There are so many vendors and booths at the NYCC that it is hard to take it all in. One consistently awesome contributor is the Vanguard Publications booth. I have had the pleasure to meet and talk with two major influences on my love of art, James Steranko and Basil Gogos, at the Vanguard booth.
One of the reasons I was so excited to attend this years New York Comic Con was the appearance of pop-artist Ron English from my alma mater the University of North Texas. I know we have a mutual friend so I was hoping to find where he was signing his art and meet him. On my way to his signing I looked over and there he was walking across the floor to his appearance. I sneakily sidled over to his location and did a glance-double-take exclaim in a half familiar way "Ron English?" "Yes" he replied. "Randall Ensley blah, blah, mutual friend, blah, blah, street art..." I blathered on starstruck but so happy to have a ten minute conversation with him which covered numerous topics. I considered this the main reason for attending the show. I'm a big fan of street and pop-art and Ron English is a master and original thinker in both areas.
I knew comic artist Dave Gibbons would be appearing at the Madefire Booth throughout the day. Madefire is a comic app for tablets and smartphones which gives the viewer an experience of motion comics. Dave Gibbons, most famous for his art and contribution to Watchmen, also drew many British comics including some 2000 AD, where I first became acquainted with his art. I brought a copy of Harlem Heroes, which is a serialized collection of the exploits of an Aeroball team in the MegaCity universe of Judge Dredd and sundry other British sci-fi comic denizens. I was a big fan of Harlem Heroes and more explicitly its sequel series INFERNO (with art by Bellardinelli.) Anyway, I got to meet Dave Gibbons and got his autograph in the Harlem Heroes book. Cool!
I began to delve into the world of illustration in 2001 and recently was one of the winners of the Illustrators of the Future contest. I heartily encourage any aspiring illustrator to enter the contest as it is free and gives you the chance to meet and get advice from very established authors and illustrators in the science fiction and fantasy field.
I was also fortunate enough to win 3rd place in the 65th Annual Connecticut Artists Exhibition in 2008 and a Judge's Choice Award at the 2004 World Science Fiction Convention art show for "Final Frontier." I was honored when Diamond Comics featured me as their star artist of the month in March 2006. I am working on various special art projects and enjoy showing my art at art shows and, of course, Free Comic Book Day!
I am most interested in science fiction art and hope you'll enjoy stopping in at the blog occasionally.