Asbury Park Comic Con II: Day 1

Some notes from the show…

I went to the drive thru window of TD Bank to collect change before the con. Being a city person – working, living or both – for the entirety of my adult life, I have never gone to a bank drive thru before. I wonder if anyone has ever tried to rob a drive thru bank window before. I feel like someone in England would do this. I don’t know why I think that.

Found an incredible free parking space two blocks from the show thanks to my friend and assistant-for-a-day, Rick. Right there on the corner, outside of the evil, DON’T PARK HERE yellow line marking the personal space of a fire hydrant, but close enough that every chud on the road would be too scared to risk a ticket. (I did not get one.)

We were on the second floor of the Berkeley Hotel, and did a full lap around the room – vendor spaces were against the wall and some were located back-to-back in the center of the room – when I realized my table was front and center, the first thing anyone would see when they climbed the stairs or exited the elevator. It was the perfect spot and I plopped my Joker painting in full view of everything.

The Joker

Chris Claremont sat across from me. I got a nice tan from his star power.

Mike and Ming of Comic Book Men were also in my room, at the back wall. I’m assuming a lot of people wanted to see them, and they also generated traffic for me. Big thanks to Cliff Galbraith and Rob Bruce for giving me such prime real estate at their show.

Right off the bat a guy in a wheelchair commented on the Joker, and then proceeded to tell me my name (it was not printed ANYWHERE) and talk about my IMDB page, which consists of a single credit. It kinda creeped me out how he knew so much about me, but it all made sense when he told me that I was in HIS movie, too, when I was interviewed by a man in a naked suit at last year’s Asbury Park Comic Con. He gave me a copy of the DVD (100 minutes), and then dug into his bag to hand off another copy, the 90 minute “family version.” I’m so afraid of what I’m going to see in this documentary.

Here’s the biggest problem with my work and these conventions that I’ve noticed. I’ve got original canvas artwork in various sizes, from 12×12″ up to 30×40″. A single six-foot table isn’t gonna cut it, and there aren’t enough people ready to plunk down a couple bills for a painting to justify me buying a larger space. I need to develop some sort of hanging system, maybe a metal shelf I can build and break down at every show. My parents suggested easels, but how many easels can I possibly fit in that nook? So as a result, I’ve just got this sloppy display where you really gotta work to see everything. Maybe that’s part of the charm, and maybe that makes me more endearing, a true artist, disheveled and messy. Or maybe its all annoying and I’m a fucking slob.

Sold the Stop! collage to a guy I chatted with for about a half-hour. He thought it was a print, and even after I assured him it wasn’t, he was afraid to touch the piece. I told him I have a daughter who spits on everything, so he shouldn’t worry. We’re gonna grab lunch this week, and he wants to get me an Asian.

22" x 22"

22″ x 22″

It was loud in the room, and I misheard the guy. He wants to get me an AGENT. Agent. Not Asian.

It was also five million degrees in that room. I’m a little surprised the glue holding my collages together didn’t get sticky again, and thankfully, no Muppet faces melted off the page.

People love the New Jersey Badasses, and they sold at a decent clip, but not nearly as fast as I anticipated. Maybe people don’t love Jersey as much as I thought they did. One lady asked,”Why are they all so fat?” I wish Movie Squirrel was with me; she also wondered why I was painting “all these potbellies.”

I met a girl from a bar called Roxy and Duke’s. I’ll be participating in their 3rd annual Psycho Sunday, September 7th. I’m thinking it’s gonna be collages all day, all the way.

The Power Rangers painting I created last year was by far my most talked-about piece, but it remained in my possession all day. I sometimes wonder if my prices are crazy, but then I stumble across equally unknown talents, and they’re rally charging astronomical prices for half the size, half the work. So I tell myself that I don’t need 100 people to buy a painting, it just takes one, and to hold fast.

A guy who said he had the 1966 Batmobile outside asked if I would pose with the painting next to the car and Batman after the show. Uh, freaking duh, man.JokerinBatmobile

I don’t give a shit if any of my work is ever in a museum. Suck a nut, The Louvre, my painting was in THE BATMOBILE.

We finished off an 11-hour day in which I was only fueled by two bananas, an apple (and its core), and two granola bars with sliders (meatball, pulled pork, Buffalo chicken) and “Irish nachos,” a sloppy/delicious plate with all the typical fixins’ of a regular nacho platter, plus pulled pork, and substituting chips with thinly sliced potatoes. Incredible.

Stanley Cup Predictions: 2014 1st Round

I don’t know anything about the NHL in 2014. I grew up around the game and worked in the NHL for 3 seasons, but my career took me to greener pastures in 2010. It was the first time in my life I had no ties to the game, and it was a little liberating. I got roped back in two years later when the Devils crushed the Rangers’ championship dreams on Adam Henrique’s back-breaking, nut-cracking, series-clinching goal against Henrik “Overrated” Lundqvist and went on to Finals, only to get smoked by the white-hot Los Angeles Kings.

They ALMOST got me back for good, but then there was ANOTHER lockout, the FOURTH work stoppage since I was 10, and I was so pissed off, I’ve watched about 3 games in the last 18 months. Starting a family and making a baby have also been good distractions.

That said, I still think it’s time to make some predictions.
Boston Bruins vs Detroit Red Wings: I guess the Red Wings have had the Bruins number this year, but this is the playoffs, and there are more good players still playing for Boston from when I watched regularly than there are on the Wings. Bruins in six.Amazing pizza.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Montreal Canadiens: I’ve had a soft spot for the Canadiens since I was a kid, when the Devils inherited some of Montreal’s decent players (Tom Chorske), great players and coaches (Claude Lemieux, Stephane Richer, Jacques Lemaire, Larry Robinson, Jacques Caron) and Lyle Odelein. Tampa Bay is going to play at least four road games in a row, because Canadiens fans are gonna PACK the Lightning arena. And that’s really annoying. So annoying that the Lightning will be too motivated to lose, and that’s a shame. Because I like the Habs. Lightning in five.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Columbus Blue Jackets: The Blue Jackets sound like a scrappy team with a stupid name, and after every year since forever of being terrible, I guess they finally have a shot at winning a playoff game. Like Canadiens fans invading Tampa Bay, those goddamn Pens fans are going to occupy Columbus, and while the Jackets are in no way going to win this series, maybe they can break someone’s leg on the other side. Pens in five.Pittsburgh Penguins

New York Rangers vs Philadelphia Flyers: Both teams fall into a hole in the ground and forfeit, allowing the Bruins a bye to the Conference Finals.

Colorado Avalanche vs Minnesota Wild: Colorado’s good again? Okay. Avs in six. Because I’m still sick of the 2012 media coverage of Suter-and-Parise-to-Minnesota.

St. Louis Blues vs Chicago Blackhawks: A guy at the gym with spaghetti stains all over his shirt told me this is the Blues’ year. He was an idiot savant and knew every player, coach, GM and director of marketing in the NHL, so I will take his word for it. Blues in six.St. Louis Blues

Anaheim Ducks vs Dallas Stars: I have to base this on the tried and true method of sports betting perfected by every airhead woman in America. Who has nicer clothes? The Ducks’ jerseys, colors and logo are way better than Dallas. Ducks in six.2007 Stanley Cup Champions

San Jose Sharks vs Los Angeles Kings: That serial killer from the gym picked the Sharks as his back-up winner for the Cup, so… Sharks in seven.

RIP Ultimate Warrior

I almost called out of work today for bereavement leave, what with the Ultimate Warrior dead. After 20 years of lawsuits and an ugly real world feud with his former employer, the WWF/E, he finally made amends and was inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday night. Then he gave this speech on Monday night:

So was that his own eulogy? So surreal and absolutely eerie.

Last year, his people sent me a cease and desist letter for trying to sell this zombie painting I made of him. (It’s still in my collection.) Zombie Warrior

Four years ago, he sent me a NICE letter, emailing me to listen to the artistic voices in my head, and follow my own path. It’s the best advice I ever received, and I want to share it here. Some of it is a bit dodgy (burn bridges after you cross them???) but there is a lot of merit in these words. Ultimate E-Mail“Safety sucks if you really want to live.”

(Once I’m settled in a proper dwelling, I’m going to frame Warrior’s encouraging “oursue your art” letter next to the zombie painting next to the cease-and-desist letter telling me not sell the zombie painting.)

I go back and read this e-mail from time to time. It motivates me before marathons, and revs me up when I need a charge.

Rest in Peace, Warrior.


COLLAGE: Mystique (10X10″)

MystiqueMade this with Movie Squirrel‘s In Style magazine. That catalog is a massive waste of paper. (I did ask her permission this time. I got in trouble last month for destroying a Pottery Barn mailer to create Dracula.)

I’m going to bring this to the Asbury Park Comic Con on Saturday, framed, as a test to see if something like this has any legs. If not, its back to the drawing board, but if it does go, or at least generate interest among poor and/or cheap people who like to look but hate to own (and I respect that mentality), I’ll create another X-Men collage as my submission to the One-Shot Gallery (St. Marks, New York City) show I’m partaking in later this year. THAT WAS A LONG SENTENCE.

In related news, we are thiiiiiiiiiis close to signing off on renting a beautiful Victorian house with a basement hidden below a trap door. I have every intention of turning that into my kill room art studio, where I can make as big a mess as I wish, leave paper, glue, paint and canvas EVERYWHERE. Oh my god I can’t wait. Cross your fingers for me us.

Wedding Invitations?

Jumping waaaaay out of my element to design some wedding invitations.Wedding InvitationI sent out invites for my own big day, and one of the Squirrel’s friends liked them so much, she wanted me to design her invites. So hey, why the hell not? I’m thinking about getting into the greeting card/invitation biz anyway, so this is a great place to start. I noticed on the address labels I printed there’s a lot of unmarried women coming to this wedding, so maybe they’ll find love and find me out to make their invites, too.