If you are at Heroes Aren't Hard to Find in Charlotte, N.C., Richard's Comics and Collectibles in Greenville, S.C. or Borderlands in Greenville, S.C., you will have the opportunity to pick up and possibly meet some of the contributors of the very first Sketch Charlotte Free Comic Book Day Anthology.
A dozen artists came together to produce this excellent anthology and here's a little bit about each of them in their own words:
Eraklis “Herc” Petmezas Eraklis Petmezas graduated from the Savannah College of Art & Design witha BFA in Illustration. In the years to follow he created art for numerous musical acts and quite a number of editorial illustrations. He also designed window displays for Borders Books and Music. Recently he worked on storyboards for Rich Barrett Designs and illustrated the Tell Tale Heart for Adam Smith Academy. He's had work published by Image comics, Arcana, and Asylum Press. His first love will always be telling stories. He is working on new comics as you read this. In 2006 he not only joined the successful 803 Studios but,it also saw him start SketchCharlotte, a weekly meeting of local artists in the Charlotte, NC area. Which continues to grow in membership. When he’s not drawing he conducts a Comics Camp for the Charlotte Library. He will gladly accept money in exchange for art, if you are willing to part with some.
Henry Eudy -Henry Eudy is a disreputable human being who primarily makes his living racing pigs at county fairs and arm wrestling hobos for pocket change. His recent foray into making comics is borne from a deeply invested desire to pull asunder the gossamer curtains of consensual reality and reveal to all mankind the gilded and shimmering fart joke at the bottom of the primeval well of humanity. He is kind of awesome [Editor's note: This isn't what Henry originally said, but he is awesome so I refused to leave in what he said]. Locate this rakish rogue at http://ohthehumanatee.com/ or write him unintelligible verse at email@example.com
Jonathan Rosenbaum: I was born at an early age. And in those early years I developed the passion for art. I knew what I wanted to be at the age of 4. When asked by my mother, I told her, "Either an artist or an elephant". As years went by, I focused on the artist path. I went to a art college and studied Visual Communications while still taking a few illustration classes. When I graduated I was drawn to the burgeoning world of multimedia. It was 1994. I didn't get into the internets right away... it was just a fad... Compuserve and AOL were just too boring. But eventually I had to submit to the web. So for many years of being in technology, I needed to get back to my roots. As a hobby I started to write and illustrate some children's book ideas. I have an inventory of them, and I did some, got rejected, and kept going. Recently I have been illustrating more and have been going in the graphic novel direction... but more for younger kids.
Bridgit Scheide: I’ve always been drawing, and was kind of all over the place when I was a kid in terms of inspiration. I read a few comics when I was little, anything I could get my hands on, mostly Archie and Spiderman. I read lots of fantasy novels, like Dragonlance. I was into folklore, monster movies, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Power Rangers. I left most of that behind when I got into high school.
The summer of my junior year I went to a summer program called Governor’s School, for art. My professor was comic book artist Ben Towle, and he taught us about the art in sequential art. Can’t remember if he assigned us the book Maus or if it was an out-of-class book club kind of thing, but I just remember reading it in my dorm and being blown away. I was totally sucked into Spiegelman’s work. My love for storytelling was met the illustration medium I loved, and I realized that comics don’t just have to be about superheroes. (Though my love for those superhero stories came back as I started diving back into comics, too!) I probably started getting back into comics senior year, but was allowed to draw them for class the first year of college or so, haha! Sequential art wasn’t exactly encouraged for my high school senior art portfolio. So I just read them. I used to ride my bike to Heroes in the rain, haha! Those days were so sweet!
The comics I’m reading right now are Chew (that comic is GOLDEN! So clever and hilarious – that goes for both the writer and artist) and the most recent of the Witchfinder stories by Mignola. I just recently finished reading The Marquis by Guy Davis and man, he really knows how to tell a scary story! Those demons are terrifying. Sooo good though.Within the past year I’ve really been affected by Doug TenNapel’s work. I think he has a great way of including amazing messages in completely unique storylines. The characters he comes up with are so imaginative and fun. Also his inking has really allowed me to loosen up a bit in my own work instead of being so rigid. Stuart Sayger is inspiring in this way as well. As for construction of a composition, lighting, and figures, I feel like I could stare at anything by Mark Brooks for hours. (I think I might have, actually, haha!) Dave Crosland’s imagination is amazing. The Sketch Charlotte crew is super inspiring as well… it’s hard to be involved in such a collectively creative group of people without being influenced. I really love everyone in that group, they really make my week!
Jerry Stanford: Jerry Stanford is the creator of Jet-Pack Jenny, currently wrapping up its second long-running storyline, Factor of 01 at carpaltunnelpress.com. This year he celebrates his tenth year working on comics and is pleased to be doing it in the company of so many talented artists.
John DaCosta: John Da Costa is a husband and dad to one of the best families on earth. When he finds time, he enjoys several hobbies including playing guitar, learning carpentry and drawing an occasional stick figure fighting dinosaurs. He combines all 3 in his story The Imaginox, a preview of which can be seen in the 2011 Sketch Charlotte FCBD offering. HIs inspirations include Humberto Ramos, Sean Cheeks Galloway, Skottie Young, Mark Tremonti, Lenny Kravitz, David Crowder, and Norm from the old yankee workshop.
Tom Davidson: Tom lives in East Charlotte with his two elder cats, Tabla and Maizie, and super scruffy dog, Olive. He is married to Yvonne, a fulltime yoga teacher. Tom is an art director for Belk, loves fashion, nail polish, hats, ties, shoes and accessories. He also has a passion for gardening. This year he became a beekeeper, and is a member of the Mecklenburg County and NC State Beekeepers Associations. When it comes to comics, Tom hates comics that look like stiff tracings from photographs that are overly colored and rendered. Yick. But he LOVES comics that spotlight cartooning and are FUN to read. Above all, Tom loves stories. Nostalgia. Timeless wisdoms. Laughing out loud, sometimes snorting. Things that go bump in the night. Anything that makes your hackles rise. And great food. C'est moi.
Rich Barrett: I’m an art director with 14 years of experience in interactive design. In addition to being the Creative Director for Mass Transmit, an interactive marketing agency, I have my own website design company called Rich Barrett Design. The work I have done for myself and for various agencies over the years can be viewed at richbarrettdesign.com.
In addition to my web design career, I am also an illustrator with a degree in illustration from Syracuse University. I am currently working on my first comic book which I hope to eventually self-publish. My progress can be viewed at www.richbarrett.com/nathansorry/.
Julian-Marcus Blake: Julian is a young, aspiring artist and mangoka. He spent the first year of his life in the United States and then spent the next four years in the Okinowa region of Japan before returning to America. This experience at an early age had a huge influence on him and how he sees art and comics today. Julian's favorite artists are James Jean, Sam Weber, Chrissie Zullo, Sylvia Ji, Skottie Young, and Takeshi Obata. His favorite comics and manga are Naruto, X-Men, Berserk, Wolverine, and One Piece. Julian likes to draw to music by Shawn Lee, Tool, 36 Crazy Fist, Deftones, Lacuna Coil, and Silversun Pickups.
Brandon Padgett: I'm a full-time marketing manager, and a part-time freelance illustrator. I specialize in black and white line art, mostly comic-related art. I produce a yearly sketchbook with fellow artists Mark Godby, Terence Hoskins and this year, our 5th anniversary, we're adding Henry Eudy to the mix! The 2011 version will be available in June and will make its debut at this year's Heroes Con. We're now taking pre-orders for books and personalized sketches by email request. My portion of the book is generally comprised of black and white commissions that I've done over the year with a few special pieces thrown in for good measure!
Over at my blog, we're starting a theme of drawings that will lead up to the premiere of the sketchbook in June. The first topic is 1970's DC characters. All four of us will be participating, so be sure to head over and check it out! We appreciate any and all constructive feedback, and please let us know what you want to see. Who knows, your suggestion may get picked!
As far as the Sketch Charlotte FCBD Anthology goes, I edited and printed the piece and I also submitted a 2 page parody loosely based off one of my all time favorite movies. Originally created for the Dollar Bin Anthology, I had to resize the artwork to fit the specs for our book. Compare the two and you'll definitely see a difference! It's my first published sequential art, so it's raw in places, but I'm happy with the overall presentation. I never thought I'd delve into the sequential realm, but after putting this story together I'm hoping to do more in the future! You can follow me on twitter or check out my deviant art page!
Chrissie Zullo: Chrissie studied art and illustration at UNC Charlotte. She sas worked for Vertigo comics, including doing the covers for "Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love" and "Cinderella: Fables are Forever", as well as sequential work for "Madame Xanadu" and "Fables 100". Her favorite comics that she’s currently reading are Fables, MouseGuard, Detective Comics, Green Lantern, Zatanna, and she’s really anticipating Batwoman! Come out already! Chrissie’s art inspirations: James Jean, Winsor McCay, Alphonse Mucha, French and Japanese art history, Adam Hughes, Travis Chares, JH Williams IIIt. Her Anthology story is just a fun three page action comic that was a collaborative effort to pay homage to a love for the post-apocolyptic sci-fi genre.
Matthew Knapik: Matt (also known as Snaps) is a highly-excitable comic book store clerk with an infectious laugh and nervous energy to spare/ He recently traded in his drug and alcohol addictions for art-book and animation fixations He’s relocating to Burbank, California in late June [Editor’s Note: Boy! are we going to miss him in Charlotte!] to try his hand at story boarding and 2D animation...stay tooned!
Seth and I got to write the introduction for the book and we couldn't be prouder than to be included with such a friendly and talented bunch! I hope you'll pick up this book at the above locations if you get a chance. In addition to the books being available, Sketch members will be at each of the above locations as listed:
-Eraklis "Herc" Petmezas
-Terence Hoskins (Tee didn't contribute in this year's anthology, but he is an awesome member of Sketch nevertheless)
We hope everyone gets a chance to make it out to your LCS and pick up some great free books!