Saturday, August 7th my son Mike,
John Beatty and I loaded into my "Jack
Carter XG350" and headed to Tim
Gordon's Tampa Comic Book and Toy Convention.
We try to make it to at least 2 of the three shows Tim
puts on each year because they're just_ that _much_
fun. And this show was no exception.
We decided that we'd get a good buffet breakfast before
the show opened. As we sat down with our plates, in walked
Alex Saviuk who was also in search of some morning
nourishment. Alex usually attends Tim's
Tampa shows and it's always nice to see him. We finished
eating and headed over to the convention. The doors hadn't
opened, but there was a huge line waiting. No doubt, the
word is getting out about how much fun Tim's cons
Ethan Van Scriver was already set up. Ethan
is one of the DC comics most popular artists and
always shows up for Tim's conventions. The doors
hadn't even opened and Ethan was already working
on sketches for fans. The guy is ALWAYS busy. John
Higashi "turned me on" to Ethan's
art a couple of years ago so that's ANOTHER thing
I owe to Johnny Star-Warz.
Saviuk was set up. Next to Alex was Mark
and Stephanie Heike
from AC comics. Although I never get to spend much
time with 'em, the Heikes always have something
funny to say. Behind the Heikes was Miguel Insignares
with a nice "Dawn of the Dead" trailer
running on a loop next to the cool DOTD poster.
That's Tim Gordon and Miguel in the pic
to the left... looking like they just stepped off the
set of "Dawn of the Dead!"
Marc Maculay, an actor who has appeared in "Monster,"
"The Punisher," "Bad Boys" and
many other movies was ready for the fans. Some small press
artists were set up to our left. Mitch Hyman, creater
of the ever-popular Bubba the Redneck Werewolf,
Jesse "Cadre" Hansen, Michael "The
Ciderview Project" and Austin Janowsky were
all having a blast. Dick "Cracked" Kulpa
was set up at his usual spot just as you entered the convention
Yeah baby, things were looking good.
When the doors opened, the convention room quickly
filled. The room is really huge and so even though there
were hundreds [and hundreds] of people coming in, there
was never that claustraphobic feeling that some convention
fans came up to John for autographs or sketches.
John has really been doing some cool sketches
lately and the fans are definitely digging the tones and
colors that he adds to them. I got pictures of some of
them, but missed out on a few... one was a really nice
Cap that John did for a fan's Captain
I had a chance to talk briefly with Randy Martin.
Randy collects Edward Scissorhands. In fact
it was Randy's Scissorhands sketches that
inspired me to start my Stallone sketch theme.
Randy's one of the good guys and so it was cool
touching base with him.
Miguel Insignares remembered me from Atlanta
Con and said that he still wanted to do a Stallone
piece for my gallery when he gets some time. That'd be
sweet. Miguel has been attached to some really
cool projects and you just know that there's more
Marc Maculay [pictured above with Mike
and me] noticed my StalloneZone t-shirt and asked
me about it. We ended up having a nice conversation about
movies, education, etc. Marc's been acting
professionally for over twenty years and did it without
having to relocate to New York or LA. It
was ironic that he played a scene in "Monster"
with Charlize Theron that Beatty had been
telling me about just a week earlier. John had
watched the movie and it really impresed him. The next
day he was telling me about this particular scene and
sure enough the actor involved was Marc! Now how
often do we get to meet actors who've impressed us?
costume contest was a hoot!
There were two divisions... kids and adults. The three
kids that entered all won some convention cash
and had a fun time. Then came the adults... I never quite
know what to make of costumers at conventions.
Sometimes they are so good, they look professional...
but other times...
There were several outstanding costumes. I thought
that Catwoman would take first or second, Wolverine
would get whichever spot Catwoman missed and
third place would go to... well, one of the others. I
was so surprised when the guy who came in first won, that
I didn't even get a picture of him! At any rate, everyone
enjoyed the costume contest... and I mean everyone.
Even the artists stopped drawing to watch the action.
Then all too quickly it was time to go. The con
ended at 4:00 and we still had to drive back to Daytona.
We made sure to tell Tim what a great time we had
and hit the road.
show is November 14th.
As I've said, all of Tim's shows are great, but
this one is going to be really special. NOEL NEILL
[Paramount Movie Star, Popular Pin-Up for WWII
GIs, and best known as Superman's Girl - Lois Lane]
will be a guest! Ethan Van Scriver, Jim Fren, and
Rob Granito have also already agreed to appear!
Who knows, maybe we'll see YOU there as well!