Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Wonder Northwest 2011- wrap up

         Wow!! What a fun weekend. What was going to be a one day opportunity to table at this year's inaugural Wonder Northwest (a celebration of all things geek) turned out to be a two day extravaganza of gaming, costumes, comics, figures, toys, and general nerdy greatness. While packing my things from a very successful first day, Billy from Billy Galaxy approached me and asked if I'd like to drop in the next morning because he had suspicions that tables in the "artists alley" area might not be all full. I packed out my gear for the day and kept it close to the door for the next morning. After having a few beers at the Lovecraft themed bar in inner SE with my fellow drink and draw buddy Alan on Saturday evening, I showed up the next morning lagging a little but able to unpack and once more offer my wares to the attendees for the second day in a row.
          Let me just start by saying that if this was what the show was like in its first year, it's only going to get better next year, and the year after. I had a great time hanging with the other artist neighbors I was privileged to table next to. I sold a good number of posters, sketch cards, and Neo-Trash Comix. I was surprised and impressed. The staff was great, attentive, and organized, overall the whole show went off without a hitch. Traffic wise it was lighter than most expected, but its also the shows first year...I mean you can't just start something up and expect it to instantly be San Diego Comic Con, or Emerald City...you gotta build to that.
           Highlights of the weekend included the guy who came by the table and had me draw a robot on a comic backing board, only to return a few minutes later asking for a paid Deadpool sketch. He complimented me enormously by comparing my style to that of Skottie Young, a great comic artist in my eyes and a new found influence on my work. If you haven't gone out and picked up his work on any of the OZ books from Marvel you are doing yourself a major disservice, it's loose and amazing. Not to mention after meeting him at this years Emerald City show, he's also a hella nice guy and easily approachable for a prolific comic creator.
            I can't point out highlights without mentioning the guy from Hawaii who came by the table twice to buy four of my prints. He said that he and his friends had been in town for a few days, and he was looking all over for "cool stuff" to bring back to the islands for his friends to enjoy.  Until he stopped at my table, his search in the Portland area had been a bust. So color me humbled by the fact that my stuff was what he was looking for for his friends, and if you're reading this man, "Thanks for the enthusiasm and for coming back for more!"
            ...Another of the great conversations came on the tail end of the weekend, in fact the last sale of the show. Two younger girls, who were working the show at a vendors booth, came by the table and slowed considerably when taking in the sketch cards laid out all over the table. They were hooked, and had a hard time deciding on just the right ones for themselves. One of them also showed a great amount of interest in my Air Jellies print as well. She was saddened to realize they were $10 a piece, and had to wander to an ATM to get more cash for the purchase. Needless to say, I felt a little bad for making them have to go on another mission just to get money for one of my prints. To make it up for their effort, I threw in one of the many sketch cards I did over the weekend as a freebie. Yeah, I know I'm a big softie, but they were pleased as punch, and I figured what better way to wrap up the show than a small act of kindness.
           Yeah, it was a fun time. I hope to participate in next years show. Billy has set up something that this town has needed for a while, a well done, well organized show that embraces all things geek. Not just comics, we're talkin' video games you haven't played since you were little, She-Ra, He-Man, Star Wars figures, all in their original boxes. A veritable cornucopia of collectibles, and an equally enthusiastic crowd of vendors and participants made this a weekend that has brightened the outlook for this creator. You can put on a good show, and not have it in a concrete bomb shelter suffused with nerd stink. Beware Portland Comic Show, beware Rose City Comic Con (if you ever actually are able to put on a show) cause Billy and his crew have upped the bar. It's like I told my friend Sean Harrington (the guy who's recommendation happened to get my images on the badges and the cover of the program. Thanks Sean!!), the first one in this town to do this right wins, hands down...Now the rest of you gotta up your game...cause this babies gonna grow to something good...count on it...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Wonder Northwest 2011

          Hey fellow followers! Just a quick update for you on this Friday the 13th. I'm chillin' at home working on some sketch cards for tomorrow, enjoying the new Beastie Boys album (which by the way is much better than the last). Speaking of tomorrow, I've been lucky enough to be invited to table for the inaugural year of Wonder Northwest 2011. A small convention aimed at gathering great collectors of all things nerdy. It's full of vendors and collectors of everything from vintage video games, to rare hard to find comics, and action figures that are guaranteed to bring you back to an earlier time.
          I feel very lucky to have been invited to table in the very limited artists alley, and will have original artwork, posters, the full line of Neo-Trash Comix, and a selection of 15 one-of-a-kind sketch cards available for the discerning collector. For those who are familiar with my work you will also see my graphics on the badges for the guests, staff, and vendors of the show. I'm also pleased to say that my Space Rhino image will be gracing the cover of the program as well. So hows that for f'ing cool!! It'll be a great show, with little to no out of pocket cost to visit for the day or the whole weekend. Hope that those who have $6-10 can make it out and support this show in it's infancy.  I'll be tabling Saturday only, so if you want to come out to specifically catch up with me come 10-5 Saturday...
           I'm hoping that this weekend generates a little buzz for a new convention in the Portland area. I feel that this town deserves a well planned show that isn't in a stinky basement filled with molding cardboard boxes and collectors with no standards of personal hygiene. Hopefully Wonder Northwest will become something more akin to the full fledged cons you get in San Francisco or Seattle, but only time will tell. Come out friends and make this weekend one that can only grow into something better. Hope to see you there!!

Daniel DePaolo

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Somethings that get left behind...

           It's Sunday, and man what a great past couple of days. For those of you who don't live under a grey blanket of clouds for 2/3 of the year, you may not understand what makes these last few days particularly great... IT'S THE SUN FOLKS!... In the Spring here, we all kinda pull ourselves out of a bit of seasonal funk that comes with the grey rainy Falls/Winters. People start to appear, seemingly from nowhere, all over town. Walkers, bikers, skaters, hippies, gutter punks; everyone's on the move, out enjoying the sunshine and the mild Spring that the Pacific Northwest is infamous for. We all know you gotta get out while the gettings good. After all, you never know when the next soul-sucking deluge will come, or how long it'll last. With the sun comes a time to make projects for the summer, before it becomes so hot all you really want to do is be encased in a 360 degree fan whirlwind whilst draping yourself in ice packs.
            This weather stirs a few things in me that only manifest this time of year. As the streets dry out, and the people start to come out of the woodwork, I begin to see 'skate spots'. It kinda makes me sad, cause I'm hella out of shape, and I haven't been a regular skate 'sesh' guy for a few years. It's weird how some things in your life take the front seat and sometimes the stuff you always used to get out and do wallows in the back. I miss skating, and it's really my best intention to get back on the horse (so to speak) and in decent enough shape to not be a total fool out there riding my board. But, you know what they say about good intentions.
           Besides, its a bit of a trade for me. In exchange for the skating (which I was never really stellar at any way), I've been busting my ass creating artwork for myself, other fellow writers, freelance clientele, etc...and it's starting to approach a whole new plateau of awesomeness.  Both activities are fulfilling in different ways, but I'm not ashamed to admit, I'll stay home and draw over skating most days (man that makes me sound like a lazy-ass). So yeah, I miss skating, but the trade off hasn't been a bad one.
           Also, when the nice weather starts to rear its head around here, the other feeling that begins to manifest is an insatiable urge to throw a bunch of clothes in a backpack, pack up the sleeping bag, and go on a nice long road trip. Summers were my migration times not long ago, when I lived and went to school in Savannah, Georgia, yet my family and friends were scattered between my home town, Casper, Wyoming, and my adopted home 2 hours away in Eugene, Oregon. I'd make the trek out from the southeast coast every summer and split my time between Wyoming and Oregon.
            Needless to say, I'm no stranger to long road trips, and there's something about that time watching the lines of the road whisk by that is meditative, cleansing.  It's also helped in terms of building patience. A commodity very useful when working on personal /professional graphic projects. The nice thing about this feeling is it can be sated by getting out for short excursions. It's not like skating, it's not something sacrificed for the time required to do something else. But it's still a bit of a tease to hit the road for only 2 hours, when all you'd really like to be doing is driving through the night waiting for the sun to come up. I guess we can't have everything, right? But I can try...
             I love this time of year. It's time to clean stuff out of your house. Time to take a bag or two of forgotten clothes to Goodwill. It's time to prioritize, minimize, and organize. Because when you've cleaned out all those nooks and crannies, and swept the cobwebs out of untended corners, you won't feel so trapped next time old man winter comes creepin' around the bend...and...somehow your winters don't turn out quite so grey. Enjoy the sunshine, my friends...

Daniel DePaolo