This past weekend I joined what I've come to call my Texas Family in Mesa, Arizona for the Amazing Arizona Comic Con. This is only the second convention I've attended as an exhibitor, and the very first for the first issue of my self-published comic UNDERTOW (available at the right for $4 plus S&H). I had a ton of help selling the book, primarily from the three young ladies in the photograph below--Kristi Harms, and Brandie and Felicity Reynolds. They're dressed up for the event and were also promoting Brandie and Kristi's upcoming book Modus Operandi. Brandie turned out to be one hell of a salesperson, and Felicity helped me out by taking photographs for most of the convention (after I explained a few things to her like what fishnet stockings were and how my fans needed photographs of them on the website).
My convention experience would not be complete without Ghost Hill Greg Harms, who is the driving force behind our cadre of friends getting our work out there for the world to see. He sleeps very little, and I'm not sure how things are going to work out now that Kristi cut off his flow of Dr. Pepper, although he was drinking Mr. Pibb when we went out to dinner after the convention closed on Saturday night which seems exactly like cheating. Anyway, one great guy and the weekend went by way too fast--I wish I'd had more time to visit with him since we've only been able to meet in person a couple of times. Here he is signing UNDERTOW #1 and inking some original art (Lady Death) by Roman Morales III.
And a few pics of fellow comic book fans that came by to see us at the booth:
Here's Roman taking a break from inking one of his pieces to sign UNDERTOW for a fan. I met Roman for the very first time at Amazing Arizona. Roman helped with the cover for UNDERTOW, and has a few projects of his own (Lynch Mob formerly of CHAOS! Comics and creator-owned Midknights) that will be coming out with new issues in 2011. Roman is an amazing artist and deep thinker, but you need to keep track of him if he starts telling stories because every one of them is going to end up going a little too far. He's had a long career between the military and law enforcement and I can only imagine the situations he's dealt with. I'm looking forward to knowing him better in the future he's as interesting a person as you will ever meet.
There were a ton of great costumes, and I couldn't help but jump at the chance to get a picture with Phoenix from the X-Men. As a sidenote I finally bought a copy X-Men #101 (first appearance of Phoenix) at the con from Jerry at 1,000,000 Comics who is a cool guy and all about selling comics (instead of holding on to them and their inflated price tags like some kind of troll). There are a lot more pictures on Facebook for anyone that's interested. Didn't realize it until later but the young lady below had at least three different costumes (for a two day convention) which I just noticed now going back through these pictures.
Special guests for the con included Robert Kirkman, creator of THE WALKING DEAD, which I've read recently and cannot recommend highly enough, Todd McFarlane (SPAWN), Rob Liefeld (X-FORCE), and the guy I was most excited to see, writer Jeph Loeb. I've read a ton of Jeph's stuff over the years, and I'm not exactly sure how the big publishers works things out, but it seems to me that he pretty much gets to do whatever he wants. He's worked on big titles at Marvel and DC, and has been a writer and producer on a grip of television shows like LOST and SMALLVILLE. Coolest part about this? He's still doing comics. I'm not sure on all his credits, but standing in line to see the guy I was taken aback at all the different books the fans were pulling out for him to sign. Talk about a body of work. In my best moments, I flatter myself to think that our narrative styles have something in common. He is an amazing storyteller. If you haven't read any of his stuff, you should, and if you've never read comics, any of his books would be a good place to start, I guarantee. He took a few minutes to talk to me and give me some advice on presenting my work as a writer, and I came back later on with my photographer, Felicity, to get a picture with him. What a great moment and great talent.
And one more costume pic for anyone taking the time to read this long-winded post. Again, you'll find a lot more posted on Facebook between all of us that made the con. If we met at the con and you're interested in the projects we've got going, please contact us or send an email to say hello and introduce yourself. Our creative group of friends is growing all the time and we can always use one more. Any input you have is greatly appreciated. Thank you so much to those of you who were so generous to purchase our books and artwork. The smallest gesture from you means everything to us. Thanks for reading.