One month from now I will be heading to the Boston Comic Con !!
This is the event of the summer for me and, as usual, it is about a month prior that true con preparation starts.
I have begun pulling books for signatures for the guests there, organizing them in interoffice envelopes for easy retrieval. I try to limit sigs to 6-8 per creator. There is nothing worse than being behind someone who brings 30 issues for signature. If I have more I will leave the line after 8 and return later with the rest. And while I succumb to pressure and bring first issues, and creator's first issues on a title, I will often bring my favorite issue of a creator to sign. I find that handing an issue they haven't signed a million times can spur a conversation. (For example, I remember handing Frank Quitely All-Star Superman #10, saying it was my favorite issue of the run. Turns out it was his too and this led to a nice chat.)
Anyways, the other half of con preparation is planning a commission strategy. Who do I want to get sketches from? Are they sketching? How much do they charge? Who is so popular I need to run to their table first? Who can I get in touch with pre-con to try to reserve a spot on the list? There is some prep work here.
For commissions, I have three sketch books I use, so I try to think of the top three with a secondary list if I don't get on the top three's list or if the initial commissions are done quickly enough for me to get more. I like to support the artists as much as possible.
Using sketch books limits how many commissions I can get in some ways but I love the portability of my collection. It also shows artists that I am not going to just flip my commission on EBay.
Here are the top artists I am hoping to get commissions from at the con, although one is a pipe dream.
Chris Burnham - I loved his work on Batman Incorporated. His treatment of Talia al Ghul was so spectacular that he vaults to the top of the list. His work on Batman Incorporated might make him a tough grab so I am hoping to get to him early.
Clay Mann was a late addition to the convention roster. Mann is known mostly for work on X-Men books. I have always liked his style. A good friend of mine got an Elektra commission from him a couple of years ago which is breathtaking. So maybe I can nab a Supergirl from him.
Cat Staggs does the covers for Smallville and designed this interesting Supergirl costume. The commissions I have seen from her are unbelievable. I am hoping that Staggs will be sketching in Boston.
And now the pipe dream ...
Amanda Conner is one of my favorite artists in the business. I absolutely loved her Power Girl, Silk Spectre, and her Wednesday Comics Supergirl. I know she rarely does commissions these days but a Conner Supergirl is a like a grail piece for me. I can only hope that an earnest plea will be heard.
So those are the top artists on my wish list. There are plenty of other artists I would be thrilled to get sketches from so you never know. But wish me luck with these creators!