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Monday, September 08, 2008

AquaSketch by Jay Piscopo - 2008

I was thinking about posting one of the sketches I picked up at the NY Comic Con back in April, but fate stepped in and I had the opportunity to pick up a newer sketch at my favorite comic shop, All Things Fun.

ATF was having its 4th anniversary over the weekend, so they had writer/artist Jay Piscopo, creator of The Undersea Adventures of Capt'N Eli, in for a signing and sketches and stuff.

I had never heard of Eli before this, so I checked out Jay's site and really liked what I saw. Its an all-ages book that looks like a combo of Jonny Quest, Space Ghost, and set on the water no less! Who better to get an Aquaman sketch from?

So I met Jay on Saturday, and when he saw my book he confessed he was an Aquaman fan, as well. We talked Sea King while he sketched, and after just a few minutes he produced the above for me--Aquaman, regal and serious, commanding his finny friends. Excellent!

I can't wait to sit down and read Eli, with a bottle of Capt'N Eli Soda (no kidding--check the site!) at my side. It looks like a lot of fun, so any of you who are fans of sea-faring superheroes (and that's why you're here, aren't you?) should go check it out!


There's a little more to this story, but since its not essential to how I got the sketch, I thought I'd separate it from the main post. The rest of the story has some very sad moments to it, so if you're not in the mood for that on a Monday morning, please stop reading.

I usually visit All Things Fun during the week, but when I learned they were having their 4th anniversary party this weekend, I planned to visit again, if just to say "congrats" to my friends who run it, Ed, Dee, and John.

Anyway, on Thursday, my parents' dog Mac--a 13-year-old Scottish Terrier, suddenly passed away. He had some sort of growth in his stomach that burst, and even though my parents rushed him to an all-night Veterinary center, he died on the way.

My whole family is very animal centric, and we all love our dogs and cats like they were children. Mac was a wonderfully sweet, low-key dog, perfect for my parents, and to have him die so suddenly was a terrible shock. Darlin' Tracy and I brought their Granddog, Johnny, over the next night to help cheer them up, if only for a few hours.
We buried Mac on Saturday, at a cemetery barely two miles away from where ATF is located. I had plans to meet my parents there, and then afterwards head to All Things Fun.

We got to see Mac as he was layed out--with his favorite blanket, pillow, and toy--and buried him alongside my parents' other three dogs. As we walked away, the rain started to fall.

As I waited in traffic to turn around and head to ATF, my emotions--which had been at a relatively even keel throughout this whole thing--started getting the best of me, and I started to tear up.

I felt so bad for Mac, for my parents, that I had to pull over and wait it out, trying to keep my emotions in check. If I was going to go to a store full of people, and possibly introduce myself to someone new, I didn't want to look like a wreck.

I had to literally scrunch my face up, so much it hurt, and for a few moments I considered skipping the whole thing and just going home.

But I decided to stick it out, and headed for ATF. By the time I made it to the front door (where Ed greeted me), only a trace of what I was feeling was showing. By the time I went up and introduced myself to Jay, I was feeling better and we had a great conversation about Aquaman, DC's 100-Page Super Spectaculars, and how awesome Ramona Fradon and Jim Aparo are. It was exactly the kind of conversation I needed to have at that moment.

As I drove home, I realized I now felt so much better. I am still sad over Mac, and will be for a while. But instead of spending the afternoon moping and being miserable, I had a nice, diverting break from a really bad couple of days, courtesy All Things Fun and their guest Jay.

I've shopped at a lot of comic stores over the years, and its really nice to have a place I like to visit, new comics to buy or no, a place that always goes the extra mile to make things fun for its customers. If there were more stores like All Things Fun, I think the comics industry would be in a lot better shape.


Anonymous said...

Rob, I'm very sorry to hear about your family's loss. I have lost two dogs and a cat as pets in my life, and it is always hard to take. Know that you have my sympathies and prayers, my friend.

On a lighter note, it is amazing how a conversation regarding the King o' them Seven Seas can brighten one's day, eh? I recently went to a signing/sketch session by writers/artists at my local comical book emporium and chatted up three or four pros who all liked Aquaman. Even got a great Aquaman sketch from one of them. I'll send you a scan if you'd like to see it, as long as there's no issues with posting things like that on the Shrine.

I've also got plenty of other unique stuff to send you too, so get ready for a Aqua-deluge, straight outta Southwest Virginia!

Anonymous said...

Rob, you have my condolences on your loss. I'm glad Aquaman was able to help alleviate atleast some of the pain you're feeling. And you got a cool sketch...when I first read the title of your post I thought it said Joe Piscopo, and I thought, HUH???

Paul Kupperberg said...

Sorry about Mac, Rob.