On Saturday, May 21st, two comic book creators (and yours truly) got inked at Collector’s Paradise in Winnetka, CA, about 25 miles north of downtown Los Angeles.
The star of the night was Filip Sablik, publisher of Top Cow, and co-writer/creator of the new Top Cow/Minotaur Press series, Last Mortal. Sablik was not only signing copies of the book with best bud since childhood and co-writer/creator, John Mahoney, but he also received one of the coolest tattoo’s ever done at a comic book shop: the logo of Last Mortal, the Ouroboros.
It took about 3 hours to complete, but once finished, it looked damn sexy:
Jim McCann, writer/creator of one of my personal favorite comic books of all time, Return of the Dapper Men, also got himself some ink. His was of a barcode from Dapper Men, which is the pinstripe pattern from the titular characters’ coats. The numbers 314 and 41 are also present; 314 representing the amount of Dapper Men that rained down from the sky in the book in order to re-start time, and 41 symbolizes the lead Dapper Man. You can watch a video of him getting tattooed, on youtube!
I also joined in the fun, getting some ink of my own. The tattoo was designed by comic book artists Tess Fowler and Chris Gutierrez, and is symbolic in that it’s all about my newborn daughter, Elizabeth. She was born on 3/1/11 at 11:50 pm, and all of that is there in the design…if you can find it. Plus, I’ve always loved elephants as a kid.
Diana Munoz was the tattoo artist on the scene, who worked straight from 8pm until about 1:30am. She was awesome, and I think that’s evident in her work. Be sure to check out her DCM Tattoo Facebook page!
Last Mortal artist, Thomas Nachlik, who is located in Germany, still managed to make an appearance via live videocast, doing requested sketches and showing them on screen to fans.
Sablik and Mahoney were signing and giving away limited edition lithographs to the first 40 people to attend the event, and on display in the store for all to see were original art pages from the book, including this awesome piece which I now own:
There was also a DJ present spinning tunes, free beer, and Phil Smith (editor of many Top Cow books) playing the role of bartender, mixing drinks with a Last Mortal theme. Let me be the first to say, those things were freaking strong!
Other creators in attendance included Joshua Fialkov (Tumor, Echoes), Mel Caylo (Marketing Manager of Archaia Entertainment), Rick Loverd (Berserker), Troy Peteri (Abattoir), and Tess Fowler (Grimm Fairy Tales). Even Marc Silvestri was there to support his crew! You can see many of these guys in a video interview (check it out) hosted by myself and Bryan J. Daggett of GeekWeek.com.
Below are a bunch of photos from the event:
ComicBookResources.com did a cool stop motion video of both McCann and Sablik’s tattoos, which you can view here. Caitlin Holland of Killer Cupcake Event Photography was the photographer, with most of her images being showcased in the CBR video, as well as some above.
The fact that Jim McCann and Filip Sablik love their work so much that they were willing to get symbolic representations of it permanently placed on their bodies speaks volumes for them as creators. It’s irrefutable that the passion is there with these guys in what they do, and that emotion not only translates into how they treat their fans, but how intensely it transcends the pages of their work. I dare you to pick up a copy of Return of the Dapper Men and Last Mortal #1 and state otherwise. Both books are not only gorgeous to look at, but the stories are a testament to the bar being raised in this industry for creator owned work. The same could be said of Collector’s Paradise owner, Edward Greenberg. By hosting an event like this, he has broken the norm of the LCS, and has shown that a comic book shop can be a destination, not just a place.