Now, the writing tends to grip me more about comics than the art. It's just the way I'm wired. I don't think art is inconsequential... in fact I know it's aboslutely crucial for the medium. In a collaboration between artist and writer, the writer may be the one making the story up, but the artist is the one actually telling it to an audience. I may personally have come up with the greatest and coolest stories never comitted to paper, but without the artwork to convey those stories to an audience, they're less than nothing. I guess what I'm trying to get at here is that one of my failings is to get more excited over writers than artists. But I think that the convention this year may have taken a big step towards breaking me of that.
Like a fool, I waited until Sunday to try to get some sketches. What this means to folks who haven't ever been to a convention, is that the only people who could take the time to sketch in my book were those who asked for money. It's a perfectly reasonable request, as these people are providing you with original artwork that is essentially one of a kind. Ron Wilson may have drawn The Thing a thousand times, but the one in my sketchbook was drawn for me. That's totally worth compensation. There are a plethora of artists who'll provide free sketches, but if you're not on-hand Friday to ask, and drop off your sketchbook... well, there's always next year. But as these folks are doing it out of a generous love for the fans, I don't have the heart to rail against the system.
Now, here's a peek at the sketches I was fortunate enough to get. In order to keep the page from getting too cluttered (and to let me draw out my post-con writing that much longer) I'll do one sketch per post.
Ben Grimm, also known as The Thing is one of my favorite comic book characters, period. As I mentioned above, Ron Wilson, a Marvel penciller from the 70's and 80's drew the classic story in which the Thing must face the alien Champion to determine the fate of the world. After having read about that story a couple times online, I obtained a copy, and loved it. So when I walked up to him at the convention, I knew I wanted him to sketch the Thing for me. He was busy with other commissioned artwork, including a gorgeous two-page spread (I'm not sure if the Official Photographer got a picture of it or not.) but decided he had time to do a quick head sketch.
It's awesome stuff. We chatted a bit while he drew. And I think he was originally going to just do the sketch in pencil, but as we spoke, picked up a pen to go over the lines. He drew this in no time at all, but it's easily one of the best things I got out of the convention.