A Bodey in Motion

Building momentum, one step at a time

Phoenix Comicon 2012

Happy Memorial Day to all seven of you. I hope everyone will be enjoying the unofficial start of Summer today. I’ll probably start up the grill later this afternoon. First, though, I wanted to share my family’s adventure from this weekend.

The sand-person was real. The jawa was stuffed.

Who wants a free hug?

Steampunk geeks have the best toys.

Watch out Lego Spidey! You can't break Lego Doc Ock!

Where can you see realistic Star Wars scenery, Predator costumes, cool Steampunk  gear and massive Lego creations all under one roof? What do you mean you don’t know? Can’t you read the title of this post? Seriously. We’re obviously talking about Phoenix Comicon, the “signature pop-culture event of the southwest.” Not a bad way to spend your Memorial Day weekend.

On Memorial Day, we should always take some time remember those that have fallen.

Phoenix Comicon is a great show. A wide variety of things to see and do, for all ages. You can meet celebrities, learn how to build your own astromech droid, see amazing costumes, and speak to comic book authors and artists all in one weekend. Plenty of kid friendly events.  (Best of all, the people-watching is fantastic.)

I've decided that a group of astromech droids are called a beep. Look, a beep of R2 units!

My son spent a lot of his time in the video game room. This was a prototype game he got to try out.

We attended mainly because we wanted my daughter to have the chance to meet some artists. She has a bent towards art, and we’re encouraging her to develop that. Shows like Comicon are awesome for that. It’s also great for taking pictures with people in costumes, so she made time for both.

There's always time to take a picture with a demi-god...

...and a living legend who lives up to the legend...

...but my daughter knows who the real hero is.

This year we made sure that she had a sketchbook with her, and she collected about twenty beautiful sketches from some very talented people. Everyone was very gracious and patient. She loved every minute of it.

Bianca Thompson

Spike (much love for her webcomic)

Lar deSouza. She's a huge fan of his weekly UStream show, and was very excited to meet him. Honestly, meeting him was the top reason we went to the convention.

The best story from the convention for us was when we went to a How To panel on Watercoloring. I figured it would be a great place for me to learn a little more about the supplies my daughter needs, and she’d get some inspiration. Well, it went a little further than that. The panelists were Chris Herndon and Jean Arrow, and both were excellent. Less than ten minutes in, my daughter raises her hand and asks if the audience (read: she) would be able to do any watercoloring during the panel. To their credit, the panelists didn’t even blink, and immediately invited her and another girl up on stage to get some hands-on training while they conducted the panel.

It wasn't the first time I've found myself thinking, "What the hell just happened? How'd she do that?" And it won't be the last.

Huge love to Jean Arrow. Thanks, again, to both you and Chris Herndon for this moment.

The finished work.

We had a great weekend, and we’ll be sure to head back up to Phoenix again next year. Thanks again to all of the volunteers that make it happen. Special thanks to the following artists for taking time with my kids:

Jean Arrow

Spike – Templar, AZ

Chris Herndon

Lar deSouza – Looking for Group (and more)

May 28, 2012 Posted by | Art in the Rough, Comics on the Web, Marriage and Family | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Webcomics Wednesday

I know Wednesday has meant sketches for the past few weeks, but my scanner is outside of my reach for the next couple of days. So, instead of sharing my art, I thought I would share a short list of some of the amazing webcomic artists whose work I visit and read on a regular basis.

If you’re totally unfamiliar with webcomics, let me see if I can describe them to you and pique your interest. Remember the strips from the funny pages in your daily newspaper? They can be like that. However, they can also be like pages from a comic book. Or they can be like something in between.

See, the digital canvas of the Internet allows artists and storytellers to experiment with form and layout as they tell their stories in the most interesting way they can imagine. While some stick to recognized designs, others prefer to work outside those comfortable confines in a way that print would never allow them to. Using humor and/or drama to bring their characters to life, they are able to avoid the limitations to their content that traditional syndication imposes, and just put their work out there.

Now, while I was originally turned on to webcomics for the art and storytelling, what has really fascinated me is the entrepreneurial nature of their business model. In almost all cases, these folks are presenting their entire body of work for free, and then using that to drive revenue from ads, books and merchandise sales. They are selling themselves as much as their work. There is a lot of wisdom among them on how to make money in the age of the Internet, all while engaging in an activity that they have tremendous passion for.

Here are a few of the webcomics that I check out as often as they update, along with some notes (and disclaimers):

  • Looking for Group by Ryan Sohmer and Lar DeSouza. DeSouza is, to me, one of the greatest, and most gracious talents in webcomics today. Sohmer’s writing is very good, but I check out all of their stuff regularly due to how well I think of Lar. They work together on two other efforts, but LFG is the one I can most widely recommend. It updates on Mondays and Thursdays.
  • PVP by Scott Kurtz. Kurtz is one of the old guard of the webcomics community, and he strongly advocates for the superiority of the Internet business model for artists. I find his arguments very persuading, mainly because he is living it out so successfully. His art and writing is some of the most consistent on the web, and going back through his archives is a great way to pass the time.
  • Evil Inc. by Brad Guigar. Guigar is reported to be one of the nicest guys in webcomics, and I can’t find any evidence to the contrary. I enjoy his daily strip, because it revolves around superheroes, family humor and really bad puns.
  • Something Positive by Randy Milholland. S*P is probably the strip I find the most entertaining. The writing pulls no punches, and the humor can be very harsh and biting, but it delivers for me damn near every day. I’ve met Randy at a convention and, contrary to all the hype, he appears to be a really nice guy.
  • Templar, Arizona. by Spike. I met Spike at the same convention I met Randy, and she was very fun. Great with my daughter, too. Her art style is beautiful, and I love the story she’s crafting. I wish she would update a bit more regularly, though. This comic has some adult themes, and should not be considered safe for work. You should still check it out, though.
  • Questionable Content by Jeph Jacques. This is a very funny and very deep comic. I cannot recommend it highly enough. I do not get 9/10 of the music references Jeph makes, but his writing is so well done that I never feel like I’m missing out on the humor. QC updates every weekday.

There are several others I read, but I might go through my daily trawl and discuss the comics more in depth individually. There are a lot of great business ideas intermixed among all the fun these people have created. You should read them for the fun, though. Tomorrow, when you’re done with all the turkey, take a little time and check them out. I promise you that every last one of them is better than Garfield.

November 25, 2010 Posted by | Art in the Rough, Comics on the Web, Work and Money | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments