Baltimore and the Shadow of NYCC

Baltimore Comic-Con 2017 Thanks - J. M. DeSantis
Well, I’m back two days from Baltimore and back in the studio to do all the catching up I’m seriously in need of doing. The wonderful news is, save for a few inquiries, my delays and silence have gone mostly unnoticed (most of my colleagues, at least, perceive that I’ve been busy of late), but of course that doesn’t change that I’ve been seriously unfair to my fans (especially my Chadhiyana fans) for months now. As I’ve written in previous posts, I’m working to change that—it’s just going to take a bit of time to work my way out of the back log of work I have to catch up on. That said, however, Baltimore Comic-Con was a success, and though I stayed away from social media for the most part during the show, I was fairly busy round the clock. 

I’ve always enjoyed doing this show, since I first attended back in 2012. (Seven years? Has it been that long? And I missed only one of those years.) It’s extremely artist friendly, the fans who come out for it are wonderful, and I always have the chance to catch up with old or meet new friends. I suppose that’s mostly true of all shows (save the bit about being artist friendly—sadly, not all shows are), but there’s a certain feeling one gets at Baltimore Comic-Con that doesn’t exist at other conventions. I can’t quite explain it; I only hope it doesn’t change—after all, so many large shows are starting to change and not all for the better. I hope Baltimore remains pure in this regard. And, for what it’s worth, I’m already signed up for next year.

Otherwise, I was fairly busy with commissions this year (which was wonderful—it’s always nice to have a good reason to draw while I’m at a show). Of particular interest, however, was that it was the first time anyone asked me to draw Dracula—which if only people knew I spent my early youth drawing Dracula and Darth Vader almost exclusively. Though more exciting still was being asked to do a Michonne sketchover commission (from The Walking Dead) which was pre-signed by actress Danai Gurira who plays the character on the AMC show! A little intimidating to be sure, but I and the commissioner were happy with the result (thankfully!).

Catching up with the likes of K. J. Murphey and Hector Rodriguez (of Guild Works Publications) and author E. J. Barnes was equally great, as well as fellow artist Chris Campana, who is always pleasant to talk with. I have my eye on his Skeletor print (and I so rarely buy prints, so I know I really want it if I keep thinking of picking one up).

It was a little disappointing that I didn’t have Gentleman Cthulhu: Twice the Fears and Cheers on the table, but I do remember Year One was not with me in Baltimore last year, and there have been some new prints since last year too. More though was the absence of any new, physical Chadhiyana material. Again, I’m trying to fix that, and the delays in that series have all been on account of my own slowed and (for a while) paused production on the book, and including one initiative which is taking time to create. But I still can’t say too much as yet. I’m sorry.

That said, New York Comic Con is a little less than two weeks away, and I’m hoping a few more prints will sell out there, as I’m looking to make some changes to my table display next year. I’m thinking of some new approaches to how I’m going to exhibit at conventions and promote online. It should work to the benefit of all of my projects, and perhaps make good on my promises and hopes for more (consistent) work and publications from me. But a lot is going to depend on how the next few months go on my end.

Anyway, that all seems rather vague. I apologise. I’ve just been in the habit of over-promising for a while now, and I’m trying to break that habit, while making up for lost time. It’s all going to balance out. Just give it time.

With that, I’ll end this very lengthy reflection and get myself back to work. I’d like to have a few things in order (and even moving along) before NYCC. So until next week…


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