The Dust is Settling After Comic-Con ’06

Another whirlwind geek-fest in San Diego has come and gone. I attended some great seminars, soaked up a ton of inspirational artwork, and I finally got the chance to meet and hang out with some incredibly talented people I’d only known online. I’m exhausted and very sleep-deprived but also super-pumped. My creative juices are gushing and I can’t wait to get back to my drawing table!

I haven’t heard any official numbers but this was probably the biggest Con yet, beating last year’s record of 104,000 attendees. The only way to get that many people into one place is to herd them like cattle. Moooo.

One of the best seminars I attended was a panel discussion on character design with Stephen Silver, Dean Yeagle, and Glen McIntosh. And guess what? You faithful blog readers are in for a treat! You can download my personal notes from their discussion HERE. No charge. All I ask is that you name your firstborn child after me.

Another very fun event was the “Quick Draw” session with Sergio Argones, Scott Shaw, and Kyle Baker, three master cartoonists with fast pens and quick wits.

Each of them had a camera projecting their sketchpads onto a giant monitor. It was “Pictionary” meets “Whose Line is it Anyway?” as they raced to sketch gags based on random topics given to them by the moderator or the audience. For example, here Scott Shaw draws the Human Torch as a lifeguard, whild Kyle Baker draws the Human Torch working at a petting zoo:

I also got to meet some very talented artists whose work I have admired from afar and whose sketchbooks I have drooled over. Unfortunately I was so excited to get to the Con that I left my camera in the hotel on two of the four days. But I did get a few fun pics.

Here I am with Heath McPherson, a man with so much talent it makes his hair curl.

The great Bobby Chiu was kind enough to pose with me. His Subway Sketch Group is a great idea, maybe one day I will start up something similar in Minneapolis.

Patrick Morgan, John Naverez, and Jose Lopez shared a table at the Con. All three are superb artists with gorgeous sketchbooks. Super-nice guys, too.

But the highlight of the weekend for me was the party at the Marriott. I finally got to meet a lot of the people I’ve been chatting and drawing with online. (If you’ve never participated in the forums, you are really missing out). Everyone was super nice and I received a lot of encouraging compliments about my blog and/or my artwork. So I must be doing something right.

I didn’t get too many pics at the party (guess I was too excited to meet everyone), but here’s me with Darryl Young, Robin Mitchell, and Animal Qwaker (so sorry, I forgot his real name!).

I also want to put in a plug for the guys at Big Time Attic, a super-cool comics and animation studio here in Minneapolis. Here’s co-founder Kevin Cannon manning their table:

Finally, I want to give a big “thank you!” to the guys at the Christian Comic Arts Society, who were kind enough to squeeze me into on of their hotel rooms. You’ll never meet a nicer bunch of folks, and we had a great time hanging out.

Comic-Con ’06 rocked! Can’t wait for next year to roll around.