Friday, May 29, 2015

Aftermath and the Response

Hey there sports fans, Al here with the latest:

It isn't usually something that happens when I am writing a blog because to most people it nothing more than a rambling of things that one has. Mine for Black Box Comix/Black Box Visual Arts is no different.
Really in honesty I never have gotten a reposnse from anyone except a few friends when I first started writing about the work and the frustration of making comics and what was happening at shows and the like to get people to read them and buy them.
That tune hasn't really changed all that much but the reviews of the show past recently seem to have struck a chord with a few people of late.

And it is more of a correction than anything else really.

I was certain that I was going to piss a few (if not a lot) people off with the review of the show.
In times past I understood that my caustic diatribe would burn those people. This is quite true. When I am passionate about something truly passionate about something I state the facts as I see them.
Most people I think would do the same as well.
Of course your typical alcoholic would say the same thing not taking responsibility for their actions and blaming somebody else for they woes or some situation. I am not alcoholic and if I am would somebody please check me into a clinic.

True but this is not an apology. It is my opinion. 

If I were asked “Was I wrong about the set up?”
“Yer... no. But you didn't have to be mean about it.”
The moment you start to back petal you have already proven my point.
Life is full haves and have nots. And in this situation I had experienced this last weekend I had a handful of have nots.

My comments about the Volunteers was what set off the response. Here is the email I received this morning.
Sometimes I think being mean is the only way to get the point across if you want a proper change to take place. In this day and society everything is a sound clip and the latest meme.
My artwork is more than that. It's a lifestyle and way of looking at life around us all in a fantastic way.
I didn't think that people would want to see the same old shit that was an escape from the hum drum life of reality but would want to see something new and presented in a new way. I was wrong about that. Even the artist who sat across the way with his fantastic painted prints wasn't making any sales 'cept for one I spied from my vantage point. It seemed to me that people wanted recapture that old feeling shock and awe. I had new stuff that would have added to that but I guess that wasn't worth looking at.
I don't think I would be welcomed back but I could tell you this if I had the money and threw it at them I am pretty sure nobody is gonna say no just because this guy wrote some scathing review of the show.

I can live with that.
If you were to ask me to my face how are things I will stand behind what I have said.
If that makes me a not a nice person in your eyes so be it because I can live with that as well.
Again this is my opinion and this does not reflect anybody else's feelings about that show. Not Jason, not Adam, and certainly not my table mate George. None of these guys I have associated with at this show should be accountable for what I am writing about or my state of feeling.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Crypticon - Aftermath 2015

Hey there sport fans Al here with the latest;
SO people will ask me soon enough after the three day jaunt to the Emerald City (or at least one of its many 'burbs) how was the show? How did you do?

Well curious ones I will fill you in WITH THE PROS AND CONS OF CRYPTICON!

Like the buildup of Holst's "Mars, Bringer of War" in returning to a show that had left me so frustrated and mad last year I was never quiet sure if I was going to return as a vendor but certain planetary alignments came into play with the email to start the process up again.
Ok, so my documentation of photos and the litany of complaints did not fall upon deaf ears. Yea! Now I get a table of my choosing. Cool pass the word on down to my buddy George who was with my during last year's poor showing.

BUT I am getting off topic.

1).  Travel time to show. In times past when you travel with a group of friends to an event time personal time schedules can get really messed up. Not so this trip.

2).  Friends. I really couldn't have asked for a better group of people to travel up with. Though I will say our banter is best left unspoken here with maybe the exception of the "Brown Bomber" it was the most hilarious time up. And it did not stop when we got to our final destination (haha play on words).

 3). The location of the show. Seattle is not that far away from PDX. Some cue up in the in flight movie? Oh wait, we've got one already going on.

4). The crowds. I would have to say that they were the easiest to deal with this year. Very little to do deal with the cos players this year and the width of the floor layout was easy to get around others.

5). The guests. Most if not all celebrities will or choose not to mingle with the regular crowds. After having a morning coffee drawing session broken up by Michael Berryman (from the original Hill Have Eyes). It was a wonderful and hilarious time to talk to an actor that has been around for a number of years. It's not often that you get some personal insight into these people one on one. And George and I were just kicking back and doing some drawing while having some coffee.

6). The Table. Somehow someway we managed to get bumped from having a bad a good table in artists alley to a table inside the red room.  This again was for free so it was totally cool. And things started looking cool.


There were some people that knew exactly what was going on and where and when of events and vendors. These people like Ryan and his wife whom I had met at ECCC about 4 years ago were there along with one other bald headed goatee gentleman (I can't remember his name) constantly checking up on everyone there at the show. Fantastic. Thank you so much.

I THINK that this was the main reason that I went this time as well as George because of how things were handled so poorly last year. A free table was a HUGE bonus without the huge overage for traveling up. We really only needed to cover the cost of the printing, hotel, food and gas. Without the $150.00 for the table we could focus on other cost issues. It was great that Troy (the organizer of the show) realized what had happened and did the right thing by giving us a table. 

This one has to go to my girlfriend Beth for lending George and I two wire displays that she had been using for her shows with her prints and postcards.

BUT THERE is a pattern beginning to form here... can you see what it is? HERE IT COMES

1). The TABLE.
2015 Crypticon Floor Plan. 204 was our Final Destination.

Now as thankful for having a free table is awesome. I don't think that any vendor would ever say no to something like that. I sure the hell didn't. But when tables during check in are only marked with a number and you haven't been given a lanyard and a badge and a map of the floor event layout (like at most shows when I have been to -Rose City, ECCC, Jet City, PacCon, Stumptown- )and the though I know that most of the folks who are helping out are volunteers man there somebody needs to make a guidebook for these disenfranchised S.C.A. members to help the fuck out.
There was a guy who was at our table after we checked in to our hotel room and it was like "What..? Is this your table? Ah hell no I ain't getting lost in the mix this time! Fuck that!" I ran down to the check in and found that we'd been "Up-Graded". We didn't even get a say on this. Personally, I think that if we had stayed with the artist's alley table that was agreed upon through email I know we (George and I) that we would have sold a shit ton more than we did.

Most people would think that having a vendor's table would have been the shit "Man, you guys will make a killing in there!" Hold on there kemosabe, not so fast. Now again this is not a superbad thing  but in our case we were only really set up for a 6ft table with nothing else for a background to help really get our work seen -except for the table top wire displays that were lent to us via Beth Kerschen.
 I think George and I would have done better had we had stools to sit upon rather the con chairs that were provided for us at the show but there was no way for us (or them, the organizers of the show) that we would have needed such things.
But you live, you learn.
We didn't really have any other issue since were moved into that space without another vendor (artist or other) next to us on one side and a couple of writers on the others.
That's until the next day of Saturday.


Speaking of Saturday, THE OTHER issue with the table was one of our next door neighbors who was not there Friday moved in on Saturday. morning for set up. To me this is always a big issue when you have change ups in the layout of a show and then make changes to everything that doesn't match up to the floor map.
I can only assume that there were a number of people who didn't show up for the show because of other commitments or other personal issues. Everything was going well for us. But it wasn't until the introduction of our fedora wearing gnome of a neighbor whom burst onto the scene like a case of bad acne. His table looked like the pizza face of artwork; a smattering of gloobed on color with only one kind of bad technique being added to make it look cool.
AND ON TOP OF THAT...only did he not stand up once to greet his customers with loud over the top voice of introduction but also devaluing the other surrounding artists around him by making his Kinko's Prints $6 bucks a pot without a backing board and cheap plastic bags but the kicker (to me anyway) was that he had the nerve to have a fucking tip jar!
Who does that at a show?
 Again just bad vendor etiquette.
It was leaving a bad taste in our mouths and I for one hate that flavor.

Years have taught me that if it can slip through the cracks it will. This was no show was no different. I knew that I had to stay on top of this issue because all these people who were working at the show again were mainly volunteers. I am glad that they are they are there with their enthusiasm for the show and everything but I really would hope that they would get some better organization going on.
Timing was a major factor that was constantly being brought up by the vendors and artist's alley – When do we show up? What time does this take place? Where are we supposed to go? There were two times that were shown on SCHEDULE once we were able to get one that was passed out to us once were set up. Shouldn't have this been dealt with like the aforementioned lanyard issue and show packet?
One would think so.
But I had to wait in line to find out what the hell was going on. Again look above the cons for the table.

AS they say this was the weakest link in the whole of things. I am not sure where they (God Forbid!) hired these guys but PLEEEZ! The old worn out t-shirts of Cthulhu that look like baby swiss cheese and the slightly unkempt beardos without anything so much as a t-shirt as a minion/henchman just made it difficult to ask questions about what, when where anything was taking place.
I KNOW these guys are unpaid – no, really I get it. But there should be someway to easily recognize volunteer from the crowd there.
Surprisingly there is no actual photos on the web of any of the volunteers to post. Maybe they thought that if people saw them there nobody would want to come. The horror of it all... the horror....

Now I might get into shit about this but there was a general over feeling to me that nearly none of the artwork was worth stopping and looking at. I get it. Not your cup of tea. Even one of my sisters never quite got it why I illustrated the things that I do. But there were those who seemed intimated by the work and wouldn't have even come up to the table if I hadn't chided them to come over. It wasn't even the sale that I was going for (though that's in the back of your mind) but there was not the larger crowds like that had been there in the past. And not a lot of people were asking for business cards even though I did have a few interests in commissions and more comics.
There were a few crazy people that managed to get in but when you can 't tell if someone is a true whack job V.S. an act as a vendor -shove off! These folks are in costume as well and I couldn't tell if they were there for cos play or what but I don't need that kind of headache for figuring it out nor does anybody else for that matter. I have a display to show my work I shouldn't have to hide behind it avoid talking to people.

I know a number of my friends and buddies like to think that going to a show is not about the making money but the interaction that you have with the public.
As well as making contacts and hanging out with friends kicking back shooting the shit about the state of affairs of comics (a favorite pass time) over drinks and whatever. But for this kid it was about making money. I know that sounds like a real mercinary but I didn't spend $300.00 plus dollars just to piss it away for a good time.
My work is better than that as is George's, Adam's and Jason's. I don't know how Jake made out on his side of the vendor's room but I am sure I will find out.
I could easily just gone to a strip joint with a fraction of that cash or better yet taken out my girlfriend and had a fantastic dinner for two down at the nearby waterfront.
I still followed the rules set down by both Devon Deveraux and Jason Pott:
1) Always have something new.
2) Have something for everyone prices.
When people are only looking at .50 cent buttons the entire weekend, I think that is a clear indicator that something ain't working here.
Work and effort should be rewarded and none of that happened this year again - even with all the new set up and placement of out table.
If anybody is really looking at the numbers of their sales (and I am sure that a lot of other people were as well) numbers don't lie.I would have to make three times what I made to really make any money of the work. I was in hole the moment we got in Adam's SUV.

Would I do it again? Unlike last year with so many factors working against me I seriously had to look at this show as a massive learning experince and say no. It was fun but this was not a vaccation for me and if I ever want to really make as an artist being supported by my work I have to throw my money smartly towards those places where I will see a return.
Local gallery work for group shows here and commissions are what I need to focus upon. Maybe if I was just going up to hang out without the huge overhead of staying might treat me better.
Again these are only my opinions for the show but I don't think I'll be heading back up anytime soon.

OTHER THAN THAT I still have to find that perfect niche for myself and I don't think Crypticon Seattle is it for me.
You can check out these places for work.
And of course I still have my comics that I have worked on here at Indyplanet.

And mind you there is website
and the facebook page 

The Website also has some new stuff added for the comic books featuring Corpse Cop.

 And with that this kid is outta of here I got work to do. 

posted from Bloggeroid

posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Things to come.

Hey there sports fans, Al here with the latest:

Well as things get progressively closer to a show and I have been in contact with a few people whom I do know are going so the event will be with people I know.
Now interesting enough was the fact that I was asked recently by another living here in PDX by the name of Jake Standley CRYPTICON 2015!
to talk about the overall and what to expect of the event of

Well maybe but not really.

Jake is no stranger to the show circuit however this is a much different show than he has attended before and the fact that is sharing a booth with girl friend was an additional unknown to me.
BUT that is besides the point I was asked to retell of my experiences there at the show (from last year. check out the previous blog here),  and what they should look out for and what to expect from the floor staff.
I did go on that this was a one time experience and what they should do if they came across anything that would not help them in their sales - document everything that is wrong. Report it to the organizers and do it immediately- don't wait till later.

Photos illustrate everything.

Then they hit me with the new project that they were looking to sell and promote- a pumpkin carving set!
Pretty cool if you ask me. The examples that they showed on line were pretty cool. I know for a fact that I hadn't seen anything like that being sold there at the show. So my feeling is that they will do very well there and I know Jake will do well there as well.
I know George Leon of Custom Comic Shop will do well up there with his Scooby Doo zombie prints and all of that
Adam Watson of Darkslinger Comics

George Leon of Custom Comics Shop
So I will be heading up there with Adam Watson
, Robert Diaz
Jason Z. Pott of NeöTrash Comix
 (Darkslinger Comics) and George Leon of Custom Comics Shop. I also know that Jason Z. Pott of NeöTrash Comix
will also be there.

Robert Diaz of Darkslinger Comics
What to expect for this show this time around?

A new pricing list to reflect the new prints for one. And two the display racks.

After talking to Beth about presentation of work at a show it just made sense to have something that was gonna be in your face as people come out of the vendors room. SO I think that this might be a fest rather than famine like this last year. So as you can see there is a lot to see.

The only thing that is missing this year like I had hoped for earlier this year was the lack of the Corpse Cop comics I want to have ready but I realized that the problem I have had over the years was the fact that I have ALWAYS rushed to get a project done just to meet a show with out a lot of accolades from people.  The rush to meet a self impossed deadline has always hurt me and really down deep I knew that forcing the issue (literally) would hurt me but I didn't think it was going to hurt a small fan following. Of course that following has always been my friends but never any serious response from professionals

I think that fear of success that I always talk about got the better of me in this BUT that doesn't mean I have completely given up on comics just refining my story and artistic technique.

There will be more comix this I promise you.
Pricing list for this years show

The rough rack set up.

So I am looking forward to see if the bad taste left in my mouth from last year's debacle of a show will be cleansed. 
And of course I still have my comics that I have worked on here at Indyplanet.

And mind you there is website
and the facebook page 

The Website also has some new stuff added for the comic books featuring Corpse Cop.

 And with that this kid is outta of here I got work to do. 

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Weeks to go.

Hey there sports fans, Al here with the latest;
Well the Crypticon show is only out in less than two weeks now and the kid is getting ready as best I can. There have been a number of things that I have been doing to hopefully make this years experience WAY THE FUCK BETTER!
If. It didn't end something c

posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, May 10, 2015


Hey there sports fans, Al here with the latest:

As the month of May has arrived and the Crypticon Show 2015 has confirmed for this kid there are new things that have been made and ready to sell both at the show and on Etsy and StoreEnvy(). Prints that is.

Now the one thing that I haven't got this time around – at least not yet are the comics that I have been holding off on for the last year or so. Corpse Cop still is in a holding pattern for me and it's due to money constraints that make printing difficult.

But there are some interesting turn of events recently.

The first of these is taking on a new group show here in PDX called the 88 STRONG SHOW.
I have been part of this show off and on over the last couple of years and constantly gone back and forth between painting and scratchboard. WELL … I think that I have come to a conclusion of which medium I want to get into this show and at the same time maximize my potential for a sale- and the winner is scratchboard! No real surprise there.
AND at the instance of Beth my girlfriend and Chris Haberman, curator of the show that I should just keep going with this medium. And I agree with them on this point. I like painting but it is just not my strong suit. And I have been pushing hard to make sales with my artwork.

The other thing I am looking at doing is comic book submission for ONI Press based out of Portland here. That's kinda cool. I have been on the fence about doing submissions to either Oni or Dark Horse for the matter. But the distribution – if they excepted it- would be awesome.

SO MY THINKING is submitting “The Watery Adventure of Richard Parker” as a submission to this company.
Now true, Richard Parker is not quite ready for sequential story telling but the thumbnails have been done for some time now and though there are a number of events that I could depict in the story I only have a finite amount of story ideas that I would like to develop for print. This alters the ending of Richard Parker somewhat the end goal has always been the same for him and meeting the man who sent him on this path would eventually brought back to the cold ocean depths. So what would naturally be a tale of showing solo splash pages would now show a small chronology of where he would be going but Parker's deep rooted goal was always revenge even if it were bitter sweet.

There are other projects that I have been working on as well such as the next installment of "Weird Atomic Tales" featuring "Last Monster on EARTH!"


Yes it is true that Corpse Cop won't make it to press just yet but there is still a couple more ideas that I want to do with this character as well as a story that does show sequential scratchboard art telling in the form of retro robots and monsters.

I think “Anger Beast” story that featured Robot Monster is a great idea that could really get a good cult following with a major dusting off of my original story.  And in turn incorporate Corrax the Seeker (the newer version) and robots of old -especially Robby.

Well that's about it for this kid right at the moment I have a fair amount of work ahead of me.

Check out these other sites as well.
And of course I still have my comics that I have worked on here at Indyplanet.

And mind you there is website
and the facebook page 

The Website also has some new stuff added for the comic books featuring Corpse Cop.

 And with that this kid is outta of here I got work to do. 
posted from Bloggeroid