Wednesday, December 30, 2009

From the Archives: Self-Portraits From The Erlangen Comic Salon

As you saw in the previous post, I attended the Comic Salon in Erlangen, Germany, in 1994. It was my first comicbook convention, and I guess I was a bit uncertain what to expect. As comics events go, this was quite interesting... the city embraced the show with the Lord Mayor having breakfast with many of the guests, the train station had advertising to promote the festival, and there were comics displays in the local bookstore window. 

Wandering around the convention hall, I soon realized that various guests were drawing free sketches for attendees. I quickly departed for the nearest stationery store and purchased a drawing pad. What follows are various self-portraits I commissioned from the guests. Many artists do not regularly draw self-portraits, and most hesitate before drawing. 

Scott McCloud
visited Erlangen to promote the German editions of Understanding Comics and Destroy! He was situated up on a mezzanine, and seemed a bit forlorn.

The next day, I visited him again, and had him draw an abstract version of himself.

This is a pencil sketch of/by Henrik Dorgathen. He won the Max und Moritz Preis for Best German-Language Comics Artist. Space Dog, a story told entirely in icons, had been published the year before, but I was short of funds, and Mr. Dorgathen graciously drew this quick sketch.

This artist, unfortunately, is lost in my memory. He is German, but that's all I can hypothesize.

This is Hunt Emerson's self-portrait. Mostly unknown in the United States, he is probably best known for his adult humor comics, such as Casanova's Last Stand. 

Finally, we have Neil Gaiman, who is not known for his artwork (although he did create one of the first 24-hour comics). Since this was back in 1994, he was not yet a rock star, and the line, while lengthy, moved quickly. 

Don Rosa, on the other hand, had to hand out tickets for his Duck drawings. Of Will Eisner, Neil Gaiman, and Don Rosa at the Ehapa booth, Don Rosa was the most popular. (Yeah, that was typical of Erlangen.) Joe Kubert was also there, signing archive editions for another publisher, but he was only autographing his books.) The next Salon is in June 2010. I suspect the festival has gotten more popular, although the comics scene in Germany is still a bit nascent.

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