Drawn Words recently attended 2012′s Orlando Comic Expo on September 23. Loads of fun. There’s nothing like going to a small comic book convention the weekend of your payday and spending a third of your check on old smelly comics and mint-in-box toys you’ll never open and fully enjoy. Not that I need enjoyment from toys at 21-years-old by playing with them or anything, but toys are toys. Either way, I purchased a bunch of comics and toys this that have lasted me a while’s worth of entertainment.
This con’s guests included Bob Camp, Christian Slade, Ron Wilson, Ben Templesmith, Tim Townsend, Richard LeParmentier, Richard Livingston, and Nalini Krishan. Honestly, four of these guests I’ve heard of prior, so saying hi and passing out business cards about Drawn Words was an opportunity to network and learn a little bit about these folks.
A huge deal for both Estevan and I (Estevan came out later in the day) was meeting Bob Camp, co-creator, writer, storyboard artist, director, producer, and voice actor of The Ren & Stimpy Show. The Ren & Stimpy Show is the absolutely pinnacle of 90′s animation, also being one of the biggest influences in my life as far as creative endeavors go, and a huge childhood memory of mine. This made fart and pee pee and poo poo jokes okay. This showed Nick that kids loved seeing boogers being flicked at each other. It also proved that adults could have fun watching cartoons too, putting them in a trance of weirdness and mature humor at points. That blend is something several cartoons today are now trying to capture. Hell, Estevan and attempted that feel with our cartoon pitch to Nick earlier this year. So just saying hi to Bob Camp today really made my fucking day. We talked for about 15 minutes and I realized how much of a cool guy he is. Camp is a very passionate man about his projects and characters.
Sitting right next to Camp’s booth was Christian Slade, author of Top Shelf Comix’ Korgi series. This was an odd meeting, as I had no idea that a Top Shelf published author would be attending such a small comic Expo in Orlando. I haven’t met any comic authors I’ve actually thoroughly enjoyed or been heavily following before, but I do follow Top Shelf a LOT, so I immediately recognized Slade’s cover for Korgi when I saw it. I introduced myself, we talked about stuff, and I found out he actually lives less than 15 minutes from me.
Like, what? Really? I’m over here in Orlando complaining that Orlando isn’t into the type of comic culture I’m into and this man sits within a 15 minute drive of my house, producing his buns off on a comic book title I’ve actually heard of and am impressed by. That was surreal!
Both Camp and Slade are incredibly nice folks, and Estevan and I are happy we met them. Their panel really opened my eyes to a lot of things dealing with cartooning and animation in general. Most of all, they took cartooning, comics, animation, and film in a serious way, which is something I enjoy hearing from other people. I love seeing passionate people talk about their art mediums, why they chose it, and why they still with it. Even through the technology advances in the years, they’re still sticking to pen and paper. That’s something special. The roots will never die. Not if there are faithful folks like them still existing to wield those tools.
Estevan met up later in the day and I suggested he enter in the artist throwdown competition. The contest involved all artists drawing around the same theme, which was “Wolverine drinking a beer.” The winner would be announced at 4 PM. Estevan started drawing at 3:35 PM while we were at Arby’s entered in around 3:5something PM, and won second prize! The drawing was kept by staff to post on their official website, but here’s a closer look at it.
I also bought a ton of comics. Some trades of 100 Bullets and Dark Tower, Guardians of the Galaxy, and check this rad old shit out!