All pictorial art is the transformation of dead material into something spiritual.
We are just back from another inspirational five day adventure at Comic Con. It has become clear that our favorite reason for attending is meeting new friends and hanging out with all our artist buddies. Comic Con is a magnet for artists working in the genre of fantastical art, whether they are there as attendees, showcasing their latest visions at a booth or promoting a project upstairs at one of the programs. This year, for the first time in the history of the Comic Con, it sold out.
The spirit of the archetypal super hero remains at Comic Con, despite the Hollywood take over. It has become crystal clear that the public adores good stories. Philip Pullman alludes to the power of story in “The Amber Spyglass”, the third book of “His Dark Materials Trilogy.”
Day One: Wednesday, July 26th
Our booth was located in the “illustrators” section, across from Greg’s artist rep, Allen Spiegel Fine Arts. This year we had the usual bounty of limited edition artist giclees, postcards, posters and Vespertina CD’s. Greg introduced a first look at the illustrations created for the children’s book “The Eyes of the Unicorn” by offering large, limited edition giclee prints and a beautifully printed set of greeting cards featuring six of the images from the book. The Adorning the Muse handmade jewelry by Heartworks by Lori and my perfumes were the new additions to the collection, creating a sensorium of visual, aromatic and musical delights.
I introduced my new perfume Vespertina, inspired by the music CD “The Visions of Vespertina” created by Greg and his friend Michelle Barnes. What a thrill it was to share a new perfume at such a large venue. The immediate praise and feedback garnered is priceless. More on how this perfume was orchestrated in the next blog entry.
Day Two: Thursday, July 27th
The Con opened its doors to a swarming mass of sprinters Thursday morning, as well as every morning there after. What were these fans running towards? Booths offering free booty and Comic Con exclusives most likely.
At 4:45pm I treked upstairs to hear “Lost, Season 4” presented by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. Little did I know that there had been Losties waiting to get into the presentation since early that day, with a line that wrapped around the entire ballroom!!! Obviously Damon and Carlton are masters of the fine art of story telling. A special “Dharma Initiative” short was showcased with interesting clues into the work of the mysterious foundation. The Season 3 DVD will be released in early December, can’t wait!!
Day Three: Friday
We met my daughter Eve and her dad Ben early for breakfast Friday morning. Eve was keen to know ALL the details from the LOST presentation. At the Con Greg took Eve on a tour to see all her favorite artists including Kinuko Craft, Dan Dos Santos, Charles Vess and Jon Foster. Lori, the jewelry artisan, came to join us at the booth, much to the fans delight. By that time we had completely sold out of all versions of the jewelry with my bee logo. What a joy to discover that the bee image utilized as the emblem for my perfume company strikes a chord with the public. In the afternoon New Line previewed a special extended trailer for The Golden Compass. See the trailer at the link provided below. We are particularly excited because we are huge fans of the book and because Greg did visual development on the film. After Con that evening we went to dinner with a large group of friends followed by late night conversations at the bar of one of the hotels. These late night evenings with fellow artists are one of the highlights every year at Comic Con. This year we had the pleasure of meeting an up and coming illustrator named Eric Fortune and Stephane Martinaire’s daughter Madeline.
Day Four: Saturday
Traditionally Saturday is the largest attendee day of the Con and proved to be our most prosperous. We were graced by the appearance of several authors Greg has illustrated covers for at our booth, including Orson Scott Card and Holly Black. Due to the celebration of costuming to popular art culture, Saturday night features the “Masquerade”, an annual on-stage costume competition. The exhibit hall is always filled with interesting clothed, or sometimes barely clothed attendees.
Quercus seemed to resonate most with all those who sampled the perfumes and was the biggest seller. Although all the perfumes were appreciated, this botanical oak inspired scent seems to resonate with the largest cross section of the population.
Day Five: Sunday
The last day of Comic Con began with breakfast with the artist David Seeley and his lovely family followed by Greg and I visiting all our friends at their booths and accumulating fabulous books, prints, posters and original art. (As if we need more of these items!) I took a gander at the props and costumes for the upcoming Golden Compass film. WOW! What an amazing treat for the eyes. I am a huge fan of both Philip Pullman and the trilogy “His Dark Materials.” From what I have observed, the film makers seem to have done justice to the story. My perfume Lyra is named after the protagonist in the first book of the series titled “The Golden Compass.”
Sunday evening, after having packed and loaded all our items , we joined our fellow creatives for dinner and the usual late night gathering. During dinner we noticed that four out of five of the women present were wearing our new jewelry!
Monday morning before departing back up to LA we had the pleasure of meeting Baron Storey and his lovely wife Petra for an early lunch. What an inspiration to be in the presence of Baron,chat with him and Petra and peruse his sketchbook (#144).
As always following Comic Con I am inspired to draw, draw, draw. The image which I am creating as the visual for Quercus has morphed. The final drawing will be posted soon with a blog entry showing the development of the idea. The painting will follow later in the year.
The artist’s I tend to gravitate toward , as well as those in our inner circle of friends are quite accomplished drafts people, Greg being one of the group. Listed below are the websites of friends and other artists from Comic Con that I adore. Unfortunately Baron Storey and the upcoming Eric Fortune have no websites. Dave McKean also does not have his own site, but, between his rep and a fan is well represented on the world wide web.
Cheers to the art spirit and the story tellers!
Dan Dos Santos
World of Froud
Allen Spiegel Fine Arts
Allen Spiegel Fine Arts.com/Dave McKean
Perfume in quarter ounce and 1ml sample sizes will be
available soon at Illuminated Perfume.