So it has been three weeks since PAX Prime in Seattle Washington, and I’ve been so crazy busy that I’ve yet to post any of the photos from the convention. Well, the time has come to correct that oversight. The Penny Arcade Expo is an amazing show, and probably the closest thing to heaven on earth if you are into video games, board games, role-playing games… or just about any other form of game entertainment.
The days leading up to the show were rough as I first had to drive 4 hours to Bristol, Connecticut to make an outdoor chalk mural for ESPN on Wednesday and Thursday. That’s right, working Thursday in Connecticut, and PAX started Friday morning… in Seattle! I toiled through two days of 95 degree heat for the ESPN piece, but completed the mural at 1 PM on Thursday, grabbed a quick shower in a maintenance building on the grounds of the amusement park where I was working, drove another hour to the Hartford airport and caught my two flights cross country bringing me into my Seattle hotel by about 1 am west coast time. Seeing as how that morning I had started at 5:30 AM East Coast time, it was the end of a 22.5 hour day, and after only 5 fitful hours of sleep I was up and on my way to start the PAX chalk mural.
My first experience at PAX was 2009, where my good friends at The Promo Guys brought me out to create a Bioshock 2 mural for 2K Games. I still hear that mural referred to often as a fan favorite to this day. Up until a few weeks before this years show I didn’t think I would be attending, then Nintendo of America came swooping in to save the day, and brought me out to create a mural based on artwork for the Metroid: Other M game for the Wii.
Thankfully, all of the hectic time leading up to the show was no reflection on my time AT the show, as the mural went smoothly and progress pretty much moved along at the pace I had expected. For both of my 2009 and 2010 PAX appearances I’ve worked in the exact same location, a bright and spacious lobby outside the main exhibition hall that is mostly made up of glass walls and angled ceilings. Friday was a little tough as sunlight cast glares and shadows across my work space for the better part of the day. A cloudy Saturday made for better conditions, and Sunday was a mix as I finished the artwork at about 12:30 PM, 31 hours after starting.
I met amazing people, talked with some companies about the titles I love, saw great games in action and phenomenal costumes everywhere, I laughed a lot, and worked long hours to complete the artwork on time and to the level of quality I’ve come to expect from each and every mural I make. Crowd response to the piece was awesome and Nintendo appeared to be pleased, we even discussed the possibility of future murals already.
On Sunday I was shocked to have an impromptu autograph line form for about and hour and a half as I signed Metroid posters Nintendo was giving away at the show. I know what you are thinking, people were there for the free poster… I thought the same thing, but I made repeated attempts to let anyone know that if they just wanted a poster they were free to take one and I didn’t have to sign it. For an hour and a half no one took me up on the offer, and all waited. Thanks everyone, you all were awesome!
Enjoy the photos, and watch for the time lapse video I made to be posted by Nintendo soon. I plan on getting it up on the site as soon as I can. Let me know what you think in the comments below.