Brad’s post-C2E2 Review
A painting professor of mine once told me that he used to exhibit at weekend art festivals, the kinds that take place in outdoor tent-like stalls and feature funnel cakes, face painting, and temporary bathrooms. He recalled how awful it was to sit there silently as visitors would callously scrutinize his paintings, often with a dismissive “I don’t get it”, or worse, an infuriating “I could do that.”
He said that in order to not lose money at these festivals, vendors displaying more expensive stuff would have to sell cheap key chains or postcards until they felt less like exhibitors of heartfelt, passionately created art and more like pushers of cheap trinkets and souvenirs. I’m happy to say C2E2 is nothing like that.
Wesley covered a lot of the sights and sounds of last weekend’s big Chicago convention, so I’ll skip talking about all the cool panels and celebrities, except to say this – when Patton Oswalt or Kevin Smith talk about their success, the overwhelming feeling they convey is one of humility and gratitude. And it’s not just a disingenuous, self-deprecating “aw shucks” response either. It’s a genuine thankfulness that people have taken the time and energy to simply care about what they’re doing.
Sitting at our table in Artist Alley and seeing people stop to flip through our books or my portfolio, even a bitter old codger like myself can’t help but feel that sense of gratitude.
From convention goers setting down their bags of swag to thumb through Chinatown, to friendly fellow exhibitors looking to network, to young art students with their adorably academic artspeak, there was nary a trace of cynicism or negativity. It was, for lack of a better word, heartwarming.
After all, being a geek, as Wil Wheaton recently put it, is all about love — passionate, committed, disturbingly obsessive love, be it for comic books, TV shows, or whether or not zombies should be able to run fast.
Now don’t get me wrong. Sun Bros Studios remains committed to producing comics filled with death, violence, and dark ruminations on the madness of the human condition. That’s a promise! Art can be many things – funny, tragic, terrifying, whatever. But the sharing of that art should always be a joyful experience and that’s what events like C2E2 are all about.
Whether I was doing quick sketches or commissions, comparing notes with other artists, or just chatting about Ninja Turtles, it’s the personal interactions, however brief they may have been, that’ll stick with me. So thanks for a great weekend, C2E2. Here’s to many more!
And speaking of sharing our art, make sure you check back Monday for the official launch of our first webcomic Apocalypse Man! Right now physical copies are only available to our Kickstarter backers and at conventions, but stay tuned for other ways to pick it up!