From Whitehorse to Toronto

FanexpoJust finished Yukomicon, an adorably tiny convention in its second year, and we’re ramping up for Fan Expo Canada, which is nowhere close to its second year, not in any way tiny, and I have my doubts about its adorability. It’s our first time going and we’re really looking forward to it, so if you’re going to be at “Comic-Con North” (or, from our perspective, Comic-Con East) on September 3-6, swing on by and say hey!

The Land of the Midnight Fun

16x20_PanelRoomHi folks! If on the off-chance you’re planning to be on the top of the planet in a couple of weeks, come on by Yukomicon in Whitehorse, YT and say hey! Lisa and I are going to be in the Artists Alley, and it’ll be the first time at that show for us so we don’t really know what to expect.

I mean, I assume we’ll be meeting Santa. But besides that.

Nightmare Fuel

Nightmare Fuel-01Now that the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo is over, I can post my entry to the 2015 Artbook! The theme was Adventures in Time so, like half of the other contributors as it turned out, I drew a dinosaur.

Lisa feels sorry for him. He’s invented a prehistoric time machine out of the logs and vines that were available to him, and arrived at our horrible dystopian present. He’s even learned to write–but not spell. But where did he get the goggles from? They’re perfectly normal goggles.

Vangroovy!

2015VANCOUVERfloorplanBILLY4.epsNext weekend (April 3-5) is Fan Expo Vancouver.  It’s our first time showing there, so we don’t know how it’ll go. But it’ll go better if you come by our table and say hey!

Spring is Convention Season

I’ve got three conventions scheduled in the next six weeks!

KFXFirst up is the Kelowna Fan Xpo on March 21! This is the show’s second year: last year Lisa and I found out about it on the day it happened, which was unfortunate, but we resolved to check it out if it came back.  And it has; a lot bigger, as I understand it! Everything starts somewhere and I’m excited to be part of something local that’s just getting off the ground.  If you’re in Kelowna, drop by the Okanagan Public Library and say hey!

2015-VANCOUVER-artistalley-4Two weeks after that is Fan Expo Vancouver on April 3-5! It’s our first time there, too.  It took a while for Vancouver to get a comic expo, for some reason; we would see them start up, run for a couple of years, and then fade away. I don’t know why, it’s not like Vancouver or Victoria aren’t large or hip enough to have a comic show. In 2012, Fan Expo Toronto, which is so far still the biggest Canadian show, started up Vancouver as a satellite show, which I imagine is probably the easiest way to get a show off the ground.

2015 CGY Web Floorplan.cdrAnd then two weeks after that on April 16-19 is the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo, which is our Must Show. We’ve been tabling at that show since its second one, and it’s been getting bigger and bigger every year. (So have I.) This one’s our big one, and starting this year we’re going to skip Edmonton so Calgary will be our only Alberta show.

And then once all of the shows are over I plan to lie on my side in the fetal position for a while. Strings of drool will probably be involved.

Ever Found Yourself in Northern Alberta With Nothing To Do?

2014 Edm Expo Floorplan WEB.cdrWell, why not swing by the Edmonton Comic and Entertainment Expo from September 26-28? It promises to be a good time–always is!

And since you’re coming anyway, check out the Artist’s Alley! That’s where all the good stuff is. You should always check out the Alleys of Artists at whatever show you attend.

And since you’re in the Artist’s Alley anyway, why not head on down to the lee side of the E section, where I and my usual cronies will have our shops set up, as we do!

Debuting at the show this year will be my Sherlock Sherlock Sherlock Watson magnets, so come take a boo at that!

Number One on the Billboard Chart

riverdale-01I started this Riverdale at CONvergence as tradesies for an older drawing of Riverdale that’s too old for me to want to look at anymore; in exchange for this new art the old art won’t be posted anymore! Is that pride? That’s probably pride.

Kind of like how George Lucas made Empire Strikes Back so we’d stop passing around VHS copies of the Star Wars Holiday Special. That plan worked, right?

Want to know more about what Riv has on his iPhone? Read Twilight Detective Agency #1!

Five Minutes In The Box For High-Sticking

motherpuckers-01We had just the best time at CONvergence last weekend. Just the absolute greatest.

Calgarians will remember our succession of local, fan-run conventions. They were fun! They served their purpose. For the most part they predated the Internet, so they were a place for like-minded individuals to meet other like-minded individuals and talk about books and movies and learn Klingon and whatnot. Back in the days before we could do that with our phones.

Unfortunately the local fan-run conventions were run by volunteers and shared a certain lack of organizational skill. Which is my tactful way of saying they were uniformly terrible. When you compare them to the well-oiled trade-show machine that is San Diego, and the smaller shows like Calgary and Seattle that are built on the same model, the fan-run conventions have fallen by the wayside, at least for me.

But. But. It was announced that the Gathering of the Gargoyles convention was going to reconvene at CONvergence for the 20th anniversary of the show. So we were there, you guys.

And I sort of expected the poorly-run fan convention I was used to, so I was extreeeeemely proactive in my e-mails arranging an Artist’s Alley table. At any moment I expected the organizer to lose my table application, give my table to someone else, forget I existed, forget how many applications they’d received, et cetera et cetera, and so I planned and planned and planned and planned.

None of that happened. Every interaction with J.P. and with the convention in general was completely professional. Also, it became clear that the folks who go to that convention love that convention, and feel a real ownership and pride in it. It really took us back to the old days. Thanks for the awesome show, CONvergence!

Of course, hanging out with the Gargoyles fans would be a complete blast even if it were in an alley. Next to a dumpster. Behind a Hooters. We have to make this a regular thing, you guys, I am dead serious. You guys are inspiring and awesome and I came away with a powerful need to draw Gargoyles art, and so did all of you, even the ones who don’t draw, and that is the amazing part! That’s what it is to be part of a fandom. You get a lot from trade-show conventions but you don’t get that.

I told you all that to tell you this: Michael asked for Puck on a round sticker that he could stick to actual pucks for Twogargs tables. I let that notion roll around in the back of my head like a plinko game while we drove back to Thunder Bay from Saint Paul (lovely drive!) and here’s what rolled out.

I miss you guys already.

Next Time I Take The Stairs

Take The StairsYou know, all this time and I’ve never drawn Elisa Maza? Isn’t that weird? That’s pretty weird.

I sketched this while running my table at Emerald City. No real reason, just on a whim! I have a few Gargoyles prints in my book and they don’t really move. People like them, they remember Gargoyles fondly but they don’t go metric bananapants about it like they do for Doctor Who.

Which is a shame! And that’s why I’m looking forward to Convergence in Minneapolis in July, which will be a Gargoyles Gathering sneakily held inside a different convention. Waiting. Growing. Making ready to burst out of its chest.

Did You Wish Really Hard?

Amy-PondThere, see?  Shonna isn’t the only one who can do slightly dirty prints of Calgary Expo guests.

This started out as a fun idea to draw Amy Pond in one of the TARDIS dresses you see at conventions a lot, but it went somewhere else pretty quick.  Public Call Box?  Pull to Open?  What is the key for?

I’m so very sorry, Karen Gillan.

The Doctors Four

Doctors FourAt Edmonton Expo I promised that the prints of The Doctors Three I had at the table would be the very very last ones ever. That was only partially a marketing gimmick; at the time we already knew that Peter Capaldi was going to be the new Doctor Who.

Of course we didn’t find out what his costume was going to look like for quite some time. And then it was some time after that until I remembered that I’d better get that print updated for Emerald City.

So today I spent the day that most of us celebrate spring by travelling forward in time one hour by adding the Twelfth Doctor to this print.  I was originally going to put him in the back but of course that doesn’t make any sense. So it’s the back row for you, potato-head!

An intelligent person would have thought ahead and coloured each Doctor on a different layer.  I did not.

Now available as a T-shirt!

And other stuff!

M Section

logoIt’s that time of year again–the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo has released their floorplan! I’m at table M07 in Artists Alley and, once again, we’re all sitting together in a big clump. New this year are our friends Christine and Nicole who will be within Nerf distance!

Also new this year, the Calgary Expo will be open Thursday evening, in addition to the Friday afternoon they added previously. It won’t be long until the Expo will be running for an entire week!

Check out the complete floor plan here.

The Great Detective

Vastra

No, not Batman.  The Victorian English Great Detective.  Right, that one.

It’s the conceit of Doctor Who that Sherlock Holmes, a fictional character, was based on Madame Vastra, a lesbian woman from a reptilian hominid species that descended from Earth’s dinosaurs.  The connections are obvious!

I don’t know why Sherlock Holmes can’t appear in Doctor Who.  No, Holmes never actually existed, but neither did underground-dwelling dinosaur people.

Anyway, Vastra completes my seventh season booster pack of magnets!  They will be available here soon, and at the conventions I’ll be showing at for the rest of this year: Edmonton Expo in September, Emerald City in March, Calgary Expo in April, and CONvergence in July. I’d love to show at the Vancouver Fanexpo but they insist on having it the weekend before the Calgary Expo every year and I couldn’t do both.  My face would fall off and I would die.

 

Edmontwo!

2013 Edm Floorplan Legal SizeThis September is the second annual Edmonton Comic and Entertainment Expo!  Guest announcements are a little sparse at this point, but don’t worry: the show’s put on by the same folks who bring you the Calgary Expo and they know what they’re doing.

One thing that has been announced is the location of our Artists Alley tables! Have a look! Make careful notes! Come by and visit!

The Edmonton show takes place in a larger venue than the Calgary show does, so in future Edmonton’s going to get bigger! Calgary can’t get bigger; it can only get longer. Personally I prefer bigger to longer; if it’s too long I get tired!  But make your own decisions.

Calgary Expo

Finally home from another Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo! Man, that show is busy. Normally I don’t get to see all that much of it, but this year “Weird Al” Yankovic was a guest. How could I ignore THAT? Of course I couldn’t.

One of the awesome things about the Expo–and there are very many awesome things about the Expo–is the artbook, which is open for exhibitors to submit art to. We can submit as many things as we want, and this year I went with more of a shotgun approach: the more you lob over, the more likely one will make contact!

This year the theme was “Weird Adventures,” which I took to mean a 70s horror comic style. Meet Ironic Reversal Magazine, where the subject matter is never quite what you’d expect!

Print

As it turned out, Surf Bored was the winning entry! Is there anyone who loves pickles as much as he does?

It feels like I’ve been drawing things for Ironic Reversal Magazine for years.

For more photos from the show, check out my Facebook page!

Calgary Expo!

The Calgary Expo has released the table assignments for the Artist’s Alley!  We’re sitting exactly where we were sitting last year, I think! I certainly remember being in front of the exit to the Corral, because man was there ever a lot of foot traffic.

This year they’re doing ticket sales in the Big Four building, which should solve the problems they had last year when they only allowed entry through the Corral, the same place they were doing ticket sales. Unfortunately it bottlenecked, forcing them to close the Corral, and therefore the only entrance. We heard from a lot of people who were very unhappy, and they had every right to be. Still, I hope last year’s problems don’t adversely affect this year’s attendance–if you came last year and got annoyed, give it another try!

Harley

Right now I’m working on two artbook entries, and this Harley I drew in Edmonton needs her face fixed somehow. And I’m talking with a new magnet printer. April 26 will be here in no time!

Edmonton Entertainment Expo Exceeds Every Expectation

I’m sitting in the Edmonton airport, waiting to fly back to my home in Kelowna, our new home as of a week ago! It has been an October for the books: my last day at the job I held for twelve years was the last day of September, then my wife and I spent two weeks packing everything we own into a U-Haul, which we drove across the mountains on the 14th to start my new job on the 15th!

So when the Edmonton Expo was announced last August, our reaction was what you’d expect. As long as what you’d expect involves broken, furious weeping, gnashing of teeth and pulling-at of our hair.

But how could we not attend? Since the first year of the Calgary Expo, we knew two things: first, that the Expo team can put on a mind-numbingly good show, and second, that the city needed and wanted a good show very badly. We don’t know Edmonton very well but we could only assume that Edmontonians like fun.

(What Edmontonians don’t seem to like are Starbucks that are open at 8:30 on a Sunday morning, about which we shall have words, Edmonton.)

To be honest, a lot of the Edmontonians I talked to had already made the trip down to the Calgary show in previous years anyway, so it was not particularly different for them. Briefly I worried that they’d all bought Doctor Who and Firefly magnets already, but no, they did fine. Big thanks to everyone who came by my table, and apologies to everyone who came by my table after they were sold out; I will print more, and they’ll be available here once I do, and one of them will be River Song because no matter how often I explain that she’s a terrible Mary Sue character who can do everything in a show that’s already about a character who can do everything, you keep asking for her so all right already.

It was a smaller show–over 17,000, Tony announced–but that was nice. It didn’t have the people-crush and the logistic snags that Calgary gets as the natural consequence of growing so much every year. There were lots of people but you could still see the floor. It was as if the people in charge of running the Calgary Zoo had been asked to put on a charity llama-petting event in the Wal-Mart parking lot over the weekend: some hurt feelings and a lot of spitting but not, overall, a real challenge for anyone.

I bought my table for next year; we always buy our tables at the previous year’s event. No reason not to! We always go. If the Calgary Expo team held a convention in the irrigation drainage system of South Septic Colon, Alberta, I would go to it.

And it would be a damn good show.

Here’s a time-lapse video I shot by strapping my GoPro to the top of my magnet rack and shooting a still every ten seconds. Then I took each 11-megapixel frame and wodged them together into one video which was lots of fun for me but which my MacBook Pro didn’t seem to appreciate all that much.

The F Troop

The Edmonton Comic and Entertainment Expo is scant weeks away! They’ve announced new guests, including Burt Ward, Charisma Carpenter, and Sean Maher.  Buy a Firefly magnet set and get him to sign his!  I’m just sayin’.

Table locations have been announced, and I’m at Table F07 in Artists’ Alley, with Lisa, Shonna, Michael and Kyle, and across the aisle from… some of the guests!  I hope they’re reasonably tolerant guests and don’t mind my new GoPro camera taking their picture every sixty seconds because that’s going to happen. Come to terms with it, guests!

Nerdmonton!

The Empire of Expo expands to encompass Edmonton next month! On the weekend of October 20-21, the first Edmonton Expo is being held at the Edmonton Expo Centre, and I’m going to be there in Artists Alley! (With Lisa and Kyle and Michael and Shonna, of course.) I’ll have magnet sets and new prints that I didn’t have at the last Calgary Expo, so come on down, Edmonton!

So does that make Kandrix an admiral now? My knowledge of naval ranking comes exclusively from Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica, but I’m sure that’s what happens when you’re in command of two things.  Kandmiral.

Rogue Squadron

 

Hello from MisCon in Missoula!

This was a pencil-and-ink commission I did at the Calgary Expo.  I’m always a little envious–if envy is the right word–of artists who can work in natural media, because they can generate finished full-colour art while sitting at a table in a convention centre.  I really can’t, unless there’s power. And a very patient client who doesn’t mind waiting around while I fiddle and fiddle with bezier nodes.

I’m a fiddler.  Even Photoshop’s multiple levels of undo isn’t enough: I need Illustrator’s ability to tiddle around with every single object, all the time.

Anyway, once I finished the Rogue and gave her to the client I decided I wanted to do a Rogue print, fixing all the errors I could see in the inked drawing the second I finished it.  (Sigh.)  And I wanted to play around with the WWII nose art that Kyle’s been doing lately.  And I thought, who would have Rogue painted on the nose of their plane?

Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, of course!  In the sense that no, they couldn’t possibly, it’s a completely different galaxy and also in the past.

I don’t care, I amuse myself greatly!

Weenerbunnies

Wow! It’s the first time I’ve been home since the Calgary Expo–we went to Walt Disney World right after the convention ended. I mean, right after: we packed up the show, drove home, packed up our suitcases, and headed to the airport!  That was pretty nuts.

We saw George Perez in the Orlando airport, he must have taken similar flights to ours. That was pretty cool! We didn’t say anything to him, though.

So, now that the show is over, I can post what my entry to the 2012 Artbook was.

 

This was the second year of the “Dreams and Wishes” theme, and my last year’s entry wasn’t too successful. For this year I did a bunch of quick thumbnail sketches of different thoughts, while I was playing Star Wars RPG at my friend’s house, and eating a bag of Reese Minis. This made the ideas a little weirder and more random, and Lisa chose this one as the most whimsical. I couldn’t tell you what it means, though, apart from “don’t eat an entire bag of Reese Minis in one sitting.”

Now I’ve got two convention commissions to finish off!  Back to the grindstone, I guess!

 

BOOF

I don’t know what you’re doing this weekend but it isn’t as awesome as the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo! So go there!

We set up our booths tonight. See all those empty tables, and space, and floor? Yeah. It’s not going to look like that any more when you get there.  It’s going to be made of people. Awesome and people.