This past weekend (May 20-22) Planet Comicon took over downtown Kansas City. A few years ago, when I went to my first Planet Comicon, it was in a venue about the size of a high school gym and Billy Dee Williams was the star attraction. Three years ago, the second time I went, it took up half of Bartle Hall, Kansas City's convention center. George Takei, Wil Wheaton, and Peter Mayhew were the 'A' list guests then. I got an autograph from Mr. Takei, and a pro photo op as well. However, a visit with Lee Meriwether was a highlight of the Con. She was talkative, totally delightful, and having a ball!
This year I went back again. Planet Comicon is huge. It takes up the entire convention center for its three day run. George Takei was back, along with Jenna Coleman, Barbara Eden, one special guest I'll be blogging about later, Kevin Smith, and even The Great One, Stan Lee. It don't get no better than Stan Lee. I opted not to pay the $100 autograph fee for Mr. Lee, however I did get to visit with many fine artists, several of them local. I'd like to take the opportunity with a few posts to introduce Merry & Bright readers to some of these wonderful artists.
At the top of the list is Megan Fitts, a Kansas City artist who recently received her BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute. As her thesis, Megan created and (with the help of a Kickstarter campaign) self-published a comic book called "I Am Nora", the story of "a clone working in a hospital (who) discovers a taste of humanity and individuality."
Much to my embarrassment, I forgot to become a backer for her project before it ended. Fortunately for Megan, her campaign was fully funded and she was able to publish her work. Fortunately for me, I saw that she was in "Artist Alley" at PC, so I was able to stop by, meet and chat with Megan, and buy myself a copy of "I Am Nora".
"I Am Nora" is a wonderful, beautifully conceived and executed graphic story. It has minimal dialogue, instead allowing the art to tell the tale. Color is used strategically to marvelous effect - color is indeed a major character in this story. Megan's drawing is simple yet filled with subtlety that adds amazing depth. The eyes of the characters bring them to life, their posture gives them their energy. I'm not giving away any of the story apart from the quote above, as there is great joy in knowing little when you open the book and then experience the story as it unfolds.
Following the story are four pages of insight into the creation of "I Am Nora", with sketches and notes about Megan's creative process.
A bonus find at Megan's table was "Old Friend", an earlier comic book she published with a 9-page, wordless story about a graphic artist, with fantastic, surreal elements. It's heartfelt and totally engaging.
I encourage you to check out Megan's Tumblr page, The Art of Megan Fitts where you can hey! read "Old Friend" for free!
Well done Megan! Der Bingle wishes you continued success!
Hmmm.... I wonder what sort of Christmas artwork Megan could do...