Monday, September 21, 2015

Tales from the Convention Floor (1995)

The year was 1995. The location was Novi, Michigan. The event was The bi-annual Motor City Comicon.

I was toting around a slew of Legion comics that day, as there were several Legion creators of note attending that year. Tom and Mary Bierbaum were there, Adam Hughes was there, as was Chris Sprouse. I found Chris Sprouse first and got him to autograph several comics and some trading cards featuring the Legion. I then found the Bierbaums and got their signatures on as many books as I thought they would sign (could have probably got them to sign every comic they had worked on they were so accommodating.) They are as nice as you have probably heard.
I then decided to check and see if Chris Sprouse was doing commissions. As luck would have it, he was still taking a few more. I chose to have him sketch a duo of characters. Ultra Boy and Phant…I mean Apparition. “The cool kids of the Legion," as Mr. Sprouse put it. We chatted a bit on facial expressions and how he captured different ones while drawing. He told me he would have the sketch for me the next day. That being Sunday, the final day of the con.

Sunday dawned and I was really geeked to get my sketch. I hit the con floor and chatted with a few other creators and browsed for some deals before heading over to see Mr. Sprouse. He saw me, and motioned for me to come over. He informed me that his drawing was going a little slower than he had anticipated, and that I had two options. I could have my money back, or I could give him my address and he would mail it to me when he was finished with it. It took me about 10 seconds to process and answer that I would give my address and wait for the sketch.
I waited a month. No sketch. I waited three months. No sketch. When it hit the six month mark, I figured it was done with and I was out whatever I had paid for it. Maybe he’ll have it if he ever came back. Maybe he lost my address, and in a world before the internet was really here in the way it is now, there was really no way for him to really find one fan in Michigan.  

“Ah well,” the young 25 year old me thought…”win some and loose some.”
Not sure how long after that it was that I came home and found that I had a rather large mail parcel waiting for me. It was from Chris Sprouse. Inside was a note on comic board sized paper. He apologized for the delay in getting the item to me, and hoped that I was happy with what he had sent. What he had sent mind you was not just a sketch…it was a fully inked and colored absolutely stunning piece of art.
He also included in the package a bunch of photo copied pages from Splinter of a Mind’s Eye, which was one of the books that he was working on at the time, and the one that he says delayed the drawing. There were other photo copies as well, a Spawn pin up page he had done and a Prophet trading card.

Below is the frame that I put the art in, as well as the trading cards that I had he and Adam Hughes sign. Hope you enjoyed this edition of “On the Convention Floor.” ~ David Sopko

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