|Huntress by Matthew Clark. Art 8 x 11.5 inches|
Continuing with our Birds of Prey trend....
There's a tip I picked up during comic cons. When you start off a new sketchbook, find the best artist you can to do the first sketch in the book. Artists are always curious what else you have in your book and will likely flip through it. And also being competitive, they'll try and top it.
It's a good theory, although it doesn't always play out in practice. How much money you're giving them to draw it will likely play into how good the piece is too.
(It can also backfire. I had one artist last year in Seattle reluctant to follow a Michael Cho sketch I got. I heard a story about how someone managed to get the legendary Bernie Wrightson to do a sketch in his book, and no artist would draw in the book afterwards.)
When I went to my first con in 2008 I went with a cheap $20 sketchbook I got from Staples. At the end of that con I vowed I was going to have a snazzy new sketchbook. I found the perfect one during my trip to Italy in 2009. Fortunately, you don't have to go to Italy to buy one, you can get it online here
So off I go to NYCC in 2012 with my new sketchbook in hand, determined to get a great first sketch to christen the book.
The sketch above is not that sketch.
Don't get me wrong...that first sketch is perfectly lovely by an artist I like featuring a character I love. I was pretty happy with it. And then I wandered past Matthew Clark's table. I knew of his art, of course. He wasn't on my list of artists I was looking to get a sketch from. But he was a hell of a nice guy to talk to and the price he was quoting was more than reasonable. I'm not 100% sure why I asked for the Huntress. He's drawn the character before, so perhaps I simply liked what I saw.
The one catch is that he wanted to take my sketchbook back to his hotel so he could work on it from there because he wouldn't have time at the con that day. It was the first time someone asked me to do that, although it's not unheard of. I'm not sure I would do it now....I have way too many sketches in that book and if the artist had it stolen or something....well....
I said sure. The next morning I swung back to his table and this is what I got. I was absolutely floored. I have routinely thought about cutting the first sketch out of the book is this is the first one you see. Or that it's that good I would cut it out, frame it, and hang it on my wall. For how much I paid for it, it's absolutely amazing.
I also learned, regrettably, that while my new sketchbook is lovely, the paper they used is a bit on the thin side. His inks bled through several pages. Since then I've had to put a piece of cardboard behind the page. And no watercolours (although I've still done it). I could cut the pages out, but it would be noticeable. Artists tend to be twitchy about people who go to cons, get a sketch and then turn around and sell them at a mark-up on eBay. I don't want anyone thinking I do that.
But yeah, it's lovely work.
Finally, I got to see Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey (or whatever they're calling in now), when I was in Ottawa last week. No idea why that movie is "under-performing". It's a hell of a lot of fun, great action sequences and is just weird enough for my liking. It's the best movie based on DC characters since The Dark Knight in 2008. I'm also not really qualified to say what is or isn't feminist, but it certainly felt more empowering than Wonder Woman or Captain Marvel. I hope they get to do more...
1. Dreamlike and on the rush - The New Pornographers
2. Afterglow - Garbage*
3. Don't deconstruct - Rilo Kiely
4. Right as rain (live) - Adele
5. Never miss a beat- Kaiser Chiefs