Archive for June, 2009

Podcasting Panel at HeroesCon

Well friends, if I were to say I wasn’t excited to be taking part in my first convention panel I would be lying. This Saturday, I’ll take part in the COMIC PODCASTERS: Giving Back To The Medium panel.
Jimmy Aquino (who set it up) was looking for a topic for this year’s session and I was the one to suggest it. You see many of these podcasts are doing so much more than simply sharing audio shows. Comic Geek Speak has spun off it’s own convention (The Super Show) where fans gather, Indie Spinner Rack has set up an anthology that generates a scholarship for up and coming comic creators and Jimmy, well Jimmy and Comic News Insider bring fans together for some great party gatherings celebrating comics.
What will I talk about? I plan to discuss how Comic Related’s mission is to look out for that smaller press creators who sometimes can’t find the spotlight on other big name websites. I hope to talk about how creators can find a home at CR if they choose. I plan to talk about how we lure readers in with mainstream content, but try and sprinkle in small press stories right alongside those big names in an effort to increase the reader base for you series (which when we’re succeeding is a 60/40 split small press to mainstream).
In our own way, we’re really trying to make a difference and in this respect, CR isn’t alone. If last year’s panel (which you can listen to start to finish right here at CR) was any indication, it should be fun!
Cheers!

podcastingWell friends, if I were to say I wasn’t excited to be taking part in my first convention panel I would be lying. This Saturday, I’ll take part in the COMIC PODCASTERS: Giving Back To The Medium panel.

Jimmy Aquino (who set it up) was looking for a topic for this year’s session and I was the one to suggest it. You see many of these podcasts are doing so much more than simply sharing audio shows. Comic Geek Speak has spun off it’s own convention (The Super Show) where fans gather, Indie Spinner Rack has set up an anthology that generates a scholarship for up and coming comic creators and Jimmy, well Jimmy and Comic News Insider bring fans together for some great party gatherings celebrating comics.

What will I talk about? I plan to discuss how Comic Related’s mission is to look out for that smaller press creators who sometimes can’t find the spotlight on other big name websites. I hope to talk about how creators can find a home at CR if they choose. I plan to talk about how we lure readers in with mainstream content, but try and sprinkle in small press stories right alongside those big names in an effort to increase the reader base for you series (which when we’re succeeding is a 60/40 split small press to mainstream).

In our own way, we’re really trying to make a difference and in this respect, CR isn’t alone. If last year’s panel (which you can listen to start to finish right here at CR) was any indication, it should be fun!

Cheers!

Swing and a miss!

Well friends, Eric and I tried last night. We really did. I had some storms in my area and our Skype connection was unusually bad. After dropping the call about eight times and having words cut out on us mid-sentence, we called it a night after an hour and a half.

Have no fear… that doesn’t spell the demise of the Why I Love Comics show for this week. It’s just morphing into a LIVE FROM HEROESCON show. We’re going to try the call again from my hotel room down in Charlotte on Thursday adding an extra show to our already wonderfully PACKED audio weekend.

Clear out that iPod. There’s a TON of stuff coming. We’ll fire things up with a short format pre-con show this evening then it’s Road ShowPLUS Why I Love Comics on Thursday night.

Audio team go!!!

Set to the Yellowbelts, here’s a bit of really rough video from HeroesCon I shot last year, just to get you in the mood for a show…

Time… It’s all about time!

Where does the time go? I swear I blink and four hours have passed. It really does happen that quick. It always feels this way just before a big convention, but for some reason I feel like I’m pulling this one together at the last minute more so than normal. Maybe it’s that CR has grown so much. Maybe it’s that the crew is getting bigger. Maybe I’m just a bit tired this month. In any event, in just 41 hours we’ll be wheels up heading south for the show… ready or not.
I’m particularly excited as I absolutely love HeroesCon. I will also say that HeroesCon was my favorite show of 2008. There were a lot of close seconds, but there was just something about the atmosphere of the event and the friendly nature of the show organizers that really set it apart in my mind.
One thing that really hit me in 2008 was an event that took place one evening (not sure now which it was) of the show. Friends and colleagues from across the industry gathered at a little bar just over from the con and celebrated the life of Mike Wieringo who had died in late 2007. It was an upbeat gathering for a fallen friend more akin to a celebratory wake than a memorial. The event was hosted by Todd Dezago of Perhapanauts fame and really etched and spoke to the family that exists in the the creative world of comics. There was a lot of heart there and it didn’t all tie to just the memory of a fallen friend alone. They were getting over a death together, remembering a friend and it was amazing to see so many come together but there was a sense of community there that touched me.
The feeling of that evening has never left me as it symbolically represented something I love about comics. Through all the creativity and excitement, there is a real heart within the industry that is based on friendship. At least that’s the way it has been for me. Sure, there’s a lot of brother/sister type fights that well up from time to time but when you look at the creators by themselves (be they writers, artist, inkers, letters or even editors) there is a sense that we are all communally making something bigger than just ourself or our individual work. It’s pretty cool, and seems even stronger in the smaller press ranks…. Or, at least that’s where I see it the easiest.
Sure, I generalize but I’m a bit of a glass half full kind of guy. HeroesCon reminded me why I love comics. I didn’t really need the reminder, but it’s always good to return and recharge that passion. HeroesCon is that kind of show. You leave excited!

Where does the time go? I swear I blink and four hours have passed. It really does happen that quick. It always feels this way just before a big convention, but for some reason I feel like I’m pulling this one together at the last minute more so than normal. Maybe it’s that CR has grown so much. Maybe it’s that the crew is getting bigger. Maybe I’m just a bit tired this month. In any event, in just 41 hours we’ll be wheels up heading south for the show… ready or not.

heroes09

I’m particularly excited as I absolutely love HeroesCon. I will also say that HeroesCon was my favorite show of 2008. There were a lot of close seconds, but there was just something about the atmosphere of the event and the friendly nature of the show organizers that really set it apart in my mind.

One thing that really hit me in 2008 was an event that took place one evening (not sure now which it was) of the show. Friends and colleagues from across the industry gathered at a little bar just over from the con and celebrated the life of Mike Wieringo who had died in late 2007. It was an upbeat gathering for a fallen friend more akin to a celebratory wake than a memorial. The event was hosted by Todd Dezago of Perhapanauts fame and really etched and spoke to the family that exists in the the creative world of comics. There was a lot of heart there and it didn’t all tie to just the memory of a fallen friend alone. They were getting over a death together, remembering a friend and it was amazing to see so many come together but there was a sense of community there that touched me.

The feeling of that evening has never left me as it symbolically represented something I love about comics. Through all the creativity and excitement, there is a real heart within the industry that is based on friendship. At least that’s the way it has been for me. Sure, there’s a lot of brother/sister type fights that well up from time to time but when you look at the creators by themselves (be they writers, artist, inkers, letters or even editors) there is a sense that we are all communally making something bigger than just ourself or our individual work. It’s pretty cool, and seems even stronger in the smaller press ranks…. Or, at least that’s where I see it the easiest.

Sure, I generalize but I’m a bit of a glass half full kind of guy. HeroesCon reminded me why I love comics. I didn’t really need the reminder, but it’s always good to return and recharge that passion. HeroesCon is that kind of show. You leave excited!

Why do I blog?

It’s funny how things you write in the past prove just as relevant today. I wrote this for an old blog I used to maintain outside of CR. John Wilson and I were talking and it reminded me of this post. I showed it to John and he convinced me to share it here. Cheers!
Originally Written on January 13, 2008
This has kind of become a blog on a quest for a reason to exist.
I’ve talked a bit about music. I’ve talked a bit about politics. I’ve covered some news I found interesting. I’ve even told you a few personal stories and quoted a few people I enjoy. What I haven’t found is the actual course I want to chart with this space on the internet and I believe every space should have a reason to exist.
For the life of me, I’m not sure what that reason should be as I’m not particularly famous and I’m not always particularly interesting (though I can be when called upon). If I were to chart my life here it would read very much the same each day. Work at the University of Kentucky and update a website focused on comic books.
My wife blogs about her life a little and covers her daily work with horses which is a great topic for her. She’s building a following on the internet in her own right. Over on my main website dedicated to comics, it’s getting quite a good following. Writing for the sake of simply writing just doesn’t seem enough to justify a blog in today’s cluttered internet.
Taking stock and looking for a topic or a point, I guess I have lived a lot of life in my time so far…
I’ve had lunch with Frank Miller and I’ve drank at a bar with Ice-T. I’ve shaken both the hand of David Hasselhoff as he filmed Knight Rider and Nelson Mandela as he exited a hotel in Washington, DC. I’ve walked the trails of Mount Rainier outside Seattle touching snow at the base of its peaks (pictured right, it might just be my favorite spot on this planet).
I’ve slept in the hotel where a would be assassin tried to kill then President Ronald Regan more times than I can count. I’ve walked the halls of the Watergate Hotel. I’ve sat in on congress as reproductive rights legislation was argued and I saw the Pentagon just days after the plane took down its walls.
I listened to amazing music in New Orleans just before Katrina hit and in Memphis well after the days of Elvis were done. I’ve swam in every ocean that borders our fine country and watched at different times legends such as BB King, Lou Reed and Dr. John play before packed halls.
I’ve been on the set as movies were filmed. I’ve joked around with Dee Dee Ramone and Ace Fraley in the World Trade Center before it fell and hung out with the Pixies backstage during their first round as a band. I organized concerts for the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Violent Femmes. I’ve checked ID’s at a night club door while still only eighteen. I’ve introduced battles of the bands and organized many smaller shows for clubs. I’ve even taken in a drag show laughing at the humor of Miss Raven in Atlanta with some friends who are no longer with us today.
I was there on the front lawn of the White House when Bill Clinton took his first oath of office as President and stood in Florida as EPCOT Center was in its first few weeks of existence. I’ve watched with pride as my mother charted political campaigns in Ohio and watched candidates I support lose more times than they’ve won.
I’ve joked at funerals, ridiculed weddings, celebrated losses and cried at births.
I was sitting in front of a television watching as MTv went on the air, the bands took the stage for Live Aid, the Challenger explored and the World Trade Center fell.
I’ve owned and run seven comic book stores and given away X-Men #1 twice. I’ve read more comics than most and fewer than some. I’ve been a gamer geek and told a lot of stories about superheroes over the years. I’ve debated the physics of a broadsword on more than one occasion and made some great friendships.
I’ve managed a radio station and even hosted my own radio show (the Hammer Party) for a time. I’ve played music on the radio by bands no one has ever heard of both in the night and during the day. At one point, I had an on-air shift that followed Ashley Judd and I will forever lament the last show of the Resurrected Bloated Floaters.
I’ve walked the streets of more than a few cities at 3AM and rode the subways of New York long past the point of safety and long after the bars had closed. I’ve traveled to almost every state in the US (excluding Hawaii) and I’ve swayed to the sound of the Butthole Surfers as the strobe lights raged at a New York club called The World while a riot engulfed the streets of Alphabet City.
I’ve worked in sports promotion and I’ve been part of a merry group of travelers who supported the sport of powerboat and unlimited hydroplane racing giving me that feeling of running off and joining the circus. I’ve seen a boat go well over 200 mph on the water throwing a ton of water in the air and ridden in one that took me through a 90 degree turn just after hitting 100 mph. I’ve eaten pancakes with the fine people of Saskatoon, I’ve rolled with the punches in Bay City even stumbling upon an unexpected street concert by Cheap Trick.
I’ve seen powerboats hung from billboards in Florida by accident, shared a meal with the legendary Seebold family, heard tales of testing Mercury engines on Lake X, watched as boats almost flew into crowds during exhibition runs and heard tell of one boat that was actually lost in a rainstorm while driving cross country. I’ve taken photographs of these fine crafts which have been seen on the web, in magazines and even on t-shirts and been heralded with awards for my work.
One foggy morning I watched as a friend died during a testing session in San Diego (fare the well George Stratton) and seen more than a few people injured pursing a sport they loved. I’ve attended functions with August Bush IV, CEO of Budweiser, more than once and I’ve worked to support the series both while drunk and while so tired I could barely stand.
I’ve been lucky enough to have a father who laid out the map of the United States at the end of a school year and asked time and again in all sincerity… “Where do you want to go?” I’ve also been lucky enough to have a mother who made sure I had the support needed to get me there.
I’ve watched the sun set on the streets of Anchorage, Alaska at 11 PM at night and spotted a moose walking through those same downtown area well past midnight. I’ve raised horses and been a bit of a farmer (though my wife does more work than me). I’ve traveled cross-country by car more than once. I’ve flown cross-country more times than I can count even taking to the air the day the skies reopened after 9-11.
I’ve beat the house in Vegas and lost my shirt once or twice. I play blackjack with a legend coaching me and met a dealer who had worked the same table since before I was born. I fell in love with that city, not for it’s lights and excitement but for the ghost of its past and the mystique of what it once was.
I know the love an amazing woman who has proven herself to be the greatest thing I’ve every known. I am happy in ways no man should be and driven to do more with each 24 hours than anyone expects. Those same hours always seem to fade away quicker than they should. I never feel like I’ve done enough but then I see how a man like Leonard Cohen can take a year to write a single song that just might change the world and I’m reminded I might be doing more than I should.
Why do a blog?
I don’t have that answer yet, but I know I want to write and I know the answer will come. I’ll find a purpose for writing one day soon. Until that time, I’ll just write. Read if you wish… I’ll try and keep it interesting.

It’s funny how things you write in the past prove just as relevant today. I wrote this for an old blog I used to maintain outside of CR. John Wilson and I were talking and it reminded me of this post. I showed it to John and he convinced me to share it here. Cheers!

Originally Written on January 13, 2008

This has kind of become a blog on a quest for a reason to exist.

I’ve talked a bit about music. I’ve talked a bit about politics. I’ve covered some news I found interesting. I’ve even told you a few personal stories and quoted a few people I enjoy. What I haven’t found is the actual course I want to chart with this space on the internet and I believe every space should have a reason to exist.

For the life of me, I’m not sure what that reason should be as I’m not particularly famous and I’m not always particularly interesting (though I can be when called upon). If I were to chart my life here it would read very much the same each day. Work at the University of Kentucky and update a website focused on comic books.

My wife blogs about her life a little and covers her daily work with horses which is a great topic for her. She’s building a following on the internet in her own right. Over on my main website dedicated to comics, it’s getting quite a good following. Writing for the sake of simply writing just doesn’t seem enough to justify a blog in today’s cluttered internet.

Taking stock and looking for a topic or a point, I guess I have lived a lot of life in my time so far…

mountrainierI’ve had lunch with Frank Miller and I’ve drank at a bar with Ice-T. I’ve shaken both the hand of David Hasselhoff as he filmed Knight Rider and Nelson Mandela as he exited a hotel in Washington, DC. I’ve walked the trails of Mount Rainier outside Seattle touching snow at the base of its peaks (pictured right, it might just be my favorite spot on this planet).

I’ve slept in the hotel where a would be assassin tried to kill then President Ronald Regan more times than I can count. I’ve walked the halls of the Watergate Hotel. I’ve sat in on congress as reproductive rights legislation was argued and I saw the Pentagon just days after the plane took down its walls.

I listened to amazing music in New Orleans just before Katrina hit and in Memphis well after the days of Elvis were done. I’ve swam in every ocean that borders our fine country and watched at different times legends such as BB King, Lou Reed and Dr. John play before packed halls.

I’ve been on the set as movies were filmed. I’ve joked around with Dee Dee Ramone and Ace Fraley in the World Trade Center before it fell and hung out with the Pixies backstage during their first round as a band. I organized concerts for the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Violent Femmes. I’ve checked ID’s at a night club door while still only eighteen. I’ve introduced battles of the bands and organized many smaller shows for clubs. I’ve even taken in a drag show laughing at the humor of Miss Raven in Atlanta with some friends who are no longer with us today.

I was there on the front lawn of the White House when Bill Clinton took his first oath of office as President and stood in Florida as EPCOT Center was in its first few weeks of existence. I’ve watched with pride as my mother charted political campaigns in Ohio and watched candidates I support lose more times than they’ve won.

I’ve joked at funerals, ridiculed weddings, celebrated losses and cried at births.

I was sitting in front of a television watching as MTv went on the air, the bands took the stage for Live Aid, the Challenger explored and the World Trade Center fell.

I’ve owned and run seven comic book stores and given away X-Men #1 twice. I’ve read more comics than most and fewer than some. I’ve been a gamer geek and told a lot of stories about superheroes over the years. I’ve debated the physics of a broadsword on more than one occasion and made some great friendships.

I’ve managed a radio station and even hosted my own radio show (the Hammer Party) for a time. I’ve played music on the radio by bands no one has ever heard of both in the night and during the day. At one point, I had an on-air shift that followed Ashley Judd and I will forever lament the last show of the Resurrected Bloated Floaters.

I’ve walked the streets of more than a few cities at 3AM and rode the subways of New York long past the point of safety and long after the bars had closed. I’ve traveled to almost every state in the US (excluding Hawaii) and I’ve swayed to the sound of the Butthole Surfers as the strobe lights raged at a New York club called The World while a riot engulfed the streets of Alphabet City.

I’ve worked in sports promotion and I’ve been part of a merry group of travelers who supported the sport of powerboat and unlimited hydroplane racing giving me that feeling of running off and joining the circus. I’ve seen a boat go well over 200 mph on the water throwing a ton of water in the air and ridden in one that took me through a 90 degree turn just after hitting 100 mph. I’ve eaten pancakes with the fine people of Saskatoon, I’ve rolled with the punches in Bay City even stumbling upon an unexpected street concert by Cheap Trick.

I’ve seen powerboats hung from billboards in Florida by accident, shared a meal with the legendary Seebold family, heard tales of testing Mercury engines on Lake X, watched as boats almost flew into crowds during exhibition runs and heard tell of one boat that was actually lost in a rainstorm while driving cross country. I’ve taken photographs of these fine crafts which have been seen on the web, in magazines and even on t-shirts and been heralded with awards for my work.

One foggy morning I watched as a friend died during a testing session in San Diego (fare the well George Stratton) and seen more than a few people injured pursing a sport they loved. I’ve attended functions with August Bush IV, CEO of Budweiser, more than once and I’ve worked to support the series both while drunk and while so tired I could barely stand.

I’ve been lucky enough to have a father who laid out the map of the United States at the end of a school year and asked time and again in all sincerity… “Where do you want to go?” I’ve also been lucky enough to have a mother who made sure I had the support needed to get me there.

I’ve watched the sun set on the streets of Anchorage, Alaska at 11 PM at night and spotted a moose walking through those same downtown area well past midnight. I’ve raised horses and been a bit of a farmer (though my wife does more work than me). I’ve traveled cross-country by car more than once. I’ve flown cross-country more times than I can count even taking to the air the day the skies reopened after 9-11.

I’ve beat the house in Vegas and lost my shirt once or twice. I play blackjack with a legend coaching me and met a dealer who had worked the same table since before I was born. I fell in love with that city, not for it’s lights and excitement but for the ghost of its past and the mystique of what it once was.

I am happy in ways no man should be and driven to do more with each 24 hours than anyone expects. Those same hours always seem to fade away quicker than they should. I never feel like I’ve done enough but then I see how a man like Leonard Cohen can take a year to write a single song that just might change the world and I’m reminded I might be doing more than I should.

Why do a blog?

I don’t have that answer yet, but I know I want to write and I know the answer will come. I’ll find a purpose for writing one day soon. Until that time, I’ll just write. Read if you wish… I’ll try and keep it interesting.