Medford, Oregon is home to not one, but two comic conventions. They were both in May, only two weeks apart. Suffice it to say, it was a very busy time to be a comic book artist. Not only did I have my vendor table at both events, I was illustrating on the spot which allowed me to produce lot of new artwork. It was well worth the vendor fee!
The Medford Comic-Con is held at the Jackson County Library in downtown Medford. This event is free to the public and runs for two days. This was my second year attending as a vendor and I was given the opportunity to host a workshop on one of the days. My presentation was titled Creating Comics Using Clip Studio Paint (formerly Manga Studio). I gave a lecture and demonstration how Clip Studio is the go-to software for comics creation. Using feedback from the audience, I illustrated a one page comic featuring a character named Swiss Cheese, the ninja sloth.
The feedback I received was overwhelmingly positive. I am hopeful that they will ask me to return again next year and give another workshop. It really makes me happy to bestow my experience and knowledge to aspiring digital artists. When I was transitioning from traditional art to digital, I had no one to mentor me. I am self taught and for that reason I make myself available to anybody who wants to learn or improve drawing using technology.
These are the stickers I was selling during Comic-Con
At my table, I had a variety of things for people to look at and purchase. I was selling my books, including Raising Dragons Graphic Novel and Beelzebed, but I also had my poster prints available for sale as well. The biggest surprise to me was how popular my stickers were. I have several chibi versions of my favorite characters as 2" x 2" stickers and everyone loved them. Stitch, in particular, was a huge hit.
I don't sell these stickers online. I offer them as comic-con exclusives. One of the best parts of sitting at my vendor table was the ability to illustrate on the spot. Using my Apple ipad Pro 12, and the iOS version of Clip Studio Paint, I was able to finish coloring dozens of character illustrations. I connected my tablet to a monitor, facing outwards, so people could watch what I drew without having to look over my shoulder. It did well to grab people's attention :)
I never tire of answering questions from onlookers. It's truly amazing when someone, who identifies as an fellow artist, is inspired by my work and wish to make a career out of it like I do. While I still consider myself an amateur in the industry, I hope what I have to say will prove valuable to them on their personal artist journey.
There are currently two Comic-Cons in Medford, Oregon
There was another comic convention two weeks later. The Meadowlark Comic-Con is not free to the public, but the entry fee is easily justified when you take into account how many special guests make appearances. Some of the celebrities include Gil Gerard from Buck Rogers, Richard Oldfield from The Empire Strikes Back, Rajia Baroudi and Alan Palmer from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and more.
In addition to television and movie celebrities, they also had professional industry comic book artists with their own vendor tables, selling their artwork. Whenever I see these guys in person, and their amazing art, it inspires me to work hard and dream about having my table alongside theirs with a portfolio to match. I still have a long ways to go, but that's what it's all about.
I certainly expect to attend these comic-cons next year and thereafter as long as I am able to. As a matter of fact, I will be returning to Medford later this year for the first annual Ani-Medford Anime Convention. I was personally invited to join this convention after having my artwork seen from the comic-cons. I am hoping to have a lot of new stuff to offer when Ani-Medford is held on August 17th, 2019.
I personally invite you to come and attend the show. Stop by my booth and say hello!