Last weekend the annual San Diego Rocket Con attracted cosplayers and comic book fanatics over to the Scottish Rite Event Center.
This year the Comic Convention has expanded to a two day weekend to showcase art and comics for the community. Chase Lirley originally started the idea of Rocket Con along with his dad after visiting other cons themselves and thought they would put their own spin on it while supporting local artist.
“We love supporting local artists, and we love supporting the local community because we want to be a local con. But at the same time, it’s been great this year because we reached a little further. We got people from Vegas, people from Arizona, all coming in and selling things so even if someone were to go to every single Comic-Con in San Diego, they would get to see newer things here.”Chase Lirley
Local artists also showed appreciation for the opportunity to show off their art. Emerald Moss, AKA Milky Art, has always had support, but just needed the platform to show off the art she created.
“When I was younger I didn’t even think I could go to conventions. I didn’t think that was something within the realm of possibilities. Before, I really wished I could do something like that, and you know what, my parents, my mom, and my grandma, they were there my whole life and they were really supportive from the moment I told them. Even when I asked ‘Do you guys I think I could do something with my art?’ they were there behind me”.Emerald Moss
Benjamin Baakar, head of Vandal Priest, thinks that conventions are important in other ways.
“Conventions are very important. We do a lot of networking online and that’s cool but you want to be in front of the people. You want people to have hands-on experience with your art… Seeing it on a screen is cool, but seeing it in person, having it tangibly in front of you, that’s where you get that real connection… If your not owning your craft then you need to be learning something towards your craft “Benjamin Baakar
At the convention, many of the comic books featured one key character: Wolverine from the X-men comics. This was a character that Joe Rubinstein has drawn many times. Rubinstein came to the United States at an early age and found a love for comics after seeing the collection and the passion his older cousins had for the medium. Rubinstein began his career at the age of 11 in New York as an assistant and worked his way up until he got his first professional job at only 17 with DC Comics. At 19, he transferred over to Marvel Comics. While speaking about his experience of being an artist, Rubinstein stated:
“While you should be your own artist and have your own taste, pretty much everything you’re doing has been done before. And don’t reinvent the wheel, learn the lessons of the Masters and never forget that everything is based on reality. Try and study real life. Real people. Real everything… I’ve been brought to Kuwait and Harrison Spain, all because I draw pictures… [but] most human beings don”t get asked for their autograph and get told that you were special to their childhoods, or asked ‘Can I take my picture with you?’ Overall, it is very gratifying.”Joe Rubinstein
Foregoing a panel featuring past Power Rangers, Smash Brothers tournaments, and action figures, the weekend of Rocket Con came and went. Although it’s over, next year’s Rocket Con is something to look forward to for comic book lovers and artists alike.