Has this Thing sketchbook approached legendary status yet? I think so. We're all anxious to see the next sketches of Benjamin J. Grimm, so let's go for it:
Franco - New York Comic Con 2019
Franco and Art Baltazar shared a table at this show, and I was able to get very fun crayon sketches from both of them. The simple lines make it look effortless.
Steve Becker - New York Comic Con 2019
I caught up with my pal Steve Becker at his booth at NYCC. He asked to see the sketchbook, then agreed to draw the Thing in exchange for a new orange marker, which is a deal I'll take any day. Steve actually drew this menacing-looking Thing on a sticker, which he then stuck to the page. Note the street sign signature at the top left!
Craig Rousseau - Rhode Island Comic Con 2019
I was lucky enough to get an invitation to appear at the 2019 Rhode Island Comic Con, where I met Batman Beyond and Impulse artist Craig Rousseau (who, as it turns out, is also a big Weird Al fan). Craig's got a style I really enjoy and I think it stands out in this head sketch.
Howard Chaykin - Rhode Island Comic Con 2019
Howard Chaykin is an industry legend, and I had to build up the courage to ask him to draw in the sketchbook after sitting near him for most of this show. He delivered with a classic Thing. I also love his signature.
Rafer Roberts - 2020
This barely merits mentioning, but 2020 was a tough year on a lot of people. At the time, I couldn't have known that RICC in 2019 would be my last show for quite a while. With most of the country on lockdown and comic conventions naturally on hiatus, I took a chance with the USPS and mailed my book out to a few people that I felt I could trust not to lose it.
First on my list was Rafer Roberts, a pal and a writer/artist who has seen some much-deserved comic book success in recent years. I knew that Rafer's style was suited to a different type of Thing, and so I asked him to draw the character as he appeared very early on, as a lumpy, misshapen monster from the first few issues of the Fantastic Four title. The trench coat, angry stare, no teeth and "Bah!" word balloon bring this all together for me.
We're deep into this sketchbook now. Look for more installments soon!