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I Choo Choo Choose Conventions!
Posted 02/26/2014

I’m back from Chattanooga and ConNooga!

It was my first time at the show, and it was a lot of fun. It’s a little show, but it’s one that has a lot of character. You can tell the influence of it being so close to DragonCon, too. There was a definite party track, as I could see outside my hotel room balcony on Friday and Saturday, and the costuming was exquisite!

So you’re prepeared for the 2014 con season, the hot (or cool) trend in costumes is Frozen. Lots of Frozen. If I could get stock in a magenta cape factory, I would be a rich, rich man this year.

I did a couple of kids’ track panels, too. Both my "How to draw My Little Pony" and "Create a Superhero" panel were really well attended. The kids were great and they all did really well. It’s one of my true honors to help foster new talent, if even if such a small way.

I have to thank the Berns, the family who were my handlers for most of the trip and made sure I got to and from the airport and, when I left it at home, made sure I had toothpaste, too. They were even nice enought to take me to see Ruby Falls before I left. It was the coolest cave I’ve ever been to that didn’t have a giant penny and a dinosaur in it. Todd, the con director, treated me really well, too. Check out what was featured on the Saturday badges.

Chattanooga was a nice town. I got the chance to walk around, try some restaurants and Clumper’s Ice Cream, and then walk some more. And I stayed at the Choo Choo Hotel, which is the site of the famous train station, now converted to a pretty neat looking hotel. Some of the railroad cars have been converted to hotel rooms, diners, and more.

Now, I’m going to bask in the two weeks I have off before I have a hat trick of shows in March. Please come see me!


Saluting the Comic-Con Ticket Warriors
Posted 02/09/2014

Saturday was the big rush for Comic-Con tickets. I appreciate these people like you wouldn’t believe.

It’s easy to tease and make the Hunger Games references and watch from a distance. There’s certainly a place for that. But the thing I try to keep in mind is what these fans have to go through to attend the show. Heck, it’s hard enough for me to get a hotel and a guest badge, and I’m an exhibitor.

I have a very charmed life. Every day, I get to wake up, usually whenever the heck I feel like it, kiss my sweetie, and then put on some awesomely geeky t-shirt, pour some coffee in an equally geeky mug, and draw things and tell stories. I don’t have to wear a tie or go to an office or have to ask for time off to do a convention. The freedom I have is largely because my industry and I have fans who are willing to support our work, buy our products, and jump through the flaming hoops to attend these conventions.

So I just wanted to take a minute and say a big "thank you" to these Comic-Con warriors.

(Also, it was cool to see my little cartoon knocked out the morning of the big ticket rush show up on Robot6 with attribution. Thanks, guys!)


I’ll be at Indiana Comic Con with a new print!
Posted 02/06/2014

This year I’ll be making my first trip to the Indiana Comic Con. I’m looking forward to it, both to experience a new show and to see some old friends. And, since it’s a new place for me to visit, I’ve done another new con print. These things are expanding a bit, aren’t they?

You know, I’d love to do a Sydney one. Hint hint.


New for 2014: Premium Commissions
Posted 01/31/2014

I want to try some new things at my 2014 conventions. One of them is this: a new "premium" commission. I want to take a limited number of much more complicated pieces, colored in watercolor rather than marker. I’m only going to do a couple for each show, and you can either place an order or select out of the ones that I already have done.

To start, I’m trying some My Little Pony stuff. I draw the ponies a lot, but I haven’t had much of an opportunity to play with the backgrounds and those are a lot of fun. Also, I haven’t done watercolors in a long time, so it’s nice to start refreshing that skill. Here’s Twilight Sparkle as a premium commission. I’ve got a Zecora one on the drawing board that I’ll be showing soon, too. Both of them will be available at Connooga next month.

If you’re interested in getting one, give me a shout and let me know. I’ll certainly do a few through the mail. For these, 9×12 in full color, one character in an environment, I’m going to charge $125.


ConNooga Exclusive Print!
Posted 01/24/2014

In preparation for my appearance at ConNooga in Chattanooga, Tennessee next month (and my first show of the year!) I’ve done a con print for the show. It’s Lookout Mountain, with Mark and Abby having their own look. As usual with these, these will be limited to 25 prints, and the original will be for sale, too.

I’m also looking at creating some limited edition, hand-colored Pony commissions that are a little more detailed and involved than my normal con sketches. We’ll see how that goes.

Either way, my commission list is open, as well. If you’d like to get one booked before the show, send me an email at tz (squiggly at) thomz.com!


WIP: My Indiana Comic Con print
Posted 01/16/2014

I’m working on a cover for something, but I can’t show you that yet. And I just finished another cover, but I can’t share that yet, either, darn it. But I just gots to share something, so here’s the work-in-progress con print for my first appearance at the Indiana Comic Con. It’s Monument Square in downtown Indianapolis.

I’m also working on a print for Chattanooga for next month. Two new cities, two new prints!


Convention Calendar 2014
Posted 01/04/2014

Want to come see me in person? Here’s where I’ll be!

Connooga
Chattanooga 
February 21-23, 2014

Indiana Comic-Con
Indianapolis
March 14-16

MegaCon
Orlando
March 21-23

Emerald City Comic-Con
Seattle 
March 28-30, 2014

WonderCon Anaheim
Anaheim 
April 18-20, 2014

C2E2
Chicago
April 25-27, 2014

Comicpalooza Houston
Houston
May 23-26, 2014

Denver Comic-Con
Denver
June 13-15

HeroesCon
Charlotte
June 20-22, 2014

Comic Con International
San Diego
July 24-27, 2014

Dragon*Con
Atlanta
Aug 29 –Sept 1, 2014

Baltimore Comicon
Baltimore
September 5-7, 2014

Cincinnati Comic Expo
Cincinnati 
September 19-21, 2014

Wizard Ohio
Columbus
October 31-November 2, 2014

New York Comic-Con
New York
October 9-12, 2014

Akron Comicon 
Akron
November 8-9, 2014

Changes from last year: I’m skipping FanExpo in Canada this year. Hopefully I’ll be there next year. August-September is just filled with conventions and I need to pace myself a bit. No GeekGirlCon either, sadly, since it shares the weekend with New York. Connooga in Tennessee is new for this season. There’s also a new show in Cleveland this year, but it’s on my birthday weekend and I think I’m taking that weekend off. I should do that every once in a while.

And, as always, shows could be added. If a show is willing to bring me out, I can usually find a way to make time in my schedule.

My convention calendar is also accessible in the sidebar, too.


Almost All My Commissions from 2013
Posted 01/01/2014

I’ve done a lot of commissions this year. Below are all the ones I had on my computer. This doesn’t include things I drew at my artist alley tables. One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to better capture those and make sure I can display them, too. These are ones that I worked on at my studio and either colored on computer or scanned the original before I sent it out.

There are 55 pieces here. That’s more than one a week!


Day 20: Dark Phoenix #tzadvent
Posted 12/20/2013

Day 20: Dark Phoenix

I’ve settled into a nice rythym on these. I’m pretty comfortable with all the tools and key commands. There are a couple of more ones that I’d like to figure out how to implement (Quick Mask, Inverse and switch Foreground/Background respectively) but for now, I don’t use them enough to make them replace existing ones.

I also tried to screen record making this one. Right now, it seems like recording is causing an unacceptable lag in the drawing tools, so I can’t make that work. Maybe I’ll see if I can do a uStream broadcast or something like that on one of the next ones, at least. I’d like to post a video ofdrawing if I can do it. I think it might be fun.

If anyone knows how to smooth out the drawing process, I’d appreciate it. I have a new iMac that’s pretty fast, so I’m surprise by the added lag.

I’ve always loved Phoenix, light and dark varieties. I started reading the book after her death, but her long shadow always made her a part of the book. This drawing is based on my memories of a splash page from X-Men 

#175, drawn by Paul Smith. I loved his run on the book. It’s what made me start picking it up. My cousin bought his first issue and brought it over for me to read and I was hooked. Smith’s art was a huge part of why.

At this point, I’ve got about ten more drawings to do in this grand experiement. As alwaysm, your suggestions are welcome on Twitter (#tzadvent), Facebook or on email!


Now I Have a Machine Gun… Ho Ho Ho!
Posted 11/29/2013

I’ve seen some great costumes over my convention travels this year, but this is one of my favorites. DragonCon is definitely the place to see the most Now I have a machine gunobscure characters and the most clever costumes. This Die Hard cosplay is one of my favorites.

It seemed appropriate as we enter the Christmas season to share this. Ho ho ho!