As related in my last entry, Peter Beagle, the author of The Last Unicorn, had the table next to mine. In attendance at his booth was the beautiful artist Rebecca, who had painted some of Peter’s book covers. If Rebecca comes west, I’d love to use this elfin lass as a model for some of my fantasy pictures.
Peter wrote the screenplay to Ralph Bakshi’s “Lord of the Rings” animated feature, so we both had plenty of Ralph stories to swap.
I had breakfast one morning with the fine actor Bruce Boxleitner (from Tron). We first met at Danton Burroughs (ERB’s grandson) memorial service. We had a good time swapping show biz stories and I was able to introduce him to Terry Gilliam.
This was the first year in a long time that I wasn’t a participant in the Iron Artist competition. I was told attendance at the event had dropped severely this year. I’d like to attribute that to the lack of my presence (I had been consciously building the event over the years with surprise dramatics and costumes, etc.) but it’s more likely, I think, that people just didn’t want to get up that early (it started at 9AM this year instead of 10AM) after a long, hard partying Saturday night.
I saw my good friend Benno Rothschild, an important art collector who helps to organize a special display of art owned by southern collectors each year at Dragon*Con. Although I’d love to contribute to Benno’s exhibition (man, they show some great stuff!), I have real difficulty traveling with good-sized framed pieces of original art nowadays.
Benno and I (and a few other friends & family; “Hi!” to Dan Brereton! “Hi!” Amanda! And “Hi!” to those two sweet collectors of my work that Benno invited) usually have barbecue one night together during Dragon*Con. Before this year’s dinner, Benno took me to a great music shop, Decatur CD, where I loaded up on stuff I couldn’t find in L.A. Awesome shop! They’re on the net at www.decaturcd.com.
I’ve been in love for years with an Atlanta icon, Susie the Floozie. This red-headed temptress has a heart as big as her….well, let me just say her heart is HUGE! We’ve been friends ever since my first Dragon*Con, way back in prehistoric times. Susie is one of the kindest most loving and thoughtful people I know. She always brings The Mahar with her to my table for at least one of the show days of Dragon*Con. The Mahar is a Sudan plated lizard. He is ancient, already well beyond his 18 year life span. I think it’s because of all the loving he gets from sweet Susie.
Disney Duck man Don Rosa came by. He was forlorn because he didn’t have any hot peppers to present to me this year (Don grows lots of different kinds of these spicy devils). That’s OK; it was just nice to see and chat with Kentucky Don.
I was seated a few feet from Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner at this year’s banquet (mucho thanks to Peter and Kathleen David for my ticket). Leonard was honored with Dragon*Con’s highest award, the Julie (named after DC comic book editor and early sci-fi fanzine publisher Julius Schwartz). After a brilliant introduction by Peter David, Mr. Nimoy gave an acceptance speech that was both funny and powerfully moving.
Later that evening, Peter and Kathleen continued their tradition of hosting their themed Dragon*Con post-banquet party. This year’s was Elvis themed, with bartenders and food preparers dressed like different incarnations of The King. Always fun!
While waiting for the David party to begin, I ran into a fan of mine who is a photographer (whose card I seem to have lost. Please contact me if you read this! I’d love to get copies of your photos!). He shared his most excellent imported beers with me and them shot some pics of Yours Truly that turned out incredible. We had a great time discussing art and I happily gave him loads of tips on how to handle his career and the art biz (most of which he was smart enough to have already implemented).
Speaking of…I was part of a Dragon*Con panel entitled “The Art of Illustration.” It was moderated by bagpipe player extraordinaire, author-illustrator Janny Wurtz. What I thought would be a panel discussing art became, to my delight, a much-needed panel discussing the business of art, how to negotiate contracts and how to avoid the pitfalls of the art biz. The response from the audience was fantastic! I’m still getting positive e-mails as a result of what we discussed.
I saw my friend Lamar Waldron and we discussed the status of his trying to connect me with Gore Vidal (I want to show Mr. Vidal my story, “Filipino Massacre,” which he inspired).
So, all in all, as usual, I had a high old time at Dragon*Con. I hope to be invited again, soon, so that I can return to Atlanta and all of my friends and surrogate family there.
I haven’t really named the work accompanying this entry (other than a generic “The Vampire”). Any suggestions?