The Stack, 2015

Another year and another instance of San Diego’s primary contribution to culture, Comic Con.
A respectable 11 inches of books for under $500. That’s counting money spent on food and drink, and not including the statue of Krypto because that’s cheating. I’ve read all of this except the two novels and two of the graphic novels. Expect a future post on the best of the Stack.

I’ll also have a future post on pitching; the act of selling a publisher or other investor on a story. I learned a lot about pitching that weekend, that was my main takeaway beyond the books. Excellent timing too, since I’ll be doing just that at the SoCal Writers’ Conference in September.


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Comic Con 2014


It was an amazing Con. I learned a lot and got to see Con friends. Spike’s brain was ripe for the picking on Tumblr techniques. Accidentally wandered into the Grant Morrison Multiversity panel, scored a Map of the Multiverse, and turned it into Reddit Karma. Bore witness to a recording of Pop Culture Happy Hour. Possibly broke a toe on Saturday morning. Did that stop me from walking the Con floor for the weekend, fuck no it didn’t. Of course the one TV panel I wanted to get into left me standing outside, typical Venture Bros.

The Pro Lounge used to be a barren wasteland of free coffee and empty tables, but this year I met someone every time I stopped for a rest. I’m going to spend more time there next year.

The high point, what really recharged my battery: I asked Geoffrey Thorne about leveraging my novel work into comic and TV mediums. His said not worry about that, keep producing quality content and the work will find you.

I’d better get back to writing.

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The Stack 2011

The Stack 2011 A

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And it’s less than a week away. Ah Comic Con, my favorite holiday. And even though I’ll have a pro badge, a valid one this time, I still don’t quite feel like I’ve arrived. Picking Up the Ghost doesn’t come out for another month and because of the Canadian mail carrier strike I might not even have an advanced reader copy with me as proof of my adequacy.

Stupid postmen.

But there’s money to be spent, $100 maybe $200. And the panels look pretty good. Lots of Grant Morrison. I’m breaking my no TV and movie panel policy for a chance to see Joe Hill talk about Locke & Key. And many more writer-centric panels to give me a place to learn and sit down. And some panels that just seem quaint; Beavis and Butthead, Napoleon Dynamite and three Lost panels? Really?

My Sched:

Is it just me or is the MySched less spectacular this year? I can’t seem to connect with my many and vast social circles.

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The Stack 2010

Despite my tightest budget in years I somehow managed to do this.

13″ Dog shown for scale and flair.

The SDCC Stack 2010

There are a lot more prose books than comic books this year and they offer a lot more inch per dollar. And that big Art of Warcraft book was only $15.

The Highlights

  • Learned about trauma from the docs at BroadcastThought
  • Grant Morrison panels are always awesome
  • The Goon trailer is very promising, they promise that if someone gives them some money they’ll make the rest of the movie
  • China Mieville is far funnier in person than I thought he’d be

Tomorrow, back to the grind.

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I am blown away by Comic Con’s new scheduling website. You can select whatever events you want, see full descriptions, arrange your plan, see where your friends are going to be and then print the whole thing out.

Here’s where I’ll be during Con, come visit or attempt to assassinate me at your whim.

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Comic Con is purging the professional ranks. Which is fair, there are a lot of non-creative professionals that have been riding the pro passed handed to them when they may have worked for Sony Online Entertainment once upon a time.

But it makes me nervous because even though my professional qualifications are stronger than they’ve ever been, they’re still pretty weak. And the four day passes sold out months ago.

Crossin’ my fingers…

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It’s that most magical time of the year, Comic Con, when $1000 disappears from my wallet.

But this year is a little different. this year my pro-pass might actually mean something since I have a finished novel to shill. I’ll be on the lookout for agents and publishers. Publishers shouldn’t be too hard to find and pin down in their booths, agents… well only if I get lucky.

I’m also hoping for a creative and motivational recharge. There’s been some work-stress lately and that’s kept me from writing much, but I have thrown down some notes for some short pieces that really should get more of my attention.

But first, onward to Con and consumption!

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SDCC 2008 Wrap-Up

Best. Con. Ever.
Lots of Grant Morrison, lots of people, lots of purchases.

the stack

Click to experience the majesty

I went there expecting to get the Blue Beetle trades, Flight, Paradigm Shift and Templar, AZ. I have pretty much everything else I need, comics-wise. But two things happened; I got into art books and Writer’s Digest had a booth.

22 inches at ~$800. Two new records.

The advanced ticket sales were obvious the first hour of Preview Night, it was slammed and the Con stayed slammed all weekend long. On Sunday I asked the guy from Nuclear Comics how the recession effected this Comic Con and his answer was “What recession? This was my best Con ever.” Even some self published web comics that I know sold out. (Congratulations, guys!)

And there was a lot of Grant Morrison, which is always awesome.

My Shaky Videos:

Other memorable moments:

  • MC Frontalot specs, eyeware for my freakishly large head.
  • Dan on a DC Nation panel. As the audience Flash expert.
  • RiffTrax Live showing of plan 9 From Outer Space was worth every penny.
  • The Worst Cartoons Ever were horrible. Needless to say we were pleased.
  • At a DC Nation panel one of the fans said that Countdown was the worst thing to happen to him last year. And he’d also been diagnosed as HIV positive.
  • I determined that Twitter did nothing to enhance my Comic Con experience. I might give it another shot next year.
  • Panel Jam: With so many in attendance there was a real problem making it into some of the more popular panels. We couldn’t get into the Lost panel because it was preceded by Heroes. People were camping out in front of the Convention Center overnight just to get into those two panels.
    However, I didn’t have any problems getting into any of the comics-themed panels so what does that say?

This was the third Con in a row where my pro-pass was based on my novel-in-progress. That’s a little embarrassing. So I set some goals: Have the novel done and submitted to publishes and agents by the end of the year, have a pitch ready for Virgin Comics by next year’s Con. I think that’s reasonable.

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SDCC 2007 Wrap-up

AMY: I like black and white comics about sensitive boys learning how to masterbate.
TONE: Oh, like Blankets.

I didn’t have an epiphany-moment like I usually do. But I did decide to get back to comics writing once the novel is done. According to Carla Speed McNeil it takes a book about a year to go through the publishing process and I won’t be ready to start another novel for awhile so I might as well get back on the comics bus for a few months. Hopefully, I can have Pulp Fission and Sorcerers Seven finished sometime next year. They’ve been on the shelf too long.

I did learn that there are now two Crime Syndicates, one in the Anti-Matter Universe and one on Earth-3. That was pretty exciting.

I got to see some of the Chicago people; and Matt, who gave us cut in the line for the Worst Cartoons Ever panel (they really were) and was at his booth. Dirk explained that the Iron Sideshow has been kind of slow because Chicagomites have been able to go outside. Apparently they have something called “Winter” which keeps them indoors for a third of the year. I was kind of fuzzy on the details but I should expect the message board to warm up again around November.

I bought a lot ($750):

SDCC 2007 Stack

The only total disappointment; the bootleg Rowdy Roddy Piper DVD has no audio.

New awesomenesses that I discovered:
Polly & the Pirates A little girl is abducted into the cutthroat world of… cutthroats: Which turns out to be an easier life than boarding school.

The Damned A Prohibition Era mob story, where the crime families are run by demons and our hero has been cursed to never die.

The Surrogates A future where no one leaves their homes, instead they remotely pilot robot bodies. A murder mystery in a time where murder is a property crime, only an inconvenience.

Not the best con ever, but still pretty good.

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