Wednesday, March 30, 2011


ARTISTS HELP JAPAN: TORONTOANNOUNCE: ARTISTS HELP JAPAN: TORONTO - A fundraiser for earthquake and tsunami relief

Toronto’s Illustration Community Fundraiser for Quake and Tsunami Relief

Artists Help Japan: Toronto
At REVIVAL, 783 College Street, Toronto
Sunday April 17th, 12 Noon to 12 Midnight
Free To Attend – All Ages

TORONTO—Toronto’s Illustration and Artistic Community comes together on April 17th in a 12 hour art-event at Revival. The unique event will raise money to aid relief efforts in Japan following the devastating recent earthquake and tsunami there. Spearheaded by a consortium of Toronto illustration studios, the Artists Help Japan: Toronto event is the local iteration of a charity movement begun by Pixar. The Toronto edition will feature live art shows, a silent auction, and dozens of artists and illustrators selling commissioned drawings, with all proceeds benefiting the Canadian Red Cross.

“As artists we are tremendously inspired by Japan and Japanese culture,” says Bobby Chiu, the illustrator, teacher and founder of Toronto’s Imaginism studios behind the Artists Help Japan: Toronto event. “We were all personally affected by the quake, tsunami, and resulting damage. It is important to give back for all that Japan has given us, and we can think of no better way to do so than with our art.

Artists Help Japan: Toronto will feature more than 24 artists and illustrators from the Greater Toronto Area creating original drawings for 12 hours! This is an unprecedented opportunity for the general public to commission an original drawing from a professional artist and watch its creation in process; and the artist’s fee will be donated entirely to the Canadian Red Cross.

In addition:
- Dozens more cartoonists will donate original art, books, and other rare items to be featured in a silent-auction on-site at Revival Bar.
- Live art demonstrations from Toronto Illustrators on stage, with the final pieces to be auctioned off live at the event
- $1 from the sale of every drink at Revival Bar will be donated to the Canadian Red Cross.

Admission to the ARTISTS HELP JAPAN: TORONTO event is free, and all ages are welcome. The event will run from 12 Noon to 12 Midnight.


Artists Help Japan is a charity movement initiated by Dice Tsutsumi, an art director at Pixar Animation Studios, who was also behind 2008 Totoro Forest Project to help preserve Sayama Forest in Japan and Sketchtravel Project, to gather the force of communities of artists and creative minds around the world. We believe artists have special roles to contribute to the society.

Artists Help Japan: Toronto is spearheaded by Imaginism Studios President and illustrator Bobby Chiu, who was contacted by Dice Tsutsumi to run the Toronto event. Working with Illustrator Alvin Lee, Udon Entertainment CEO Erik Ko, writer/artist Jim Zubkavich, and Christopher Butcher of Toronto comic book store The Beguiling and the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, the team hopes to bring together Toronto’s diverse and exciting artistic community to engage the public in an unprecedented fundraising endeavour.

All proceeds from Artists Help Japan: Toronto will be donated to the Canadian Red Cross, specifically earmarked to aid in Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief.


Revival Bar has been entertaining guests, visitors and fans as a premium event space since 2002. Revival has generously donated the use of their main space for the Artists Help Japan: Toronto event, and will be donating $1 from the cost of every drink to the fundraising efforts.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Wizard World Toronto Comic Con 2011 Report

So I went this year. Last year, I decided against going to Wizard World Toronto Comic Con. This year, it just seemed a little bit better for me, and I decided to go for at least one day. Then ten days before the con, Peter Dixon (of Paradise Comics) posted a link (on Facebook), for $5 single-day admission tickets, for Students/Faculty/Military/Firefighters/Police Officers.

I bought it. I actually bought two, though each transaction allowed a maximum of one ticket. I did two transactions, and went for two days (Friday and Saturday). Not a bad deal, when one can buy three single-day tickets, for roughly half of one single-day ticket at regular price.

Some of the last minute cancellations for the show, were Jeff Parker (passport expired), and Mark Texeira (problems with crossing the border, I believe).

Zatanna by Niall Eccles (2011)I started off Friday, at work. Unfortunately, with March Break, and the hectic times at work, my manager asked me if I could work part of the day, even though I had booked it off. With the show starting at 4pm, instead of 12pm (like last year), I was able to work half of my shift. It was really to get the opening duties done, so it'd be less hectic for the 5 hours I wouldn't be there (if I was to work).

Got off work, headed home to get changed and ready for the con. Got down roughly before 3pm, and was maybe 70th in line to get in.

The first person I was hoping to see, was Mitch Breitweiser. I wanted to get on his sketch list, and I was third on the list. I was originally planning on going with a full figure piece, which seemed reasonably priced (on his website), but I opted for just a head sketch.

Zatanna by Mitch Breitweiser (2011)I received it later in the evening on Friday, and sadly, I was quite disappointed with how it turned out. I hate to say it, because I like Mitch's work, but I was not impressed with this sketch. I've seen some other head sketches, done at the show. Some were really good, some were worse than the one I got. Oh well, you take your chances with these things.

The next sketch I ended up getting (first sketch posted in this report), was by Niall Eccles. It was Milo that suggested I check out Niall, and when I read Niall's blog post about the con, I was sold.

Batgirl by Niall Eccles (2011)If you scroll to just after the middle in Niall's blog post, you will see a photo with four superhero paintings. Once I saw that, I considered getting several. That did change, when I knew I spent (or was committed to spend) quite a bit at the con already.

But on Sunday, I saw Danny and K-Song over at Niall's table, and then I saw the Batgirl (on the left). I ended up picking that up, since she was one of the characters I wanted to get. With it being already done, made my decision easy to get another one.

Zatanna by Francis Manapul (2011)Another disappointment for me at the show, was with Jesus Merino. Not with him personally, because he is a very nice person and a great artist. It was the marker he used to sign comics. I only brought a few books to get signed by him, because these are books that can be (and have been) signed by multiple creators. But thick wet markers on glossy covers, are not a good combination, unless you give it a very long time to dry.

Yeah, that didn't work out for me, especially when several smudged during the signing. On the plus side, it now means less books for me to bring, since the smudged signatures ruin the looks I was going for, with the multiple signatures.

Right after Jesus Merino, I got in line for Francis Manapul. I've been wanting to get another Zatanna piece from Francis, in his current art style, for a while. So, I went for it. I'm not saying the previous Zatanna by Francis Manapul was bad. Frankly, I love that one, and have it framed. Getting a new one was just something I've wanted, and it's looks fantastic.

Catwoman by Alvin Lee (2011)Zatanna by Nimit Malavia (2011)For a good chunk of the Friday even, I spent wandering around the convention, waiting for to pick up some of the sketches/commissions I had put down for earlier. The two on the left, were the two that were finished by the end of the show on Friday. The rest, I would pick up the next day.

The Catwoman by Alvin Lee, wasn't the character I was originally planning on getting, but I realized I didn't have any reference of the other character, so I went with her instead.

The Zatanna is by Nimit Malavia (Wolverine and Jubilee Cover Artist). I find his artwork seems to be a mix of Adrian Alphona and James Jean (more of the latter), and both of those artists, I like. And with that combination, I was just looking to get something done by him.

Red Robin #8 Page 19I even picked up some original art at this show, by Marcus To. I wasn't planning on picking up any original art, but was sold on it, while looking through all of the pages and talked into. Nice addition to the collection.

That was the Friday at the con. Danny, Brian and I, headed over to Poutini's House of Poutine, after the con, for some dinner. I have been told that the poutine here is better than Smoke's Poutinerie, so I wanted to try it out. It was also fairly close to the con (short drive away).

Personally, I find Smoke's to be much better than Poutini's. There's just more selections with toppings at Smoke's. I've been spoiled. It's hard for me to just eat straight poutine. I want toppings, and Smoke's just gives me the options.

Wonder Woman by Phil Jimenez (2011)There wasn't much on my agenda for Saturday. Aside from picking up the unfinished commissions from Friday, I was there to see Phil Jimenez. I saw the line on Friday, and figured I'd see him on Saturday. Though, at the rate he was sketching, I definitely could have seen him on Friday.

Just seeing the speed Phil was going at with the sketches, and how amazing they turned out, was a treat standing in line on Saturday.

Zatanna by W. Scott Forbes (2011)Catwoman by W. Scott Forbes (2011)The next two, I had actually commissioned just before the convention, with W. Scott Forbes (27 (Twenty-Seven) Cover Artist). I like his work on those covers of 27, and from what I've seen on his deviantART page. Figured I'd get at least one piece by him, but his prices were reasonable, so I ended up commissioning two for myself.

Zatanna by Daxiong (2011)This one, by Daxiong, I had absolutely no intention on picking up prior to the con. To be honest, I saw the name on the website, but I never did any research. It wasn't until the ride to the con on Friday, that I had decided to do a search for Daxiong, and liked what I saw. Then seeing the work in person at the con, I got onto the commissions list.

This was actually done fairly early in the day, but he wanted to display the commission (along with the other commissions he did) at his table, so I picked it up about an hour or two before leaving the con.

Wonder Woman by Ty Templeton (2011)Though, after relaxing for a little bit, and unloading most of the content in the backpack, into the car, went back in to see that Ty Templeton had arrived (who was feeling a little ill earlier in the week, and did not attend on Friday, because of the illness).

I have been wanting to get a Wonder Woman sketch from him, for years. But every time the opportunity arose, I always chose a different character. This time, I was determined. And what a perfect opportunity, after he did his redesigned of the new Wonder Woman costume, that Adrianne Palicki will be donning, in the upcoming TV pilot (and most likely, series).

After that, I was just walking around the con, looking around the dealers area... which was small. Sadly, there wasn't anything that caught my eye. Nor, was there anything I was looking for in particular.

I didn't look around for too long, as I was ready to leave, and so was Danny. So we took off, and this being the last day for me at the con, I would be done with the sketches.

Batgirl by Adriana BlakeOr, so I thought. While Danny was looking into other artists that are at the con, so he could spend more time at the con on Sunday, he came across Adriana Blake.

She had some really cute superhero drawings on her website, so I asked Danny to get me one. Though he did, he didn't go with my character of choice. He just bought a pre-done piece, that fits into one of my collections.

So, another sketch for my collection, and I didn't have to be there for it!

Below, are the swag I walked away with from the con.

Arthur Suydam Prints

Wonder Woman print by Phil Jimenez | Zatanna print from J.E. Lozano

Sucker Punch bag

Three of the prints, were the Wizard World provided prints, that some artists had on their table to sign and give away.

The two Arthur Suydam prints, were just left on his tables on Friday (he didn't show up until Saturday). Decided to take one of each, since it was just there. Glad I did, because they were gone on Saturday, when Arthur Suydam arrived, and covered four tables with his own prints.

The Phil Jimenez print I got, at the same time as getting the sketch from him.

And what was cool, was that J.E. Lozano inked a copy of the Zatanna sketch that Vince Sunico did for me, and then made prints of them. He gave me one of them, which is awesome!

The Sucker Punch bag, was one of the giveaways at the Sucker Punch booth.

That was it for me at the con. I had to go back to work on Sunday, but even if I didn't, there wasn't anything for me to do, without continuing my overspends at the con.

Since I was able to do what I wanted to do at the con, it was a good show for me (aside from overspending). My only real complaint with the con itself, that I even made mention of on Twitter, was the music being played at the con.

First off, song choices, most were terrible. I'm sure others thought it was good, but that's their preference.

Second, it was insanely loud at times, for those terrible songs. Other times, it would just go so silent, that you couldn't hear the songs.

Third, as much as I like to swear, and I like rap music, playing the uncensored version of Jay-Z's "Big Pimpin'" was not one I particularly enjoyed at the convention. Frankly, because of all of the kids that were there. Poor choice of music.

There might have been another, but I can't remember at the moment. Still, I had a fun show. Whether or not I'm there next year, has yet to be determined.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

First look at the new Wonder Woman in costume, Adrianne Palicki

Adrianne Palicki as Wonder WomanRevealed yesterday at DC Universe: The Source, if the first photo of Adrianne Palicki in the new Wonder Woman costume, for the new NBC Wonder Woman series.

It's been mixed reactions to the costume, from the comments I've been getting after posting the link to it, on Facebook. Most of them, are negative.

Personally, I like it. Not only because I think Adrianne Palicki is F'N hot in that outfit. But I do like that they are somewhat going with the current costume design for WW. Just without the jacket, and with blue pants, instead of black pants.

Well done!

Friday, March 04, 2011

First Zatanna of 2011

Zatanna by Mike Del Mundo (2011)I picked this Zatanna up a couple nights ago, by Mike Del Mundo. This was set up just before the Toronto ComiCON on Feb. 6th, 2011.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

MMA Connected

My cousin let me know that I can be seen briefly on MMA Connected, at The Striking Truth premiere. This is just after I got the autograph from Georges St. Pierre, and just as I was taking the photo of GSP (could that person with the Canon Camera, be the one that's recording the clip for MMA Connected?).

Anyways, enjoy.