Friday, November 27, 2015

Geof Darrow - Mechanical

2015.10.09 NY Comic Con, NYC

In my mind Geof Darrow is a brilliant artist, however... His table was next to Frank Cho. I picked up a book from Cho and noticed that Darrow was drawing on his table (waiting for customers). I had picked up a sketch from his creation Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot a couple of years earlier (although not on a first day cover).

I approached Darrow and asked if he would provide a commissioned sketch for me. His response was "Why would I want to do that?", I respond by explaining my collection and my admiration for Big Guy and Shaolin Cowboy. His response "I don't know, I'm kind of lazy". I pointed to a gorgeous finely detailed sketch of a dragon and said "That is not lazy", he returned with "I get paid for that", all the while kind of laying back in his chair., or a cat toying with a mouse... 

I told him I was more than willing to pay for services provided, he took the envelope  (Science and Technology FDC) and told me to come back in 15 minutes and he would think about it. When I returned I saw this beautiful mechanical dinosaur-human hybrid, which reminded me of HR Geiger's work, although Darrow has listed as his influences Moebius (Jean Giraud), Tezuka Osamu (Astro Boy), Herge (Tin Tin) and Jack Kirby (they worked together at Hanna-Barbera). It was a pleasure getting the opportunity to interact with Darrow, it gives more meaning to the sketch he provided.. I believe he truly loves what he does, it shows in his work....Thank you!

From Darrow's facebook page:
I Just thought I'd mention you can purchase my 2015 sketchbook from Craig Popplewell. I am too lazy to keep going to the post office but Craig has it down to a science. So if you want em he has them!! 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Michael Grassia - Popeye

2015.11.07 Superheroes for Hospice, Livingston, NJ

At the Superheroes for Hospice show I stopped at the Outpouring Comics table. I picked up a promo card for Rusty Gilligan and asked Jonathan Miller where Rusty was this day, and was told at another event, which sounded something like Pop Art Con. I responded "There's a Con for Popeye!". Michael Grassia who was sitting next to the Outpouring Comics table, yelled "I'd go to that!" and the discussion of Popeye and Robin Williams' movie started. Grassia showed me a sketch he recently did of Popeye, and this gave me the idea to have Grassia  draw Popeye on a US Naval Academy cover..

Michael Grassia is an art teaches who realized his passion is storytelling through illustration and animation. He produced the child-friendly web-comic Plunger-Pup, a sci-fi adventure about a dog who fights crime with a magic plunger...

Friday, November 13, 2015

Annie Wu - Batgirl

2015.10.09 NY Comic Con, NYC

The first time I came across Annie Wu was at the 2014 NYCC. I saw a long line of fans waiting for sketches, Annie focused but quick providing beautiful artwork. I made it part of my mission for this con to obtain a Batgirl sketch

Annie Wu has worked for Archie Comics, Vertigo (House of Mystery), DC Comics (Batman Beyond), Marvel (Young Avengers), Wired Magazine, Lacrosse Magazine, ELLE Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, and many others...

Currently she is illustrating Marvel's Hawkeye with Matt Fraction, provided a storyboard for the sixth season of Adult Swim's The Venture Brothers and DC's Black Canary with Brenden Fletcher..

Friday, November 6, 2015

Ray Alma - Alfred E Newman : Mad Magazine

2015.10.09 New York Comic con, NYC

One of the special moments of attending NYCC is walking around discovering who might be at the con. Yes there is a program, but I tend not to take the time to go through it, I would rather wander the aisles. When I came to the National Cartoonist Society booth, which had several cartoonists in attendance. 

One of the downsides to wandering around is not knowing some of the artist by sight. Ray Alma was taking his turn at the table so I asks what comic strip he drew. He pointed to his shirt which said "MAD Magazine"...

We discussed his doing a skeetch of Alfred E Newman, so I chose a Norman Rockwell cover. I liked the comparison of one of America's famous and loved illustrators linked to America's children choice for literature...

When I went to research Ray Alma, I was happy to see the photo on his site mimic the famous Rockwell painting of his self portrait technique..

Ray Alma  is a caricaturist and illustrator. His work has appeared in magazines, newspapers and books. His contributions to Mad Magazine earned him status as one of "The Usual Gang of Idiots".

Alam won the National Cartoonist Society Reuben Award for Best Magazine Illustration - 2009.