Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Art dump! October 2012 Edition

Just a few pics I was working on this past month!

A gift for my husband Phil Balsman, who turned 34 this month!

A commission for an 11 year old fan named Kayla
from her mother for her birthday.

A birthday present for my BFF Fenny of Kira from her
most favorite movie ever, Xanadu.
 And two fierce warrior wimmens!
Red Sonja- for fun!

Taarna from Heavy Metal, cuz I felt like it.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Aftermath: New York Comic Con 2012

Made *quite* the splash this year!
Oh New York Comic Con, you and I have such a checkered past. You are the Catwoman to my Batman, the Fujiko to my Lupin- you seduce me with your delightful insanity and crazy outfits and promises of wild adventures only to totally burn me after I finally give in to the idea of us being together. If you weren't in my own backyard I wouldn't even consider us a possibility, as the cost of attending for an out-of-towner I imagine is ludicrously expensive. But yet- I've attended every year since you started 6 years ago and have seen you evolve from a total mess of Fire Marshall shutdowns and hand-written pro-badges to what may well be the first year you've finally gotten your shit together.

"All the world is waiting for yoooou---!!'
I attended this year's NYCC with not the highest of expectations- the show has basically become the east coast's answer to San Diego Comic Con, which though I've never attended myself, has notoriously become a total over-crowded mess less about comics and more about focus groups and test markets. Even the Artist Alley, which has been pushed further back into the corner every year, was outright separated from the con- to the point of no longer even being in the same building! I was outraged! Talk about a leper colony! How COULD they DO this to us?? Even when I got to the actual show on Thursday I had my reservations- bag checks? K-9 officers? Ha-RUMPF! 
Well, I must say- NYCC did eventually win me over. Sure the floor was insane and the seas of people you had to go thru to get from Point A to Point B made even the shortest distance an hour-long trip, but I have to say that what they did with Artist Alley was actually a pretty good move. By separating it from the spectacle of the main exhibition hall and giving it it's own huuge exhibition hall of it's own, Artist Alley itself almost became it's own show. It was easily the size of MoCCA fest or other smaller shows, plus the somewhat lengthy hike to AA from the main exhibition hall provided a nice filter of people who were at the show because they actually give a shit about the medium and those who just want to see cars, booth babes and video games. Not to say it wasn't crowded in AA, but it was def more manageable than everywhere else at the show. I definitely want to look into tabling at AA next year for NYCC. Hopefully I won't have the trouble I did two years ago trying to land a spot.

Wore my Wonder Woman outfit on Friday, which is always a good time!
(Photo: Steve Bunche)

Wonder Wooooomannnnn!
(Photo: Steve Bunche)
Since I was table-free and wandering the show, I figured I'd bust out a couple costumes as well. Friday I wore my tried-and-true Rockabilly Wonder Woman outfit that's always a crowd pleaser, though this was I think the first year I wore it while walking around. I found a corner in the hallway leading to AA that I chilled at for about 2 hours and got lots of pics snapped and even wound up on a news blog or two!! I also was easily recognized by lots of friends and saw lots of folks I hadn't seen in awhile. But awesome as the reception was for my WW costume was, I hadn't expected such an AMAZING a response as I got for the costume I wore Saturday!

Retro Power Girl!
(Photo by Bethany Fong of Comics Alliance)
My concept drawing of my Retro Power Girl costume!

Saturday I wore my Retro Power Girl costume, which I had been working on for the past month and had been planning on doing since right after my wedding last year. Why my wedding? well- the dress, you see, is actually my *wedding dress* repurposed for the costume! And there must have been some leftover bridal mojo left in it, because the reception for my outfit was a bananas! I really wanted to wear another superhero costume in the same vein as my WW outfit, and seeing as how PG and myself have some similar... endowments, she seemed a logical next choice. However, not wanting to wear her actual costume as I don't want my ass hanging out, I opted for a retro version and once I incorporated my wedding dress into the costume it def took a Marilyn Monroe turn. Which is is a look I've played around with before. It was pretty funny too, as I didn't wear my glasses or contacts and had my normally black hair under a blonde wig- a lot of people didn't recognize me! So I had to go up to my friends and say hello- and only then did they realize it was me. Which was pretty fun! Everyone loved it! I couldn't have been happier- I felt like Cinderella! ^_^  Quoth the ever-awesome Chris Sims on Twitter (who's movie reviews on Comics Alliance are SO getting a TILT entry...): ".@PaigeyPumphrey's pin-up Power Girl outfit got into Best Cosplay Ever like five times this weekend." Like here, oh and here! Which I have the fantastic Bethany Fong to thank for, I was lucky to run into her so many times over the weekend and talk about how cute our outfits are. Me n' her- kindred spirits. I also managed to get on The Beat thanks to my friend Torsten! Probably my top NYCC experience however was getting to spend some time with my artistic hero AMANDA CONNER- who LOVED my costumes and even invited me to chill behind her table with her a bit. So beyond thrilled to have spent some time with her, as a fellow female comic artist she is like my Michael Jordan. ^_________^; Many thanks to Steve Bunche for helping out with this spectacular meetup!

 I may look cool as a cucumber her, but inside my
fangirlish 'squeeeeee's are DEAFENING.
(Photo: Steve Bunche) 

Me with Amanda's version of Power Girl!
(Photo: Steve Bunche)
So yeah, I was pleasantly surprised by how well NYCC went this year- even though I couldn't make it out to any after parties aas I was too poor and tired I still got to spend some quality time with almost everyone and meet some new friends and fans.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe- REDUX Edition blog

I had the honor of taking part in the The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe- REDUX Edition blog, which was quite a thrill for me as I am a HUUUGE fan of the book series, which was a giant influence on my childhood obsession with character design. By the time I found out about the project and got ahold of the moderator it was pretty slim pickens, most of the 'cool' characters on the list had been rifled thru, leaving a lot of D-listers and what I like to call the 'single-pagers', which were always the most awesomely lame weirdoes the Marvel U circa the 80's had to offer. I fortunately was able to grab the last girl, being Her, the female counterpart to Adam Warlock, or who I lovingly now refer to as 'Giant Gold Bitch' and chose the awesomely weird Aelfyre 'Whitey' Whitemane, whom I remember even from my childhood as being such a strangely designed character. Plus it's such a departure from my usual pinup art, it was definitely a fun exercise. 

Be sure to check out mine and several other awesome reinterpretations of characters at the 

Her! See the actual entry here!

Whitey! See the actual entry here!
And now I ramble:

I love stats, I love character lineups, I love comparing power levels and surmising whether or not so-and-so could take on so-and-so in some whirlwind street fight. It fills my nerdy little heart with glee. The combination of the OHotMU, the Who's Who in the DC Universe series and various sourcebooks for tabletop roleplaying games I collected over the years resulted in me just spending hours upon hours alone at my parent's dining room table as a kid creating multiple characters and universes of my own design. All thru junior high I had stacks of RPG sourcebooks and stacks of character sheets, but sadly no one to play with. ::insert sad violin:: It wasn't until high school that I found enough sorta-like-minded individuals to get a Vampire: The Masquerade game together. Unfortunately the only way I could get them to play was if I was the DM/Gamemaster/Storyteller and totally threw out the actual dice-rolling process of the game (I know, blasphemy. I think they figured the lack of dice made it less nerdy?). Since everyone I played with had gotten themselves so wrapped up in creating their character, if there was even a possibility of that character getting killed and rendered unusable I could kiss being able to play at all goodbye. So I counted my blessings and just found creative ways to work story arcs where characters got really fucked up, but didn't necessarily die. I think that was a major mistake on my part however with running an RPG, as it gave the player characters (PCs) way more control than they should be allowed. But alas I was young and naive and had a spine made of spaghetti. These game sessions happened about once a week for about 3-5 hours apiece, and each 'Chronicle' (major storyline) lasted about 3 months. We even made different mix tapes for the characters and overall story atmosphere to get my brain going. (Which I still do to this day, but now it's playlists on iTunes.) It was creatively exhausting, writing all these open-ended stories for the PCs to navigate thru and then the times we actually played it would be even more physically exhausting acting out all these characters on the spot. I was seriously performing some sugar and soda-fueled one-woman show shit at that poker table in my parents basement. (I'm sure if I nowadays was a fly on the wall witnessing my antics I would cringe so much at the embarrassing wannabe theater-kid-ness of it I'd collapse in on myself like a dying star.) I apparently did 'such a good job' of DMing that once any of my players decided to step up to the plate and host a session they backed out at the last minute, which was quite a disappointment to me as sweet Christ it's an exhausting job. I have no idea how I did it. So many of the NPCs (non-player characters, essentially supporting cast and extras that were portrayed by me) I created for RPG sessions I still plan to use for my magnum opus comic Pearly Whites, though they have drastically evolved with the times. During my heyday of RPGing back in 10th-12th grade I probably had a backlog of easily over 100 NPCs, not including repeat characters who had multiple alternate universe versions depending on the story. I was so wrapped up in gaming I almost failed Desktop Publishing my Senior year of high school, which would have caused me not to graduate. Oh, the irony. Lookit me now! ;P
Even before all that I had started to make my own awful, derivative-as-hell superhero team and had about 10 pages worth of a fully colored, fully lettered comic back in the 7th-8th grade when I first started really getting into comics (which for a kid that young even I must admit is pretty impressive) which I carried around with me in one of those chincy plastic portfolio books with the clear plastic pages and worked on every chance I got. I had even made my own Handbook-style character entries in the back as a guide that I typed out with a TYPEWRITER and even drew in little fake 'action shots' (that were so totally swiped from everything I could get my hands on, but hey I was only in 7th grade and just learning...) that I had to format my typing around by hand. I probably had about 6-8 completed entries in that book, all illustrated with the original art gluesticked in, with fully realized origin stories. It was awful yet totally charming at the same time and I wish I still had them somewhere so I could show you but I'm pretty sure none of it survived my 'I'm gonna destroy everything remotely embarrassing because I have an ego made of sugar glass'-phase I had in high school. Sometimes really I wish I could go back in time and shake the ever-loving shit out of myself.
Nowadays my more intensive character creation processes has been temporarily retired to my stacks of private sketchbooks, filled with scrawlings that would remind you of some sort of OCD-riddled crazy person. The movie Seven comes to mind. Hopefully with the self-imposed projects I'm planning to inflict on myself in the near future I can actually flex those creative muscles again.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Aftermath: Thanks For Your Support Release Party!

All dolled up!

The merch table/ art show and photo booth before it got all crazy!

The Friday night before Baltimore Comic Con I had decided to have an artbook release party at The Ottobar for my newest book, Thanks For Your Support! as a way to see all my friends from Maryland who could come out to the art show but maybe couldn't make it (or want to go) to the con. I'm blessed to have friends and family who want to support me and my artwork, but they maybe are not so much into the comic convention scene and if they do venture out to the show I feel bad they paid an entry fee and waited in line just to see me at my table, when I could be absolutely slammed at a moment's notice and have to ignore them to sell artwork and merch. Cuz yeah, as fun and silly as cons are, it's still work for me. I'm also insanely lucky to have the awesomest best friend in the world, being Fenny of Little Asian Sweatshop who was more than happy to man my merch table so I could spend time with everyone and her husband J who was awesome to take pictures at a faux-photo booth and around the actual event.

Fenny running the merch table!


Overall the event was wildly successful, I'm definitely gonna try and figure how I can capture that lightning in a bottle for next year, as well as other shows in the future.

Photobooth and event shots by J!

The art! Some of it is still for sale and will be put up on my etsy page!

Me being a goober during the 'dance party':

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