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The Drive Up:

Doralya and I left Thursday afternoon.  We drove halfway up and spent the night inSavannah at a Fairfield Inn.  We got up early the next morning and finished our trip toCharlotte in plenty of time to get to the show.

The Convention Hotel:

We used to stay at the Weston, but for the last two years (and the foreseeable future) our con hotel is the Hampton Inn Charlotte – Uptown.  What a great hotel!  It’s super-clean with the friendliest staff I’ve ever seen.  Free shuttle service and free breakfast made the stay even better.

Main Sketch Goal of the Show:

My main sketch goal was to meet (for the first time) and get a sketch from Hoyt Silva.  I’m happy to report that Hoyt is as nice as he is talented — yeah, he’s really that friendly!  Hoytand I discussed a couple of possible Stallone characters and decided on Jack CarterHoyt said he could make that happen and is doing the piece as a take home commission.

Books signed:

  • My original Berni Wrightson’s Frankenstein (personalized to Doralya)
  • The Package pin-ups by Andrew Maclean and Robert Wilson IV
  • Scout: The Four Monsters by Timothy Truman
  • Crimeland by Rafael Albuqerque
  • Black Beetle: No Way Out by Franchesco Francavilla
  • The Goon: Nothin’ But Misery by Eric Powell
  • The Fifth Beatle by Andrew Robinson

 

Sketches:

  • Jamie Cosley: Rocky (surprise gift from Little John and Patricia)
  • Andy Fish: Lords of Flatbush
  • Corin Howell: Lords of Flatbush
  • Dave Wachter (mini-head sketch): Rhinestone
  • Derrick Fish: Expendables
  • Drew MossGet Carter
  • Hoyt Silva: Get Carter
  • Joel Carroll: Get Carter
  • Kevin Mellon: Get Carter
  • Mike TorranceJack Carter / Gravedigger plus several sketch cards

Panels, Drink and Draw and HeroesCon Art Auction:

  • The Inkwell Awards (and keeping with tradition, LittleJohn312 and Patricia joinedDoralya and I — or did we join them?) were fun.  It is always great to see deserving artists receive recognition.
  • Doralya, Little John, Patricia and I attended the Drink and Draw.  It’s a tradition that continued again this year!
  • For the first time I ever, I missed the HeroesCon Auction.  I had a bad cold/flu bug the week before HeroesCon and was still feeling worn down.  Since we had the rest of our vacation ahead of us, I decided to pace myself at Heroes and sadly missed the auction.

Meals:

The biggest surprise is that we only ate at Fuel once.  It was good to keep that tradition alive, but not over do it.  The best meal we had was at Fujo Bistro — we will definitely hit that place again next year!  Buffalo Wild Wings also got our business.  Sadly we did not make it to Mert’s.

In closing:

HeroesCon this year was huge.  The wider aisles made movement easier.  There were also additional sections this year with chairs and tables for con guests to sit, eat and visit.  The bigger painting area was also a plus.

Seeing old friends and meeting new ones is always a fun part of the show.  I won’t try to list them all because invariably I would leave some out.

This year I was able to talk Doralya into coming into the show on Saturday. We walked the floor and met a lot of artists (new and old friends).  Doralya’s highlight was meeting Berni Wrightson!  She has always loved his work and he personalized my copy of Frankensteinto her!

Thanks to Shelton and his crew for another great HeroesCon — see everyone next year!

  • Mood: Optimism
  • Listening to: 70's music
  • Reading: The Big Bang by Mickey Spillane & Max A. Collins
  • Watching: The Last Ship
  • Playing: No time for games
  • Eating: Nothing now..don't ask...
  • Drinking: Diet Coke
This week we have the first but hopefully not last appearance of Joel Carroll!

I ended up having to work on Free Comic Book Day so I didn't get over to Sandford to see my buddies, John Beatty, Alex Saviuk and Shawn Surface.  They had a blast, and I got caught up on some things, so it all balanced out.  I did make it by my local comic shop and things were busy.  Unfortunately no artists were there sketching so I came up empty handed for a new Stallone sketch or two.

I did come home with some great comics -- if you're not reading Dead Body Road, The Saviors, Southern Bastards or The Walking Dead, you should give them a look the next time you're in a comic shop!

Until Next Week...
  • Mood: Optimism
  • Listening to: 70's music
  • Reading: Ask Not by Max Allan Collins
  • Watching: The return of Jack Bauer tomorrow!
  • Playing: No time for games
  • Eating: Nothing now..
  • Drinking: Green Tea
This week we have the first [but not last] appearance of Scott Quick.  

Free Comic Book Day is coming up.  It's the first Saturday in May.  I'll probably head of to Sanford Florida to Coliseum of Comics event.   My buddies John Beatty and Shawn Surface will be there with other artists sketching and selling prints.  Who knows, maybe I'll get a Stallone sketch?  

John Beatty  johnbeattyart.com/who-is-rico/   
Coliseum of Comics  coliseumofcomics.com/stores/se…  
Shawn Surface  surfaceart.deviantart.com/

best,

Craig
  • Mood: Optimism
  • Listening to: 70's music
  • Reading: Ask Not by Max Allan Collins
  • Watching: UFC Fights last night
  • Playing: No time for games
  • Eating: Nothing now..
  • Drinking: Water
This week we have Elliott Fernandez's second appearance.  Man, I love this guy's art.  

Although it is still a couple of month's away, I've begun looking at the artists, at there are a ton, who will attend HeroesCon.  So much great talent, so little bankroll.  So who should I approach for Stallone sketches.  THAT is the question.
  • Mood: Optimism
  • Listening to: Silence
  • Reading: Ask Not by Max Allan Collins
  • Watching: Last Stand starring Schwarzenegger
  • Playing: No time for games
  • Eating: Nothing now..
  • Drinking: OJ
This week Shawn Surface returns and this time we get his take on Sly as Rocky (and Mickey as a bonus)!

MegaCon is behind us and next up is Heroes, my favorite con of the year.  Ah, but first we have Free Comic Book Day.  Perhaps I could get a Stallone sketch or two if I hit the right one.  BUT... which would be the right one?

Suggestions??
  • Mood: Content
  • Listening to: Silence
  • Reading: Upgunned by David Schow
  • Watching: From Dusk Till Dawn on EL RAY
  • Playing: No time for games
  • Eating: Nothing now..
  • Drinking: Diet Coke
I attended MegaCon on Friday and Saturday.  My goals were:

* Darwyn Cooke to autograph my hardcover of Slayground
* Charles Dixon to autograph my hardcovers of Winterworld and my hardcover of his and Zaffino's Punisher graphic novel
* Sketches from: Elliott Fernandez and Shawn Surface.
* Check into getting the Rawhide Kid Marvel Treasury Reprints [Volumes 1 and 2]
* Hang out with my bro, John Beatty.

I never did catch up with Darwyn Cooke.  He wasn't at his table when I made it by.  I did get Charles Dixon to autograph my books.  He told me that a new Winterworld series [with Butch Guice] was coming soon.  He also said that he enjoyed talking with Sly when Dixon worked on the Expendables graphic novel.  Dixon said Sly was loyal and has recommended him for other writing gigs.

I got two sketches from Elliott Fernandez.  THAT made my con.  I love Fernandez's art and he was a pleasure to meet.  I picked up my Shawn Surface sketch.  Shawn is a great guy.  He has a new comic coming soon.  I'll post more about it when it appears.  I also met an artist named Scott Quick and got two sketches from him.  I'll post more about him later.  I picked up both volumes of Rawhide Kid and got to hang with Big J at his table.  Overall, objectives met.

I liked that MegaCon was in a different hall.  There seemed to be more room, but it was still overcrowded.  Thankfully, my wife and I stayed in a nearby hotel.  Traffic was terrible getting to the show.  Once inside, on Saturday it took forever to move about.  I'm thinking that next year, I'll either do the same thing -- stay in a nearby hotel and come from Friday and Saturday or simply make it a one day [Friday] show.

Next up Heroes in June... 
  • Mood: Content
  • Listening to: Silence
  • Reading: Upgunned by David Schow
  • Watching: Walking Dead tonight!
  • Playing: No time for games
  • Eating: Nothing now..
  • Drinking: Sugar Free Vanilla Iced Coffee ... soon
Hey!  MegaCon is next weekend.  I'll be there Friday and Saturday hanging with my bro, John Beatty and looking to score some Stallone sketches.  If you're there stop by John's table [he should be there all weekend] or better yet, give me a shout out in the comments AND stop by!
  • Mood: Content
  • Listening to: Silence
  • Reading: Upgunned by David Schow
  • Watching: Nothing at the moment
  • Playing: No time for games
  • Eating: Nothing now..
  • Drinking: Sugar Free Vanilla Iced Coffee
This week I am proud to present for the first time in my Stallone Sketch Collection: David Brohawk Williams.  Man, was I thrilled to get a piece from Brohawk.  This man is an amazing artist!

I don't know about you, but I am not a fan of the time change... especially when we spring forward.  Arrrgh.  It doesn't help that I've had a busy weekend and a crazy week ahead.  The good news is MegaCon is just a couple weeks away.

If you didn't check out the new series Those Who Kill, you might want to.  The first episode was fantastic.  It felt like I was watching a A-list movie, the production values were so good.  I also have to admit it was so creepy and at a couple of points scary, screams were heard from some of those viewing.

Until next weekend...
  • Mood: Neutral
  • Listening to: Silence
  • Reading: Upgunned by David Schow
  • Watching: Walking Dead tonight!
  • Playing: No time for games
  • Eating: Nothing now..
  • Drinking: Sugar Free Vanilla Iced Coffee
This week we have Jeremy Treece with his backing board packing quickie sketch.

Usually on Sunday mornings I update my StalloneZone site and then my blog and then my DA page and then my Comic Art Gallery.  Believe it or not, it is very relaxing... usually.

Today I was interrupted and forgot to come back and do my DA and Comic Art Gallery pages until now.  And it is bedtime.

So until next weekend...

best,

Craig
  • Mood: Content
  • Listening to: The Oscars in the other room
  • Reading: Upgunned by David Schow
  • Watching: My eyelids start to fall
  • Playing: Spades on my IPad
  • Eating: Nothing now..
  • Drinking: H2O
This week Jeremy Treece makes a return visit.

Not much else to say so until next weekend...

best,

Craig
  • Mood: Content
  • Listening to: Morning sounds
  • Reading: Ready to start a new book...
  • Watching: Walking Dead tonight!
  • Playing: Spades on my IPad
  • Eating: Breakfast soon...
  • Drinking: OJ
This week Jerry Gaylord is back.  I love his sketches.  Who wouldn't?

MegaCon is coming.  Soon...

best,

Craig
  • Mood: Content
  • Listening to: Morning sounds
  • Reading: Saint Homicide by Jake Hinkson
  • Watching: Walking Dead tonight!
  • Playing: Spades on my IPad
  • Eating: Breakfast at Tim\'s Diner
  • Drinking: Sugar Free Vanilla Iced Coffee
Drew Moss is back and this time he brought Rocky with him.

TV this week... Justified just keeps getting better and better.  It was already the best written show on tv.  The opening for the Olympics was boring and I'm not a fan of the Winter Olympics so I'm done with that.  The Walking Dead returns tonight.  I can't wait.

Our dryer just died... and the wife has been wanting a new washer.  I have a feeling someone is going shopping today.

Until next weekend...

best,

Craig
  • Mood: Content
  • Listening to: Morning sounds
  • Reading: Thuglit Volume 4
  • Watching: Walking Dead tonight!
  • Playing: Spades on my IPad
  • Eating: Breakfast at Tim\'s Diner soon.
  • Drinking: OJ
This week we have Jerry Gaylord and his take on Sly as Jack Carter.

It was a crazy busy work week (it seems like they all are any more), but a really nice weekend... with more hours to go.  Friday night was spent with my brothers and sisters for dinner at a nice Japanese joint.  Saturday, my sons [with one's fiance] took my wife to a nice lunch.  Then my wife and I went to see "Labor Day" [she liked it, I didn't but it was her day so...].  The evening was spent watching UFC prelims followed by "Tarantula" hosted by Svengoolie. And we have the Super Bowl today.

Life is good.
  • Listening to: Morning sounds
  • Reading: Thuglit Volume 4
  • Watching: Super Bowl!
  • Playing: Spades on my IPad
  • Eating: Breakfast at Tim\'s Diner soon.
  • Drinking: OJ
Thomas Boatwright is back with his second Rocky watercolor to bookend the series.  What an excellent idea and execution!

Starting back in the late 70's my buddy John Beatty and I would go to Orlando Con every year.  For a few years it was the only comic show that we could get to.  So it was a big deal.  

We'd make plans for what we wanted to find there, the sketches we hoped to get, the artists we hoped to meet and the comics we would track down.  As the date of the show grew closer and closer, we'd talk about our plans with great excitement.  One of us coined the term, CON FEVER.  

MegaCon is approaching in a couple of months and Heroes shortly after that.  

I feel I'm starting to get CON FEVER.
  • Mood: Cheerful
  • Listening to: 70's Music
  • Reading: Thuglit Volume 4
  • Watching: UFC Live Fights tonight
  • Playing: Nada.
  • Eating: Lunch at Tim's Diner in a couple of hours.
  • Drinking: Diet Coke
This week we have Thomas Boatwright's return with a sweet Rocky & Adrian watercolor.  Wait until you see what Thomas has created for next week... a really nice companion piece/bookend.

I went to the Deland Comic and Toy Show last Sunday.  It was fun seeing Alex Saviuk, Shawn Surface, Steven Myers, Cliff and others.  If time hadn't run out [I promised my son we'd watch the playoffs] I would have stuck around and gotten a sketch from Shawn Surface.  He was up for it, but time ran out before I had to go.  I'm happy to see how much the show has grown and I look forward to the next one.

Well, we're down to San Fran vs Seattle and New England vs Denver.  These should be awesome games.  So until next weekend...

  • Mood: Cheerful
  • Listening to: Background noise
  • Reading: Deadfall by Robert Liparulo
  • Watching: NFL Playoffs
  • Playing: Nada.
  • Eating: Had a great breakfast at Tim's Diner.
  • Drinking: Diet Coke
This week we have Mitch Gerads' first appearance in my Stallone theme sketch collection.  Hopefully it won't be his last.

Weather has been crazy.  Yesterday it was cold, today it's warm and Tuesday it will be below freezing.  Wha-What?

The NFL playoffs have been crazy.  Loved seeing Indy come back like that yesterday.  Today I'll be pulling for the 49ers.

Next week is the Deland Comics and Collectibles Show.   cfcollectibles.com/?page_id=27   Give a shout out if you plan to attend.

Until next weekend!
  • Mood: Cheerful
  • Listening to: Background noise
  • Reading: Deadfall by Robert Liparulo
  • Watching: NFL Playoffs
  • Playing: Nada.
  • Eating: Had a great breakfast at Tim's Diner.
  • Drinking: Diet Coke
This week we have Scott Godlewski's second appearance.

It is so hard to believe, at least for me, that Christmas has come and gone.  Boom!  Just like that.  Soon it will be New Year's Eve.  I always enjoy this time of year.  I guess I'd better since it comes and goes so quickly.

There's a little comics and collectibles show in Deland, Florida on January 12th.  The guest list continues to get bigger and bigger, so I think it's about time I check it out.  cfcollectibles.com/?page_id=27   Give a shout out if you plan to attend.

Until Next Week...

  • Mood: Cheerful
  • Listening to: Background noise
  • Reading: Thuglit Volume 3
  • Watching: Bears vs Packers today. Go Bears!
  • Playing: Video Poker.
  • Eating: Nothing so far...
  • Drinking: Nothing so far...
Manny Aguilera makes his second, but not last, appearance in my Stallone Sketch Gallery.

It is hard to believe that Christmas is in just a few days... I'd better finish, er, get started with my shopping!

Until next weekend...

  • Mood: Cheerful
  • Listening to: Background noise
  • Reading: Thuglit Volume 3
  • Watching: Bears vs Eagles tonight. Go Bears!
  • Playing: Not much lately.
  • Eating: Breakfast at Tim's Corner Diner Soon
  • Drinking: Nothing so far...
Manny Aguilera makes his first, but not last, appearance in my Stallone Sketch Gallery.

It's starting to feel a lot like Christmas.  There's a chill to the air, and Christmas Break is coming.  Counting it down, baby!
  • Mood: Content
  • Listening to: Casey Kasem Countdown from the 70's
  • Reading: Thuglit Volume 3
  • Watching: Survivor Finale Tonight
  • Playing: Spades on my IPad
  • Eating: Breakfast at Tim's Corner Diner Soon
  • Drinking: Sugar Free Vanilla Iced Coffee
This week Jerry Gaylord makes his fourth appearance in my Stallone Sketch Gallery!

Hey, if you're not watching Mob City by Frank Darabont on TNT, you're missing out.
  • Mood: Content
  • Listening to: Casey Kasem Countdown from the 70's
  • Reading: Hellboy: Odder Jobs
  • Watching: The month/year wind down...
  • Playing: Spades on my IPad
  • Eating: Breakfast at Tim's Corner Diner Soon
  • Drinking: Sugar Free Vanilla Iced Coffee