Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Con Man

I was checking out Roberto Briceno's photos that he had posted on facebook, when it dawned on me that I haven't mentioned much about the con circuit since Barcelona and the ECC group last year (Hola David, Paloma, Joe, German, Fran, etc.).  I've been to Germany twice now, and the Panini group headed by Alex Bubenheimer is second to none. Jess and I always enjoy being with our constantly extending family of convention gypsies that grace us behind and in front of the table.

This past weekend's convention was in America, and for the second year in a row, I attended Mike Broder's Miami Supercon. Hanging out with the crew, of course, is cool and the friends of these shows make it all feel like an annual or semi annual family reunion. However, and the reason for today's sentiment, I had a couple of things happen that thrilled me as much as I was thrilled to meet Milo Manara, Mike Perkins, Nathan Kane, and Lee Bermejo in Munich last month.

You see, there are things in a person's life that happen that makes you pause and look back to when you dreamed a bit more than you do now. The compliments that can come are bitter sweet, in that they are always welcome, but are the kind of things that remind you that your bucket list is getting smaller.

Gavin Smith, a young Kubie sought me out to say thank you for an old portfolio review that slipped my mind. We do so many, it's hard to pinpoint whose was what and when it happened. But he reminded me that it was sound advice, and for the second time in my life, I've influenced someone enough to get into an art field-the first being my pal Phil Giles.

Jose Delbo, my maestro and first professional to hire me for work, told me that I "was a great student, now am a great artist". THIS one...kinda made me teary eyed. Jose and I go back further than our initial meeting. I was a young budding artist that bought Charlton Comic's Billy the Kid. Jose inadvertently taught a young wanna be how to draw a Colt revolver. Years later and after my first year at the Joe Kubert School, Jose- who was teaching basic drawing- hired me to be an assistant artist. An error in his judgement since I unfortunately slowed him down instead of assisting. He currently runs a Cartoon Camp for aspiring artists. If you're an aspiring comics artist in the Florida area, do yourself a favor and go. These opportunities are few and far between.

I met Doug Sneyd. The legendary Playboy cartoonist was there as I gushed over his work and inspiration to me. His girlfriend Heidi was charming and loved to chat us up. It would have been very nice to have dinner with them, but the one time we were in the same restaurant, they were having dinner with the legendary Nick Cardy and I was with my own company. Nick by the way, was also a very-as Jess put it- "cute old man" that was charming and loved to talk to everyone. He never forgot to say goodbye as they wheeled him out of the show. I absolutely LOVED his Aquaman and Teen Titans, and I wished I could have spent time with him but I was simply too busy, and his floor time was limited.

Finally I was approached by Holly Frazetta, the daughter of the late, great, Frank and Ellie Frazetta. She shook my hand, I expressed my deepest condolences over the loss of Frank and Ellie, and we talked a bit about Franks new museum being built in Austin Texas. A shame since the one on the Frazetta estate was close to me. She even bought one of my prints; about as close to a Frazetta endorsement as I can get. Very touching.

Anyway, that's whats been happening. Sorry for all the namedropping but without it, this blog sucks.

See you guys next time!