Hello to all you lovely people on the Vine. Once again here I am to regale you with a wonderful tale of how I met more wonderful comic creators in the industry. Today at yet another LCS in my area I had the pleasure of meeting four creators special to the industry. First and foremost among them was Marc Silvestri, who was not only on hand making wonderful sketches for people (provided they were in line early enough to get one, which sadly I was not), but also to sign copies of his current Cyber Force series for Top Cow. In addition, Matt Hawkins of Top Cow was present to sign copies of issues of the current Think Tank trade paperback. Letterer Troy Peteri was on hand to help sign copies of Cyber Force and Think Tank as well as artist Rahsan Ekedal. Prepare to bask in the awesomeness of the experience.
As with the case of any major signing, there's always time to kill before hand. So in addition to staying in line with friends and chatting about nonsensical things, we also had a chance to mingle with some cosplayers. Many were prompted by the LCS to hang on the sidewalk to entertain traffic as it went by, encouraging non-comic fans to the event that was forthcoming. Suffice it to say, the Joker depicted in the above picture was funniest for coming across cars while they were waiting at red lights to have people take phone camera pictures of him in all of their glee and laughter. The Clown Prince was a good sport to take this picture with me as well, and in addition, he left me his calling card after!
First among the creators I had come to see during the impossibly long event was Rahsan Ekedal, who's handling the major artistry for the Think Tank TP. By purchasing the book in store (which I had done when I first arrived), you were guaranteed a free sketch from Ekedal. When it was my turn to meet the man I was most excited, for his art strikes me always as meticulous and detailed, the likes of which you don't always see in your run of the mill penciller. For the life of me I couldn't suggest what for him to sketch, so I asked him to surprise me. That's when letterer Troy Peteri, whom was sitting right next to him, suggested Batman out of thin air. And in all honesty, who can deny oneself a good Batman sketch?
In all the man took about fifteen to twenty minutes to do an amazing sketch starting with light blue pastel like colored pencil and followed through with darker stencils and then inks. He did in that amount of time what frankly I could not do in fifteen to twenty days! And I was twelfth in line to get a sketch and he still gave me quality work. Really says something about the integrity of a man to do quality sketches for each adoring fan, and what he has done in Think Tank just reconfirms why I adore the man's art. And of course he was a sport to sign my Think Tank TP so that's a plus! He is the very epitome of what a great comic book artist is all about.
Next in line was letterer Troy Peteri whom I had the pleasure of meeting prior to the event itself when a couple of my friends and I were hanging out with him. After remarking on the considerable stack of comics I brought to the event, I took the opportunity to show him some of the things I was having him sign. In addition to signing Cyber Force #1 and #2, I also had him sign the 2009 FCBD prelude issue of the Cyber Force/Hunter Killer miniseries, 2011 FCBD Atomic Robo, 2009 FCBD Atomic Robo, my Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 1 TP, and my copies of Green Hornet #4 and Green Hornet Annual #1. A wonderful individual to talk with, Peteri had interesting things to say of his experience while working on the Kevin Smith run of the Green Hornet title. He was truly honored to have signed all I provided for him and I am truly glad of the opportunity to have met him.
After meeting Peter I had the pleasure of meeting Matt Hawkins, who had been on hand not only to sign my copy of the Think Tank TP and Cyber Force numbers one and two, but also to sign something that I was especially interested in him seeing. In my collection is the twentieth issue of Inside Image from October of 1994. Within the pages of the issue is an interview that Hawkins had conducted with Art Thibert. When I presented the issue for signing, he was quite amazed considering that the issue is eighteen years old. In all honesty his first reaction was to ask aloud if he had actually done this, which was obviously a joke since he did remember doing it, but had long forgotten ever doing the interview. All the same he was quite the nice gentleman to talk with and signed my issue.
And of course the evening's crown jewel, Marc Silvestri. The real inconvenience of the evening consisted in part of the fact that the first ten people in line (whom had been camped out the morning before of the previous day I might add), were guaranteed free sketches by Silvestri himself. Now in addition to those sketches and the ones that Ekedal was doing, one can only imagine the amount of back up the line experienced. In truth I was probably standing around (eventually sitting) for at least a good four hours before I was able to have my turn in line for any of my stuff to be signed. Not that it is anyone's fault really, for if anyone knows anything of Silvestri's artistic caliber, one would realize that it is impossible for the man to do great detail and swiftness in the same sketch. The man lives and breathes perfection in his his penciling detail, and it showed in the sketches that he had drawn that day (including among them a Cyclops, a Wolverine half-face, a Mr. Sinister, and a bearded Hulk). When it was finally my turn to have him sign stuff, I had him of course sign the first and second issues of Cyber Force, but in addition had him sign my Women of Marvel TP (which contained a reprint of Uncanny X-Men #217), the first three issues of Incredible Hulk, Wolverine #50, and his art variant cover of Walking Dead #100. On top of meeting one of comic history's greatest artists, it was a wonder to engage in conversation with the man who still to this very day is as passionate about comics as he was when he first started, and even encouraged me to never, EVER lose that same passion as I do for them. I can truly say that if six days from now Doomsday comes, I can consider my life complete from having met the man face to face and shook hands with him.
All in all it was another wonderful signing event, one I was proud to have been a part of despite whatever inconvenience there was in waiting for such an exceptionally long time in line. It was an experience that I will always remember and not soon forget. My only regret of the event was not having come to the line sooner to have had the chance to have a free sketch by Silvestri, and one needs only look at the sketch above of bearded Hulk to realize this. Oh how green with envy I become more and more looking at such amazing art. Signing out y'all, peace!
P.S....not that I could have had that Hulk piece anyway...that went to the LCS :/