The madness begins anew for me. I've stayed away from San Diego for a number of years, and for various reasons, most of them personal and petty. Now I find that if I want to get anything done in the industry, I have to go. So, cue that Al Pacino impression that they all did back when the Sopranos was good, and let me vent just a little bit.
I'm not telling any tales out of school when I say that Comicon International is now misnomered. It's not about comics. It's about the periphery of comics. It's about popular culture, movies, anime, costumes, and just about everything else, and oh yeah, there are comics there, too. That's the reason why it's so big. If it were just about comics, it would be a navigable experience.
I used to love going to conventions, back when I was sixteen, and then again when I was twenty-one and just trying to get into the business, and again when I was twenty seven, when I was back in the business again, and then something happened when I turned thirty. I got fed up to my eyeballs with conventions. Not all conventions, to be sure. Just the really big ones, where the room was so large, and so full of people that it was impossible to hear yourself think. Where "participating" in the panels and special events meant standing in line all day so that you'd have a chance of actually getting to see something.
For the fans, this may be a great thing, and as spectacle goes, it's one of the few places where you can affirm that comic books and super heroes are indeed an indelible aspect of our culture, for what it's worth. But for professionals (and I'm not just speaking for myself now) it's akin to the Bataan Death March. Long lines, long hours, crowds of people grouped around, and virtually impossible to get anything done on a business level unless you plan for it in advance like a Hogan's Heroes mission. But, the other side of that coin is this: with business tight for everyone now, the only place you can see everyone at once is at San Diego. For many companies, it's the only show they go to. So, for better or worse, it's the one show you can't afford to miss.
Conventions like World Fantasy Convention and ArmadilloCon are more my speed, now. They are smaller, much more personal, and usually centered about the hotel bar, great conversations, and easy access to the people you need to speak with to keep your career on track. This year's World Fantasy Convention is in Columbus, Ohio (one of my favorite cities, I kid you not) and it's going to be a blast. I've just got to survive San Diego, first...
Clockwork Storybook is a group of professional writers of fiction, biography, comic books, novels and such. In alphabetical order we are:
He's the writer of the critically-acclaimed and oft-cancelled Manhunter. He also wrote Torso (with some guy named Bendis), The Lost, Casefiles: Sam and Twitch, Streets of Gotham, Blade, Wolverine, Dr. Strange, and a host of other comic books, plus the usual TV/Movie nonsense. He's co-writing an upcoming book from Dynamite with Bill Willingham. He lives in LA and likes far too much sushi.
He's a science fiction and fantasy writer in the fields of prose, television and comics. He's the writer of three Doctor Who episodes ('Father's Day' and 'Human Nature/The Family of Blood'), and wrote Captain Britain and MI-13, amongst other titles, for Marvel Comics. His novels are Something More and British Summertime.
He's an award winning Robert E Howard scholar, author and playwright. His latest book, Blood and Thunder: the Life and Art of Robert E Howard, is available on Amazon.com, along with other REH-related books to which he's contributed introductions, essays and stories. He also writes fiction, comic books, and the occasional book or movie review.
He's a programmer by day, and an award-winning short story writer and novelist by night. His first novel, Pandemonium, was nominated for the World Fantasy Award among others. His second book, The Devil's Alphabet, is due out in November. He lives in State College, PA with his wife and two teenage children.
She's an attorney, and the New York Times bestselling author of short stories, novellas, and two ongoing series: Dirk & Steele, novels of paranormal romance, and the Hunter Kiss urban fantasy series. She wrote NYX: No Way Home, for Marvel Comics, and is co-writing the ongoing Dark Wolverine. Marjorie divides her time between the American Midwest, and Beijing/Shanghai, China.
Jess Nevins He's a librarian in the University of California salt mines and is a writer of non-fiction reference books and the occasional odd essay. His first encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana, was a finalist for the World Fantasy Award. He lives in Riverside, California, with his wife Alicia and son Henry.
He's published some three dozen short stories and more than a dozen novels, including the Celestial Empire series (The Dragon's Nine Sons, Three Unbroken, and Iron Jaw and Hummingbird) and the Bonaventure-Carmody sequence (Here, There & Everywhere, Paragea: A Planetary Romance, Set the Seas on Fire, and End of the Century) and he is scripting the forthcoming Vertigo miniseries Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love, and the ongoing series iZombie. Along with his business partner and spouse Allison Baker, he is the publisher of Monkey Brain Books, an independent publishing house specializing in genre fiction and nonfiction genre studies.
He writes several comics for DC, including House of Mystery, Blue Beetle, and the Eisner-nominated Jack of Fables (with Bill Willingham). He has also written the novel Midwinter, available from Pyr, and its sequel The Office of Shadow, which will be published summer 2010. He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and two daughters.
He publishes comics under the banner of Lone Star Press, including the critically acclaimed Pantheon, which was written by Bill Willingham. He's written comic books for DC Comics and IDW Publishing including the forthcoming Eddie Hope back up series in ANGEL. You can find prose books by him such as Tokyo Pop and Other Quinn Stories on Amazon.com where they are available in print or for the Kindle reader. His webcomic SideChicks updates every week and is coming to iPhones thanks to the magic of the IDW App Store.
He's written a ton of funnybooks, including just about every DC Comics character. He's created several comic book series, including Elementals, Pantheon and the multiple award winning (and multiple award losing) Fables. His first major novel, Peter and Max was released recently.
Our Mission Statement
This blog is an ongoing discussion about the art, craft, mechanics and absolute human necessity of storytelling. It's about whatever interests us, the things we like to argue about, the things we feel worth crowing about, and certain other items we think you might find enlightening and interesting.