Sunday, June 3, 2012

Phineas and Ferb Convention Sketches by John Green from MoCCA 2012

I have a confession to make. Make sure you're sitting down.  OK, here it comes.

Before this April, I had never been to a comic convention. At the age when I would have truly loved going, I don't think there were too many of them yet. In fact, I remember only Star Trek conventions when I was growing up, and I wasn't enough of a diehard fan to consider that. Yes, I'm sure there were comic conventions somewhere, but they were not on my radar. Yet my life seemed complete.

Well, this has been a year of trying new things. Most notably, I started to write this blog, and that has prompted me to try to get out and about a bit more and see what's going on. My home base in New York City makes any number of cultural events easily accessible, yet I don't really attend that many interesting functions. I have already written about attending my first art gallery opening for Drew Friedman "My Way." Two days later, on April 30, after a lifetime of diligently not attending comic conventions, I went to MoCCA Fest 2012.

P. Craig Russell, MoCCA Fest 2012 Poster
This Festival, now celebrating its tenth anniversary--wasn't it doing that last year too?-- is a fundraising event for the Museum of Comic & Cartoon Art. At this point, it should be no surprise that, despite my being a lifelong fan of illustration and comic art, I have never been to this museum nor in fact to any other museum specializing in comic art fare. Please don't ask me why; I don't have a ready answer.

I attended on Sunday, possibly not the best day. I was not really sure what to expect from the current crop of independent cartoonists. I recognized the names of only a handful of the artists who were attending. I should mention also that of course I have no personal experience with convention drawings as I never previously attended a convention. I don't own any and have only seen three by Green Lantern artists that my nephew picked up at the New York Comic Con back in 2010. I therefore had no way of knowing in advance that I actually have a constitutional weakness for convention sketches. By the time I figured this out, it was too late!

A quick tour of the exhibition tables made it clear that most of the independent artists were indeed unknown to me. Then I chanced upon a table near the front of the exhibition space where convention drawings were displayed. They had been created by various artists over the past two days and were offered for sale to benefit MoCCA. Immediately I found two convention drawings of characters from the popular Disney Channel cartoon series "Phineas and Ferb." Truth to tell, they were the last thing in the world I was thinking about until I saw them. They were the work of John Green, a name I didn't know, although I assumed he had something to do with the animated series...

John Green, Phineas, MoCCA Fest 2012

John Green, Agent P, MoCCA Fest 2012
Perhaps not. John Green was there promoting the new book Teen Boat! by Dave Roman for which he provided the illustrations. The boy, you see, can turn himself into a small yacht! Got that? Well, it makes perfect sense to me. 

Note that the book cover's rendering of Teen Boat's hands on his hips is not that different from how one of Phineas's hands is drawn.

John Green's connection to Disney's animated cartoon is that he illustrates The Phineas and Ferb Comic Reader, junior graphic novels of which there are at least six. So naturally he seems pretty adept with the "Phineas and Ferb" characters. I assume he drew quite a few characters for the public, but these two were all that remained by the time I passed through, along with a larger Agent P in the identical pose. So I bought the two of the same size. It's just that now I don't see how my life can possibly be considered complete without a drawing of Dr. Heinz Doofenschmirtz.

John Green, Phineas and Ferb Comic Reader #1, Nothing But Trouble, 2010

John Green, Phineas and Ferb Comic Reader #2, Hey, Where's Perry? 2010

John Green, Phineas and Ferb Comic Reader #3, The Chronicles of Meap, 2010

John Green, Phineas and Ferb Comic Reader #4, It's About Time!, 2011

John Green, Phineas and Ferb Comic Reader #5, Quantum Boogaloo, 2011

John Green, Phineas and Ferb Comic Reader #6, The Beak Strikes! 2011
John Green, Phineas, MoCCA Fest 2012
John Green, Agent P, MoCCA Fest 2012
Note:  John Green's website is here.


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