less than one month ago I attended
Appreciation Weekend, where Dave Dorman himself participated in
while demonstrating his incredible artistic talent to a large group
of artists. While I was there I was simply amazed at his talents, as
I have always been interested in his artwork, but to be able to see
it up close like that was out of this world. What was even more
amazing that day was him drawing up a sandtrooper on a Dewback, and
it was almost complete with colors in just about an hour. This was
going to be one of those special moment you wouldn't forget for the
rest of your life.
when I thought I was having a great time the ante was upped a notch.
Dave's wife, Denise, was onsite that day and invited all of us who
participated during that event from the
Midwest Garrison to
bring in the new year at their house. I was totally flattered and in
awe of this, and of course I couldn't turn down such an incredible
offer. I didn't have plans for New Year's Eve, and what better way
to celebrate New Year's Eve than doing that with one of the best
Star Wars artists of all time? It was a no brainer.
AT DORMAN HEADQUARTERS
Ever since the day I was personally invited over to Dave's house for
New Year's Eve, I had been very much looking forward to that day.
For the first time ever, my wife and I dropped our 21-month-old son
(Lucas) off at my parents' house, where he would spend the night
there away from us. It was a hard moment for us, but it was about
time for him to spend an evening with his grandparents.
Afterward we made our journey to
Batavia, IL, where Dave has been living for over a year. The drive
took less than twenty minutes, so we were thrilled we didn't have to
drive any further than that on such a dangerous night to be driving,
with all the drunks out there partying it up. Once we arrived it was
time to get the armor out of my car, as it was Dave's request that I
bring my sandtrooper armor. I knew this was going to be a night to
had learned earlier that day that I was probably going to be the
only member from the Midwest Garrison who would be there, as others
had to cancel out at the last minute. That wouldn't affect me in the
least, as I was ready to rock and roll. After saying hi to Dave and
his wife Denise, I got suited up in the armor, and waited for all
the guests to arrive. As they walked through the front door, many of
them were shocked to see a sandtrooper standing in Dave's family
people mingled for a bit it was time to take pictures with the
trooper. Dave and his family were the first to do so, and we
captured some funny moments with Dave holding up a Master Replicas
lightsaber to add the Star Wars flavor to the mix. Next up for the
photo shoot were friends of his, and most seemed to be enjoying the
moment quite a bit. After the pictures were all done, it was time
for me to get out of my armor and enjoy the party.
of Dave's friends who were there were artists, and throughout the
night they all drew one scene or character into a sketch book. One
guy drew something that reminded me of Eddie from the album covers
of Iron Maiden, others drew their own developed characters, but Dave
stole the show with the sandtrooper figure aiming his blaster at the
viewer. He must have spent less than thirty minutes, but in just
that short period of time he had put together something that looked
great. The sketch book would be going with the Dormans to the next
San Diego Comic-Con, where it would be auctioned off to create a
scholarship fund for some lucky and deserving art student.
TRULY AN HONOR
I first arrived at the party I gave Dave a small present, a picture
of us together from the Art Appreciate Weekend. I had it framed and
I even signed the picture saying, "Dave, Happy New Years 2007! Chris
"TD1043" Rhoads." He really enjoyed the picture, and I had printed
another one for him to sign so I could put it in a frame for myself.
Not only that but I also brought my book "Star Wars: The Art of Dave
Dorman" so that he could sign the inside of it for me. He didn't
just sign the book, but he also drew in a quick picture of a
sandtrooper on a dewback. He wrote in there, "Sandtroopers rule the
dunes!" When he handed the book back to me I immediately looked
inside, and was just blown away by his artwork. What might have been
just a simple doodle to him, it was something incredibly special to
me. This is something I will not forget, and the book will be
displayed proudly in my
The last part of the evening included me locating Dave to say my
goodbyes and thank you to him. I was informed that he was downstairs
in his basement, so I went down there to let him know that we were
leaving. When I got downstairs it felt like I was in a warehouse, as
there were just rows and rows of boxes, most of which were probably
containing all sorts of artwork he had done throughout his career.
On one table he showed us several Star Wars prints of his, and some
of them I believe might have been the originals. If you think his
prints are off the hook, you should see the originals! After seeing
all of this I didn't want to leave, but it was getting really late
so it was time to call it a night.
Dave, I wanted to say "thank you" to you and your wife, for inviting
my wife and I over to celebrate New Years with you and your friends.
We had such a wonderful time, and we're looking forward to getting
together again soon. Happy New Year!
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