Sunday, March 27, 2016

A Week in Writing #83 - Report from the Front: WonderCon

This week in writing was punctuated with one day at this year's WonderCon held at the Los Angeles Convention Center. WonderCon is sort of a mini Comic-Con, which we're attending later in the year down in San Diego. We had been to WonderCon before, when it was down in Anaheim, but because of work they're doing on that Convention Center, it was held here for one year.

Los Angeles likes to hype it as a dry run for Comic-Con, which San Diego always seems to be on the verge of losing. But based on our experience, I don't think San Diego has anything to worry about. Not that we had a bad time, but there were so many little things that LA didn't get right, like the distance between the floor of the convention and the rooms where the programs were being held, lack of signage and somewhat unknowledgeable volunteers.

The map of the floor makes it look like there is more to it than there is. Still there are the same basic things: comic companies have their booths, artists have their alley and the small press have their tables. Walking around some of the small press made me feel sort of sad. You walk by and people are pitching their idea to anyone who will listen. No doubt they make a lot of their money at shows like this. I don't want our comic to end up like that. I don't mind the idea of attending conventions like this, but I don't want to feel like I'm a carny.

There were not as many programs to attend this year. One held by Image featured several of their content owners. Listening to them, it's clear that they are driven and are living the dream, so to speak. Maybe they're not all making a living from it, but they're seasoned professionals and have made the transition I'd like to make as a writer; being published.

Can't make it to every program, so perhaps I'll be able to catch up with them once the Comic-Con HQ SVOD channel, which was recently unveiled, launches.

Most of the time, in order to attend one program, you have to sit through another one to make sure you have a seat in the room. We wanted to attend the program featuring the documentary The Giant's Dream about Brad Bird and the making of The Iron Giant (1999), one of the best modern animated films. Very inspirational. But prior to that we got the opportunity to sit through Carton Voices, a panel featuring several voice actors who's voices you probably know if you heard them. They did a very entertaining cold read of a cut down version of The Wizard of Oz (1939). Very talented.

One of the things I like about attending conventions is a chance to reconnect with some people I know. I missed out on some, but was able to connect with Douglas Neff, the author of Epic Win! The Geek's Guide to the Journey from Fan to Creator, which I found to be very influential. He asked if Paul and I were going to attend the next Creator Connection session and I had to tell him we had hired artists to work on the book. I don't blame him for the lack of success in finding a partner during those sessions, but four failed attempts was enough for me.

Also, had Bryce Carlson, an editor at Boom!, sign the trade paperback for his Hit 1957. I was pleasantly surprised that he remembered my name. I believe I was one of the first people to attend his first autograph session at our local comic book store and while I've tried to stay in touch, I'm sure I'm one of several people who have. I'd like to approach him with our comic book when there is more to it than there is now.

Not as much happened with the comic book as I had hoped, though we're now up to four pages inked and colored. Still not where I'd like to be, but I know we're partially to blame, since we made the artist go back and redo some of his work. That really slowed down the workflow, but I really feel that it's important to get it as right as possible now. It's the waiting that gets to me, I guess, hoping that that wait is worth it.

Didn't have as good a week as I would have hoped. Lost a couple of mornings with credit card issues. Apparently someone used my name and credit card to buy a Mac book at a Best Buy in Columbus, Ohio. Luckily, the credit card company declined and contacted me. The downside is that we had to get a new card, which is always a pain to get everything set right again. But there went Thursday morning and again on Friday they contacted me, though it turned out to be an unnecessary follow up.

Did make more progress on the long and short synopsis for Public and Private, though I'm not finished with either. I'll keep at it and would like to get them done this week. Still no word from my editor, though I trust he cashed the check I sent him for his services.

Wrote a couple of reviews, those of which were published. The first was about 1500 words on Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010), a made for video feature that had some things in common with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which opened this past Friday.

This week I'm hoping to stay inspired by WonderCon and try to get things done. Anxious to move things forward.

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