Monday, May 9, 2016


FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2016 has come and gone and boy is my hand tired.

On Saturday, May 7th, comic book stores everywhere celebrated the Free Comic Book Day event with free comic books, big sales on the non-free comics and trades, creators on hand for signings and sketching, bands, actors, you name it. 

This year, I spent Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) at Galactic Quest in Lawrenceville, Georgia. I was supposed to head over to their Buford store in the afternoon, but I had such a long line at the Lawrenceville location that I never made it there. 

Sketching at my table
My Saturday began when I arrived in Lawrenceville a little before 9 a.m. The store opened at 9. There was already a line running down the sidewalk, which is always a good sign. One of the things that really amazed me was how much the other shops in the city square were involved. The credit for making this a truly city-wide event is with the store's owner, Kyle Putkammer, who did a truly amazing job getting other venues involved. Not only did all of the local stores carry free comics for the event, there was live music on the square (sadly, I wasn't able to get over to see my pals in Radio Cult and Possum Kingdom Ramblers play). There was also a free screening of The Minions Movie at dusk for the kids.

City of Lawrenceville, GA
I was set up inside Galactic Quest's back room, which is an open space with tables for signings, concerts, and other gatherings. It's a nice space. since this was a comic book event, I only brought copies of comic books with me and left the novels in the car. I sold a few comics, not many, which is not unexpected. I do free sketches for FCBD so I'm not actively trying to sell books. It's hard to do both, but thanks to all those who picked up a book or two. I did spend most of the day talking up the Sherlock Holmes/Domino Lady trade paperback, in stores this Wednesday. Hey, have to get those plugs in where I can, right?

Below, I've shared a lot of photos and comments for each. I met a lot of incredible people on Saturday, especially some really cool kids who I did art for while we talked about their geeky comic book and movie interests. It was a great day. A big thanks to Galactic Quest for inviting me to join the fun.

I posted the photos below throughout the weekend from the event on Instagram, Facebook, my Facebook Author page, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest with the hashtag #FCBD2016. I post to these places during my convention appearances so please follow me to see the photos in real time.

Thanks again to Kyle, Jami, and the crew at Galactic Quest! I had a blast!


Click Read More for the wrap up and photos (lots of photos) from the event.

Click on images for a larger view.

These signs were spread around the entire city square.

My first sketch of the day. Wonder Woman for Evelyn by request from her Dad.

Captain America and the Ghostbusters are on hand to keep the festivities safe from evildoers.

Open for business.

One of the artists from Hero Cats was sketching for fans.

Actor Kylie Szymanski. She played The Governor's daughter on The Walking Dead.

S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Agent Coulson and Batman are also on the scene to keep us safe

Free Comics!

I drew a Ms. Marvel sketch for Angie.

I drew a My Little Pony Princess Luna sketch for Ella. The first MLP I've drawn.

These 3 sketches went to a good home.

I drew the Suicide Squad cover version of Harley Quinn for Hanna.

Here's Hannah with her Suicide Squad Harley Quinn sketch.

Comics and Cosplay.

The staff and volunteers hard at work.

I drew an Archie Andrews sketch for Madison. She wanted a recreation of the cover, car and all. Also, not my only Archie request, which was pretty cool. This was my first time drawing Riverdale's favorite son.

Madison and Archie were off to get a milkshake after Free Comic Book Day.

I drew Captain America taking on the Red Skull for Joshua. Hail Hydra!

Joshua with his Captain America vs. Red Skull sketch.

I drew this sketch of Gaara from Naruto for Bren, who will be cosplaying him at cons this year.

Bren with his sketch of Gaara, who he will be #cosplaying soon.

I drew this shot of Archie Andrews playing guitar for Aileen. A Mother's Day request.

The Archie playing guitar sketch for Aileen was a request from her son. He wanted her to have it for Mother's Day.

I drew Supergirl biting her lip for Rowan as seen in the FCBD DC Super Hero Girls issue. Part of the S got cut off in the post. After posting this on Twitter, i got to meet the writer of the upcoming DC Super Hero Girls graphic novel. It's out in July and I highly recommend it.

He got the sketch for Rowan. I did not get his name.

I drew Frankenstein's monster for Scott. I couldn't resist the "urr..." gag.

Scott with his Frankenstein's monster sketch.

I drew a Deadpool sketch for Kelly. We talked about the Deadpool movie while I drew, hence the Ryan Reynolds joke, which we loved in the movie.

Kellypool and her Deadpool sketch.

I drew a Rorschach from Watchmen sketch for Andy. He didn't have any beans though.

Andy with his Rorschach sketch.

Another sketch where I can't recall the character's name. Sorry, ladies. I believe she's a fairy godmother of some kind. Sketch shared by Isabelle, Grace, & Sophia.

Cosplayers Isabelle, Grace, & Sophia with their character sketch.

Another character I'm afraid I don't know by name. I drew this sketch for Zoe.

Cosplayer Zoe and her sketch.

Joushue wanted the movie version of Deadpool so I renamed him Joshpool! 

Joshpool and his Deadpool sketch. 

Drew this Malachite sketch for Sydney. I don't know much about the character, except that she's big and controls water.

Sydney with her Malachite sketch.

Joseph wanted a movie version of Ant Man sketch. That helmet is tough. Also worked in Ant-Tony.

Joseph with his Ant Man sketch. 

Alex wanted a drawing of the Funko Pop Deadpool. That was a fun challenge. Also, happy birthday to AlexPool on Sunday.

Here's AlexPool with his Funko Pop Deadpool sketch and the figure I used for reference.

Side note about Alex and his Funko Pop Deadpool sketch. His Mom sent me this photo via Facebook on Sunday with a very kind note about how much the sketch meant to her son and that he was excited to take it to school on Monday to show it off to his friends.

For all those who ask why I do events like this and draw for free for 10 hours straight, this is why. Her message made my day. Thank you.

Kiera loves the Star Wars character BB8 so I sketched this for her.

Kiera and her friend BB8.

Paxton thought it would be funny for a guy named Bobby to draw Spongebob Squarepants so I did and he was right. It was funny.

Paxton with his Spongebob Squarepants sketch.

Krishna and I had a great chat bout the Black Panther and Captain America Civil War. This was my first Panther sketch. I like how it came out.

Krishna and his Black Panther sketch.

William is big fan of Obi Wan Kenobi from Star Wars. He kept reminding me that "his lightsaber is blue" My likenesses aren't very good so it doesn't really look much like Ewan MacGregor.

William and his Obi Wan Kenobi sketch.

Magnus, a kid with the coolest name, is a Super Mario fan. This was my first Mario drawing. 

Magnus with his Mario sketch.

Ty likes Luke Skywalker from Star Wars so I did this sketch for him. Apologies to Mark Hamill as I don't likenesses that well. 

Ty and his Luke Skywalker sketch.

I did this sketch of Ladybug from Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir for Maria. 

Maria and her Ladybug sketch.

Loran liked the Starfire cover by Amanda Conner with Kory in costume. I tried to recreate it as close as possible, but let's face it, I'm no Amanda Conner.

Loran and her Starfire sketch.

I drew Link from Prisoner of Zelda firing an arrow. Another first time drawing a character for me.

The proud owner of the Link sketch. Sorry, I don't recall his name.

Did a She-Ra for Jami, who manages the comic shop. She ran a great event. Another first time character for me to draw. There were a lot of those this FCBD.

Jami and She-Ra.

I did a Deadpool sketch for Lysa Shin who shall now be known as LysaPool.

Lysa and her Deadpool sketch. She was surprised to learn I could draw.

Check out Hula Harley by Tiki Zombie comic artist Peter Cutler!

I also came home with a sketch. Artist Peter Cutler did this Spongepool mash-up of Spongebob Squarepants and Deadpool.

Something cool for FCBD, an ad for Strong Will, a graphic novel which I co-wrote with Michael Gordon. Art is by Wendell Cavalcanti and Rob Jones. Mark Maddox did our cover, that is used in this image. Coming soon.

The city of Lawrenceville showed Minions on the square at dusk.

My free comic haul was small, but cool. Slim pickings by the time I was able to look. The stores 50% off trade sale got me though. Picked up some great hardcovers really cheap.

And that's the end of my Free Comic Book Day at Galactic Quest photos. Whew! There were a lot of them. Thanks for all the likes and comments on social media. They are appreciated..

Also, big thanks to all who came out and said hello. I had a great time meeting all of you.

PS: Support your local comic book shop all year, not just on Free Comic Book Day.


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