Thursday, August 26, 2010

Comic Con Wrap-Up

The title of the post says it all. Here is my take on Comic Con International, 2010.
Filmation Nation:
I got some shots of some cell set-ups from several Filmation shows that appear to be from the 70's and 80's. (Filmation folded around '88). My friend and mentor Charles Zembillas has a lot of stories about that place, and how he was one of the artists who helped with the inception of the original He-Man series.

"Despicable We":
This Halloween, it looks like you can be everyones favorite "Diablo Rojo", or "Get Your Gru On". I think it's kind of funny that both of these characters have been featured in movies from Universal.
When Stormtroopers have a "friends and family" day:
The question, did he and his wife actually procreate or were the kids cloned?

A piece of Aussie sporting equipment that comes back, or celebrities who keep returning, to the delight of fanboys? There's plenty of room at the "Con" for the latter. This main "atrium" concourse, is designated as an area were celebrities, authors, etc. from the not so distant past, or the present, can reserve a booth and greet their fanbase in person. You might see Malcolm McDowell (who seems to have built a carreer playing sci-fi baddies, going all the way back to "Clockwork Orange"), or Herbert Jefferson Jr., "Boomer" from the original "Battlstar Galactica" series. "By your command", Mr. Jefferson! (okay, so that's what the villains say to the Imperious Leader).

This isn't happening, it only thinks it's happening!
I only think there's finally going to be a follow up to "Tron" released later this year. Most of us have seen the previews, and one of the things I observed is the difference in the color schemes from the original. Gone are the day-glo, 80's pinks and violets that I remember from the first one. In "Legacy", the cyperworld seems to be made up of a lot of blues and pale greens. (Ever since "The Matrix", that "seafoam green" seems to be the unofficial color of the computer world).

On the other side of the screen, it all looked so easy!
I like the look of the light cycles, and how the "rider" appears to sort of "become one" with it. I like the "spokeless" wheels.

Here's a picture of a meeting I had with a documentarian of "Super Sized"
magnitude. Morgan Spurlock who gained fame, and single-handedly encouraged a certain fast food chain to stop up-sizing their meals with the doc "Super Size Me". His purpose for attending the "Con" is that it, the Con, itself will be the subject of his next doc "Comic Con IV: A Fan's Hope". Hmm...making a movie and starting with episode IV! It's a pretty clever in-joke. I think Mr. Spurlock had another reason to attend the Con: I think that Captain America called, saying he wants his underwear back! (to get this, you have to watch one of the "weigh in" scenes in SSM. Let's just say that Morgan is a braver man than me.)

Incidentally, there were warning signs at the entrances to the Convention Center letting everyone know that footage was being shot, that would be used in a "feature film". I was talking to a few people about this, who had not heard of Spurlock. They were certainly the ones leaving the Convention Center and seeking out the nearest Micky D's. Good luck with the new movie, Morgan, and who knows, maybe I will end up in there as an unsuspecting extra. If not, well, I left the "Con" knowing that every person attending was holding a piece of MY artwork!

The people putting together the souveneir program have a really cool opportunity that I wish more of my artist friends would take advantage of. They offer anyone, and I mean anyone the chance to submit artwork to be included in the full color program. They give you a few themes to choose from usually saluting an anniversary of some character, or franchise (i.e., in 2006, the 40th Anniversary of "Star Trek", 2007, the 30th of "Star Wars"). As it turns out, 2010 marks the 75th Anniversary of D.C. Comics, although, just as Walt Disney began making films in the early 1920's, years before he created Mickey, most of the D.C. characters you know were not around in 1935, when "Detective Comics" first debuted. Until this year, for instance, I'd never heard of a character named "Slam Bradley". Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, these characters wouldn't appear until the later 30's.

I came up with the idea that the characters where all flying in Wonder Woman's invisible jet (that is, the ones who's powers do not already include flying, or who don't have their own aircraft), all on their way to the "Con". I tried to insert a few sight gags that might not be too obvious. Aquaman, for instance is more than a little disturbed at the Penguins choice of snacks, the remains of which can be seen of the floor around his seat, and flight attendant Catwoman is reluctantly giving the Joker something which references both airline snacks, and the Joker's mental condition. Of course, some people will find a triple entendre.. and I bet they feel real proud of that.

I've made a tradition of getting my work in the program, with this being my 3rd year in a row, and my 3rd try. I had to have the work submitted back in April, so it takes some advance planning, but it's good for me for a couple of reasons: I have the opportunity to adapt copywritten characters, and also, I get a deadline, which is always a good motivator for me. So to my fellow artists, please, don't let me have all the fun! Next year, don't just attend the Con, like a mere mortal. Use your drawing power and be a part of this "collectible collective"! Well, that does it for this years Comic Con wrap up. As they say in the comics,"my work here is finished!".
(by the way, the shirt I'm wearing says "". It's a website run by the afformentioned Filmation vet, Charles (he uses his real first name as his handle on the site). It's a hugely popular community and forum to discuss what's happening in the industry, and to show of your work. If you haven't yet, give it a look.