Monday, March 19, 2012

2012 World Horror Con Schedule

Left artwork: Hellboy by Mike Mignola. Artwork © Mike Mignola.
Right artwork: Sansa Stark and the Hound by John Picacio. Artwork © John Picacio. Characters © & TM George R. R. Martin.)

The preliminary 2012 World Horror Convention programming schedule is here, and wow -- it is LOADED with goodness. Below is where you'll find me.

Thursday, March 29th:

* 6pm / Opening Ceremonies -- I'm a Special Guest of this year's World Horror Convention, along with Guests of Honor Sherrilyn Kenyon, Mike Mignola, Scott Allie, P.N. Elrod, Joe R. Lansdale, Robert McCammon, and more.

Friday, March 30th:

* 12 noon / The Art of Mike Mignola -- I'll be interviewing Mike and bringing along a slideshow of his artwork that I'm assembling for the event. It'll be big, bold Mignola art with live commentary by Mike about the 'why's and 'how's of what he's created over the years. Should be a revealing look into one of the most influential minds in comics.

* 8pm / Mass Autographing

Saturday, March 31:

* 4pm / The Art of John Picacio -- I'll be presenting a slideshow focusing on the making of my artwork for the 2012 George R. R. Martin / A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar; Michael Moorcock's Elric; and more.

Memo to all fans of George R. R. Martin and A Song of Ice and Fire -- I will be world-premiering a very special new set of art surprises at this convention. WHC will be the first public place where these items will be available.

* 6pm / Artists' Reception

Sunday, April 1:

* 10am / The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly -- Joe R. Lansdale, Mike Mignola, Scott Allie, P.N. Elrod and I discuss some of our favorite horror/dark fantasy cover artwork, as well as some of our not-so favorite. Will be good times. :)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

RIP Jean Giraud / Moebius

I'm trying to do my cover work today, and Jean Giraud's passing colors my thoughts. Actually, truth be told -- his death doesn't dominate as much as his life and work do, on a day like this.

I met him in 1997.

Back then, I could barely even call myself a professional illustrator. I think I'd done only two cover gigs at that point in my career -- both for the now-defunct Mojo Press, owned by Ben Ostrander and edited by Rick Klaw. We were at San Diego Comic Con. Mojo Press had a booth there. I was signing books at the booth, along with Mike Moorcock and other creators. Amongst Mojo's first new published offerings was a book called THE BLUEBERRY SAGA: CONFEDERATE GOLD, which collected Moebius' amazing Lieutenant Blueberry strip work.

I don't remember exactly when Moebius came to the booth. But when he did, it seemed like a giant wave of fanumanity (note to self: trademark this word) simultaneously lined up, as far as the eye could see, in front of Mojo's booth. The people. Just. Kept. Coming. Moebius shook hands with everyone behind the booth, and said hello -- a perfect gentleman in good spirits. He was offered a chair. There was a stack of BLUEBERRY books waiting for him. He sat down, and pulled out his pen.

I stood up, parked myself behind his right shoulder, and didn't move a muscle for about 25 minutes. During that time, he gracefully and graciously greeted every fan in line. He signed every new book handed to him. He did a drawing in every book for every fan. And as far as I can remember, every single drawing was completely unique.

Each took maybe 30 seconds to do. It was like a projection beam was blasting a dream from the middle of his forehead onto the page. He was merely tracing what the dreambeam was showing him. I'm not even sure his penpoint lifted off the paper for some of those sketches. Some seemed like just one continuous mark -- a sinuous line that might define a cowboy hero, an alien explorer, or an entire world.

Mesmerizing is not a big enough word.

To be that great, and to be that good to people -- that's the benchmark. It was a great thing to see at the beginning of a career. And very humbling. Still is.

Thank you, Jean Giraud.