Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Comic-Con Ukulele Finished at San Diego Comic Fest

Last summer at Comic-Con International San Diego, I had comic artists draw art on my ukulele. By the end of Comic-Con, I was just about finished and only had about five spots left. The idea was to do all tikis and hula girls. You can see details on the first batch of art from Comic-Con at http://chrissturhann.blogspot.com/2016/08/comic-con-ukulele.html

Last weekend at Comic Fest, a small San Diego convention, I got it finished up. This is what the finished uke looks like. See below for the back.

First up we have, Dan Bois. He wanted to do a simple Moai tiki.

Dan Bois

Next up, Stephen B. Shilling. Stephen's portfolio was full of really cool Godzilla comic. He suggested the tiki-fied Godzilla.

Stephen B. Schilling

Next, we have William Stout. He is one of those guys who's been around forever and has been working since the late 1960s. He was one of the first artist to appear in the American version of Heavy Metal in the 1970s. He specializes in dinosaurs, and his murals of prehistoric creatures are on permanent at a number of museums, including the San Diego Natural History Museum, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, and others. He has done everything from rock album covers to production design on feature films. William Stout was the main reason I went to Comic Fest. At a larger show like Comic-Con International or WonderCon, you're lucky to talk to someone like William Stout for more than a minute or two, much less get a sketch. At a smaller convention, I figured it would be worth a shot. I had met him before at WonderCon, and I mentioned something he was doing at that show. Then I threw it out there, "Could I ask you to do a sketch?

"You could ask," he said. "But you probably won't get it." Fair enough, but I pulled the ukulele out of the case anyway and explained that I was trying to get all, hula girls and tikis. He said that he had just designed a Cthulhu tiki. I said that would be perfect, and the next thing I knew he was doing it. That's one of the advantages of doing something like this. Sometimes people who don't normally do quick sketches will do it because what you have going is cool. 

William Stout

A friend Dean LeCrone is someone I met at a steampunk event last year. I mentioned that I was doing this at Comic-Con, and since he also does cartooning, he said he'd be happy to do something. The problem was I was never able to catch up with him there. Well, he was at Comic Fest. We looked at the back of the ukulele, and there were already two large pieces and room for just one more. The weird thing was that though they were done by different artists, the two pieces (tiki by George Davis and hula girl by Billy Tucci) kind of worked together as a whole, and we thought we should continue with that. I suggested maybe a moon, and then it hit me what I wanted, the moon from Georges Méliès 1902 science fiction film, A Trip to the Moon (Le Voyage dans la Lune).

Back  before

Back after
Dean LeCrone

Now, at this point, I figured I was done. There really wasn't any more room. There was one problem though. At Comic-Con, one artist had done a piece with art pens that smeared real badly, just from handling it in taking it in and out of the case. Sitting next to Dean was an artist/inker, Joel Stokes, and I got him to clean it up/ink it with a Sharpie as well as he could based on what was left of the original. I love it.

Joel Stokes
When I get things like this done, I usually leave for a while. Mostly, I don't want rush them. Plus, you never know, sometimes you get really great work because the person doesn't have anything better to do. And if someone wants to make a masterpiece out of a simple convention sketch, who am I to complain. When I got back, Micheal Aushenker, who was sitting on the other side of Dean, was working on something. It's not a hula girl or a tiki, but it was a small spot, I wasn't going to worry about, so I'm psyched.

Michael Aushenker

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