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THE ART OF THE CON

Have you ever gotten a sketch from a comics artist at a con?

It can be a tricky thing. Most artists are in high demand, and their prices can sometimes be out of reach. But for a couple of years my ex and I took a sketchbook to San Diego and did our best to get it filled. We began by setting some ground rules, though, and by using a bit more common sense than many sketch enthusiasts use at a show.

The first thing we did was buy a very small sketchbook. 3.5 inches by 3.5 inches. Heavy-duty paper, not quite as thick as cardboard, but close. Easy to hand an artist, and easier to do with our second rule: we would try and get free sketches whenever possible.

Now, many artists will no longer do any free sketching, and frankly, I understand why. Too many free sketches found their way onto E-bay, the profit from the artist’s hard work going to precisely the wrong person. I’ll say it loud right now: anyone who takes a free sketch and sells it online is an asswipe and deserves to be smacked. Hard. Our sketchbooks’ third definitive rule was this: they were for us and only us, and they would never be sold for any reason.

So as we go into convention season, I thought I might share some of the amazing work that we were fortunate to have done for us. This first piece is from my favorite comics artist period, the great Steve Lieber. I have three sketches from Steve, but watching him create this one was a jaw-dropping experience. He was doing a signing that was going slowly, so he whipped out an ink brush and a quill and went to work. The result was this stunning piece of WHITEOUT lead character Carrie Stetko. Enjoy!


Marc Mason  

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