Sunday, July 25, 2021

A Week in Writing #361 - I Miss Comic-Con - Report From the Front

Hope everyone is well, staying safe, and, of course, writing.

Every year for the past 12 or so, my family and I have made the trek to San Diego for Comic-Con. What started out as a bit of a lark, hey let's check this out after Legoland, has turned into an annual event and led us to co-create our own comic book, the oft-written about Powers Squared, which has, in turn, led to things like Podcasts, mailing lists, and newsletters, which, if you've read more than one of these posts, have read me writing about more than once.

As part of our yearly trek, I write a Report from the Front, where I detail what I did and what I learned. No doubt, you're aware, that for the second year in a row, the actual event has been canceled and has continued as a website linking you to Exhibitors to buy exclusives and YouTube where the panels take place. So, the front lines are as close as my couch.

Over the years, as we've gotten more involved in the business side of comic books, I've tried to make a point of attending more practical panels, i.e., those that teach rather than hype. (Note: If you've never been to SDCC before, there is a lot of hyping going on. Constantly.) This year, there were fewer days, from five to three plus the random program on Wednesday and Thursday, so there were fewer panels to watch.

If you're like me and you've been working from home during the pandemic you've probably been on a few Zoom calls that you simply watched, i.e., it hasn't been interactive. And imagine if the Zoom call you were watching was pre-taped. If you can do that, then you've had the Comic-Con@Home experience. As exciting as a pre-recorded conversation that you're not a part of, which is often to be applied sarcastically.

Now, a few panels have had some production values but I would put those under the category of hype; Unmasking Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins on Wednesday and the Dragon Ball: Special Panel are examples.

But for the most part, the informational ones seemed more like work than anything else. And I know that whoever puts together the panels usually brings together people they've worked with before, but sometimes you can overdo it when three-quarters of the guests work on the same podcast for example. You're not really getting a universal lesson when everyone has the same experiences.

We watched panels on podcasting and branding, but I don't really think I learned anything new from either. The one overriding truth seems to be that no one makes money on podcasts or comic books but you do it for love. The other is that if you do work in the industry, you have to be two of the three: nice to work with (not an asshole), talented, and meet your deadlines. There, I saved you three days of video watching. You're welcome.

I know this is meant to mostly be about Comic-Con@home, but I did want to give you an update on a query. No, not a new one, and not good news either, but a rejection. One of the queries I made back in April was finally officially resolved, about a month after I gave up on it. The agency said that they take 8 weeks to reply to queries so I took that to mean a pass at the end of June. However, 8 weeks can apparently mean 12 weeks because I received a form letter rejection at 2:33 a.m. on Sunday morning.

Again, this blog isn't here to settle scores but it doesn't get more impersonal than a form letter sent at 2:33 on a Sunday morning.

The takeaway from this, if you're looking for a bright side, is that when an agency says 8 weeks it could really be 12 weeks, so the fact you hadn't heard back doesn't really mean it's a rejection, it just means that they're behind schedule. Best of luck.

And it's never fun to start the day being rejected.

In other news, I did manage to finish the fourth draft of a story idea I had for Powers Squared, Aroma Therapy. 40 pages over two issues. Don't know if it will make it to print but it was an idea I've had for a while and decided to write it this week, yes in lieu of other writing.

And the podcast that the comic book birthed, On the Air with Powers Squared, is about to celebrate its 100th episode. For that show, we got Carla Hoch, the author of Fight Write to be a guest. If you have any questions you'd like to ask about fight scenes in books or comic books, leave me a comment by Thursday morning, we're taping her in advance, and I'll ask for you.

For Trophy Unlocked, in the spirit of Comic-Con, we featured Trevor's review of the video game Blacksad: Under the Sun and his review of The Peanuts Movie on Saturday morning. I'm currently working on a review of Who Framed Roger Rabbit for future publication. Hard to do much writing when you're watching videos.

Anyway, that about does it for me. Keep writing and I'll see you next week.

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