Saturday, April 23, 2011

Jose Bautista Signing

April 21st, 2011 - Danny and I went down to AJ Sportsworld, for the Jose Bautista signing. For those that don't know, Jose Bautista is the Toronto Blue Jays' Right-Fielder. He was also the Home Run King, for the 2010 MLB Season.

Me & Jose Bautista

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


April 17th, 2011 - I was down at the ARTISTS HELP JAPAN: TORONTO Fundraiser Event, which took place at Revival Bar (783 College Street).

Here is the info about what the event is, from the press release:

"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 Art Director Dice Tsutsumi. 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."

Black Cat by Michael Cho (2011)I arrived to the venue, just after the event had started. I went to the closest Green P Parking lot (about 2-3 blocks away), only to realize that there was a pay parking lot, right next to Revival (stupid me!). Since I already paid, I left my car, with the intentions on moving it to the closer parking lot, before 6pm, when my parking limit would have expired.

Upon walking it, it was a quiet atmosphere, since the crowd had yet to arrive. I wasn't sure what to expect very early on, since I knew many people that would be arriving later in the day. For me, it was to get sketches, with the proceeds going to the Canadian Red Cross.

First up, I went to see the uber-talented, Michael Cho. I was there, to get Danny a sketch (since he would be arriving later in the day), and figured I'd get one too (the Black Cat piece, above).

Zatanna by Bobby Chiu (2011)Zatanna by Kei Acedera (20110I was also looking to get sketches done by Bobby Chiu and Kei Acedera, at this event. I've been a fan of their work, but I've never really seen either of them sketch at cons, and for some reason, I just never inquired about it at shows, like I normally would.

With pretty much every artist attending, sketching for donations, this just seemed like the perfect opportunity for me, to add to the every growing Zatanna collection.

Just going to say this now, the piece done by Kei Acedera (the right one, of the two just slightly above), is my favourite piece of the event (not that the others were bad). It's just really cute, in my opinion.

Catwoman by Ken Lashley (2011)It appears that I've also got developed a Catwoman theme over the past several shows. I figure I would add to that, at least once, at this event. Ken Lashley turns out some awesome sketches, and I knew a Catwoman by him, would come out pretty cool. I was not disappointed.

About a month ago, I started playing Garage Inc. on the iPod Touch. Quite a fun game, but shorter than I was expecting. Still a great game to purchase and download, if you have an iPod Touch or iPhone.

I bring this up, because Ken Lashley is the Senior Concept Artist for this game.

After the sketch by Ken Lashley, I decided to take a break from spending, as I was waiting for Stuart Immonen to arrive. This was actually before 3pm, and Stuart Immonen was scheduled to arrive for the 6pm-9pm block.

So, these few hours, allowed for me to grab lunch, a coffee, another beer (or two), and move my car. It also allowed me to relax for a little bit (though, I probably should have relaxed on a chair, cause my legs are still killing me...).

Zatanna by Svetlana Chmakova (2011)The last Zatanna piece for me, from this event, was done by Svetlana Chmakova.

Many people that asked me who am I getting sketches from, did not know who Svetlana is, or what she worked on. And normally, I wouldn't have really know either, because she is manga artist, as opposed to a mainstream floppy comic book artist. However, my time with the Joe Shuster Awards, did help me branch out to other works and creators.

Svetlana was one that I enjoyed, with her work on Dramacon. I've actually been wanting to get a sketch from her, for a while now, so I'm quite happy to have one.

Wonder Woman by Stuart ImmonenStuart Immonen arrived just before 6pm. I kid you not, people eventually started hounding around him, ready to pounce at the chance of a sketch (including, yours truly). If you don't know why this is a rare opportunity, read Stuart Immonen's "50 Reasons To Stop Sketching At Conventions."

Once he was seated, he took down names, for his sketch list. I was #4. I was happy! And after receiving the sketch, I was even more happy!

Batgirl by Dale Keown (2011)The last piece of the night, I went into today, not even considering getting a sketch by Dale Keown (since I got one last week, at the Toronto ComiCON Fan Appreciation Event. But, the line was short, and I got in.

Eventually, the silent auction ended, and live auction started. Dale got to me, around 8:30pm, and finished just before 10pm. The auctions kept going strong. I had been wanting to bid on a few pieces, but most of the ones I wanted, went for a lot more than I had... or, Danny won them.

After Dale finished my piece, I took off. I just had to leave, or I would have spent a heck of a lot more money, that I shouldn't be spending.

I really wished I had more money, to get more sketches from other artists, because it seemed like many artists were having a great time at this event, sketching for charitable donations.

Thanks to all of those that did sketches for me (Michael Cho, Bobby Chiu, Kei Acedera, Ken Lashley, Svetlana Chmakova, Stuart Immonen, and Dale Keown)!

Thanks to Chris Butcher, Jim Zubkavich, Alvin Lee, Bobby Chiu, and everyone else, that helped put together this wonderful event! I haven't seen any reports on the final figure, raised at this event, but I'm sure it's well over $10,000.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

James Reimer Signing

Tonight, I went down to Frozen Pond, for the James Reimer signing. James Reimer is the goalie for the Toronto Maple Leafs, and most likely, will be the #1 goalie for the Leafs, next season. This signing was originally scheduled for March 27th (I believe), but was postponed, due to the Toronto Maple Leafs run at a playoff position.

I've skipped many signings at Frozen Pond before, some of which, I regret (Alex Ovechkin, Dion Phaneuf when he was with Calgary). I just had to go to this James Reimer signing.

James Reimer has been someone that I feel, will help the team tremendously, in the future. I've lacked a lot of confidence, with the Leafs goal-tending, for several years. I know, I'm not the only one. Although I like Jean-Sebastien Giguere, he is past his prime. I never really liked Jonas Gustavsson. With Reimer, there was just something about the way he played, that made me a fan. After his first start, against Ottawa, on New Years Day, I just felt, "this kid is the future."

Reimer finished the season, 20-10-5.

Me (with my cut-off head) & James Reimer

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Toronto ComiCON Fan Appreciation Event - April 9th, 2011

What would normally be a two day convention, was just a one day convention for me. On Saturday April 9th, 2011, I attended the Toronto ComiCON Fan Appreciation Event. Unfortunately, with the amount of days off that I'm planning on taking off, and have recently took off, I felt it was best that I didn't attend the Fan Appreciation Event on the second/final day of the con.

I also didn't have much planned for this convention. I overspent at the Wizard World Toronto Comic-Con, three weeks ago. So I was trying to conserve some money. And since I knew it'd be a one-day con for me, I didn't want to set up any commissions, that I wouldn't be there to pick up.

Catwoman by Dale Keown (2011)However, I did have one goal in mind, and that was to get another Dale Keown sketch/commission. And it took me a while to figure out the character I wanted Dale to draw. I decided on a Catwoman by Dale. Third in line, and about three hours later, Dale started mine. About an hour to an hour and a half later, mine was complete, and I'm quite happy.

I knew what I was getting myself into, with the knowledge that Dale Keown is not exactly a quick artist. I don't mean this in any negative way. There's just so much detail that he puts into every piece he does, so the wait was nothing for me, because I knew I'd end up with a fantastic piece!

While nearing the end of the commission piece that Dale Keown did for me, I noticed this tweet on the @FanExpoCanada twitter feed. Actually, I was on their twitter feed, pretty much the entire day, after finding out that there would be prizes given away, through Twitter.

But this tweet, was the one that really caught my eye, and that I wanted to win this one. Because this was the prize:

It's a shirt that has a Batman sketch by Marcus To, a Wonder Woman sketch by Agnes Garbowska, and a Flash sketch by Francis Manapul.

Guess Who Won? (Photo taken by: Agnes Garbowska)

I did have the opportunity to look around the dealers area. Danny and I got to the con early, to help bring in some products for the All New Comics booth, so I actually did a little bit of browsing, before the show opened.

One thing that I noticed more so, than previous conventions, that a lot of the dealers had graphic tees for sale. Although, I am trying to cutback on my graphic tees, the One Million Comix booth had some of the Tokidoki Marvel shirts that caught my eye. Actually, one hoodie, in particular. But after hearing the price for the hoodie, there was no way I was going to pay for that.

Significantly more comic dealers at this show, compared to the Wizard World Toronto Comic-Con. Even though I didn't buy anything, there was just a lot of comic boxes to look though, and a lot of great deals. I was very tempted to buy a lot of stuff, but fought that urge to do so. Surprisingly, I was able to beat that temptation.

That was it for me at the con.

Many Thanks to the Hobbystar Crew: Adam, Tiz, Kevin, Ty, James, Matt, Allison, Audra, other people I'm forgetting! It was a great show, even if I experienced half of it.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

This Past Week: Toronto FC and Toronto Blue Jays

This past week, I have been treated to a couple of sporting events in our great city. Although the Toronto Maple Leafs are officially eliminated from playoff contention, I'll always root for them. That being said, I didn't see them this week.

On Saturday, I went down to BMO Field, to catch my first Toronto FC game (vs Chivas USA). One of my best friends, Mike, got a pair of tickets, and offered one up to me. I'm not a soccer fan, at all, but what the heck... I've never been to a soccer game. I wanted to go see all the dives, live in person. I wanted to heckle anyone that fell on the ground, to which I did with one person. I don't even know anyone's name in the MLS, other than David Beckham.

The day before the game, the Toronto FC traded away their captain, Dwayne De Rosario, who's name I learned at the game, forgot since, and just had to look up for this blog entry.

The blog entry just below this one, still remains the highlight of the game for me. A little soccer net with a dangling ball, in the urinals.

The game ended a 1-1 draw, and I was quite drunk that afternoon. Took a nap, when I got home.

On Wednesday, I went down to Jays game with Peter (of All New Comics), who offered me his extra ticket for the game. Jays won 5-3 over the A's. The 3-4 guys behind us, were douchebags, that kept on saying that they had to catch a foul ball... for the whole game! I was 23 numbers off from the 50/50 draw, which was the closest I've ever been ($1700+ prize).

Thanks to Mike and Peter, for the extra ticket to the games!

Saturday, April 02, 2011

At the Toronto FC game

It hasn't even been 3 minutes, and the Toronto FC is down 1-0 against Chivas.

This has been the highlight so far.

Sent from my BlackBerry device