Saturday, October 23, 2010
NYC Comic Con
Yes...its that time...hold on to your britches and lets do this!
Time to tell you all about my first ever trip to the almighty NYC Comic Con!
What a crazy weekend it was and by the end of it, I'd lost my voice!
So, for those of you who don't know what Comic Con is (and I don't know who you people would be unless you've been under a rock for years), it is a yearly Comic Convention held in cities all over the world, San Diego being the biggest one and NYC the second biggest. It includes not just regular American comics but also Manga, Anime, video games, and anything Sci-Fi/Fantasy as well...including clothing, books, accesories, jewelry, actors of the genre...and so on.
How did I get to go to NYC Comic Con for free for THREE days? I got lucky enough to be picked to work for my friend Jet's store who had a booth there. (Hey, those years of retail and cashiering--5 years each--came in handy mom!) Jet is the owner of Vampire Freaks and my pal Annabel is the store manager...so I went in on Friday to help set up and then work selling things all day. It was really fun! I miss retail every now and again.
Anyhoo...best if we break down my excitement in days...
I arrived at just after 9am to help Annabel set up all the merchandise...which included pulling stockings, gloves, fuzzy bunny scarves, and the like out of packages, putting a price on them and then putting them up for people to see (to consider to buy). I never left until the shopping area closed at 7pm. I then raced downstairs to a Fantasy Book Writers Talk with Jim Butcher and other writers whose names escape me, sorry. (Jim Butcher writes the Dresden Files btw...think Lord of the Rings meets Sherlock Holmes). Here are a few pics from that...Jim is on the far left in each shot.
While at the panel discussion we got to ask a few questions...and I got picked to ask. My question was basically this; "I'm a writer and I've written a few books, and have a few agents who have shown interest and they are reading my stuff as we speak but they're taking their sweet time. Is there anything I can do to help move it along? What would you suggest I do in this position?" The primary answer I got was one that made me feel really good. Why? Cause its exactly what I'm doing.
They said to keep writing, work on a project you are excited about, and keep sending out query letters. Woot! Its good to hear you're doing the right stuff, ya know?
Another cool thing was that someone asked about "process"; outlining etc. You see, I don't outline. It's all in my head. I mentally can stand in the middle of the circle and can turn this way and that to see my book in my head. When I go to write an outline my mind goes blank and the creative juices DIE a horrible and painful death. I come up with much cooler concepts and plots by just writing and seeing where my characters take me. And to be honest, I thought I was a wee bit broken. But guess what?! The two ladies on the panel admitted they too don't outline every single thing. One of them said she puts some basic stuff down so she knows where she's going but that she rarely stays on that path 100%. The second lady says she doesn't do any outline at all!
So, if you're a writer out there like me...and you're more creative and organized by keeping track of it in your head...its okay. You're not alone! Isn't that GREAT to hear?
Voice Level by end of day one of Comic Con = Rough
Voice Level by end of night at club = Super Rough
Voice Level at start of day = Resembles a phone sex operator.
OMG is it CRAZY at Comic Con on Saturday! So many people you can barely walk around!!! But, you do see cool shit like this as you walk in:
I got to the Con by 12-ish (I'd planned to get there sooner but I was out seeing my friend Cage23 DJ at Absolution on Friday night so I overslept). I got to the con and set to seek out Melinda, who was waiting for a Manga Panel (because she was there as Press because she write a well known Manga Blog). We got to hang out for about 30 minutes and then we both had things to be at. But before I go further, let me tell you who this lovely lady is...
The Melinda Story: When I was in 4th grade I met this nice little girl on the playground (on the merry-go-round to be exact) at recess and we became fast friends, as girls tend to do. We started hanging out, playing Barbies and so on at each other's houses...and she introduced me to the world of theatre, as her parents were both very involved in it. Her mom taught voice privately and her dad taught theatre at our local high school. They introduced me to musicals...the first two I ever heard being Sweeny Todd and The Fantastics. This exposure made me want to know more and more and before I knew it my parents took me to my first play, The Miracle Worker...my second play, The Fantastics...my third play, Midsummer Nights Dream. Thinking back on that...I think it says a lot about me, and my writing, my favorite stories, etc.
Anyhoo, what I suppose I'm getting at here is that, if it wasn't for meeting Melinda back then I am pretty sure my life wouldn't have gone down the road it did so...she's pretty important in my history. So to reconnect with her as an adult was honestly and truly fantastic. :)
Back to the Con...
After talking to Melinda I headed off to find one of my favorite actors (one of the main reasons I wanted to be at the con), James Marsters. For those of you who are saying, "Name sounds familiar but..."; He played Spike in the TV shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. He also has been in many other TV shows like Torchwood, Smallville, Caprica and now Hawaii Five-O. I got in line and got a chance to meet him and have him sign something to me. :) Here's a pic I took of him as he was chatting to one of the ladies who was ahead of me in line AND a pic of my autograph (its not a great pic but you get the idea):
When he was signing my pic I of course professed my undying love....JOKING...I didn't say that at all. I did tell him I was a fan of his things from Buffy to H5O and appologize for my voice being utter shite. He then said it sounded sultry and sexy. **swoon**
From here I wandered...correction...I floated over to Artists Alley. I was determined to find the man who draws the Buffy comic. (I had destroyed my room that morning to find my comics for him to sign; I'd ordered the first two of the entire series waaaay long ago). His name is Georges Jeanty. Now, unlike the map you get for the vendors, the map for the artists shows you the list of the artists in attendance...and then a map of the tables with numbers on tables...buuuuut nothing to connect the two. I detect a flaw in NYCC plan here, do you?
So I found a man with a clip-board and he told me to go to J3. I headed over there and introduced myself and said, "You're the only reason I came over here" (meaning Artist Alley). I asked him about the different covers I had for my multiple issues of Issue's 1 & 2. He told me that one was a first print of the 1st book ever released with an alternate cover. OF COURSE I had him sign that one! Actually, he was cool enough to sign them all...and then tell me how cute I was. :) --made my day even better-----I've been told my voice is sexy/sultry and now that I'm cute and have great legs. Its a winning sorta day here people!
Here's a pic of the charming Georges and I:
I had to get moving because I had purchased a photo-op at 3pm so I promised him I'd come back to visit later and ran off to pick up my ticket to get Jim Butcher's autograph later and then...got in line for the highlight of the con; a picture with James Marsters!!!
I came into the booth and said "I'm back" (cause I'd just seen him at the autograph spot) and he gave a hug (yeah, that was effin' awesome!). He told me how much he loved my shirt...and I said to him how much I enjoyed his work, how honest his work was, and how I loved how diverse his work could be. His jaw dropped a bit (guess he's used to people going "I'm like, this huge fan and in love with you). He then thanked me with this utter look of great appreciation (or shock) on his face and instead of me pulling him in for the picture he pulled me into him, rested his head on mine and POOF, pic taken. Here it is:
Very happy with it. Georges said I looked nervous in it...he's right...I do a bit. But you get ONE shot to get your picture & you've paid $60 for it...and photos of me are 50/50. Half the time they're great, half the time they're FAR from great and I was nervous it would be the latter of the two. Luckily for me, it was the former.
I then headed to get in line to talk to Jim Butcher and then have him sign a book and then I fought my way through the masses to find Melinda again. We hung out, had some sandwiches (yes, us older folk bring our lunch to save money kids!) and by now my voice is something I'm fighting for.
I'm having such a great time with her that I agree to go into this Manga panel (which was really interesting actually...even though I know nothing of Manga). One of the cutest things was this story about a cat: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=9234 A book about a adorable cat called Chi. The Manga series is called Chi's Sweet Home. They even had a tiny stuffed Chi at the panel table. Super sweet (pun intended)!
As this panel ended I realized the time and that Georges Jeanty would be gone. :( I hate breaking promises. I even went upstairs and went in to see if per chance he was still there (even though most everyone was out). But he was gone. So, I went home.
Voice at end of Saturday = Mostly gone...pushing for sound.
Voice at top of Sunday = Whispering so as to not hurt my throat. Could push for sound but it hurt and was difficult.
I wasn't planning to go to the convention on Sunday. I had an afternoon meeting with my web designer to add Moon Over Manhattan to the site and talk about the pictures that were going to be available soon due to the photo-shoot. BUT, I'd made a promise to the nice artist and I really enjoyed his company so...I got up, dressed, and headed BACK to Comic Con for a third day.
Sunday wasn't as crazy as Saturday by far and I honestly just headed straight for Artists Alley and to Georges' table. I got there around 10am and got to hang with him (eventually just sitting behind the table with him) until almost 2pm. Hanging out with Georges is like hanging out with someone I've known for years even when I've known him such a short time. He's not only talented but also wickedly charming. I'm hoping to get to hang out with him the next time he's in NYC...for alas, he lives in Atlanta, Georgia. :(
While sitting with him chatting I got to meet some of his artist friends in the biz, which was really cool, and I got to meet this GREAT gal, Ana. She is from Wales and works for Harper-Collins...and she's Pagen...and she write YA Fantasy! We totally hit it off and talked for at least a half hour and exchanged info. I've been in need of a Wiccan/Pagen to review my stuff in Living Dead Girl and wanted it desperately to be someone English because I have so many English characters...PLUS she's really cool and has a lot of the same great love in Fantasy writing that I do. And, she draws! She had her first book come out two weeks ago about Susan Boyle's cat! :) Here's a Costume Pic of her from Saturday I believe...isn't it awesome?
So as I walked aut of Comic Con I thought about how amazing it was, not just for all the cool things to see, but all the cool people you get to meet. I love nothing more than networking and it was a great place to do that.
I leave you with a pic of my FAVE Star Wars character. This little dude was a working robot that played music, made all the R2D2 noises and rolled along the aisles. LOVE HIM!
If this was my first Comic Con ever...what will my 2nd hold?
P.S. Voice on Monday morning = NOTHING LEFT....by Tuesday I was home sick...and didn't make it back to work till Friday. It was worth it. ;)