Probably the best part of my job is interacting with fans at conventions and appearances, and one of the absolute best places to do that was this past weekend at the 2015 Amazing Houston Comic Con. For three days, from September 4-6, I was able to hang out and chat with, sketch and sign for, and generally cause mischief was my fans, friends and fellows. What I want to do is go over some of the highlights of what was a simply AMAZING event.
Let’s start with the fans. This is my second trip out to the Lone Star State for an appearance (the last one being the 2014 Amazing Houston Con) and I have to say the fans are incredible. Warm, friendly, polite, and just plain nice, the Houston/Texas fans are so freaking fantastic that I had a smile on my face the entire time I was there.
You can pick your fans and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your fan’s nose.
For three days I had the privilege of talking to some of the coolest fans in the world.
And, boy did I sketch. My grand total for the 3 days was a tad over 775 sketches total, with about 650 during the Sunday Kids’ Day event alone!! My shoulder is aching me like crazy today, but it was absolutely worth it. The look on a kid’s face when I pass over a Phineas or Perry sketch makes all the old man aches worthwhile!
In addition to the standard Phineas & Ferb or comic sketches, I’ll often get some rather strange requests. This year there were a ton of Phineas & Ferb Star Wars sketches, along with this really cool “Candace as Harley Quinn and Jeremy as the Joker” sketchcover. Fans in Houston had some great imaginations and it was cool to help bring those concepts to life for them.
Cosplay is another great part of comic cons, and Amazing Houston was no different. I have to say, there is nothing cooler than having Sub-Zero or Poison Ivy come up to my table and ask for a sketch. I think Ivy was a bit surprised by my nose-picking request…she was a good sport, tho!
SHOGUN KNIGHT DYSON V
This year at the con, I unveiled my latest project, the giant robot-filled SHOGUN KNIGHT DYSON V comic. Coming in at just over 9″x12″ in height, the full color action comic is a beast and fans responded to it with gusto! In three short days I was able to sell out nearly every copy I took with me! The book is my passion and is my love letter to 1970s era Japanese Super Robots and to the incredible artistry of Herb Trimpe. It’s some of my best work and fans seemed to respond to it.
I did something that was a bit of a departure for me at this year’s Amazing Houston Comic Con: panels. Now, I’ve done panels in the past at other appearances, but this year was the first for me at an Amazing show. And I was on two pretty spectacular ones.
The first was the Animation Panel where I had the pleasure of being up on stage with two guys who are far more talented than I am — Devin Roth (of Bob’s Burgers) and Alex Hirsch (creator of Gravity Falls). The two guys are long time friends and it was all I could do to try and keep up with them. The best part of the panel was when Devin and I headed down into the crowd to field questions and hang out with the fans on a more immediate basis. Panel-goers flipped their lids and everyone had a blast.
Hopefully it did well for the Amazing crew and they let us do it again…maybe at Amazing Hawaii Con in a couple of weeks? You listening, Jimmy Jay? Call me!
My second panel was a doozy. The con promoter, knowing that I am an ENORMOUS fan of Howard Chaykin (American Flagg, Black Kiss, The Shadow, Black Hawk, Satellite Sam, and a ton more), asked me to moderate a panel with the comic and TV legend. I jumped at the chance. Of course, anyone who has ever met Howard knows that he can be a bit…bawdy and colorful with his speech. For some reason, Jimmy Jay thought I’d be a good person to act as the “moral compass” for the panel and keep things under control. For anyone who was there, this was a bad idea 😀
Howard and I, along with the fans, had an insanely fun time. He’s blunt, he’s to the point, he curses like my mother, and he’s a genius. Getting to sit next to him and chat for an hour (an hour that flew by far too quickly for my taste) was one of the highlights of my life. Howard is an amazing man and I hope our paths cross again very soon.
The Amazing Comic Con crew and promoters are able to make their events fun and fantastic like no other conventions around. They focus on fans and creators, and do an outstanding job at it. Here is a quick photo gallery of some of my favorite parts:
Houston fans are the best!
My buddy (and Brigade collaborator), Rob Liefeld, is not only talented and a superstar that outshines almost everyone else in comics, but he’s also an amazing kisser.
Speaking of Rob, his family is the best. I wanted to take them all home with me, but the airline wouldn’t let me check them and Livi Liefeld is far too big to fit in the overhead.
Devin Roth about 5 seconds before he had security toss me out of the building for harassing him.
Signatures from Howard Chaykin are free, but he charges a buck a kiss. Lucky for me, I had a stack of singles as big as the Toyota Center.
Howard made me reinact the climax of BLACK KISS for him at the show…Did I mention I make a living in children’s entertainment?
That brings us to the end of my look back at the 2015 Amazing Houston Comic Convention. If I can beat the restraining order Devin has filed on me, I’ll be back again next year! Thanks for the memories, guys!!
TV, Film, comic book, fantasy & steampunk writer/director, known best for bad horror movies about giant scorpions, killer pigs & dinosaurs in the sewers.
You can find his work on Smashwords or at his Amazon Author Page.