Finally back up to speed after coming back from this year's Wizard World Chicago. I don't think I've missed one since '98, so it's definitely a familiar show for me, but this was the first time I was gonna be set up in Artist's Alley selling sketchbooks. Besides the Gelatometti one, I also had sketchbooks by Ryan Benjamin, J. J. Kirby and Leinil Yu for sale too and they were consistent sellers throughout the con.
Thursday night, I saw this guy walking by with a crazy tattoo of the last page from Batman #619, so I had to get a pic. It's not everyday you get to see one Batman tattoo, let alone two on the same arm! Now, that's a die-hard fan!
The next morning, I took a little time walking around the show and picked up some cheap Captain Carrot comics for J. J. and some more Michael Golden comics for myself before sitting back down in Artist's Alley. Mark Brooks was on my right and Eric Canete, Dustin Nguyen, Joe Dodd and Francis Manapul were all to my left, so it was great to watch 'em all in action. It's definitely a little different being behind the table selling sketchbooks, instead of being a fan buying them, but it's always fun to meet people from the blog and talk about what's new at Wildstorm.
Saturday was definitely the busiest day of the con and after selling sketchbooks for a few hours, I headed up to the Sam Loeb Art Auction to check out all the action. By the time I got over there, it was standing room only with even more fans pouring out of the two side doors. I quickly ducked in and caught the end of Jim and Scott's Superman/Batman #26 double-page spread selling for a whopping $7,000.
Jeph Loeb was up at the podium auctioning off all the pieces himself, along with an energetic Erica Durance (Smallville's Lois Lane) in her only appearance at the con. Everyone really opened up their wallets for all the art too and as soon as the panel ended, half the audience rushed the podium with the hope of getting Erica to sign something or just snap a pic of her before she left the show.
Mark also invited Takeshi Miyazawa to share his table, so I got to watch him draw sketches non-stop for fans, including myself. It was the first time I'd ever met him, but Alé's been talking about Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane at the studio and I've read a couple of his issues on Runaways, too, so I picked up my one and only sketch at the con from him. He usually just draws characters he's already familiar with, but fortunately, I brought along some reference of DC's Man of Steel to add to my collection.
I also brought along Alé's commissions for some happy fans, but this piece was the only unclaimed one that came back home with me. If you're still out there, drop us another line and we'll try to get it out to you.
By the end of the con, I'd sold a bunch of sketchbooks, said my goodbyes and crammed all my new quarter comics into my bags. I bumped into some friends at the airport later and shared a quick dinner before leaving the Windy City for another year and heading back to sunny San Diego.
For fans who couldn't make it out to the show, please check back this weekend to find out how to get your own Gelatometti sketchbooks and thanks again to everyone at the show!