Life Goal Complete – Meeting Jim Balent

Like I always say, when I think of Purgatori I think of Jim Balent. On account of this Jim has always been someone I was hoping to one day meet. I received my chance this past Sunday on August 2nd, 2015 at Beachead Comics in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

It all began with a post Jim made saying he would be going to the next Beachead anniversary party. For one reason or another I was not able to go previous years and so I was ecstatic when this new opportunity presented itself. I drove with my best friend (who is a Catwoman fan) two hours from our small state of Delaware.


Meeting Jim


When Jim finally arrived at Beachead, with his lovely wife Holly, we were overwhelmed with joy but calm. After he chatted with some familiars we walked up to him and introduced ourselves. I had previously messaged Jim and when he asked if he knew us I quickly and pointedly replied “I’m Purgatori and she is Catwoman” without thinking. He replied “Ohhh!!” and instantly knew who we were. We chatted with him for hours as he signed our comics and sketched our drawings. It was a fantastic and euphoric experience, this was one of my most pleasant meetings with someone working in the comic industry. He told us secrets and stories and we left after those three hours wildly happy and giddy. We had so many hopes in meeting Jim and it was everything we imagined and more.

Unfortunately we are not sure when we will next see Jim. Beachead Comics is closing at the end of the month because their owner passed away recently. It was sad to hear the news and it felt almost like being at a funeral when Jeff’s (the owner) wife talked about the shop’s end. We had never experienced a shop closing before and it was heartbreaking. The other cons that Jim went to in the past were Pittsburgh and San Diego. Sadly, he will no longer be going to Pittsburg and San Diego is a bit out of our reach travel wise. We counted ourselves lucky that we were able to see Jim this year and we hope to one day do so again.


Signing


I brought many things to get signed. There were The Vampire’s Myth comics (including my newly acquired Black Onyx edition!), two oversized chrome cards, two Lady Death centerfolds from Evil Ernie: Revenge, and two Purgatori posters. Needless to say I am a very happy person right now.


Free Sketch


Jim was also doing free quick sketches at Beachead. This was an amazing opportunity for me to get a sketch by one of my favorite artists and at no expense! I feel extremely grateful that he took the time and effort to sketch this beauty out. It actually took him roughly an hour to do mine and I am honored that he put as much effort in this drawing as he did, I cannot thank him enough!

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Purgatori in Cosplay!

For some time I had an idea where I thought it would be cool to have Purgatori on different sketch covers other than her own. This spurned the thought that she could be trying on outfits of different superheroines or villains. I came up with a list of five characters that I knew I wanted, these included Wonder Woman, Black Cat, Medusa, Spider-Woman, and Harley Quinn. I liked the idea so much that I began thinking about how I would go about this. Would it be different artists for each cover? Then I came across an instagram account called DustinsArt and I immediately fell in love with his art style and knew he was the right person for the task at hand. Upon contact I was pleased that he was interested and veryyy reasonably priced, I took a chance and commissioned all five of the covers I had presently wanted. I am ecstatic to finally be able to showcase these beauties in all their glory and satisfied that I picked the right person for this fun project.

You can find Dustin on Instagram!

I hope you enjoyed these covers and are as impressed with Dustin as I am! He is as talented as they come and I cannot wait to see what more he produces in life.

QUESTION: What character should Purgatori cosplay in the future?

East Coast Comic Con 2015 Commissions

Asbury Park Comic Con has been officially upgraded to East Coast Comic Con at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, New Jersey. I loved Asbury, smaller conventions always feel special in a way that bigger ones cannot. Yet, I have to say that the Meadowlands was a pleasant surprise. The venue was much larger and contained to one floor, there seemed to be more creators, artists, vendors and exhibitors this year. I found a lot of comics I had been looking for – and at fantastic prices! I did not expect to get many commissions, but I ended up adding two at the convention along my already two pre-show commissions, totaling four of the Blood Goddess. I am excited to present them here!

Maria Danalakis

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Maria is an artist whose work I have adored since I purchased her Huntress print at Baltimore Comic Con 2013. I have since commissioned Batwoman and now I have requested a Purgatori piece. She has this cute pin-up style to her work that I really admire and love to look at, commissioning her is really a no brainer. I immediately fell in love with this commission, she did an amazing job and I cannot get over how stunning this piece is!

Here is a link to the artists Facebook, Etsy, and Website.

Jeff Shultz 

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When picking people for commissions, particularly because I typically focus on one character, I like to get a range of different art styles. When I saw that Archie Comics artist, Jeff Shultz, was attending East Coast I immediately thought of him as a candidate to portray the Blood Goddess. I was blown away with the commission upon receiving it and was excited to see her even in a battle pose! This type of artist style is exactly why I seek different artists to commission Purgatori.

Here is a link to the artists Facebook.

Ayşegül Sınav

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Ayşegül is a comic book artist from Istanbul, Turkey, whom is about to graduate from The Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art in NJ. I met her at the convention and was immediately entranced by looking upon her portfolio of gorgeous artwork and pages of panels. I really think she will be illustrating for a major comic company in the near future. I was excited to commission someone directly at the convention and so Ayşegül became the perfect person to do so – and I was very pleased with how this piece of art turned out!

Here is a link to the artists Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and Website.

Varga Tamás

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Varga is an artist from Hungary who is also attending The Kubert School, and attended the con with Ayşegül, along with another fellow student. I initially went to their table when I saw his beautiful head sketches and knew I had to have one and I am very happy with the results. I really like the additional detail of the bone structure to Purgatori’s wings, I think that is an important quality for the Blood Goddess for illustrators to remember, they are really one of the most terrifying things about her.

Here is a link to the artists Facebook, TwitterTumblr, Instagram, and Website.

Hope you enjoyed these commissions! My next convention is First State Comic Con in June, this is a much smaller convention and I only have one commission lined up. After that I have Baltimore Comic Con in September, I am really excited for that!

Galactic Con 2015 Commissions!

The was the first year for the successful Galactic Con, also known as Middletown Comic Con, located in Delaware. Delaware has a First State Comic Con but that pales in size and attendees compared to Galactic. I was surprised that, hours into the convention, people were still waiting in a long line which wrapped around the block. While there were many artists and vendors this year, the hope is for upon success to garner even more popular comic artists (and a bigger venue). Even so, I managed to get plenty of commissions of the Blood Goddess this year, all beautifully crafted in their own ways. I just love the varying styles that each of the artists have presented Purgatori in and really admire the time they each gave her.

Anthony Spay

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I was delighted to see Anthony attending con because I have always loved his penciling on the Grimm Fairy Tales comic series. It was a no brainer decision when it came to commission him for Purgatori – and I am so immensely happy that I did. I did not expect the additional detail of the skulls and was blown away by the detail. I highly recommend commissioning him for a project, he is very friendly and the communication was great!

Here is a link to the artists Facebook, Twitter, and Website.

Tony Townsend

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I was relatively unfamiliar with Tony’s art when I first started looking into the artists attending con. When I first saw his art, particularly the white on black 12×12 pieces, I was very impressed with the beauty of his art. I was excited to commission him and was happy to receive his re-creation of Michael Turner’s Purgatori piece.

Here is a link to the artists Facebook and Website.

Delia Gable

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What I really wanted was a woman to draw Purgatori – heck I would be ecstatic if I only commissioned women! I picked Delia because of the realism she brings to her art. When I received this piece of art I was blown away with all the detail that she added to this work of art. She had researched the character and even thought to include a sword, color me impressed!

Here is a link to the artists Facebook, Twitter, and Website.

Buz Hasson

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I had previously met Buz at my comic shop, The Comic Book Shop, where he was illustrating sketch cards one afternoon. I had wanted to get a sketch of Purgatori then but his line was long and I did not want to take up more of his time. I am extremely happy I waited and commissioned this sketch cover, it is so much more than I had hoped for and I am in love with it!

Here is a link to the artists Facebook, Twitter, and Website.

Ken Haeser

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I knew Ken because of the Dynamite Chaos! and Evil Ernie variants that he had done. I was excited to commission him because I knew he was already familiar with the character. This piece turned out to be fantastic and I am really glad to finally have a head sketch of Purgatori, which is something I have wanted to get done for a while.

Here is a link to the artists FacebookTwitter, and Website.

Safe to say I had a great experience at Middletown’s first Comic Con! These artists are all fantastic and I am proud to add their work to my collection.

Note: Anthony, Delia, and Tony all did their commissions before the con, while Buz and Ken did them at the convention scene. All were contacted before hand about working on the pieces. 

Commissions, Commissions, and Commissions!

One of the best things about loving a character is being able to pick what artists you would like to portray her in the form of a commission. I am always over the moon at the fact that artists find the time to do these services for fans. While I am still a novice at the process (mostly because of financial limitations *cough college student*), I have acquired three pieces that I truly love. In the future I hope to attain many more. I already have many ideas at who I want to illustrate the Blood Goddess next!

I have only been going to comic conventions for two years now. My first was Baltimore Comic Con in 2013, next I went to Asbury Comic Con 2014, then Delaware Comic Con 2014, and again Baltimore 2014. Baltimore Comic Con 2014 was my most prepared convention ever. I even had two commissions ready by the time I got there.

The first was by Matt Slay, I believe I made the perfect choice. I love his depiction of the Blood Goddess, and how dark his portrayal looks. I can never stop staring at it and have hung it right above my bed.

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The next was Sajad Shah, this was to be my color piece of the convention. I am always taken aback by Sajad’s artwork and how beautifully he draws his characters. This is a piece I delightfully hang above my Purgatori comic shelf (I will post about this on a later date).

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The one I was not expecting, but could not pass up, was Adam Hughes. He was doing quick head sketches and I cannot deny it was a very exciting time for me. I have always adored Adam’s work and was delighted that he was offering this service.

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Safe to say I left that Baltimore Comic Con rather poor – but extremely happy with my new additions. If you ever have a chance to commission your favorite character, I highly recommend you do it. It is such an exciting experience to know that this piece of art is unique and all yours.