Category Archives: Comic-Con

1001 Black Men–#583


This drawing and the next depict men who were sitting near me during the Heroes/Creators: The Comic Art Creations of Civil Rights Legends panel (see 1001 Black Men–#580). One of the highlights of the panel was the presentation by Andrew Aydin, one of the creators of the March trilogy, a collection of three graphic novels that tell the story of Civil Rights activist and current member of the U.S. House of Representatives, John Lewis.

Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men–#582


At Comic-Con San Diego, a number of events are geared toward amateur artists, filmmakers, and writers who are trying to break into the mainstream.

The annual portfolio review is one example of this. Every year comic publishers, movie and TV studios, and video game companies send their editors and recruiters to evaluate the portfolios of aspiring artists and illustrators, all of whom line up early for the opportunity to get feedback from real industry professionals. It’s always interesting to pass through this area of the convention center, just to get peek at some of the amazing drawings that the waiting reviewees are preparing to show.

The portfolio review area also happens to be a very comfortable place to sit down and catch your breath, especially on the last day of the conference, when many of the seats in waiting area are empty. The man in this drawing was waiting a couple seats away from me, thumbing through his portfolio and holding it at an angle that allowed me to steal a glimpse of his work. His sketches included Black, white, Asian and Native American superheroes of all genders, including  women whose proportions were more in keeping with real-life female bodies than has been customary in comic art. I was feeling a bit too shy to ask his name, but I’d really like to see his work again.

Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men–#581


Costume Illustrator Phillip Boutte, Jr., San Diego Comic-Con.

This is the second time I’ve had to pleasure of seeing Phillip Boutte on the annual costume illustrators panel. The costume and production designers and illustrators exemplify what’s possible when artists refuse to abandon the idea that their passion can be their life’s work.

Since completing his degree in 2006 (at Cal State University-Long Beach), Boutte has worked as costume illustrator or concept artist on more than 25 major motion pictures.

Ajuan Mance

1001 Black Men–#578

Here’s another entry from my Comic-Con sketchbook. This is Rickey. He was sitting directly in front of me during the Ellen Forney session. She was reading from Marbles, her new graphic novel. The combination of the subject’s knit cap, his headphones, and his locks made for an satisfying combination of textures, and the headphones broke up the space around the subject ‘s head in some interesting ways.
After the session was over, I caught Rickey’s attention and showed him my drawing. In retrospect, it must have felt odd to have some stranger show him a drawing, not of his face, but of the back of his head. He was very nice about it, though, and gave me his email address so I can send him a link to this post.

Thanks Rickey!

Ajuan Mance