Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Starman Week: Tales from the Brain Jar, #19 pt1

I hadn’t realized it, but it has been months since we’ve ran a Tales from the Brain Jar. Just in time for Starman week comes one of the most impressive sketches in my entire book. It is by Tony Harris and it was done at the Heroes convention in 2008. There are two stories attached to this sketch, so we’ll get right to the first of them. Because this may run a little long, I’ll post the second story tomorrow.

Any time I know I’m going to a convention I keep track of the artist list so I can budget both time and money accordingly. I usually plan for 1 sketch, with the possibility of picking up a second depending on how much I’ve spent already. For Heroes, I knew I wanted a Jack Knight from Tony Harris. I could have left the convention with just that and still called the weekend an amazing success.

Due to someone very awesome that I won’t name right now, I managed to get into Heroes about 10 minutes before the doors were opened. I quickly parted with my benefactor and started for Tony Harris’ table. I found him about 5 minutes before the doors opened and found that I was the third person in his sketch line. I was disappointed I wasn’t first, but I figured there was no way I wouldn’t get a sketch if I was third in line. That’s when the convention opened and Tony explained what he was doing this weekend.

Tony explained that he can do a certain number of sketches during the convention (I forget what that number was). He then went on to tell us that to make it more interesting to him, we would have to write our names down and then write down what we wanted a sketch of. Tony would then to the sketches that he thought were interesting. It made sense, but I was suddenly terrified that Jack Knight getting a brain jar tattoo wouldn’t be interesting enough to make the cut.

The first guy in line writes down his name and then writes “Batman”. Tony looks at the list, arches an eyebrow and pretty much tells the guy. “Hey, Batman is pretty boring. I get tons of Batman requests, there is a good chance I won’t do this one.” The guy sticks to his guns though; he seems indifferent about the whole thing. He doesn’t go into an impassioned speech about how Batman is his favorite character in the world; he just kind of nodded and went on.

Guy number two walks up and writes down “Wonder Woman.” Inside I’m cheering, I’m still worried that my sketch isn’t interesting enough, but if this is what I have to compete against I figure I’m a sure thing. Tony looks at this guy the same way I must be. I honestly don’t believe he thought he would get a Batman and Wonder Woman so quickly after telling people he didn’t want to do generic sketches all day.

Finally it is my turn. I get my first omnibus signed. We both comment on how nice the book is. I joke that after the singles, the trades, and finally the omnibus that the story must be something special because at this point I’ve bought it three times. I write my name, what I want, and I show him the other 18 brain jar sketches in my book. I was relieved to know almost immediately that he would be doing my sketch, but the story isn’t over yet. Check back tomorrow to find out what else happened.

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