Man, if you’re ever a featured cartoonists at one of John Tompkin’s library mini-cons, when it’s all over, make sure to demand a commemorative t-shirt letting people know you survived that thing. Geez, it’s a marathon, a gauntlet, a crazy test of endurance to see just how much you can draw before your wrist seizes up and your brains turn to jelly. A few years ago I had looked on with envy as Brandon, Rich, Herc, Tom and John drew their ever lovin’ hearts out at this event and I was eager to test my mettle in the Union West Library last Friday. I was prepared to be grilled by the most extreme and demanding audience of art critics on the planet: little kids.
The mini-con is designed as a free event that allows small fries to get up close and personal with artists and make demands for sketches. Artists who are sane and want to stay that way generally limit what things they will draw for the peanut butter slathered masses to a small handful of choices. But foolhardy risk seekers like me will put up a sign that says “I Will Draw ANYTHING You Want for FREE”. Oh man, did those kids bring the pain. I drew, no exaggeration here, for 4 hours straight. I ran the ink out of my Pentel Brush Pen. My iPhone died on me after looking up mulitple dozens of reference pictures. It was rapturous.
When I got home I made a list of all the drawings I could remember and it totaled 38, although I’m certain I’m forgetting a few. I drew Pokemons, Dragon Ball dudes, Transformers, Spidermen, Darth Vaders, bunnies, monkeys, princesses, Spongebobs and all the Adventure Time characters I could con the kids into choosing. It was an amazing test for me to see how quickly and accurately I could draw this stuff and I’m pretty pleased with myself that most all of the kids left my table happy with their drawings.
I wasn’t able to take pictures of the stuff I produced but I did make some scans of some model sheets that I took with me to demonstrate to the children what kind of drawings they could expect. (And, also, I won’t lie, to try and sway their little decision makers into choosing stuff I wanted to and liked to draw, that being Adventure Time and Spongebob characters.) So, below are the examples I presented the kids. I really want to thank John for inviting me to this event, I had a super good time doing all that sketchin’.