This weekend, my husband and I took an in-town vacation and hit up the Wizard World Comic Con convention at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center near O’Hare airport in Rosemont. My husband has always wanted to go and despite my efforts to get San Diego con tickets, it is no use. They have a bogus system set up where last year’s con attendees are first in line for on-line ticket sales. I want to say it is just as hard as getting tickets to the Olympic Games (which was also in vein). Regardless, my husband was able to cross off one important item from his bucket list, a picture and autograph with the legendary Stan Lee, creator of Spiderman, Captain America, and The Hulk.
Though we were informed that Mini-me and Reedus Thurmond (Walking Dead) were staying at our hotel, we were more interested in seeing artist alley. Illustrating my geography textbook is in the back of my mind so I was interested in getting inspired by some various styles-and are there ever a ton of them out there; gothic, anime, domo-style (I kind of like this one), traditional Marvel/DC style, fantasy, black /white. Basically, there are no rules within the comic genre. It was inspiring to speak to the different artists and hear some of their stories.
The difference between me and these people is that they know how to draw-well. Ok, not the only thing; it takes them a team to make their comics-copy-editors, technical editors, inkers, letterists, writers, artists, colorists. There are a minority of projects that are done by a single person. I actually think that I appreciate comics as even more when I know that one person is doing to the work. It doesn’t mean that I don’t still enjoy The Walking Dead, but, there is a labor of love that I am beginning to understand as i am creating my own graphic text.
It was kind of cool that I did get to meet the people behind the Reading with Pictures Non-profit that I wrote about in a prior post. I bought their very last illustrated sample text featuring artists that are willing and ready to illustrate educational books when asked. Mind you, these are not books targeted for high school students so I would need something a bit more content specific. I love their passion for promoting comics in the classroom though and the art is pretty darn good. They are collaborating with Northwestern University to test their ideas in schools and tie their stories in with the common core, which I like, but I think it is once again an example of how teachers are left out of the process. I think it is so important to ask the teachers what they think would be best to have illustrated vs. a random story on exponents. The teachers need to be a part of the process. Hopefully, their not for profit group will start to pick up some of that as they progress.
All in all, a great weekend that provided some necessary inspiration while I continue to write. Not to mention, we got some sweet comic swag like that copy of The Walking Dead on your left. I can at least make two more blog entries about this weekend and they will soon follow.