Tag Archives: Chris Ulm

Catch-up con report

Brittany, Chris Ulm, and me at SDCC2017

I haven’t done a con report since MegaCon, and that was back in June. So this will be a catch-up Con report!

In July I did the Orlando Collect-A-Con in Altemonte Springs. It was a fun show and I’m already planning a return there for next year! Also in July, I went out to San Diego Comic Con for the second year in a row (thanks to my buddies at Ka-Blam!). I got to see many old pals, including my former boss and Malibu Editor-in-Chief, Chris Ulm!

Steven Butler, Barry Gregory, me, John Crowther

I was no sooner back from SDCC when my other old pal, Steven Butler was in town for a convention in Tampa. I rode out there with old pal Barry Gregory and we were joined by new pal John Crowther for a fun dinner and lively chat!

In early August, Jeff Whiting and I made the long trip up to Pikeville, KY for the inaugural Pikeville ComicCon. We had a blast. What an awesome first show it was. Got the chance to meet a lot of new people there. Got my fingers crossed for an invite back to the second one—yes, it was that cool of a show!

Stephen Rosys, Jeff Whiting, Cody Barker, Todd Goodman, Mike W. Belcher, Me, Aiden Belcher

In late August, I went to the Orlando Infinity Con. This was my second time to be there and this is one of the closest ones to my home, so it’s very easy to do.

I had planned to do the Lake Collect-A-Con in October, a show I’ve done before and look forward to doing again, but my band chaperone mishap the day before (you can read about it here if you missed it) kept me from attending. Yes, I basically laid around the house and moaned all day. If you don’t believe me, ask BJ. I’ve been to LCAC twice, and I’m looking forward to making the third one next year.

I had help a few weeks later, though, as Brett supplied the muscle to get me in the door at Emerald City Comic Fest, another inaugural show. This one, too, was very good. One thing I really liked about it was that admission was free! Not sure how the show managed to pull that off, but the free admission got a whole host of folks in, some comic fans and some just curious to see what all the noise was about. Met some new folks, but had the chance to catch up with Dave again, who always brings me something to sign when he comes to a show I’m at. I think I’ve signed more books for Dave than any other single person. He brings me books I’ve forgotten I worked on!

Barry Gregory, John Crowther, me!

Another fun thing about ECCF is that The Geeky Mom set up right beside me! (that’s BJ, for those of you with raised eyebrows right now!)

Central Florida is a great place to be if you like comics, comic conventions, and meeting comic creators!

Coming up, I’ll be at Smashcon on November 18th and unless I can work out a show for early December (trying to, but it may not happen), that’ll be my last show for the year.

 

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In the Spirit of Thankfulness part 2

My thankful missive was longer than I expected, so here is the second—but no less important—half of the 30 days of thankfulness. I’m thankful for…

14 my sister. Even though I was pretty mean to her when we were kids, I’m thankful to have a beautiful and smart sister who loves me despite that fact. How the heck SHE ended up a computer geek is beyond me. I’m pretty sure she did it just to SPITE me. 😉 (she gets to head this week because she just had a birthday and STILL hasn’t caught me! Happy birthday, sis!)

13 the year and a half I got to live in Piggott. Piggott is that place that’s always been a home away from home for me. I’m kin to about 1/3 of the people there simply because my family has been in that are for 150+ years. Though the job situation (meaning mostly—the boss) was less than desirable, I’m glad to have gotten the chance to live and work there for a brief time. What made it even better was that most of the residents seemed to appreciate the work I did there AND seemed to enjoy my writing. I’ll never forget the first words from Mayor Gerald Morris when I told him who my family was (he knew them all): “Welcome home.”

12 good bosses. Having a bad boss (see #13) reminds you to be thankful for the good bosses you have (BJ can attest to that also!), and I’ve had some good ones in my time. I’ll mention by name: Noelani Cornell (my current boss at Full Sail University), Chris Ulm (the EIC during my time at Malibu), and the late Dr. Bill Foster (Department Chair at UNA where I taught).

11 Malibu Comics. Yeah, I know the company is long dead (shut down in 96), but it—and the people associated with it—hold a very dear place in my heart. Like some of the other entries here, there are far too many people to name. But I always think of Malibu as the four principle partners: Scott Rosenberg, Chris Ulm, Dave Olbrich, and Tom Mason. These guys took in the young writer from Mississippi and quickly made me a part of the family. I’m also forever grateful to Tom—I’m sure he knows—for opening up his home to me and BJ after the ’94 Northridge earthquake made us homeless.

10 my beloved Southland. I know that about half of you won’t get it, but MY country is the South not the USA, which forces our relationship at the end of a gun barrel (or a drone, these days). And for those one or two idjits who stop by here because google led you to the word “southland,” the whole Dixie thing is not about race for most (yes, there are some idiots of all creeds and colors and yes, states)…but I once tried to explain it all by saying I’ve got a lot more in common with the black guy who lives on the street in front of me than the white guy who lives up north. Truth!

9 little league organizations (all of them, not any one in particular). My dad coached me for several years when I was in high school and it was one of those things that helped bring us together when I was such a rotten teen. It gave us some common ground stuff to talk about…and it didn’t hurt that he was a darn good coach—we went 25-0 when I was a senior. I’ve been able to coach both of my kids for a number of years and I love that part about coaching … I really missed it last year and that’s probably what put it on my mind to make me so thankful.

8 my friends in law enforcement. Like the other entries, there’s too many to name—but I’ll still shout out to a couple for ridealongs and other such cool info I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else: Bobby Joe Killen and Dave Cullison!

7 my writing skills. You’re welcome to laugh—and that won’t offend me…but at whatever level I have them, I’m thankful for them. Like any writer, I hope my writing brings joy and pleasure to others…but it really is something I very much enjoy and I’m thankful for whatever skills I may have.

6 my students (most of them—ha). I’ve often said that teaching is a lot like editing: a very thankless job. An editor is (in general) good if they are “invisible” to the projects they work on, bringing out the best in the creators they’re working with, allowing them to shine. It’s an awesome feeling when a student drops you a private message or publicly thanks you for instruction/advice/encouragement.

5 my extended family. They’re a bunch of nuts, but they’re mine. (see the facebook entry#23 as a sidenote for this one, too)

4 my earthquake desk. BJ hates it. I bought it for $25 back around 1988. My dad knew this place (I don’t remember how) and we picked up this huge metal desk. It’s HEAVY. I started calling it earthquake desk in California because if the big one came (again), we could just jump under it and we’d be okay. The thing is STURDY. Every time we move BJ tries to talk me into getting rid of it and getting something “nicer.” You watch—she’ll do it again once we sell this house!

3 Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. No, I’m not going to get into the debate as to who did what. But they were an amazing team and helped me develop a love for reading when I was but a wee lad.

2 YOU, dear reader. You continue to visit my blog and read my ramblings when I know that is exactly what they are. Many of you offer you own comments and much encouragement…and you are highly treasured by me!

1 my salvation. Okay, yeah, I DID intentionally leave this one for the #1 spot (and because the first of November also happens to be my birthday!) I’m thankful that a loving God forgives me of the sins I commit daily (oh-stop! Y’ain’t so perfect yerself) and that I live in a country that I’m free to express that (mostly).

So there…if you read this far, thanks for hanging with me. Lots to be thankful for…I could probably go on, but I won’t. THANKFULLY for you, November only has 30 days!

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I’m at war!

That’s right. War! War I tell you. And it’s become very personal. Why?

Because they bit me.

What, may you ask, am I talking about?

Fire ants. It seems we’ve had several thousand fire ants decide to set up camp in and around our yard. And the problem is, they’re everywhere.

And they’re so danged hard to get rid of.

I’ve never liked ants of any sort. Well, that’s not exactly true. I watched a documentary one time about ants that showed two different ant colonies; one red, one black; go to war. Yes, I mean they literally went to war. Two huge groups from each side met somewhere in between their mounds and fought it out. When it was finished, the narrator’s words were nearly something to the effect of: “the battlefield was littered with the dead and dying from each side.”

Plus, I’ve read that fire ants down in South America can survive flooding by all clinging together and floating like a big ball on top of the water. I’d like to see that…but not up close.

My first real fight with ants, however, was when we moved to California. It seems CSUN is built on top of one huge ant bed. Sure, we’d had bouts with ants before, but we’d just put a little Terro down and they were gone in a day. Those California ants just snacked on the Terro and wanted more. We went through four or five packages before doing them any harm.

In general, though, you’ll hear me sing praises of Terro. Matter of fact, if you’re battling with ants, go grab you a package or two and it’ll take care of them.

So, I wasn’t too concerned when I saw a mound or two a few weeks ago. After all, I’d grown up in Mississippi and fire ants are just part of the package.

Funny side note here: Around 1997/8, after I’d returned to Mississippi from California, my former Editor-In-Chief Chris Ulm came out for a visit for a few days. His only excursion into the South had been Atlanta, and well—we all know Hotlanta isn’t really “Southern” anymore. So I snag my good pal Ashley Koostra and we take Chris out to the Battlefield at Vicksburg. We have a nice tour and stop at the USS Cairo to sit down for lunch. Chris sits right in a fire ant bed and gets 20-30 bites! The next words out of Ashley’s mouth were something to the effect of, “Oh yeah. We forgot to tell you about the fire ants.”

So I put some poison on the mounds and think that’ll at least knock them down some, probably not out. They multiplied. I can’t figure out why, either. Now, instead of four of five mounds, I’ve got 13 or 14 mounds of varying sizes. They’ve come up close to my house—that’s when I declared war!

This video is of Brittany playing volleyball. She plays on the JV team for Lafayette County and they’re doing well. This video shows them trouncing cross-town rival, Oxford. Brittany wears jersey #1.

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