Tag Archives: MegaCon

MegaCon2015 = MegaCool!

Me, Brittany and Brett (attempting--but failing to hide behind us) at the booth!

Me, Brittany and Brett (attempting–but failing to hide behind us) at the booth!

As has been my habit the last few years, today’s entry will be a report on MegaCon 2015, which was held last week (Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 10-12). This was the third year sequentially for me to be at MegaCon since moving to Florida, and my fourth MegaCon overall (the first time I went to MegaCon was in the late 90s—I wasn’t blogging then). Some of you recall my post from last year when I talked about the clogged aisles. It seems all that was resolved this year with the move back to the west arena. While there were still massive crowds (I never saw a final count), the aisles had been expanded allowing for greater foot traffic and stopping for cosplayers. It was still crowded, but with lots of elbow room.

So my move to Indy Press was an interesting experiment as well. There are pros and cons about the location. Pro: I was on the end of the row, a corner, so lots of traffic passed by on two sides. Con: the show would only let us open the booth to one direction, kinda negating the corner aspect. The other—and this was the far bigger issue, I think—is that I signed up to be in “Indy Press,” an area where I thought I’d be surrounded by other small press publishers. There was one. The people to the booth right beside me were selling…get this…pillows. Uh. What? How is that “Indy Press?”

I'm making the face because the young fan (to the right) said I didn't look like my caricature. After I smiled, she agreed I was indeed Roland Mann.

I’m making the face because the young fan (to the right) said I didn’t look like my caricature. After I smiled, she agreed I was indeed Roland Mann.

Sigh.

I shared the booth space with writer Wes Locher (who is also a former student of mine) because the price tag was higher than I really thought I could make. That was a good decision because a)I got to spend time in the booth talking with him when there were occasional lulls (and they were occasional); b)it cut the cost in half…which ultimately meant I covered my portion of the table—which is always nice. We did a give-away together and gave away $50 worth of books to Matt de Simone and Lucas Loman.

I got to take the annual photo with Robert McGinty…but I can’t seem to locate it. Had great dinners both nights; Friday night with the aqua-talented Paul Pelletier and Saturday night with Barry Gregory (and son!). Missed this year was old pal Bill Sawyer.

Autographs are always FREE!

Autographs are always FREE!

I didn’t do a panel this year. There seemed to be confusion about the Mega-folks the last part of the year—at least in their communication with me. They announced they’d sold the show a few days before the start, so I’m guessing that’s where all the confusion came from. The previous two years were smooth sailing.

As with good shows, I’m already anticipating next years. It’ll be moved to May (Memorial Day) next year…which I’m skeptical of (but note that I already said I was anticipating next year!) only because there are so many other shows in the summer, I’d rather see them move it the other way on the calendar. Part of the reason I think the April show worked is this is Florida. It’s not cold in the winter, regardless of what the locals say!

And for you Orlando-local people, don’t forget to mark May 2 on your calendars. It’s FREE COMIC BOOK DAY and I’ll be signing books at the COLISEUM OF COMICS in the Fashion Square Mall—all day long! Come see me!

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MegaCon this weekend—be there!

MegaCon 2015 starts tomorrow and I’ll be set up this year in Indy Press booth #574. I’m sharing space with writer Wes Locher, a rising newcomer in the industry. Take my word for it, you’re going to be seeing Wes’s work pop up regularly—and you can say you heard it here first! And have I ever steered you wrong?

booth574WandRThis’ll be my third straight year since we’ve been down Orlando way, but my first with an Indy Press booth; the other two years I was in artists alley. It’s a step for me in that it’s considerably pricier to get out of the alley. Truthfully, I’m not sure that it’ll make a difference, but I wanted to try it one year and see if it did. Artist alley seems to have become a place where anyone with a pencil and pad can set up. Additionally, artist alley no longer means “comic artist.” When I first started doing comic cons back in the late 80s, the only people in artist alley were people with published work of some sort. Before you think I’m slamming indy comics, I’m not—I’m a huge fan and supporter of them. But I seem to find a lot these days that a great many artists in artist alley have nothing—and I mean nothing—in comic print. Some of them don’t even have “art,” but they have trinkety stuff. Like handmade jewelry, buttons, etc. I always thought the people who did that were traditional vendors…and at one time, they probably were.

On top of that, many of the artists are selling illegal prints. The casual fan doesn’t know the difference, of course, and these artists end up making a lot of money illegally from unknowing fans.

Eh—but I ramble because this post is not about whining. I wanted to move to the indy press area to mainly see if the traffic I get there is different. Obviously, as a comic writer, I don’t have any “prints” to sell (though I’m considering talking to the artists I collaborate with about that), so it takes a lot of $3-$10 comics to make back the expense. I’m hoping the traffic in the indy area are fans actually looking to buy comic books and not just browsing for cool art or trinkets.

Cosplay (which is just costuming by fans) has become a huge deal over the last several years. There’s some hubbub about it in circles higher than mine, but in general, I don’t mind cosplay and think it’s kinda cool (most of the times). The issue to some seems to be they are rude and block the aisles. I’ve only had that happen once, and I asked them nicely to step around the side (I was on a corner), which they politely and immediately did. I’m planning to steal a page out of my friend John Metych’s playbook this year—I’ll tell you if it works next week.

MegaCon caught some flak last year because of the traffic on Saturday. And it was bad, but it was bad because so many people came to the show—which in my mind is a good thing. More people at the show means more money on the floor. They moved back across the street to their old location this year, so hopefully that will solve the traffic issues.

So, come out and see me and Wes. We’ll be at booth #574 in Indy Press!

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2015 to come

Well, last week I rehashed some of the highlights of 2014 for me. This week, I’ll talk about what I’m looking forward to in 2015. Thus far, I’ve got two appearances lined up, but I’m optimistic more will happen. I’m always on the lookout!

In early April, I’ll be a comic guest at MegaCon and will be in Independent Press Row with my friend and hot new comic writer Wes Locher. If you’re in the Orlando area and you like all things geek, you can’t not be at MegaCon!

My other planned appearance is the Florida Writers Conference in Orlando in October. The details aren’t finalized yet, but I’ll be giving a presentation or two and probably be on a panel or two. Last year was my first and it was fantastic! I’m very excited to be returning.

I’m hoping the new year will bring me some news of the two projects I have floated about: Cat & Mouse and Beah. If I haven’t finished them by the time of this writing, I hope to get two other pitches circulating which I’ve told you about: Citizens and The Rejects. Just click on the titles to go “like” the Facebook pages for each of them where you can find art and updates on the projects.

I’m excited that Trumps has new life in it because Anthony Pereira emerged and is alive and well—and drawing the 2nd issue. Plus, I’m hoping to announce an inker on the project soon!

I’ve hinted at it before, but I’m working with a publisher to try to come to a happy agreement to see The Gifted come to fruition. While I’ve written it as a novel, he’s very interested in pursuing it as a graphic novel. The challenge is to find a way to get the art done for the small press. I’m very optimistic about it because the publisher seems to want it to happen.

I’ve also talked to artist Kevin Tuma about doing a Champion one-shot. Tuma wants to publish the work himself, so I’m excited about seeing that happen.

I briefly mentioned this a few months ago, but I “internet-met” a talented artist who is a martial arts student of a good friend of mine. I don’t know her that well (I did say “internet met”) and I don’t think she’s a huge comic fan, but her pencil work is astounding! So I hope to finish putting together a pitch for a sci-fi piece with newcomer Gabriella Rossetti.

Around Y2K I did a short comic adaptation of a short film by some folks in the Muscle Shoals area. Thanks to the changes in digital technology, I’m going to see that it becomes available. It’s being colored by my old Malibu colleague Albert Deschesne.

Speaking of older work, I’m in the process of collecting some of my older work and making them available as both a compilation and in digital format. Works to be collected will include Demon’s Tails, Krey, and some others.

Something else I want to do is an anthology that collects some of my shorter comic work. I’ve only got a couple at this point, but I’m hoping to get some others done.

I’ve talked to a few other artists who expressed interest in putting something together: Patrick Rolo did some work with me back in the Malibu days and Moye Daniel almost did some work with me…but disappeared. Both of them have reappeared, so I’m hoping we can make something happen.

Lastly, I really hope to finish my Cat & Mouse novel and send it to an agent who has already agreed to read it. I’m more than 30,000 words into it, I just need to get BIC!

So…as you can see, quite a bit of stuff that I’m excited about that will hopefully make 2015 an exciting year!

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