A Short Trip To KC

While I usually try to focus on the writing side of things here on the blog, I’m also a comic dealer. I own and operate Hurley’s Heroes here in Joplin, and I travel to a lot of local shows and set up as a dealer. This weekend I headed up to Kansas City for the KC Fan Con. Craig runs about 4 shows a year in Overland Park, and while they’re not terribly big, I usually have a good time, and make a decent amount of money. This time was no different. Despite my complete lack of preparation for the show, I reached my sales goals, and meet up with some friends I don’t get to see as often as I’d like.

The one bad thing about the show, which was completely my fault, was my lack of stock on issues of The Beauty. I started last week at the store with over 20 copies of the book, and figured that that would be enough to hold me through the weekend. Boy, was I wrong. I sold out almost completely over the course of the week, and was only able to bring 2 copies to the show!  Don’t get me wrong, there are worse problems to have, selling out of a book is a good thing. Heading to your first local show since your book came out without any copies of said book to show around, however, is pretty annoying. Luckily, I was able to hold on to one copy of the book through most of the day, and at least let people give it a look. Like I say, selling too many copies is a pretty great problem in all honesty, but if I had to pick a low point of the weekend, that’d be it.

In addition to hitting up the con, it was my old man’s birthday! Happy birthday, Dad! My dad is awesome, and totally supports all of my crazy interests. I think a big part of his support of my comic book interests is the fact that he’s also a huge nerd. His nerd is model trains, he’s been into them longer than I’ve been alive and has a massive collection. He’s also incredibly talented in the building and painting of the models, and the scenery that surrounds them. You should check out his blog for some progress on his latest projects.

On my way out of town, I hit up the excellent Elite Comics in Overland Park, and chatted up the owner, William, for a while. He’s a great guy who runs a pretty sweet shop. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend checking it out.

All in all, I had a great time.

A Welcome, And A Few Words About New York Comic Con

Hello all, and welcome to my new blog.

I recently attended the New York Comic Con. It was my first time in New York City, and it was also my first time attending a convention as a creator. In case you’re unaware, I’m the co-writer and co-creator of the new Pilot Season book from Top Cow, The Beauty. Here’s some preview pages!

Jeremy Haun (co-creator, co-writer, and artist of The Beauty) and I spent 8 days in the city, and had a great time. If I tried to list all of the awesome stuff that we were able to do on our trip, this would be an incredibly long post, so I’ll just hit some highlights.

  • First and foremost, I was able to hold a copy of The Beauty in my hands. This isn’t my first comic work (I wrote a short story for a Troma Films anthology that Jeremy illustrated a few years back), but it is the first time I’ve had my name in print on the cover of a book. I can’t tell you how excited I was to see that.
  • I actually hand sold and signed copies of the book. I’ve never signed books for fans before, and thanks to the awesome people at Image Comics and Top Cow Entertainment, I had that opportunity. It was a real thrill, and it was awesome to hear just how excited people were about the book.
  • I was on my first panel. The “Top Cow: We Create… Franchises” panel featured a short segment about this years Pilot Season books, and I was able to get on stage, and pitch the book to a room full of strangers. It was a pretty surreal experience, but I got a few laughs, and people seemed to dig the idea, so I’m calling it a win.
  • I was on a podcast. We were invited by Pete, Justin, and Alex to be guests on their show, Comic Book Club along with James Asmus. It was a ton of fun, and I think the show ended up being pretty listenable.
  • We did an in-store signing, another first for me. The folks at Jim Hanley’s Universe had us come by the Tuesday after the show, and sign some books. It’s a great store, and Jeremy and I had a hell of time while we were there. The highlight of the evening was meeting the legendary Paul Levitz, who was also signing. He was super gracious to both Jeremy and I, and gave us tons of excellent advice. He’s definitely one of the good guys.
  • I met the man with the most interesting stories about the comic industry I’ve ever heard. Gabe Sauro, of Avenue 4 Communications, has been working as a printer in the comic book field since the early 80s. He’s full of hilarious stories about an aspect of the industry that almost no one knows about, and he’s a hella-nice guy to boot. Meeting Gabe was a true highlight of my trip, and I really hope to see him again at future shows.
  • Then, of course, there was the food. New York is chock full of simply amazing restaurants. If you want a full list of every single thing that we ate, with pictures, (and you have an iPhone) I recommend checking out Jeremy’s Instagram Feed. However, here’s a quick rundown of some of the most awesome eats and drinks: Spotted Pig – the best burger I’ve ever had. Seriously. Blue Smoke – Not only was the food here great, but we got comped a bunch of appetizers and a round of drinks! Katz’s Delicatessen – Hands down, the best Reuben I’ve had in the history of EVER. This is coming from a guy who friggin’ loves Reubens folks. Pommes Frites – A restaurant that serves nothing but french fries, with an insane variety of sauces. Also, Poutine. My favorite eatery of the whole trip. The Flatiron Lounge – Insanely good cocktails. Magnolia Bakery – Cupcakes, scones, brownies, and really good coffee.
  • We went to a screening of Flatliners that was followed by a Q&A with Joel Schumacher, an emergency physician, and a neurological specialist from DARPA. Our buddy, Rick Loverd, got us an invite to this presentation by the Imagine Science Films Festival. It was a very cool, very informative, very entertaining evening, and I can’t thank Rick enough for getting us in.

I also met a ton of great people, both in and out of the comics industry, and had meetings with collaborators on upcoming projects. All in all it was a fun productive trip, and I can’t wait to make it to NYCC again next year.