I spent the week of November 2nd-7th at the ISCA annual convention, held this year at the Kalahari convention center in Sandusky, Ohio.  It was… an incredible week.  A week that would’ve been much better had I not caught a cold over the weekend at Youmacon.  It’s true, I was sick all week, which hampered my ability to participate as much as I would’ve like to, but I did make it to most of the seminars and did a lot of drawing later in the week.

The first night was a big icebreaker reception with finger food and a bar, which was pretty cool.  I got to talk to a lot of people, but probably the highlight of it was getting to sit down with Lar DeSouza, who took the time to look through my comics with me and offer his critiques.  It was a great start to the week.

Tuesday morning, I woke up feeling like I’d been run over by a truck.  But I managed to drag myself out of bed and I went to Lar’s Caricature 101 panel.  This included a handout full of tips, which he then reiterated in his demonstration, by drawing a volunteer from the audience.  When he was dicussing body gags, he said most sports were a guy running with various balls, so he drew the basic body and then had people call out sports for him to draw, which he did to hilarious effect.

ISCA Con 2009ISCA Con 2009ISCA Con 2009ISCA Con 2009ISCA Con 2009ISCA Con 2009ISCA Con 2009ISCA Con 2009ISCA Con 2009

Later that day was the first of the MAD Magazine presentations, Tom Richmond and Mark Frederickson.  Tom’s was hilarious as usual, and Mark’s was really interesting as well, since I wasn’t really familiar with his work.  As it turns out, he did a lot of artwork for Trapper Keepers back in the day, and I remembered some of them!

After that, I was feeling pretty bad, so I retreated to my room while everyone else went to the competition room to start drawing.  My mom joined me later in the evening, since Toledo’s just a hop and a skip from Sandusky, so we relaxed and got me medication to help kick my illness.

On Wednesday, the second MAD presentation was given by Hermann Mejia and Sam Viviano.  I was also unfamiliar with Hermann’s work, so I was fascinated at the end where he showed a video of his process painting a watercolor picture of Thomas Haden Church.  Sam gave a presentation that incorporated the history of MAD itself, which was very interesting.  He later remarked that I’d listened to him talk more than any other person by now, having seen him give a presentation at Toonfest, as well.

Immediately after the presentations was a Q&A panel with all four MAD presenters, wherein Sam answered most of the questions while the other three started dealing out cards. XD

ISCA Con 2009ISCA Con 2009ISCA Con 2009ISCA Con 2009ISCA Con 2009ISCA Con 2009

Wednesday night was the VIP reception with the guests of honor and all the Gold Members. I ugraded my mother and I to Gold so we could attend this, since before I was just a regular member.   I got to add Hermann and Mark to my famous t-shirt, and they also signed the copy of MAD that I got at the Toon Award raffle, which also bore Tom and Sam’s autographs, so now my swag is that much more powerful! There was also opportunity for photos.

ISCA Con 2009

Here I am with some awesome people. It’s dark and blurry, but who cares! :D

Wednesday afternoon, I actually got to start drawing.  I decided to do mostly miniature caricatures on index cards to play off my Dollar Drawings.  When people asked me what I did (in regards to caricaturing) I told them I went to a lot of anime cons to promote Garanos, and that I did anime-style caricatures, which people seemed to find interesting.  Since I was feeling shy, I decided to use my laptop for reference pictures, and I did two more Office caricatures; of Jenna Fischer and Steve Carrell.

Steve Carrell CaricatureJenna Fischer Caricature

I then got the idea to get on Facebook and caricature the profile pictures of my friends!  That got me some good results that I will share in future blog posts. ^_^

Thursday, the first seminar was “Constructive Anatomy” by Court Jones, which was good to build off Lar’s panel and get into more detailed discussion of anatomy and proportion and how you can stretch features.  He did a drawing demo with a picture of Sylvester Stallone, then later on, put a picture up for the audience members to caricature.  He went around to people, critiqueing them and such, but there were obviously SO many people in the seminar that he couldn’t get to everyone.

Right after that was a Prismacolor panel, which was pretty cool, mostly for the free stuff that was given away.  ^_^  I won a set of Artstix, which are basically crayons made out of the same stuff as Prismacolor colored pencils.  I’d been lamenting the fact that I didn’t bring any colorful stuff with me to draw with, so it was nice having those later when I went back to drawing.

Friday, I was starting to feel better again, though I still slept in.  When I got down to the competition room, there was only an hour or two left, so I decided to spend that time doing just as many Dollar Drawing-style caricatures as I could, to fill out my wall space.

ISCA Con 2009

This was my wall when all was said and done!  About half of the Dollar Drawings went to their subjects after the banquet, but many of them I couldn’t remember who they were, so I still have a lot of them. ^_^;  Once competition drawing time was over, the whole member body voted on the year’s awards, which were given out at the banquet the following night.

Predictably, I didn’t win any awards, but it was pretty cool seeing who did.  All the winners were very deserving, but voting was hard!  There was so much variation of style and talent present.

Next year’s convention is in Las Vegas, so I’m not sure if I’ll be trucking it all the way out there or not yet.  But this was an amazing week, and has really made a difference in my perceptions of caricaturing.