NY Comic Con 2011: Artist Alley
New York Comic Con is unique in the fact that not only do fans get to meet amazing artists, but we can also watch them work. Every year at NYCC, Artist Alley is erected in order to corral the incredible talent visiting the city. This year artists sketched while sitting at tables, standing at easels and even kneeling next to a car. While strolling through Artist Alley, I was happy to see a few of my favorite author/artists, so I stopped in to check out their creative processes and also ask them what they are currently work on.
First up, I saw Jim McCann, author of the steampunk-like fairy tale Return of the Dapper Men. I, of course, took the opportunity to ask Jim if we were going to see the return of Return of the Dapper Men. He said absolutely. The next outing will be titled Time of the Dapper Men which will release next summer. Jim explained that in this next work Ayden will continue his emotional journey of growing up while he is also on a very real journey traveling the entire world in just one year.
Jim also shared with me some original artwork from his series. He explained how artist Janet Lee does all of the sketching on planks of wood that she cuts out and covers with house paint. After they are dry, she does all of her pencil and ink drawings, layering different scenes and characters on top of each other. Janet then sets everything with a layer of Mod Podge. This version is scanned and used for Jim's graphic novels. Set with a special varnish, I not only got to view the incredible art, but I could touch it and literally feel artwork's dips and grooves.
Next up was author/artist Laura Lee Gulledge whose debut work, Page By Paige was released earlier this year. Laura shared with me that while her newest character, Will, short for Wilhelmina, is a red head much like her first character, Paige, that's where the similarities end. While Paige is an author and artist, Will gets her creative juices flowing by tinkering with lamps. Her hobby stems from a fear of the dark, which is only made worse when Will finds herself in the middle of the blackout caused by Hurricane Whitney. Will's shadows, which seem very menacing, start to come to life leaving the teen to face her worst fears.
And finally, I met with GB Tran, the creator of Vietnamerica the hard hitting autobiographical graphic novel that explores his family's immigration to America as well as issues of race and culture. GB says for his next project, he wants to follow the theme of immigration, but this time he will be working with a group of authors and artists in order to incorporate many different stories about this polarizing issue.