Last weekend I attended Kansas City Comic Con in, you guessed it, Kansas City. It was a much smaller event than I expected. Whether it was due to the venue being way too large for the crowds or O Con venue being too small for the crowd, it was disappointing.
I got lost inside the building and was a few minutes late to the first panel, which was on novel writing. This being the second con I’ve ever attended, I’ve started to notice a pattern with panels. There are usually four to five guests, only 2 or 3 of which say much. The others sit silently listening until they are asked to speak.
(Jason Arnett, Brian W. Peterson, J.B. Garner, Nicholas Forristal, and Thaddeus Nowak)
It was a fascinating discussion about novel writing. Much of the time was spent answering questions. I asked them about where they put the most focus, drafts or editing. I was surprised to discover that about half put out fairly clean rough drafts that only need minor editing. The rest, like me, have crappy first drafts.
How to Color Comics
(Brian Miller and Kristy Miller)
This was the best panel of the weekend. Although they use Photoshop, I learned quite a few new tricks for digitally coloring my drawings using similar features in GIMP. Later, once I finally located their booth, I bought their book on coloring comics.
By the time this was over, I was starved, so I skipped the the session I had planned to go to and instead went in search of food. I nearly had sticker shock over the prices. Seriously? $4 for a small soda? I sucked it up and spent the money on the best damned nachoes that I’ve ever eaten and a small soda. The nachos had bbq pulled pork, bbq sauce, cheddar cheese and can’t remember what else, but they were good.
After scarfing down food I headed to my hotel to check in and get my Galadren outfit. The hotel room was nice. Not as nice as the one in Chicago, but still nice. I dumped my bags in the room and then headed back to the Con.
After I was all decked out in my Galadren gear, I did my once around the vendor floor. I wanted to see everything before I start turning over cash. If I didn’t, I’d have all my money spent before I got out of the first aisle. I was so impressed with the quality of the vendors. I met up with two of the authors from the first panel and snagged their books.
That took far more time than I had expected and I missed another panel I had planned to go to. I slipped in late to hear the Q&A with Ksenia Solo. She is my model for the Red Guard member, Mila Vonovich. In looks anyway. She seems entirely too nice to be my Mila character. (You can check out my character interview over at the Catholic Underground)
Comic Book Artists
This was the last panel of the day. I can’t say I learned a lot, other than the industry has changed quite a bit over the years and is a challenging field to be in right now.
After that panel was over, I went back to my hotel. The plan was to eat my oh so crappy, but oh so yummy, noodles in a bowl thing that I brought with me until I realized I didn’t bring anything to eat it with. I thought about just skipping food, but I was hungry so I did the unthinkable and ordered room service. I could have went out in search of cheap food, but I didn’t feel like it. I just wanted to sit and work while I ate. I flipped on the TV and rummaged through channels until I found something I could stomach watching, cracked open my laptop and got busy on book covers I needed to work on.
The next morning I realized I forgot to set my alarm so that I could be up for Mass which was technically a couple blocks away, assuming I could find it. I had to have Google Maps just to get the block or two from the hotel to the Con. Yes, it’s sad. So, sadly I missed Mass. Somedays I swear I need a babysitter.
I hung around the hotel room until it was time to head to the Con. I stopped by the lobby and checked out, then stashed my stuff in the car.
Strategy and Tactics of Writing
Once again, I was a couple minutes late to the first panel. This panel only had two authors and was FUN! They went through their lists os what and what not to do in writing.
I went to the Q&A where he discussed his work on 12 Monkeys, The Hills Have Eyes and other shows he’s been in. He gave some interesting info into the working as an actor. I now have to go back and rewatch a bunch of shows/movies because the first time I saw them, I didn’t realize it was him playing the part.
I skipped the two cosplay panels I was planning to attend and instead shopped. I picked up a sword and earrings. (I have a custom of buying earrings as souveniers when I visit places. Sadly, I didn’t get any in Chicago or Galena…next time.)
I had a fascinating discussion with Susanne Lambdin who did the author panel that morning. I picked up her book and got to see Thor (the guy tabled next to her) riding a dragon. And directions to said dragon, where I promptly went so I too could ride the dragon.
After that I skipped out a bit early and headed for Omaha where I had plans to have to dinner with a friend. I finally arrived home at 11:30 pm at which point I fell into bed.
For more pictures, check out my facebook page.