I arrived at Double Midnight Comics in Manchester, New Hampshire around 11:30 and there were already several people outisde going through the back issues that were set up under a tent. To my disappointment, I would not have the opportunity to rummage through those boxes myself as I was on hand to be part of the show, not necessarily a customer.
Inside, Rich Woodall was already setting up his table with his giant box of sketching markers and two children (presumably his own) helping him out. I introduced myself as he and I had not had an opportunity to meet previous. Really nice guy. Really great artist. Scott Wegener showed up just before noon and the show began.
Well, there wasn’t really much of a “show” per se, it was just lots of people crowding around talking to the artists and milling about buying comics and playing card games. I’m told that the parking lot was PACKED for most of the day as people took advantage of the sale that Double Midnight was running on back issues and Marvel Trade Paperbacks.
For me, I got rolling with Free Sketches when circlecomics’ friend Carlton showed up and insisted his friend get a sketch of his favorite character Deadpool. I obliged. Unfortunately, when you’re doing free sketches for people, you don’t really have the opportunity to document the sketches you did. You draw it, they take it and unless they write about it on their myspace or post it somewhere, that’s the end of it and you never see it again. Fortunately, for me, since it was my first sketch of the day and I’m still getting used to drawing in front of people like that, no one will ever see it again!
After that the drawings moved to Wonder Woman, Spiderman, Storm, Hulk punching Ghost Rider ( a very specific request) and so on. It’s the most sketches I’ve done at an event BY FAR in my short time attending conventions or events. It may have had something to do with the fact that the sketches were FREE on this particular occaision.
Response to my work was very positive. Which is good. I’m my own worst critic and it’s easy to lose sight of what people who AREN’T me think of my work. I’m still a little amazed at the overwhelmingly positive response to my “Oxford Mahogany” pages that ran in PVComics issue #1 a few years back. I guess people are still into dinosaurs.
Around 2:30 the traffic started to die down to just the kids that were playing the card games. I was just kind of in my own world drawing while Rich and Scott started packing up for the afternoon. Scott is on his way to San Diego for Comicon and I’m sure he has a LOT of stuff to take care of before heading out. Rich stopped by to say “hey” one more time before taking off and that was pretty much it.
The Double Midnight crew had just started handing out birthday cake to the attendees as I was packing my things to head out. I can’t say enough about the guys that run Double Midnight. This is the 4th event that I have been a part of (3 Granite State Comicons and this Anniversary celebration) and each one has been fun for me and (based on reactions) customers as well.
From there, we had to hot foot it down to Rhode Island for the Hera Gallery Comics Art Show Opening. We managed to get there just after it officially started at 6PM. On hand were several of the featured artists, a D.J., a group of bongo drummer guys performing out front and lots of people interested in comics. The presentation put together by the Gallery was very nicely done. Snacks were provided and some of the artists were sitting at tables working on comics (perhaps as part of the 24-hour challenge that I was not able to participate in due to a scheduling conflict). Best part was they had a bit of wall space still available and I was able to add 6 more pieces to the show since I had my whole portfolio in the car having just driven down from the Double Midnight appearance.
For me, the best part of the show was that my parents were able to make it for the opening (they live a mere 30 minutes away, but had been out of town), and hooking up with some of the other creators that I have become friends with. Jason Mayoh, writer and artist of “Tales of Rocky Point Park” was one of the featured artists and actually graduated from the same Art School that I did (Rhode Island College). I was fortuntate enough to be able to contribute a short story to his second issue of “ToRPP” but hadn’t actually been able to meet him in person. I highly recommend checking out his work on “Tales of Rocky Point Park” whether you grew up in Rhode Island and went to the park or not. It’s part documentary, part EC Comics horror.
Scott Langlais, another Rhode Island College Alum was also on hand and was able to sign my copy of Battlesnake’s (a band out of Providence, RI) newest CD (see the art here). Scott was one of creative forces behind the amazing presentation of their CD jacket as well as writing and drawing the comic that is featured inside in lieu of song lyrics. I think all bands need to go ahead and adopt this approach.
A good day was had by all and it sure took the sting out of leaving my regular day job on Friday. Here’s a couple of pictures from the Gallery Show at Hera Gallery. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures at Double Midnight as I was drawing the whole time I was there.