“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

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

HEROESCON 2011_commissions

 [11 x 14" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen, COPIC marker on 300lb bristol board]

[9 x 12" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen, COPIC marker on 300lb bristol board] 

 [11 x 14" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen, COPIC marker on sketchbook paper]
[9 x 12" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen, COPIC marker on 300lb bristol board]

[9 x 12" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen, COPIC marker on 300lb bristol board]

[11 x 14" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen, COPIC marker on 300lb bristol board] 

[11 x 14" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen, COPIC marker on 300lb bristol board

 [6.75 x 10.25" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen, COPIC marker on sketch cover stock]

[6.75 x 10.25" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen, COPIC marker on sketch cover stock]

It was another fine year at HEROES CON, in Charlotte, NC. - the greatest comic book convention in North America.

I've got to keep this report short as my day is full of wonderful deadlines that I'm going to miss, and drawings that I'm going to try and avoid because I'm lazy like that. Here are some highlights:

The flight from Los Angeles was a fun and entertaining plane ride over to Charlotte because I had the pleasure of traveling with DAVE JOHNSON, DAN PANOSIAN, and ANDREW ROBINSON. Dave kept things interesting by trying to instigate drama between me and JASON SCHACHTER - a plot that would've worked if I wasn't so short and they realized ahead of time that ALL seats on an airplane was First Class to me. You can read more about it on my old TWITTER posts recounting Dave's First Class seating while Dan, Andrew and I were packed like sardines in a can back in Economy Class.

Arriving at our hotel is always an adventure because you run into every professional in attendance wanting to say "Hello!" before you get to the front desk or your room. I was personally exhausted because of traveling all day, but I didn't mind; it was like coming home.

Met with KEVIN CHURCH and BENJAMIN BIRDIE of AGREEABLE COMICS. And with them, Ms. MING DOYLE - the Matrix to my Optimus Prime... if that makes any sense at all. She warmed my heart with that undeniable smile of hers and with that, I knew right away the weekend was going to be a fine time.

The Italian contingent were also at the bar - MATTEO SCALERA and ALESSANDRO VITTI, my partners in crime when we were at C2E2 this year - and we caught up since that last meeting as well as shared in a few laughs. Remind me to tell you the story of Ale passing out due to exhaustion on the couch in mid pencil stroke and waking up with, what we have now dubbed as, 'The Devil's Bite' on his face. Hilarious.

Then finally - what I would later find out to be the one of the best persons to ever share a table with - Ms. BECKY CLOONAN happened.

(I'm going to pause for dramatic effect.)

This woman is, in my humble opinion, the most pure definition of a comic book illustrator and storyteller. She is an artistic and comedic force to be reckoned with; forward thinking in all of her creativity, gives as well as she gets when it comes to jokes, and unassumingly inspirational with a 'lead-by-example' motor. Over the weekend during our several conversations, she imparted words of knowledge and wisdom about her art, comics, perspective and approach which resonated with me during my flight home and even until now. If you haven't had the opportunity to see, much less read any of her work, then you owe yourself the experience and the pleasure. Put simply, go buy WOLVES. If the weekend brought me the tide of overwhelming stress due to over reaching with my commissions list (among other things), then Becky represented the safe port of sanity. Dramatic, yes? But absolutely true.

And speaking of 'dramatic' - I ran into KEVIN NOWLAN at the hotel elevators as we were both heading downstairs to the lobby. If you know of the level of hero worship I have for this man - for his draftsmanship skills as well as his overall good nature as a human being - then you cannot imagine how far my jaw dropped as he walks into the elevator and says, "Hey. There's Eric Canete." My mind shat itself. Kevin Nowlan recognized me and what's more - he knew my name. The weekend could've ended there for me and that would've been just fine.

But then I would've missed the whole reason why all of these inspired people were there in the first place - Heroes Con.

The convention itself, as you can imagine, was phenomenal. Nothing much has changed with the show since last year - and if they have changed, then it did so only for the better. The atmosphere was joyful and kid-friendly . The crowd was pleasantly if not unnervingly polite (it's the South, I keep having to remind myself),  as the fans of the crew's works lined up on the first day to sign up for our commissions request list. The whole ESSENTIAL SEQUENTIAL (joined by the incomparable TIM SALE) gang got to the business of drawing for our customers starting the first hour of the show's opening and I don't think we looked up until near its end. It was a good energy and I for one, was very grateful that my work warranted that sort of attention. (BTW, our crack 'staff' did a top notch job of facilitating art/book sales, taking orders and answering customer inquiries, and making sure all our needs were looked after. A load of thanks to Genn and Brian - you guys are top notch)

I would try to recount each and every person whom I met over the weekend (you know... when I wasn't head down in the middle of drawing) but there were so many wonderful, kind people who dropped by and had a small conversation that I'm afraid that I would end up insulting all the ones I'll inevitably/accidentally forget. Let me sidestep that social land mine and instead, as personal as a blanket 'Thank You' will allow, let me thank those of you for your visits, your friendship and words of encouragement. I am very fortunate to know each of you talented, supportive and giving individuals.

Speaking of support, many people dropped by the table to buy copies of CHOCOLATE - all of them enthusiastic to give what they could in order to contribute to CLEMENT SAUVE's  In Memoriam donation to the Cancer Foundation. I am humbled and touched at such a kind and generous outpour.

I'm going to have to come back and add more to this post when time permits. I've just been told that my deadlines have been bumped up earlier in the day and now I must get back to the business of drawing for a living. So let me give my most sincere thanks to SHELTON DRUM, RICO RENZIand all the event staff from HEROES AREN'T HARD TO FIND, who made the weekend as seamless and as enjoyable as possible. Visit their store if you're in the area. It'll make your mind explode.

Okay, that's it. I'm tired of writing and I suspect that you're tired of reading. Enjoy the art and have a great week. Please forgive the typos.


PS - For those of you who I still owe art to - from either this past convention or ones previous - do not fret: they are well on their way to being finished. I thank you for your unending patience and understanding. I promise I'll give you guys something to look at once they're done.


Craig Zablo said...

Beautiful and amazing sketches all!

Tony Zollo said...

Pretty amazing stuff my friend. Thank you for the time and the sketchbooks at Heroes. The sketches are already working their way into my daily reference material

Russ Cook said...

Have to echo what Craig Zablo said in the previous comment and add 'Inspirational' Top drawer stuff.

Heix said...

Really love your line work, Eric.

becky cloonan said...

We should really sit next to each other at more conventions. That was fun! I'm so in awe of your skills, watching you work was a real honor. --hey, want to grab coffee later? XD

Riley MacGregor said...

Nice grey tones!

erica said...

I love the Storm piece, all of them really.

Also, great recap. Thanks for sharing your work and con experience!