Baltimore Comic-Con 2013 Sketchbook: The Beast by Jamar Nicholas

The Beast by Jamar Nicholas
I was so happy to add this sketch of the Beast to my collection at the Baltimore Comic-Con. It’s by cartoonist Jamar Nicholas who did an amazing adaptation of Geoffrey Canada’s Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence which you should really check out.

You can follow Jamar’s blog here.

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Asbury Park Comic Con Was Awesome

The first weekend of May was awesome, and not just because of the Avengers movie and Free Comic Book Day. I was able to go to a decent small-sized comic book show in my neck of the woods: the Asbury Park Comic Con!

It was held at the Asbury Lanes, a cool vintage 1960s style bowling alley which has managed to survive an ever-changing neighborhood. A lot of those songs poor people and neighborhoods that Bruce Springsteen wrote were based on Asbury Park. Through all of this, Asbury Lanes has somehow managed to survive as a bowling alley turned punk/metal venue. With all of the whacky events that they hold, a comic show was only the next logical thing to happen.

Guests were treated to a variety of dealers, some self published types and even some well-respected comics types like Fred Van Lente, Jamal Igle and Evan Dorkin. So how did the afternoon go?

Asbury Park Comic Con May 2012 HaulI picked up all this fun stuff for about $20. None of it was series that I have been collecting or on the look out for, but cheap comics that I have an interest is always a good idea.

Roscoe enjoys Comic Book Comics Jack Kirby art

My must have purchase was a page of Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey’s Comic Book Comics, which chronicles the history of the comic book industry. There were so many pages to pick from, but I couldn’t pass on this page with Jack Kirby on it. Roscoe the Cat agrees that it was a good purchase!

The next Asbury Park Comic Con will be on September 29. Check out their website for guests and show information.

30 Things I Like About Comics—#7 Comic Show Sketches

Nightwing given the Odinforce, wearing Thor's helmet and ruling Asgard by Tom Raney

One of the best things about going to comic book shows is getting sketches from artists. Not only do you wind up getting a unique piece of art, but its a great opportunity to talk with your favorite comic creators. I’m going to share the story of my first comic sketch, and how it wound up being Nightwing wearing Thor’s helmet.

I remember it like it was yesterday; it was Wizard World’s Philadelphia show in 2004. At the recommendation of a friend, I set out to get sketches. The first stop was Tom Raney who was signing and sketching at the DC booth. I was a fan of his then-current work on Outsiders, as well as his previous work on Thor.

As I waited online for a long time, I started wondering what sketch I would ask for. After all this was very important; it’s my first sketch. I decided that I wanted a Brother Blood sketch; after all he was a prominent villain in the first couple issues of Outsiders. Before I knew it, I was next in line and then things got weird. I’m going to write this out like a script so you can get the full effect.

Raney: (finished signing everything) So what would you like a sketch of?

Me: Brother Blood would be awesome.

Raney: Do you have a reference? Chris did those issues.

(Now I’m embarrassed, because I confused his issues with another artists. Eep)

Me:  (mutters something intelligible and feeling really awkward) Ahh….could I get Nightwing wearing a Thor helmet?

Raney: Sure!

And then Tom crafted the above sketch, which is just flat out awesome! It was very nice of him to do something that was so ridiculous.

And that’s how I got my first comic sketch. You can see more of his work at his blog or his DeviantArt.