Since I began this journey of collecting sketches from some of my favorite artists, I always knew that one day I would have the ultimate sketch. To create a sketch so awesome that it would be the envy of all my friends. A sketch so well thought of, planned out, and so epic, that it would catch the eye of any observer. What better place to begin this quest than at New York Comic Con 2014.
The plan was simple. Instead of getting one character on one piece of sketch paper, I would get seventeen characters on one big piece of paper. The idea seemed so easy, but like many great ideas, the first few steps are always the hardest.
The first step was deciding on who would make the cut. First names that came to mind were Batman, Superman, Wolverine, Joker, and Harley Quinn. I began rattling off names, creating a list of over 30 characters, but then I realized I had only listed DC and Marvel characters. What about Darth Vader? What about Voltron? What about Darkwing Duck? How could I leave some of my favorite childhood heroes out of this picture? After all, the theme for this Jam Piece was “My Favorite Comic Book Characters”.
After narrowing it down the list was cut down to 17. Batman, Joker, Harley, Wolverine, Superman, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, Green Lantern, Magneto, Sinestro, Iron Man, Venom, Nightcrawler, Leonardo, Darkwing Duck, Voltron, and Darth Vader had made it.
Step 2 required a little research and a little help from a coworker. I enlisted the help of the art teacher at my school and provided him with an image of each character and the pose I needed them to fill within the piece. Within 2 weeks he had this sketched outline for me.
The next part required me to do some intensive research. Who would draw which character? Names began filling my head. David Finch, Phil Jimenez, and Mike Lilly were some of the first to catch my eye as I scrolled through the list of guest on NYCC’s website. I created a spreadsheet with each artist’s name, the character they would draw, and the location of each artist in Artist Alley. This was serious business and mistakes would have to be kept to a minimum.
As the day 1 of the show approached, I was lucky enough to have my buddy Tirri join in on the festivities. He would be my wingman in what was definitely a two-man show. We arrived early to the show on Thursday and waited to be let in. Upon entry, we rushed through the door and began handling business. Certain artists would not be arriving so it was time to hit up the ones that were available.
James Silvani was immediately available and upon hearing my idea and seeing the untouched outlines, he was more than willing to christen the jam piece with Darkwing Duck. In what seemed like seconds, I had my first character complete.
Things fell into place from there. Next were Leonardo by Jamie Jones and Darth Vader by Guy Dorian. After that, it was off to see Daniel HDR. Talk about an artist with such attention to detail. The shades and the use of whiteout to make a glare on Iron Man’s hand blaster really make Iron Man standout.
At this point in the show, Artist Alley was pretty packed with people trying to meet their thought out artist. I could not let this deter me. I pressed on and out of the corner of my eye I spotted Phil Jimenez. Time to put out teamwork to the test. I asked Tirri to hold my place in line while I found other artists to fill the jam piece. Like the good friend he is, he waited more than 1 hour and even made some new friends.
In the meantime, I found Daxiong to draw Wonder Woman. Upon my return to Tirri, it was just about my turn and Phil drew a tremendous Superman. Day 1 was done, but day 2 had so much in store for us.
As soon as we arrived on day 2, I made my way over to Alex Saviuk who promised to see me first thing. As a man of his word, he sketched a nasty looking Venom. While waiting for Saviuk to finish, Tirri once again proved his worth and spotted a line for David Finch forming. He immediately made his way over and was 2nd in line. I made my way to Mike Lilly for what turned out to be a hot looking Harley Quinn with a blood splattered mallet.
It was time for my final artist of the day. David Finch. I had met Finch and 2 previous shows and the Batman he drew for me is safe and sound while a prized Joker sketch was ruined by spilt wine. If you have ever seen a David Finch Joker, then you know how sinister he looks. It was a no brainer on who I would ask Finch to sketch. He didn’t disappoint.
All in all it was very successful show. No, I didn’t complete my quest, but that only means I get to attend more shows with a real purpose. Already, I have plans for my next jam piece. DC vs Marvel? Only Villains? Female only? The possibilities are endless and I like the challenge.