GraniteCon 2013 by far was my best convention ever. Table-mate Jesse DuRona would probably agree, this show was awesome to us! I’ll be honest, I heard mixed reviews from a lot of the other tabling artists and such, some were more successful than others, but for me, GraniteCon offered a steady mix of interested parties who often opened their wallets after seeing something they liked!

The Venue was the same, but the location within was very new and different. The con was really showing off just how much it had grown even since last year! The aisles were long, full of variety in terms of talents, styles and offerings, and there was plenty of space. Like any show there were peaks and valleys during the two day event, meal times and popular programming pulled the crowd away sometimes, but the floor was never completely empty, there was always some activity very near by! The hotel staff were cool, friendly and put up with a lot of antics, I’m sure!

Because my table was so busy, I didn’t get too much of an opportunity to check out other cartoonists work this year! I’m a bit bummed by this, but I did hang out with a few familiar faces and grabbed some comics I had been meaning to! I also had some really cool tabling neighbors…so, onto the artists section of the post!

Blair Shedd is a fellow Vermont based cartoonist and really needs no introduction to the folks that come here. He’s done amazing work for IDW’s Dr. Who and his self-published The RAPTOR is some quality, gritty super hero action! I didn’t get to talk with him terribly much at the show, but he looked busy every time I stopped by! Had a good time catching up at the hotel bar after Day 1, can’t wait to see what’s coming from him this fall/winter!

Brandon Barrows hails from Burlington (It was a regular ol’ VT cartoonist meetup at the show!) and is one of the best writers I’ve met since I started doing conventions! He’s published works all over the place from comics to poetry to prose and back again! Brandon also gets to work with some of the coolest artists working today and the matching is frequently perfect! His comics work includes the Detective comic for superhero fans, or maybe vica versa, Jack Hammer, and Voyaga; a homage to 1950’s pulp scifi!

Mathew Dow Smith is a busy guy and he was at GraniteCon in addition to tabling at FantaCon just a few weekends ago! Another Dr.Who artist, catch him while you can!

Sara Richard is at every GraniteCon, she’s awesome and I only got to say hi for 5 seconds before she flew off to fulfill someone’s dreams, but definitely check out her amazing, loopy and painterly work! She did the con badges this year!

I very briefly got to meet Ben Templesmith at the pub after the show! What a guy he is. Personality to spare and some incredible talent! If you’re into creepy gothic styling and award winning writing, dive in!

The wonderful Sue and Everett Soares were at GraniteCon again this year with the freshly printed second volume of Sky Pirates of Valendor! They are good people with big ol’ hearts and a lot of love for comics! Sky Pirates of course is great fun reading too! Hope to see them again very soon!

I first heard about writer Ron Marz’s comic RAVINE from a very excited Dawn Best and since he was at the show I couldn’t resist grabbing a copy! He was super friendly and Stjepan Sejic’s art looks amazing! As a wanna-be fantasy cartoonist, I figure studying the form from a working master is a good place to start!

JK Woodward is seriously one of the funniest guys I’ve met. As another Who artist, it’s almost no surprise. Those guys all have wit to spare! Some of his Star Trek pages were jaw dropping to see in person! He makes drawing complex ships in space seem easy.

Erik Burnham is every kid who grew up in the 80’s friend. He is a talented writer on both TMNT and Ghostbusters! A quiet guy like me, it was a pleasure to meet him and partake in some of his industry wisdom!

Here’s some other cool stuff that was at the show, in picture form!

The Actual Delorean used in Back to the Future III!

All sorts of Piratey goodness! (Or bad-ass-ness, I guess?)

A view of Manchester, NH from our hotel room Saturday night.

And that just about wraps up my experience at GraniteCon 2013! Again, I had a great time and had the most successful show I’ve ever had! Thanks to all the people that make it happen every year and all the great cartoonists who continue to come year after year! See you in 2014!

-RD

p.s. – Original artwork featured in this post is a custom commission I did of the three Bahamut forms from Final Fantasy VII! 11×14 on vellum drawing paper, Pentel Pocket Brush, Microns, Prismacolor and Copic markers! Thanks Hao for the awesome commish!

Original art is ©2013 Randall Drew
Final Fantasy Characters are © SquareEnix