Tuesday, April 20, 2010

C2E2: Part 2 of X, where X = (However Many of These I End Up Doing)

Meeting Chris Hallbeck of The Book of Biff for the first time

Our conversation more or less went like this.

When you are a cartoonist, you talk to people by putting together words and pictures. Most of our talking happens with noises we make from our mouths, so cartooning is kind of an unusual way to talk. Some cartoonists are equally at home talking with noises or with silly pictures, cartoonists like Tom Brazelton or Kris Straub, cool guys who generally seem at ease chatting with anyone, even perfect strangers who visit their booths at conventions or dudes they know wholly through the internet.

But some cartoonists are most comfortable talking through cartoons. Nothing's stopping these cartoonists from coming to conventions, and if you go up to their booth, it's not like awkward silence is a given or anything. But your conversation will probably be weird, and if they do feel completely comfortable talking, it's probably because they're talking with you about what you'd like them to sketch for you. At comic conventions, you can meet cartoonists from all across the social spectrum.

I met a lot of cartoonists at C2E2.

It was undeniably cool to meet Chris Hastings of Dr. McNinja fame. I got to watch him draw awesomeness onto a fan's interactive poster, we talked some about creating the kind of comics you want to read and finding something marketable inside your heart, and we had not one but two deliberately awkward silences. I talked with Evan Dahm, who has plans to develop his fictional world of Overside even beyond Rice Boy and Order of Tales. I talked to people whose work I'm familiar with, and I met some new faces too.

Ed Conley creates the comic Ed Contradictory, a bizarre foray into self-aware cartooning, in which the characters berate the cartoonist, search for new characters for the comic, and travel back in time to keep themselves from time-traveling. The central cast includes a cute-mascot panda bear, a gentleman scientist and the fellow gentleman scientist whose brain he placed inside a robot, a mercenary, and the Magical Booze Fish. It's utterly nuts and unabashedly anti-fourth-wall, and Ed Conley was wearing a necktie when I met him. That's pretty cool.

I also got to meet Dawn Griffin, creator of Zorphbert and Fred. Her comic is about two aliens who don dog disguises in order to observe and study humans, but I'm largely aware of her work because her two lead characters have been sharing their webcomics Picks of the Day via their Twitter accounts. Dawn and I talked about a whole crazy spectrum of things, from balancing your day job and your comic, to her illustration work for the Abby's Adventures children's books, to self-criticism and self-confidence and how it's a good idea to get up and actually do athletic things once in awhile. Dawn is a pretty cool person with a pretty cool comic.

Do I have more things to say about C2E2? Certainly. Can I find time to say them? We shall see.

Don't forget I got a new "I am a Purchasing Rockstar" strip going up at Borderline Boy tomorrow.


dgriff13 said...

*gasp* I'm cool! Someone thinks I'm cool! *squeee*

It was awesome to meet you, great convo.. wish I coulda sat down with ya and been more focused. Saturday was crazy, and it got INSANE Sunday just when I had to run to catch my flight! *whew*

Well, next time around, dude! Keep up the hard work ;0)

Chris Hallbeck said...

I'm offended at your twisting of reality in your comic version of our meeting. I have ample photographic evidence that indisputably shows that the sign on my table was to my right.

Jackson said...

@Dawn: Yeah, next time our paths cross we'll have to grab a bite or something and talk some more. Thanks for the encouragement, it was definitely cool to meet you. Keep on rockin' in the free world!

@Chris: See, that is because my comics are a reflection of the world we live in.

Charles (Illumistrations) said...

I soooo need to go to a convention, if only to meet other webcomic artists. Sometimes its hard seeing that alot of artists know each other and you feel like you're always on the outside looking in.

Noel Curry said...

Sorry to post this in your comments section, but I couldn't find an email address.

For no reason other than I felt like it really, I’ve decided that Friday May 14th 2010 is going to be the inaugural “Dialogue Free Comics Day”. Too often, when writing my webcomic (DJ Bogtrotter), I forget that this is primarily a visual artform and so to emphasise that, I’ve set myself the challenge of posting a dialogue free comic on that day and I’d like to get as many webcomics as I can to join in. If this idea grabs you, it'd be great if you could give it and the website a mention on your blog. You can read about it in more detail here: http://dialoguefreecomicsday.wordpress.com/


Noel Curry