PDX Takeover!!! Black Heroes Matter Book Release, Gallery, Rose City Comic Con.
This weekend was one for the books for sure! Friday was the Gallery exhibition and book release party for my new book “Black Heroes Matter.” That was a very big day in my career as an artist because it was the first gallery show I have done that lasted more than a night. I believe this show will be at the Portland Community College Southeast Gallery until October 28th. It was a great show to top off the group shows that I have been a part of for the past few weeks. It was a bit hectic when the show started poppin’. I remember it being around 7:30 and no one was there except for the people that helped me setup. Once 8 pm came, people started showing up and it quickly became a great event to experience. To my surprise, people started buying stuff: original art off the wall, coloring books, art books, and stickers. I normally have stuff out for sale, but if it isn’t free, people typically aren’t putting their money where their mouths are when they see something they like. It low-key got overwhelming because I was trying to talk to people, sell artwork, and enjoy the show at the same time. I just remember there being a line of people right next to me waiting to buy stuff. So surreal. It was a grand night though. Such a testament to the work I put in for the past year and a half when I started the project. There was a DJ, food, drinks, awesome art, and diverse crowd to share the moment with. I’ve spent the past 4 months preparing for this show, it was great to see it come full circle. For that I feel very fortunate.
Saturday and Sunday was Rose City Comic Con. The plan was (much like WonderCon) to have a table with Black artists promoting their work. This time I wanted to one up the previous attempt by having three different artists. Unfortunately, one of my buddies had Marvel deadlines so he couldn’t make it. So it ended up being just Me and Markus Prime. Funny thing is that he came with his girlfriend Adele who is also an amazing artist. So I suppose the plan went accordingly. LOL. I want to point out that I was really nervous about Markus coming not because he has like 167K on IG, but because I had only met him once and talked to him a few times via text. I remember feeling like I was coming across as one of those fanboy type where one person is sending a bunch of messages without getting any replies or responses back. Yet, he actually came and made an appearance at my art show too. It was funny because we all had a blast. The first day of the con is always a rough one because you have to test the waters and see what is going to be flying off the shelves and what is not. I knew that the stickers would be so that wasn’t a problem, but I wanted to see how the books and prints would do. After the Wizard World in Sacramento (which I don’t think I will be doing again) I felt that not enough people were buying prints to keep continuing them. The stickers on the other hand were getting a great response from the crowd. They weren’t too expensive and they were cute enough to where people saw them and had to have them. More importantly, I was promoting black superheroes in the “Whitest big city in America,” and I was making a killing!
Saturday was also an amazing moment in my career as an artist because it was the first time I did a panel at a Comic Convention. I had a great experience with that too because I was part of a great group of people that were speaking on diversity in comics and graphic novels. It was funny because they gave us a list of 20 questions to prepare for, but we only got through 4 of them. It was a good 4, but 4 nevertheless. Nothing but positive responses from the crowd too. Everybody on the panel had great things to say, and it was awesome to share my perspective on the topic since it is something I go through in my life and career as an artist trying to break into the creative industry. From there I met one of the Multnomah County Librarian who checked out my book and asked if I was interested in having it in their Library catalog. To my surprise, I was ecstatic! Just the whole weekend was amazing from start to finish because each day found a way to outshine the previous day.
For those that bought the art book, I really appreciate the support! I will be reprinting the book soon because I sold all but 3 copies over the weekend. So if you haven’t gotten a copy yet, better get on it. Now to take a well-deserved week off of work and prepare for the start of this school year. Also, keep a look out for the comic I did for Portland State University and the first volume of Adventures in Iltopia.
Create and Conquer!