Mad #506 is out now and among other things has a little bitty spot illo by Sarah and I in the Fundalini section of Smokey the Bear.
Speaking of Mad, they're putting out a Spy Vs Spy Special and I was lucky enough to be asked to contribute a pin-up for it (along with Pete Bagge, Tom Bunk, Jim Lee and Bob Staake. I swear I didn't give the art directors a kickback to get in, honest, officer). I think we did a solid job on it and it's one of the rare occasions where I actually tried hard to plan for color and, like, thought about the composition and stuff. Or something. I dunno. But it looks good, and it was a real kick to draw the characters, as I was a big fan as a kid and admire Prohias' work. This was one of those jobs that just brightens the day (week? month?) when offered, and my thanks go out to Ryan Flanders at Mad for tossing us the gig. Gush.
I drew a lot of background figures for use in the piece and ended up not using some of them, including these two "loser Spy" roughs:
We used 12 of the "loser" images in the finished piece, I'll likely post the full images in the future after the issue ships so folks can see them clearly, the foreground elements cover up some of the Spy injury motifs and I think they came out pretty nicely. Especially the explosion. Prohias-style teeth in the air and all.. I think the Special ships in November, I'm sure I'll be plugging it again when the time comes.
I realized, while working on the piece, that as a kid I always favored the Black Spy and always rooted for him to win. I wonder why? I guess I just liked the Spy dressed in black better because he looked cooler to me, White being so blank. I dunno. Anybody out there remember siding with one Spy or the other?
Anything else? Not really. I was going to write up a long con report about NYCC, but I already shot my mouth off via Twitter regarding the terrible crowd control in the Javitz Center, and I ended up not going back on Sunday for the first time since the show started, and that took a lot of the fun out of it for me. I mean, the show seemed to be a lot of fun for most attendees, don't get me wrong. And I myself had a nice time on Friday, seeing people and saying hello, walking around the place, we bought a plush toy for Emily, blah blah blah. I didn't really see much of interest as a fan, personally, but obviously a lot of folks did.
Saturday however, was, for me, a bummer. I really wished I had stayed home. My signing went okay but I really regretted not scheduling it for Friday as DHC originally planned. It was a nice hour. The rest of the day I was mostly bored when not driven nuts by the over-crowded aisles, filled with too many inconsiderate folks walking with their heads down while texting or talking on phones, jerks stopping to talk or take pictures of cosplayers in the middle of the aisles (the larger cons really need to have a Pathetic Masturbators Photo-Op Area, because that shit's just out of control), cosplayers stabbing people in the necks, stomachs and elsewheres with prop swords, spears, and whatever-the-fucks they're carrying from Final Fantasy Infinity, oafs knocking into people with their backpacks and not even having the common decency to say "excuse me", etc.
The show is a huge success, obviously, good for them, but it's overstuffed, I mean, they have exhibitor tables right outside the friggin' bathrooms, fer corn's sake, and fate forbid a fire ever breaks out while the cattle drive is in the halls. I realize NYCC does not exist to be entertaining or even palatable to one Mr Evan Dorkin, I'm not asking for more art comics or more Godzilla events or more whatever for me, personally -- and I'm not asking anyone to change anything, or even wishing they'd change anything -- except how they handle the flow of human beings in the hall, and how they communicate to some of those human beings that they need to act responsibly and sensibly while at the event.
Especially around older folks, small children and smaller-than-average lady folk. I saw members of all three groups treated roughly and indifferently in the aisles by anxious, unthinking, inconsiderate fans (kids and adults, mostly adults, unfortunately). Uncool, people. Totally uncool. It really needs to be addressed. Because if people acted like this on the streets there would be violence, plain and simple. And nobody needs anything truly bad to happen at a show before promoters of massive, growing events finally, seriously start to deal with these crowd issues.