Artists Alley

The big draw for me at Montreal Comiccon 2011 was the bandes desinee artists that would be attending the show.  I’ve been reading a lot of translated European material and was hoping to pick up some original art.

Overall it was a small creator space, two rows of tables and a few more at the end wall.  For North American creators it was heavily stacked to older creators: Stan Lee, Neal Adams, Sergio Aragones, Herb Trimpe, Stan Sakai.  Added to that were Pia Guerra, Joe Benitez, Dan Parent, Dale Eaglesham, Tom Fowler, Ty Templeton.  It was a real mix of classic creators but no “A” list or big timers.  Yes I know Stan Lee is the most famous comic personality alive but that doesn’t mean he’s done anything great lately, or this century.

Because of space and travel times I only brought a few books to get signed, all by Stan Sakai. He was gracious enough to sign and quickly sketch in all three books I brought.

I wandered the floor during the first hour to map out my purchases. Joe Benitez was set up and had pages for sale and a commission list going. I requested a full page Lady Mechanika sketch and spotted a wonderful clown page.  All his pages were pencil only; forgot to ask his process for finishing in the comic but he probably sends scans to the inker.  Crazy clowns are a theme of comic art I should pay more attention to.


I wandered up and down the La Gallery setup where the bandes desinee artists were working but there was a line for each.  I stopped at Maly Siri, who was doing wonderful good girl art in the front of her sketchbook.  They were amazing so I bought one and waited in line: it took about an hour but was well worth it.  Siri used pencil, wide Sharpie and white-out.  Yes, she looks remarkably similar to the woman in my sketch.


Next stop was Jacques Lamontagne and a sketch of his female lead in Aspic, “detectives de l’etrange” which is a great byline for any book.  I asked about an English translation and he was hopeful for something next year.

While purchasing Aspic so I could get it sketched I started flipping through original art for sale and quickly came across a vast amount of Saverio Tenuta penciled pages and painted pages from Legend Of The Scarlet Blades.  The painted pages were stunning but at $2000 each far out of my budget.  I started through the penciled pages and picked this one; who knows if I’d ever come across these again?

I wandered around a little longer but nothing caught my eye.  I went through Tom Fowler’s art for sale but it was a little pricey.  Dan Parent was doing some nice sketches but the Archie style isn’t for me.  Working my way back to La Gallery I saw everyone had cleared out: apparently they were on a schedule and not for the entire show.  Next time.

Pia Guerra was busy the entire show so I missed out on a sketch there; same for Ty Templeton.  While the guest list was small I managed to keep busy and enjoy the artists, although I spent a lot of time chatting with Kevin Boyd at the Joe Shuster Awards table.

Scott VanderPloeg
Scott VanderPloeg

Scott works in I.T. but lives to eat and read. His other ramblings can be found at AE Index and eBabble. Art collection at Comic Art Fans.

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