The 2016 San Diego Comic-Con wrapped up this past weekend with another year of strong attendance and participation from a host of talented professionals – Dylan Cole, Stephan Martiniere, Sergio Aragones (Mad Magazine), Iain McCaig, Mike Mignola, Todd Lockwood, Dave Seeley, Allen Williams, Phil Hale, Dave Dorman, Paul Tobin (Weta), Kirk Thatcher (Muppets Director), concept/costume designer Simon Thorpe, Craig Elliot, Brian Ewing, Dave Palumbo, Travis Lewis, Jason Felix, Greg Spalenka, Mike Hayes, Eric Wilkerson, Eric Bouffard (Dreamworks), Brian Cole (Disney), Heather Theurer, Mark Winters and Cynthia Sheppard of WoTC, and that just scratches the surface of whom I stood face to face with and knew personally. There were Game producers, Animation producers, Publishing Editors, Gallery owners, Auction houses, Comics Editors, and hundreds of artists and pros I never saw and didn’t know would be there!
Even with all the changes that have occurred over the years, San Diego is still the number one place to meet professionals from the diverse industries related to comics and science fiction and fantasy, talk shop, discuss business, seal a deal, and get your work seen. But it is not the only place, as I know very intimately just how difficult and expensive it can be to attend this event. My advise to those who were not there, take a look at upcoming conventions and consider making the time to attend and further your career in the arts.
You need not exhibit to take advantage of what happens at a convention. Dinners with professionals, booth discussions, portfolio reviews, business and creative lectures, live demonstrations, and marketing awareness can all be had for the price of admission. Shack up with a friend or two (or four as I did for my first two Comic-Cons!) and reap the benefits of an amazing gathering of the community.
Some up coming major conventions:
GenCon in Indianapolis
WorldCon in Kansas City
DragonCon in Atlanta
IlluxCon in Reading, PA
World Fantasy in Columbus, OH
Sergio Aragones and Donato
Chewie, but no Han 🙁 Damn you Kylo Ren!!!!!!!
Michael Kaluta original art
Drawing during some morning down time at the booth
Vicki Williams, Travis Lewis, Allen Williams, and Iain McCaig
And it all goes away in a few quick hours Sunday Night!
The Walking Dead Wrapped for a road trip.
Amazing ship references to be had in San Diego Harbor, a little walk from the convention center!
Born in 1967 and raised in Colchester, Vermont, USA, art was always a hobby for Donato as a young man, he would steal away into the basement of his parents' home to work on drawings, create his own maps for the game Dungeons & Dragons, paint figurines, read comics, and construct model tanks and dinosaurs. His love of imaginative play dominated his childhood, both indoors and out. At the age of twenty Donato enrolled in his first formal art class, the beginning of his professional training. Immediately after graduating Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in Painting from Syracuse University in 1992, Donato moved to New York City to immerse himself in the inspired and varied art scene. Formative years in the early nineties were spent as the studio assistant to the preeminent figure painter Vincent Desiderio, and long days of study in the museums of New York. It was then that his love and appreciation of classical figurative art took hold. He continues his training even now, visiting museums regularly, learning from and sometimes copying original paintings by Rembrandt or Rubens, attending life drawing sessions with illustrator friends and constantly challenges himself within each new project. Pilgrimages to major museums are his preferred reason to travel.Over this past year Donato has released the revised hard cover compilation of his works on the theme of J.R.R. Tolkien, Middle-Earth: Journeys in Myth and Legend from Dark Horse Comics.