Paragould Arkansas: Friendly Neighborhood Comic Expo

Hey all my NE Arkansas friends, family, and fans! I’ll be appearing as a COMIC GUEST at the Friendly Neighborhood Comic Expo this Saturday and Sunday in Paragould, Arkansas. It has the longest show hours of any show I’ve ever been to: Saturday is listed as 9am to 9pm and then Sunday from 9am until 7pm.

ParagouldFNCEOn Sunday, I’ll have my very own Q&A, which starts at 12pm—that’s noon for those of you who (like me), have a hard time remembering exactly if 12pm is noon or midnight. It’s noon, so show up and ask me some fun questions about working in comics as a writer or an editor…or about my cool day job teaching comic writing these days at Full Sail University!

This will be about my fourth time to appear as a guest at a show in the state of Arkansas, but only the second time as a “comic” guest and certainly the first in this part of the state. The first time I was a comic guest in the great state of Arkansas was in either 1999 or 2000 and was in Little Rock. I think the name of the show was “RockCon,” but I can’t find my notes from then, so I’m not sure. I DO remember that whoever it was putting on the show, treated me well.

The next time I was a guest was in 2010, and I was the Keynote Speaker at the Arkansas Writers Conference in Little Rock. My invite there, of course, was thanks to the writing retreats I’d done at the Hemingway Writers Retreats at the Hemingway-Pfieffer Museum and Education Center in Piggott, Arkansas. You can read about my fun experience as Keynote Speaker here: https://rolandmann.wordpress.com/2010/06/08/at-the-arkansas-writers’-conference/

I returned to Arkansas as an author guest in February of 2011 at Ozarks University in Clarksdale. Regrettably, it snowed that weekend and very few people attended the actual show. However, I still had a great time because I got to meet new people and make new writerly/artist friends.

So I’m very much looking forward to being a comic guest in Paragould. I’ve got a lot of family and friends in the surrounding area—my cousin (first cousin, for those of you keeping score), Dr. Kevin Mann is even a dentist in the area—so I’m hoping to see many of them during the two days.

As a diehard Razorback fan, I’d really like to be invited to do more comic shows in this state–hint hint to all you comic show coordinators!

See you Saturday and/or Sunday! Bring some stuff for me to sign, or pick something up from me there!

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One day left on the Tiny kickstarter

Frustrated Tiny from #2

Frustrated Tiny from #2

Okay everyone, this will be the last time you hear me tell you that you still have time to pledge for the Tiny Kickstarter. It ends tomorrow (Saturday) at 5pm! So, if you’re planning to get in on it, you’d better act fast. As of this writing, only the Jim Hall original piece of art is left for the big rewards. While we haven’t set any sort of stretch goal for it, we’d like to see 120 pledgers…not specifying a dollar or level amount.

And I mean real pledges. I have to add that because I’m surprised at the number of offers I’ve had from others running comic kickstarters to essentially game the system. Here’s a sample from one of the messages: “If we each pledge $1 or more towards each other’s campaign, it would give an increase to both our total backed amounts as well as number of backers.” Someone else added this: “This is completely within the rules of Kickstarter and very beneficial to us both.” I got about eight of these messages all total.

Tiny caught in Winter from #2

Tiny caught in Winter from #2

I ended up thanking them for the offer, but let them know I wanted “real” pledges.

I’m happy to say that Deonna is rocking right along with the second issue and everything is still on track! I’ve tossed some random art from her on this page for you to get a peek at!

We were also guests on Wayne’s Comics Podcast over on Major Spoilers. You can give it a listen here: Wayne’s Comics Podcast #234: Frank Martin, Roland Mann and Deonna Herrold.

For those of you in the NE Arkansas area, don’t forget to mark on your calendars that I will be a comic guest at the Friendly Neighborhood Comic Expo in Paragould on July 9-10. Great family fun for all—come out and see me and all the other guests they’ve assembled! Find info on it here…and here.

Until next time!

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Week three of Tiny Kickstarter

Last week got away from me and I let it slip by without a blog. Argh. We’re on week 3 of the Tiny Kickstarter is nearly gone leaving us with one week left. A whole bunch of you have pledged your support—and I am incredibly grateful for that. For those of you who haven’t pledged and intend to—stop waiting and get it done now.

JenniGregoryArtforTiny

JenniGregoryArtforTiny

Once it is all said and done, Tiny will be 52 pages of story and art printed in two installments. We’re over halfway done with it all, the first installment is finished! Check out this cool “snow” panel from the second issue! Wow!

For you fans of original art, there are still two pieces available from two fantastic artists (attached to this blog!): both Jim Hall and Jenni Gregory have contributed original art to help us get funds. They are fantastic pieces! Grab one now before they are all gone!

So, we’ve been honored to be featured on some pretty cool podcasts. You should go give them a listen because they were nice enough to have us on.

The Riley and Kimmy show:
http://rileyandkimmyshow.blogspot.com/2016/05/podcast-881-roland-mann-megacon.html

WeBeGeeks:
http://webegeekspc.com/wbg-ep-171-tiny-deonna-herrold-roland-mann/

The Derek Diamond Experience:

http://hwcdn.libsyn.com/p/0/e/5/0e5e5d731d118afc/DDE_105_RolandDeonna.mp3?c_id=11856588&expiration=1466068318&hwt=05b51415d196dab9bc8da5fc7a02c290

JimHallArtforTiny

JimHallArtforTiny

The Worst Comic Podcast Ever (this is the name of the podcast, not anything judgmental from me!)

https://worstcomicpodcastever.com/2016/06/03/wcpe-episode-101-for-june-1-2016-pcc-recap-dcs-rebirth-caps-retcon-and-a-tiny-review/

We’ve got an upcoming session on Wayne’s Comics Podcast, and a live—yes, LIVE—session on Her Dork World/His Dork world. That will be June 23 at midnight! It’ll be just a few days before the Tiny Kickstarter campaign ends, so I’m sure we’ll be giving it a push. You can point your web browsers to vocnation.com on Thursday night to give it a listen. There will be a number you can call in and chat with us, too, ask us some hard questions.

I’ll be attending two comic shows in July. I’ll be in Paragould Arkansas July 9 and 10 for the Friendly Neighborhood Comic Expo (here: https://www.friendlyneighborhoodcomicexpo.com/ and here: https://www.facebook.com/Friendlyneighborhoodcomicexpo/). I’m hoping that many of my friends and family in the Clay County area will come out to see what I do that’s NOT newspaper writing/editing.

Then, from July 21-24, I’ll be attending San Diego Comic Con for the first time since 1999! I hear it’s changed a lot, but I’m hoping to see many old friends and make new ones…maybe even pitch a comic or two!

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Tiny Kickstarter Update and Megacon Report

Like last week, I’ve got two things to cover in this blog. Yes, I considered two separate blog entries, but figured you don’t want your notifications dinging with Ramblin’ updates so I’m combining them!

Roland and Deonna at Megacon with Tiny#1

Roland and Deonna at Megacon with Tiny#1

First up, a Megacon report. This year, the convention moved to Memorial Day weekend and extended the show to four days. I’m not convinced a fourth day was necessary, but Saturday didn’t see quite as overwhelming as it has in the past. Oh, it was still busy, just not claustrophobically so.

Booth/table numbering on the convention floor needs addressing, as there was no easy way for fans/attendees to find artist spots. The vendor area was clearly marked with aisle numbers, but those numbers did not correlate at all into artist alley.

I was fortunate to be beside my good pals Barry and Jenni Gregory who do some pretty awesome comic books! Additionally, it was fantastic to have sensational artist Deonna Herrold at the table helping me promote Tiny.

And that’s where I have the first of the two bits of good news I have to report. We sold completely out of all the copies of Tiny #1 we had! We were winding down to literally the last few minutes and had ONE copy left. So, I jumped in front of the table and started telling folks that and asking them to consider buying it so I could say we sold out! Mollie Tee sprang into action and made it happen for us! We captured the moment with a picture! (also, the link goes to her instagram photo, so show her some love since she showed US love!) THANK YOU Mollie Tee! Because of you, we can honestly say we sold out of Tiny #1 at MegaCon. I’ve never sold out of a new issue of anything like that before—not in 25+ years of conning! I’ve sold “bunches,” but never “out!”

The second bit of good news is that the Tiny Kickstarter is off to a great start! We were completely funded in a little less than four days—quite exciting for us. That doesn’t take you off the hook from supporting us. Yes, I EXPECT you to go over and support us. At this point in time there’s not a question of “making is,” your pledge is essentially pre-ordering the comics! Basically, you’ve just got to decide if you’re going to get the comics for yourself…or for someone else! So, what are you waiting for? Help us keep the momentum going—go do it!

 

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Tiny Kickstarter and MegaCon

Two things to talk about in my blog today. I’ll be at MegaCon…but please allow me to tell you about the Tiny Kickstarter first!

Cover to Tiny #1

Cover to Tiny #1

Today is the launch of a Kickstarter for a comic project titled Tiny. I talked about it last week here (click here) and told you how I met Deonna and how the project actually came about. This week I’ll tell you a little about the story itself and will ask you to go pledge to the Kickstarter where you can snag copies for yourself.

The basic levels give you the comic—of course. But, for those of you who are art fans, you can get a quick sketch done in your comic by Deonna and you can even get her to do a more finished piece of work. For you serious comic art fans, we’ve had a few super-talented artists kick in a piece of art to help us reach our goal. You’ll find beautiful drawings of Tiny by Jenni Gregory, Jim Hall, and Dean Zachary. And you can own them—but there is only one of them (one from each artist, I mean), so you’d better act fast!

MEGACON16_profileWhile I’m talking about great art, but sure to head over to Deonna’s art page on Facebook and give her a “like.” You can find it at https://www.facebook.com/deonnaherroldart/

So, please go check out our kickstarter and give it some consideration. I think you’ll like what you see. Here’s the link:http://buff.ly/1TFFQXt

DreamWalkercover by Jenni Gregory

DreamWalkercover by Jenni Gregory

ALSO, MegaCon starts TODAY and runs through Sunday. This will be my fifth MegaCon, my fourth in a row. I first attended MegaCon in 1998 when I went to Orlando and visited my pal Tony Fortenberry. He was my tour guide the entire time. Then, when I moved to Orlando, I got hooked up with them again and have been every year since.

John Aman Amazing man by Gregory and Butler

John Aman Amazing man by Gregory and Butler

You can find me in artist alley at A263. Deonna will be there with me and we’ll have copies of Tiny #1 you can pick up from us and get us both to sign it! Also there will be my pals Barry Gregory who does John Aman, The Amazing Man; Jenni Gregory, who does Dreamwalker; Jeff Whiting, who does Extraterrestrial (I’ve got a story in there, too!); and a whole host of others. Come out and see us and get some cool comics! And oh! Autographs are always free!

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Introducing Tiny

Tiny, scared and alone.

Tiny, scared and alone.

I’m very excited to tell you about a new comic project and to give you a peek at what’s to come. But first, let me tell you how it came about.

Comic projects for me have always come about in different ways. Sometimes it’s that I have an idea and I look for a collaborator, but more often than not, it’s that I meet an artist and then the project comes together as a result of a friendship or conversations, etc.

Many of you are aware of my daughter Brittany’s acting—many of you have rallied and given her likes and shares when I’ve asked…and thank you for that…but it’s actually her acting that got Tiny off the ground.

Tiny and the troll mom

Tiny and the troll mom

Brittany had been to Disney a few times to audition for one of the performance roles. It’s an interesting process that I won’t go in to now, but she ended up meeting and befriending Deonna Herrold, who was there for the same reason. I don’t remember exactly how it all came about, but Brittany said she’d talked to her and that Deonna had “an interest” in drawing comics.

Now, because of my time in comics, I’ve heard that…a lot. I’ve also heard people tell me they have an interest in “being a writer.” So when I hear that, I generally just shrug. I’ve got an interest in being an astronaut, too.

But Brittany continued talking with her and eventually showed me a piece of Deonna’s art. I was pretty floored, and after seeing more, I had Brittany ask her how serious she was in her “interest.”

Turns out, she was VERY serious!

One of Tiny's rescuers!

One of Tiny’s rescuers!

The first time I met Deonna, she showed me a sketchbook chock full of art and it was clear to see the Disney influence on her work. So I did what I often do when talking with artists and asked her what sort of story she’d like to draw. She had a lot of interests (what creator doesn’t, right?), but she was very interested in fairy tales. And so because I always want my artist collaborators to enjoy the story they’re working on, and not knowing a whole lot of fairy tales, I did some research.

There are some really strange fairy tales out there, let me just leave it at that.

So I pieced together three that I thought would be fun to do and visually interesting to draw (as an artist) and see (as the reader) and pitched them to her. She selected what is now Tiny.

Baby Tiny

Baby Tiny

But here’s the cool thing—and this demonstrates just how serious Deonna is—the first issue—a full 26 pages—is DONE! This time next week we’ll be launching our kickstarter to get the 2nd issue completed. As you can see from the art samples here, Deonna’s got the chops! We’ll be counting on all of you to help!

So what is Tiny? It’s our version of the classic Hans Christian Andersen story: Tiny must survive the trials of being Tiny and staying alive, all the while trying to find out who she really is.

Stay tuned for more info!

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Lebanon Mega Con report and FCBD

Me at my table!

Me at my table!

Last weekend I attended my very first ever comic show in the state of Missouri…and had a blast. Like many shows, the time went by way too fast. Regardless, if you’re in that area, I recommend you make plans now to attend the show next year.

This was the inaugural outing and they’re off to a good start. The dealer’s room was actually a good sized room with lots of variety for fans/geeks of all types. It was a two day show and started at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning. Foot traffic picked up—as is the norm for Saturday shows—around lunch time (folks have to roll out of bed after all).

Spectacular artist Jim Hall doing his thing!

Spectacular artist Jim Hall doing his thing!

One highlight was that fantastic artist Jim Hall was just beside me. Jim has done a bunch of comics, but I met him way back when he did some pencils for me on The Protectors! I spent considerable time chatting away with him!

Reunion with Chris Wilson at Lebanon Mega Con

Reunion with Chris Wilson at Lebanon Mega Con

Another highlight was getting to see an old pal Chris Wilson! Chris worked at Camelot with me at the MetroCenter Mall in Jackson, Mississippi way back when I was in college. He went on to make a lawyer and now serves the good folk in that area of Missouri! I was incredibly flattered to learn that Chris had somewhat followed my comic career. Had a great time catching up with him!

I also got to meet actor Felix Silla, who—among other roles, played Cousin It in the Addams Family. What a nice—and funny guy he is!

Me chatting with Jerry from Worst Comics Podcast Ever.

Me chatting with Jerry from Worst Comics Podcast Ever.

I would encourage artists in that area to reach out to Will Peden, who runs Lebanon Mega Con, and let him know of your interest in next year’s show. Will—and his staff—truly take care of their guests! (Thanks to Andi for shuttling me back and forth to the airport!)

The post show lunch crowd!

The post show lunch crowd!

Free Comic Book Day is tomorrow! Saturday, May 7! Get to your local comic shop (LCS) and grab you some free comics! You’ll find most shops will have one or two comic creators there to talk to you about comics, sign autographs, and general spread the comic gospel.

I will be appearing for the first time ever at Gods & Monsters in Orlando, Florida. They’re located in the Artegon Mall just off International drive. I’ll be there with my comic making pals Barry Gregory, Jenni Gregory, Thomas Florimonte and Rene Florimonte…as well as some others. Come out and grab some free comics and say hi to us!

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