Earlier this month I fired up the Batmobile and headed back to Metropolis, IL– the official home of Superman. It’s kinda become a second home for me, especially around June when the annual Superman Celebration is held.
This was the 35th annual Superman Celebration!
For the second year in a row I’ve gotten to design their t-shirt and program art (with some help from comics legend José Luis García-López!), but this was the first year I didn’t set up or help run Artists Alley & Writers Way during the celebration.
Just didn’t have the time off to do the full 4 day event. Ended up just going on Saturday and Sunday and crashing with my friends Tim Brown and Ronnie Shenks. (That’s the gang from AA&WW doing “Kirby Hands“! You can see my travel blog about this year’s Superman Celebration on Have Geek Will Travel.)
While I was in town I was asked by NCS member John Read and ComicsPriceGuide.com‘s Rick Frogge to do a Superman sketch cover. It along with 8 others done by guests artists (including some of my MSCA buds) were for the auction later that night. I had never drawn one before and was excited to finally get the chance. It was very special to me that I got to draw on a Superman comic in Metropolis! I have to admit I geeked out a bit..!
If you’ve never seen a sketch cover comic before, they pretty much look like this- masthead logo, company logo, issue number, and inside credits. The rest is a blank canvas for artists to sketch on. The cover stock isn’t slick like normal comic covers, but a bit thicker and and the surface has a bit of a tooth to it. Reminded me of airbrushing on sandpaper finish bass drum heads.
I decided to do one of my “Superkid” style Superman drawings and started out my sketch with a mechanical pencil. I had brought a couple pencils and some markers along just in case I wanted to do some sketching over the weekend. Had no idea how glad I would be to have thrown them in my bat-pack!
I used Letraset and Sharpie markers on the sketch cover. I normally use Copics on my sketch cards, but left them at home. Letrasets are cheaper and use them a lot when I’m playing. I was given a bunch by my mother-in-law an they worked great.
And here is the finished sketch cover! I really had a blast working on it. On Sunday I was told by Rick that a collector at the auction had offered $500 for the set of 9 sketch cover comics! Rick said the money would go to Super-Museum owner Jim Hambrick to help fix the roof damage on his Americana Hollywood Museum which happened thanks to some storms that had blown through Metropolis prior to the Superman Celebration.
Speaking of roofs- the Massac Theatre had a new roof installed on it during last year’s Superman Celebration. I did some signed and numbered prints to help raise money to save this historic old theater. If you’d like more info on it and how to help check out their official site www.SaveTheMassac.com or find them on Facebook.
Looking forward to being back in Metropolis next year “… same Bat-time!”