Dean Haspiel is someone that I’ve known in comics for at least a decade, certainly much longer than that. A mainstay of the Small Press Expo for many years, I remember reading his Billy Dogma comics and loving their over-the-top masculinity and hidden vulnerability all mixed into one. These days he’s illustrating books like Harvey Pekar’s The Quitter and posting his comics on the ACT-I-VATE online collective.
More entertainingly, he’s always been a good friend and a fun guy to be around; I miss chatting with him at SPX, and the inevitable jokes from everyone about how he only owned one shirt (seriously, there are five or six years worth of convention photos where he’s in the same shirt every time) and how sooner or later it would always come of. “Dean puts the X in SPX!” was a hysterical rallying cry at one of the picnics.
This drawing was actually begun by Dean at the first MoCCA up in NYC, but he asked if he could finish it off later in the summer at San Diego. The first day at Comic-Con that year, I sought him out and sure enough, he finished it then—putting himself front-and-center and with his characters Jane Legit and Billy Dogma in the background. It was worth the wait.