I saw the new Alice in Wonderland movie this weekend. After I had found it wasn't a remake but a more Alice Returns to Wonderland. It's an good movie; not great, but like other Burton movies it's fun to watch. The characters are great; the actors and animators bring awesome subtle nuances to everything. Johnny Depp really brings a broken element to the Hatter. And the interaction with him and the Cheshire Cat is awesome. It's a movie I'll probably buy on DVD.
The things I miss about Denton are mainly the art stores. The stores in Dallas are pretty overpriced in comparison. My thought is that the Denton shops have a guaranteed sale numbers with the art school; the Dallas ones not so much. Anyways, last time I was there i picked up two small Canson Make Your Own Manga Book; it's pretty neat. It's a bit more disposable than a nice moleskin and a notch above a regular sketchbook. I try and sketch in it everyday to keep myself in practice. Plus i picked up some new inking tools; a nice pentel pen and a brush pen. I've been looking at more loose art styles (Sean Murphy, Rob Guillory, Skottie Young); so it's fun to experiment with these new toys. I may need to buy new ones soon though; I am TEARING through the ink. Which, by the way, is actually good ink. I usually hate the ink that comes in (brush) pens.
We wrapped up another STAPLE! appearance this previous weekend. The show itself was pretty good. The surrounding events on the other hand was pretty hectic. First off, the hotel was all sorts of confusing. We booked at a Radisson but the hotel had a Holiday Inn sign. Apparently we were there right in time for the conversion (Front desk: "As you can see, when you wake up, we'll be a Holiday Inn"; me: 0_o). Not something we can't mentally handle after an 8hr day and a 3hr drive driving around looking for a Radisson. Oddly enough, the hotel was awesome as a Radisson and is terrible as a Holiday Inn. Funny how that works out.
Like I said, the con itself was pretty good with some odd hiccups. Some things couldn't be helped (like the venue was broken into the previous night and had some of its light controls stolen; i know, WTF); other things could have been handled better (tables didn't have numbers on them and the person helping with tables had the map upside down; thus confusing a lot of people). I won't hold these things against the con itself; but it does give me pause about what to expect at future shows and events. We had a weird vibe going into this one so I'm going to chalk it up to "shit happens". Granted, STAPLE! is the odd show; over the three years we've been there really hasn't been any consistency as to what sells and what people look at. This year was a mix of art collectors and book buyers; which was different from years previous (2008: We sold books, but no prints; 2009: I sold a lot of prints, but no books). Though the guys said they had people read their entire books, say "that was cool", then walk off without purchasing anything. That's new to us for STAPLE!, so I wonder if it's the economy or an influx of a "Borders is a library" demographic. We didn't bother going to the after-party; we drove past the venue and didn't see parking for about four blocks. We just decided to hang out at the hotel and repreBrent. Sometimes it just better to chillax after a convention at the homebase and not bother with all the festivities.
I sold a few copies of the new pinup book; a few people had bought the first volume and actually came to find me to pick up volume 2, which is nice. We didn't do superwell at this show (Evan did though, but he deserves it after his last STAPLE! of making $6 and a whooping $2 take from the year previous that). But that's the ebb and flow of conventions. Our streak of [Awesome] shows didn't break, but floundered a bit. This wasn't as bad as the Baltimore convention; but not our best of conventions either. Either way, you can't let these shows beat you down too much or you'll just get depressed. Time to pick myself up and move on.
Space-Gun Studios is hitting the road again for this year STAPLE! the Independent Media Expo in Austin, TX. It is a great indy show with no dealers; it is all creators and publishers. There isn't a panel for the cast of Lost or a screening of The Ghost Whisperer; STAPLE! is about the love of comics. Space-Gun Studios will be sitting at tables 28-30 with our books from ICBW (if you haven't picked one up already). Sitting with us will be my girlfriend Ruby Caston, she'll have her sketchbook on hand for sale. I'll have copies of Gun Gals|Blade Babes: Vol 2 on hand, not many for this particular print run though. Hopefully I'll be able to get some prints done for the show too.
This year's afterparty will be held at Shangri La off of 6th Street. The STAPLE! afterparties are always great with music and live art; and all the proceeds from the the show will be benefitting a local community radio station called KOOP! Radio. Unfortunately with the location right off of 6th Street on a Saturday night, finding a place to park will be an adventure. Remember to bring some cash for parking.
You can check out my photos from our previous trips: 2009 | 2008
My name is Vinh-Luan Luu. I am a designer artist living in Dallas, TX and a founding member of Space-Gun Studios. This blog is my way of documenting the road into the comic book industry. I'm not looking for sympathy or fishing for compliments; I just want to tell my story truthfully without fluff. Hopefully people will learn something about this industry from my experiences.