Convention Review, sorta

Convention Review, sorta - 3/20/2014

I've been trying to decompress from the Lexington Toy and Comic Convention (referred to hereafter as "the Con") enough that I can get myself together to write something decent about the experience. But here we are in the middle of following week, and I'm still waaaay too whipped to write anything big. It was a heck of a weekend. We had ups, and we had downs, and I either learned a lot about what to do next time, or I *think* I learned a lot, which is probably just fine.

But before the event cools totally in my brainpan, I want to mention the best part of the con, which was meeting a bunch of really excellent local artists. Here's a true thing: in the weeks before the con, I put more than a few hours in at the drawing board. For that matter, I've been putting in more than a few hours at the drawing board pretty regularly over the last year. No complaints. Fun times abound at the drawing board--I wouldn't be keeping up with this silly little project if they didn't.

However, hours alone at the drawing board might have a way of inflicting a bit of comic book myopia on a fella. So it was a real pleasure to be surrounded by a bunch of talented artists doing unique and varied work. I wanted to mention a few of them here.

The booth on my left was occupied by a local artist by the name of Jay Myers. Here's a picture of Jay tearing it up:

You can see Jay's illustrations at his website, www.mrjaymyers.com. In fact, you should go and look at them now. Now, as long as your eyes are attached to your brain, it should be pretty apparent that Jay is a serious talent. His work is whimsical and weird and just fantastic. He does all-ages work in a style that is unique and eye-catching. Jay has an uncanny ability to draw characters from comic books, movies, and other mediums and bring them seamlessly into his world. I've always admired comic artists with that kind of versatility, and watching Jay work over the weekend was a real pleasure. It raised the bar for me.

Ray Coffman was in the booth to my right. Here's Ray rockin' in the free world:

You can see Ray's work at his website, www.coffman20xx.com. Ray draws in an anime style--very colorful, with lots of action. Ray's booth was swamped with wide-eyed fans all weekend. Ray has got comics figured out. Watching the crowd react to his work was one of the high points of the Con for me. His drawings just flat-out make people happy. Stop into Ray's website and check his stuff out.

Next to Ray we had the wonderful folks at Cricket Press. Here's their booth:

You can see their fine work at www.cricket-press.com. Cricket Press is an two person operation run by Brian and Sara Turner that creates unique books, comics and art prints as well as event posters, logos, and a ton of other great stuff. I realized as I looked through their merchandise that I've been seeing their work around Lexington for some time now. Their work has an arresting, hand-made quality to it, and their books in particular look like nothing else you are apt to see beside them on the bookshelf. Sara's illustrated ghost stories are just lovely. You must check them out.

Though I didn't get pictures of their booths, I wanted to give shout-outs to a few other folks, the first of whom is Tressa Bowling (tressinaart.blogspot.com). Tressa's sketches have a bit of an anime-flavor to them, but she can really mix it up thematically. I love the way Tressa's colors turn out on paper--always vivid, complex and eye catching. Also, she does Dracullama. DRACULLAMA!

I also wanted to mention Chris Charlton of Assailant Comics (www.assailantcomics.com). Now, Chris doesn't draw his comics, but what he *has* managed to do is built up a catalog of very cool comic titles which are drawn by a variety of artists but written solely by him. Check out the website--four different titles! By one dude! In just three years! Does this make Chris the modern day Stan Lee? Maybe so. Maybe so.

Finally, I wanted to mention my good buddy, Stevie Moore, AKA "Studiospectre." Stevie's work is available to view at www.stephenmoorefineart.com/studiospectre. Stevie is a nature artist who specializes in paleo-art. Stevie's work is fantastically vibrant and colorful, and is all the more impressive when you consider that the lion's share of it is done digitally. Stevie has given me a ton of insight as I've been transitioning my work from ink to Photoshop, and for that, I thank him.

That's all for tonight. I might try to capture some more thoughts on the Con, but to be honest, I'm more excited to get back to work on the comic book. The Con gave me a taste of some of what people are working on out there, and it's inspiring stuff indeed. You should go look at their work and be entertained.

As for me... back to work.