Monday, July 28, 2008

Wrath of CON

I’m back from the San Diego Comic Con and I still have a bit of a headache. Must be the Wrath of Con.

What an interesting experience. This was not only my first time attending, but really my first time attending any major convention. I did go to the Stumptown Comic Con in beautiful Portland, Oregon, but that was really a different thing, scale-wise. Nice, but different.

So, here are some impressions from a newbie:

The first thing is, COOL. What a great and friendly bunch of people comic fans are. As I walked into the elevator of the Gaslamp Marriot, clutching my “Watchmen” door keycard, a woman immediately commented on it, talking to me like we were old friends.

“You got a Watchmen?” she asked, her voice tinged with envy.
“Uh, yeah,” I answered, always Mr. Suave.
“I only got a Batman.”
“Batman’s cool,” I said.
“Do you want to trade?” she asked, hope writ large on her features.
“Uh, I think it actually opens my door,” I demurred.
Her face fell as she realized the cold logic of it. “Oh well, see you in the Con!” And she flounced out, the broadsword slung across her back clanging on the elevator door.

Next, WOW. We showed up on Wednesday—Preview Night, assuming that this would be the slow night of the whole thing. Wrong. We were nearly crushed in the tide of costumed humanity as it surged about the floor in search of collectible swag. For example, while heading for the Dark Horse area, we were snagged in a riptide of Con-goers that dragged us back and swept us into the WB booth. There we were adorned with Wonder Woman bags the size of barbeque aprons and then spit out next to the Nerd Herd car from Chuck. Had it been a literal ocean, I would not be alive to write this.

Finally, WEIRD. The Con is a strange phenomena. Where else do people not notice Kiefer Sutherland because a Princess Leia (in that loincloth outfit from when she’s a prisoner of Jabba the Hutt) is walking by? Where else do rock stars, movie stars, TV stars and one-hundred-and-fifty-nine-thousand, nine-hundred-and-sixty-four irregular, abnormal people brush shoulders because of a shared admiration of superheroes, fantasies, aliens and limited edition collectible bobble heads? Nowhere else, that’s where.

Anyway, thanks to everybody who showed up for my signings! It was great to see you and I hope you enjoy your Helm posters (everybody who told me they’d actually already read the comic got one.) Keep on the lookout for issue #2 of the Helm, hitting stores on August 20th!


Thursday, July 24, 2008

At the San Diego Comic Con

Well, I just finished day two of my first big comic convention--the San Diego Comic Con. Very interesting.

There was a signing for the Helm today at 4:00 PM at the Dark Horse booth and there will be another one at noon tomorrow. It was a pretty good turnout, considering the book's only been out a week--quite a few people who stopped by had actually read it.

Of course, it's also nice to be at a place where you can see Indian Jones, Batman and a Storm Trooper all standing around eating muffins and having a conversation--not to mention the hundreds of other people wearing costumes of characters I don't know. Least wise, I assume they are wearing costumes and I just don't know who they are supposed to be.

Anyway, a very interesting and entertaining experience so far.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

One day in

Well, the Helm has been out for one day and I've gotten my first scathing review and a couple of really nice emails from folks who read the book and liked it.

Scathing reviews are always interesting. I know you're not supposed to read reviews, or care about what they say if you do, but it's hard not to read them when people go to all the trouble of putting them out there.

So, here are my thoughts on negative reviews.


Good thing I've also gotten a really good review so that I can keep some sense of perspective. I guess I'll just have to wait and see what happens next.

Actually, negative reviews are useful. They either give me a good idea of what I need to work harder on next time, or they solidify my resolve that I did it right despite what the reviewer complained about. Also, I guess, if bad reviews really bother you, you shouldn't be writing for other people to read.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Helm is out TODAY

Issue #1 of The Helm is out today!!!

Actually, it's slightly anti-climactic. We celebrated the release about a week ago when we got four advanced copies. Today I'm just sitting at work, working on things. The rest of the advanced copies that my company, Character, ordered won't be here for about a week.

It is cool to see it in print though. Makes it more...real...

I haven't had a lot of time to anticipate the release as I've been travelling a lot lately, but just one week from today is the San Diego Comic Con and I understand from those who've been before that I won't be able to think of much else once I'm there. I've only been to one comics convention before this--the Stumptown Comic Con here in Portland. It was cool and quirky, although everybody tells me it's small in comparison to SDCC. I wonder if SDCC will have the same funky smell--kind of a cross between body odor and hamburgers.

If you happen to be at the Con, stop by the Dark Horse booth and say hello! Maybe I'll give you a poster for The Helm. It's possible.