Brian Michael Bendis looks like a Petty Criminal and Other Observations at the Toronto Comicon 2005.

    1 May 2005, mid-afternoon

David Mack

Two years ago I went with Dave to a big comic book convention in Toronto. I had started reading Daredevil—I’m not sure why—and wanted to get the rest of the trade paperbacks I was missing. At the convention I got to speak to Brian Michael Bendis and David Mack. I asked David Mack to sign my copy of Wake Up, which he illustrated and Bendis wrote.

While signing, David Mack asked me if I had read any of his other comics. I hadn’t. He promptly went on to explain the details of his Kabuki series. He spoke at length on Kabuki, and how each volume in the series had a unique art style that suited the story. He was quite passionate about it all, so I felt a bit obligated to buy something. I bought Circle of Blood, the first trade paper back in the series.

It was good—really good. (When I’ve read the whole series I’ll definitely sit down and write about it.) Unfortunately, getting the rest of the series proved a little bit difficult. Most comic book shops I visited either didn’t carry it, or were missing books. I decided I would buy the rest of the series next time I saw him.

Dave, Howard and I went to the 2005 Toronto Comicon yesterday afternoon. There were several writers and illustrators we were all fans of at the show, including David Mack. We got there after lunch and started wandering around. This convention was much smaller than the one Dave and I went to two years ago. This may be in part due to the fact this convention wasn’t also part of an Anime and Sci-Fi convention. All the big name artist and writers were at the back of the convention centre, all sitting behind a long row of desks.

There was a huge line-up to see Bendis. He now seems to be writing every single title Marvel puts out. As such, he is a popular fellow. Sitting next to him was David Mack, and thankfully, the line to see him was much shorter.

“I bought Circle of Blood last time I was here, and I thought it was great,” I told him.

“Thanks. I’m glad you liked it,” he replied.

“Can I get the rest of the series?”

He paused for a second, and then said, “Yeah sure.”

We struggled with trying to figure out how much the comics were worth in Canadian money. I handed him a wad of cash, and left with the rest of the Kabuki series and a print of one of the characters he created for the Daredevil series, Echo.

Independents

There were lots of independent artists and writers at the show. Howard was harassing one artist about how he had seen his artwork in a Batman comic before. The artist was quite sure he hadn’t been featured in a Batman comic. He actually knew which artist Howard was thinking about. Howard, nevertheless, bugged him a bit more about how he had seen his work somewhere.

At the last comic convention Dave and I went to, we saw a black dude in a pimp outfit tearing up an original XForce something or another comic. He was ranting about how the industry was lame and generally causing a scene. His name is Mathew Mohammed, and he writes The Black Bastard. The comic, as one might guess, is about a black dude who is a bastard. We saw him again at this convention. I bought the first issue since the dude was from Scarborough. It’s not the most sophisticated of comics, but it has its moments.

Howard and I bought greeting cards from one artist. His cards were all pretty interesting. The one I liked the best was his rendition of Captain America, done up so he looked like a soldier from WWII. He had a Galactus card. I don’t know who you could send that too.

Andy Lee

While Dave lined up to speak to Bendis, I watched Andy Lee paint. He was sitting two spots down from Bendis. He was covered in paint. I can’t say I’ve ever seen anyone paint the way Lee does. Someone would ask him to paint something, and his body wouldn’t stop moving for the next 10 minutes. It was really amazing watching him work. I stood there for a good while watching him paint. I would snap the occasional photograph while he worked; I hope they turn out.

I asked him to paint me a picture of Daredevil. The first thing he did was dip his fingers in the water he used to clean his brushes, and rub that water on the middle of the page. He then got to work with the brushes, moving them here and there in no conceivable pattern. He works so fast. Slowly you start to see what he is seeing, and the image takes on a shape you can understand.

“Do the comics you do also look like this?” I asked. I was so impressed with his work, but I couldn’t imagine a comic book with art work like his.

“Yes,” he replied, “That’s why I don’t get many jobs.”

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Comments

  1. Simon was also compelled to purchase Black Bastard at the CNCBE. Post with photo. The dude was funny to talk to, but the persona didn’t seem satirical enough to be actually funny.

    The books were kind of disappointing too. I don’t think the pimp thug life and comic-geekdom mix too well. The day there’s a gansta comic book author/artist, please shoot us all.

    Also, Andy Lee is quite cool. Still kicking myself for not asking him for anything last year. He was quite nice when we chatted.

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