Linz’s Fan-girl Adventures – Grand Rapids Comic Con
I don’t know if you guys know this, but I am a huge fan-girl. That is why I do this podcast. It’s fun and I like talking about nerdy stuff that most of my other friends could care less about (at least in the detail in which I am willing to talk about it). Being part of Drunk on Comics allows me to talk to and hang out with other like-minded individuals. And a lot of times when DoC is at a con, we will play the part of the burgeoning journalist and do interviews. For Grand Rapids, I left that part to Tony. I simply just played the part of the fan the whole weekend. That is not to say that I was not gathering information (of which I am sharing with you now), but did so without the pressure that is added when you are holding a recorder in front of someone’s face.
Let me start out by saying that there is always some constants to look forward to when this time of year rolls around again. The return of Dirk Manning and the karaoke fests that follow him everywhere is definitely a big one. Dirk, by they way, is in the middle of an insane Kickstarter right now for The Tales of Mr. Rhee V4. You should totally check it out. This Kickstarter hit it’s goal within 3 hours and 13 minutes of its start and is currently blowing through all sorts of stretch goals. If you have never read any Tales of Mr. Rhee, never fear, there are pledge levels that will get you all of the books so far. Check it out here. Anyway, much karaoke and revelry was had and always leaves me with something to look forward to next year. If Dirk Manning tells you no, he does not want to do karaoke, you should maybe take him to a hospital.
There, of course, was the drinks with friends and catching up with the con fam, but lets get in to the true fan-girlness of the weekend. This mostly involves my conversation with Jim Steranko. If you do not know who Jim Steranko is, then Google that shit, because you really should. I bought a beautiful calender themed print from Mr. Steranko…of which he had many. Each month was a different pin-up version of a male character. They were all beautiful, but the one I finally chose was the Blonde Phantom.
Note: I added the stars over the nipples to make if Facebook appropriate because Facebook cannot tell the difference between obscene nudity and art. Some people can’t, for that matter….
JS was already elbows deep in a conversation with someone, so I waited for him to sign my print. This is where my social awkwardness kicks in. As he tells the guy he is talking to to hang on while he turns to me and I say “Hi. I just need your autograph.” To which he responds “Just need my autograph! Just my autograph?!?!”. At this point I turn red and blurt out “You have the best hair!”. Ugh. But he just smiled and said “Every silver hair is a battle fought and won.” Damn it Jim Steranko, you smooth MF. He very then moved on to talking about the music he was playing, which was album from jazz saxophonist Stan Getz called Focus. This album was commissioned by composer Eddie Sauter. Jim has a love for this album because the orchestration did not include any melodies for Stan Getz, but instead allowed Getz to improvise. In this improvisation there is nothing repeated and everything is perfection (according to JS).
On a side note, I did a bit of research on Stan Getz, and he released this album called Captain Marvel, which is awesome, but even more awesome is the cover of the album. How timeless is this cover?!
You could totally see this used today. A man ahead of his time, that Stan Getz.
Talking about jazz and the amazing Stan Getz led JS in to talking about an art exhibit he saw at the MoMA. It was a machine that projected light in random colors and shapes and would not repeat itself for years. Jim could not remember the name of the artist, but I did some digging and think I found what he was referring to. In the 60’s the MoMA commissioned artist Thomas Wilfred to create a piece for the museum. This piece was called Lumia Suite, Opus 158. Using a projector Wilfred designed, light was projected on a translucent glass screen which created an effect much like the Aurora Borealis. This projection was created to not repeat itself for 9 years and 127 days (give or take a few hours). Interesting, right? Check out this video from the recent exhibition at Yale.
Listening to Jim Steranko talk about these two pieces of art, both having to do with improvisation and longevity of uniqueness, really gives you insight in to what inspires the man. If you ever get a chance to talk to him, I totally suggest you do it. He definitely is a raconteur.
If you know me at all, you know I have an unhealthy obsession with Jean Grey. Well, I found a kindred spirit at the con. His name is Tony Kordos. Tony is an inker extraordinaire, but what drew me to his booth was his numerous prints of Jean as Phoenix. When I told him of my love for Jean, he showed me the tattoo he was currently in the process of getting (Phoenix of course!) on his forearm. I geeked out with him about Jean making her return in December (his Jean, he called her, meaning not the current time displaced Jean) and how Marvel is trying to make me poor. He gave me the link to his ComicArtFans.com link to his Phoenix collection. It’s drool worthy. I’m super jealous. Check out Tony’s work on his Facebook page. His work is amazing AND he has great taste in comic characters.
One other score of note was from Jason Strutz. Jason lives in Grand Rapids, and judging from his available work, leans heavily in to the horror genre. Inktober is real, and Jason is killing it. His work is ink heavy, which I love. What got me was when we were perusing through his wares, he told us about one of the books on his table called The Mystery Hole. This book was drawn in a 24-hour comic event held a LCBS The Comic Signal. Seriously, I live right around the corner from that shiop, how did I not know that was happening! My finger is clearly too far away from the pulse. Anyway, this book was awesome. Containing no dialogue, it tells the story of a group that stops at a roadside attraction and how it goes not so great for them. I had to read it a couple times, because it gets real topsy-turvy. If you see Jason at a show, check this book and all of his work out. You can also check him out at StrutzArt.com or become a patron of his Patreon.
Well, there you have it folks. My GRCC experience. Combine the above with hours of walking around checking out cosplay and shopping, shake well, and pour over ice. Enjoy responsibly!