The GeeksverseFan Expo Vancouver: Images from the Saturday Sketch Duels

Fan Expo Vancouver: Images from the Saturday Sketch Duels
Published on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 by

The first day of Fan Expo Vancouver featured two sketch duels moderated by TdotComics video host  Alice Quinn. The first was held between Stephen Sadowski (Justice Society of America), Georges Jeanty (Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight), and Mike Choi (Witchblade) and the second one involved Tony Daniel (Detective Comics), Whilce Portacio (The Incredible Hulk), and Yanick Paquette (Batman Incorporated).

In the first duel, Sadowski was tasked with sketching Aquaman, Jeanty was assigned the theme “Buffy-in-a-Supergirl-costume,” and Mike Choi was set to take on Emma Frost. During the course of the sketching session, host Quinn peppered the artists with a variety of questions, turning the duel into an impromptu but nonetheless entertaining and informative panel discussion. Jeanty dominated the mic for extended periods, reeling off various humourous anecdotes about his start in the industry as well as how he ended up with the Buffy the Vampire Slayer gig at Dark Horse Comics.

The second sketch duel proceeded under a different format, with Daniel, Portacio, and Paquette being given the theme of “Harley Quinn-plus-artist’s-choice.” As with the first duel, the artists answered Quinn’s and the audience’s questions as they drew. Portacio and Paquette shared their experiences regarding how fluency in a second language (Portacio speaks Tagalog aside from his native English while Paquette is a Francophone) affects their respective creative processes, among other topics.

At the end of each duel’s alloted hour, the sketches (including an extra Garfield-themed sketch by Georges Jeanty) were thrown up on a projector before they were raffled off to members of the audience. Below are images from the events (click to view in larger size):

Moderator Alice Quinn briefs Stephen Sadowski, Georges Jeanty, and Mike Choi

Mike Choi's Emma Frost sketch

Stephen Sadowski's Aquaman sketch

Georges Jeanty's "Buffy-in-a-Supergirl-costume" sketch

Georges Jeanty's "bonus" Garfield sketch

The winner of Sadowski's Aquaman sketch

This winner of both Jeanty sketches graciously allowed the Garfield sketch to be raffled off to another audience member

Daniel, Portacio, and Paquette hard at work on their sketches

Tony Daniel's Harley Quinn and Catwoman sketch

Whilce Portacio's Harley Quin and Hulk sketch

Yanick Paquette's Harley Quinn sketch

7 Responses
    • I like the idea of the sketch duel. Should do it at more shows.

      • At the time, I thought having Alice Quinn interrupt the artists with questions while they were drawing was an ill-considered idea (I think Yanick Paquette got a little annoyed by it, as he said, he has a hard time speaking in English and drawing at the same time) but in retrospect, I think it made the show more “watchable”. Without the questions, it would have just been an hour of listening to the guys’ pencils and brushes scraping on paper. And in Quinn’s defense, the questions did set up all sorts of very interesting discussions and digressions, and the thing paid off in comedy gold during the second day’s Ribic/Andrews sketch duel. 

        What I think would have really helped would have been video cameras shooting above/behind the artists as they drew and then having the video fed live to a screen-projector: that way, the audience can actually see the step-by-step process going into the sketch, and questions and audience participation can be kept to a reasonable minimum without cutting into the duel’s entertainment value.

        Still, for a first-time event, I thought it worked out pretty well. There could have been any number of ways it could have gotten messed up.

        •  I’ve sketch duals in various shapes. I agree being able to see the page and the faces of the artists would be ideal.

          • Yeah, seeing the sketch as it develops would have been great.  And I agree that needed the moderator asking questions. Not often do you get a chance to see into the mind of the artist as they work.  

            What I think would have been better would be to have all of them have to sketch the same scene.  Give them a situation, say Batman and Joker fighting, and that would really let us see how they think.

            •  I’ve seen several artists use the same basic idea for these types of show offs and show downs. It does help if a “judging” takes place. I suppose it can cut into fan interest in an auction at times.

      •  These sort of artists showdowns have a great charity auction or raffle potential.

    • The audience reactions to the sketch reveals were also pretty interesting. I think the audience in the first duel was genuinely surprised at how cool and imposing Sadowski’s Aquaman turned out, because Sadowski, Jeanty, and members of the audience spent a bit of time making jokes at the character’s expense.

      With the second duel… I think folks were bowled over by Portacio’s Harley & Hulk, not necessarily because it definitively trumped Daniel’s or Paquette’s, but because of the surprising combination of characters. Alice revealed the sketch from the top portion so it was all Harley at first and then when it became clear that she was sitting on the Hulk’s shoulders you could hear the audience just do this collective “whooooaaaah” and about two dozen cellphone cameras going off.

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