Wednesday, June 30, 2010

With 100% More Apes...

...than my last post.

I've had a t-shirt idea rolling around my brain for the past few weeks, and did a little sketch last night to try it out on paper. I won't say what I have in mind for now, but I was thinking about the idea when I just happened to read my buddy Matt Wieringo's recent post, featuring his OUTSTANDING Planet of the Apes illustration. So, I was definitely more than a little inspired when I drew this.

I hope you like it. I also hope my idea is as clever as it first seemed to me when I came up with it. If it is, you'll see more of it here soon.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

School Library Journal Interview From HeroesCon

Well, it's been over two weeks since I returned from HeroesCon in Charlotte, exhausted but happy. The drive is about 13 hours from door to door (about 9.5, if you subtract all the stops a little boy in the back seat needs!), and after all the activity that goes with a con, added to things on the personal side, it's taken me a couple of weeks just to feel rested again. Therefore, I haven't posted anything about the show.

Fortunately, I had something in my inbox this past weekend that spurred me to write. My creative partner, John Gallagher, and I were interviewed about Roboy Red at the show by Snow Wildsmith (yes, that IS her real name!) for the School Library Journal, which is "The world's largest reviewer of books, multimedia, and technology for children and teens." Quite prestigious! You can read the interview here.

And here's a picture I took of Snow interviewing John:

One of the people I met at HeroesCon was Tim O'Shea, who is a blogger for the excellent comics industry blog site, Robot 6 at Comic Book Resources. Tim indicated in his con report that he thought his might be among the very last of all the recaps out there. I had to chuckle at the time, knowing I'd be far behind him! So, at this late date, rather than post a true con recap, I'll just post some pictures with commentary. Links galore to follow.

John Gallagher, at our booth.

Our congenial boothmate, the multi-talented Dave McDonald. Always a pleasure to share space with Dave! Check out his Vincent Van Doodle cartooning kit at his website!

One of only a few sketches I did at this show, the Golden Age Green Lantern. As you can see, it was for Fred, who was quite a loyal customer at the show. Thanks, Fred! I was very flattered that this one caught the eye of my friend Joe Staton, former longtime GL artist, and a sweet guy to boot! Joe saw it as he was walking by, and stopped to watch me draw. He was very complimentary, despite my insistence at pointing out all the things wrong with it. Thanks for the support, Joe!

More friends:

My friend and Baltimore Comic-Con organizer, Marc Nathan. When I showed him this picture, Marc said, "Wow, Rich, that's a great picture of you and your dad!"(Marc is only about two years older than I am) On another note, his show will be my next con appearance of the season. Even though *ahem* I'm not yet on the guest list. I hope Marc sees this! Follow the link to learn more.

Tom Bancroft is an incredible animator and character designer. He also is in fact, tall enough to be my dad! Years ago, I introduced him to a friend of mine who worked for a book publisher at the time. She was looking for an animation artist to do a book on character design. In this picture, Tom's holding the end result, Creating Characters With Personality. Follow the link and go pick it up! It's a GREAT book! Tom was gracious enough to write something really nice in my copy, and to do a little sketch in it for me too! A true treasure!

Here's another boothmate and pal, Franco, of Tiny Titans fame, with 30 Rock's Scott Adsit. Franco did a sketch for Scott (who I somehow managed not to have a chance to speak with, despite numerous encounters over the weekend), and asked me to take a picture of them together, so I've appropriated it for this entry. Sorry, Franco!

Ladies and gentlemen, Ron Garney! Er... oops... moving right along...

Hey, more artwork! I did this Swamp Thing sketch for a friend of mine, Danna Bremer. Danna is the wife of another pal, Bobby Timony who does a really fun book for Zuda Comics called Night Owls. You should check it out! I did this one to repay Danna's kindness. She took pity on me the first day of the show when she saw me lugging my entire con setup baggage into the Convention Center. She generously offered (insisted, really) to take some of the stuff off of my hands and assist me in carrying it all inside. Thanks, Danna! I wish the sketch came out better.

Speaking of sketches, here's a shot of John drawing Buzzboy for a fan.

Love and Capes creator Thom Zahler, doing his finest Kirk-on-the-bridge. I love hanging out with Thom. We shared some great meals this time, and had a blast. Looking forward to doing the same in Baltimore!

Jason Horn and Dean Trippe. Dean is a buddy of mine, and on our last day in town, the Monday right after the show, his son, Field, and my son, The Boy, finally met. It was epic! Field was wearing his Superman shirt, and The Boy was wearing his Flash shirt. As soon as they saw each other, they both immediately took off, racing toward the elevators from the hotel lobby! We actually got to witness a live, classic Superman/Flash race! I'd like to tell you who won, but it was an exciting photo finish! And ironically, they both moved so fast, nobody was able to take a picture! Ah, well. Perhaps next year!

My buddy, Matt Wieringo, with Franco, and the COOL Nova sketch Franco did for him! Matt LOVED it!

Kelly Yates, one of the nicest men in the biz (right up there with Mr. Staton).

Artamus Studios alumni, Chris Kemple and Chuck Wojtkiewicz (Chuck will be pleased to know I did NOT have to look up the spelling!). You can tell they really missed each other! I had some wonderful conversations with both of these guys over the weekend. Chuck and I hadn't seen each other in over 15 years, so it was so great to finally catch up again! Chris will soon be famous. Mark my words! He and I have talked a bit over the past few years, so we had a nice time talking shop. Always a pleasure!

Additional Artamus dudes, Rich Case and Jeff Parker, hamming it up at con organizer Shelton Drum's "Dead Dog Party" Sunday night after the show. Rich is a terrific guy and I always have a nice time seeing him at shows. Jeff is an old friend, and one night in the hotel lobby, he and I had a profound conversation that I will always remember. I'll just leave it at this: Jeff is a good friend, and I appreciate that very much.

Here are a few of the costumed personnel who graced the convention throughout the weekend:

These were great costumes, but I really love capturing these folks when they're not "on duty." Hence the following:

A couple of shots of Charlotte's nighttime skyline. A beautiful city!

The building on the far left in the first picture is the official con hotel, The Westin, where we stayed. You will not find a nicer place or a better hotel staff in that city (well, actually, I've only been there once before, so I'm not positive about that, but we really liked the place!).

One more shot of friends:

Suzanne and Matt Wieringo. Love this couple! We had a few meals together, but the most memorable was the day after the show ended. Suze suggested that we eat at the food court in the Convention Center, as it was quick, inexpensive, and easy. It was deserted! The perfect, quiet way to end a busy weekend. As an added bonus, we got to see this:

The day after. The leavings of a crazy weekend (please forgive the sloppy melding of two photos)!

As you can tell, it was a really fun weekend, and something I've really needed for a long time. Thanks to Shelton Drum and Dustin Harbin for putting on an excellent show, and for their hospitality. I also need to add an extra thanks for giving me a cool poster I've wanted for two years! Thanks, guys! Looking forward to seeing you next year!

If you've read this far, thanks very much! I'll be back again with more soon!


Friday, June 18, 2010

June 18, 2000

I hope you'll indulge me one more time, in allowing my personal life to seep onto my illustration blog. Ten years ago, at just about the time I'm writing this, I was preparing for my wedding day. I wasn't a typical nervous groom. I was completely confident and happy; at ease knowing I had made a commitment to a woman who was my partner and best friend. It was, up to that point, the happiest day of my life (only to be eclipsed 6 years later by the birth of the beautiful boy she gave me).

Yes, today would have been the ten year anniversary of my marriage to Traci. I'm feeling a lot of conflicting emotions, as one might expect, but overall, I think it will be a good day. I'm going to spend the day with my wonderful father-in-law, who has been a rock for me, despite the enormity of his own loss, and my boy, the everyday reminder of the love she left me, and my constant source of humor and happiness in my life. The legacy that Traci gave me is not only encompassed in that boy, but in who I am today. I'm a better human being for having shared her love, and her positive attitude throughout her illness has helped to inform me about what's important in life. I would not be the man I am today, if not for Traci's love, support, and influence. I've become (or am becoming) the man she always wanted me to be. And that's a good thing.

I don't have any digital pictures of our wedding, or course, but I took out our album to show The Boy this morning, for the first time. He will always have those photos, and her memory. I snapped a couple of pictures of the album pages, some of which I decided to share here. For anyone who wasn't there, it was a spectacular day, and the beginning of something truly incredible. I wish I could share this ten year anniversary with my beautiful bride, but I hope that wherever she is, she knows that we're happy, healthy, and doing well.

I can't think of a better way to celebrate our marriage than to spend the day with her two (other) favorite guys.


Friday, June 04, 2010


Things have been really hectic due to family events the past couple of weeks, and in the rush to go here and there, I completely forgot to post that I'm at HeroesCon! It's a great family friendly show, and I'm back for only the second time, but it's quickly become one of my favorite conventions. I really like this show, this town, and these people. So, if you're in the area and want to come hang out with me, you can find me in Artist's Alley, at booth AA-227. I hope you'll stop by to say hi!

More posting next week.