CONvergence 2015 Guest of Honor Badges

Since co-founding the first CONvergence in 1999, I’ve drawn unique, custom badge art for every CONvergence Guest of Honor, every year. It’s time consuming, but I believe—both as a convention runner and as a frequent guest at conventions myself—that it creates a powerful first impression towards CONvergence being a unique convention experience.

I usually try to reference something from a given guest’s body of work in a clever way, as well as try to incorporate our mascot, Connie, on badges for Guests who have been to CONvergence before and are already familiar with the character. Here are the custom Guest of Honor badges I created this year for our CONvergence 2015 Guests.

CVG 2015 GoH Badge prev - Wesley Chu

Wesley Chu

It’s always a challenge designing a badge for author guests if I don’t know of a recognizable visual “hook” associated with their work. But when I saw multiple references by Wesley in various bios and interviews to trying to perfect his “Blue Steel” look (he’s a big Zoolander fan), I knew what I had to do. Upon meeting him, Wesley said to me about his badge “How did you KNOW?”

Follow Wesley Chu’s blog at http://www.chuforthought.com/

CVG 2015 GoH Badge prev - Nicole Dubuc

Nicole Dubuc

When I read that Nicole Dubuc had not only written a Flash comic but had voiced Iris-West Allen on Young Justice in addition to writing episodes of the series, I was tempted to do something with that theme for her badge art. I was worried that it was just my Young Justice bias showing, though, so I instead decided to work with the bigger milestones of her career. Kim Possible was one of Nicole’s first writing gigs and she developed the recent Transformers: Rescue Bots. She told me at the con that Chase happens to be her favorite Rescue Bot! Now if only we’d had more time to talk Young Justice

You can follow Nicole Dubuc on Twitter as @NicoleDubuc.

CVG 2015 GoH Badge prev - Chad Frey

Chad Frey

Chad Frey has been a set designer and art director on more films that I could even begin to work with, and I didn’t really know which were favorites or his level of contribution to each beyond the job title. I ended up focusing on his design work for Oz the Great and Powerful and had elements from his other films swept up by the cyclone, including references to Transformers, Cloverfield, The Green Hornet and even Mad Men.

Learn more about Chad Frey on his website, www.FreyArt.us.

CVG 2015 GoH Badge prev - Charlotte Fullerton

Charlotte Fullerton

While I try not to over-use Connie on our Guest Badges, I knew it was safe with Charlotte. She’d been to CONvergence before when her late husband (the great) Dwayne McDuffie was a Guest of Honor, so she knew who Connie was. It was kind of a no-brainer to dress Connie up as Ben 10, as that franchise has dominated much of Charlotte’s career for several years, including her role as story-editor on Ben 10: Omniverse.

You can follow Charlotte on Twitter at @TheCFullerton and on Facebook at The Charlotte Fullerton Page.

CVG 2015 GoH Badge prev - Lee Harris

Lee Harris

Lee Harris is an author and editor, currently Senior Editor for the new Novella imprint at Tor.com, which presents the usual issue I have with finding a visual hook for someone known for work in a non-visual field. I ended up going for a fun graphic treatment of a picture of Lee himself, which seems to have worked. Lee commented “You must be a great artist. You managed to make me look cool.”

I have to note that Lee was fantastically funny our annual, very silly SMACKDOWN! panel. It was great getting to spend some time chatting with Lee over the con weekend!

Learn more about Lee Harris at his blog, www.LeeHarris.com, and follow him on Twitter as @LeeAHarris.

CVG 2015 GoH Badge prev - Jennifer Ouellette

Jennifer Ouellette

Sadly Jennifer is the one Guest of Honor I never managed to meet face-to-face over the convention weekend. All you really need to know about Jennifer’s badge art is that one of her books is titled “The Calculus Diaries: How Math Can Help You Lose Weight, Win in Vegas, and Survive a Zombie Apocalypse.” I feel like I nailed 3 out of 4 elements of that title. All four if you consider bits of a zombie being missing as weight loss.

Jennifer writes the blog, Cocktail Party Physics for Scientific American.

You can learn more about Jennifer Ouellette on her website, www.jenniferouellette-writes.com, or follow her on Twitter at @JenLucPiquant.

CVG 2015 GoH Badge prev - Gordon Smuder

Gordon Smuder

I’ve been friends with Gordon for many years and have been lucky enough to collaborate with him on a few projects. I flat out asked him if he had a preference for what he wanted on his Guest of Honor badge. I swear I thought he said “No puppets,” which baffled me because Gordon is best known for his puppet building and for puppet-based projects like Transylvania Television and his upcoming Vermin (Featuring MST3K Alumni Trace Beaulieu). So I went with something I knew was one of Gordon’s great fandoms: The Herculoids. Gordon said he LOVED the badge, but that he’d told me “No MUPPETS.” Why the heck would I ever have considered putting Jim Henson Studios characters on Gordon’s badge? Ah, well…

You can see many more of Gordon’s puppet creations at www.thepuppetforge.com.
Learn more about the Vermin web show and its Kickstarter at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/792672696/relaunch-vermin-web-show

CVG 2015 GoH Badge prev - Toni Weisskopf

Toni Weisskopf

Another stumper: Toni Weisskopf, publisher of Baen Books. I didn’t want go to the “portrait” option for a third time, so instead I did a fun graphic treatment of the Baen logo. I lucked out again as Toni loved it. I don’t think I ever saw her face-to-face again after the Guest Reception on the night before the convention properly began, so I hope she had a great con weekend!

http://www.baen.com/

CVG 2015 GoH Badge prev - Bryan Thao Worra

Bryan Thao Worra

And finally, Bryan Thao Worra was another 2015 guest I’ve been lucky enough to have been friends with for a few years. When I asked him about badge art preferences he mentioned a couple of options, including adding something to his collection of Naga artwork. So for a multi-year attendee CONvergence panelist, one more Connie. This one being Connie as a Naga, with each of the Medusa-like crown of snakes sporting their own Connie-style antenna.

You can learn more about Bryan Thao Worra at his blog, thaoworra.blogspot.com, and follow him on Twitter as @thaoworra.

So that wraps up all of the CONvergence 2015 badge art. You can check out my 2014 blog posts featuring the CONvergence 2014 Guest of Honor Badges and the CONvergence 2014 membership badge art as well! And if you’re interested in checking out more badge art from previous years, I’ve got most of it posted on my blog under the “Badge Art” tag – click here to check it out!

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