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Friday, October 08, 2010

'TWAS THE DAY BEFORE COMICON

10/7-

On the day before the ginormous NY Comicon kicked off, I made my way to Manhattan's Jacob Javits Center to attend a press gathering for PUBLISHERS WEEKLY writers and picku p my press badge, and while there I snapped a few "before" shots. First up is a look at the floor leading down to Artists Alley, the space allotted to a cohort of cartoonists, writers and other assorted lunatics.

Barren, save for a lone Javits center staffer, this expanse will soon be so covered with people that not even a trace of the floor will be visible.

One side of Artists Alley.

Here's the signage indicating the press office, where myself and fellow PW writers sat down with our editor, renowned comics-biz gadabout Heidi MacDonald, and hashed out who would be covering which panels.

I'll be covering the following panels:
  • Spotlight on Geoff Johns
  • Rationalizing Comics and sequential art in the classroom
  • Graphic Novels as Young Adult Literature
  • Darwn Cooke Spotlight
Then came the evening and the Little Eva Ink art opening at the Illustration House, hosted by my former Marvel Comics colleague Renee Witterstaetter. The place was chock-a-block with classic original works by skilled illustrators and when not engaged in conversation with old friends, I was busy drooling over all the gorgeous artwork.

Yer Bunche, Renee Witterstaetter (aka "the Texas Tomato") and a friend of hers from overseas (whose name eludes me at the moment).

With Michael Golden, one of my all-time favorite cartoonists, spiritual hero of the Marvel Bullpen during the tail-end of my time there, and one hell of a fun guy.

With a piece by Dr. Seuss from his days as an illustrator for manuals for the U.S. military, ca. World War II.

With Kenny Lopez, former Marvel brother and now head of DC Comics' in-house lettering.

The mighty Francine Burke, a colleague from Marvel and DC, pontificating on the biz.

With former Bullpen brother Vince Evans, a spectacularly talented painter.

With the irrepressible Mark Texiera.

Our lovely hostess.

Vince and Renee.

This next item blew my mind when I walked in and saw it:

This is the original painting of "At the Grey Havens" by the Brothers Hildebrandt, as seen in the 1978 J.R.R. Tolkien calendar. I was a huge Hildebrandt freak during the late-1970's, so when I saw this huge piece I almost fell over from shock.

It's about five feet long by three feet wide, painted on masonite.

Detail from "At the Grey Havens." Note the brush strokes.

Detail from "At the Grey Havens." The photo doesn't get it across, but the fabric on Arwen's dress looks completely real when seen up close.

The same can be said of the fluffy bits on Aragorn's sleeves.

Renee, with the Hildebrandt painting for scale.

After the opening wound down, I made my way home to Brooklyn and got a decent night's sleep in order to be fresh and ready to rock on the first day of the 2010 NY Comicon. It's just after 7:30AM as I post this, and now I'm off to shower, eat breakfast and haul my ass over to the Javits Center.

TO BE CONTINUED.

2 comments:

John Bligh said...

The more I look at The Hildebrandts LOTR work, the more I realize how incredibly rushed the STAR WARS poster actually was.

Don Hudson said...

It's great to read this and see the guys Mr. Bunch! Thanks!