Ale Bodden writes,
As most of you know this past weekend Special Edition: NYC happened. It is, in short, a new comic convention/festival to celebrate just that, comics—and it was amazing! It was amazing, not just from a fangirl perspective, but from an art-obsessed mindset looking for a story. My main interest was at the back of that hall: the place we all call Artist Alley. Artist Alley is always my favorite section of NYCC, and to have just a festival that consists of that only plus a few vendors was perfect: all the action in just one spot (not counting that the panels were at the other end of the Javits, but that’s beside the point). It was such a happy and perfect event that I had a huge grin on my face at all times.
It was great how easy it was to navigate the aisles, and much more so was to be able to interact one-on-one with so many artists and creators alike. I loved meeting and to add new artists to my “faves” list, like Henry Minata; whose artwork is so elegant, stylized, and just plain beautiful to look at—his pieces were breathtaking and I am still sad I wasn’t able to get one of them. Also Joe Haley and T.J. Dort, with The Underburbs, stole my heart with their cuteness. I was particularly fond of the print Marvel was giving away of the cover Skottie Young did for Original Sin.
Yet not much beats getting to meet some great artists I have followed for quite some time. Starting with Christopher Uminga, who I was able to meet; his unique art style was the reason of my first attendance ever to a Comic convention. I cannot express how shy I was to first approach him, yet that quickly left since he was so nice and friendly from the moment I said hi. It was a big fangirl moment to me, and I am quite happy to be the proud owner of a piece that has been a huge inspiration to me.
I also got to meet and interact with David Mack (Kabuki, Daredevil). His art is just pure and unadulterated inspiration to me; the way he incorporates so many mediums into just one piece is jus astounding, and the way it all comes together so flawlessly makes it all sublime in my eyes. I couldn’t help but just geek over his art and techniques.
I have to say, though, that my favorite personal moment was getting to meet Raggs Morales and getting feedback on my art from him. He was surprisingly gentle and just filled me with hope and fueled my dreams even more. A friend introduced me to him, and despite my heart beating its way out of my chest I was able to keep it together after he agreed to look at my portfolio. Can you believe it? The artist of an all-time favorite, Identity Crisis, looking over the art you’ve barely shown anyone? It was surreal and every second felt like hours, yet I couldn’t wipe the cheesy smile off my face.
I handed over my Scooby-Doo portfolio knowing that after he opened it everything would change for me: it was a new step in the right direction, or so I was hoping. I was nervous as hell, holding my hands tightly to hide the fact that they were shaking for a little over thirty minutes. I got great advice on techniques, from what type of brush to use and how, to encouragement on inking with longer brushstrokes and more confidence; on perspective, from which book to get on anatomy, to books on drawing for comics; and on which tools to use and get acquainted with—and I guess he understood I was in cloud nine because he wrote down for me which brands and size of brushes and ink were the best to work with, so I could remember.
For thirty minutes I stood in front of this artist as a nervous wreck, and I was right: when he returned that book to me it was all different. My twitches seem to leave and I was left with much more passion and more focused than ever on what I love. Not much could match the levels of satisfaction I felt at the moment, or the happiness I still feel. Oh, and he smiled for me!
Special Edition: NYC was a true Comic Con. It was a great experience in an incredibly friendly environment. It was lovely to walk around and interact with artists/creators and swoon all over their work, and very nice to meet cosplayers and make new friends. I hope they do it again next year!
Ale Bodden has been a contributor to Bleeding Cool since October 2013. She can be found on Twitter: @alebodden11 and at www.nerdyfaery.wordpress.com.