Wednesday, July 28, 2010


We came, we saw, we COMIC CON-QUERED.
SO LONG, COMIC CON 2010! The Dragons have left the building. And so have the eye-stabbers.

While the last 6 days of my life are more of a blur than Lindsay Lohan's vision behind the wheel, each of these 6 days was separately the best, most exciting, most humbling, and most unexpectedly successful Comic Con in my history. Which means, collectively, I can only describe them in a word that doesn't exist yet. Comic Con was simply, in a word, squigglicious. Times ten. It was the exact OPPOSITE of the last 6 days in Mel Gibson's life. And I am ok with that.

I can't really figure out where to start, what to talk about, and in what order, nor did I really have a camera with me for most of it, but here goes, in no discernible order, a small glimpse into what went down at Comic Con for me:)

I have no pics to support it, but the first night jumpstarted the good vibes for the remainder of the show. Thanks to artist homie Dave Crosland & geek-girl extraordinaire and photojournalist MOLLY MCISAAC, I got a little pub-time with artist/writer BEN TEMPLESMITH who I had been a fan of for a decade now, so that set things off in the right light. Or dark. Depending on how goth I want to be. Also, San Diego Queso Con occurred this night as well, as I devoured every kind of mexican cheese-foods possible.

Now, on with the scattered pics:)

The ZEROFRIENDS Booth, as hard as it was to find because of the weird map, looked like THIS the entire time, with both Darren & I frantically moving back and forth because of the amazing support from everyone. We were busy nonstop the entire time. It was like 5 days in a row on the Sketch 4 Sketch tour crammed into….well, 5 days at a booth! Sunday alone I managed to draw/sketch/sign for people for 9 hours straight. So rad. Thank you to everyone who spent a few minutes at the booth and picked up some fun.

I did a few signings at other booths in addition to Zerofriends, like COLOR INK BOOK (who debuted my new cover issue!) and MUNKY KING, where I met…..

MASTER P!!!! UUUHHHHHHHH, Nuh nah nuh nahhhhhh.
You can also see photo-bomb master (and "I'm WIth CoCo" Poster Creator)MIKE MITCHELL & Monster-Man CHRIS RYNIAK peeking their mugs through, but they couldn't handle the platinum aura-bling that was Master P & I. Now, I know, a picture with the ICE CREAM MAN himself is enough to jump for joy with No Limits, but here's the best part. He mentioned to me that he is dabbling in animation right now and slipped me his business card, which is AMAZING. Always one for quality, check out this sick 72 dpi design on 2 lb copy paper hand cut with second-hand scissors. Almost wish I designed this thing. When he passed this off to me, flashes of my favorite scene in American Psycho drenched me, as I couldn't believe what amazingness I was looking at. But alas…we move onward…

The greatest artist and human in the world (part 1), Greg "Craola" Simkins, stopped by after debuting his new wood-print at Hi Fructose.

As did Superman's retarded older brother, Semi-Super Boxer Man.

One of the highlights of the con was that the first footage and imagery from director Zack Snyder's new movie, "SUCKER PUNCH" was unveiled, which I have been insanely lucky enough to have been working on some art/design for over the last year. So to finally see it start coming alive was exhilarating. I will post a separate blog in the next day or so expanding on my involvement and the madness that is Sucker Punch, but for now, just witness some awesomeness. Oh, and you can see the first trailer RIGHT HERE!!!

From left to right: Producer Wesley Coller, Producer Debbie Snyder, Me, Director Zack Snyder, and Karl & Dev from Gentle Giant Studios.

The first screenshot that was released the first day of the con. You might recognize a certain critter somewhere in this shot:)

Gentle Giant had some gorgeous maquettes on display from the movie, including a certain bunny-mech…
…which I gave my approval on whole-heartedly.

Zack Snyder presented Attack of the Show host Olivia Munn with a Sucker Punch shirt that designed, while being interviewed live on G4. That was rad.

The Character banners also got unveiled at the show, which were photographs taken by the mesmerizing photographer CLAY ENOS
who did the photography for Watchmen as well. Also one of my favorite humans (part 2).

And, if you know me, you know I love sandwiches, and this is the greatest sandwich EVER. I got to personally present the lovely women of Sucker Punch with their character art that I created specifically for the con. Until this moment, they hadn't seen the drawings, so I was a little nervous (well, that's one of the reasons I was nervous, and also because…LOOK AT THEM!) but they all approved with hugs. That's more than enough approval for me.
From left to right: Jaime Chung, Emily Browning, Me, Vanessa Hudgens, Carla Gugino, Jena Malone & Zack Snyder.


Signing some Sucker Punch posters at the Zerofriends Booth.


One of the highlights was meeting stylistic realist painter Jason Edmiston, who took some time and let me see his portfolio, which seriously swept me off of my feet. I thought his paintings were digital, and while I was still blown away, once he told me that they were all acrylic paintings I seriously wanted to shoot myself in the head with admiration. His stuff was brilliant. The piece above was my favorite of the ones he showed me, but here is a link to his site which has a ton of rad stuff. Comic Con rules for this very reason alone. Discovering new art. Click HERE to check out Jason's work! But sit down first.

One of my old friends who I hadn't seen in 10 years, Joey Martinez, who worked with me at K-B Toys in Antioch for 8 years, surprised me by showing up to say hi and presenting me with my very first, hand-assembled photocopied zines, circa 1996, back when I was even afraid to put my own name on my work. So rad.

Dave Correia killed it with his new book release, with all of the covers hand-embellished. I live next door to him and I couldn't even get one, they went too fast. Beautiful. Jon Wayshak released a new TONER book too that I failed in getting. Damn, son.

Speaking con-loot, because of my busy-ness, I didn't get a chance to roam around and spend money much, which is a good thing since I usually spend any money we make on nerdy stuff. However, I did briefly run around for a few minutes and was able to grab a few awesome items. Notables: New BAD-ASSES Book and Predator Shirt from MARK TODD, Screenprints from Johnny Ryan, New books from one of the best trios at the con, TOM HAUBRICK, KEN GARDUNO & ERIC DAVISON. Some loot from Gentle Giant, New book from my homie CLAUDIO SANCHEZ, a new SKINNER wolf-lurker, some random Tommy Wiseau fun (yah, i know, I rule), and yep, that's Clown Porn in there, but i realistically have no idea where that came from. Or do i?

Iron Men.

Doug-klops, from, well, DOUG-KLOPS, and CALEB from the awesome BLONDE GRIZZLY Gallery/Store in SLC at the booth with ZF resident storyteller Sean Leopard.

Jon Wayshak, Flannel-Man, Jeben Berg, Sean Leopard, Dave Correia & Director Stephen Reedy at the WB/Sucker Punch party, where, speaking of….

I actually got to witness some live music that brought tears to my eyes and rupture to my heart. I don't fall in love with strangers too often. OK, that might be a lie since it happens regularly at Target, the cemetery, and Planned Parenthood, but still..A music duo called "STRINGS & NEEDLES" performed live to the small group of us at the party and I swear if my flannel wasn't buttoned my heart would have thrown itself out and punched these girls both in the face with its love. One girl (DJ Mia Moretti) was on the turntables of mysticism, and the other girl (Caitlin Moe) was on the majestic violin, and together, they were on a cloud of awesome. If you ever get a chance to see them live, i suggest it, but for now, check out their blog HERE and if you want instant gratification, here is a video of part of their performance from the NBC party the night before.


The days were speckled with many more inspirational encounters. Briefly after the announcement that one of my favorite directors is going to tackle a true version of Disney's Haunted Mansion movie (my favorite ride at Disneyland by far), I got a chance to say hello to GUILLERMO DEL TORO! HOLY SHIT! And not only that, but i got to pass along and show him some of my art and chat for a minute about Basket Case, mutual artist inspirations, and some other old 80's horror movies. That. Was. Amazing. Here is me freaking out that he is looking at some of my art, and then glowing that his arm is around me:)

Guillermo & I, sideways dancing.

And being introduced to some of my other teenage heroes wasn't too bad either, though i was too nervous to really say much more than "Thank you, kind, sir. I am happy now."

Legend Frank Miller & I, both angry at you.


And while we are mentioning some of the most inspirational people in The Room, why not mention that I crossed paths with the most interesting man in the WOOOHRRLD, TOMMY WISEAU, who insisted that Jeben Berg & I take 14 pictures with him after I asked for ONE. OK, TOMMY! MY PLEASURE!

Let's play "Count The Belts"

I'm fed up with this wohhrrld, oh hai Alex.

Long time artist/friend/homie MIKE MAXWELL dropped off an ill painting for me, too, which i DON'T deserve:) I don't have a pic of it but rest assured, it's rad. He also has some great Comic Con photo coverage on his blog so check it.

Overall, because we were so busy, there was a bunch of stuff that I missed that I personally wanted to check out for my own nerdiness, that hopefully you guys got lucky enough to see, like JAMES GUNN'S "SUPER", ADAM GREEN'S "HATCHET 2" Panel, The Dexter preview, the Adult Swim panel, Tim & Eric's AWESOME-CON which i try to go to every year and fail, Dolph Lundgren for Dolph-Con, the Always Sunny panel, the Jackass 3-D party, Scott Pilgrim, The entire small press and artist alley sections which always has the BEST shit, Dave Choe's new book, the assembly of the AVENGERS which i actually don't care too much about, but being bookended by Robert Downy Jr & Joss Whedon made me kind of giddy when I saw the photo. But yah, I DID see Pauly Shore tho, so my stupid weasel checklist was complete.

And I also DID get to chest bump and high-five with a ton of friends, artists, and fans that make that whole experience insanely amazing. So let's close it off with some more random Con-pics….
Until next year, or at least, DRAGON-CON!

John Merrick jedi? Sure, it's Comic Con, why not?

The greatest shirt ever in the world was bought by my chest at the con.

Snuggling with the PERFECT Carla Gugino at the Sucker Punch party who is…yah, perfect.

Skinner, Not Skinner, Tara McPherson & Attaboy. Four Amigos

WB Marketing mastermind John Stanford, Dave Correia, Happy Me, Jeben Berg

Longtime comics legend/editor Bob Schreck and I. This one is for YOU, SAM KIETH!

Raging with the director of Venture Bros & rad-opolis show Metalocalypse (and the voice of the fucking WISDOM CUBE!!!) JON SCHNEPP, and artists HANNAH JOSPEHER & BETH FRYMAN.

Me and a shotgun.

And lastly, to end with a gang-bang, one of the most epic, artist-filled photos ever from the last night of the con:

I know i am missing people since it looks tiny on my photobucket account, but included here are the likes of Travis Louie, Lola (whose pee is delicious), Tara McPherson, Buffmonster, Chris Ryniak, Steven Daily, Jon Schnepp, and like a billion more. Thanks, all of you NERRRRRDDDSSSSS. I'm gonna go try to download Step Up 3-D early now and learn all the moves for next Friday

Oh, afterthought:
We (Zerofriends) got a couple of cool write-ups at the con from both Wired Magazine and LA Weekly!