Thursday, August 27, 2009

Indy Comic Book Week

The other week Diamond Comic Distributors announced to comic shops that Diamond will not be shipping comics on the last week of December. That means on Wednesday, December 30th, there will not be any new comics on the shelf of your local comic shop. There has been some talk about Diamond's firm hold on the comic distribution industry, but I want to look past that and look at the opportunity this creates for small publishers and local comic book creators. This is a perfect storm that opens up those new release shelves for the independent community. We don't have to be set aside to the small publisher shelf for once and can stand tall in the spots that the big, national publishers usually take. Not only is this an opportunity for creators, it's a great opportunity for the reader as well. Instead of picking up their usual books, they can check out something new, different, and most likely something local.

So, I'm putting forth this idea to the comic book community. Let's turn "No Comic Book Week" into "Indy Comic Book Week". Creators, let's step up and put those books together. This is our chance to show the world that our books and creations can stand strong on those shelves as well as any major publication. It doesn't have to be a 22-page full color affair; it can be a small black-and-white ashcan. But it has to be new, it has to be a product of your own creation, and it has to be awesome. Then talk to your local comic shops about putting your book on those shelves for the week of December 30th. Comic book readers, go to your local comic shops and tell them you want to see "Indy Comic Book Week" on the new release shelves. Tell them you want to see something new and different on those shelves. Comic book retailers, show some support for your local creators by filling those new release shelves with great indy books and hopefully open up your patrons to something new that they would not have read otherwise.

Let's get the news out there guys. For you twitters out there, use the hashtag #
indycomicbookweek to show your comics, your progress shots, and your support for creators and comic shops. This is a great opportunity so let's step up and get it done!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dallas Comic Con August 2009 Recap

[the Ruby enjoying her weekend working with Titan Comics;
more photos can be found on my flickr account]

Mark and Ben really knocked this one out of the freaking part. The show was craaaaazy big for what it usually is. The crowd was seriously huge, especially for such a small venue. The J. Scott line wrapped around the civic center; which unfortunately cut us off from the main vein of traffic. Nothing against DCC, it's just how the venue is built. There's no real good way to handle a line that big there. Hopefully these bigger shows will keep up and they'll be able to move up to a bigger center. With CAPE on hiatus and WWTX getting canceled, the DFW shows were pretty limited this year. Though DCC really stepped up to the plate and delivered an awesome show.

Overall the show was pretty good to the studio. I was hopped up on no sleep and Red Bull the first day so I was up and about more than I should have been. Sorry to anyone if i seemed a bit spastic; there were a few things i wanted to accomplish at the show so i was running all over the place. I really should learn to stay at my table more; i'd probably make more money and have a more productive convention. Though honestly my summer was wrecked due to trying to juggle so many things at once and scrambling for work. I'm just not use to handling so many different aspects of my life. So I did not get as much as I had wanted to for the show. I couldn't replenish my pinup books and business cards so I rolled in pretty empty handed sadly. I did get three new prints done, but they didn't really raise any eyebrows. It's great being listed as "guests" but when you're not a big enough name to draw in the crowd to you, you have to put yourself out there to meet the crowd. Though I HATE doing the hard sell to any convention goer cause I hate it when it is done to me. It's that fine balance; and honestly it's easy to promote the studio as a whole, but when it comes to promoting myself, i freaking suck at it.

DCC was in fact a good final show for the year, and it came at about the right time too. Once you start hitting the fall it's really time to wind down the traveling and wrap up the year. With that said, I am about to head out to BlizzCon in California within the hour. Thankfully it's not a working convention so hopefully i can just relax for the weekend and come back a bit refreshed. And i'm helping out Ruby with her mom's retail table at AnimeFEST. So busy. As the mantra goes, next month will be less busy. Sadly, it's always next month.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Atlanta Road Trip!

[The helpful GPS. Rest of the photos are up on my flickr account.]

This past weekend Jake, Evan, and I took a road trip to Atlanta, GA to visit Gaijin Studios and other friends in the area. It was a looong drive, about twelve hours. Good to know that i can take a trip with the guys and not kill them during the trip. Luckily I was able to sleep for most of it as with how short i am, i can lay down in the backseat somewhat comfortably. Which worked out on the way east as i was able to wake up about mid-day and do a shift in driving. We were on the road from dark skies pre-sunrise to dark skies post-sunset.

Everyone at Gaijin gave us a warm welcome and let us putter around the studio for a few days. I hope we didn't get in the way too much as they all had a lot of work to be done. Just being around them was a good vibe though and it helped bring up my spirits a bit. It's been a rough few months and being around that sort of environment really gives me a good outlook on things. We also visited Sam at Radical Axis, where they do Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Squidbillies. Getting to meet Sam in person is really awesome. I wish we had more time to hang out with him but his weekend was pretty booked. Tom and Casey gave us a quick look at Studio Revolver which is a pretty wicked work space. They're great guys, it was nice to finally meet them in person. Being able to put a face to a screen name really helps my later years memory. Tony and Sarena hosted an afternoon lunch at their place out in the sticks. It wasn't too far, but for me that 's a lot of hills and trees. Seeing Tony's home work space was great; he has an awesome yet simple setup. It was a great afternoon of food and friends. Getting to know Karl a bit more was hilarious; though his description of Fallout 3 and its expansions will lead me into finally getting the game. Which will also lead me to doing NO work. Anyways, we also got to see Little 5 Points with Dwight from the podcast Sidebar. We met up with Swain briefly but something came up last minute. They're great guys with a wonderfully insightful podcast. We ate at The Vortex which offers absolute monsters of a burger. I think I'm still digesting it.

We did the figure drawing session that Gaijin hosts at their studio. It's a great thing to have done, especially with the guys there to give crits and input. For one the 20min poses, i didn't even bother drawing and watched Brian work. Just watching him work was educational, i just wish i was across the room to see Tony work too. If any of you are in the Atlanta area, you should be hitting this up every week. I am jealous that we don't have something like this in Dallas.

All in all, the trip was great. Seeing everyone's work space was awesome; but honestly what I found interesting was seeing a glimpse of their home life. All people talk about in this industry is the heavy work grind, deadlines, and editors. But what about the family, the kids, and the friends? Everyone i met this weekend i had already looked up to as a friend and professional, but now i have a newly gained respect for them for also being such wonderful and dedicated people. Having to work 14 hour days is grueling enough, but having to also be a husband and a father on top on this is an amazing feat. It's something that we rarely hear about and should really be aware of, especially for those of us trying to make it in this crazy industry.

Thanks to everyone I met on this trip, you made it freaking awesome!