Mark Monlux’s Commission Con

Mark Monlux Self Portrait


I’ve been invited to “Grand Poobah” Mark Monlux’s Commission Con ZOOM gathering this afternoon. I’m honored and feeling very nervous about it.
Mark Monlux has a vendor table in Artist Alley at Seattle’s Emerald City Comic Con every year, and has for years. An award-winning comic illustrator, you’ve likely seen some of his commercial work. He was (maybe still is) an illustrator for Microsoft.  Best of all, he’s a really cool guy!
Mark has been trying to get me to get a vendor table at Comic Con for a number of years, but the price of a table is too scary at that huge a venue, as I have no idea how well I’d do; the competition is fierce and a lot better-known!  My best-selling offerings are probably dated (DeForest Kelley isn’t top of mind for most Comic Con-goers these days), so it would be a huge risk for me to engage in that way.
But that hasn’t stopped Mark from keeping me in his thoughts and in the loop.
A couple days ago he invited me to a no-cost virtual Commission Con ZOOM gathering that will take place this afternoon.  His other guests are a Who’s Who of Artist Alley stars (their names and links are shown below), so I feel like the poor country cousin to them. But he asked, so I said yes, with thanks, and then I got scared.
I had pretty much given up on the idea of future public appearances. I hate being put in the spotlight. (I hated my own birthday parties when I was a kid and don’t remember a single one of them with any clarity; these traumatic events were quickly expunged from my long-term memory.)  (“Writing is show business for shy people.”)
I thought (before the arrival of COVID-19) that 2020 would be my final swan song–my final public appearances during this year that was supposed to commemorate DeForest Kelley’s 100th birthday in a big way.
I had a Toccoa, GA museum and TrekLanta (in Atlanta GA) appearances on my radar and penciled into my schedule, and I was reaching out to find more opportunities… and then COVID came calling, shutting everything down like a thunderclap.
(And I never had virtual ZOOM cons on my radar at all, which seem only slightly less daunting!)
I was going to give it my all, one final go, to help extend De’s legacy, and then put a fork in it, DONE!
So, when COVID happened, I thought, “Well, that’s okay. The stress is off. I don’t have to do anything in public ever again.”
Extolling and extending De’s legacy had been enough to get me out of my chair, but not much else could.
And now, here comes Mark, saying, “Let’s do a Virtual Convention! With a whole bunch of creative geniuses! Wanna play?”
oi vey…
So, here’s the line up with links to their wares and social media sites, for those of you who want a preview of what Commission Con has in store for interested viewers.
When the ZOOM gathering is in the can, Mark will send us the link and I’ll post it here and on my Facebook page so you can meet these folks “up close and personal”(virtually).
With the holiday season coming up, it might just be the best hour you spend. If you want truly unique gifts for your loved ones, gifts that speak directly to your gift recipients’ interests and desires, this is a good place to start.
I will post the Commission Con video link as soon as I get it.
In the meantime, here’s a list of the participants:
In Order of Appearance

Matt Youngmark Store:


Donna Barr Sales link:…

Anique Zimmer/A.T. Zimmer


Travis Bundy Shop:…

Mark Brill


John Draper


Greg Smith


Mark Monlux

It ought to be a hoot. I know I’m looking forward to surviving it this evening so I can enjoy it later!

UPDATE: Mark Monlux says you can watch it LIVE tonight on his YouTube channel. Mark’s YouTube channel is here:

(My five minutes starts at about the 21 minute mark.)


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Kris Smith

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