“Today, in our field, there is so much talent and recognition that we are reaching a saturation point. An artist should no longer strive only for breathtaking craftsmanship; he should, instead, try to help us live better, either by dressing the wounds that are constantly being opened by society, or by offering solutions to get us out of the mess we’re in…But it’s going to be difficult and we have a lot of work to do.” - Jean 'Moebius' Giraud
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Dave, sorry I couldn't get this to you at the show. I damn near redrew it all over again today. But after stepping away for lunch, I came back and realized it was okay. Heh. I'll get it to you the next time we meet up, man. Thanks for the patience and understanding.
This is as detailed and 'tech-y' an Iron Man that I'll ever do. I don't know what came over me - I put down one little seam and the next thing you know there's twenty little seams. And a bolt. And and a plate and so on and so on. Ugh. Remind me to never get this ambitious again.
Speaking of detailed and ambitious - has anyone seen the new Toppi book that just came out? Stewart Ng was selling it at his booth this year at SDCC and the thing is ridiculously good. I mean, grandmaster-ly good. I have so much more to learn.
And steal from. Heh.
Oh! I'll give you guys a run down on all the cool shwag (well... cool to me, anyway) I bought/got at this year's show in a little bit. See you tomorrow.
at 3:36 PM
Monday, July 28, 2008
Before I get started - Yes, this is the same image I put up here a while ago that I said I'd never finish because it got way out of hand. Well, I lied and I finished it because a couple of weeks beforehand, Mr. Scott Dunbier asked if there was anything I could contribute for the COMIC BOOK LEGAL DEFENSE FUND's auction at this year's SDCC show. I told him I'd be able to give him something and this image was that something. Anyhoo... one bad turkey and cranberry sandwich later (Friday night SUCKED), I was a day behind in getting this to Scott and it didn't make it on time. I have it here now for your viewing pleasure. I'll do another one for him later on at some other auction event - I promise.
On to what I was saying.
The older I get, the more of these shows I do, the more I realize how much I've missed the point.
"Where's your latest sketchbook?"
That was the typical question I'd get from more people than I can count and my answer would always be the same. "No sketchbook this year, but I do have this new handy-dandy auction book blah, blah, blah..."
Then on the drive home, I asked myself if that's all that show is good for - do I just go there to sell sketchbooks? I obviously perpetuate that concept if that's what people are expecting and I'm sure the hundreds of other people who are doing THE SAME EXACT THING must help with that status quo. And this isn't speaking about anyone in specific, but when the hell did this become a sketchbook show? And when did the mandate come down that these sketchbooks had to have enough production value that would warrant an ACTUAL BOOK (but doesn't do that at all) become the expected product? Have you seen some of these things? Hard cover (a HARD COVER?!? WTF?!?) and full color, 24+ pages.... and for what? For a glimpse of what the artist has in his/her actual sketchbook? His style? His progress and work habits? What is THAT?!? You're getting a "behind-the-scenes" with no actual *SCENE*! It's NOTHING! And for a glimpse of this nothing, you are going to pay $30 some odd?!?
"That's outrageous," I thought to myself!
I then realized that most of the outrage, the disgust I was feeling - most of the guilt I was experiencing was all internal. How does that saying go? Point a finger at someone and three fingers back at yourself? The fact of the matter is, *I* make crap sketchbooks. *I* charge that sort of money. *I* help perpetuate this brand promoting the supplemental material for NOTHING. *I* complain that SDCC is less of a comicbook show year after year and yet show up with no comicbook to sell. *I* am the most hypocritical and most guilty. I'm most ashamed, in all honesty, of myself.
Again, I am not speaking ill of anyone in specific that may have had their sketchbooks to sell this year. If that's how they wish to conduct themselves, then certainly, by all means - they are within their right. As I've already said, all the criticism above is actually internal - it's about me feeling like I'm not doing enough with myself and these comicbook shows.
That said - No more sketchbooks from me.
Not to say they were in any high demand or anything, but from this Comic Con to the next one in 2009 I'm going to concentrate on getting actual product on my table instead of just hype. No more fluff. No more bullsh*t, incestuous, self-promotional material. No more, "...yeah, those images are from a project/graphic novel/animated series I'm working on and I'm gonna get to it/finish it some day." Enough of that crap.
From here on down, I'll just do books. Actual finished books and projects. I hope that things will line up correctly and I'll be able to do multiple projects back to back to back and if I am so lucky that I actually do something long term and if those projects happen to be noteworthy enough to actually warrant an actual "Making of... " or a section for supplemental material then that's when you'll see it. Outside of that, I'd like to thank you all for your support and to ask you for more of your patience - projects are forthcoming. "The End League" is one, "[JUMP]" is the other.
What prompted me to jump on this sopadbox and make such a strong (and quitepossibly finaicially suicidal) decision, you ask? It was someone at this past weekend's show asking, "Where's your latest sketchbook?" And it was when I answered, "No sketchbook this year, but I do have this new handy-dandy auction book blah, blah, blah..." And that's really the point of a sketchbook, yeah?
Blah, blah, blah? Well...to me it is, anyway.
Thanks ANDY KUHN for manning your table at the IMAGE COMICS booth and pushing your books (actual comicbooks at a comicbook show - holy mackerel). Thanks BECKY CLOONAN for showing me that hard work and some good ol' fashioned elbow grease pays off in the end (congrats on the hardware, girlie - you and the boys truly deserve it). Thanks JASON PEARSON (and the kind folks over at 12 GAUGE COMICS for taking me in for the weekend - Keven you're a true gentleman) for talking shop with me and reminding me that it's all about storytelling. Thanks MIKE MIGNOLA and DAVE STEWART for giving me the time of day and for setting the bar. And thanks to everyone who talked to me about your books when I walked through small and independent press. It was an honor to spend the weekend with all of you. And best of all, it was a learning experience. And you can never have too many of those, in my opinion.
Oh, and if you wanna see sketches from me, you can still come to this here blog - and I won't even charge you a dime. Thanks for reading.
PS - A big helping of "Thank You" goes out to the people who dropped by the booth this year. I owe you all a bundle and I promise to do better for you really soon.
at 6:15 PM
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Okay, so Jon already gave the low-down about where I'm going to be this year at SDCC. But just in case you missed it, here's the info again: I'm going to be primarily at the 12 GAUGE COMICS booth (Booth #2547-2549), and an hour or so at the IMAGE COMICS booth (Booth #2729) every day signing Tori Amos' graphic novel venture "COMIC BOOK TATTOO" with collaborator and writer Jon Tsuei.
The 12 Gauge booth is the only place I am going to be taking commission requests which I am limiting to 2 or 3 a day (more than likely 2), so I actually have time to walk around this year - something I haven't done in a long, long time. I'm also selling some original 90 minute stuff but as you all probably know, I haven't done too many since TEL kicked into full gear. I feel terrible for that. Please drop by and say hello. Let's get a chance to meet each other.
And lastly, there's the IRON MAN: ENTER THE MANDARIN Auction Book up for sale. "What's that," you ask? Well, let me tell you.
Back in late March, in my friend's store and gallery in Los Angeles, I had a little exhibition and auction for all of the pages that I did for IM :ETM. Yep - *ALL* of them. Some sold (thanks to those select few who purchased the pages), some didn't. And the only reason I didn't make a big to-do about it on this here blog is because I was scared sh*tless of the idea that people are going to see the nuts and bolts (read: rough blue pencils) of my work. You all know how I feel about that, so the invite went out to a very few people (only a couple hundred from my recollection...maybe more?) and those select few got a chance to see the pages up close and personal all hanging in Alan's gallery space at ROBOCON.
Anyway, as with every auction, there was a booklet that was included with the price of admission (which was $30.00 at the time) that had all of the pages up for sale that weekend. I guess that's how the auction houses do it - they print out a book that's used as a preview to the potential buyers as to what the pages will look like. Go figure. The booklet is 88 pages worth of every page from my Iron Man run in its black and white form, sans color and dialogue balloons.
So, I guess this book has made it's way around Cali and as far as NYC (thanks for all the support, Marty - you're one classy dame). I even saw a couple of them on e-Bay a month or so back going for some ridiculous amount (bastards) and those who have seen it have asked where they can get their hands on one. I had to explain that it was the one time thing and what was out there was it. I guess I should have checked with the folks who put it together before I opened my big mouth because this weekend I find a box at my door that had four or five dozen of the auction books in it with a note that said,
These are what's left from the auction. I know they're going for a pretty penny right now so I thought you might want to see what you can do with them at SDCC. Thanks for all the help and for letting us show off the awesomeness. The weekend was a big hit and you were great at the meet and greet. You were very 'Hollywood'. Hehe. Speak with you later, see you at the convention.
And there you have it. I have something 'new' to sell and I hope the fact that this art deco version of the cover of the first IM: ETM issue was used again isn't turning you guys off from purchasing it. If it's not too clear from the scan the title of the booklet is "An Auction of Original Artwork by Eric Canete from Iron Man: Enter The Mandarin". I've only looked through this thing once or twice since the event and I gotta say that the production value is pretty neat and well executed. And while I'm pretty humbled (looking at this thing I'm almost ashamed as to what I let myself get away with artistically on that series) at the amount of work I did, I'm even more awestruck as to how the production guys who put the book together managed to math out how the pages were arranged in order to fit an 88 page format! I knew I should have paid better attention in high school Algebra.
I'll have them available for sale at Comic-Con for $25.00 (that's a book and a sketch done on the inside - I promise to make it worth your while). Please come by and check it out, if for nothing else than to tell me how they divided up the pages the way they did.
Me am dumb.
I'll see you all really soon.
at 6:30 PM
Friday, July 18, 2008
Hey everyone, Jon Tsuei here, filling in for Eric and giving everyone an update on what's going on, what's coming up and San Diego Comic Con.
So what's going on you ask? Well, Eric finished up his work with Ben 10: Alien Force which means more comics drawn by him for all of us to enjoy. Actually, it's about the same amount of comics since that crazy man can hold down two full time jobs. You all know about The End League and Eric's first issue of the book should be out next month or so. Keep an eye out for it.
Another project Eric did that's a bit under the radar (his involvement with the project anyway) is Joss Whedon's Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog. Darkhorse Comics released a short comic related to the property through Myspace and Eric did the art for that. You can find that link here. Just look for the story entitled Captain Hammer: Be Like Me!
There's also a little book entitled Comic Book Tattoo that Eric and I have a piece in. The book is a collection of stories inspired by Tori Amos' music. You can count this as the first published work of the Tsuei/Canete team. Yeah, pretty awesome. There's going to be a big to do about the book during Comic Con this year, including an appearance by Ms. Amos herself. Eric and will be signing at the Image booth (Booth #2729) three out of the four days of the show.
Please come by, pick up a copy of the book and say hello. I'd hate to sit there and look like a complete jackass while there's a line for Eric and I twiddle my thumbs.
When not at the Image Comics booth, Eric will be seated with the nice folks over at 12 Gauge Comics (Booth #2547-2549). Eric will have original art for sale and will be taking a limited number of commissions. Of course anything you'd liked signed (maybe Iron Man: Enter The Mandarin trade paperback?) bring it on by.
Well, there you have it. Book release schedules, booth numbers and the ramblings of a crazy Chinese guy. No reason not to see you at Comic Con, unless you have an adverse reaction to crazy Chinese guys and bald artists.
at 12:29 PM