Central Canada Comic Con (C4) was October 30-November 1, and I’m just getting to this now. Better late than never that I give an overview of my con experience this year.
I had to miss out on C4 for a few years as my eldest’s birthday celebrations sometimes conflict with the con. This year is my second consecutive attendance of C4. Last year was a great year to dip back into the geek culture of C4. I had high hopes for this year. I talked to lots of new people, reconnected with friends and those I haven’t seen in a long time, watched some amazing cosplay walk by, and of course pimped all the projects that I had worked on and promoted those that were in progress. Sales were soft though, compared to last year. I don’t know if this was the atmosphere of the con itself, my location, or something I was doing. We’ll have to see what happens next year.
One of the many highlights of C4 this year was seeing old friends again. I was surrounded by creative people and this does nothing but boost my own enthusiasm in my career. One of the aspects of this culture that inspires me the most is the creativity of others, and to lend a hand in other artists’ endeavours.
It was a pleasure to be set up next to Greg Waller and to help him dip his toes back into the world of comics. Years ago he had his own super hero comic book, Magnitude, filled with winks and nods to Winnipeg (shameless plug: I had done an alternate cover for issue 3).
Greg had to step away from the world of comics for a variety of reasons, but he couldn’t shake the itch to create. He finally couldn’t take the temptation any longer and started to work on new ideas, as well as figure out a way to bring Magnitude back.
At C4 Greg was getting his name back out there: copies of the first 4 issues of Magnitude, his new design company, Bug Out, and a new title he is writing and illustrating, Guerilla. I was intrigued and inspired by the premis (again peppered with references to Winnipeg), so I took a little time to do a little fan art for Guerilla in time for C4 (colour and title are Greg):
I look forward to seeing what new work Greg has to show next year!
Speaking of art that inspires; I first met Scott Ford at the Manitoba Book Awards in 2013, where his self published graphic novel, Romulus + Remus, was up for Best Illustrated Book. Since then we’ve attended events, asked advice of each other, been on a panel talking comics, and I was one of an honoured selection to read and give feedback on a new graphic novel he’ll be working on: Arkland. Driven to inspiration and carving out a little time, I made this art piece (which he coloured):
Thunder Road. A modern blue collar man has a run in with the nine worlds of Norse mythology, and is now tied to the fates of dwarves, dark elves, Hel, Loki and a certain Fire Giant. Author Chadwick Ginther weaves an exciting page turner filled with references to popular bars in Winnipeg, the Icelandic ties of Gimli, and dozens of other Manitoba landmarks. My first piece was a bit of fan art after reading the first book in the trilogy, which led to commissions for Tombstone Blues and Too Far Gone. The art for Too Far Gone premiered at C4.
While I don’t get to leave my table when I’m working a con—lest I miss out on a sale, or to talk to someone new—I am hardly isolated and antisocial. Friends like GMB Chomichuk (Infinitum, and Underworld), Wai Tien (illustrator for TFBS: Peacemaker and Land of Os), Nicholas Burns (contributor to Moonshot) or Lovern Kindzerski (colourist extraordinaire and writer of Underwrld) wander by as spectators, or while on a break of their own. Or I make a special trip to visit Nyco Rudolph (graphic novel TBA, but he does sexy sweet illustrations) to snag this super sweet 3D Star Wars print:
And of course, I run into old friends from school.
I showed off my stuff, made new fans and got reacquainted with old ones. It’s always a pleasure to hear when someone says that they’ve read a book I’ve illustrated in school or university. In addition to my growing collection of work (like 7 Generations, Sugar Falls, and Tales from Big Spirit), I showcased the newest titles: Betty: The Helen Betty Osborne Story (written by David A Robertson) and A Blanket of Butterflies (written by Richard Van Camp).
I didn’t have too much new of my own work, like The Chronicles of Era, but I told people to see the new book next year at C4 (which means I better get a move on! Roughly 60 more pages to go). I did have a little previewed Book 2, which Greg graciously coloured:
Until next time!