Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Favorite Foods

Since I talked and thought so much about food yesterday... I figured I should continue and talk about food some more! Here is a list of some of my favorites:

- Hush Puppies (may I recommend The Fish Market in Old Town Alexandria, VA or Buz and Ned's Real Barbecue in Richmond, VA)
- Bubble Tea (specific flavors I like: Lychee and Pineapple)
- Almost anything from House of Blues
- Cheese Fries (you have to go to Ben's Chili Bowl in Washington, DC for the best)
- Nachos (the best come from ballparks and carnivals)
- Pizza
- The Dairy Godmother in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, VA (specific flavors I like: Pumpkin custard, Raspberry sorbet, and Summer Pudding custard)
- Mostly any fruity drink or fancy drinks in general
- Granny Smith Apples
- Uncooked carrots
- Island Way Sorbet (sorbet in a real fruit shell)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Carolyn's Interview with Iron Man

Originally uploaded by dollarbincomics
Long lost forever... now it only exists in the minds of Carolyn, Joe, Brian, and Kris (from The Dollar Bin) due to it not actually being recorded. Ha!

Heroes Con 2008 Recap

Joe and I left Virginia for Heroes Con on Thursday to spend the night before in Charlotte instead of just driving into the convention (like we did for New York in April). The extra night made the trip more relaxing for us. Charlotte is in a construction phase and I saw how the city is expanding. It's very up-and-coming and very clean. There were public art installations, an outdoor play, and a drum circle around town. One of the first sites we saw at the Westin was Darwyn Cooke at the front door.

The convention in general was the most laid back we've been to and I bet you'll notice in this post how much I'll talk about food. This is because we treated this trip like a vacation. Reasons being: this is the furthest we have traveled to an event, this is the first time we've stayed in a hotel for an event, and I've taken off time from work to be in Charlotte and have fun!

I did quite a lot of sketching and was amazed by how many sketch requests I got! Two of my favorites were Black Canary (for a DC Comics themed sketchbook) and Kid Roxy (for a man named Daniel, whom we met in New York). It's nice to see reoccurring faces come to the table. I've noticed the more conventions and events we go to, the more we'll see loyalty in the people we've met before and it's always good to see them again and build connections.

We met a girl named Roxanne. It was very cool to meet a real Roxanne... maybe she's the real Roxy and she's a future criminal... watch out for her! She was very excited about the books and I hope she enjoys them. I liked her a lot!

On Thursday night we ate at Pike's Old Fashioned Soda Shop. We had burgers and a vanilla float. It was cool to find out that they shot a scene from the movie Shallow Hal with Gwyneth Paltrow and Jack Black in that restaurant.

For dinner on Friday we ate at The Penguin Grill inside The Alley Cat... again we ate more burgers with a side of cheese fries and for the first time in our lives... we ate fried pickles. Can you tell we were eating healthy? I can.

Let's stop talking about food (we'll get back to that later). Back to the convention... Joe filmed a "Watch Amanda Conner Draw" segment for our upcoming short film on Heroes Con. Check back for that soon. I got to talk to Cliff Chiang for a bit at his table and that was very nice. John Gallagher (the creator of Buzzboy) came by our table to say hello. He was kind enough to include Kid Roxy in the Kids Love Comics! "Comics Garage" poster at Heroes Con which features Buzzboy, Amelia Rules!, Roboy Red, Patrick the Wolf Boy, Kid Roxy, and others. It was very awesome to be included in that project.

Another project we felt great to be a part of was The Dollar Bin's "Friends Assembled" Anthology. The book looks great and I really am proud of The Dollar Bin for putting it together. What can I say? The Dollar Bin rocks. More on them later.

On Saturday Joe and I tried to make it back to The Penguin for the Heroes Con Art Auction. Unfortunately, torrential rain was pouring down and it would have been hard to walk there. We waited for the rain to stop... it didn't. Then we decided to drive, but there was a hip hop car show going down and the parking lot was super crazy. After over an hour of either waiting for the rain to stop or trying to get out of the parking lot, we figured we should skip the auction and go to Fuel Pizza across the street. I would have liked to see the auction, but it just didn't work out under our conditions. In line at Fuel we met Gary McKee from Tsunami Studios and actual ate with him too. It was different to met someone in line at a pizza joint and strike up a conversation that lead to comics, but then again we were in a town that was holding a comics convention. It was good times.

Now back to food. All convention long I was craving the "nachos grande" from the concession stands. I will tell you right now... my vice is carnival nachos. Yes, ballpark nachos. The cheesier the better. Yes. I'm cheesy and I like it! Well, on Sunday we got nachos! Finally.

The main highlight of the entire convention for Joe and I was attending the Dead Dog Party at Heroes Aren't Hard To Find comic shop. There was barbecue, more Fuel pizza, snacks, and drinks. Joe and I walked around the store for an hour as the party was just getting started. It is a very nice and friendly store set up. We also are fans of the exposed brick on the back wall.

We shared a table with Adam, Brian and Tre from The Dollar Bin at the Dead Dog Party. I have a feeling if we lived in South Carolina, like they do, we'd be super friends! Or... if they lived in Virginia, like we do, they would be super friends with us!

Curls Studio met Adam and Kris from The Dollar Bin last year at Baltimore-Comic Con. (Click here to listen to our interview from that moment). Until this weekend I had no idea of what Brian, Devin, or Tre looked liked or how they were in person. All I knew was their voices from their podcast. I liked meeting the complete set of five guys this past weekend. Now I finally know who I keep calling "Mater" (from the Pixar movie, Cars) in my head is. It's totally Brian.

We talked for like five hours about wrestling, comics, movies, and more. Actually about two hours of our conversation was completely focused on wrestling. I don't think Adam was as into that part, but Brian and Tre were into it. Especially Brian... he even knew the Motor City Machine Guns! We also got to talk with the very funny Rachelle, writer of the comics blog, Living Between Wednesdays. Cliff Chiang sat at our table for a conversation and we met Chris Schweizer at the very end of the party. I've checked out his work and I think it's pretty sweet. Also halfway through the party, another huge rain storm happened! Luckily we were under a tent, but the rain was so heavy it was coming at an angle inside the tent! There was some crazy wetness going on, but it was all so fun.

Thanks goes out to organizers Shelton Drum and Dusty Harbin for putting on Heroes Con.

Hopefully we'll come in contact with the folks we met at Heroes in upcoming events. We'll be at Baltimore Comic-Con in September and SPX in October... hope to meet you there.

Let me end this by saying that I have a thing for Martian Manhunter's big skull. Ask me about it... if you really want to know.

Check out all the Curls Studio Heroes Con 2008 photos on the Curls Studio Flickr page.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Heroes Convention 2008

Curls Studio will be at Heroes Con 2008 in Charlotte, North Carolina this weekend at the Charlotte Convention Center! You can click on the map above to see where we'll be located... in Small Press space SP-27.

1-day Pass: $10 per person
3-day Pass: $20 per person
Kids 12 & Under get in FREE!

Open to the Public:
Friday, June 20 -- 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday, June 21 -- 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday, June 22 -- 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM

While you are there, be sure to look for The Dollar Bin Anthology. Curls Studio has contributed a short and fun Black Magic Tales story called "So We Stole A Time Machine." The contributors include: Rob Ullman, Andy Runton, Steve Hamaker, Brandon Padgett, J. Chris Campbell, Jon Mulé, Curls Studio, Catie Lambert, Ben Towle, Mark Dawson, Duane Ballenger, Brian Defferding, Josh Drews, Chris Schweizer, and Adam Casey.

See you there!

Friday, June 13, 2008

AIGA DC in da house!

Last night, I went to the AIGA DC IN HOUSE event at National Museum of Women in the Arts and I have to say that I think it was the best event of the season, besides AIGA FIFTY of course! The venue and sponsors were wonderful and I was especially impressed with the sound quality. Thanks to Lee for planning such an awesome event.

I typically like events with speakers which are educational and offer me inspiration. AIGA DC has been trying to provide different programming for every type of designer and every level of designer. This year, we had a lot of student events and events promoting diversity and green design. IN HOUSE was no exception. We were reaching out to not only in-house designers, but also interactive and web designers. There were a lot of new faces by reaching out to different areas of the design community!

The speakers included Khoi Vinh (Design Director, and also the author of, Faz Besharatian (Design Director, Web Strategy & Operations, AARP), and Rob Covey (Senior Vice President, Content and Design, National Geographic Digital Media). All of them gave wonderful presentations and insight. I can tell you they are hard-working, honest, and super super smart! I realized that all their sites are designed to be "quiet." The design has stepped back to give the content room to breathe. As much as it looks so simple, this is not an easy thing to do considering how much content they are working with.

Another interesting element of their discussion was that much of it focused on how to work with people and build relationships. I've realized myself in the past year that having good clients is more important than having good design. When you have good clients, then that leads to good design and the understanding of each other. As a designer, you need to know what the client needs out of you to create the final piece that can help the client connect with their audience. On the other hand, the client needs to be educated with design decisions in a dialogue with the designer. A large part of good design is building relationships. It was great to hear the opinions and discussion at the event. I really enjoyed being there.

Roxanne Monroe with Treasure Island

Check out the evolution from sketch to final art of Roxanne Monroe... you know, lil' Kid Roxy!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Politics and Project Resolution

I came across two photos on the internet today that took me back a few years. The photos are of Tim Kaine (Governor of Virginia) and Mark Warner (former Governor of Virginia) holding flyers with an illustration I did for the Project Resolution prompt, "Tony Danza’s Live Circus" back in 2005. The other guy in the photos is George, Project Resolution's Technical Director.

Oh man, I remember trying to get Tony Danza to come to the show because at that time he had a talk show that had a segment called "Tony Comes To Your Town!" or something like that. I wrote letters to try get get him to come to Project Res, but he never showed up...

Project Resolution is a monthly event in Richmond, Virginia where filmmakers are invited to present their work to receive feedback and critique. There is a prompt each month that filmmakers use to get motivated and create a short film.

You can go back in time and see the flyers I illustrated to advertise the shows by going to the Project Res website and clicking on past shows. I did most of them between the years 2003 and 2005.

This is my favorite flyer. It was for an open prompt, where people could do whatever they wanted to do. It just takes me back and it's cool to see two Governors of my home state holding the flyers!