Heading back from the NYCC where I was able to visit with Tim for a bit. I'll write a report with pics soon, but just wanted to share this little sketch he did for me. He was having a strange sense of humor. :^)
The New York Comic Con sold out for both Saturday, Sunday and 3-day passes. Fortunately Tim was able to get me in with his persuasive powers, charm and dashing good looks…okay, not really. He was just able to get me a pass (thanks, Tim!).
I arrived around 10am and met him out front of the Jacob Javits Convention Center. Before I found Tim I was walking behind a huge crowd of fans filing into the Center and who happened to be in front of me but Ben Templesmith! I lost interest in him and his work a couple years ago when after meeting him at a convention he acted like such a cold, impersonal douche bag. I was literally right behind him, like 5 inches from his back. I pondered if I should say something. I knew he wouldn’t remember me anyway, but I decided to make an attempt at being friendly. So I blurted out, “Hey Ben! They’re making you walk in the front door with everyone else?” There was no response. The girl walking with him heard me, but pretended not to. She started to turn her head to make eye contact, but then quickly looked forward again. Maybe he just didn’t hear me or maybe he did, but didn’t want to engage with any fans at that moment. But whatever. It just reinforced my feeling that he’s not very friendly in real life.
After finding Tim we both headed inside and towards the Avatar booth where Tim was stationed for the weekend. The crowds were dense and a little irritating. You could barely walk at a consistent pace in the aisles. You’d be walking along and then come to a dead stop. Then you’d start walking again and again stop, all the while being smashed together like being on a subway train. It made walking around the show really annoying and uninviting.
Fortunately the Avatar booth wasn’t too far from the entrance we came in. Tim plopped his portfolio down on the table, sat down and began to set up his space. He only had about 3-feet of space at the end of a table. He was trying to avoid having to pay for his own table in Artist Alley. The only problem was that no one really knew where he was. He was listed in the program, but there was no indication where he was sitting. So if anyone was specifically looking for him they would have to find him by accident! Kind of crazy.
Tim wasted no time and got right to sketching. At that point he didn’t have any commissions, so he was just sketching to do something. He brought a bunch of inked, single character pieces that he had done ahead of time before coming to New York. That’s what the majority of these pieces are here (I don't want to waste my time cutting and pasting all of the links to the individual images, so I'm just putting in a link to the Flickr page with all of the pics):
After shooting the poop with Tim for a bit I decided to wander around and see what else was going on. Like I said before, the crowds were so dense and thick that it made walking around a nightmare. I actually went on a search for a Wolverine figure, but no one had him. I guess if I hadn’t been looking for something specific and was just wandering around the crowds would have been less annoying.
Anyway, I ended up going back to Tim’s table. He asked one of the other people at the Avatar booth if he could have a chair for me. So then I sat down and watched Tim work on some commissions. One was She-ra(?) (from He-Man) and the other was Sinbuck. You can see those pics of Tim working on them in the above Flickr link as well.
The Sinbuck guy was really nice. Said he first met Tim at a Chicago show years and years ago back when he was in a band. He said they had Tim draw their CD cover (can’t remember the name of the band). Then he joked that it was so long ago that now he’s married with two kids. Tim surprised me by asking the guy if he wanted to see some prints that he had made. He then proceeded to pull out these huge 2 x 3 ft. poster prints! They were of some of the color images we’ve seen here on the boards, like Tanya sitting in the chair, Tanya crawling out of the casket, a couple of different Sinbuck ones, the gladiator with the tigers and the skeleton dude playing the organ. They looked AMAZING! I knew that Tim hade mentioned the possibility of having some made, but I didn’t know he actually did. I lamented that I would have nowhere to hang them up or else I would have bought a couple. So this guy bought the two Sinbuck poster prints and then asked for a commission of Sinbuck. At first he was struggling with what to have Tim draw. I suggested a DC character since he had mentioned he was a DC fan. He then said, “Nah, that would be too cliché, because it would be Batman.” This guy was a true Vigil fan. He didn’t want some generic sketch, but he wanted something that Tim was close to. I was impressed.
Occasionally some grown ups would stop by with their kids to watch Tim draw. They’d be like, “Oh look Billy, here’s a comic book artist drawing!” I would hold my breath and think in my head, “Don’t flip through the portfolio! Don’t flip through the portfolio!” When I told Tim this he laughed and said he wants them to open it. Haha! When one guy with his son did they opened it up to a page with a guy getting his head hacked off and blood spraying everywhere. They immediately walked away. Tim was like, “Did you see what he saw?” I was like, “No, what was it? Boobies?” When he showed me I was surprised and said so many kids nowadays play all kinds of violent, bloody videogames and that you’d think it wouldn’t be that shocking.
For the time I was there random people would just stop by. There was one guy who runs a horror website called Igor’s Lab. I asked him if he was familiar with Tim’s work and he said he’s been a fan for years. At the end of the conversation he agreed to post an article about the last issues of Faust. He was also asking a lot of questions about the movie and what Tim thought of it. He was saying to Tim that he and David should start a Kickstarter campaign online to raise money to do a re-make of it in the right way. Was a good idea, just not sure how much money they’d really raise. The guy cited the movie company Troma and how they had just done this to make their latest movie. The difference is that Troma has a pretty huge underground following.
There were two older guys that Tim offered to see his “holy grail” portfolio (that’s what I call it). That’s where Tim carries his cream of the crop pieces (and the pieces that cost thousands of dollars). You could see these guys’ heads exploding when looking at the work in there. It’s kind of like the end of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark when they open up the ark. If you look at it you’ll just melt. They kept flipping back to pieces and being mesmerized by them. I swear if I ever won the lottery I’d buy that whole thing.
There was this one girl and her mom that stopped to watch Tim ink. The mom kept talking for the girl, which was a little odd, like she was her lawyer or something. She explained that her daughter loves drawing and Tim offered the advice that she should become expert in perspective and that perspective is the most important thing.
At one point I got up to make a phone call and when I came back there were like five people crowded around Tim. I guess it was a family and the younger kids (like teens) were telling the mom (I think it was the mom), “You gotta look at this stuff!” The one kid was like, “He deserves every bit of what they cost” meaning the prices may have been a little high, but that his work is so good it’s worth it. There was a Faust: LOTD page in there with John humping Jade on the rooftop and the kid did a “chicka-wow-wow” porn guitar sound. It was pretty funny.
Okay, yes, this report is a little all over the place and a little lame, but I’m trying to remember stuff from a couple days ago and I was only there for a few hours. It’s all a blur.
I told Tim I felt like we should do an interview or something, but that I feel like the interview we did a few years ago was so definitive that there was nothing left to say. He just chuckled and continued sketching. I then asked him if he’s got anything else that he’s working on, since now there are no more Frazetta books. He said he didn’t, but that he’s been playing with the idea of doing a monthly book; something self published. He said, “I could probably do it. It’s not that hard once you have three books already done” meaning you have three issues done before you solicit it. I should have asked him if he had any ideas on what the series would be about, but for some reason it didn’t even cross my mind to inquire.
Every now and then a comic book hottie in a costume would walk by. Tim was checking out this one girl and said, “Nice boots”. There were random fans asking to get pictures taken with her near to where Tim was sitting. Once she was done she turned and saw Tim drawing. She came over and started chit-chatting. She mentioned it was her first show. Tim asked her if she was having fun and made a joke that she had something on her nose (it was a black dot as part of the character she was dressed up as: Rogue the Bat from Sonic). Anyway, Tim fell in love with her…*cough cough boobs* (they were rather nice; not sure why we didn’t get a picture), but then some other people showed up and she disappeared. Tim kept looking for her, but alas, she was gone. I told him she broke his heart. In memory of her I made this pic for Tim:
Okay, that’s all I care to write since there’s only like 4 of you on here anyway. Just felt like doing something for the boards since we haven’t had a con report in years. I hope you enjoyed it. Until next time!
Thanks guys. Those prints were $30 each, which is a great price for the size and quality. Not sure how interested Tim was in mail orders though since he never mentioned it here or let anyone know.
I also remembered a cool Tim Vigil trivia fact that he mentioned. He had asked me if Wolverine was my favorite character. I told him he is and that it reminds me of my childhood. He said the character that holds nostalgic meaning for him is Captain America. Who knew.