Tag: Albany Comic Con

Albany Comic Con on June 16

This year’s Albany Comic Con is being held Sunday, June 16, a.k.a. Father’s Day. It’s my local show, and one of my favorites, because it’s done for all the right reasons. Chief among them: spreading the gospel of comics. Albany Comic Con has avoided bringing in celebrities or other autograph fodder in order to maintain a focus on comics.

This year’s guest list includes me, Joe Jusko, Joe Sinnott, J.M. DeMatteis, Rick Leonardi, Joe Staton, Matthew Dow Smith, Todd Dezago, Fred Hembeck, Dave Rodriguez, Paul Harding, Richard Clark, Doug Hills, Mark McKenna and a bunch more. I’ll be doing a storytelling panel in the afternoon with fellow writers DeMatteis and Rodriguez.

I’ll be set up in the main room, with trade paperbacks of Shinku and Ravine on hand, as well as some Witchblade volumes and a few other goodies. I’ll also have a limited number of copies of Protectors #0, by me, artist Bart Sears and NFL player Israel Idonije, which was previously only available at C2E2.

Albany Comic Con will be held 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 16 at the Holiday Inn on Wolf Road in Colonie. Admission is still a mere $5. Complete information can be found here:

http://www.albanycomicbookshow.com/index.html

Albany Comic Con is also putting together a night at the ballpark on July 6 to honor legendary inker Joe Sinnott. Albany Comic Con and the Tri-City Valley Cats, the local single-A baseball affiliate of the Houston Astros, are teaming up for “Meet Joe at the Joe.” The Valley Cats play their home games at Joseph Bruno Stadium in Troy.

 

 

Joe Sinnott, for my money the best inker Jack Kirby ever had, will throw out the first pitch for the game, and be on hand to autograph a special baseball card (with art by Paul Harding) honoring his career. A number of area comic pros, including Paul and myself, will also be at the game to sign autographs.

Proceeds from “Meet Joe at the Joe” will benefit the Albany Ronald McDonald House Charities. Tickets for the 7 p.m. July 6 game are only $5, and are currently available on the Albany Comic Con website, as well as comic shops Excellent Adventures in Ballston Spa and Comics Depot in Saratoga Springs. Game tickets will also be on sale at Albany Comic Con, at which the Valley Cats mascot will make an appearance. Play ball!

Cheers,

Ron


Albany Comic Con this Sunday

I’ll be appearing at the Albany Comic Con on Sunday, Nov. 11, in Albany, NY. The show is once again being held at the Holiday Inn on Wolf Road in Albany; the show has filled all the available space and continues to grow. Show hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and admission is only $5.

Albany Comic Con is my “hometown” show, and easily one of my favorite events. It’s an entirely comic-oriented affair, put on for the purpose of growing the hobby and attracting new readers (especially kids) to our medium. As always, the guest list is long and impressive, including legendary inker Joe Sinnott, writers J.M. DeMatteis, Ben McCool, Charles Soule, David Rodriguez, artists Lee Moder, Tom Raney, Matthew Dow Smith, Fred Hembeck, Richard Clark, Mark McKenna and many more.

I’ll be doing a panel discussion in the afternoon with J.M. DeMatteis about writing fantasy in comics. It’s one I’m looking forward to, as I’m a real admirer of J.M.’s work, especially the fully-realized fantasy worlds he constructs.

I’m also happy to announce that Lee Moder and I will have copies of the Shinku Volume 1 trade paperback available at the show, prior to its release in comic stores on Nov. 14. The collection includes the first five issues of our creator-owned series, plus more than 35 pages of extras, including sketchbook pages, pin-ups and the original black-white-and-red ashcan, all for $15. I’m very proud of what we’ve put together.

I’ll be bringing other items for the table, so if you’re looking for something in particular, please let me know in the comments section. I’ll also have free promotional posters for Blackburn Burrow (the Amazon Studios series by me and Matthew Dow Smith), and free cards for The Protectors, the 2013 series by me, Bart Sears and Israel Idonije of the Chicago Bears.

Lastly, Albany Comic Con will also be conducting a silent auction of numerous pieces of original art to benefit Ronald McDonald House. Many of the artists attending the show contributed new Superman-themed pieces, including Joe Sinnott, Lee Moder, Matthew Dow Smith, Paul Harding, Richard Clark and others. How often do you get a chance to see Joe Sinnott draw Superman?

Complete information on Albany Comic Con can be found at the show’s website: http://www.albanycomicbookshow.com/

Hope to see you Sunday.

Cheers,

Ron


Albany Con This Weekend

Since its debut a few years ago, the Albany Comic Con turned into a terrific one-day show being done for all the right reasons — to promote comics in the region, and give fans a worthy experience. The latest edition of the Albany Comic Con will be held Sunday, Oct. 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Holiday Inn on Wolf Road in Albany, NY. Admission is a miniscule $5.

In addition to me, the guest list includes Jim Starlin, Joe Sinnott, J.M. DeMatteis, Tom Raney, Lee Moder, Nelson Blake 2nd, Todd Dezago, Matthew Dow Smith, Fred Hembeck, David Gallaher, Steve Ellis, Jennifer Meyer, Tom Peyer and a lot more. Pretty impressive guest list, right? I’ll be on a panel with Jim Starlin in the afternoon, focusing on Jim’s career and preset projects. There will also be a silent auction of art pieces and other items, with all proceeds to benefit neighboring Schoharie County, which was hit hard by the Hurricane Irene flooding.

I’ll have copies the first two Shinku issues on hand, as well as both volumes of the Samurai: Heaven and Earth collections. If there’s something else specific you’re looking for, leave a comment and I’ll see if I have copies.

Complete information can be found here: http://www.albanycomicbookshow.com/index.html

Cheers,

Ron


September and October Appearances

I’m making a handful of appearances over the next two months or so:

*Sept. 24 & 25, Detroit Fanfare, at Cobo Hall in Detroit.

This will be my first time time at this show, and my first time in Detroit. I’ll be there along with some of my buddies, including Phil Hester, Tony Harris, Steve Niles, Joe Pruett, Tommy Lee Edwards, Todd Dezago and more.

My Artifacts series is also up for an award the Shel Dorf Awards on Saturday night. You can vote for the full slate of awards here: http://sheldorfawards.com/

Complete information on Detroit Fanfare here: http://www.detroitfanfare.com/

*Sept. 28, Midtown Comics Downtown, 64 Fulton Street in NYC.

I’ll be here from 6-7 p.m. signing Voodoo #1 and whatever else you want me to scrawl my name on.

Event info here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=223732264344118

*Oct. 14-16, Fest Comics, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

More details coming soon, but I’m excited to be able to visit the hometown of my good friend and Samurai: Heaven and Earth collaborator Luke Ross.

*Oct. 30, Albany Comic Con, Albany, NY.

I’m returning to the Albany Comic Con again, my favorite “little” show … although the con had more than 1,000 people through the door last spring. Should be a great time, arriving just one day before Halloween. Returning guests include Matthew Dow Smith, Todd Dezago, Joe Sinnott, Joe Staton, Fred Hembeck, Lee Moder, Herb Trimpe and many more. First-time guests include Jim Starlin, David Gallaher and Steve Ellis.

Complete information here: http://www.albanycomicbookshow.com/


Cheers,

Ron


Albany Comic Con this Sunday

One benefit from having to miss the Armageddon Expo event in New Zealand this weekend is that I’ll be able to attend the Albany Comic Con again, at least for a few hours. As with previous shows, it’s being held at the Holiday Inn on Wolf Road in Albany, NY from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24.

Other guests include artists Mike McKone, Matthew Dow Smith, Herb Trimpe, Joe Staton, Fred Hembeck, Mike Borkowski, Declan Shalvey, Mark McKenna, and Bobby and Peter Timony; sculptor Paul Harding; writers Todd Dezago, Keith Dallas and Nick Tapalansky; and plenty more. Legendary Fantastic Four inker Joe Sinnott, still recovering from surgery, is scheduled to stop by to sign for a few hours in the afternoon. Admission is only $5. The show site is here.

I’ll only be at the show until around 2 p.m., when I have to leave to coach my son’s final fall baseball game. I’ll have some Magdalena posters and Artifacts bookmarks to give away, a stack of Artifacts #1 copies to unload, and some other goodies. Hope to see some of you.

Cheers,

Ron


In living color

You’ve seen Matt Smith’s pencils, you’ve seen Terry Austin’s inks, now here’s the final color for the Albany Comic Con exclusive Magdalena #1 cover. Matt’s previous Albany Con cover was a Witchblade image, with color provided by Matt’s Doctor Who colorist, Charlie Kirchoff . Charlie wasn’t available for the quick turnaround this time, so we had to look a little further afield for the color. Actually, a lot further afield.

When I did some work for Virgin Comics (now reborn as Liquid Comics) a few years ago, I worked as both editor and writer with a number of extremely talented India-based artists. The vast majority were adept at pencils, inks and color alike, and could work in a variety of art styles. So with assistance from my writer friend Saurav Mohapatra, the call went out for somebody who could leap heroically into breach and color the cover. Coming to the rescue was Saumin Patel, whom I had worked with when I edited Devi for Virgin (written by Saurav, in fact). Saumin provided interior art (but not color) on Devi, drawing in a unique style and exhibiting a sophisticated storytelling sense. He and Saurav had also collaborated on Mumbai Macguffin, which Saumin drew, inked and colored. The breadth of his talent is pretty impressive, as he’s worked in comics, animation, magazine illustration, advertising, storyboards and more. You can, and should, check out his blogs here and here.

Saumin volunteered to take a run at coloring Matt and Terry’s cover. As you can see here, he came through with a killer version that really pops forward the main figure of Magdalena, without losing the signature Albany towers and Egg in the background. The strong red of her costume highlights and inner cloak is going to be recurring color motif in the monthly series, and Saumin captured that aspect as well.

Saumin also offered up a second, slightly different version, this one with a violet overlay, giving the tones a bit flatter look. Both versions work well, but we ultimately decided to go with the brighter piece. I’m very much in Saumin’s debt for his work here.

The exclusive Magdalena #1 edition will be on sale at the Albany Comic Con on April 25. The con site is here. Hope some of you will be able to come to the show. If the cover doesn’t sell out, a few of the remaining copies might show up for sale online.

Cheers,

Ron


Sharp Pencils

Last time, I showed off Matthew Dow Smith’s roughs for the upcoming Albany Comic Con variant cover of Magdalena #1 (with Matt’s kind permission, I might add). As you see now, the consensus pick was the “perched on a cross” image, as it allowed for a large, striking figure of Magdalena, and utilized the Albany skyline in the background.


Rough Layout

Once the selection was made, Matt revised the image into a more refined rough (above), adjusting the pose and adding the Spear of Destiny in her hand. That completed and approved, Matt moved on to the actual pencils on a full size board, “full size” for comic originals being roughly 11 inches by 17 inches.


Rough Pencils

The second image shows Matt’s rough pencils, more of a work in progress. Magdalena’s pose was revised again, albeit slightly, and the Spear switched hands. The perspective for the background was also worked out, arranging the towers and uniquely-shaped Egg performing arts center.

After a quick approval, Matt completed the finished pencils, adding detail to Magdalena’s ornate costume as well as the towers. A final note from Top Cow’s Filip Sablik asked for the Spear to be a little longer, and for Magdalena’s face to be given a slightly more delicate look. Once those revisions were made, the pencils were complete and ready to go to inker Terry Austin. Since Terry lives only an hour away, I met Matt for coffee, got the cover from him, and delivered it to Terry.


Final Pencils (revised)

Since Terry had never inked Matt before, the cover was virgin territory for both of them. I know I was really anxious to see what the collaboration would look like. Next time, I’ll show you how it turned out.
Cheers,

Ron


All thumbs

You’re looking at thumbnails –“thumbs” – for a variant Magdalena #1 cover. Now, I assume most people reading this blog would know that “thumbs,” or roughs, are small sketches. But I don’t want to assume everybody knows that.

first set

These roughs are by my buddy Matthew Dow Smith. The variant will be available at the Albany Comic Con, the “hometown” convention for both me and Matt, which will take place April 25. The show site is here.

The guest list includes me and Matt, as well as a number of other Hudson Valley creators that have all been my friends for years: Terry Austin, Fred Hembeck, Todd Dezago and Joe Staton. Terry, Fred and Todd, along with Jim Starlin and Bernie Wrightson, were regulars are the weekly Woodstock volleyball matches I played in until our five-year Florida detour. Coming to the con from a bit farther afield are Lee Moder, my artistic partner on Dragon Prince and the work-in-progress Shinku, and Saurav Mohapatra, a writer I edited at Virgin Comics. Check out the entire guest list; it’s pretty impressive for a “local” one-day show.

I’ve always been an admirer of Matt’s artwork, including Hellboy and Starman contributions and DC’s Day of Judgment series with an up-and-coming writer named Geoff Johns. Matt was my first choice when we needed a fill-in issue of my samurai-themed comic The Path at CrossGen. I thought his use of spot blacks would make him a good fit with the kind of work Bart Sears was doing on the series. Matt turned in a great job on his issue, and when Bart left the series, Matt moved to Florida to take over the regular art duties. We produced some issues I’m quite fond of, but it was destined to be unfinished business. Not quite a year later, CrossGen blew apart and Matt moved back to the Albany vicinity. A few years later, I settled in the same vicinity.

Matt’s first Albany variant, which he penciled and inked, was the Witchblade #131 cover for last year’s autumn con. The show was held the day after Halloween, so the subject matter was a natural. This time around, the obvious choice for a variant was my Magdalena series, which will debut just prior to the con. Without a natural theme this time, we discussed utilizing a background of the Albany skyline, featuring distinctive towers and an egg-shaped performing arts center.

The towers feature in three of the four roughs from Matt’s first batch (above), including one I suggested featuring a trolley-car diner. Matt also included a shot of Magdalena perched atop a church cross, an iconic image that would also be a comfortable fit for Daredevil or maybe Spider-man.

After input from con organizer John Belskis and Top Cow’s Filip Sablik and Phil Smith, Matt produced a second set of roughs (below). The diner concept was refined to include a neon sign featuring the Top Cow logo, and a peek at a couple of patrons inside that might well be Sara Pezzini of Witchblade and Jackie Estacado of The Darkness. The towers remained a background element in two of the roughs, but the lower angle on diner concept forced a different background for that image. Matt also added a shot inspired by look of golden age comic covers.

second set

So which one did we pick? Come back tomorrow to find out, and get a look at Matt’s finished pencils, which will be delivered to legendary X-Men inker Terry Austin for his distinctive contribution.

Cheers,

Ron


Appearances can be … exhausting

Angelus Variant for Emerald City Comic Con 2010

I’ll be honest – conventions are not my favorite thing to do. I’ve been doing them long enough that the conventions themselves all tend to be the same show in a different building. That’s not to denigrate any of the shows I’ve done or will do in the future. But from my side of the table, a con is signings and panels and meetings. It’s a lot more like work than a vacation. It’s also a necessity. With so many books being published every month, doing the extra promotion to get your book noticed just goes with the territory. Still, the time away from home and family is not ideal, nor is the lost work time.

For me, the best part of the convention experience – besides getting together with industry friends that I only see at cons – is getting a chance to chat with fans. This job is a solitary one. Creating comics is a pretty individual pursuit. I think the only guys who get a lot of interaction “at work” are artists who share studio space. And even then, we all ultimately do what we do alone. So getting some feedback from the audience is a way to recharge creative batteries.

Taking all that into account, my next two months are pretty jammed with appearances.Top Cow Print ECC 2010

This coming weekend, March 13 and 14, I’ll be at the Emerald City Comicon in Seattle, one of my absolute favorite cities. There will be a Seattle-themed litho and T-shirt available, featuring Witchblade artwork by Michael Broussard and Sunny Gho, as well as a con-exclusive Angelus #2 variant. [link]

ECCC Update: As I mentioned in my twitter feed, I can’t make ECCC due to work commitments. Rest of the listings here remain valid.

On April 10, I’ll be at the Empire State Book Festival in Albany, NY, for an autograph session and a panel on graphic novels with my buddy Matthew Dow Smith, among others. [link]
On April 16-18, I’ll be at C2E2, the big, new Chicago convention from the same people who bring you the New York Comic Con. Again, I’ll be at the Top Cow booth, and there’s rumor of an Angelus #1 con variant. [link]
On April 25, I’ll be at the Albany Comic Con, along with a number of my buddies like Terry Austin, Matthew Dow Smith, Lee Moder, Todd Dezago, Fred Hembeck, Joe Staton and more. Great little show, done for all the right reasons. Look for an Angelus #1 con variant by Matt Smith and Terry Austin. [link]
On May 1Free Comic Book Day – I’ll be signing at a number of New England Comics locations in the Boston area. I wrote Top Cow’s FCBD offering this year, which is a prelude to this summer’s Artifacts series. [link]
And finally, on May 15, I’ll be at the inaugural ComiConn in North Haven, Connecticut. You guessed it, there will be another Angelus #1 con variant, this one by Eric Battle. [link]

After that, most weekends you’ll be able to find me on my couch, watching the Mets. I hope.

Cheers,

Ron


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