Atlanta Comic Book Artists Converge At Dragon-Con

Cully Hamner sketches at DragonCon

Photo credit: Jon Waterhouse

By Jon Waterhouse

If nothing else DragonCon may be described as one big cavalcade of creativity. For Atlanta-based comic book artists, it’s a time to not only build upon their camaraderie, but to bolster each other’s inspiration.

“Ironically DragonCon is one of the very few times all of the Atlanta comics artists hang out together,” revealed Tom Feister, best known for creating “G.I. Joe” comic book covers for IDW. “We all keep in touch on Facebook and stuff like that, but even though we live in the same town, it’s hard to get us in the same room, because we’re on different schedules. So it’s like a little camp for us where we get to hang out and see each other.”

Tom Feister

Photo credit: Jon Waterhouse

Feister added that the Atlanta comics community remains incredibly strong, and he’s surprised it doesn’t receive that much attention. With artists like Jason Pearson and Francesco Francavilla calling the city home, it remains one of the hotbeds in the world of comics.

And when these creatives all get together in one place, Feister said “it very quickly becomes a game of one-upmanship with smart aleck comments. But it’s all done with love.”

Fellow comic book artist Brian Stelfreeze echoes the sentiment. “When you have a situation where you’re hanging out with 20 or 30 other artists,” said Stelfreeze, “then there’s insane amounts of creativity in the room. When you see the work that they’re doing that’s so good, it just make you want to shame them. ...When you’re an artist you’re generally working at home alone in a studio. It’s just really good to get with other guys and make art something you can share.”

Brian Stelfreeze

Photo credit: Jon Waterhouse

Stelfreeze not only enjoys the bond of comic book brotherhood that can be had at DragonCon, but he always looks forward to people watching. The same goes for artist Cully Hamner.

“Obviously the costuming thing is huge at DragonCon,” Hamner said. “If you like looking at the amazing craft of costuming, it’s kind of what this show is all about. That’s what sets it apart from everything else out there.”

And like all DragonCon guests, the common thread of creativity is something Hamner said binds he and his artistic brethren together.

“There is a lot of creativity floating around,” he said, “and this is just another big party for us.”

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