I saw DC!

Me & wifey at Trump’s house…he wasn’t home…well, they wouldn’t let us see him, anyway…

The wife surprised me with a trip to Washington, DC. Seems she thought I really needed to get away (see my recent blog post about my high BP – which is slowly improving, thanks) and so she whisked me away.

We wanted to catch the main things on day 1. She got us a hotel close to all the sites, so we got a lot of walking in. First place we headed was Trump’s house! We were surprised to find the main road in front all blocked off. You could still see the house, but it wasn’t like I’d always seen in pictures.

Trump wasn’t home, so we made our way around back were we learned we’d only just missed the Christmas Tree lighting by the First Lady the night before (we were likely in the shuttle on the way to the hotel). They were still taking the stands d  own from the night before so we decided to come back and visit when it was dark.

Me & wifey at the WW2 Memorial, Washington Mon in the distance.

We made our way to the Washington Monument but couldn’t get close as they were doing repairs. Seems Spiderman had gone at it against the Vulture or some such. We got a good look from just outside the fences though.

We made our way over to the WW2 Memorial and it was very cool. It is right beside the Reflecting Pool that leads to the Lincoln Memorial, so we walked along the pool a bit before heading over to the Smithsonian for American History.

I had no idea they were free to enter. I entered the front door fully expecting to pay an admission of some sort… but it’s FREE! We were there several hours–honestly I lost track of time so I’m not sure how long…but regardless, we didn’t get to see all of it. 😦

Needless to say, I enjoyed the heck out of it! We we were worn out. WE got in 16k steps that day for those keeping track.

The next day we spent the entire time at Arlington. It’ll write about it separately–in part 2, because Lee’s former home deserves an entire entry!

Trump’s tree was big…so big…it’s the biggest tree I’ve ever seen. So big.

We also made it back to the White House at night and the street in front was open so we got to get closer than before. We also got to see the tree at night. The base has several model trains – which, of course, I really enjoyed. Another cool thing is that there are 50 trees around the tree, one for every state. The ornaments on the trees all come from a middle school class in the respective state. Pretty cool.

All in all, a fun little get away planned by wifey!

(pics by wifey!)

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2019 convention schedule and some other tidbits

Yes, I realize I’m a little late with this, but better late that never!
2019 is shaping up to be another fun convention year. I was already a guest at the DeLand (FL) Comic Convention. My long-time pal Steven Butler made the trip down with his budding artist daughter, Lily, and we had a great time.
If I can get the picture to embed, here’s one of me and writer John Crowther.

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Upcoming shows:

Feb 23: The Indie Showcase at ACME SUPERSTORE in Longwood, FL
Mar 16: Dyersburg (TN) Comic and Pop Culture Con
Apr 13: Fusion Con in New Port Richey, FL
May 4: FREE COMIC BOOK DAY! Bamf! Comics and Collectibles in Maitland, FL
June 1-2: Marble City Comicon in Knoxville, TN
Aug 24-25: Infinity Toy and Comic Con, Kissimmee,  FL
Nov 3: Daytona Beach Comic Con, Daytona Beach, FL

There’s a good chance I’ll return to Pikeville, KY in early August this year, but still working out the details.

I’ve reached out to Raleigh Supercon and to HeroesCon…but unfortunately have received no responses from them Would love to get to both places as I’ve never been to either. Obviously, if I ever hear back, I’ll update you here. So it goes…

Creative Work

Still plugging away making comics…

Waiting on Dean for C&M #2. He went and did some silly thing like get married! I think he’s getting back in the groove, so hopefully we’ll be able to kickstart #2 before long.

Been working with artist Alan McMillian on a graphic novel we’re calling SPECK. Both of us are getting out of the comfort zone a little in the way we’re doing things and what we’ve planning…but it’s turning in to a lot of fun. As we get more done, I’ll keep you posted…but it’s pretty exciting!

I’m talking to several other artists…but nothing that I can really show or talk about yet. As soon as it–or anything–happens, you’ll be the first to know!

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2019 Preview

Happy New Year!

If you missed the annual Merry Christmas/Happy New Year video from the Mann family, here’s your second chance to see it:

Did you spot a couple of new faces? Yeah…thought so. It was a full house, but it was fun.

SO, 2019 is shaping up to be a potentially exciting year for me and I’m looking forward what the new year will bring.

First, the conventions!

At this point in time, early 2019 is looking pretty good, meaning there’s room in the second half of the year.

The first show I’ll do in the new year will be on January 13 in Deland, Fl. My good pal, former roommate, and all around great guy (oh yeah—he does comic art, too) Steven Butler will be here for the show. Also there will be my frequent convention traveling buddy Jeff Whiting as well as wrestling comic writer John Crowther.

Not sure yet where I’ll be for FCBD, but talking to a new shop in town…so…fingers crossed I’ll be able to be there with my pals Barry Gregory and Thomas Florimonte again.

On March 16 I’ll be road-tripping up with Jeff Whiting as we go to the Dyersburg (TN) Comic Convention. Also guests there will be my collaborator on Cat & Mouse, Dean Zachary, as well as other talented comic makers like Mitch Breitweiser and Jim Hall (who should do more comics!).

While not 100% confirmed as of this writing, it looks like a pretty good chance I’ll be a comic guest at the Big River Comic Con in Hannibal, MO, on April 12-14. I’ve never been to a show in that part of the country, so really looking forward to it.

Another place I’ll be in that will be new geography for me will be Knoxville, TN. Yeah, I know many of my Volunteer pals are excited for that one, but I’m going for the Marble City Comic Con on June 1 and 2. Will be road-tripping with Jeff again for that one.

There’s another one in June that I’d really like to get to…but still working on that one.

So, one of my Christmas presents this year is a present that Brett and I share: tickets to see Neal Morse when he comes to Orlando in February. I only discovered his music about 2 years ago, but he’s quickly become one of my top favs and I’m very excited to be able to see him live with my #1 son!

I’m only going to mention it in passing here, as there is still many details to work out…but I’ll be bringing Silverline back this year. Already put several wheels in motion, but it’s kind of exciting.

Along those lines, I’ve got several new comic projects in the works. I can’t really talk about them yet, but they’re exciting to think about.

No telling what other changes 2019 will bring. I predict it’s going to be a very good year, and I’m exciting to get to it.

Happy New Year one and all!

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2018 Overview

We’re just a few days away from the new year so I thought I’d do my not-so-annual recap (generally done when WordPress prompts me with stats, which they did not do this year).

First, here is the Mann family annual Christmas/New Year video. We’ve got a couple of…guests with us this year…enjoy.

I did a host of comic conventions this year, that started with the very local (to me) Florida Pop Con. The show was poorly attended, but I saw old friends and made some new ones there. In March I did the one day Infinity Convention, near UCF and a had a great time. I was also a speaker/guest at the Coral Springs Literary Festival, a change of pace from the usual comic shows, and something I don’t do as much of since coming to Full Sail in 2011. I did one day at the always awesome Daytona Comic Con in April, and then did FCBD in May at ACME. I traveled up to Pikeville Comic Con in August with my comic-making traveling buddies Jeff Whiting, Barry Gregory, and Thomas Florimonte. The last part of the year felt busy as Jeff and I made road trips to ComiConway (an awesome convention!) and Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention in November, and then Nashville Comic and Horror Convention in December. I’ll talk about 2019 shows next week.

The day gig at Full Sail clipped right along. I’m sometimes surprised that I can work in the conventions above because work can often be a bit overwhelming. This year, I had adjunct classes from about February (or March?) on. What that means is that I had extra classes every month (and more grading). I got a new boss this year, too. The old boss is still there and rocking, but Full Sail inserted a position in between me and the old boss, making me two steps from her instead of one. It’s going well with him so far—he kept me around after my last annual review in October.

A highlight for the year was the successful launch, funding, and shipping of the new Cat & Mouse #1 comic. I worked with a great team of artists to get it done: Dean Zachary, Barb Kaalberg, and Kevin Gallegly. We’re waiting on Dean for #2, but we’re ready to go.

Family wise: BJ continued to work on and grow Dr. Mom Knows Best. If you’re into trying to live healthy and get the pharmaceuticals out of your life (and system!), you should check out her page. We’ve pretty much gotten rid of all over the counter medicines—about 95%.

My youngest, Brett, graduated from high school and is trying to figure out life. My oldest, Brittany, is still trying to make her way out in LaLa land (if you have something she can audition for, call her!). They both have added special someones to their lives.

Late in the year I had a health scare: seems my BP was high. Working on getting it down naturally, but taking BP meds for now and it brought it down to a manageable level. I didn’t realize there was a “get-to-the-emergency-room-NOW” high level until it happened to me. And no, I didn’t FEEL bad at all.

All in all, I feel blessed that 2018 was such a good year.

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Last show of the year, 2018

This weekend I’ll be a comic guest at the Nashville Comic and Horror convention. While I’ve never been to this show before, Marc Ballard–the show’s owner–is celebrating 25 years of comic shows! That’s impressive. Come out and help him celebrate it! It’s a two day show, but I’m told the show really winds down around noon-1pm on Sunday, so be sure to either come on Saturday, or get there early on Sunday.

It’s my last show for the year 2018 and I’m hoping it’s a good a show as the last few have been—we sold out of Cat & Mouse #1 in Memphis, can we do the same in Nashville? I’m anticipating a good end to the 2018 comic convention run!

While there are a host of guests you can find on the website, I have to point out that I’ll be there with Dean Zachary, esteemed artist on Cat & Mouse—and a whole bunch of other stuff. We’ll both be available to sign copies of C&M #1, but Dean will also have original art from the comic, as well as prints.

My traveling art buddy will once again be the talented Jeff Whiting! As well as a bunch of The Tick, Jeff will have his creator owned books, Shanghai and Extraterrestrial (psst! I have a short story in this one, so pick it up from Jeff so I can sign it, too!).

Of course, that link between the three of us is that we were all involved with Malibu Comics and the Ultraverse…back in the day. So bring those books out for us to sign, too, we’ll be happy to do that!

I’m already lining up shows for 2019, so if you know a show that needs some comic creators, tell them to holler at me. I’m particularly interested in places I’ve never been before—southern Georgia, South and North Carolina are the close places. I’ll consider any place, of course, just tell them to send me a message.

So all you folks in the Nashville area, come out and see us! Get some comics, graphic novels, and original art. They make great Christmas gifts!

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Con Report: MCFC…C&M #1 SOLD OUT!

As reported last week, I was a comic guest at the Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention held at The Guest House in Graceland…yes, THAT Graceland…just beside the home of Elvis Presley.

The big news of the weekend is that we sold out of all the copies of Cat & Mouse #1 we had and the immediate response from those in attendance was very positive.

As has been the case the last several shows, I made the trip with my pal and talented comic creator Jeff Whiting…and of course, we solved all the ills of the comic world and world at large during the trip. Now if we can just get someone to listen to us!

Once there, we joined up with Dean Zachary (amazing artist on Cat and Mouse—and a bunch of other stuff—but I’m talking about C&M here, not that other stuff! Ha) and Mitch Foust (another amazing artist with a whole host of fantasy based work). If you don’t know these names, you need to check out their work…you won’t be sorry.

Had the opportunity to meet yet another talented comic creator, one who’d been facebook friends earlier, but that I had never met face to face: John Martin. In fact…there’ll be news forthcoming about a project with John and my old pal, writer Sid Williams. But that’s another post…

As a show, Friday was pretty slow. Saturday, however, had a lot of traffic and the lunch rush was good; a lot of people interested in not just supporting an indy comic creator, but looking for something different! Sunday was a little better than Friday, but man that place shut down quick! There was very little foot traffic after about 2pm, and some of the vendors were bailing by just after lunch.

Jeff Whiting, Me, David Dastmalchian, John Martin, Dean Zachary, Mitch Foust

One of the coolest events of the show, though, was when actor David Dastmalchian was wandering the exhibitor floor…shopping. As he walked by, I asked if he liked comics. He said he did (and I spotted a stack of back issues in his hands, so I know he does!) and so Dean and I offered him a copy of C&M #1, which he gladly accepted. Then, he stood and talked to us about comics for about 10 minutes! You never know what to expect with the media guests, but he was one of the most down to earth guys! Learned he is from Kansas! We were excited when his agent (show agent?) Jeremy Miller popped by on Saturday for us to all grab a photo with him! Now I’ve got to go look up (and watch) all his other appearances–the ones I haven’t already seen, I mean.

All said and done, though, fun show. Met some new people, hopefully met some new readers/fans, and just had a good time in general.

Also, thanks to Hotel Angie! 🙂

And Happy Thanksgiving!

Next show is the Nashville Comic and Horror Festival on December 8 and 9. See you there!

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Memphis comic and fantasy convention this weekend

If you’re in the greater Memphis area this weekend, be sure to carve out some time to hit the Graceland Guest House for the Memphis comic and fantasy convention happening this weekend, November 16-19 (Friday through Sunday). Aside from being in the shadow of Elvis Presley’s house, there will be lots of comic geeky fun! It’s a great time to do some early Christmas shopping, too!

Obviously, I’ll be there with the new comic, Cat & Mouse #1, as well as a handful of other stuff I’ve written. Ask me about the deals I’ve got and I can set you up with some great deals—and autograph to your favorite Christmas gift recipient.

Another cool thing about this show is that my collaborator on C&M #1 Dean Zachary will also be there. So you can get both of us to sign your comic for one low-low price. (That’s FREE for the signatures, in case you didn’t know) Dean will have some original art from the issue, too, as well as other cool art.

My traveling co-hort, and man who can find a Waffle House just about anywhere, Jeff Whiting will be there, too. Jeff’s got some sweet The Tick stuff with him, as well as his creator-owned projects including Shanghai.

There will also be a gaggle of other creators, including the incredibly gifted artist Mitch Foust. His work needs to be viewed in person—so get there.

I’ll be on a couple of panels, too. On Friday (9pm), I’ll be on BREAK-IN STORIES with Dean, Jeff, and comic artist Joyce Chin (who I know, but she may not remember me as it was a looooong time ago!). We’ll be discussing how we each broke into the comic industry and offering tips for those who want to do it today.

Then on Sunday at 11am, Dean, Jeff and I will be talking about Independent Comics (for those who don’t know, Independent comics are basic all those comics NOT published by Marvel or DC) and strategies for doing them as well as taking questions from attendees.

SO, make your plans to attend and I’ll see you there!

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