Wednesday, March 04, 2009


A bit late here but I didn’t want to let any more time go by without saying a big “Thank You” to the Boksone committee. They invited me to be a Guest of Honor this year and I had a blast at it. I'm aware these events are entirely volunteer run but being behind curtain just a tad more than usual made me appreciate all the work these guys put into these events even more. I’ve said it before and it’s worth repeating -- Boskone is one of my favorite conventions of the year and after seeing the dedication behind it, it’s no wonder why.

A quick recap....

After a crazy-frantic Thursday morning Bridget McGovern, Pablo Defendini, Greg Manchess, and I packed up the Scooby van full of art work and luggage and drove up to Boston, yakking non-stop for the four and half hour trip.

Mark Olson and Tim Szczesuil had asked if I could put together a special exhibit of paintings used on Tor book covers. I brought in a number that I own or could borrow from the artists, Joe Siclari and Edie Stern were gracious enough to bring in four great works from their collection, likewise, Mark and Prisilla Olson brought in two of theirs. The exhibit seemed like a reasonable thing to do but it wasn’t until I saw all the working hanging together that it struck is as something really very cool. Any time you change the context of the work it lets you reevaluate it -- these paintings were no longer solutions to marketing problems for me, they became artwork again. It feels selfish to say but, I hope others enjoyed it as much as I did.

Among my panel discussions was an hour long tour of the Tor exhibit. I was nervous that I wouldn’t have enough to say, nervous that no one would show up, nervous that too many people would show up...In the end, I think it went fairly well... although I talked non-stop at freight train speeds for an hour. (Note to self: If you tell people to ask questions as you go, then it’s best to give a little breathing room for them to do so.) If I can, I may track down jpegs of everything exhibited and do a recap.

The rest of my panels were the usual array of art concerns. Many conversations quickly turned to the future of publishing and eBooks. By and large, everyone, myself included, seemed excited about the opportunities that e-publishing may open up. Books will always need advertising -- some kind of artwork will be involved. Without expensive four color printing processes to deal with, it may even open up opportunities to create more interiors artwork and art that is not restrained to traditional formatting -- sequential, animated, more editorial styles, artwork for background info, etc.

Donato Giancola suggested a “Grill the Art Director” panel which sounded scary but the guys were easy on me...again the conversation went back to eBooks. One of the more interesting panels I was on, moderated by collector Jerry Weist, had artist Stephan Martiniere, and author Joel Shepard, and me. The artist, author, and art director -- getting all perspectives of the process.

Other Highlights:

Jane Yolen’s 70th birthday party. Hurray, Jane! (And hurray to all the chocolate and cake...enough to make me sit by the edge of the table and cry for not being able to eat it all.)

Madelynn Martinere is always a highlight. (Stephan, feel free to send her in your stead, anytime.)

Watching Dan Dos Santos paint digitally while Donato Giancola drew traditionally.

And eating and talking and hanging out with great people..lots of eating and talking and hanging put with great people.

Pictures on Flickr.

FISRT ROW: Donato demo. Dan Dos Santos demo. The great magazine giveaway. (Greg took dozens of these...just for the covers.)
SECOND ROW: Happy birthday, Jane Yolen! Greg Bear. Robert Weiner, Omar and Sheila Rayyan, Joe Scalari.
THIRD ROW: Madelynn Martiniere. Bob Eggleton and Mark Olson. Stephan Martiniere and Dave Seeley.
FOURTH ROW: Rick Berry. In the art show. Kids in the Dragon's Lair.


Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing! Sounds like a grand and fascinating trip

THOMAS NACKID art + design said...

Irene, you shouldn't worry about talking too much. You usually have something interesting, informative, or fun to say. I love Boskone for the chance to converse with so many interesting, intelligent people. Not to mention getting to rub shoulders with authors, artist(and art directors!) that I admire. Its very inspiring. Give my regards to Greg, Pablo and Bridget (her review of Watchmen on was great BTW.)

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your tour very much, and also caught a number of your panels, though not as many as I would have liked because the program is rich enough that I often have to choose between two or three interesting possibilities. As you know, a number of artists popped in on your tour and commented on their own work, which made it doubly interesting. I wish there were a way Boskone could coerce you into a repeat performance, as I know you are a regular attendee.
--Bob Cosgrove

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