Friday, November 2, 2012

Post: Detroit Fanfare 2012

Hi friends,

It's been a week since I attended the Detroit Fanfare. I had such a great time at the show. It was really a solid end to my convention season. The Fanfare crew decided to come back to the Hyatt in Dearborn, MI. This was a great move on their part. Last year it was at Cobo Hall and it felt a lot more spread out which didn't really do much for artists and vendors. Having it back at the Hyatt with the crowded aisles, tons of kids, and countless panels and activities really made it feel like a comic convention.

FRIDAY: I was sharing a table with JOE FOO and MIKE ROLL. Two artists I have become great friends with and are constant sources of inspiration and laughs. Nic and I drove up from Chicago and arrived for the show's Friday night around 5:30pm. We had some not so awesome P.F. Changs and set up our tables with Foo. Miker came later to set up. I had some time before the show closed to scope out anything of interest. A lot of the vendors and artists weren't there yet, so I would have to have Nic make some rounds for me during the busy hours Saturday.

The other awesome thing about having it at the Hyatt was that our hotel room was a mere four floors up from the convention. It was great to just take an elevator ride and crash for the night.

SATURDAY: Unfortunately Joe could not attend the rest of the show which was an incredible bummer.So it was up to Miker and I to hold up the fort for Team Almost Asian. (It's what we call ourselves, Earth's mightiest heroes, that sort of thing.) Saturday was definitely the busiest day of the weekend. I did a lot of cardBORED sketches and sold an amazing amount of prints. Because of the vibe of the show, I felt a little more relaxed and stepped away from my table quite a bit.

One of those times I stepped away to meet and greet the amazing SINA GRACE, artist on The Li'l Depressed Boy, my favorite comic. I always get nervous meeting creators I admire for two reasons: 1. Making a fool of myself. 2. The creator ends up being a jerk face and shatters your image of them. Thankfully I did not make a fool of myself and Sina was an absolute pleasure to talk to. I brought my entire LDB collection for him to sign including his recently released, Not My Bag. I even bought my first piece of original comic art ever. It is now nicely framed and can't wait to hang it in my studio. Another amazing thing that he did for me was this sweet drawing in my TMNT themed sketchbook. I wanted to give him a copy of HEART to show my appreciation for taking the time to sign all that stuff and talk to me but instead he wanted to buy it. It was really the highlight of the convention for me and I came back to my table with such an art and inspiration high. It really harked back to last year's Fanfare show when I met the incredible KEVIN EASTMAN. Sina was just as gracious and allowing me to pick his creative brain with tips on comics and just engaging in all around conversation with me. It was truly great!

Since it was Halloween Weekend, there were a lot more costumes out. Nic dressed up as Indiana Jones she didn't have a whip though. This other Indiana saw she was dressed up and he actually brought an extra whip for her to use on Sunday. He was so nice! A big shout to George for bringing that for her.

The evening ending with going out to dinner with Miker and his wife Tina. We went to Cheli's where they had some mean veggie chili and an incredible nacho platter. We were stuffed. Nic and I spent the rest of the evening playing games at the top floor of the Hyatt. There was 24 hour game consoles set up in the Rotunda. We played some Smash Bros. Brawl and Dance Central 3 to burn off those chili calories.

SUNDAY: Sunday started out pretty heavy with a kids costume contest and trick or treating. We were all given candy bowls and balloons and kids came around for candy and any free goodies we wanted to give away. After that initial rush the day started to wind down about half way. I used this opportunity to talk to more people and grab some awesome books. With it being my last show for the year, I definitely decided to spend a little more to hold me over 'til winter.

One book that I picked up was Manta-Man: Swimming with Sharks by CHAD SELL. It is an insanely funny web-comic read about a man who turns into a manta ray and how it affects his relationship with his crazy roommates and girlfriend. Give it a read! At the close of the show I picked up Miker's new Apooka book where she attends a beauty pageant. He also gave me a set of his new prints where Apook eats members of the Avengers. I also picked up The Walking Dead Compendium Vol. 2.

Another cool thing that happened on Sunday was the local shop out there, Comic City, decided to pick up some signed copies of HEART for their store. So if you are local to that area, stop on in and pick up a signed copy of HEART if you couldn't make it out to Fanfare. 

We headed out a little after six and grabbed some Red Robin for dinner. We got home around 11pm. Nicole knocked out and I stayed up reading all my new awesomeness. I was definitely not ready for work the next morning. I look forward to attending the Fanfare in 2013! Great end to my convention season!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Detroit Fanfare 2012

This weekend!!! 

 I will be there with MIKE ROLL & JOE FOO!

600 Town Center Dr.
Dearborn, MI 48126

Friday, October 26th: 6-9pm

Saturday, October 27th: 10am - 7pm

Sunday, October 28th: noon - 6pm

Monday, October 22, 2012

Post: Kokomo Con 2012

Hi all,

This past Saturday I attended the KOKOMO CON at The Kokomo Event Center in, you guessed it, Kokokmo Indiana. The K-Crew sure do know how to make an artist feel special at their show. All thru the event, the volunteers would come by with water and snacks constantly checking on us.  They also provided me with a Kid Friendly Content sign to hang by my table area. It helped parents identify which tables they can bring their kids too. It was a really cool idea and definitely added to the walk ups I had throughout the day.

I had a great time drawing for people and it looks like the #cardBOREDsketches are really catching on. I'm so happy for that because I've grown so fond of drawing on these boards, especially over the course of the #sharemyHeart campaign.

It was definitely an art and print show for me which I cannot complain too much about because it kept me busy and interactive with the friendly crowd. I was bummed that I wasn't able to move any HEART books at the show. I felt after awhile that if it didn't have Batman or Superman on it, people were not interested. I got a lot of feelers but no one wanted to take one home. It seems like I may have to open up some the brainstorm cloud and  find a way to better market and sell this book, which means not sticking strictly to comic book shows.

Towards the halfway point of the show it definitely started to slow down and by the last two hours, the attendance was pretty bare. I toughed it out though and these wonderful girls kept me busy with cardBOREDsketch requests:

Another con highlight was this li'l girl dressed as Jenny Weasley that kept coming back to chat with Nicole about EVERYTHING. It was really cute and the girl made the con even more awesome!

I had a great time at Kokomo drawing for people and catching up with convention friends, DUSTIN CARSON and VICTOR DANDRIDGE. I also got to reacquaint myself with the creators of Little Guardians, ED CHO and LEE CHEROLIS. Really great guys and very approachable. I picked up their Book One collection of the web comic. Lee was also awesome enough to do a Krang sketch for my TMNT book. It is super awesome, check it out:

*photo courtesy of leecherolis' instagram.

 Up next: Detroit Fanfare

*to see all the sketches I did at the show, head over here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Kokomo Con 2012

Hi all,

This Saturday I will be appearing at the Kokomo Con. (although the website hasn't been updated since March? I swear I am going!) Details below! I will have copies of HEART as well as Playing The Alphabet flashcards, Coloring books, and more!  Come check it out!

October 20th, 2012 @ Kokomo Event Center 
1500 North Reed Road (U.S. 31) in Kokomo, Ind. 46901
Doors open @ 10:00AM to the General Public
Convention Center closes at 6PM.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Post: Ohio Con 2012

Hello everyone! I am back from Columbus and what an amazing weekend it was! This year I brought Mike Roll and his adorable little zombie girl, Apooka, with me.

FRIDAY: I was able to come in Friday for preview night which was a little evening pre-con con. I was able to get some sketch requests that night and a lot of the VIP'ers purchased prints from me which was nice because I had restocked with the new 11x14s. I also got a lovely note from Drew Blank who knows about my utter love and affection for How I Met Your Mother.

It's always a pleasure chatting with that guy.  I like it so much I asked him to write the foreword to HEART. Speaking of, when I went to check in the hotel, there was a package there waiting for me containing the first shipment of 72 books!  I couldn't be more excited.

SATURDAY: This was the MEGA SUPER…and I really do mean SUPER. I was technically flying solo this weekend.  My better and way prettier half of the crime fighting duo, was spending time with her family at EIU this very same weekend. So I had to handle the business side of things too: keeping track of inventory and sketch list, money handling, learning how to add, square transactions. It was pretty chaotic but I felt I had a good handle on it. 

This was only the second con I offered up the cardBORED sketches and the appeal is really building. People like how different it is and really dig the way the inks pull a lot of texture from them. The amount of sketches vary through out conventions but I am noticing as I produce more work for the table  that the sketches are starting to even out with the amount of business I get from my books.  That's a good thing as I am getting more people flipping through the books.  Don't get me wrong I love drawing for people and it's something I will favor over doing the sales pitch over and over again.  It's nice to see them finding their level and it made it a lot easier for me running the one man show.

It was also a big print show.  I sold out of all my TMNT prints that I made for the Fanfare last year and the Avengers one selling well. I didn't bring that many WIWL books with me because I really wanted to push HEART and Playing the Alphabet so by the time Saturday had come to an end, I was already down to my last When I Was Little Too. It was a good feeling.

The lovely Lora Innes stopped by to say hi and congratulate me on HEART which she got to scope out the night before with Trevor Mueller's copy. She also brought a fellow Paper Winger with her, Scott Hoffman, who was interested in talking children's book shop with me. He was a nice guy and even picked up a set of the WIWL books before he left. I didn't bring that many WIWL books with me because I really wanted to push HEART and Playing the Alphabet so by the time Saturday had come to an end, I was already down to my last When I Was Little Too thanks to Scott. It was a good feeling.

Yay! Paperwings' connections being made at conventions. Before Lora left I gave her Nicole's Mulan sketchbook and asked her to do a li'l something something with it.  She gladly took the book and looked wide eyed when I told her it was about Mulan. Later on Lora sent me a tweet to come by and pick up the sketchbook and she presented me with this: 

 *photo courtesy of Lora's twitter

It was incredible! When I showed Nic she loved it, laughed cause she knew the scene that she drew.

It picked up quite a bit by mid-afternoon but I elected to dive out for a few minutes to meet my favorite Superman ever, Dean Cain. As I was walking back from the restroom I noticed he had just sat down at his booth and the line didn't start forming yet. So I rushed back to the table and grabbed my Season 1 dvd of Lois and Clark. I walked right up there, shook his hand and chatted about his new show, Stars and Stripes. Just enough time to soak it all in before the next group of people came his way.  As I made my way back to the table I went straight for the Photo-Ops booth and purchased a ticket for a photo.  I was totally geeking out and it's something I never really do at conventions any more.  I'm so numb to it seeing all these celebrities walking by amongst the comic crowd. But this was Dean Cain and growing up he was my Superman. How could I not geek out about this. I thought as a token of my appreciation for all the work he did on the show I would give him a World's Finest print.

Later on when I walked up to him to get my picture taken. I handed him the print whilst at the same time trying to form words that sounded awkward and mumbled but to the tone of, "Hey I got this print for you." He felt humbled by it and he really dug it.  He said so. He's Superman. He doesn't lie. The whole experience was a blur but it was really cool to meet him and he was very gracious about the whole thing. The cherry on top of the cake was that after he was done and I was long gone back at my table working on another sketch request, he walked by my table to tell me again how great the print was. Then we did the most epic of handshakes and we both went about our business. Superman acknowledged me, he called me by  my first name and said he liked something that I had done. Right then and there, I felt like the coolest kid on the planet.

I didn't need to sell anything else that day, but I did and I was riding that high.

I still am.

SUNDAY: Miker and I got an early start because we needed to get into the good parking lot across the street so it wouldn't be such a haul for us later carrying all our things. We got in early and scoped out some of the artist alley and table booths. Got to snap some sweet photos of the Ecto-1 and some Dr. Who stuff. When the show opened it was pretty slow in the beginning.  (My theory is that everyone was watching the new TMNT show on Nickelodeon.)
Anyway, the show picked up right around noon and I got a lot more cardBORED sketch requests in.  I also sold the last WIWL2 which made table room for more copies of HEART.

Rachel, another con buddy I met at my first MOC, stopped by my table and dropped off some mini cupcakes, another convention highlight.  It's always great to see her and her family at the show. They stopped by again later in the day and picked up some more coloring books for their son, Jonathan, as well as a copy of Heart. It got really slow the last two hours so I used that time to walk around and I spotted Humberto Ramos deep into a Spiderman sketch cover. I ended up getting his new Art N' Out: Sabotage book and told him how much of a fan I was and that I donated to his Fairy Quest Kickstarter. I was pretty tired towards the end but managed the 6 hour drive by myself without any real long stops.

This show has always been a favorite of mine and I was glad I got to bring Miker with me.  Hopefully next year, the great Joe Foo will come with us and dominate.  Thanks for having me Columbus we will see you next year!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Ohio Con 2012

Just a quick reminder Miker Roll and I will be at Wizard World's Ohio Con:

Table 1322

Post: CCE 12

This past weekend I attended the Cincinnati Comic Expo. I have been told about the CCE show throughout the year with promises of it being bigger and better than years prior. Unfortunately HEART wasn't shipped in time so I wasn't going to have them for the show.  I was super bummed.  We drove up Friday morning because there was a preview night but it was really empty after I was all set up.

The following Saturday was better catching up with good friends, Mutant Cactus, Victor Dandridge, and Dustin Carson. Mutant had the LITTLE supers buttons as well as Victor's 8bits for sale and the crowds seemed to really warm up to them.

Sunday was the busier of the two days being the Kids Con portion but I didn't really see that many families coming down the aisles.  They preferred to stay just on the outskirts.

Towards the end of the show I met some new people and even talked with comics legend, Steve EnglehartHe was my table neighbor along with Geof Darrow of all people! Across the way were Mike Norton, Katie Cook, and Scratch9 creator, Rob Worley. It was pretty amazing to see these greats talk with their fans and share stories with fellow exhibitors in the Artist Alley.

Meeting with a lot of different artists, I got to survey what they thought of the show. It was very half and half.  With past exhibitors of the show proclaiming it was bigger and better and a lot of first timers saying it was lighter than shows they've been to earlier in the year.

I can't complain all that much as I had a great time with friends, networked a ton, and got to draw some cardBORED sketches for the kiddies, the ones that stopped by the table. 

Some highlights for me were taking part in the Epipheo Story Challenge and chatting it up with the creators of Little Guardians, Ed Cho and Lee Cherolis.

If you stopped by my table this weekend and said hi, maybe bought a sketch or two, thank you so much!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Cincinnati Comic Expo 2012

Hi friends,

We are back into convention season.  This fall I have 4 big shows coming up starting with one this weekend, The Cincinnati Comic Expo. It'll be good to get back into con-mode.  Here's the info!


Duke Energy Convention Center
525 Elm Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202


Friday, Sep 21
5:00pm – 8:00pm
Pros, Media & VIP only
8pm - 12am Geek Prom
Saturday, Sep 22
9:00am - 10:00am (VIP)
10:00am - 5:00pm
Sunday, Sep 23
9:00am - 10:00am (VIP)
10:00am - 4:00pm

Monday, August 13, 2012

HEART available for Pre-Order!

Hello friends,

I set up the pre-orders for Heart at my store!  So if you missed securing yourself a copy through the Kickstarter campaign you can now pick from three awesome packages:

Package 1: A Simple Heart

$20 (+ shipping)

- One full color, hardcover, signed copy of Heart

Package 2: A Button Heart

$25 (+ shipping)

- One full color, hardcover, signed copy of Heart

- A 7 pack of Heart and WIWL buttons

Package 3: A Coloring Heart

$30 (+ shipping)

- One full color, hardcover, signed copy of Heart

- A 7 pack of Heart and WIWL buttons

- A copy of Coloring WIWL with free pack of crayons

Spread the word, #sharemyHeart!

- Justin

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Post: KRC 2012

This past weekend, I attended Kids Read Comics in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I had an absolute blast! The Ann Arbor District Library is quite massive and has multiple floors and areas loaded with tons of books and computers.

The workshops and panels were spread across the library making it worth your time to check out each floor and area. I hosted two Drawing WIWL workshops this weekend which went over well.  One kid even drew a picture of me during my introductions. The kids in attendance and the ones walking through artist alley were very well behaved.  Nothing but smiles and "thank yous".

The KRC and AADL staff were fantastic! They kept the artists and attendees well informed of events and provided us with food and water throughout the day to keep us focused and freshed. I sat across from my table buddies and Almost Asian Tour members, JOE FOO and MIKE ROLL.  Joe brought a giant pad of paper and would occaisionally encourage kids to draw with some of the artists.  I got to share pen and paper with Joe, Mike, and Reed Gunther artist, CHRIS HOUGHTON. It was so much fun!

My table-mate at the show was SALLY CARSON, who is the amazing artist and writer of The Skids.  She is incredibly talented and great to share table space with.  She even did a sketch in my TMNT sketchbook which is flippin' great.  Learn more about her and her work at Fixpert
All in all it was a fantastic show.  I got to catch up with friends, made new ones, and had the absolute best time talking to kids about comics, drawing and When I Was Little.  I will definitely want to come back next year especially since I will be touring with Heart.

Next up for me is Cincinnati Comic Expo in September 22-23rd.  I'm taking a short break in July and August to catch up on my Heart rewards.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Post: Fantasy Con 2012

On June 9th, Nicole and I attended the Fantasy Con at the Kankakee Library.  This one day show was from 10am - 4pm and about an hour away from us.  We consider that a "local" show compared to the 5-6 hour treks we sometimes take to these conventions.

I've done conventions at libraries before but this library is massive.  It had 7 floors with the 4th being reserved just for the show.  They had table top gaming rooms, console gaming rooms, and two areas of vendors and creators.  For a library show, the layout it was really impressive.

I had a good time albeit some rude kids and parents who don't know the meaning of the words, please and thank you.  Oh you can ask Nicole all about that when you see her.  However, It was nice to catch up with convention buddies like Eric Rampson of Lonely Robot Comics and David Gruba from Instant Press.  Also we had fun sharing stories with Amy Royer and Decapitated Dan.  It was a nice con to warm me up for Kid's Read Comics in July.  I am excited and nervous as I am doing two workshops of Drawing When I Was Little.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Fantasty Con 2012

Hi folks,

If you follow me on the twitters and the internets I have been very busy putting together my latest book, Heart.  I have exciting news to share though.  I am going to part of this year's Fantasy Con at the Kankakee Public Library on June 9th!  So come out and support comic shows, libraries, and awesomeness. 

Kankakee Public Library
201 E. Merchant Street
Kankakee, IL 60901

June 9th, 10am - 4pm

Monday, May 14, 2012

Post: Summit City 2012

Hello friends,
Well I am back from Summit City Comic Con and had a fantastic time.  I was sad however as my partner in crime and better half was not able to come with me.  I had to fly solo heading out the door at five to make the 10am start time.
The drive there felt like it would take forever but that's my own fault having not caught enough sleep prior.  I powered through, blasting tunes and listening to SModcasts.  I find myself calculating drive times by how many times I can watch The Dark Knight.  This trip was one and a half viewings, probably ending on the 2nd view of the interrogation scene…where Joker is getting punched in the face and Bats is screaming, "WHERE ARE THEY!?" With an hour left in my drive I was definitely feeling the exhaustion and had the hunger games.  I stopped for a quick bite to eat before heading into downtown Fort Wayne.

I made it just in time with 15 minutes before they opened the show floor.  I had an exceptional table spot being the first row, third table in.  I had the great pleasure of being neighbors with Instant Press Comics.  They kept my energy up talking comics, movies, and TV.  

The show rocked.  It was definitely a print and art show for me this year.  I didn't sell as many books as I would've liked but I certainly did a ton of business sketch wise.  I finally caught up to that sketch list around 3pm.  Took a mini break, Cheetos in hand and walked the aisles.  It gave me a chance to stop and visit con friends, Victor Dandrige, Trevor Mueller, Russell Lissau, and Dustin Carson.
The last half of the show was on the slower side but I managed to make one or two book sales and sneak in at least 3 more sketches to end the day.  I packed up and headed home.  I stopped to get some Cracker Barrel before powering through the last hour of my trip.  Spent the evening doing inventory before knocking out to reruns of Man Vs. Food.
It was a great show and quickly becoming one of my favorite one day shows to attend.  I look forward to next year.  Thanks for having me Fort Wayne!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

FCBD 2012


This year for FCBD I opted not to set up a a signing anywhere.  I've just been really busy lately and deep into the production of Heart that I thought skipping it this year would provide me with some rest and relaxation time in between the heavier weeks.  Also I made plans with the misses to check out Wrigley and attend my first Cubs game.  You can read more about that here.

For FCBD we decided to head out to Skokie, IL and check out the grand opening of Aw Yeah Comics.  Owners and writer - artist  extraordinaires, Art Baltazar and Franco were doing signings and free sketches for everyone who came out.  The store looks great with Art and Franco's artistic touches painted throughout the comic shop walls.

There wasn't much left in terms of free comics as were a bit late to the party but Nic and I got a copy of the Superman Family Adventures preview that Art and Franco will be doing as a monthly series for DC.  We also got some sweet sketches and free hot dogs! (A winning combination for any comic fan.)

It was a great time and couldn't be happier for Art and Franco as they expanded the world they play in and opened a comic shop for the kids.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Post: c2e2 2012


I am back from my San Diego vacation!  Prior to that, I attended the third c2e2 at Chicago's McCormick Place.  It was a blast!  I definitely had a little pep in my step because I was well into my Kickstarter campaign for Heart.  It was also the debut of Playing with the Alphabet, my flashcards about games and activities to do when you are little.

We started out the day pretty earlier and it gave us time to walk around and scope out the lay out of the show.  As the show opened, Joe Foo and Mike Roll were all set up and the self proclaimed Almost Asian Tour was ready to roll!

Friday was slower than previous years but the traffic came mid afternoon.  I was doing my best to promote Heart and luckily Nicole was there to pick up my slack.  She was such a huge trooper and I really couldn't have done it without her. 

Saturday was the heavy traffic day.  I saw a lot of regulars and met a lot of new people also.  Every book, sketch, or card set sold, I made sure to include the Heart promo card.  Also a lot of family and friends came out on Saturday to support me and that is always such a warm welcome.  A big shout out to Rene and Dave of Instant Press Comics and Victor from Vantage In:House who were kind enough to have some of those promo cards at their tables.  When I had caught up with my sketch work Nic and I would frequent Artist Alley and scope out some of the more interesting tables.  I also made a point to visit some creative colleagues that I am continuing to grow friendships with. 

Afterwards Nic and I treated my table mates to a really late dinner at Jerry's.  We waited a LONG time for our food but it made for good conversation and some hilarious stories by the great Joe Foo.  Afterwards we hit up some even later karaoke at this speakeasy club called Brando's.  Joe got me to sing Tenacious D's Wonderboy and we went boy band and belted  98 Degrees' Tell Me Why to a bachelorette party.  It was insanely fun and one of the best nights I've had in a long while.

Sunday was kid's day. Not much of a big crowd than the last two days.  It made sense, but there were definitely a lot more families in attendance.  It was also a big day as the Heart cards and word of mouth kicked the campaign into over drive.  We made a big jump in those two days and we broke 2.5k!  I also did an interview with the amazing Lora Innes for her Paper Wings Podcast show which she co-hosts with the also amazing Chris Oatley.  It was definitely one of the highlights of the show for me and really pumped me up to finish Sunday strong.

And I felt like I did.  By the end of the week I had mad a 50% jump in my goal and by Tuesday night I had achieved it!

This year's c2e2 was definitely an education in networking.  Not only did I become more comfortable speaking to strangers and pitching my story, I grew confident and positive in my way of thinking.  After Saturday it wasn't I MIGHT make my goal it was more like I WILL make my goal.  When that was instilled, that passion for the project started to come out more when I was speaking.  It definitely shows in the art but it started to show in my speech.  I was more expressive and I engaged in conversation more, not only with people stopping at the table but with my convention friends as well. The experience is something I will carry with me forever.  Not because I got people to donate to my book but because the passion for wanting to be in this industry burned brighter than ever.  There's no reason it should go out.