Well, that time of year is upon us again– heck, it was a year ago almost to the day that I posted up the first PRE-SDCC blog! Kind of weird going back and reading that!
Most of it still holds up, though. Like last year, I’m on a limited time schedule– only heading down to San Diego for the weekend– basically, Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday morning/early afternoon. If there’s one thing that you can absolutely count on, traffic is horrible leaving San Diego– so, I’m expecting at least a 4 hour commute to a 2 hour drive.
Here’s more or less my plan for the Con– That said, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about the Con, it’s that fun is often the reward when you go OFF plan.
So, this is the general idea of where I might be:
Because of the work schedule (oddly, working on a project that is AT Comic Con) I won’t get a chance to head down until about 5pm– which lands me in the Gaslamp Quarter around 8 or 9PM– Just enough time to meet up with friends, eat awesome San Diego Fish Tacos, and party into the late night–
This is likely the evening that I’ll hit up TRICKSTER in the after hours– If you haven’t heard about Trickster, it’s sort of a mini-con/shop/hangout created by a collection of Indie and Creator Owned Comic Book talent that decided to create an alternate venue from the madness of the Convention Center–
Since the Eisners are Friday night, it should be a fun party night filled with a lot of celebrating– Hoping that my nominated pals bring home the statue!
(And no, Editor DJ is not nominated this year!)
Saturday starts CON FLOOR day–I’ll likely be all over the place– Kicking off by dropping some of the Spy6teen cards over on the Sails freebie table– The good thing about that table is, no matter what: people take stuff. I have no idea what creates the frenzy mentality of nabbing…well, anything (does anyone REALLY need a postcard that advertises the relaunch of Starlog magazine?) — but I do hope that we nab at least one or two new readers from the freebie table!
From there, it’ll be off to the floor– Meeting up with pals at their booths/Artist Alley and doing some general networking. In general, I try to skirt shy of the mega-booths– as traffic gets…well, “congested” would be putting it lightly.
The Panels I HOPE to get to are as follows:
2:30-3:30 Digital Disruption: Comics, Webcomics, and the Business Model of the Future— The explosion of online digital distribution — not all of it authorized — has created both challenges and opportunities for comics creators and publishers. What is the business model of the future? What can we learn from the webcomics movement? How have other media created innovative money-making solutions for creators? Comics industry legend Mark Waid (Daredevil) and webcomics pioneer Scott Kurtz (PvP) conduct a no-holds-barred discussion on competing with “free,” confronting the torrents, and bringing marketable value to the comics audience today. Moderated by Bruce Lidl (PeerPress.net). Room 8
(I’ve said it before on Blog@16: When Mark Waid talks, it’s a good idea to listen!)
3:00-4:00 The Write Stuff III: Writing for Genre Television and Beyond— Meet the writers and producers who make genre entertainment what it is today, and get an incredible insider look from the scribes behind some of today’s hottest genre shows as they share their candid thoughts on how to make the series we love (and sometimes loathe). Find out the secrets to getting TV shows made and how to break in and break out in today’s highly competitive broadcast environment — and why network executives actually care about what you write on message boards. No canned speeches and press releases here — get the straight scoop from television’s most talented writers and producers, including Javier Grillo-Marxuach (The Middleman, Lost), Ashley E. Miller (Fringe, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Robert Hewitt Wolfe (Alphas, The Gates, Riverworld), Steve Kriozere (NCIS, Femme Fatales), Steve Melching (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Transformers: The Series), Gabrielle Stanton (The Vampire Chronicles, Haven), Jose Molina (Firefly, Terra Nova), Amy Berg (Eureka, Leverage), and Mark A. Altman (Femme Fatales, Castle). Moderated by Jeff Goldsmith (The Q&A With Jeff Goldsmith) hosts. Room 23ABC
(Already a scheduling conflict!!)
5:00-6:00 Pitch Perfect— Andy Schmidt (Comics Experience founder, former Marvel and IDW editor) and panelists John Layman (Chew) and Mike Costa (G.I. Joe: Cobra) reveal the keys to creating the perfect pitch for a comics publisher: what must you have, what to leave out, and how to conduct yourself with interviews and correspondence. This might be the most valuable panel you ever attend! Room 30CDE
(Wanting to hit this to support my buddy, Mike Costa– If, by chance, you’re intrested in reading pitches, you can check out Mike’s proposal for his Wildstorm series: Hawksmoor, here. )
6:30-7:30 Dawn of the Digital Era— Join Thomas Jane (Hung, The Punisher, RawStudios.com) in person with industry stars Tim Bradstreet (The Punisher), Jimmy Palmiotti (Jonah Hex, Painkiller Jane), David Uslan (Graphicly.com, Branded Entertainment), and Pepe Moreno (Batman Digital Justice, Rebel, Amusedom.com) to discuss the rapidly emerging digital distribution platform of comics! They’ll provide an in-depth look at the creative and business aspects of the digital medium, aiming to demystify the taboos associated with digital comics and demonstrate how they can be more accessible for consumers and profitable for artists. You will learn how it all works together: from social media marketing to worldwide simultaneous distribution on multiple devices. With a moderator like Geoff Boucher (LA Times Hero Complex), this will be a panel you won’t want to miss! Room 8
So, as you can see, I’m mostly focusing on the digital comic/distribution panels this year. The shame about Comic Con is that there’s just SO MUCH COOL STUFF going on– But you can’t take it all in. The only thing you can do is to focus on a few, and leave plenty of breathing room for exploring, meeting people, and– standing in line/walking from place to place.
(Anyone who has been knows, there’s a LOT of walking)
Early Saturday evening, I hope to make it over to Nerd HQ, another off-site mini-Con– mostly to check out what the scene is like. That’ll be followed up by a TBD dinner and then hauling over to the Tilted Kilt to meet up with some of the nerd crew.
Midnight on Saturday is my buddy (and super talented artist/writer) Tony Fleecs‘ birthday bash at the Star Bar– and I’m sure that night will probably end in chaos.
Sunday, I pretty much reserve for hitting the floor and trying to find a few vendor deals. My buddy (and another talent artist!) Pat Loika snapped off this shot yesterday:
…where I spy the Walking Dead Compendium for only $25– so…that’ll be mine. Sunday is such a great deal day– There isn’t a ton of stuff on my “to-get” list, but I’m pretty positive that I’ll still be coming back with half a library.
I’ll likely do a little more grassroots Spy6teen’ing on Sunday before calling it a wrap around 1pm and fighting the northbound I-5 back to LA.
So…those are my Con plans– if you happen to be around, please drop me a tweet @citizentim and let me know– It’d be great to catch up in person! In the meantime, I still have a few errands to run– including a trip to Target to pick up a backpack– exciting, right?!
Next week (hopefully), I’ll have a full post-con writeup with tons of pictures for you guys!
Until then…once more, into the breech!
BOOM goes the dynamite!!
Here it is, gang! The cover for ISSUE 2!!
We’re just about wrapped up on all the t-crossing and i-dotting for the print and digital run, so stay tuned!
The cover came out FAN-TASTIC. But it did take a bit of doing– let’s recap:
We were all pretty pleased with how the cover for Issue 1 came out– the thing is, due to time, we basically re-purposed a promo image that we had, and used it as the main image.
DJ, in particular, was a little bummed– but that just gave him further motivation to rock out on the Issue 2 cover!
Our original concept for Issue 2 was to showcase Cally (dressed “normally”) looking into a mirror and seeing “Spy” Cally staring back at her. Here’s a look at the rough, which we’ve been featuring as out “temp” cover:
We all liked the rough, but when it came time for the final pencil/inks, some of the energy was lost in translation (which happens…)– DJ even felt a bit underwhelmed by the final, so we decided to use it as a pinup (which will be featured exclusively in the print/digital version!) and instead revamp the concept.
DJ and I grew up in the era of narrative covers– That was a lot of comics in the 80s. In the 90s, a lot of covers pretty much became gloried pin ups (which, if done well, I don’t mind)– but for Spy6teen, I know DJ was itching to create a “story” cover.
While “Cally looks into a mirror” does say something, what DJ came up with adds a whole new emotional element to the image– particularly after you’ve read the story!
We decided to keep the template for the Issue 1 cover (the black border frame) to create a sense of unity between the issues– so, keep an eye out for that for Issue 3 and beyond. We might play around with it once our initial 4-issue arc ends, but that’s totally TBD’ed.
About the only difference you’ll see once we go to print is that the logo will revert back to red (as opposed to the yellow, which is currently featured)– Brant decided to give it a shot, but we all ultimately agreed that the red “pops” a little more– but for the “show off” blog, I thought it’d be cool for you guys to see an ALT version.
Well, we hope you guys dug this cover as much as we enjoyed making it! There’s still one more Issue 2 exclusive coming your way– but I’ll save that as a surprise!
In the meantime, back to prepping for Comic Con! We’ll see you tomorrow for a brand new page!!
Well, I HAD planned on having part 2 of our new Make Comics feature for you today, but upon re-reading my proof copy, I decided I sounded…cranky? So, I’m pulling that article until I have a chance to re-write it. It’s probably my fault for sitting down to write it with too little sleep.
That said, I didn’t want to leave you guys hanging– and since you’ve all be awesome Spy6teen supporters, here’s a little gift– a month of Free Comics from Marvel Digital Comics:
The cool thing is, you don’t even need to put in your credit card info.
Just be sure to select “Monthly Subscription” and pop in the promo code: CAP734
You’ll need to create an account, but that’s about it– a month of free comics from Marvel! Of course, the fine print:
(Offer expires 7/31/11 @11:59PM ET. Valid for new subs only & not for gifts.)
If you’ve been on the fence about jumping into Digital Comics, this is a great opportunity to check out an app to see if you like it..I don’t doubt that Marvel will be on their best behavior given the upcoming DC Day-Date digital releases!
I haven’t gotten a chance to play around with it yet, but please feel free to leave some comments letting us know what you think.
As for the Make Comics writeup– I hope to have it all cleaned up by the weekend and I’ll post it on Monday. Sorry if you were looking forward to it– but with this series, I’d rather take my time to get it right, as opposed to shooting from the hip.
…also, I sounded cranky…who wants to read that?!
As always, you can drop us a vote at Top Web Comics!
Seeya next week for a RETURN TO THE PRESENT!