It's been a long six days of JAVCON! But it's been real fun running the show, and from the feedback I've been getting, sounds like you conventioneers have been enjoying it.
Basically I had wanted to be able to celebrate the convention spirit via the computer, this blog. San Diego Comic Con ran from July 22 until yesterday, so it was cool to also be able to exhibit my work, share some previews, and talk about some older projects from 'the archives', right on this very blog. I sure want to go back to exhibiting in San Diego, but this was a way to connect with my own fans, many of which also weren't at Comic Con.
I had committed to posting new content everyday during the JAVCON, and some days I squeezed in an evening post as well. Truth be told, it sure was a lot of work over the last six days. In some cases, I had to scan some of my artwork, as I didn't have digital files of them. Sometimes I had to take photos, then download them, edit in Photoshop and save as a jpeg. But regardless of the workload on my end, the great thing was to finally be able to share some of this stuff.
As I looked back at the last 12 years that I've been self-publishing, trying to dig up some artwork most of my readers here were not even aware of, it struck me just how varied the type of projects I've been involved in. Believe me, when I printed up that first photocopied edition of El Muerto back in 1998, all I was planning was to sell that book, then make new stories, print them, sell them, go back and make new comics, etc. Some stickers, maybe some T-shirts. If I got lucky, there would mabye be an action figure line in the future.
Never thought I'd be branching out into a movie, podcasting, art galleries, forming art collectives, teaching classes, speaking at schools and libraries and tons of other rewarding things I've done. And the scores of wonderful people I've met...Wow! That just tells me that I'm doing two different types of stories. One group is the comics I tell by drawing on paper and filling in the word balloons. The storytelling medium I fell in love with as kid. Comic books. Could be stories about a guy who gets abducted by the Aztec god of Death. Or a monster that walks like a swamp. Or a wise-cracking badass with a pair of bull horns and a Zorro mask. Whatever I want.
The other story is the one I live everyday. The story about this guy, who grew up reading his older brother Albert's comic books. Spider-Man, the Hulk, Daredevil, Batman. The kid who loved watching SPEED RACER on TV. The Second Grader who one afternoon at school, after a weekend viewing of RODAN on television, knocked out a drawing of the giant pterodon and realized by the approval of the other kids that he was An Artist. The middle school student who loved the idea that he could actually take classes solely dedicated to art. The young man in college who fell in love with painting as an expressive medium. The guy who, once out of his 20s realized that, dammit, he should be publishing his own comic books with his own characters and do things exactly how he wants to and build his own fanbase.
That story, about that guy, gets another page added to it everytime I come up with a new idea. Every time I scribble those ideas down in a sketchbook. Every time I slowly turn that idea into a comic book. Every time I take those comic books and sell them at a convention. Every time I get asked to speak here, teach this class, sign at that store. Every time I talk to my artist friends and we discuss our work. And how we do it. And why we do it. That guy's story gets longer and more interesting and more rewarding. Each and every time.
I'm not going to pick which of the two types of stories I like more. They're totally intertwined with one another. One just follows the other. A page, a book, a day at a time.
JAVCON was, ultimately, another page in my story. So, thanks for reading my 'story', and remember that even though JAVCON is over, I'll continue to post on this blog (at least now I don't have the pressure of trying to hit a home run every single day!).
I was going to post some pics to accompany this post, but dang it all, I've had enough with scanning and resizing and saving and uploading. Forgive me this once, please!
And remember, if you do want to want to look at some pics, scroll down and check out the previous days of the JAVCON. Or you can even click on the tab along the top of this post and visit my Web Shop and buy some of my books, then you can have my artwork nearby whenever you want to read it! I'm just saying....