Category Archives: Comics

Dinner at Von’s and Tim Sale forum get together

Friday night a few of us got together to have dinner at Von’s. We were a little rowdy but it was loads of fun.

Kelly doing strange things to his glass of beer whilst Jared looks on.

Jen and Rich

Trina and Kelly, my two favourite Canadians

Trina and I doing the hold the camera out in front of you photo

Doing the same with Jen

After dinner, we headed back to the hotel for the “official” Tim Sale forum get together. I meet the Arizona crew for the first time 🙂 Barry Kitson also put in an appearance which was fun.

The three minute sketches kick off

Tim working on my Commissioner Gordon sketch

All the completed sketches. I was going to take on from the other end but they started cutting it up before I got a chance to. It was a really long piece of paper.

Seattle, Washington

To sound terribly ignorant, I didn’t realise Washington was a state until planing this trip. Guess what? It’s a state and I’m in it right now.

I was totally unprepared for how cold it is. Today it was in the mid 40s which translates to 9 degrees!! I’m so not ready for that sort of temperature. When I left Melbourne, the days were still in the mid 20s with the nights not dropping below the mid teens.

Weather aside, Seattle is a lovely city. The downtown part is built right onto the bay and you can look down a street to see shimmering water. Very pretty. Unlike Baltimore, Seattle feels like a much more sophisticated place. I’ve been fortunate on this trip to not be confronted with the levels of homelessness like I did the last time around. Seattle looks like a more affluent place and it’s snobby to say but I do feel more comfortable here then I did in Baltimore.

If only it wasn’t so cold!

After getting three hugs from Steve at the security gate, I had an uneventful flight from San Francisco and can recommend Virgin America. Their planes are brand new A320s. They’re kitted out with mood lighting (!!) so my plane’s interior was set to blue down the aisle and pink near the windows. Made me chuckle.

I meet up with Jared and Rich at the airport and we decided to take the bus into the city. When our appointed departure time came, we dutifully went outside to get on the bus only to discover the one that was there wouldn’t start. What can you do but be grateful it was only a bus that wouldn’t start and not a plane.

We finally made it into the city centre and to our hotel. It’s a nice place and it turns out nearly everyone else is staying here too. It was brilliant to see John, Jen and Bill before dinner and to then see Trina and Kelly in the foyer. I really have missed this guys and I didn’t realise how much until I saw them. The irony of the situation is that the Tim Sale forum is currently down. The thing that brought us all together doesn’t have server space at the moment and it’s very strange to know it’s not there. I know I haven’t been checking it in the last few days but I fully expected it to be there when I got home.

The other thing that amazes me about these people is how well we all get along. I feel so comfortable with them all and I’m usually not a social person at all. I love the fact that Trina and Jen come along. It’s just great to be in the company of people I admire and like so much. I suppose it’s also because they’re all happy to see me and it’s really nice to feel that.

Dinner was a hoot. Kelly, Trina and Jared were in cracking form and in the end my face hurt from smiling so much which is the best reason ever.

The “official” forum get together was after dinner and I got to meet the Arizona crew for the first time. It was also a fund raiser for the Hero Initiative as Christina has started working for them. We all got given a ticket and the first twenty people would pay $30 to get a three minute ink wash of a character from The Long Halloween or Dark Victory which were inked onto a large piece of paper to make up a communal piece before being cut up. I managed to sneak in at number ten and secured Commissioner Gordon as my character. (I wanted Poison Ivy but I missed out by a few people.)

Right now I’m tucked up in bed and charging the battery of my camera which is why there are no photos. Must get to sleep. Big day tomorrow 🙂

I’m officially old

Whilst out having brunch with my parents a few days ago, the guy taking our order said to me: And what will you have, ma’am?

Someone called me ma’am. It’s all downhill from here.

No one else might care but I think it’s exciting: my name in a comic book.

I have poor impulse control


Because I just bought…

The last few weeks haven’t been the best for me so I decided I deserved a treat. And it is almost xmas. But it’s not all about pleasing my ID because I’ll be paying it off over the next two months. Two months waiting for my latest Tim Sale pretty. Sigh. Money is going to be unbelievably tight but I’ll just have to be more careful about what I squander, I mean, spend my disposable income on in the next few months.

I wonder if I ask nicely enough if he’ll ink it for me.

Master at work

I’ve had this up on my various folios for awhile now and I’m still really pleased with it. For once, the depth of field and the lighting are spot on and your eye is drawn to the centre of the photo as it should be. Lightroom helps with the post-production but I know it’s a good photo without it.

It’s a reminder of all the things I love: comic books, my American peeps, illustration, the joy that’s in creating a piece of art and that on occasion I’ve got it in me to take a great photo.

More comic book art goodies

The Armageddon pop culture expo was on this weekend and the only reason I went was because Jim Lee was going to be there. After Baltimore, the idea of heading to an pop culture expo really didn’t seem that appealing, especially when it features live wrestling. Bleugh!

I was fortunate enough to get my hands on some exhibitors passes so I didn’t have to pay to get in which was great. This’ll be harsh but it wasn’t anywhere near as good as last year and I found myself able to walk around the entire thing in about 10 minutes flat. A good con should take at least half an hour to navigate around, even if you don’t stop to look at anything. I suppose what I want from this sort of thing is different from other people because I want a proper artists’ alley. There were only a handful of local artists so my idea of getting a stack of Doctor Who sketches went out the window. Maybe next year at Supanova.

As I had an exhibitors’ pass, I decided to check it out on Saturday, even though I was on my own. I took my camera along, hoping to get some shots of artists at work but the light was so crap I couldn’t get decent shot without a tripod. I was most disappointed because I really wanted to see if I could get a photo of Jim Lee in a similar vein to the ones I’ve got of Barry Kitson. I really didn’t want to resort to using a flash, especially as I don’t have proper one and it would’ve been the one in the camera. At least I got to find this out before today. It would’ve killed me to have taken my camera only to discover I couldn’t use it in my normal fashion (ie: without a flash).

Anyhoo… I did get me some goodies…
Chris Bones – Batman.
Chris was great. I had a giggle talking to him and he loves Matt Wagner and Tim Sale so I got to excessively name-drop while I was talking to him. He also had a busted knee and a sign that said Will draw for food (or beer) which I found highly amusing. Great guy and a super artist. Good way to spend $20.

Sarah Milne – zombie Batman.
Sarah was fabulous. She was so funny and her sketches were brilliant. She was doing portraits of people but as zombies. But I didn’t want one of me, I wanted one of Batman. It makes me chuckle every time I look at it.

Joel Gomez – Green Arrow.
Joel was so lovely. He has a real enthusiasm for his work and I really loved talking with him. While queuing for Jim Lee, I saw him with Green Arrow sketch that looked extremely cool. I approached him and asked if he still had it but it turns out it was someone. Then he offered to do one for me. Very cool and I like the fact that Ollie has narrowed eyes. Bargain for $45.

Jim Lee – Batgirl.
I think I would’ve lost it if I’d queued for six hours and not come away with something from Jim Lee. I got this at about 5pm and he’s started timing himself in an effort to get to everyone in the line. He knocked out my Barb Gordon Batgirl in about four minutes. It was amazing watching him work. Best of all, the sketch was free.

For all my complaining at the start of this post, the day was pretty good really. I had good company in the Jim Lee queue and I got something that I wanted. Plus I managed to score a few other really nice pieces so I’d rate today as a success.

Photos with famous people

Well-known at least. By some…

Me with Dawryn Cooke

That Matt Wagner. He’s a crazy man. (Tim Sale, me and the crazy Matt Wagner)

See, Matt can be normal when he wants to be.

Scanning session

I bought a Canon multi-function unit so now I can print and more importantly, scan with my laptop. This morning there was a long scanning session going on. There’s four pieces that I haven’t scanned because they’re too big for my little A4 scanner.

My comic art fan gallery.

Special mention must be made of a few pieces:
1. Barry Kitson – Daredevil
2. Matt Wagner – Green Arrow
3. Matt Wagner – pencil prelim for a cover of The Spectre
4. Dean Trippe – Doctor Who
5. Darwyn Cooke – Selina Kyle
6. Kelly Tindall – Catwoman

last but definitely not least

7. Tim Sale – It’s not a toy

I have a few photos I want to work on but that’s for tomorrow.

Baltimore, Sunday

Sunday was a more relaxed day. Haley and Jared went straight to Barry’s line for their pieces and I kept popping back to see how it was going. Haley’s Dazzler piece took nearly two hours. And I’m sure it’s because she was distracting him. Heh. But I was pleased to see Jared finally get his Obi-Wan piece and I watched for awhile as Barry was working on it.

I picked up my Cliff Chang Green Arrow/Black Canary piece which I love and my Batgirl piece from Danielle Corsetto which I’m liking more and more. I wandered around a lot on my own but I kept bumping into people I knew. Kelly helped me locate Dean Trippe who did the most awesome Doctor Who piece for me and I managed to score a Hawkman head sketch from Rags Morales even though he doesn’t usually do sketches. I’m not too ashamed to admit I pulled out the “But I’ve come all the way from Australia” line to get it. Hey, whatever works!! The look on his face when I popped back to give him some chocolate macadamias told me I should’ve whipped those out from the beginning. I missed out on a commission piece from Darwyn Cooke because he knew he wouldn’t get it finished in time and I really didn’t want him to put it in the mail. But I did score a rather detailed Selina Kyle head sketch from him.

However, the sketch I’m really not supposed to have is the one I got from Frank Cho. I didn’t know this at the time but apparently he doesn’t do sketches at cons. So there you go, being a girl and from Australia really helped out. But really, being with John H (the sketch ninja) at the time had the most to do with it.

Every time I passed Richard Starkings’ table he gave me something. I’ve ended up with two Elephantmen trades and two comics. Personally I think he was doing it to not have to carry them all home but I’m well pleased. I must remember to email him to get the photos of he took of me with various people. He had me cracking up all the time and being a fellow Doctor Who lover, we had much to talk about. He did me a Elephantman sketch which is pretty cool.

The most expensive thing I bought (and I still can’t believe I did this) was a cover from Batman and the Monster Men. Because I didn’t get a piece from Darywn I had more money than I expected to at 4pm on Sunday. I always loved the cover and there it was in Matt’s folio. I really hesitated over the cost – it really wasn’t cheap – but Matt said he’d knock $100 off it for me. As I was thinking about it, I started flipping though his colour pieces again. I found a Batman one I really liked so we managed to work out a deal: the cover for its original price but with the piece I’d just discovered thrown in. So I blew a sizable chunk of money on a single piece but I can’t believe I have a comic book cover! And it’s a great piece. Matt’s a champion guy. I had such a blast talking to him and he seemed to really like my photo. He also took a stack of my mini moo cards and let me put some out on his table. I put some on Tim’s table too and Christina flipped out when she saw them which was enormously flattering. She took an entire set. It was also gratifying to see they all disappeared by the time the day was done.

I spent very little time at Tim’s table. His queue was so enormous and he was always busy. I have to admit to being rather tongue-tied around him to be honest. Tim seems to bring out my innate shyness, probably because he’s someone I admire enormously so I don’t want to say anything that sounds stupid (which is me all the time). It’s often said that you shouldn’t meet your idols because they can never live up to your idea of them but I’ve had the best experience. Tim was so generous and he seemed to really appreciate the fact that I’d made the effort to come. Sometimes he’d look my way and just smile at me, this big genuine smile, and it’d make me feel special and not all stalkerish for flying 20,000 kilometers so I could meet him. Always a good thing to not be considered a stalker.

By the end of the show, the bulk of us Tim Sale board members were sitting at the back of Tim’s area. The show seemed to wind down really quickly and before I knew it, it was over and Tim and Christina were leaving. I got a big hug of both of them and they dashed away to get to the airport. It was over so quickly and I was decidedly sad to see them go. But I still had my peeps to hang out with. However, as the evening wound down, I found myself getting quieter and quieter as I realised my trip was almost over and the next day I’d be leaving them all.

Anyhoo… Kelly did a truly fabulous Catwoman sketch for me after dinner. Turns out it was the first one he’d done where you could see more of her costume and it totally rocks. I see a big future for that lad in comics. I can’t wait for Squeak to come out and I hope he remembers I wanted one of his pages from it!!

At 11pm, they all trooped off the Marriott to meet up with Barry Kitson and I stayed behind because I still had to pack and I felt really tired. But the hotel room felt so empty and depressing so I decided I should spend more time with them while I could. I ended up calling Steve (the only number I have!) and he said he’d come get me. We ended up at the Marriot until 2am. It was wonderful to be able to spend a few more hours with them all and to hear their voices, even though I wasn’t talking that much. Just being around them was enough. (All together now: aaaaawwwwww!!)

So, now it’s 6.45 Monday night and I’m still at the hotel. I haven’t left this room since I checked in. I’m missing everyone terribly and I haven’t even left the country yet. I think this trip will make my connection to the board even stronger because I have voices and faces to put the words I see on the screen.

Never in a million years did I expect my trip to be like this. I knew what I was doing was remarkably risky but I still felt secure enough to do it. I put my faith in total strangers and was more than repaid. I’ve never met a more generous bunch of people and I wish, wish, wish I could find a way to spend more time with them. So many great things happened on the weekend and it’s probably been the best time I’ve had in a long, long time.

So if my peeps are reading this: I love you all and I can’t wait until the next Timmypolooza!!

Baltimore, Saturday

Saturday at the con was all about Barry Kitson. Now, I must admit I’ve seen hardly any of his work. I ended up in his line because that was where I was taken. Barry’s deal is that he will do water-colour pieces for free but you have to stay in line and wait your turn. This meant a six hour wait for me. Six hours is a long time in one spot, especially when we had this utter arsehole to deal with. It didn’t start well with him. I’m 100% certain he cut in front of me in the line and he had this attitude that he was entitled to everything. But being an arsehole, he thought the “you must stay in line and wait” rule didn’t apply to him so he wandered off. I was already annoyed with him to begin with so I had absolutely zero qualms about sticking the knife in at the first opportunity.

Barry isn’t the quickest artist, the pieces he does take on average an hour but he is working with water-colours and they do look amazing. However, he’s a good guy and doesn’t expect you to stay in the line the whole time. Food, toilet and walk around breaks are encouraged to stop you from going stir-crazy so I did manage to walk around a little. It’s all about coming back to the line.

It’s fascinating to watch Barry at work and he’s quite chatty while he’s working. We covered loads of topics in our chats and he seemed impressed by the fact that I’d traveled so far. He was also totally in love with Haley which was cute and completely understandable as she’s gorgeous. As my turn edged closer and closer, the arsehole returned to claim his spot and was not at all happy when he was told he’d lost it. He tried the whole “I drove down from New York and I’m only here for today” line which I, of course, could totally trump. Chad, Barry’s assistant, was far too nice to the moron and eventually Barry got really annoyed and essentially told him to go away. We all cheered.

It was a really long wait but I’m glad I did it. The Daredevil piece I got from Barry is extraordinary and I was so shocked when he said he’d never done one of that character before. It looks like it’s a cover, it’s that good. Every time I showed it to anyone, their reaction was widening eyes and an exclamation of “Wow!” (Turns out that Barry thought it was his best piece of the con which pleases me to no end.)

I managed to have a wander around and bought a few things. I totally went to town on Matt Wagner’s pieces. He had a superb colour Green Arrow which I snapped up as soon as I saw it and I surprised myself by buying the pencil prelim for a Spectre cover which I loved as soon as I laid eyes on it. I wandered around trying to find Amanda Connor so she could sign some comics for me and ended up sitting behind Darwyn Cooke’s area because Marsha saw me and offered me a seat. Have I said how much I adore that woman? She’s all kinds of awesome. Nick and Steve were flicking through Darwyn’s folio and I saw a piece I liked as soon as I saw it so Marsha snagged it for me. Tee hee. Turns out it was one of three that Steve was trying to chose from. It was cheeky I know but the one Steve bought is beautiful. Total impulse buy and I really should’ve looked through the rest of Darwyn’s folio but the one I’m happy with what I bought. (Later I saw a fabulous Black Canary piece he’d done but I decided it was too much at $600 as I didn’t want it as soon as I saw it.) I umm’ed and ahh’ed about buying a Batman and the Mad Monk page from Matt Wagner for a few hours but in the end I decided I had to have it. Turns out it’s one of Matt’s favourite pages and he’s really pleased I bought it.

We were supposed to go the baseball that night but it had been raining heavily all day and it looked like it was going to rain again – which it did – so we ended up going out of dinner instead. By this point, I was feeling quite a bit better so I think I had a much better time at dinner than I did at the room party the night before. I got to talk with Kelly plenty which was wonderful because he was one of the people I really wanted to meet. Tim finished my Batman/Catwoman piece and I love it. My next claim to fame is that Matt Wagner gave me a big, sloppy kiss when he was leaving. That man is totally crazy.

It amazes me how great everyone is and how well we click as a group. I know what I did is crazy but I’ve never felt an immediate bond with a bunch of people like I did with them. They were all so concerned about how I was, if I was feeling okay, if I managed to get all the things I wanted. I was so well taken care of. I’ve ended up feeling a bit guilty because I had so many meals bought for me. I think the whole time I was in Baltimore I bought exactly one meal. I know I’m very social awkward and I don’t enjoy being in unfamiliar situations but I’d do it all again in heartbeat. In fact I can’t wait for the next one I can make it to (although I hope it’s on the west coast the next time). Going on this trip has been one of the best things I’ve ever done and I’m so glad I decided to do it and stuck to my decision.