Sunday, October 23, 2011

Entry 132: NYCC Report

D-WE here, and this is my New York Comic Con report.

This was my first time going to this convention and over all it was a really great time, but I've come to a realization. I need to do this convention thing better. I'll explain, but first I want to point out that there are two sides to comic conventions. There is the show it's self and then there is the after show stuff.

The after show stuff consists of the dining, the hanging out, and the partying that happens each day after the show. I enjoy it because it's a chance to talk face to face with people that I've worked with and a chance to meet new people who are in the industry that I don't know and get to hear their perspective on it.

For the NYCC, I have to say that the "after show" aspect went great. I had diner and went drinking with my editor at Marvel, Nick Low. I finally got to meet Rob Williams in person, who I worked with on Star Wars Rebellion and the Indiana Jones comic (before I was kicked off it) and who I even co created a pitch with. (I'll have to post more about that some day) I got to hang out with my ex-colorist on Shield, Christina Strain, who introduced me to Adrian Alphona, who is really nice and really talented. He and Christina did an art book together that is soooo pretty. And during the show I took a little time to step away from my table to meet Gerald Parel, the cover artist on Shield, who was way to humble for how good he is. I wish we could have hung out more. I want him to teach me how to do what he does. As for people I met that I didn't know before. It would be impossible for me to name all of them, but I will say that the best time I had was singing karaoke with Charles Soule, Jim Zub, and my buddy Jeremy Barlow.

So, the after show stuff was great. The show it's self was a different story. Not that the show was bad. It's an awesome show. It's just that I don't think I did a very good job doing the show. Everyone else in artist alley has these pretty banners with their art on them and stuff to sell. They've got fancy carrying thingies for their art supplies. They look so professional and prepared. They've got it down, while I'm sitting there with an old Crown Royal bag of dieing markers and a pad of paper as a drawing board. My heads down working on a commission that I took before the show. I do have a portfolio with some original art for people to look at, but none of it's for sale which disappoints people. So I'm not taking commissions, I'm not doing sketches, I've got nothing to sell, even if you know my work you wont know it's me because I have no sign, and since I'm so busy working, people feel guilty talking to me... What am I doing here? What's the point of me at this show?... These are the questions that I'm asking myself. And as person after person passes me by to look at somebody's stuff with a pretty banner I start asking myself, who cares about me? It's interesting how, in this state of mind, in this setting, everybody else's art looks so good. I look around at the banners and the prints and the stuff and I start thinking, is everyone in this industry better than me? What the fuck? How can so many people be so good? I suck! What chance do I have? My self confidence plummets. My mood spiralling out of control. Does this happen to other people? Is every creator going through this but just playing it cool? Will getting one of those banners help?

Here's a picture of me at my table. I shared a table with Jeremy. His half is the half with all the books and fun stuff for sale. Mine is the half with the sad dude behind it.
 It really wasn't all bad though. I was able to pull myself out of the dumps a bit. With each commission that I finished and liked I was reminded that I can do this. Also, when I saw my Red Wing cover blown up huge on a banner over at the Image booth that made me feel pretty good. A banner of your work made by someone else is much better than one you made yourself, right?
 So, in the end, everything was okay. I had a great time. The convention screwed with my head a little, but I recovered! I felt alright in the end.

I'm going to get one of those banners. I'm not sure what I'll put on it, but whatever.

I think the commissions I did turned out pretty good. Wanna see them? Well, okay.
Commission time!

Most of these were pictures taken with my crappy camera phone under bad light. So forgive the blurriness.
Asgardian Storm 9x12
Magneto 11x17
Isaac Newton and "The Star Child" 11x17
Newton detail
G.I. Joe's Dusty 9x12- I had photo reference for the tank and A-10
Batman 10x14.75- This was a thank you to my fiancee's aunt who let Jeremy and I stay at her place.
Magneto & Doctor Doom 11x17- This is a scan.
Phoenix 11x17- This is a scan
That's it.

Here's me at the top of Rockefeller Center.


  1. Re: What To Put On Your Banner:
    A promo work-up for L'Enfant D'Etoiles. With the main characters, starscape & a spaceship or two thrown in. You'd knock it out of the park & it would drive a ton of traffic to your table (especially if it was in color.)
    I figure creator-owned would be best to build the Dustin Weaver Brand (too creepy?)
    but if that can't happen I would vote for the cover images you did for Shield #4 or Shield Vol.2 #3.
    And as for your (temporary) crisis of confidence - It sounds like a perfectionist judging himself too harshly. Which will happen. It comes from wanting to excel in as many areas of your chosen field as possible. Glad you pulled out of it, because your work stands up among the best out there.
    I do think it's pretty rare that someone sets up at a con & doesn't have something to sell or do sketches, so I can see where it might be confusing or disappointing to the con-goers.
    I dunno...some people make prints, have collected editions of the book they're working on...stuff like that. I just look at it as a way for them to defray some of the expense of attending, & I generally want to support that and their work.
    Glad the NYCC in general went well for you.
    I'll expect to see your banner next to a West Coast freeway sometime in the near future. ;)

    Frank J

  2. I actually kind of love the idea of L'Enfant as a banner. It would stand out from the "cute/hot chick pin up" crap that everyone else uses for their image. Not that I think the images are crap, most of them are really stunning, but come on. How un-original and cheep... (I could see my buddy DJ doing a sexy hot chick for a banner and it being really cool. He does sex mashed together with intellectualism that seems to point out some ironic truth.)
    Anyway, I easily defrayed my expenses with the commissions that I did during the show. And the people who picked up they're commissions I'm sure appreciated me attending the show. To tell you the truth, I can have that crises of confidence just walking into a comic shop and seeing other people's comics. I have to think that it's not abnormal, I just want to hear other creators admitting it!
    As always, thanks for the thoughtful comment.

  3. Dustin,

    YOU were the main "target" for me at the show, and the Asgardian Storm you did is my favorite piece from the show as well. Parel's is sweet, don't get me wrong, but in a fire yours would be saved first! Most top artists sit with their heads down all show, so don't worry about it. Ask Jimmy Cheung and he'll tell you the same I think. You may want to try separate signing/quick sketch/commission times posted on your table to help tell people when to stop and talk and when to look and be quiet. But thanks again for the commission, and being cool about it as well. - sean w

  4. I dig the idea of a Space Baby banner, too. Would it be lame for us both to have one, since we often share the space? Pun totally intended. They could be different designs. Or mine could just be an image of one of my script pages blown up huge.

    Seriously, though--we should get this banner shit sorted out before Emerald City. Your Red Wing cover image would make a sweet banner, with its spiral sucking the con-goers right in...

  5. Dustin,

    It was a pleasure to meet you at NYCC. And thank you for taking the time to talk to me about your process in working with Hickman and SHIELD, and most importantly giving an awesome Leonardo Da Vinci sketch. Thank you again. I look forward to hopefully see you again next year!