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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

CAPE! 2: Son of CAPE! 

...was a roaring success. Whereas last year drew in something like 2,500 people, this year drew in 4,500. And that's the conservative estimate.

(Full guest list here. I've heard who's likely to attend next year, and it's even bigger.)

Observations:

1) It's fun asking writers to do sketches of characters they write for. Gail Simone was sporting enough to give me a stick figure Deadpool, and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa gave me his rendition of Spider-Man. Guys, they're great. But you're also probably not going to win any prizes for art. Just sayin'.

2) Continuing the tradition, Lea Hernandez drew a sketch of me right next to the sketch she drew of me from last year's CAPE. She also asked me why I wasn't blogging anymore, so... you know. Lea, consider me chastised.

3) Speaking of Lea, she turned out two pieces for the big Live Art Show Saturday night. I've always thought manga-style art was too kinetic to be "beautiful," but the two pieces she did were exactly that. And they sold for a small fortune, so the good folks at Zeus didn't go bankrupt putting on this show, so more power to that.

4) Bryan Hitch knows how to draw. True story.

5) James Kochalka is a strange cat, and I think all the attention may have overloaded him. But he did get up at the Live Art Show and make a Pac-Man Ghost painting, so I think it all evened out in the end. I don't have a subscription to his American Elf, but I hear he did some art about it.

6) Also, he drew me Fuckin' Super Leaf, so even if everyone spontaneously caught fire and died on Sunday, the weekend would've been a success.

7) Rain can't stop the fever. About 3 o'clock, Texas weather struck and rain started coming down pretty hard. The event proper was under a tent and in the store, but 150 boxes of quarter comics were set out on tables in the open air... I know, I know, you're getting ready to cry, but it all turns out okay in the end.

Everyone -- and I mean everyone, guests, artists, writers, volunteers, attendees -- saved the comics in a mad dash akin to, I dunno, a mass migration of the Nerd Flock. And the comics were saved. The only stuff that really bit the dust was the promo heap at the Pop Syndicate table, but unless you were dying for a The Hills Have Eyes poster, that's no big.

8) Andy Lee's incredible to watch. He doesn't just paint, he creates performance art. Arms, hands, fingers, whatever, he uses it all, and the art is simply gorgeous. The dude is making me consider bisexuality. (As if it were an investment.)

9) The people behind The Hero Foundry are eager to talk to you, and it's good that they are. I personally cannot think of a better investment of your old trades and comics, and whatever they can't use, they'll turn around and sell to fund getting more trades and comics for the little'uns. Stop by, take a look, and offload your comics on them.

10) The Fantagraphics Funny Book FTW.

11) Marc Andreyko is a funny guy, and entertaining to talk to. I'm glad of it. His Manhunter is one of the best titles DC is putting out and, because I like it so much, it's in danger of being cancelled. Typical. But he did point me toward this Save Manhunter! group, and hey? Maybe it'll have more effect than your typical online petition.

12) Also, Andreyko's seen the Superman Returns script and pieces of the movie in order to do the comic adaptation, and he guesses it'll be the second biggest movie of all time, second only to Titanic. I am not now and have never been much of a Superman fan, so I can't summon up more than mild interest, but best of luck to them. Here's hoping it doesn't suck.

13) Unlucky!

14) Brad Albright's Bad Painting: A Terribly Creative Tale, a Dr. Seuss-style tale of a painting that eats its critics, is pretty goddamn entertaining. There's something innocent-yet-not to his style, something paranoid, which is made abundantly clear in Stressed Out West: A Nervous, Wordless Graphic Novel. Give it a shot.

15) The Live Art Show Saturday night was the perfect cap to a perfect comic book-centered weekend. It all went down and the schmancy Metro Grill, and at any given time there were at least 3 artists (but typically 5-10) working on mat boards and sketch pads, all to the cheers of the 250 or so people watching.

Even the work-reclusive James O'Barr got into the fray, pencilling and inking what is probably the largest piece of Crow art he's ever done, and the first Crow art he's done in who knows how long. He didn't stop there: other works he did included a portrait of Joan Jett and a jam sketch with Brian Denham featuring a classic What If scenario: "WHAT IF? Syndrome killed the Incredibles?" The art itself is, no lie, Mr. Incredible in Crow makeup.

Truly a classic.

Kochalka did a couple pieces, as did Hernandez, and Andy Lee did roughly 3,573 (at last count), but the true star of the show was Brock Rizy, he of the upcoming Emily Edison graphic novel from Viper. Brock's new to the game and was pretty nervous doing big pieces right next to the pro's, but he held his own and showed a true cartoonist's wit and innovation. That's an artist to watch.

For that matter, so is Josh Broulet, he of no web page. Josh's art looks like what would happen if Paul Pope and David Lapham had a love child, and his Money Equals Love comic, available now, is worth a look-see.

Everyone was making art. Hell, even one of the bartenders got into it, did a sketch, and ran away before she could be noticed. The whole event lasted 5 hours, and never have I felt that much fun and good will in one room.

Oh, and everyone was drinking. It was that much more fun as a result.

So... what did your store do?

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