PopCultHQ had the privilege to be on hand for the 1st Annual Sundial Bridge Comic Con at the Holiday Inn Hotel Redding (CA), May 20-21, 2017. As with most first-year cons, it’s easy to be hesitant or skeptical as to how well the event would perform. I’m here to tell you that SBCC took everyone by surprise and was a massive hit!
Being at the event both days, I was able to simply watch at times; scanning the floor to see what works and what doesn’t, gain a sense of how the crowd is responding, are people having fun or not, how cosplay is represented and recognized. SBCC came out on top on all points. Everyone was truly having a great time. Happy vendors busy all weekend long, a real love for cosplay, families enjoying the event with a bit of everything, fans getting to meet well-known and soon-to-be well-known comic book creators, and there were few people who left empty-handed.
Whether you’re a sketchbook artist using lead and graphite, or a digital illustrator who uses a tablet or monitor, Mike Morgan of Morgan Designs has you in mind. Designed for CG Arts, tablet artists, and traditional sketching, this smudge guard glove prevents smearing and keeps oils from your fingers from finding its way onto your screen or pad. Plus, Mike is the first to put actual art as a design on the Artist Glove!
PopCultHQ: How long have you been doing this?
Mike Morgan: This product, the Morgan Designs Artist Glove, was just created December of 2016 so we haven’t been doing it long at all. This is only our second show and people are loving it.
PopCultHQ: Wonderful. And do you sell strictly at cons or events?
Mike: I designed this for the person who is into fantasy, someone into science fiction, and obviously comic book lovers. I love all those things, so this drawing glove was specifically designed for artists that are into that genre. That’s why I’m here today.
PopCultHQ: You have some great designs and really have the style down. I was wondering if they can be custom-made or ordered? As far as the designs?
Mike: We’re hoping to have a custom feature available to where people can submit their own art and we could do one or two of them. But as it is right now, we’re in production so we have to order a lot of them. We only have three designs right now. We have been working with a couple games studios. We have another illustrator named Commander Mark, Mark Kistler, he’s doing one right now. So he’ll be coming our with his own Commander Mark glove. We’ll have that in the next couple of months.
PopCultHQ: Wow! You blew me away, man. I grew up on Commander Mark and the Secret City!
Mike: I grew up with Commander Mark and was a big fan. He helped me learn how to draw.
PopCultHQ: That’s wonderful. About the con? How has this weekend been for you? The experience [of the event]?
Mike: I think the con’s been very good. A lot more people turned out than I thought. And also the ratio of how many people actually dressed up. The cosplay really impressed me. There’s some really good cosplayers here. So I think the con is awesome and I’m sure next year will be even better, but I’m very excited the way it turned out.
For more info, follow Morgan Designs and the Artist Glove online:
Ashley Nichole – Artist
Ashley Nichole is a digital media artist, colorist, illustrator, background designer, and works in animation production. She studied Media Arts & Animation at The Art Institute of California – Sacramento. Ashley is currently part of the creative team behind AOTHO: Angels of the Highest Order, a steampunk-inspired fantasy graphic novel.
PopCultHQ: So Ashley, you’re from this area, or northern California?
Ashley Nichole: I’m from Redding. I went down to Sacramento and L.A. but then I came back.
PopCultHQ: How has been the response been for you here [at Sundial Bridge Comic Con]? The whole con experience and being a first-year con?
Ashley: Best one I’ve been to. I go to the Sacramento cons a lot, but this one has had more cosplayers, been more fun. People really needed this and I’m happy it happened. And this is the best I’ve done too.
Ashley: Yeah, this is a really good deal for everybody.
PopCultHQ: I’ve seen a high percentage of people leaving with merchandise. Not going home empty-handed.
Ashley: Absolutely! And it’s a different attitude here. People are here to support local artists.
Ashley: Yes, a graphic novel. This is our first chapter. We might run a Kickstarter campaign so we can create the full volume, which is about 160 pages. So this is kind of our promo, a start to get us shared online .
PopCultHQ: So at least for now, what plans do you have for it?
Ashley: Right now, we just need to finish lettering it. The we’ll probably do the Kickstarter and publish it, because we haven’t found a publisher right off the bat [yet].
PopCultHQ: What else do you have in addition to the graphic novel? I see that you have custom jewelry with you.
Ashley: Yeah, absolutely. We made some of this [jewelry] for giveaways and contests, because it’s a steampunk/fantasy graphic novel.
PopCultHQ: So it kind of ties in with the story of your GN?
Ashley: Yeah, to spotlight it and to have some shiny things 🙂
For more info on AOTHO and to see more of Ashley Nichole’s digital artwork, follow her online:
Garrett Gunn – Writer
Garrett Gunn is an indie comic book writer with loads of talent. He’s created and written three successful series; his recent is The Derogatory Tales of Franklin and Ghost, which was just successfully funded on Kickstarter, and the other two being published by Alterna Comics (Go West and The Fear Diaries: Rise of The Dark Mistress). Garrett lives in Redding, CA with his wife and two kids and had a smashing good show at SBCC.
PopCultHQ: So you’ve sold out of one of your books already?
Garrett Gunn: Yeah, we sold out the first day at like two o’clock. The Boxmasters. The new book we did for Billy Bob Thornton and his band. We brought 50 copies and they were all gone by two. We’re almost sold out of our second book, Franklin and Ghost, which debuted here. We brought 100 copies and I think we have about 12 or 15 left. By the end of the day, I’m sure they’ll be all gone. It’s been killer. Biggest first and second days I’ve ever had at a convention.
PopCultHQ: That’s awesome! How’s the response been from the fans?
Garrett: Awesome, man. We had people that came and bought it the first day and they came back today saying, “This is amazing! Thanks you so much! When is more coming out?” You know, like “I want more! How am I going to get more?!” I tell them, “You gotta wait until the end of the year, man. Then we’ll put out another one!.” People are stoked, man, they love it! It’s been awesome!
PopCultHQ: That’s wonderful! I was wondering, what can you tell me about Average Ape Studios?
Garrett: I started a studio called Forged Vision about a year ago, and I got caught up with a bunch of stuff and I got really busy. So I never really pumped the energy into it as I should have. So I wanted to make some a little different, something I was more passionate about, something more fun. Forged Vision was very professional, so I changed Forged Vision to Average Ape which is more descriptive of me I feel. Everybody acts like comics is this phenomenal thing you’ve done . I feel like any average ape can make it. The average ape can make a comic book, but whether you make it good is a different story. So that’s kind of Average Ape. I’ve got other local artists I’m bringing into the studio. I want to bring awareness to local artists and promote people that are really talented that don’t get the kind of coverage that they should. That’s really Average Ape. We’re really just about promoting the average ape.
To stay up on the latest from Garrett and Amazing Ape, follow him online:
The Living Corpse Crew
Buz is a full-time tattoo artist at Seance Tattoo Parlor in Bensalem, Pa. He is the Co-Creator/Artist of “The Living Corpse” comic and film “The Adventures of The Living Corpse,” Cover Artist for Dynamite Entertainment, Comic Book artist on Asylum Films feature “JailBait,” creature designer and cover artist for Traplight Media. Buz is a ’96 graduate of the Joe Blasco School for Professional Make-up Fx, former makeup fx artist for Universal Studios and Maestro Fx and worked on such films as “Sum of Fears”, “$la$her$” in Quebec, Canada. He has over 14 years professional tattooing experience and has been featured in Rebel Ink magazine Sept/Oct 2012.
PopCultHQ: How has the con been for you? You came all the way across the country to this first year convention. How has the experience been?
Buz Hasson: It’s been great, man. We’ve been doing the same shows on the east coast for so long, it’s nice to go somewhere new. The people here have been really responsive, responded really well to us. There’s a lot of positivity here, people are really diggin’ what we’re doing because they’ve never seen it before, so it’s really cool to see new people see our stuff for the first time.
PopCultHQ: That’s something Blair mentioned to me about being able to make some new contacts out on the west coast.
Buz: Yeah, yeah. When you do a lot of the same shows, you get a lot of repeat fans. It’s always good to see new people, see new reactions to what you’re doing.
PopCultHQ: So getting your brand out there more?
Buz: Yeah, when you’ve been doing this for a while, you want to make sure it’s still relevant.
PopCultHQ: So you have Relics coming out soon. And you mentioned Ash vs. the…
Buz: Yeah Ash vs. the Army of Darkness from Dynamite. Kind of a spin from the show. Ken, me, and Blair are doing some covers for that. I believe Ash is like a teacher and the school is being overrun by deadites, or something like that. There’s also a couple movies that are probably going to be done with the Asylum again…There’s two movies I’m working on. There’s one called Damnation Come and one is called Phobia. Phobia’s about a clown…possession, Poltergeist, Hellraiser-style. I’ve been designing monsters and characters for that for probably about a year now. So the scripts are just getting finished, so they’ll go into production later this year probably. They’ll be available on all the digital media platforms.
Ken’s original sketch cover work can be seen regularly at dynamicforces.com. Ken is a graduate of the esteemed Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art. He has worked on such comics as The Eyes of Asia from Digital Webbing, Jailbait from Asylum Films based on the movie and My Little Phony: A Brony Adventure from Dynamite. He is also the co-creator of the Ghastly and Comic Monster nominated comic, The Living Corpse and worked on character designs for The Amazing Adventures of The Living Corpse movie from Shoreline Entertainment and Anchor Bay. He is currently working on the next Living Corpse mini series, the new Grumpy Cat comic and doing covers for many of Dynamite’s titles including Army of Darkness, Vampirella, Six Million Dollar Man, Flash Gordon, Turok, Solar, Magnus, Doctor Spektor, Chaos, Evil Ernie, Battlestar Galactica, Bad Ass, Twilight Zone, Back to the Future and many others.
PopCultHQ: How has [SBCC] been for you? How’s the experience been, the response? Worth the trip?
Ken Haeser: Oh definitely. Absolutely amazing, yeah. It’s been a great show. I love it. They took care of us, flew us out. They took very good care of us. They’re awesome.
PopCultHQ: What else other than Relics can we look forward to? I assume more from Dynamic Forces?
Ken: Always have stuff coming up with DF. Always have the sketch covers. We have some new covers coming out for [Ash vs.] the Army of Darkness. Also some covers for Swordquest, which is an old Atari game…
PopCultHQ: Will these be standard covers or are they variant covers?
Ken: I think they’re going to be regular covers…Pretty sure it is.
PopCultHQ: Nice. Is it ongoing?
Ken: Yeah. We’ve done two already, and supposedly they’re going to send us more.
Blair Smith’s illustrations have appeared in Image comics, Zenescope Comics and Dynamite Entertainment. First influenced by his mother and grandmother’s creativity, he followed his love of the arts to college. He graduated valedictorian of illustration at the Art Institute of Philadelphia in 1990, receiving an Associates Degree in Illustration. He has been employed as a Creative Director for over a decade in the Sign Industry, creating environmental & commercial designs for one of the largest sign companies on the east coast. Meanwhile, his freelance illustrations have appeared in Image Comics’ Tales of the Starlight Drive In, which won for the treasured BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL OF THE YEAR award in the 2009 Comics Buyer’s Guide Annual Fan Awards!
PopCultHQ: How’s the con been for you?
Blair Smith: It’s been great. They really got a lot of people out here. Drawing people to a show is one of the harder things to do. I don’t know how you get them out here – advertising, using the right tools, but whatever it was I’m glad he did. It’s been packed for two days straight…Definitely worth the trip. Meet a lot of great people. Made a lot of contacts now on the west coast. We’ve been doing the east coast for ten years so it’s time to expand some more.
PopCultHQ: Man that’s awesome! What do you have coming up that we can share?
Blair: Relics. We’re really pushing Relics. It’s going to print next week. And we got about about seven weeks, so that’s going to throw us around the middle of July. End of July, we’re hoping to have the actual trades in our hands.
PopCultHQ: We’re looking forward to it.
Blair Webb started drawing at an early age mimicking his grandfather and greatest influence, Joseph J. Sheeran. At the age of ten, Blair picked up his first comic book and became obsessed with creating superheroes. In 1998, Blair began writing and illustrating his own comic book, Ghostman, which he self-published in 2005. All of the Ghostman issues are now available for download on Amazon Kindle.
PopCultHQ: Is this your first trip out here to the west coast?
Blair Webb: It is. It’s been a blast. I love this place.
PopCultHQ: So a good response?
PopCultHQ: Awesome. What are you currently working on? Are there any projects we can be watching for?
Blair: Currently I’m working on the issue twenty-seven of Ghostman…Can’t reveal too much of it just yet. Other than that, I’m always available for commissions. You can always find me at www.ghostmanthecomicbook.com. I’m on Facebook. I’m on Instagram. Feel free to contact me for commissions. Always looking for more work.
PopCultHQ: Awesome. Thanks!
Cosplay was huge at this year’s Sundial Bridge Comic Con. People came out in some fantastic cosplays and all you saw all weekend was a lot of cosplay love. SBCC also welcomed two featured cosplay guests…NorCal Nerd and Darkfire Cosplay! They both were excellent choices and fans simply loved them.
He interacted with guests, took pics with fans, and was a Judge for the cosplay contest on Sunday, May 21, 2017. He has previously won: Redding Comic-Con 2015 1st place and Crowd Favorite at Jolly Giant-Con 2016, as well as 1st place at Orocon 2016 Crowd favorite!!
Here’s a look at the Kids Cosplay and Cosplay Contest judges,
including actor Jay Underwood, Darkfire Cosplay, and NorCal Nerd!
Cosplay from Sundial Bridge Comic Con 2017
A special thanks to Chris Munday, Michelle Ybright Woodcock, Garrett Gunn, the entire Living Corpse Crew, and everyone else at Sundial Bridge Comic Con and the city of Redding. It was everything you could want from a Comic Con: comics, cool creators, killer cosplay, and a well-conceived vision that exceeded everyone’s expectations. A huge win for northern California and the city of Redding. We’ll see you next year!