Posts Tagged ‘convention’

SPX and X-students

October 14, 2008

One of the extra added bonuses of being at SPX was seeing former cartooning students. I knew a few of my  recent students would be there but I also ending up running into one of my older former students, Ira Marcks. We chatted and exchanged books and it was really terrific. To sound like a completely softie, it warms my heart to reconnect with my former students. When I introduced Ira to one of my more recent former students, Serge Ragno, he said, “Hello, Second Generation.” (I’ve been teaching off and on for -gasp!- 15 years at Gettysburg College and before that at the Rochester Institute of Technology.) Most of the x-students I’m in contact with took both  of my cartooning classes (“Intro to” and “Sequential Art”) and a couple did independent study with me.

Below are links to their recent work. (I’ll take credit for all the great stuff they’ve done.)

Cody Constable

John Golden

Ira Marcks

Sergio Ragno

Sara Parysz

SPX jam

October 7, 2008

On Sunday night, after John Martz and I got home from SPX (and after we had stuffed ourselves silly at a great Chinese buffet), we decided that, even though we were tuckered, we would do a jam. You’re probably thinking, “Does he mean like jelly or preserves?” Nope, I mean cartoon jam where one cartoonist draws something, another cartoonist adds to it and so on. (It is named after what jazz musicians do in a desperate effort to sound cool.)

We decided on a six-panel story and that we would each start a story in the other’s sketchbook. Since you don’t know what the other person is going to draw, it can be a challenge to figure out how to continue the story. On the other hand, it’s cruel fun to try to make it tough for the other guy. Here’s the one we did in my sketchbook. A classic John “They Don’t Call Me Robot Johnny For Nothing” Martz robot starts us off. (Don’t rush through. Take a moment with each panel and think about what might come next, just like we had to.)

As you can see Johnny’s second-to-last panel could’ve easily ended the story. But there was one more panel to go so I ripped a page out of the “Twilight Zone” playbook.

SPX memories

October 7, 2008

Or more aptly titled, “SPX – what I can remember.”

With my half-o-table mate John Martz somewhere in the skies tween our country and his (you may not know this to look at him, but he’s Canadian), it’s time to do a rehash of the weekend. (Johnny will probably be doing the same on his site and – since he’s younger and more nimble of mind – doing a better job of recalling it.)

John Martz and another guy also with the name John

John Martz and another guy also with the name John

Saturday morning was a lot of getting-up-at-6:30, packing-the-car, breakfasting-on-Cliff-Bars-and-coffee-laced-with-zombified-dairy-product and driving-to-Bethesda. At the hotel, our box hauling was made almost completely painless by my wife’s red New York-style shopping/laundry cart. (It’s really the kind of thing you never see outside of NYC – and it hadn’t been used since her move from wilds of Brooklyn.) We split our half-o-table into a quarter-o-table each and squeezed our merch into 1.5 feet. I had brought my now out-of-print Bo Nanas comic strip collection “Monkey Meets World,” my “Jack N. Box” comic and a couple of mini comics – one Bo; the other Great Scott. (Unfortunately, my new Bo collection was – and still is – in shipping limbo.) Johnny brought some prints, original art and his fantastic books including his new one, a collection of warm-up drawings.

As with any event like this where you sit a lot and occasionally sell an item, there’s a lot of nothing punctuated by brief moments of something. Thus the narrative structure of this post will now deteriorate into random bullet points.

• To pass the time Johnny and I count what people are wearing. We pick specific items of clothing. I get non-baseball-cap hats. He gets mass-market-pop-culture t-shirts. Hats wins by a long shot.

• A person squats at an empty table and sells out all of their mini comics, making more money in an hour than I do all day.

• Johnny and I compare sketchbooks. His is filled with great drawings, most that could be collected in book form (and have – see above.) Mine is filled with hearts, rainbows and unicorns. (Not really, but mine is pretty unimpressive.)

• After the Ignatz Awards, we’re just too tired from a long day so we wuss out, go up to the hotel room and fall asleep watching a Mythbusters marathon. (Did they get the lead balloon to fly? Somebody please tell me!)

• Sunday morning the hostess at the Silver Diner seats us then immediately asks us to guess where she was last night. Before we can mutter “Uh…” she tells us that Saturday night was homecoming and that she got stuck in an elevator for 2 1/2 hours with nine other students (and an old lady) and that she had spent an hour and $40 on her hair and when they got finally got out it was this big…(holds hands up on either side of her head like she’s showing how large the fish was that got away.)

• I was told that my sales would be better but I’m “not enough of a cute girl.” (A point I could not argue.)

• The personification of commitment is a guy with an entire comic book page permanently displayed on his body as a tattooed sleeve.

• Another guy walked around in a yellow super hero suit of his own design. He strolled by a number of times so he seemed to be promoting something, but since SPX has very little in the way of super hero material (bordering on none), I’m not sure what he could have been promoting. (The first time he went by he had a trench coat over his get-up, which I thought was a subtle statement about the role of identity in our society. Or the lack of coat racks.)

All in all, it was a fun time. Good energy, got to meet some nice people, sell some stuff. Sign me up for a 2009 1/4 table.

Tune in tomorrow for the jam Johnny and I did after getting home on Sunday.