2011 Boston Comic-Con Roundup

This is the second consecutive year I've been to Boston Comic-Con, though this year the show moved to the Hynes Convention Center -- where last year's New England Comic-con was held -- and was significantly larger in scale. My two main goals in attending this year's show were getting sketches from Adam Hughes and J. Scott Campbell, and while I got neither, I still had a great weekend.

It didn't seem like it would be that way at first. When I got into the show on Saturday morning, I missed out on getting onto Hughes sketchlist and wasn't selected off of Campbell's list, which left me with two full days at the show and no real plan outside of getting some books signed (which I got taken care of within the first few minutes after trying to get the sketches). So I shifted gears and did something I've never really done before. Instead of trying to get sketches from artists with whom I was familiar, I instead walked artists' alley and looked for art styles that caught my eye and set up comissions with those artists. So instead of getting two pieces (not even a guarantee, with the way Hughes's sketch list worked), I ended up leaving the show with three great-looking original pieces of art, a whole mess of prints and some overall fun experiences.

The first piece, pictured above, is a full-color watercolor 11x17 by Sara Richard. I was passing by her table on Saturday and was so taken by her art style that I had to get something (I also purchased a Jean Grey print from her). Plus, I've got such a large collection of pieces of female characters, but none of them were done by female artists, and I wanted to rectify that.

The other two original pieces of art (both of Mary Jane), are pictured after the jump.

The one on the left is a head sketch by Mark McKenna, the first in a new sketchbook I purchased. I figured it was finally time for me to get a sketchbook, and over th enext few years hopefully I can get it filled out with various takes on MJ, Gwen Stacy, Black Cat and other female Spider-Man characters.

The image on the right is by Sanford Greene, who also had a style that I knew would stand out in my collection. If you look closely, you'll notice MJ's necklace is the Spider-Man logo, and her belt buckle says "MJ". I love when artists put these little touches into a piece to make it stand out -- much like Richard above made MJ's purse the Spider-Man mask.

In addition to those pieces, I got prints from Hughes, Campbell, Richard and John Tyler Christopher, who does incredible work with negative space. This Emma Frost is just one of the three "negative space" prints I got, along with two traditionally drawn images. I was really drawn to his work (no pun intended, really), so getting such a large number of prints was no big deal to me.

Christopher was also part of one of my cooler experiences on Sunday, when I got my ESPN The Magazine NBA Preview issue (the one with the team-by-team Marvel covers inside) signed by three of the artists who worked on the issue. The best part about that was each artist -- Christopher, Campbell and Dave Johnson -- had a story behind the cover they did and took the time to share it with me.

Speaking of stories, I also sat in on the Cover Artists panel with Hughes, Campbell, Johnson and J.G. Jones. It was the only panel I attended over the weekend -- as opposed to last time I was at Hynes, when I spent most of my time in panels -- and it was incredibly enlightening and interesting. I have no artistic ability whatsoever, so it always fascinates me to hear these amazing artists talk about their creation process.

I was also very intrigued by something Hughes brought up, relaying something he'd read from Frank Darabont. The filmmaker had said that to him, making movies wasn't FUN, but it was rewarding, and the distinction was key, and that's how Hughes felt about the drawing process. Because he'd made his hobby into his job, drawing was no longer "fun" per se, but the completion of a piece was still rewarding. I totally got where he was coming from, because often times that's how I feel about writing.

Of course, Hughes's words took on a bit of an ominous tone a day later when he announced on his Yahoo! Group that he'd no longer be taking a sketch list at conventions due to eBay flippers. The entire situation sucks, and I definitely side with Adam and Allison on this matter. Plus, now I know that if I want to get a Hughes MJ -- and I do obviously want that -- I'll have to win one of the guaranteed sketch auctions, which at least focuses my strategy.

OK, next stop: San Diego.

(Oh, and eventually I'll have better scans of the original artwork on my Comic Art Fans page. I just have to break out my scanner. And stop being lazy.)