Tag Archives: San Diego Comic Con

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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Review of a couple of freebies from SDCC

As many of you know, San Diego Comic Con is now a hot spot for freebies and exclusives. I’m a comic purest enough that I have no idea what special toy items were there…and I don’t really care. But man, the lines were long for some of them. Thousands of attendees lined up for the freebies in many of the major booths. I walked by the DC booth once to see a well-oiled freebie machine as con attendees were walking through at a steady pace receiving free DC swag from several staffers. Actually, a pretty impressive site.

Even though I wasn’t after any of that, I managed to grab a couple of free comics simply by walking by and having a copy offered to me. I gladly took them, of course. Free comics!

AfterworldTwo such free comics were Colonel Corps by DC Comics and Afterworld by Panini. I read both of them and though they may “look” similar in quality, they are far from it.

I read Afterworld first because it looked a bit cooler than a comic with multiple KFC Colonels. The cover featured a shirtless barbarian wielding a nasty axe preparing to take on a few soldiers. Even flipping through the book, the art is actually pretty good. I have no idea who any of the creators are: Stefano Vietti=script; Gianluca Gugliotta=art; Stefano Simeone=colors. All of the names other names (editors, etc) are Italian, so this may very well be a comic made in Italy and translated for the American market. That’s purely a guess, though.

Wait. Did I say “translated?” Silly me. In the 12 pages of art, there are only 254 words…and that includes the sound effects and “to be continued.” That averages to about 22 words per page.

And there’s the problem. I have no idea where the story takes place. I have no idea who the barbarian is. I have no idea why the soldiers are after him. I have no idea how he goes from defeating the soldiers to suddenly finding himself in a cage.

And then, when I learn the “story” is continued…I just don’t care.

At the end of page 7, we suddenly get some first person narrative of the main barbarian character who wonders how one of the enemy soldiers can be quick…or disappear. We, of course, never learn which it was. Like I said, I just don’t care.

KFC02Colonel Corps claims to be the 2nd issue…and it may very well be, but I’d never heard of it before. That said, even though this story was silly-goofy, I always knew who the characters were and where they were doing what they were doing: Evil Colonel Sunder stole the secret recipe and split it unto parts with alternate world good Colonels getting a single part. Good Colonel has to put together a team of Colonels (the Colonel Corps) and stop evil Colonel Sunder and get the missing parts of the recipe back). And this story had a multitude of characters, so of the two, I SHOULD be confused in this one.

But I wasn’t. Of course, it shouldn’t surprise me because it was written by Tony Bedard with art supplied by Tom Derenick (pencils) and Trevor Scott (inks). Derenick is a solid visual story-teller and Bedard knows what’s necessary in the text for the reader. It’s not over-written by any stretch of the imagination, it’s just nicely done!

As a side note, Colonel Corps also has a nice homage cover to the JLA #1 cover by Kevin Maguire.

Of the two freebies, Afterworld was a waste of dead trees while Colonel Corps was a fun read. And no, you can’t have my copy!

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Con Report: San Diego Comic Con 2016

Me with Hank Kanalz

Me with Hank Kanalz

Me with Kurtis Fujita, Larry Welch, and Diana Fujita.

Me with Kurtis Fujita, Larry Welch, and Diana Fujita.

I went to San Diego Comic Con last week for the first time since 1999. There’s far too much excitement to be contained in a single blog post (and too many pictures!)…but I’m going to do it anyway!

First, I had the opportunity to go thanks to Barry Gregory and Thomas Florimonte, my pals who also happen to be co-owners of the premier comic POD (Print on demand) company in the US, Ka-Blam! And I wouldn’t have been able to accompany them without the support of my fantastic boss, Noelani Cornell. I gotta admit, it’s pretty cool to actually be appreciated for my comic industry ties (instead of having to hide it at my previous university teaching positions).

Me with Alan Payne

Me with Alan Payne

Me and Ross Richie

Me and Ross Richie

Thomas and I left Wednesday morning of the convention and arrived at SD not long after lunch (I thought I was arriving much later, but that’s another story). Barry was there waiting on us and already all set up in the Indy Comic section. Wednesday was basically “attendees trying to get free and exclusive crap.” And some of the booths had it down to a science—the DC Comics booth moved people through like a ride a Universal!

Me with Jim Chadwick

Me with Jim Chadwick

Me with Dave Dorman

Me with Dave Dorman

Most people told me that I would be surprised at how “different” the show was. Maybe it was because of that, but it didn’t really strike me as that much different than 1999, only far bigger. Yeah, there were a lot of booths of things about which I had no clue (mostly tv shows) and all the madness that is Hall H was away from the convention floor—which is where I pretty much always spent my time anyway…so, to me, it was the same, but bigger…but it was MUCH bigger!

Me with Nat Gertler

Me with Nat Gertler

Me with UV Superfan Michael Novotny, Dave Olbrich, and Tom Mason.

Me with UV Superfan Michael Novotny, Dave Olbrich, and Tom Mason.

There were far too many people I caught up with to compile a complete list here, but some of those I got to see and catch up with included Ross Richie, Hank Kanalz, Bobbie Chase, Kurtis Fujita (and his lovely bride, Diana), Alan Payne, Scott Rosenberg, Dan Nakrosis, Larry Welch, and Bob Schreck. I saw a bunch of people I just got to say a quick “hello” to without catching up—and that was still cool: Joe Phillips, Julie Anne Wight, Dave Dorman, Tom Mason, Mickie Villa, Dave Olbrich, Nat Gertler, Marv Wolfman, Howard Chaykin, Aaron Lopresti, Darick Robertson, Terry Dodson, Robert Roach and I’m sure I’m leaving some out.

Me with Julie Anne Wight

Me with Julie Anne Wight

Mostly, I spent the show catching up with friends and hanging out at the Gallant table (where Barry debuted a cool new action figure!) and Mike Hefforn of Archblue’s table.

I also got to meet some cool indy comic creators I didn’t know before the show. In fact, we hung out a bit and had a fun time: Mike Heffron, James Heffron, Steve Bryant, and Chris Murrin. They even invited us to participate in their traditional end of con debriefing!

Steve Bryant, Chris Murrin, James Heffron, Me, Barry Gregory, Thomas Florimonte

Steve Bryant, Chris Murrin, James Heffron, Me, Barry Gregory, Thomas Florimonte

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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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2013 that was

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas!

The years keep rolling around like The Flash and I’m looking back on one again. Yeah, I’ll look forward next week! J

Like most years, 2013 was filled with highs and lows. It was twelve years ago that BJ and I calculated it out and figured out 2013 would be the year Brittany graduated from high school and start college. We just didn’t think it’d happen so fast. But, it did and our baby girl is now a high school graduate and a college freshman.

I began the year with the intentions of attending the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) again for the first time in a decade. MY how things have changed. While they graciously supplied me with a guest badge, I couldn’t even pay to get BJ and the kids in—we were going to make it a summer trip, a sort of post-graduation trip for Brittany (I promise, it’s what she wanted!). So that did happen. What did happen, though, was MegaCon in Orlando invited me as a comics guest and then let me bring both Brittany and Brett to help man the tables. While both had been to shows before, this was by far the biggest for both of them. I’m still not sure Brett was impressed.

In May I returned to Spalding University in Louisville, KY., my alma mater (one of them) where I was honored to get to get to give a talk on comic writing. A brief technological glitch got me off to a slow start…but after few minutes, I regained my composure…I mean, after all, I was talking about graphic novels! Pretty cool, if I do say so myself!

Brittany made a late decision to attend Full Sail after we thought she was going to go to UNA. What changed her mind was touring the campus! We did our best not to try to persuade her one way or the other, but were overjoyed she decided to go to Full Sail.

Late in the summer, after having the house on the market for well over a year, some renters entered the picture and wanted to occupy immediately so that their kids could start school and not have to change in the middle—or a few weeks in to a school year. Completely unprepared for renters, but totally recognizing it as a God-thing, we scrounged to vacate. Fortunately, we had the help of Hank Addy and the Dabbs family and we moved out on a Sunday, they moved in on the next day.

We then spent two months crammed on top of each other in a one bedroom efficiency. BJ called it “glamping,” but that didn’t amuse Brittany and Brett much. The housing market shocked us—and we still haven’t found a house, but we ended up in an apartment in Oviedo and at least the kids have their own personal space now.

Job wise, I moved back in to the classroom as the campus version of my writing for comics and animation class kicked in. While I’m not real fond of the scheduling at Full Sail, I definitely like my class AND being back in the classroom. While I’ve had movement with my writing, I’ll talk about that next week when I look ahead to 2014! See ya next year!

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Wizard World Comic Con 2011

Those who’ve known me for more’n a decade know that I’ve been to dozens and dozens of comic book/science fiction (recently turned media) conventions. I first began going as a fan and not long after, as a “guest.” Most of the shows I’ve been to have been in God’s country down here in the Southland: Dallas Fantasy Festival, Atlanta DragonCon, MegaCon (Orlando), NOSFF (New Orleans), CoastCon (Biloxi), MobiCon (Mobile), ChimneyCon and MissCon (Jackson), MidSouthCon and ShadowCon(Memphis), Chicago ComicCon, WonderCon (Oakland), SPE (Small Press Expo), APE (Alternative Press Expo), and a couple I’m sure I’ve forgotten. Most of those named I’ve been to multiple times, CoastCon probably being my most attended show (and the FIRST to ever invite me as a guest).

I say all that to say that when I recently attended Wizard World Comic Con in New Orleans, I had a pretty good idea what I thought I’d expect. Boy was I surprised! The guys at Wizard World—my dealings in particular were with Stephen Shamus—know how to put on a top notch show. I was surprised at multiple things: how clean it was, how smoothly it ran, how mostly family-friendly it was, how professional it was. I don’t know all the politics of it all, but I do know that Wizard World has purchased or is in the process of purchasing conventions all around the nation (they bought a spot in Nashville and I hope I get to attend that show!)

One of my personal highlights for the show was getting able to visit with and see old pals (picture: left to right: Steven Butler, yours truly, Ken Branch, Dan Nakrosis, Mitch Byrd). Wizard even worked it out so that our tables were positioned immediately next to us. Talk about convenience for our fans! The neat thing was that it’d been 20 years since me, Mitch and Steven had signed copies together and never before had me, Mitch, Steven and Ken ever been in the same place at the same time. Neither here nor there, I guess, still, it was pretty cool. Ken is pushing his hot off the press graphic novel, 35 Years Will You Survive?, a story of global warming repercussions.

I also had the opportunity to visit with Christy Butler, Steven’s wife. I think Christy is a lot like BJ (my wife—for those one or two who didn’t know) in that a little bit of “conventioning” is enough. I tell the story of BJ’s first trip to the San Diego Comic Con, the granddaddy of them all and how she showed up at the Malibu booth and said she was going to look around. Fifteen minutes later she was back and saying goodbye—she’d seen enough of the convention to suit her fancy. And she went shopping in downtown.

Fifteen minutes.

Another of my joys was that my daughter Brittany got to come along with me. She also had a good time. She got to meet several actors and ask them for suggestions about becoming an actress. Most of them didn’t really help her much AND she didn’t get to get any autographs (they were selling signatures. Adam West wanted $60 for his autograph!). However, Ray Park (the guy who played Darth Maul in Star Wars) was incredibly nice to her. And it was funny, cause she—not being a big Star Wars fan—came back to the table to tell me about it and called him the “Sith dude.”

I’ll eagerly do another Wizard World Comic show…and you should check out one in your area!

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