Today's STAPLE! was the first of possibly an annual national convention, serving as "event for the purpose of promoting the display and barter of independent creative media" (largely indie and underground comic books).
I was there because (A) I like comic books, and (B) we fanboys of comic books, animation, and video games are all really of the same ilk, and at some point, maybe these guys will turn their incredible stuff into animation (and/or video games), and need a voice guy).
Best to build the relationships now ...
There were a bunch of incredibly talented folks there, and only a handful that I was able to chat with to any extent:
- Chris Moreno is an incredibly talented, pleasant guy. I'm looking forward to his Dracula vs. King Arthur (seriously, it's pretty impressive) through Silent Devil Productions.
- Christine Pointeau has some really startling stuff. Her India Ink sketches and watercolor graphic novels are stunning. She does graphic novels, sketches, posters, greeting cards and the like. Here realistic (but still cutesy) raccoon stuff is what sold out a the show, but I was more impressed by her Western-flaired stuff.
- I finally got to meet the Aaron Romo and Chris Moujaes, the guys at Squirrelworks.com, producers of Coz/Effect, Fairview High, Good Gravy, Lunch Break, and the new Battlegate and Soul Stone. Squirrelworks is represented by JINDesign; Scott from JinDesign and I have been trying to meet for months, at the prompting of mutual friend Chel Simon (an outstanding actress and friend).
- I met Carlos A. Samudio, J. Daniel Garcia and Christopher Tupa of Hopper Comics. Funny, personable guys whose upcoming sketchbook is looking really, really slick. Plus they gave me a pen. I like pens.
- I chatted with Jason DeGroot with Repercussion Comics, and picked up his self-published Kreetor #1. We got to chat about the indie self-publishing model, and I'm amazed at and humbled by the level of effort to which these guys will take to get there stuff to people like me. I'm looking forward to the The Kwiddex Protocol -- the teaser art is really arresting.
- I talked to the guys over at Antarctic Press, because after 20 years of publishing, they were arguably the mainstays of the conference. Plus, they do DVDs and CD-ROMs, so they were a natch for giving my character VO demo. Which they refused. Even after much prompting. Anyway, though they're probably best known for their Gold Digger and How To Draw Manga IP, Chris Reid was there, and I picked up Legends From Darkwood, a fun manga-ish piece about folks who hunt and eat, uh, unicorns. Chris is dry and hilarious in person, and his book matches. I also picked up David Hutchison's Junction 17. This is probably one of the most gorgeously colored books I've seen in a while -- it's like reading Ghost in the Shell or Blood: The Last Vampire (really, it's almost that good).
- Before leaving, I hung out for about 45 minutes just listening to Rafael Navarro, creator of Sonambulo!. Rafael (or "Rafa" to his friends; so "Rafael" to me) is also one of the storyboard artists on Justice League, one of my favorite currently-airing cartoons (he also does such shows as Stripperella and Xiaolin Showdown). Rafael is incredibly passionate, animated person to watch and listen to, and he's funny (kind of in any articulate, Animal House John Belushi kind of way), artisticly talented, and just, I dunno, deep. His Captain America absolutely rocks, in the way a Rafael Navarro/Alex Toth/Bruce Timm Cap should rock. Cap's still my boy ....
Plus, I won a raffle and got a free T-Shirt. Heh. Free stuff ...
Of course, by doing this, I missed Pauly Shore's appearance at the Hasting's just 3 blocks from my house. Whoever says acting doesn't involve sacrifice needs a nipple twisting ...