Posts tagged: Brian Keene

A Dwayne McDuffie memory

Dwayne McDuffie

Dwayne McDuffie

I was already a fan of Dwayne McDuffie’s writing for comics and animation when he attended the convention I helped start, CONvergence, as a Guest of Honor in 2009. I got to interview Dwayne for a panel, escort him on a tour of the convention parties, and spend some good time with him over the weekend. It wasn’t until the weekend was over that I showed him some of my own comic art, which included art from The Batman Strikes, the series I had been drawing at the time. He said some complimentary things as he flipped through the binder of art, and then upon getting to a page with a streamlined silhouette of Batman said “Yeah, you GET IT.” That made my weekend.

If I’d been a fan before of Dwayne’s work, that weekend made me a fan of Dwayne. His warmth, humor and generosity really blew me away, so I was glad to have played a role in creating a warm welcome for him.

First of all, I had done the badge art you see above. I do custom badge art for all of CONvergence’s guests. Dwayne’s badge featured a face to face meeting of the comic book and animation versions of Dwayne’s signature¬†Static character.

I also play a role in crafting what goes on at the convention’s opening and closing ceremonies. In researching Dwayne to plan for his time at CONvergence, I came across this “ProFile” of Assistant Editor Dwayne McDuffie from a 1988 Bullpen Bulletin page from Marvel Comics.

Dwayne McDuffie - ProFile

Dwayne McDuffie – ProFile

In the questionnaire, Dwayne said “The reason I got into comics” was “So I could hit Wolverine in the face with a pie.” This was too good to pass up.

At Closing Ceremony when Dwayne was brought up on stage to say goodbye to the convention, we brought up this ProFile and this quote, and told Dwayne that CONvergence was the place where dreams come true…

Ready... aim...

Ready… aim…

I would have preferred a volunteer Wolverine cosplayer, but you work with what you’ve got, so I brought out a color marker drawing of Wolverine I’d done on foam core board and Dwayne was given a cream pie to use as ammunition. I was half-expecting that the pie was going to hit me rather than the 2-dimensional mutant, but Dwayne took careful aim at Logan and nailed him square in the puss.

SPLAT!!!

SPLAT!!!

After that, Dwayne left the stage and as I went backstage with the remains of the comedy bit, I heard our next Guest of Honor horror author Brian Keene say “That’s funny. I got into writing so I could hit Chris Jones in the face with a pie.” Before I finished laughing, another pie had been readied and was being delivered to Brian and I dutifully marched back out on stage for the sake of comedy. But that’s another story.

I still have that rather smeared Wolverine drawing. I also have the copy of Dwayne’s script for the Justice League episode “Epilog” that Dwayne had donated to our charity auction, which features an original Bruce Timm Batman sketch on the cover page!

I’m happy to have those treasures but I’d rather still have Dwayne around. I miss you, Dwayne!

CONvergence Badge Art: #CVG2011 Guests of Honor

It’s TOMORROW! CONvergence is as IMMINENT as it gets!

Here’s the last batch of art I’ve done for badges for the Guests of Honor of CONvergence 2011.

#CVG2011 - Edward Douglas

#CVG2011 – Edward Douglas

#CVG2011 - Brain Van Camp

#CVG2011 – Brain Van Camp

#CVG2011 - Jason Carter

#CVG2011 – Jason Carter


We had a three-pack of guests from the indie horror film The Dead Matter. Composer/filmmaker Edward Douglas of the Midnight Syndicate is the film’s director.

Actor Brian Van Camp was in the film and sported a zombie look not entirely dissimilar from this badge art.

The film also features actor Jason Carter, best known to many sci-fi fans from his role as Ranger Marcus Cole on Babylon 5.

#CVG2011 - Lynne Thomas

#CVG2011 – Lynne Thomas

#CVG2011 - Seanan McGuire

#CVG2011 – Seanan McGuire

#CVG2011 - Catherynne Valente

#CVG2011 – Catherynne Valente


Author/Editor/Librarian Lynne Thomas came to CONvergence fresh off the success of her Chicks Dig Time Lords anthology. I knew Lynne personally and asked her if she had any special requests for badge art. She said she wanted the cover of her book with Connie. Done!

Author Seanan McGuire is a Munsters fan and made the mistake of mentioning publicly that she identified with Marilyn Munster. Clearly she paid for her mistake.

I was at a bit of a loss for what to do for author and poet Catherynne Valente, and ended up referencing the fairytale element of her work very literally.

#CVG2011 - Brian Keene

#CVG2011 – Brian Keene

#CVG2011 - Anthony Tollin

#CVG2011 – Anthony Tollin

#CVG2011 - Greg Weisman

#CVG2011 – Greg Weisman


This was my third Guest of Honor badge for Brian Keene, and after having reference his zombie stories and his comics work, I decided to go with his Conqueror Worms material, and had CoLynnie fighting giant earthworms. Lovely.

The first badge I had an idea for this year was Anthony Tollin’s. Anthony is a historian of The Shadow and other pulp heroes, and is publishing deluxe reprints of The Shadow and Doc Savage pulp novels. I first knew of Tony for his work as a colorist, specifically his work as colorist of Keith Giffen’s Ambush Bug series for DC Comics. Mash up! There you go.

And finally we had another returning Guest of Honor with Greg Weisman, who I was working with on the comic book version of Young Justice, based on the animated TV series for which is is head-writer and producer. Red Tornado is featured in Young Justice, a character Greg has a history with, so Connie got the Red Tornado treatment.

That’s it! We’re all caught up! I’ll be scheduling a post for tomorrow with the 2012 Guest of Honor badges, but otherwise I’m off to CONvergence! Watch for all the CONvergence-related tweets at #CVG2012. I hope to see many of you there! Look me up at one of my signings or panels!

CONvergence Badge Art: #CVG2009 Guest of Honor Badges

It’s another 2-post day as I count down to CONvergence 2012 on July 5-8, sharing more art I’ve done for badges for the Guests of Honor of CONvergence 2009.

#CVG2009 - Brian Keene

#CVG2009 – Brian Keene

#CVG2009 - Dwayne McDuffie

#CVG2009 – Dwayne McDuffie

#CVG2009 - Frank Conniff

#CVG2009 – Frank Conniff


Brian Keene’s badge is a reference to his then-current Devil Slayer comic for Marvel.

The badge for the late, great Dwayne McDuffie features the comic book and animation versions of his character Static meeting face-to-face.

Frank Conniff’s badge, like all the badges for the Cinematic Titanic crew reflect the silhouette gimmick for their show, while the background image makes a joke referencing their earlier MST3K. I had to do something with Torgo. Please note the brand of pizza being delivered.

#CVG2009 - Joel Hodgson

#CVG2009 – Joel Hodgson

#CVG2009 - Kelly McCullough

#CVG2009 – Kelly McCullough

#CVG2009 - Mary Jo Pehl

#CVG2009 – Mary Jo Pehl


Joel Hodgson’s badge not only references Gamera which was a staple in early MST3K episodes, but features one of the robots from Silent Running, which Joel credits as an inspiration for the MST3K structure.

I was delighted to hear that Kelly McCullough was giddy to have his Melchior character morphed with Connie for his badge, and the art is even featured currently on his website!

Mary Jo Pehl’s badge features an unfortunate camera angle on The Amazing Colossal Man (although he’s got his disfiguration from sequel, so technically it’s the Colossal Beast – #geek).

#CVG2009 - Patrick Rothfuss

#CVG2009 – Patrick Rothfuss

#CVG2009 - Trace Beaulieu

#CVG2009 – Trace Beaulieu


Patrick Rothfus’s badge references a recent quote he had made about a certain Mr. Whedon.

And finally Trace Beaulieu had been at CONvergence before, so I had no issues with dressing Connie as Mr. B-Natural, from a famous MST3K bit.

If you’re coming to #CVG2012 be sure to look me up! I’ll be doing two signings and on a bunch of panels.

CONvergence Badge Art: #CVG2007 Guest Badges

It’s another 2-post day as I count down to CONvergence 2012 on July 5-8, sharing more art I’ve done for badges for the Guests of Honor of CONvergence 2007.

#CVG2007- Lois McMaster Bujold

#CVG2007- Lois McMaster Bujold

#CVG2007 - Emily Hagins

#CVG2007 - Emily Hagins

#CVG2007 - Brian Keene

#CVG2007 - Brian Keene


For author Lois McMaster Bujold I broke my rule again about not using Connie on badges for first-time Guests of Honor. When I break that rule it’s usually a sign of desperation. The four hands are a reference to the Quaddies from Lois’ work.

Emily Hagins is a remarkable filmmaker who wrote, produced and directed the zombie movie Pathogen at age 12. She’s still going strong, working on new films!

I hated to go to the “zombie well” yet again, but it seemed appropriate for The Rising author Brian Keene.

#CVG2007 - John Kovalic

#CVG2007 - John Kovalic

#CVG2007 - Wally Wingert

#CVG2007 - Wally Wingert

#CVG2007 - Bernie Wrightson

#CVG2007 - Bernie Wrightson

John Kovalic’s badge featured a notoriously over-crowded page from the Dr. Blink comic written by John, drawn by me, and lettered and colored by Melissa Kaercher.

Wally Wingert’s badge referenced his role as one of the Almighty Tallest from Invader Zim, and his obsessive love of the Adam West Batman series (a man after my own heart!).

Bernie Wrigthson’s badge refers to the author page on the first printing of Bernie’s magnificent illustrated edition of Frankenstein, which gave a full bio of Bernie including where he resided with his two dogs, but merely said of the author “Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley is dead and has no dogs.”

If you’re coming to #CVG2012 be sure to look me up! I’ll be doing two signings and on a bunch of panels.

Happy Halloween… badges?

Brian Keene CONvergence Badge

Brian Keene CONvergence Badge

This was custom badge art I did for Brian Keene, the first year he visited CONvergence as a Guest of Honor. I do individual badge art fro all the convention’s guests, which is one of the things that helps the con make a unique impression on our visiting VIPs right away.

I always try to tailor the badge art to the Guest of Honor’s work, or something about them personally. It gets easier if I’ve met them or am intimately familiar with their work. When it’s someone I’m not as familiar with, finding the right image can be a real challenge! I’d met Brian prior to his first visit to CONvergence, but didn’t know him *that* well. I went for the center of the strike zone and did a zombie image, referencing The Rising, probably Brian’s best-known work.

Brian Keene Devil Slayer

Brian Keene Devil Slayer

Connie vs. Conqueror Worms

Connie vs. Conqueror Worms


Brian’s been back a couple of times. In 2009 I drew the CONvergence mascot Connie as Devil Slayer, as Brian had just written a Devil Slayer mini-series for Marvel Comics. In 2011 I opted to have Connie battling the giant worms from another of Brian’s epics, The Conqueror Worms. I try to avoid using Connie on badge art for Guests making their first visit to CONvergence, since until they experience the convention they wouldn’t understand or appreciate the unique role this mascot character has there. But once they’ve been to CONvergence and are coming back, Connie tends to pop up pretty often.

Here are some other badges I’ve done for CONvergence in recent years with a Halloween flavor.

Ambush Bug as the Shadow

Ambush Bug as the Shadow

Anthony Tollin is a comic book colorist who is associated with, among many things, Keith Giffen’s Ambush Bug comics from the 1980s. He’s also a historian of The Shadow in both radio and pulp incarnations, and is currently publishing reprints of The Shadow and Doc Savage. So a mash-up of Ambush Bug dressed as The Shadow seemed like a fun idea.

Bernie Wrightson badge

Bernie Wrightson badge

I’d been a fan of Bernie Wrightson for years, from Swamp Thing and his other comics work to his gorgeous illustrated edition of Frankenstein. This badge art references a joke Bernie got into an early printing of that Frankenstein book. The author’s page at the back gave a lengthy biography of Bernie, concluding with where he then lived along with his two dogs. About the author or the original novel it only said “Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley is dead and has no dogs.” I thought that was hysterical when I first saw it, and was disappointed to learn that later printings replaced it with a more conventional biographical blurb.

Connie enjoying Ludovico Technique

Connie enjoying Ludovico Technique

Robert Meyer Burnett, is a huge fan of A Clockwork Orange, and his production company Ludovico Technique is named for this procedure from the film. Poor Connie.

Emily Hagins badge

Emily Hagins badge

Emily Hagins is a remarkable young filmmaker who wrote, produced and directed her first film – a zombie movie – when she was 14 years old. She’s a few years older now and still going strong. She recently got her first theatrical distribution deal with MPI Media for her third feature film – My Sucky Teen Romance. When she first visited CONvergence, I thought it would be fun to place Emily among the iconic zombie-slayers.

Connie Mk 2 in Village of the Damned

Connie Mk 2 in Village of the Damned

And finally, in 2010 our convention theme was “Bad Guys,” and I placed our mascot’s evil sister Connie Mark 2 among the Children of the Damned for our “teen” registration badge that year.