook page. And the blue lines are printed much lighter than you see here. After all the drawing over them, it's like they are gone.