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You Didn't Lose if the Other Guy Runs Away...A Recap of Wizard World Cleveland pt. 2

Posted On Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Photo courtesy of D. Klemenc.
I've cited MANY sources of inspiration for my route within the comic book industry.  But undeniably, one of the key events was The Death of Superman series!  As comic legends go, that series was spawned by the intervention of the Lois & Clark show.  So, it kinda comes as a full-circle venture to get to moderate for Dean Cain at Wizard World Cleveland!  An all-around awesome guy, Dean was very open and giving, strong in his convictions and is certainly a devoted dad.  I hope to work with him again, soon!

Though a last minute addition to the con, Anthony Mackie was truly a show-maker!  And getting to do his panel, was an insane opportunity...particularly for me to bring up my longstanding joke that when his character is in a fight with a white-male with an animal-based name, he always LOSES!  Think about it: Spider-man (Cap. America/ Civil War)...Ant-Man (Ant-Man)...B. Rabbit (8 Mile)!  He was a good sport about it -- pointing out that (in his mind) he didn't lose to Spider-man and Ant-Man; THEY both ran away (he admitted that he has ZERO issue with losing in a rap battle to Eminem)!  Check out his thoughts on WHY Stan Lee could never have a movie just with him in it -- it's hilarious (Video by Paula R. Lively):

Already owning copies of The Samaritan and The Trouble w/Love from pervious Wizard World appearances, I thought it only right to get him a copy of Ol' Crazy & the 40oz of Death to add to his Vantage:Inhouse collection!

Photo courtesy of D. Klemenc.
My inner-10yr old was in rare form.  As thought meeting Dean Cain wasn't enough, I was fortunate to revisit the world of Batman: TAS with none other than the voices of The Dynamic Duo, Kevin Conroy (Batman) and Loren Lester (Robin/Nightwing)!  This was my second time moderating for them (first time being in Portland), and you could sense the familiarity between us.  I'm fan -- STILL -- of the work they did and hold it in the most high of comparatives, so getting to hear their stories from production were so amazing and insightful.  I really can't say enough about them -- both are eager to please their fans (we literally sang Happy Birthday to one of the attendees) and I can count myself as one of them!

I might've skipped over a few events here and there -- don't REALLY wanna rub in how much fun I had if you missed it.  But overall, Wizard World Cleveland was AMAZING and I had a tremendous time!

Look for me at the next show -- SPACE (Small Press & Alternative Comics Expo)!  This weekend!!

You Didn't Lose If the Other Guy Runs Away...A Recap of Wizard World Cleveland Pt. 1

Posted On Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Hello all you V:IP friends and fans out there!  I'm just now screwing my head back on from the awesome time I had this past weekend at Wizard World Cleveland!  As my second show, strictly in a panelist/moderator capacity, this one had a bit LESS of a shell-shock from NOT being an exhibitor -- but it still kept me no less busy!!!

Photo courtesy of Paula R. Lively.

I started the show with a visit from some local students.  Together, we did a project about defining your personal superpowers and designing a totem (or insignia) to represent them.  The vibe was incredible and may be something that I roll out for future conventions VERY SOON!

The rest of my Friday was built around a double-dose of original content panels, with V:IPs of Self-Publishing going first.  There are few things as satisfying as speaking with hopeful creators and offering even the slightest piece of info or advice that they didn't have, encouraging them on their journey.  While not exactly a packed room, it was an attentive audience and I'm sure I'll see many of them, sitting behind the table, at shows to come.

Next, I was joined by my friend and fellow creator, Michael Watson for "Only Sheep Eat Rotten Tomatoes", where we ATTEMPTED to turn the trend of public opinion (that seems to stand AGAINST the current DCEU) back towards a more favorable view!  Mike ran a live Facebook feed of the panel (forgive the side angle), and you can see all the fun we had!  There were a few hold outs, but I think we might've gotten forgiveness from one or two Marvel Studios devotees along the way!

Local creator, Abdul Rashid (AHR Visions) invited me to return to his panel, The Diversity Variable.  One of the things I enjoy most about his iteration of these, is how truly diverse he insures his panelists to be -- never excluding voices because they're NOT a person of color!  Shout out to Martin Reese, Sequoia Bostick, Clare Kolat, Ted Sikora, and Simeon Fuller, who rounded out the group!

A HUGE thanks to my creative brother from another mother, Dirk Manning for filling in on the God Complex: Building Realms, Worlds, & Universes...panel!  You were a GODsend on that one and as expected, offered crucial insight the up-and-coming creators who attended!  And if you weren't there, do yourself a favor and check out his work and join his mailing list at!

Whew!  That's already a lot and we're only about halfway through the show!  Let's break this puppy up and I'll come back in a bit to talk about that times I hung out with Superman, Falcon, and Batman & Robin!

Click Here to Read Part 2!

Wizard World Cleveland -- COME SEE ME!!!

Posted On Monday, March 13, 2017

This St. Patty's Day weekend is Wizard World Cleveland and I'll be back in The 'Land bringing the V:IP Treatment to a NUMBER of panels!  Hopefully, I'll see you at one or a few of them!!!

Wizard World Cleveland: 3/17-19/2017
Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland (Cleveland Convention Center)
300 Lakeside Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44113


VIPs of Self-Publishing: 6-6:45pm (Room 3)

Only Sheep Eat Rotten Tomatoes: 8-8:45pm (Room 3)

A Conversation w/ Gene Simmons (Intro Only): 11-11:45am (Main Stage)

The Diversity Variable: 12-12:45pm (Room 3)

God Complex: Building Realms, Worlds & Universes...: 1-1:45pm (Room 3)

Man of Steel: A Conversation with Dean Cain: 2-2:45 (Room 1)

Companion Guides: Relating Your Work to Popular Media...: 3-3:45pm (Room1)

Best Wingman Ever: A Conversation with Anthony Mackie: 4-4:45pm (Main Stage)

Costume Contest: 5:30-7pm (Main Stage)

U Cre-8 Comics Presents: The Character Crafter: 11-11:45pm (Room 4)

Batman TAS 25th Anniversary: With Kevin Conroy and Loren Lester: 1:30-2:15 (Room 1)

A Cre-8ive Q&A...

Posted On Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Q: How do you write an action sequence within a comic book?
- Malik (an up-and-coming writer I met at the Glass City Black Comics Fest)

A: That's a GREAT question!  In movies and television, fights and other action sequences are coordinated by masters of the form, who use their years of experience and practice to figure out the ways a scene can and should go down.  It can seem a bit harder do that in comics, but here are some of my tricks to make it work:

1.) It has to serve the story -- no matter what happens in what I write, it has to move the story forward, or have relevance to something that's going to play out later.  Nothing happens just because.  

2.) Think about who the characters are in the scene and what their mannerisms are.  If one guy is a little reckless, that's how he's going to act within the moment, another may be very methodical and exacting.  All of these should be set character traits that you're familiar with. 
3.) Start acting it out.  As silly as it may seem, a good dose of make believing works wonders!  This could be you playing out the action yourself, or having action figures that you can use.

I've said that construction of a comic book page is based on three principles:

Inclusion - what NEEDS to be there to tell the story.
Emphasis - focus on the IMPORTANT elements within the sequence.
Placement - where on the page will everything flow in an easily read order.

If you consider the three tricks in context of the principles, you'll be able to tell some cool sequences, full of action or otherwise!


Posted On Thursday, March 2, 2017

I'll say it for the sake of politeness.  But...I DID click this link, didn't you?  And it says it, right there in the title.

Alright...let me just get this out of the way.


There -- I don't wanna hear NO COMPLAINTS...

It's awesome.  Go see it.  The End.

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