I haven't been to Wizard World Chicago in a couple of years, and apparently neither have a lot of folks - Marvel & DC pulled out of the last one. A new con, C2E2
, is going on this weekend, run by the folks who do
San Diego &
NY's excellent con [oops, my sources led me astray about SD]. I went for a couple of hours last night and had a really great time. All I had time for was to go to the Tonner
Character Figure booth and zip up and down artist's alley collecting prints, but that was enough to blow through my supposed budget...and that was before I discovered a booth selling a gorgeous book of Gail Potocki paintings
, as well as having 4 or 5 of her actual paintings on display. I escaped from that particular trap with just the Potocki book and one Michael Zulli print (of this
, minus the text of course), clever me. The Potocki paintings were awesome too but I didn't have $35,000 on me so I let them be. They also had a bunch of Dave McKean paintings, which were cool to look at even though I am meh about him.
Anyway, I picked up inexpensive prints from a lot of cool folks in artist's alley, including some of my old faves from cons past like David Mack
and Douglas Klauba
, and some new-to-me talented folks including Grant Gould
, Jenny Frison
, and Arkady Roytman
. People kept stopping me to look at the prints I bought for Charlie, by Christopher Umiga
--I got one of Batman & Robin and one of Max & a Wild Thing (those don't seem to be on his site, unfortunately). All of Umiga's images are really charming and creepy at the same time--he was the find of the day, for me (well, aside from the Potocki book). Also awesome was getting to look through Jill Thompson
's great unseen Sandman special-commission art--apparently years ago she was commissioned to do a series of ink wash type drawings that sort of summarized the Sandman series, in connection with a movie pitch or something like that. Eventually there was a gallery show of these images and some of them sold, and the rest are with her. DC can publish them if the fans bug them about it--they have high-res scans of the whole set--but she can't reproduce them herself. I didn't have $750 on me so I didn' t buy any of those either, but they were brilliant and special and it was a real pleasure to see them.
Probably the cutest thing I got was a couple of bitty acrylic paintings by Lauren Perry, who does sort of an endless sequence of stylized/cute character faces with an empty word balloon--it's like a little comics panel with the character not saying anything (yet). She calls them Blank-ees
. I got one of Death (Sandman) and one of Uhura....she had about 40 different characters to choose from on the table and was painting more as we chatted.
Last but not least I finally found a place selling rigid acrylic sleeves for 11x17 prints: www.hotflips.com
. You can stick a hanger thingy on the back of the sleeve and hang it on the wall without a frame, which is good because 11x17 premade frames mostly don't exist, grrr.
Anyway it was a whole lot of fun, and I scored a lot of great cheap art, as well as the con exclusive Robert Tonner Huntress
Character Figure, so I'm a happy camper, despite having had to work today. (Since I was working from home, Huntress kept me company and offered to kick everybody's asses for me). Oh and while I was running around grabbing prints, there seemed to be people playing M:TG and other things, and I heard repeated random cheering from the other side of the floor, so apparently people who go for something other than artist-schmoozing were having a great time too. Yay C2E2!