For many artists, writers and fans in comics, the convention season is never far from thought. While the traditional annual block of North American conventions centers around the summer months, recent years have seen shows pop up across the map and promotion for shows to follow suit, so it's no surprise that the organizers of Northern Michigan's Cherry Capital Con (called "C3" for short) have staked out an intimate fan event this May to help raise awareness for their second annual outing on June 12-13 in Traverse City, MI.
On May 22-23, the show is hosting comics artist Ethan Van Sciver in a special limited engagement signing and sketchfest for fans at the Turtle Creek Casino in Traverse City. While only 80 tickets for the event are being made available, the $50 price tag gets fans a Van Sciver sketch as well as up to 20 signed comics and a free Sunday pass to the convention come June. To get the word out on the event, the folks behind C3 lined up one of their guests – "Deadpool" writer Daniel Way – to interview Van Sciver about the event, his comic plans for 2010 and which DC character is set to break big next.
Daniel Way: So, I’ve done a little research on this thing called “the internet” and I’ve found out that you actually do lots of smaller, regional shows—why is that? And why, specifically, did you choose C3?
Ethan Van Sciver: I do a few. I don't really look down on them, just because they aren't big, crowded blockbuster events hosted by the SYFY Network. In actual fact, the small town conventions are a good way to interact with fans in a more personal way. At bigger venues, like Wizard World shows, I'm always assigned to be in different places throughout the weekend, and I always feel that my schedule, the noise and congestion make it hard to hold a conversation with someone who paid to get in to meet me.
But the most important thing is to get around to every corner of the map, if possible, and meet as many fans as I can. I haven't been to Michigan since the '90s. Cherry Capital Con is very necessary.
Tickets to this pre-show event are limited—I think they’re only selling 80 of them? I’m assuming that’s because you’re providing free sketches for all of them, and that takes time.
That's what I understand! That should be fun.
I think it’s great that, because of the smaller scale, you’ll be able to spend not only more time on fans' sketches, but more time with the fans, period. I really enjoy that face-to-face interaction with the readers, particularly since I don’t frequent message boards. What about you?
I'm the same way. Working at home, as we do, it's easy to forget that your work is making real people happy. Meeting fans face to face is great for my own personal morale, but I do try to make it as worthwhile for them as well. Along with a sketch, I'm there to answer questions, listen to personal anecdotes about how you named your dog Hal Jordan, and shake hands. It's a good exchange, and I go home remembering a lot of nice people.
You’re also doing a commissioned piece for the main show in June, right? What’s it gonna be?
I believe....Batman and the Joker!
I’ve read some of the stuff you’ve posted online and I gotta say, you’ve got a way with words. I mean, you’re genuinely funny. I know you wrote "Cyberfrog," but have you ever considered writing anything else? And is there a chance we’ll see any new "Cyberfrog" issues in the future? Fans want to know!
As a matter of fact...! Part of my plan for 2010 is to take a little more control over what I'm producing and to begin writing. Details are still in development now, so I can't say much about it. But the other thing, "Cyberfrog" – yes, you'll be seeing a new "Cyberfrog" series in 2010. You heard it here first.
Okay, so, you’re kind of a big deal— "Blackest Night," "The Flash"…everything you touch seems to turn to gold lately. Can you talk about what’s next for you? What about something that you want to do, but haven’t yet been offered?
There's nothing that I'd want to do that I haven't been offered. DC has offered me everything under the sun. But I realize that I generate ideas and concepts much faster than I produce finished pages. I draw 10 pages a month plus a cover. So I can't draw everything I'd like to. I'm a bi-monthly fellow, you know, when producing work that I am happy with. I do go faster, but then I despise my work and myself and want to redraw it all. So my plans for this year will accommodate the way I operate in a more efficient way.
Okay, last question: This pre-show event is being held at a casino—are you a gambling man? Let’s say you are—what’s the next big “breakout” comic book character?
Without question, Aquaman. If helmed by Geoff Johns, or someone who follows up closely on the enthusiasm generated by his appearance in "Blackest Night," there's a jackpot of potential there!
The Cherry Capital Con pre-show event featuring Ethan Van Sciver will be held at Turtle Creek Casino in Traverse City, MI on May 22-23. Tickets are $50 each and are available at Top Comics, 516 E. 8th St., Traverse City, MI, or by phone at (231) 946-3030. Ticket price includes one free sketch, up to twenty signed books and free Sunday admission to Cherry Capital Con 2010, to be held on June 12-13. Only 80 tickets are available for this event. For more info on C3, go to www.cherrycapitalcon.com