I have always enjoyed the smooth lines of Mike McKone since I first saw them way back in Detective Comics #622-624. He definitely is one of those artists who have reached that level that I will at least consider buying a book simply for the art.
And when his work is in conjunction with some of my favorite writers (like Howard Chaykin in JLA:Secret Society of Super-Heroes or Geoff Johns on Teen Titans) than I am really pumped.
Despite being at a couple of prior conventions that I have attended, I have never obtained a commission from him. That is, until now.
Last weekend was the North East Comic-Con ( http://www.necomiccon.com/ ) and McKone was one of the guest artists. Unlike the big Boston Comic-Con, this one really had a 'small show' feel to it with only a couple of 'name' guests, although there was a fair amount of local talent. There were also fewer vendors. There didn't seem to be too much foot traffic either and I wonder if the $12 entry fee kept people away. That seemed pricey for a show of this caliber.
Anyways, McKone being there lured me to go. I also was hoping to meet Billy Tucci who unfortunately had to cancel. Inexplicably, McKone was put in a back room at the end of a corridor. If there wasn't much foot traffic in the con, the 'star room' felt even slower. With almost no one on his commission list, I felt like I had to take advantage and so grabbed a head sketch.
I have debated the worth of head sketches in my collection. I would much rather have full body or at least half-body commissions. Unfortunately, McKone had a two tiered commission approach ... head shot or full body. And full body was way too expensive.
Still, having missed getting a McKone piece before and not knowing when I would see him again, I figured I had to do it. I am glad I did. There is a really fresh feeling to this piece. I love the short hair and cape overlying the shoulders. Well worth the money spent.