On the surface, visitors may wonder why I selected Steven Russell Black to be paired with Xavier Ortiz. Seemingly a Bay Area artist would not have much exposure to a local Sacramento artist, but their common love for obscure storytelling comic art brought them together in the world of comic conventions.
Over the years, Comic-Con has become the focal point for the world of comics conventions. The event continues to offer the complete convention experience: a giant Exhibit Hall (topping over 460,000 square feet in its current incarnation); a massive programming schedule (close to 700 separate events in 2014) featuring comics and all aspects of the popular arts, including hands-on workshops, and educational programming such as the Comics Arts Conference; anime and film screenings (including a separate film festival); games; the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the “Oscars” of the comics industry; a Masquerade costume competition with prizes and trophies; an Autograph Area; an Art Show; and Portfolio Reviews, bringing together aspiring artists with major companies.
After running into one and another several times, Xavier and Steven struck up a friendship, which resulted in this exhibit. Each of these artists is facing an increasing demand for their art. Besides attending Comic-Con, you can see their work at Monster-palooza, DesignerCon and C2E2.