Monday, September 10, 2012

Rose City Comic Con 2012

Me and my booth before the mayhem
I was at the Rose City Comic-Con this weekend up in Portland. Attendance was beyond what anybody expected for a debut convention. It had the density of much larger shows like Comic-Con International in San Diego or Emerald City Comicon, but in a smaller, more intimate venue.

The fans were incredible and full of enthusiasm. A lot of them had never attended a comic convention, or had only discovered the Rose City Comic-Con on the day of the show. I think the Con owes a lot of credit to the large number of people in costume. Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Pirates of the Caribbean, Marvel & DC heroes, and zombies were all in abundance. There was even a Klingon, and my personal favorite: a guy in a "The Greatest American Hero" outfit with a permed blond wig. When you see a crowd of people wearing awesome costumes and lined up outside waiting two hours to get into the show, you probably think "I want to go wherever that guy in the Chewbacca costume is waiting to get into."

I know I certainly wanted to be there.

Although I was at Rose City Comic-Con to sell my novel Night Walk, my short story collection The Nose Knows & Other Stories, and Owie-Cadabra's Verbal First Aid for Kids (written by my friend Judith Simon Prager and illustrated by yours truly), the spirit of the American comic book pantheon was contagious. It wasn't long before I set to work sketching The Incredible Hulk, one of my all-time personal favorite Marvel Comics characters. I ended up working on him most of the weekend, and finished my first official comic convention-drawn Hulk on Sunday. Several people offered to buy the sketch, but I couldn't let go of my first-born comic con sketch baby. But through the magic of the internet, all of you can get to know him better:

My Incredible Hulk sketch from the show

For the artists out there, I drew the Hulk in pencil using a Pentel 0.5 mechanical pencil, inked with COPIC 0.35 Multiliner SP, and colored with a combination of Tombow Dual Brush pens and Stabilo Pen 68 (from the 20 color set), both of which are water based. I've used alcohol markers like Prismacolor and COPIC extensively over the years, but I've found the water-based markers are easier to blend because they stay wet longer. Make sure you draw on thick laser printer paper that has some plastic coating to it. You can tell there is a coating because the paper surface will have a slick feel. I like the Hammermill 28 pound Color Copy Digital, or something heavier like Mohawk Color Copy Premium. You can usually find the Hammermill at any office supply store. If you use cheaper papers with the water based markers, you're likely to soak your paper and the fibers will start to lift and "pill" into little wads, and possibly make a hole in your paper if it's not thick enough.

During the course of the show, I met a lot of great comic creators, including Clayton Crain, Chris Mcfann at RKDN Studios, Ibrahim Moustafa, Jonathan Case creator of Dear Creature, Alex J. Murd and James Johnson with CrazedPixel Comics, Aaron Lopresti, and novelist James Shipman, author of Willie Washer's Local No. 38. Be sure to check out all of their respective work. It's all great stuff.

I will be at Rose City Comic-Con next year for sure! I can't wait!

Thanks to organizers Ron Brister, Dave Brockway, and Matt Makin for making the show a success.


  1. Wow! Success! Glad to hear there was such an amazing turn out. Love your hulk. What fun!

    1. Thanks MK! Yeah, it was a great show. My Hulk loves you too! Can't you tell, that is how he expresses love? By growling and balling his fists? What a softy. ;-)

  2. Dude that ROCKS - you even gave him gamma-ray VEINS! You're the only artist I know who probably knows the names of every individual vein you've drawn there. Makes him seem actually angry, not just "dumb and mad" like most artists draw him. Would love to see a whole miniseries with your Hulk!

    1. Thanks Steve! If you look closely, you will see my Hulk's veins have their own veins! And yes, those are gamma-irradiated too!