On Saturday, May 2, four comic book fans will be able to sit on a Zoom webconference call with comic book artist Ed McGuinness. Over 45 minutes they'll be able to ask the artist about his art process, about working in comics, and they'll each get an original McGuinness bust sketch of a character of their choice.
The live event (which you can purchase a seat for right here, right now) is part of the Hero Initiative's series of Live Pro-Fan Experiences, with proceeds going to comic book creators in medical or financial need, while the organization's usual fundraising initiatives are evolving with the shutdown of all major comic book conventions this spring and summer.
Newsarama recently briefly connected with McGuinness for a preview of his event and for a few thoughts on the present and future of comic books.
"Hero Initiative has been very good to creators young and old in times of need since their inception," explained the artist, asked why he was participating in the fundraiser. "I really believe in their goals and how they achieve them. Dexter Vines was diagnosed with cancer...a battle he’s still fighting. Hero Initiative was the there right away giving assistance to him alongside the GoFundMe other creators started. Hero is still helping him on an ongoing basis doing what they can. How can I not back an effort like that?"
McGuinness is promising a "casual hangout for 45 minutes" to fans who purchase a seat for his event, and "me pretending I know what I’m talking about."
We then asked the artist how his comic book work has been affected by the coronavirus shutdown and what he's currently working on.
"First off, I want to thank all those that have kept working thru all this keeping people fed, protected and safe," he responded. "I’m still drawing Avengers at this point. I have admit it was very hard to be creative for the first couple of weeks of this. I feel terrible about all those that have had to stop working in and out of comics."
McGuinness says he plans to keep working on Avengers (currently written by Jason Aaron) for "the foreseeable future," and he that he's been developing a few creator-owned things for "a bit down the road."
As to his views on comic book industry during and after this tumultuous period created by coronavirus upheaval?
"I think change is inevitable at this point in one form or another," he replied. "I don’t how major or minor those changes will be. I really don’t get too deep on the inner workings of the industry but I do know that events like this cause you to re-evaluate from top to bottom.
"As long as people still want comics they’ll be around."