Wanted to write up a quick overview of the New York Comic Con, and I’ll finally have the time for it… tonight (needed to finish up some pitches to send out).

I did want to share one quick story from the convention. After watching the Fantastic Four trailer, a girl asked her boyfriend about the Silver Surfer (and how he could fly through stuff). He went into this explanation about the Power Cosmic and manipulating molecules. Standard comic book stuff. You could see everyone in the crowd around him nodding their head in agreement with all he said. The girlfriend looks him in the eye as serious as can be and says, “I don’t get it.”

By nature of my day job, I’m a traveler. By nature of my passion, I’m an observer. In recent days, I’ve stumbled upon a number of evil things I must warn the waking world about. Beware…

The Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin Robbins Store. Far be it from me to fall victim to the temptation of triple sugar-glazed pastries smothered under layers of chocolate. I’m strong. I can resist the temptation. But you give me 31 flavors of ice cream to dip it in, and my will crumbles. It’s a devastating one-two punch capable of striking down even the most serious of dieters. People should ramp up to at least DEFCON 3 of evil readiness before driving past one of these. DEFCON 2 if anyone ever gets the crazy notion to toss together a Krispy Kreme and a Cold Stone Creamery.

Puddles. Yeah, that tiny body of water mussing up your shoes, making your socks all squeaky and soaking the cuffs of your pants. It lures you into its false pretense of innocence by sitting there calmly and letting you see your reflection on its surface. What could be less harmful to yourself than… yourself? Don’t fall for it. Especially you writers and students. They see us coming and those puddles, they get a mile-wide grin. They see us carrying notebooks and papers, and they can feel our fear. We place a tighter grip on our important documents and notes as we approach these evil, little water traps, but they’re patient. They’ll wait for us to slip up. And when we do… 40+ pages of notes, dialogue, pitches and plots doomed to a smeared eternity of illegibility.

DateMovieAlyson.jpgBBW Alyson Hannigan from “Date Movie”. Even with an extra 100 lbs, she still managed to provoke sinful thoughts. I wanna say it was because I could see the “beauty within”, but I’m leaning more toward her being a real witch (maybe she didn’t just play one on TV). And now I’m aware of her magically charmed ways, so I can resist her soul-shivering eyes… and that fiery red hair… and the cute little pouty thing she does with her lip every now-and-then. Plus, she’s married. That gives me +5 to my resistance. And I’m married. My wife’s beauty, personality, and crippling body checks give me +150 bonus to my resistance to other redheads.

I wanna play video games for a living...I was flipping through the TV channels after my mom grounded me from playing games on my Xbox360, PS3, PS2, PSP, Nintendo DS, cell phone, and the computer, and I caught a special about video game testing. They were having a blast! How can I do that for a living?

Leia O., Polis Massa, AZ

Dear Leia,

Wouldn’t that be the life? Game controller in hand, sitting on your butt in front of a large screen TV. Month in and month out getting to play the same game and the same levels over-and-over-and-over until you start puking up polygonal figures and lines of code.

Read the rest of the article over at Pop Syndicate.

michelob_ultra_heart.gifWith the New York Comic Con right around the corner, I started finalizing my preparations for the show. What does it take to get ready for a comic book convention. Here are some of the things I do to prepare:

Drink. Gotta build up that tolerance, right? Well, you’ll need a lot of that boring water drink as well… so you don’t get too dehydrated at the bars at night. Trust me, working a show after surviving the late night tequilageddon is gonna hurt if you start the night off dehydrated.

Hooker Cards! Discount coupons to end the lonely nights or a tiny piece of your personality plunked down onto a 3.5 by 2 inch billboard designed to hook people’s attention? Either way, you might get lucky… I’m sure you could get lucky without the help, but it doesn’t hurt to make sure you have to enough handy to swing with some professionalism.

Double the Sock Puppet Fun! Except wear them on your feet, so when they start badmouthing you in public again, you can stomp on their faces. Plus, the double layer of socks will help prevent the blisters on the feet caused by standing in nigh-endless lines and hours and hours of cutting your way through the crowds like a running walking back.

Put The Credit Card on the Rack. Call the bank. Ask them to stretch that credit limit as far as they can. You don’t want to deny yourself that life-size Bomb Queen figurine impulse buy (or Catman… depending on whether your hormones karaoke in soprano or baritone). Plus, they have comics at these shows! And $250 guest meet-and-greet VIP package addons! And… ummm… after the show, you might want to drink a little.

Give Me a Shot of Honey… Straight Up. Shouting for three days straight can be tough, but suck it up and wear that hoarseness like a badge of honor. You do want to be heard over the noise of the crowd, don’t you? You’ll need to speak up (and up) unless you know the secret comic creator convention sign language.

Drink. Just because… well, you can never be too prepared. Call it the Boy Scout in me… and my inner Boy Scout doesn’t like to be caught Frenching the toilet in public.

You going to the New York Comic Con? You ready for it?

Nearly got crushed by a fire truck last night.

Just gotta love this winter weather out there. The snow. The ice. I was driving home from the current work site on the East Coast and played it safe at a slower speed considering the slick road conditions. As I make my exit, I see emergency vehicle lights behind me also signaling for the exit, so after I get off the exit ramp, I pull off to the side of the road. The car right behind me pulls off to the side of the road as well. Everything’s good. End of story.

That wouldn’t be very exciting now, would it? Yeah, there’s more. Apparently, the car behind me only followed me because they couldn’t see the lines on the road. They begin honking like crazy and flashing their brights at me (obviously thinking I’m stopped in the middle of the street even though I’m on the shoulder). They finally get frustrated enough by my inaction that that pull out to go around me.

Remember that fire truck exiting? Yeah, the jerk cut it off and it slams on its brakes. Its backend starts to slide in my direction on the slick road, and I’m thinking, “I’m gonna get killed by a fire truck.” (except I’m sure I thought it with a bit more colorful language) The other car finally notices the emergency vehicle about to slam into it and floors it sending that car spinning over into the next couple lanes, which, luckily enough, were empty. This gives the fire truck just enough time to accelerate and straighten itself out before getting to me.

Moral of the story? I’m a lucky bastard, and I’m treating myself to a lottery ticket.

Through the GraphicSmash creators group, someone passed on a link to an article by Alex Ness about ComicMix.com.

While Alex went the creator route to find out more details… I embraced the other aspect of my geektitude and followed the techie trail. Here’s what I’ve been able to dig up.

Whois information shows that the registrant for the comicmix.com domain name is Blue Canary, Inc via GoDaddy.

Blue Canary, Inc. is the corporate face of web developer/blogger Brian Alvey who was a co-founder of the Weblogs, Inc network (a blogging network made up of over 90 blogs including Engadget, TV Squad, the “Fanboy” gaming blogs (Nintendo Wii Fanboy, Xbox 360 Fanboy, PS3 Fanboy, etc), Joystiq, and Cinematical. One of the money men behind Weblogs, Inc was Dallas Mavericks owner (and tech geek billionaire who I met once at a database performance conference) Mark Cuban. This conglomeration of sites was said to be generating an outrageous sum of Google AdSense revenue (I think it was dealing with millions of dollars) prior to being sold to AOL who retained Brian as a prominent blogger (ooh look, a Time Warner/DC Comics connection). Prior to that, Brian was just a simple web architect who developed or worked as a senior architect on a team that did development for such sites as the first TV Guide website, BusinessWeek, Intel, JD Edwards, McGraw-Hill (ooo… publisher connection), and even the website for the Kansas City Chiefs. Right now, I believe he’s the chief architect for Netscape.

That’s a whole lot of developer talent to put into a website… and I have reason to believe Brian follows comics, so it would be a project he might show some interest in. It’ll be interesting to see what comes of all this.

A question about comic book writing and artwork…

If all I want to do is write comic books and not draw them, why does everyone tell me I need an artist to show what I can do as a writer?

Francois-Marie Arouet V., Paris, TX

Dear Francois-Marie,

That’s totally a myth! And to prove it, I’ve drugged dragged Mythbusters supreme, Adam and Jamie, over to the Creative Adviser’s editorial cubicle of despair to shed some light on this subject.

Read the rest of the article over at Pop Syndicate

Yeah, I haven’t been keeping up with the blogging very well lately due to all the programming I’ve been working on for my various websites. I’ve made enough significant headway I think I can start putting some of that time back into blogging, so here we go…

Visions of Futures Past Ever wanted to look into the future? Take a little peek to see your successful future and maybe catch a glimpse of some lottery tickets? Well, this isn’t that kind of future vision… this deals with the mind’s ability to envision the future–thinking about dinner or picturing what you’ll be doing tomorrow or playing out tonight’s game in your head. Things we do all the time. Well, researchers have finally been able to map out the portions of the brain responsibile for this, and interestingly enough, it uses a lot of the same portions of the brain also responsible for remembering. Sure, it’s long been thought that your ability to place yourself mentally in future events used your memories to build up this little future mindscape, but it had never been proven until now.

No, there is too much… let me sum up. A DVD that gives you a summary of the show Heroes? That seems like a very odd thing to put out there considering they have all the episodes available for free at their website (or if you prefer less commercials and larger viewing size, you can buy all the episodes at iTunes).

• On the subject of Heroes, does anyone have any theories on the symbol that keeps showing up (tattoo on Niki/Jessica’s back, on Dr. Suresh’s book, as the logo for Isaac’s comic publisher)? I know the popular theory is that it’s a cross-section of a DNA double helix (the fact that Isaac’s comic publisher is “Helix Comics Group” would seem to lean things that way), but I’ve been doing some research on my own into another area… vodoun (aka voodoo). This hit me when I saw the Haitian wearing the symbol on a necklace (in Haitia, you predominantly have Catholicism, but you also have vodoun). From what I can remember of vodoun (excuse me if I’m a bit rusty on the subject… it’s been a while since I’ve read anything on the subject), you have family spirits (loa or loua?) inherited by families. These spirits act as protectors for their families and can even enter the dreams of family members. They can also take over their bodies for a short period of time via a trance giving the human body the abilities (and personality) of the loa (most of the time this trance is use to warn families of misfortune… just like Isaac’s trances and the trances can also be powerful enough to force out the human’s personality making them blackout while the loa controls their body… like Niki’s personality switches). Anyways, the thing that made the connection is the fact loas can be summoned through the use of special symbols called veves. Interestingly enough, some of the loas are pretty interesting:

Erzulie This loa has two aspects that I’m aware of… one (Freda) represents femininity and love. Her other and much darker aspect (Dantor) is a warrior acting as a fierce protector of women and children.

Ogoun The warrior–essentially the god of war. He is also a spirit associated with blood… from violence and also from family members walking away unscathed from injuries when possessed by him.

Badessy A minor loa who rules the sky.

Papa Legba The loa who taught the mankind how to use and interpret the oracles (at least his African counterpart, Eshu, did).

And I’m sure there are others that show some similarities, but I don’t have all my reference books and such with me (so I’m going mostly off memory and quick net searches). I doubt they’d go that route, but it would be funny to see everyone’s reaction if they got deeply into all the genetic side of things and made the switcharoo where it turns out to be magic. ^_^

I’m a prose writer, can I make the transition to screenwriting?

Anne R., Lobster Bay, Maine

Dear Anne,

With resolutions flying about like spitballs in a school cafeteria, it’s the perfect time of the year for a question like this. And why’s that? It’s the diet time of year, and you’ll need to put your writing on a diet to jump over to screenwriting. You generally have up to 2 hours of screen time (approximately 110-120 pages) to get your story told in screenwriting, while novels can ramble on for 3-5 hundred pages (and up to 800+ pages if you read books like the Wheel of Time series).

So, you’re probably used to fitting your novel into a size 16, but to sell that screenplay, it needs to be slim and sexy. Don’t expect your screenplay to turn any producer/studio eyes unless you can squeeze it into a size 2. So, how do you do that? With The Creative Adviser’s Superfabulicious 5-Step Screenwriting Diet for Novelists.

Read more of this article here.

Imagine an age where the average house cost about $4000, the average car sold for under $800, and you could get a gallon of gas for around 10 cents.  In 1937, $1.5 million probably wasn’t easy to part with for a movie… especially an animated movie.  But on this day back in 1937, that movie hit the theaters and had itself a successful run over the years.

The movie?  Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

And it’s original domestic gross take?  $66 million … a return of over 40 times the original investment.
Plus, it’s been re-released to theaters three times for an additional $118 million in domestic gross (for a total return of over 120 times the original cost).

I wonder what Hollywood would be like if someone was ever able to match that kind of success with one of these $100 million movies.