Monday, April 25, 2005

LaserAvenger by Jan Duursema

Originally uploaded by waffyjon.
Way back in 1986, I was in the U.S. Navy, stationed aboard the aircraft carrier USS Constellation as a journalist. The "Connie" was stationed at NAS North Island, just across the water from San Diego.

Unfortunately, 1986 was the only year I was able to attend the San Diego Comic-Con while I was in the Navy... but I tried to make the most of it I could, naturally!

My buddy Mark Grochowicz went with me -- we'd been friends since before we both joined the Navy, and were both in San Diego when our ships were in port.

I had several goals at this SDCC... attend panels, naturally (I remember going to one for the Spider-Man movie... yeah, it was in the works for a helluva long time!). I managed to meet -- however briefly -- a few people, like Marv Wolfman, Jim Shooter (whom I pestered with questions about breaking into comics and also handed him a proposal for a Nova miniseries), and way, way too briefly, Jack Kirby. I at least got to shake Jack's hand, but I'll always wish I had more time to tell him how much his work has meant to me almost my entire life.

I remember walking past Julie Schwartz and Ray Bradbury, and really wish I'd talked to both of them.

I also attended a seminar on breaking into comics writing held by Mark Evanier, at which I found out I shouldn't have given Shooter my plots!

Anyway, another major goal for me at this show was to get some drawings done in Artist's Alley of some of my own superhero characters. I had no idea how much it would cost, but I had a pocketful of cash to spend on that! So, I hit Artist's Alley, and had Jan Duursema do two of my characters, and her husband (at least at the time, I don't know if they're still married or not) Tom Mandrake do two others. I loved what they did!

I also had Mike Gustovich (of Justice Machine) do one, and Richard Howell did another one (although his was pencils only, no inks). And I loved their stuff, too!

Then... there was Howard Chaykin. Let me give you guys a word of advice... if Chaykin's at a convention doing sketches, only ask for drawings of his own characters. I don't know, maybe he was in a bad mood or something when I asked him to do a drawing for me... but I really wish I'd changed my mind about that. More on that in a future post!

Anyway... this drawing here was one of Jan Duursema's, and is of my character LaserAvenger. I wanted to show off the black and white version before I show you the version I just colored on the computer tonight, and I'll tell you a bit about the character with that post!


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