aaaaaaand now my site has been flagged.

After a long week, my first trip to New York and New York Comic Con is over. Now before I start the next bit I want to state that New York is great and I'll definitely be there next year, but somehow I heard "Call Me Maybe" no less than five thousand times during my ventures throughout the city. I fear it's now permanently embedded in my brain. Since I've returned to Chicago, I've tried to drown it out by listening to Cradle of Filth non-stop, but now the two have merged. Now all I can hear in my head is a screeching gothic metal/pop ballad about fleeting teenage love with a goblin-lesbian-vampire from Hell.

In all seriousness, NY was great. Nicole and I haven't had a real vacation since we got married, so we went a few days before the convention just to have some time to check out the city with no other obligations. I made a couple observations:

-Coming from Chicago, New York kinda felt like a parallel dimension. Like everything was familiar, but not. I kept expecting to run into an alternate version of myself and Nicole, but with "evil guy" goatees.

-There seem to be no alleys in NY. Prior to my trip my main impression of NY was Spider-Man fighting purse-snatchers in alleys, so now I'm wondering how that works.

-I don't know if they actually are, but cabs in NY seem to be much more affordable than in Chicago.

-At any time of the day, there will be a line of people queued up to get photographed holding the Charging Bulls nuts.

-Maybe it just me and I'm being over-sensitive here, but I think there's something kinda fucked-up about posing in front of the 9-11 Memorial like you're at goddamned Disney Land. Yet people were doing it.  

-There are a surprising number of people dressed up as The Cookie Monster and Elmo on Times Square.

On Thursday, we were joined by Bryan, JR and Trish to do the con (and post-con partying) proper. Now I knew the show was gonna be big, as it was completely sold-out, but until I experienced it I couldn't properly grasp what exactly that meant. On Saturday, three-quarters of the entire population of Earth was in attendance [citation needed].

I've only done Chicago conventions before this, so it was great to show my work off to a whole new region. I met a lot of great people, had several great conversations about what horror fiction is and what it can be, and explained to the entire Big Apple that no, my logo is not Slenderman; it's older than Slenderman by several years, but that's okay 'cause Slenderman is cool. 

We also got to meet several artists we're fans of. Nicole in particular was finally able to meet and get a drawing from Yoshitaka Amano, an artist she's loved since before I knew her. Bryan and JR both got some very impressive and extremely pornographic drawings from Legend of the Overfiend creator, Toshia Maeda. Check 'em out:

But the best part of the show itself was when we got to meet the pinnacle of American heroism, the Champion of Awesome, the Patron-Saint of Power-Ranging; the one and only Sir Jason David Frank.

Right after this photo was taken, the six of us morphed into Rangers, did a wheel-barrow of cocaine, and trashed the place.
One of the many things I love about comic conventions, and artist alley in particular, is that it can be so damn inspiring. Such inspiration hit me Saturday night at Barcade after much drinking, when I turned a blank pizza box into what may possibly be my best work ever.

I is batguyz and 1-fukin-up: A Study of Pop Culture and Western Dietary Habits. Sharpie on cardboard.

After this piece was completed, Bryan appraised it at $10,000 (US). Inspiration can be quite infectious, as Bry begin to work on his own masterpiece:

I'm Jaws Bitch: A Statement on Healthcare in the 21st Century. Sharpie on cardboard.

Art can be a very powerful thing. For example, after seeing our work, JR died.

Goodnight, Sweet Prince.
We managed to get these masterworks out of the bar and back to our hotel, but we were drunk and we forgot to bring them home. To whoever finds these, please contact me at jsb[at] so we can arrange for you to send me my ten-thousand US dollars.

This was my first convention away from the Chicago area, and since it was NYCC I think any future non-local shows are gonna be a breeze. To any new readers who I met last weekend, hello. I'm jsb. I write and illustrate ghost stories and chubby superheroes. I'm a graphic design student my my lofty dream is to be able to quit my day job and make stories for a living. I'm a kung-fu master, an expert chainsaw juggler and an compulsive liar.

For your convenience, you can stalk me here, on my Facebook page where I post most of my short, in-process stuff, and on Twitter. I also have a DeviantArt page, but that place is creepy and I don't like it. Thanks for checking me out, and nice to meet you.


*I never remember to take pictures, so all the the images in this post were brought to you Nicole, Bryan and Trish.