I've always wanted to share this pic but for whatever reason I never got around to it. There's a fun little story with it too...
A couple years back myself and the fellows from PLB Comics showed up at Collector's Corner for Free Comic Book Day. We were there to do some signing, sketching and supporting of comics.
A little while into the day as I was walking around checking out the other artists I was asked by a kind patron of the event if I could sign his copy of FUBAR American History X. I was of course happy to do so, so I whipped out my fancy silver signing pen from my pocket, gave it a couple shakes and jotted down my John Hancock.
Unfortunately, as I got to the "Hancock" of my name the pen suddenly coughed up it's insides, splattering a sizable puddle of silver ink onto the cover. Immediately I choked on my own tongue a little (and as quietly as I could). The guy looked at me and I looked up at him and said "um, I'll be right back".
I rushed through the crowd to my table with the PLB fellows, broke out a small paint brush and started pushing the silver glob around the cover. After a moment or so, with just the right amount of perspiration, a zombie sketch made it's appearance on the cover.
This however wasn't the scariest part. The scariest part was now I had to sign my last name while avoiding a repeat of the same scenario. This time I borrowed one of the PLB pens (as they appropriately made fun of me), shook it twice and finished the rest of my name. Without incident I'm happy to say.
I took it over to the patient fellow and showed it to him. He seemed happy with my attempt at making lemonade from lemons, which was a relief to me.
I think next time I may have to stick to initialing. A couple D's sounds be less risky.
As I'm sure you all know this weekend is the ever-growing and monstrous comic's convention, NEW YORK COMIC CON. Housing almost everything & everyone comics-related under the sun. In fact I think this year's special guest is actually the Sun itself. Bring your shades.
I just wanted to let everyone I'll be spelunking my way through the isles at the show. I've got quite a few things on the to-do list and fortunately for me, since I've literally the best job in the world, all of them are going to be a blast. I'm also going to be visiting and saying 'ello to a few comic book comrades including the talented Bill Walko of The Hero Business. If you're hitting up the show definitely stop by his booth at E15 of Artist Alley. I've picked up the first collection of The Hero Business and it's a riot. You can also read the book online at www.TheHeroBiz.com.
Along with Bill I'm going to try to stop by the booth of the crowdfunding phenomenon, Kickstarter. I'll be running a Kickstarter campaign myself in the very near future for a project that I'm EXTREMELY excited about which includes the partnering of ultra-talented author, Johnnie Arnold (BB Wolf and the Three LP's, The Rabid). More on that soon. Look forward to the opportunity to say hi to the their fine founder.
And of course the uber artist, Greg Ruth with be at their booth chatting about & selling copies of his own Kickstarter success, the art book The 52 Weeks Project. If you haven't grabbed this up, it's a must. You can snag it here on Greg's Etsy site HERE or at NYCC itself. And you can check out the massively impressive collection of work on his message board right HERE.
On top of the enjoyment of NYCC I just love being in the city. New York as a place has never failed to impress and inspire (or exhaust). Can't wait. Anyways, I'll keep you all posted on the events of the show and will do my very best to remember to take pics this year. Something that usually falls away from my mind each year as soon as the sensory bombardment that is NYCC takes affect.
Take care peoples and I'll chat with you soon!
I just wanted to pass along some very cool and heart-warming news in case you haven't heard. In support of the victims of the recent Aurora shooting some of the comic book industries best & brightest have banded together for the benefit event, AURORA RISE.
The AURORA RISE: BENEFIT EVENT is organized by Jason Farnsworth, the manager at ALL C'S COLLECTIBLES in Aurora, Colorado. All C's is Aurora's one and only comic book shop and has directly felt the affects from the shooting, just 2 weeks ago. Some of the victim's friends and loved ones, and even some of the victims themselves, were patrons of the shop.
"The mission of Aurora Rise is simple - we are going to do everything in our power to assist and aid the victims and victim’s families."
In doing so the comic book community has stepped up to help. An in-store signing at All C's, silent auction and meet & great has been set up for August 25th & 26th with some of comic's most popular creators. So far Mike Mignola, Matt Fraction & Steve Niles have all signed on for Aurora Rise, along with Dark Horse Comics, Image Comics, DC Comics, McFarlane Productions and more - with many other creators & companies donating comics, merchandise, collectables and artwork for the silent auction, including myself.
If you'd like to donate to this incredible cause you can contact All C's Collectables at their email email@example.com or visit their facebook page right HERE. All proceeds from the event will go directly to the victims, their families and/or designated charity or foundation.
Thanks and have a great weekend everybody,
Tomorrow. Is. The. DAY. That's right it's the 1st Annual Eastern Shore FAN CON! A convention filled to the brim with AWESOME.
I'll be set up ALL day so come by and say hi. I'll have comics, original artwork, the trusty portfolio to flip through and of course I'll be working up a gaggle of sketches upon the request of you kind peoples.
Also attending is famed comics illustrator Greg Laroque, Buz Hasson & Ken Haeser of The Living Corpse, the good fellas of PLB COMICS, Illusions Games & Comics, Twilight Zone Comics, Capital Comics and much MUCH more. Check out the site at www.EasternShoreFanCon.com for more info.
See you at the show!
Just wanted to pass along some cool news to you. I'm extremely excited to announce I will be the "Featured Artist" at today's 3rd FRIDAY. This month's event is Comics-Themed and will be the first outdoors 3rd FRIDAY of the year.
In going along with the theme I'll have a select number of comic book pages on display from my past work AND my most recent (and soon-to-be-published!) comic book, LAST CARESS. And if you enjoy flipping through portfolios I'll also have that leather-bound fellow present for any eager fingers. Along with this I'll be getting my hands dirty doing sketches of any and all varieties. You name it, I'm drawing it!
And of course, like all 3rd FRIDAYs there are many other excellent things going down - including my pals, and masters of the medium, PLB COMICS. Continuing with the comics celebration the good guys of PLB will be doing sketches, selling their comics, displaying their artwork, teaching how to draw comics to the wee ones, and many other comic-related activities that fall under the category of "FUN".
There will also be the most enjoyment one can have with a ping pong ball and a wall of amazing pottery - this they call, Pottery Pong. My good friends at Amused Studios will be setup with Pottery Pong. Simple rules: Toss the ball in the pottery. Pretty easy, right? Once you start though, you can't stop. It's addictive in the best way possible.
Along with all of this there's an anime screening, live music from the Interesting Monsters & The Larks, food from Higher Grounds Espresso Catering, and... ROBOTS. Yeah, the US First Robotics Team 3389 will be there with actual real-life robots. How can one resist that?! If I wasn't setup I'd be going. And yet there's still more but my fingers are tiring so...
Come out today and enjoy the festivities. I'll be setup, along with PLB, in the Powell Building right downtown on the beautiful Salisbury Plaza. And with this being the first outdoors 3rd FRIDAY of the year the weatherman is predicting gorgeous weather. Even more reason to stop by.
See you there!
As I'm sure you've heard by now, April 28th is the 1st annual EASTERN SHORE FAN CON. I've been kindly invited as a guest by the good people heading up the event, and will be there armed to the teeth with comics, artwork & sketchbook at the ready.
Many good things are going on including all things comics, gaming, film screenings, panels and live music after the show. A little something for everybody. Plus some great exhibitors like Illusions Games & Comics (my own LCS), Capital Comics from downtown Annapolis (excellent kid-friendly store) and Twilight Zone Comics (the shop I hit up the most in college) just to name a few. Plus artist great Greg Larocque will be in attendance too, as well as our local makers-of-the-comics, PLB COMICS. So if you're curious come on by, it's going to be great.
See ya at the show!
Hope you're all happy, heathly and have been having a good time during this fine season of mischief. I know I have. In a fairly last minute decision last weekend I made up it up for the 2011 New York Comic Con to check out all the sequential goodness going on. Sadly I missed the first two days (deadlines, deadlines, sandwich, deadlines, rinse, repeat) but made the journey for Saturday and Sunday. So, here goes...
One the first highlights from the show was an opportunity to see some original paintings of Ashley Wood's on display - I believe from his Zombies VS. Robots books. Hard to start things off in a better way. Just incredible pieces as one would expect. There were also some fantastically bold and loosely drawn pen & ink pages as well. It's alway such a treat to see original art, most especially with paintings I feel. The nuances and subtleties are compounded ten fold when you're able to check them out face to face.
Upon seeing Wood's work I noticed sitting in the center of this art abundant table was a full page watercolor painting of Kent Williams from the BLOOD graphic novel. A gorgeous piece and if I wasn't getting bumped into by the giant mob of people every two seconds (it was crazy packed in there) I probably could've stood there all day. I've included a pic from the book itself, though after seeing the reproduction it truly does no justice to the original. Here it be (a quick warning for the wee ones out there. This does contain a naked human being of the female sex... which ironically probably constitutes more as "encouragement").
After the show I hung out with comic creating pal Mr. Bill Walko, (the creative mind behind The Hero Business) as well as recent Baltimore Comic Con friend Jeff and a few other guys and gals. Had an amazingly tasty and probably unhealthy medium rare burger from a little pub not far from the Javits, a tasty pumpkin spiced beverage or two and proceeded to head downtown to visit a good high school pal of mine by the name of David, as well as his leading lady and roommates, while also tipping my hat to the Occupy Wall Street peeps on the way. Later on played an amazing hand-made drum from South Africa for a bit, shredded David's soul on Mortal Kombat (my sincere apologies Dave) and then called it an evening.
Woke up, ate cereal, had an espresso, bid adieu to Occupy Wall Street again, took a pic of the incredible work being done to the WTC and took the train to the show.
Also, stopped by the always impressive Archaia booth and picked up a book I've been wanting for a while the crime story TUMOR by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Noel Tuazon. I've heard wonderful things and really look forward to checking it out. I'll let you know what I think. Also grabbed The Engineer by Brian Churilla and Jeremy Shepherd. I picked up the first issue of this back in my New Yorker days and never finished the series. Now I can, and thus I shall.
On the way to Artist Alley I saw the original painting for the cover of CREEPY number... crap, I can't remember. But it was the very one Mrs. Simonson, editor of the original CREEPY, was talking about in a panel I had just attended. It was for sale for $10,000. If only I had change. Or a giant man-purse. I mean a satchel.
Talked with a fellow named Kody Chamberland as well. Extremely friendly guy and was happy to talk about his experiences as an artist and his climb towards becoming a writer, as well as a bit about his original graphic novel, SWEETS - written, illustrated, colored & designed by himself. I'm halfway through it now and love it. Definitely recommend checking it out.
Stopped by the table of the creators of Blue Estate, which I've pimped out on my facebook page in the past. Love this book and was stoked to have the chance to pick up the 6th issue (after having to buy a coke from the falafel guy outside to make change) and chat for a sec with Viktor Kalvachev - writer, artist, creator and Andrew Osborne - scriptor. Great guys and before I left Viktor made me promise not to be angry about the possible cliffhanger. I told him I couldn't do it.
Also, stopped by the table of Ivan Brandon and grabbed what he referred to as "his baby", a book called VIKING. Ivan described it as a mob crime story with Vikings. Nice, right? Here's a video interview from C2E2 earlier this year about the book. Nic Klein's work looks amazing.
And the final act of NYCC was a panel on First Comics. First comics put out the comic from which I had my very first sequential art encounter with the TMNT (ah, memories). So I couldn't pass this up and I have to say the panel was just great. I really enjoyed listening to Ken Levin's tales of First Comics previous run, the various titles they put out and the stories behind those titles. I especially enjoyed the talk of the company's early, and current, intentions on being a publisher who wants the creators to create their own books the way they envision them - minus the revision upon revision upon revision until the story is no longer what they originally set out to tell. From the vibe in the room and the conversation between them it sounds like a pretty close-knit group of people seeking the best for the creators and I'm really curious to see where it goes. All the best to them.
After that I said the goodbyes, hit the turnpike and that's just about it. I'm sure there was more but my mind is numb after a show. Good times though and I look forward to doing it again next year.
Thanks all and talk with ya soon!
In celebration of the Baltimore Comic Con this weekend I want to post this piece. Why?
Well, the drawing to our left is actually pretty meaningful to me. It's nothing to get all teared up over but this is the VERY FIRST, yes first, convention sketch I ever did. It was drawn at last year's Baltimore Comic-Con, when I was set up with Mr. Sam Costello for the release of our comic Termites in Your Smile (btw, more stuff from us soon. But I digress... ).
Not long into the opening Saturday a young lady by the name of Trish came up to me with a black sketchbook. She was filling it with convention sketches and requested Warren Ellis' well-known character Spider Jerusalem. And of course... I didn't know who he was. Nice, right? But with paper and pencil and brush & ink (and some reference photos) a few moments later I handed this back. She seemed pretty happy with it and wore a nice smile as she walked off. That was a great way to start off my convention sketch experience and really made my day.
Thanks for the request Trish!
Good day ladies & gents,
Just wanted to let you all know in participation of FREE COMIC BOOK DAY I'm going to be doing sketches at Illusions Games & Comics this Saturday from 10-1pm.
That's right, tomorrow is that day of the year for comic book enthusiasts. The one and only FREE COMIC BOOK DAY. Where the many companies & creators of the great and mighty industry of sequential art distribute to fans various FREE comics. That's right, FREE! Charge? None.
AND speaking of comic companies the Eastern Shore's very own PLB Comics will be there in full force with sketches provided by their founding memebrs, Josh & Matt Shockley. They'll also have a sneak peak available of their upcoming 2nd issue of The Fall: Vengeance and Justice. Be sure to check that out.
So whether you're a seasoned fan of the comic book medium or a curious newcomer tomorrow is most certainly the day for you. For more information on FCBD you can visit the official website right HERE.
Thanks all and I'll see ya at Illusions,
lllusions Games & Comics
726 S. Salisbury Blvd # D
Salisbury, MD 21801-5867
This past Sunday was PLB Comics release party at Illusions and I have say, good times were certainly had. Comics, talking about about comics, sketching, pizza, and little teeny tiny delicious cupcakes (seriously they were like the size of a quarter). Can't get too much better than that.
AND while we were there reporters Erin Traylor & Adrienne Price from The Flyer, Salisbury University's newspaper, came by and interviewed the local comic company. Pretty sweet, right? Here's a photo from the paper with the PLB fella's, as well as a shot my mug. If you'd like to read the full article on PLB check out all the goodness right here...
Thanks again to the PLB crew for having me out!
As a little teaser for the Baltimore Comic Con this weekend I wanted to throw up the brand spankin' NEW cover for Sam Costello's and my comic, Termites in Your Smile; which was penciled, inked, colored, and lettered by moi.
Thanks all and see you at the show!
NOTE: This is a post I made a little while back on Greg Ruth’s message board about my experience at the Baltimore Comic Con this past October. Just wanted to toss it up here on me blog as well! And so…
Went to the Baltimore Comic Con this past Saturday & Sunday (October 11-12, yeah I know, it was a little bit ago). It was the first time I'd been in like 3 years, even though it's in my home state! Something always comes up: gotta work, already out of town, hit a deer on the way, alien invasion, etc. but this year I decided to buckle it down and go so I was super excited to stop by. Even though I parked in a shady-style lookin’ neighborhood about 2 miles away and had to walk through a marathon to get there. No seriously, there was a marathon... and I had to walk through it. Almost was run over... literally. But I did get a really cool badge with my name on it… hehe, check it out:
Yeah, I know I'm a nerd. But I likes the little things, ya know.
So yeah, the show was really nice and had oodles of artists. David Mack being one of them and I was lucky enough to get see his pages IN person. He had TONS of them for you to just riffle through, which was really surprising. Especially since his pages were going for hundreds of dollars and even up and over a thousand in many cases (one day Doug, one day). I have to say, I enjoy his work most in person. When you see them you quickly forget they're actual comic book pages. The sequential nature of them seems put aside and you just simply gaze upon how beautiful they are. In person you gain the reflections of the paint and textures of the brush strokes. I just wanted to grab a frame and throw them all up on my wall. AMAZING work, truly.
Also, went to a couple panels. One being the panel on DC Comics recent title Wednesday Comics. I'd never heard of it, which is normal when the reclusive artist-guy in me takes over as he's done so lately, but apparently it's like the Sunday comic strips from the newspaper but with DC's flagship characters; Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, etc. It's even printed at the size of a newspaper and ON newsprint. How cool is that? Sounds very interesting and was apparently a big success. Also, it was kid friendly, which I found to be quite coo, especially these days. Mark Chiarello was the editor for it, Walter Simonson, Brian Stelfreeze, Joe Kubert were a few of the artists/writers on panel and for a brief moment I could tell that the conversation wanted to turn towards the topic of how comics have become not-so-kid friendly since the late 80's and early 90's, however they did try to steer the ship back. Interesting to see others in the industry bring that topic up. Especially at a con.
Saw my old MICA prof Jose Villurrubia too and that's always great. Jose led a panel with Jo Chen and her work. Very good panel. I love hearing the process of other artists and even more so I love hearing how they fit this process into "real" life. Jo is a mother too so listening to her talk about managing her time as an artist amidst parenting is something I find VERY inspiring and interesting, even though I'm not a dad myself.
Showed my work to the Scott Allie too, editor from Dark Horse Comics and got some great feedback from him, as well as a few names to check out artist-wise. We both also briefly discussed our own adventures walking a couple of miles through that marathon to get there at the con.
Visited the PLB Comics booth for a few minutes just to say hi; they’re a group of really talented artists from my home area of the Eastern Shore who came together to put out numerous anthologies and are based out of the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore. Really good guys. I did some sketching with them this past May on Free Comic Book Day at my local comic shop ILLUSIONS.
Said hello to the eternally smiley and friendly Mr. Steve Niles, got his John Hancock on my copy of M. and chatted about his recollections of a band called NO TREND from the 1980’s DC music scene (I jammed with them this past summer at the singers BBQ. Way cool!), as well as his show with one of my all time favorite bands, TOOL, in front of 20,000 people... Nuts! Also, saw the man-with-the-plan Mr. Bernie Wrightson too... but I sorta chickened out with Bernie. The wimp in me prevailed. But it's Bernie man! Next time for sure...
Showed my portfolio to Mark Chiarello, who might I add has gotta be one of the nicest editors I’ve showed my portfolio to. He actually remembered me from my VERY first portfolio review over 2 years ago in NYC at the Art Out Loud show! That just blew me away. And he also gave me some great advice as well as an address to send him further work, which I gotta say put a rather large smile on my face.
Had lunch with a fantastic writer/playwright Dane Styler who I’d originally met through The Jose Villurrubia earlier in the year at the MoCCA Festival in NYC. Great to see Dane in person again. We discussed a project or two we’ll be working on together in the very near future, one of them based upon one of the plays he’s written. More on this soon enough folks!
Oh yeah duh! And I bought some comics!
Douglas E. Draper Jr. is an award-winning artist working out of Philadelphia. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute, College of Art and his work has been exhibited throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Annapolis, Baltimore and various other cities and galleries. His fine art and illustrative work can be seen from such publishers as Moonstone Books, Top Shelf, Desperado, IDW, and many others.
© 2023 Douglas E. Draper Jr.