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POV: A Mighty Weekend in Cleveland!!!!

Posted On Tuesday, February 24, 2015

So.  My upkeep on my POV columns has been ABYSMAL!  I've been so caught up in doing things that I forget to take the time to write out some fuller posts about them (as opposed to my quick hits on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram -- where you're already following me, right??).  And while I am a few days late on this here particular post, I hope you won't begrudge me too much as I have some pretty cool things to share!  

First up: Black White & READ All Over has a friend in Mark Millar!

As a comic reader, I've been a Millar fan for some years now -- like HUGE FAN!  His influence can clearly be seen on almost everything I've done from The Samaritan to The Kinder Guardians.  So, you can imagine my elation to come to know that he's a fan of the weekly comic review series I do with Ryan Seymo
ur and Shelby Hunt!  

We're talking total geekout.

Then magnify that by bajillion when he asks to hosts our web-series on his site,!  
That's right.  Comic book legend, Mark Millar is personally sharing BW&R with his LEGION of fans around the world!  Take that Google Analytics!  

Next: Wizard World Cleveland

Despite the wind and cold and snow, last weekend was the inaugural Wizard World Cleveland Comic-Con!  Already onto my fifth show of the year, I've had a rather successful run so far, especially at their Madison event, where I sold out of my run of The Samaritan.   Now, Indianapolis, though incredibly fun, didn't quite have the buying crowd I was hoping for, so I didn't know what exactly to expect from the sister city to the north.  

I started things off with an amazing panel on diversity in popular fiction, hosted by Abdul Rashid, a VERY talented, Cleveland-based creator, whose imprint AHR Visions is set to launch later this year.  And maybe I was showing off a little bit, but I got legendary creator, Tony Isabella (Black Lightning, Misty Knight) to join us for what was a brief, but thorough conversation on the role and manner of diversity in comics.  Some of the conversation extended beyond the panel and into the remainder of the weekend as attendees found their way to my table to praise our insight and perspectives.

That night, I returned as host of Wizard's Drink&Draw!  The fun and laughs were in high bounty, as participants showed off a wide range of talent in both the drawing and writing categories (and these are for CASH PRIZES, Y'ALL -- be there next time!)!  This is actually my seventh time hosting/co-hosting and I gotta admit...its getting good me!  Lol

Saturday brought even more fun and a TREMENDOUS amount of support!  Seriously, it ranged between -6 to 18 degrees all weekend and we still had a CROWDS of people coming into the show!  And they were BUYERS!!!  By 3pm, The Samaritan, including the #ExclusiveVariantCover of issue #1 had completely SOLD OUT and The Trouble w/Love went shortly after!  And to make great things even greater -- I was asked to be on the Marvel vs. DC: The War for Cinema and Television panel again, by moderator Aaron Sager (CNN, MTV, etc.).  We had a PACKED HOUSE and I even got to shout out my family who was in attendance.  

Wait.  Did I say great to greater?  Well, let's go greater to GREATEST.

For the second time, I got to cohost the Wizard World Costume Contest!  While Billy took a well-deserved break, it was Mo Lightning and I holding it down in his stead!  And we brought it, taking to the stage as the 90's hip-hop duo, Kris Kross (no...we never did decide which Kris we were...).  But the true stars were the contestants!  Over the last few years, the cosplay market has BOOMED and there were some definite contenders for * *The Best I've Ever Seen* *

And then there came a Sunday.

With Sunday comes Kids Day and with Kids Day comes my U Cre-8 Comics panel!  Since aligning with Wizard to distribute U Cre-8 to their younger attendees, we've seen some great numbers filling up the panel rooms!  My passion about the project is exudes and love, Love, LOVE getting a chance to share it with budding creators of all ages!  

And then this happened.  

I've exhibited at quite a few shows over the years and while this year has proven the right time to put the spotlight on our growing line of comics, never before have I experienced a total sell out.  That's right.  You read that.  

Total.  Sell. Out.  

The Samaritan and The Trouble w/Love went Saturday and Sunday saw Origins Unknown and Wonder Care follow suit.  All by 12 noon.  I got an hour of free time to walk around the show, having decked out my table in a note of thanks to Wizard World and the ENTIRE CITY of Cleveland for their love and support!  

So all and all...last weekend was a great weekend.  But the best is yet to come...

UnConventional - Why Are You Stepping Backwards...?

Posted On Thursday, February 19, 2015

For ages -- and I'm not being hyperbolic either -- for AGES, practitioners of nerdom and geekery have sought the validation that comes with pop cultural recognition.  Without it, we were chided, excluded, mocked and marginalized, all because our tastes didn't fit in with what was collectively deemed "cool."

Fast forward.  It's now 2015 and oh how the world has changed!  Comic and book properties rule prime time television and the movies!  We've got sports stars and athletes claiming the monikers of our champions! Songs of nearly every genre giving shout out to our favorite fictional characters!  

And yet...

We have PUSH BACK from the very progress we've worked so hard to attain.


If you're new to me and my grind, I'm "one of" the HARDEST WORKING indy comics creators around!  I've been going hard for nearly FIVE years, writing some of the best, award nominated projects in the market!  And part of my grind is to attend EVERY comic convention I possibly can -- especially the Wizard World Convention Tour!

But to(o) many folks, Wizard is ENEMY #1 -- a point I just don't understand!  The biggest dig I hear is that they don't care about comics.  That despite it being  a part of their name -- their INCLUSION of pop media stars, fan-artists, comic retailers, memorabilia collectors/sellers, cosplayers, small-press publishers, indie/indy creators, intellectuals and educators, as well as industry legends somehow means that they DON'T care.  

I don't buy it.   I don't buy these announcements of "comic-focused" shows.  Comics are EVERYWHERE. They're forms of clothing, games, food, lit-books, movies, television, EVVVVERREYYTHING!  To be comic focused IS to be a show like Wizard World.

Oh but wait -- you meant to say comic BOOK focused, didn't you?  But how many COMIC-BOOK focused shows are actually as inclusive?  Some cater to indie books and mainstream work isn't welcome.  Some are so mainstream oriented that alternative comics are aggressively ignored.  And let's not even talk about the absence of web-comics, newspaper comics and educators...

So, let's get something straight.  Let's not go back to being a reclusive boys club that seeks validation through exclusivity.  These are brighter times!!  Step out of your caves and let's enjoy it!!

Black, White & READ -- Week 49!!!!!

Posted On Monday, February 9, 2015

Black, White & READ Week 49 - "The Zardoz Cosplay Contest"

This week (last week since I'm posting late -- SORRY Y'ALL!!!) -- we're joined by Fate Spears of The Comic Book Connection Initiative (a wonderful charity dedicated to getting comics in the hands of underprivileged children, soldiers, etc.), tackling a slew of kid-friendly comics for our younger readers!!!

On the rack this week:

Superman #38 (DC) - Geoff Johns (w) and John Romita, JR (a)
Nameless #1 (Image) - Grant Morrison (w) and Chris Burnham (a)
Star Wars #2 (Marvel) - Jason Aaron (w) and John Cassady (a)

Fate's Picks:

Skylanders #6 (IDW) - Ron Marz (w) and David Rodriguez (a)
Steven Universe #7 (KaBoom) - Jeremy Sorese/ various (w) and Coleman Engle/ various (a)
Batman '66 #19 (DC) - Jeff Parker (w) and Leonardo Romero (a)

Ryan's Honorable Mentions:
Black Vortex Alpha #1 (Marvel) - Sam Humphries (w) and Ed McGuinness, Kris Anka, Mark Farmer, Jay Leisten and Mark Morales (a)
Wytches #4 (Image) - Scott Snyder (w) and JOCK (a)

Victor's Honorable Mention:
Ant-Man #2 (Marvel) - Nick Spencer (w) and Ramon Rosanas (a)
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