Tag Archives: Baltimore

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.

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.

Baltimore, Friday

I didn’t have the most positive introduction to Baltimore. As I said in a previous post, I was sick and all I wanted to do was get out of the car and lie down. But we got caught by a traffic accident. I felt really bad because Lisa had agreed to pick me up and I could barely string two sentences together. I was exhausted and I felt so awful. Once we arrived at the hotel, I found the room I was staying in and laid down. I slept for three and half hours. I missed a group lunch, which really upset me. I’d traveled so far to spend time with these people and because of a stupid cold, I was crashed out on my own in a hotel room. Sigh. It had to be something though. Nothing every goes 100% the way I want it to.

I woke up in time to discover Matt Wagner in the suite’s kitchen preparing food. Kinda surreal. Then Tim popped in to use the stove for his chicken wings. Even more surreal. At least this time I didn’t have a fan girl melt down when I went out to say hello. Matt Wagner was totally awesome. And looks exactly like his self portrait on his website.

Friday night was really the reason so many of us had traveled to Baltimore. We managed to squeeze way more people in a hotel room that really should’ve been in there.

(I’m going to name-drop like crazy now so get ready).

Having adjusted to being in a room with Matt Wagner (who loved the print of Man of Steel I gave him), I had a mini fan-girl freak out when Darwyn Cooke and his lovely, lovely partner Marsha arrived. I barely spoke to him but it was amazing to be in a room with him. I spoke with Marsha for quite a while and I totally adored her. She told me that she also has problems eating after a long haul flight which made me feel much better because I thought it was only me who got crazy nauseous. She loved my Docs and threatened to steal them. Awesome, awesome woman with that fabulous attitude that so many Canadians seem to have. Jimmy Palmotti turned up with Amanda Connor and he actually remembered me from Armageddon last year. I was shocked. There was no way I thought he’d remember me. Amanda made key lime pies but they didn’t set before the party wound down so I didn’t actually get to have any which meant I missed out on an American tradition.

Richard Starkings also turned up in a Doctor Who t-shirt which I thought was fantastic so we had something to talk about. He found my copy of Tim Sale: Black and White Revised and signed it for me which gave me the idea of milking the event as much as I could. I got Matt to sign my copy of Trinity, thinking he’d just scribble his name in it and be done with it but he did the most awesome sketch in it. I was flabbergasted when I saw it. I also managed to nab Darwyn to get him sign my copy of Selina’s Big Score in which I got a little Selina sketch. He also scrawled on my copy of Superman Confidential #1. I actually forgot I had it with me until I went to put my books away and found it in a bag. Naturally enough, I got Tim to sign it as well. Very happy about that. Tim also signed my Black and White book with a lovely message and a cute Catwoman head sketch.

So even thought I was feeling pretty poorly on Friday night I did manage to have a good time at the party. I tried to hide behind a door when Christina said a few words which included thanking me for being there. I was so embarrassed. But you know I was also secretly really pleased about being singled out too. There are some crazy photos of me with Matt Wagner and Tim that have to be emailed to me. There’s also one of me with Darwyn Cooke.

(See, I said I’d be name-dropping.)

The presidential race debate was on Friday night and I watched about half of it. It was intriguing to watch the two candidates go at it in a controlled environment. Obama was definitely the winner in my eyes. He was so much more poised and definite in what he was saying. McCain seemed to start every single sentence accusing Obama of being naive which I thought was quite insulting. He also came across as being a bit sleazy as well. Well, not exactly sleazy but more condescending. He really did seem to have the attitude that anyone under 50 was lacking in life experience which was never going to endear him to me. Obama just presented himself better. And to be honest, he looks better on TV. He has a wonderful speaking voice that makes you want to listen to what he’s saying while McCain sounds like he’s whining. What was really interesting was how engrossed everyone watching it was. Until Matt Wagner came in and started hurling the occasional insult at McCain. I’m certain everyone in that room was an Obama supporter and McCain didn’t win over a single person. So I shall wear my Obama 08 badge with pride. I think he’ll made a great choice for president. There’s absolutely no way he could be any worse than the current incumbent.

Fandom gone too far?

I know so many people who have themed sketchbooks or a particular character they request from comic book artists when they’re at a con. Well, I’m having a totally crazy theme idea for a sketchbook for my trip to Baltimore (and any other future cons I get to): Doctor Who. Specifically, David Tennant’s Doctor. I’d obviously have to get some reference pictures because most of the artists aren’t going to know who he is but I think it could be a brilliant idea. And it combines two of my loves – Doctor Who and comic books.