The San Diego Comic-Con has come and gone, leaving geek culture reeling from the flood of news that pours out of the convention. For those who spent the better part of a week roaming the convention halls in search of their favorite artists, writers, creators and celebrities, it’s a time to wind down and take stock of everything they walked away with; be it autographs, exclusive comics or just plain booth swag. They’re not the only ones enjoying the downtime, though. The same artists, writers, creators and celebrities also take time in the aftermath to decompress from the hectic schedule of signings and panels and reconnect with their fellows in ways that they can’t while in the midst of the Comic-Con crowd.
This is where Golden Apple Comics in Los Angeles steps in.
Captain America: The First Avenger is coming to theaters on July 22! To celebrate the movie’s upcoming release, Golden Apple Comics in Los Angeles, CA hosted a Sunday Cap-Fest, and the turnout was amazing!
Yours truly was there with Nicole Sixx to capture all the fun as Golden Apple Comics converted their parking lot into a patriotic festival ground. There was so much to do, I scarcely knew where to start!
A couple days ago, I was able to see this last installment of the Harry Potter film franchise as an exclusive screening, thanks to the L.A. Times Hero Complex. My partner in crime, James Lentzsch, braved the increasingly crazed L.A. drivers to get to my neighborhood, and we drove down together to experience the journey’s end in IMAX 3D. We also got there astoundingly early for fear of a mind-bogglingly big crowd, and ended up this close to the start of the line:
Because of that, we got astonishingly good seats, free popcorn and drinks, and a night of epic sorcery and witchcraft.
For those of you who have been following my blog for the past month, you know that there's been some prettymajorevents in my life recently. Fortunately, my life is starting to calm down now. I have my car back, I'm personalizing the room I'm now occupying, and I've been getting to know some of my fellow staff writers.
Now it's time to settle in.
After every major event, there's the downtime to reflect on the past, how this event has impacted the present, and what sort of future is built out of it. Even though the car accident wasn't my fault, you can bet I'm more paranoid than ever when I drive in Los Angeles. That accident also lit a fire under me to step up my move from that part of town, and now I rarely venture into that area. While my employment with Comic Booked is still in its infancy, I'm already making plans for articles, interviews and more with the staff.
More than that, "settling in" to me means getting comfortable. I've definitely settled in to my used car that runs like a new car, and I'm starting to find a nice comfortable rhythm with the couple that has graciously allowed me to take up residence in their house for the time being. I'm not quite comfortable in my Comic Booked role, but the staff has been nothing but welcoming and available to me, and I expect that I'll be comfortable with them all in no time. And while I do that, it's always with an eye to the future, looking for ways to better myself and my life and, by extension, the lives around me.
Settling in is a perfect time to form new habits, too. I've already started employing greater awareness of my surroundings when I drive. I'm keeping very good relations with my housemates and even striving to make each room I leave a little better than when I walked in. But all of that pales in the face of the other habit I need to work on: WRITING.
Now that I'm a staff writer of a growing website AND a kidlit author, I'm going to need to step up my dedication to reserving time in the day for my writing. Articles can't get neglected for a scene I'm especially inspired to write, and my trilogy can't be forgotten while I focus on churning out reviews and interviews. Now more than ever, I need to call upon the focus that got me my first novel written and forge my passion into a pursuit like none other.
Don't worry, I won't neglect this blog, either. To the contrary, I may be posting here even more soon...
This has been an exciting week for me as a writer and as a comic book geek!
It started on June 24th over Twitter. I was hanging out in my corner of the Twitterverse, as I do from time to time, and a tweet from Comic Booked got my attention. Now, it should be noted that I’d only recently started following them. I don’t do the random follow thing on Twitter very often, and I’m certainly not one to follow back just because you started following me. (Here’s a tip: Engage me in conversation and I’m much more likely to follow you.) But as it turns out, my timing was impeccable. The tweet read:
Want to write for Comic Booked? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information today! Positions will be filled this weekend!
Now, the first thought that went through my mind, after the initial shock and excitement passed, was that this was my chance to make my dreams come true. It’s no secret that I’m a huge geek. From a very early age, I’ve been collecting comics since the first Transformers issues and watching Adam West’s cheesy take on the Caped Crusader every morning in my terry cloth Batman robe. The years have not diminished this in the least, and I can argue both sides of the Marvel vs. DC debate with the best of them. (And yes, I still have some of those Amalgam Comics issues the two companies published together.) I watch my favorite heroes come to life in movies and TV, both live-action and animated, and I put myself in their shoes in many of their video games. And back when I had a budget for such things, I’d visit as many of the comic book conventions in the area as I could, if only for the chance to shake hands with some of my favorite writers and artists.
I could go on, but you get the picture. Comic books have been a part of my life since I was a little boy, just as much as writing. So you can imagine my excitement at the opportunity to merge my two great passions into one awesome position on the Comic Booked writing staff! I just had to make sure my email to them conveyed two things clearly:
1) I really want to write for them.
2) My geekitude knows no boundaries.
Apparently, it worked as well as I wanted, because I got a response back that Sunday morning, June 26, from the Editor In Chief of Comic Booked. They liked what they read, and bumped me up to the second phase of their staffing process! That meant I had to write up a sample article for them to make sure I was a good fit. Normally, this would be a slam dunk for me. I’d spend the majority of the day working up a stellar article that would make Perry White exclaim “Great Ceasar’s Ghost!” and email it in, no problem. There was just one little hiccup: I was about to embark on a day-long process of moving furniture that would effectively remove me from my computer and any ability to churn out a quality article!
As I tend to do, I bemoaned this new torture in my life on Facebook. In moments, I had a private message from the CEO of Comic Booked that read:
If you're busy today, you can send something in tomorrow. Or, you can let me know here why you want to join the team and we can go from there. I know how it is when you're busy, so no worries at all.
Yeah. The CEO of the company I wanted to work for friended me on Facebook and gave me, a hopeful recruit, permission to submit my sample article a day late because of my dilemma. My desire to join their staff doubled in that moment, and that's a conservative estimate.
After killing myself to finish moving my stuff in record time, I went home and spent the rest of the night working on my sample article. I knew I had an extra day to submit it, but I didn’t want to waste any time. (I might also have wanted to prove that I can meet crazy deadlines by getting it in as early as possible.) I wrote up a great review of one of my favorite DC Universe animated movies, Wonder Woman, gave it a quick self-editorial pass, then sent it off before passing out from exhaustion. Maybe I would have an email from them waiting for me when I woke up.
Or maybe not.
As the week progressed, I grew more and more worried that I hadn’t heard from them yet. Was my writing not up to their standards? Did they not like my review? Hundreds of “what if” scenarios played out in my head, all revolving around what I could have done differently in my sample article to make it more interesting, more exciting, more more. It was agony, I tell you, of kryptonite poisoning proportions.
Then, early on Saturday morning, I got an email from the EIC. I made the grade! I'm now part of Team Comic Booked!
As of the posting of this entry, I’ve made the acquaintance of some of the other new writers who were hired alongside me, as well as the site’s editors. (And I already know one fellow recruit!) My pic and mini-bio have been submitted for inclusion on their Meet the Team page, and I’m already privy to some of the inner workings of this amazing group of fellow geeks. In the coming weeks, I’ll know more about my role on Team Comic Booked, and you can expect many posts from here on out linking to my articles on their site. In the meantime, I’ll be over here, basking in the glow of realizing a dream come true.