Also looking forward to catching up with friends and other creators.
- THU 7/12 (10AM – 11:30AM)
- FRI 7/13 (11AM – 12NOON)
- SAT 7/14 (06PM – 07PM)
Also looking forward to catching up with friends and other creators.
I’m finally back from San Diego Comic-con International (SDCC) 2010 and one of the personal high points of this year was meeting David Lloyd (co-creator/artist of V FOR VENDETTA). I was lucky enough to get him to do a sketch for me. Most people in line were asking for V FOR VENDETTA sketches, but I’m a big fan of his graphic novel KICKBACK (that he wrote and illustrated). It blends a hard-boiled noir tale about a corrupt cop with elements of surrealism. KICKBACK had a big influence on my own work in MUMBAI CONFIDENTIAL.
So I requested him to draw a quick approximation of the KICKBACK cover. I also mentioned the fact that I loved KICKBACK and showed him some pages of Vivek’s work on Mumbai Confidential. We had a short conversation about the themes of Corruption and why human beings do bad things. We exchanged e-mail addresses and I shall be writing to him soon to hopefully continue that discussion.
You can purchase KICKBACK at Amazon. Last I checked it was a full color 96 page hardcover going for $10.00. It’s a steal at that price.
Ah, it’s that time of the year again — San Diego Comic Con International (or SDCC as we like to call it) is upon us again. First time I attended SDCC was in 2007 and have gone back there every year since. It is an amazing experience — both as a fan and a creator. For the first two years my routine used to be simple — get in the convention center, locate the Virgin Comics booth, stash my bag there and then just walk around. Of course, there were the previously planned meet and greets interspersed through out the day, but what I enjoy most about SDCC is just walking around. It is still just as wonderful as it was the first time.
Now-a-days, I carry a small leather bound sketchbook with me, in case I meet an artist who’d draw me a quick sketch. ‘Twasn’t always so. The reason I carry the notebook is the Supercallifragilistically Fantastic PHIL HESTER (Firebreather, Green Arrow, Swamp Thing, Anchor, Darkness). So there I was walking around and suddenly I realize I’ve actually cut across a line of people waiting for Phil at the Top Cow booth. I swear I didn’t see the booth, I was just ever so over-awed by the whole goddamn shebang that was SDCC 2006.
Phil looks at me and says “Well?”
I’m dually flustered here from the glares of the people in line and trying to think of an appropriate response to Phil’s query. I think I muttered a meek “Hi”. Suddenly Phil burst into that 10000 megawatt avuncular smile of his and asked “Hi, I’m Phil. Want a sketch? It’s free.”
Of course I wanted a sketch. Maybe cosmic forces guided my footsteps to that Top Cow booth, just so that I could get a sketch. (Or I think I was there looking for Ron Marz, don’t remember what exactly). But at that point in time, I had no idea who Phil Hester was. I mean I didn’t know that I had already read his stuff — Green Arrow mostly. The swamped mind just didn’t make the connection (To the tune of “ah, you’re THAT Phil Hester”). But, here wasa bona fide comic book creator offering to draw me (a mook from India at his first comic-con ever) a free sketch and I’d be damned if I turned that down. I nodded vigorously.
Phil then asked “So… got a notebook?”
Ouch! I hadn’t planned on getting sketches, so (you can see where this is going, can’t you?) I didn’t have a sketchbook handy. But by providence, I had a ruled notebook that I use for jotting down notes (audio recorders don’t work so well in the SDCC din). I promptly turned that over to Phil. He gave me an amused smile and asked “So, what should I draw?”
I decided to play it safe and pretend I didn’t hear the question, lest my “coolness” be punctured. I mean, how do you tell this generous person that you have no idea what his body of work is?
Phil must’ve understood. “Well, I’ll tell you what, I’ll just name stuff I’ve done and you tell me what you want. I have drawn Green Arrow, Swamp Thing…”
Swamp Thing! Yeah, I knew that name.
“Swamp Thing, please.”
10 minutes later (a really sweet 10 minutes of watching Phil draw), I was the proud owner of an original Phil Hester Swamp Thing sketch (pictured below). As you can see, it’s a true work of art, a masterful drawing that I’ll cherish for a long long time.
But there’s something else I’ll cherish much more. When I was a kid, my father always used to tell me that the true measure of a man is how he behaves with people he doesn’t HAVE to be nice to. I mean, if someone writes your paycheck or can get you a deal on a new car, you’ve got to be nice to them out of necessity. But complete strangers, what your default behavior is to them tells of how sound your basic nature/value system is. I stood there for some time, watching Phil courteously respond to person after person as they walked up to him and he drew them sketches. He laughed and he spoke with them — a true gentleman. I realized I had just NOT ONLY seen a great artist at work, but a truly remarkable human being.
Thanks Phil — for the sketch and for being a wonderful person.
Well, it’s been a long time since my last post. Just been busy. Not too many gigs to speak of. Most in progress are stuck with artists. One interesting bit though, just now putting finishing touches on a short story commisioned for an anthology based ona favorite character of mine. Will post more details as soon as I’m allowed to.
In other news, got my San Diego reservations done. Looking forward to it.
Some new Nine Panel Grid columns are also online at http://www.comicswaitingroom.com/ninepanelgrid.html
Just reached home. This time the conn was a bit depressing for me for various reasons, most prominently being away from my daughter Adya. But some cool stuff did happen, will post more as it crystallizes into something worthwhile
Meanwhile thanks to AD Lewis, I have two photos from SDCC.
Left To Right : Mark Smylie, Tom Pinchuk, Me, Kaushik Pal
By the power vested in my by the armored pundits and people who put the goat in there, I have hereby declared July 25th (fri) at San Diego Comic-con ’08 as BENNY LAVA DAY. For those who came in late here is a look at “Benny Lava”.
(in case you can’t see the embedded video above)
So if you are going to be at SDCC on Friday, join me in this ode to Minor Bun Engines, Pooping Oliver and Your broter Ed who loves to be inside, wearing a Benny Lava T-Shirt. Take your pick at CafePress and proudly flaunt your Benny Lava look. ( Looks like Zazzle also stocks Benny Lava stuff).
I’m in no way related to the folks selling the fine Benny Lava merchandise nor do I endorse them, I’m just another benny lava fan looking to spread the word.
Mail me your photos at mohaps AT gmail DOT com, videos and I’ll put them up here.
Help us spread the word, use this banner on your page
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<a href="http://www.mohaps.com/?p=125" mce_href="http://www.mohaps.com/?p=125" title="Benny Lava Day"><img src="http://www.mohaps.com/images/benny-lava-day.png" mce_src="http://www.mohaps.com/images/benny-lava-day.png" alt="Benny Lava Day" width="430" border="0" /></a>
Can’t stop the signal.
G. Willow Wilson ( CAIRO, AIR ) has posted about Benny Lava Day on Standard Attrition — the Vertigo creators’ group blog.
Thanks Willow. May Benny Lava bless you with a finesse reserved for the looniest of buns.
A Dave Lewis (LONE AND LEVEL SANDS, SOME NEW KIND OF SLAUGHTER) has also pitched in to promote Benny Lava Day on his blog.
Thanks A Dave — May you ninjas forever make their movements.