Saturday, August 09, 2014

My First Con Sketch

The picture above is the first con sketch I ever bought and I didn't actually intend to buy it. It was 1977 or so and I was attending the Atlanta Fantasy Fair. I'd have been about 15 and I was planning on being a comic book artist so I had gone down to artist's alley to watch the pros draw. Gil Kane, already a comic book legend, had a small crowd in front of him and I joined the group so I could watch him draw.
   Needless to say, I was amazed seeing the way he effortlessly constructed a figure in pencil, then finished it up with a marker. A lot of people seemed to be getting Green Lantern drawings and I knew he was identified with that character, but by 77 he had long since moved on and I'd only seen a few GL stories by Kane in reprints. To me he was a Marvel artist, and at that point he was drawing Daredevil regularly and also doing Spiderman annuals, and lots and lots of covers.
   Anyway, I was so fascinated by his skill that I didn't realize that I was moving up in line until the guy in front of me got his sketch and stepped aside. Kane looked up at me and said, "And what character would you like?"
   I probably hesitated for a few seconds but in my memory I just said, "Daredevil."
   As I said, I hadn't planned on buying anything, but at that point I was too embarrassed to say so and get out of line, and Daredevil was the first thing that came to mind since he was the current artist on the book.  So Gil Kane began roughing out Daredevil, and his wife, who was sitting beside him said, "That will be twenty dollars."
   Fortunately I had the cash on me. And yes, in 1977 you could have a Gil Kane Drawing of any character you wanted for twenty bucks. Of course now I wished I'd said Conan.

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