PHOTOS: Baltimore Comic-Con/Pig Roast

If you want check out the action from the 2008 Baltimore Comic-Con and the after hours Pig Roast and the Hennstead, go to the PHOTOS section. Pics galore!

Post edited by: rcolchamiro, at: 2008/10/04 17:56If you want check out the action from the 2008 Baltimore Comic-Con and the after hours Pig Roast and the Hennstead, go to the PHOTOS section. Pics galore!

Post edited by: rcolchamiro, at: 2008/10/04 17:56

Baltimore Comic-Con: Night of the Pig

As is becoming an annual event, after the Saturday session of the Baltimore Comic-Con, a bunch of gathered at the Henn House for a fiesta, with the main attraction being … what else … a roast pig!

And when I say pig, I don’t mean pulled pork, I mean Roast. Pig. Snout and all.

During the day, while we were at the convention, Rich’s father-in-law picked up the pig, took it home, and literally ripped that sucker up. He yanked off every scrap of pork he could dig his fingers into. SAs is becoming an annual event, after the Saturday session of the Baltimore Comic-Con, a bunch of gathered at the Henn House for a fiesta, with the main attraction being … what else … a roast pig!

And when I say pig, I don’t mean pulled pork, I mean Roast. Pig. Snout and all.

During the day, while we were at the convention, Rich’s father-in-law picked up the pig, took it home, and literally ripped that sucker up. He yanked off every scrap of pork he could dig his fingers into. So by the time we gathered at the Henn House, there were pans and pans of roast pig ready for the eating.

I don’t eat roast pig, so I can’t say how it was, but a room of about 15 guys devoured about 75 percent of it, so I’d say it was a big hit! Not only that, we carried on the tradition of pizza on the grille (as if there’s any other way), tapped a quarter keg (which we kicked), and headed down into the basement for a long session at Henn’s bar, where many a martini and other concoctions were whipped up and guzzled (I stuck to beer).

BBQ, beer and comics, talking about comics, reading comics, and guzzling beer all at the same time. For a bunch of comic book nerds, this was the ultimate. And if Seven of Nine from Star Trek showed up in her skin-tight uniform, I think there would have been a mass heart attack.

The bodies slowly trickled out during the night, but those who ducked out early missed a midnight feeding of BBQ chicken wings imported from Buffalo (LaNova … sooooo gooooooood), with the party’s final call about 2:30 am. Which wouldn’t have been so bad, except that we had to be up at 8, to be on the road by 9, to just barely–and mean just barely–make the Amtrak back to New York at 10 am.

All in all it was another great weekend for the Baltimore Comic-Con.

And the best part is, we’ll be doing it again next year…

Baltimore Comic-Con: Bins of Treasure

One of my favorite ways to spend time at comic book conventions is to rifle through the discount bins, which is exactly what I did at the Baltimore Comic-Con. Some of the bins are 10 percent off, some 20, and others as much as 40 or 50 percent off.

For those of you who aren’t into comics, let me give you a quick glimpse into the physical books themselves. For either an ongoing series, or a limited mini-series–the individual issues–ranging between 24 and 32 pages–come out on a monthly baOne of my favorite ways to spend time at comic book conventions is to rifle through the discount bins, which is exactly what I did at the Baltimore Comic-Con. Some of the bins are 10 percent off, some 20, and others as much as 40 or 50 percent off.

For those of you who aren’t into comics, let me give you a quick glimpse into the physical books themselves. For either an ongoing series, or a limited mini-series–the individual issues–ranging between 24 and 32 pages–come out on a monthly basis. These individual issues are the cornerstone of comic books. As you might imagine, these physical books can really pile up over the years, so it’s pretty common to find comic book collectors with long white boxes in which to store the comics.

Most collectors take each individual comic book and do what’s called "bag and board," which simply meaning taking the individual comic book, laying flat against a specially measured piece of white cardboard, and then placing that board and comic book inside a clear plastic bag. This protects the comic book from getting beat up. The long white boxes are for the individual comics, which then stack nicely.

Then there are trade paperbacks, in which multiple comic book issues–usually encompassing an extended storyline–are bound into a paperback. This is what I tend to do. Buy the paperbacks. I just don’t have the time or space to collect the individual issues anymore. It’s like buy an entire season of a TV show on DVD in a box set.

I wound up buying a new reading copy of Watchmen, which you’ll be hearing a whole lot about into next March, when the movie comes out. I don’t know if the movie will hold up, but the comic book–just 12 issues as a limited series–is just an absolute masterpiece. I can get this bound version at any comic shop, but I found one in a 40 percent off bin, so I was pretty darn happy about that. I’ve had the same paperback for more than 10 years, and it’s pretty beaten up at this point, so it was time for an upgrade.

That was the only book I bought from the discount bin, but just the looking is fun. Thumbing through all those boxes. It’s like going to garage sales or antiquing. You know most of what you’ll find you don’t want, but every once in a while you find a great buy, which makes it all the sweeter.

Post edited by: rcolchamiro, at: 2008/10/04 17:57

Baltimore Comic-Con: Rain, Schmain. Comics Galore!

It was absolutely pouring rain most of the weekend, but it did nothing to hamper a good time down at the 2008 Baltimore Comic-Con. Unlike the mega-show of San Diego, Baltimore is more of a straight comic book convention, for people who like to read and talk about comic books. There were local and some out-of-town retailers, and a pretty heavy hitter list of comic book writers and creators, including Mark Millar, who wrote [i]Wanted[/i], the source material for the Angelina Jolie/James McAvoy movIt was absolutely pouring rain most of the weekend, but it did nothing to hamper a good time down at the 2008 Baltimore Comic-Con. Unlike the mega-show of San Diego, Baltimore is more of a straight comic book convention, for people who like to read and talk about comic books. There were local and some out-of-town retailers, and a pretty heavy hitter list of comic book writers and creators, including Mark Millar, who wrote [i]Wanted[/i], the source material for the Angelina Jolie/James McAvoy movie that was out this summer.

Beyond that, you had creators of all ranges, from some newbies debuting their first comic books, to some mid-range creators, like Kyle Baker (who signed a book for me) and then some more seasoned veterans, like Matt Wagner, creator of [i]Mage[/i], considered one of the best comics ever.

Yours truly was in attendance with writer/creator dudes Rich Henn, Jim Chambers, and Rich Koslowski, who was in from Wisconsin, hobbled foot and all. I spent the afternoon wandering the crowds and checking out the booths, and a lot of time at Koslowski’s booth, talking comics, helping him sell his stuff, and, of course, talking up [i]Finders Keepers.[/i] I had a few copies out on the table, and even made a few sales myself!

Baltimore was also a family affair, as Koslowski’s wife (Sandy), and daughter (Stella), were at the booth, with Stella decked out in kitty kat costume and face paint, with the cuteness drawing in some extra fans. She even had her own portfolio of drawings!

Beyond that, I laid the groundwork for some extended [i]Finders Keepers[/i] projects that I hope to get into the swirl next year, so all in all it was another successful convention. The convention also went through Sunday, but I was back on the train back to New York by then, completely wiped out from a looooooong night of beering it up, but I’ll get to that in the next blog. (At this point, I only have two words about it: Pig. Roast.)

And check in soon for pictures from the event, with a few that you just need to see to believe.

To Be Continued …

Post edited by: rcolchamiro, at: 2008/09/30 06:46

Last Show of the Season – Baltimore Comic-Con

Wrapping up this year’s convention season, I’ll be heading down to Baltimore tonight to join partners-in-crime Rich Henn, Rich Koslowski and Jim Chambers for the 2008 Baltimore Comic-Con. Jm and I will be taking the Amtrak tonigth, and will knock back a few cold ones with Henn at his place. And then tomorrow Finders Keepers Web master Ron Benchetrit will joining us as well for some post-convention beer and pig roast back at the Hennstead.

If all goes well, I may just have a new side projecWrapping up this year’s convention season, I’ll be heading down to Baltimore tonight to join partners-in-crime Rich Henn, Rich Koslowski and Jim Chambers for the 2008 Baltimore Comic-Con. Jm and I will be taking the Amtrak tonigth, and will knock back a few cold ones with Henn at his place. And then tomorrow Finders Keepers Web master Ron Benchetrit will joining us as well for some post-convention beer and pig roast back at the Hennstead.

If all goes well, I may just have a new side project to unveil at the Baltimore Comic-Con while I talk up Finders Keepers, but that depends on Henn, which, if history is any indication, means I’ll be lucky just to live through the weekend (that’s actually a hint regarding the side project …).

As usual I’ll be taking loads of pictures at the convention, and will post them on the site upon my return. And I’ll blog about the show as well, reporting back all the news that’s fit to print.

Talk to you when I get back …

Penny’s New Chew Toy – My Phone Charger

Now that Penny has started to warm up to her new digs, she’s getting a bit more playful–and mischievous. The other night I got home from work, tired, and just wanting to hit the couch for a little TV time before bed. As I was getting ready to settle in, I figured I should charge my cell phone for the next day, but at the time, that felt like just too much effort, so I let it be.

Big mistake.

Not five minutes later I’m in the other room, when I hear Liz shout, "Penny!" So INow that Penny has started to warm up to her new digs, she’s getting a bit more playful–and mischievous. The other night I got home from work, tired, and just wanting to hit the couch for a little TV time before bed. As I was getting ready to settle in, I figured I should charge my cell phone for the next day, but at the time, that felt like just too much effort, so I let it be.

Big mistake.

Not five minutes later I’m in the other room, when I hear Liz shout, "Penny!" So I make my into the living room, to find Liz holding my cell phone charger–which was still plugged into the wall–and the other end mangled, because Penny had chomped it into oblivion!

Well, we now make sure that Penny gets a good long walk before bed to get her all tuckered out, and keep her well supplied with Nylabone’s for chomping. And I’m out $43 to replace the phone charger!

Penny!

Post edited by: rcolchamiro, at: 2008/09/30 06:44

In the Writer’s Chair: No Waste in Bad Grooves

About a month ago I was working on an exchange in [i]Crossline[/i] between the main character and a secondary character, and while I felt their conversation was moving along, something was missing. This was more of a character-building scene than a plot-driven scene, and so it was mostly straight dialogue. Still, I wasn’t quite feeling it. For the purposes of this blog, we’ll call this Scene A.

As I often do when I’m feeling a little out of my groove, I picked up a book I refer to now and About a month ago I was working on an exchange in [i]Crossline[/i] between the main character and a secondary character, and while I felt their conversation was moving along, something was missing. This was more of a character-building scene than a plot-driven scene, and so it was mostly straight dialogue. Still, I wasn’t quite feeling it. For the purposes of this blog, we’ll call this Scene A.

As I often do when I’m feeling a little out of my groove, I picked up a book I refer to now and again for style points, and suddenly I was off to the races. I was filling in the exchange with subtext and nuance, getting more inside the character’s heads, and revealing more about their nature. OK. Now I was really grooving. All in all I spent a few weeks on this scene, until I felt I had worked it all the way through.

And then …

Last weekend I wrote a different scene, which we’ll call Scene B, one that preceded Scene A. Scene B was particularly important, I felt, because it established another relationship that becomes important later on, and also connected the dots between an even earlier scene and one that again becomes important not long after. It was a good scene, too. The characters interacted naturally, and revealed some important information.

The result, however, is that this connective scene–Scene B–changed the mode of this larger sequence for the better–but it took Scene A out play. I have since cut Scene A into smaller parts, using one small piece of it earlier on, with the intention of using the rest of it later, where it might fit better.

Thing is, while I was frustrated at having to cut a scene I spent so much time on, I was okay with it. Because as I write, I’ve learned that there’s no waste. Scene A was vital because it helped define Crossline’s narrative style, even if the scene itself never makes the final version of the novel. It might, in some form, but even if it doesn’t, it was extremely valuable.

So even when a groove turns out to be temporarily ungroovy, the end result can be groovier than I anticipated. It’s one of my favorite parts of writing. No matter how I’m going, there’s always room for me to be surprised. Even when it seems that I’m stuck, I can get unstuck, and even when that solution doesn’t end up solving my immediate problem, in the long run, I sometimes come out way, way ahead.

It’s been a tough lessen to learn, but I’ve come far enough as a writer to trust the process, having faith that if I trust myself enough to just let the writing evolve as it does, I’ll ultimately get where I need to be.

MY NEW BOOK! – Crossline: A Space Adventure!

In case you didn’t get to read my latest newsletter yet, here is some juicy news:

While I’ve been out there promoting [i]Finders Keepers[/i] as it circulates through the publishing–and Hollywood–world, I’ve been hard at work on Book No. 2.

Tentatively titled [i]Crossline[/i], my current project is a Buck Rogers/Flash Gordon-type of adventure with my usual time-bending, philosophical goofiness that is so near and dear to my heart. It started out almost 10 years ago as a comic bookIn case you didn’t get to read my latest newsletter yet, here is some juicy news:

While I’ve been out there promoting [i]Finders Keepers[/i] as it circulates through the publishing–and Hollywood–world, I’ve been hard at work on Book No. 2.

Tentatively titled [i]Crossline[/i], my current project is a Buck Rogers/Flash Gordon-type of adventure with my usual time-bending, philosophical goofiness that is so near and dear to my heart. It started out almost 10 years ago as a comic book project from the nutty brains of long-time friend Tom Peters and yours truly. We had some pretty ambitious plans for the comic book, but life kinda got in the way, and then it sat on my shelf for years.

Well, a while back I decided to give it another go, and combining some of the space adventure elements of the comic book with another group of short stories I wrote way back in my earliest days as a writer, Crossline the novel is well on its way.

Without getting into any plot points just yet, I will say that [i]Crossline[/i] is full of fun, humor and adventure, and takes some trippy twists I don’t think you’ll be expecting. I’m almost half way done with a first draft, and if all goes well, I’ll have it finished and ready for some writer-dude comments in the first quarter of 2009.

I’m hoping to have it ready for circulation for the Hollywood dudes at Comic-Con 2009, so that’s my target. I’m not sure if I’ll be ready, but I’m going for it.

I’ll be talking more about [i]Crossline[/i] in coming blogs, so be rest assured I’ll be writing and writing and writing for years–even decades–to come.

Post edited by: rcolchamiro, at: 2008/09/18 06:20

Post edited by: rcolchamiro, at: 2008/10/15 06:41

Penny for Your Thoughts: A Dog’s Tale

This weekend marked a change in my lifetime that, well, for a long while I thought would never happen:

I am a dog owner! Yikes!

Yep. This weekend Liz and I went up to the North Shore Animal League and picked out a mixed terrier, about two years old. She’s light brown, and very sweet. She’s a rescue dog. She comes from down south somewhere, displaced because of Hurricane Gustav. Not sure how she made her way all the way to our neck of the woods, but she’s a Queens resident now.

This weekend marked a change in my lifetime that, well, for a long while I thought would never happen:

I am a dog owner! Yikes!

Yep. This weekend Liz and I went up to the North Shore Animal League and picked out a mixed terrier, about two years old. She’s light brown, and very sweet. She’s a rescue dog. She comes from down south somewhere, displaced because of Hurricane Gustav. Not sure how she made her way all the way to our neck of the woods, but she’s a Queens resident now.

We named her Penny.

Unfortunately, it looks like the poor thing picked up some kind of kennel cough, and she’s coughing up some spittle and whatnot, so she’s not too happy right now. Liz took her to the vet this afternoon, and indeed she’s got a high fever and some sort of respiratory infection. So she’s on antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory, and should be on the mend and in fully Penny mode soon enough.

Still, Penny is sweet as can be, and has already staked her claim on the corner of the couch! And after walking her a few times I’ve already learned that she loves to chase squirrels. Whoa! She goes right after those suckers.

This is a bit of an adventure for me, after a lifetime of cats, but I think Penny’s is going to make a great addition to the family.

No Time for TV

I’ve gotta say, I’m busier than ever these days, and it’s really cutting into my TV time! I realize there are worse things to experience, but at the moment, I’m having trouble thinking of them.

OK, maybe that’s a little overstating things, but I just don’t have the same amount of time I used to for just sitting on the couch and watching TV. But the bigger part of this, aside from how much TV I time I do or don’t have, is just the lack of time I have to do [i]anything[/i].

I’m workingI’ve gotta say, I’m busier than ever these days, and it’s really cutting into my TV time! I realize there are worse things to experience, but at the moment, I’m having trouble thinking of them.

OK, maybe that’s a little overstating things, but I just don’t have the same amount of time I used to for just sitting on the couch and watching TV. But the bigger part of this, aside from how much TV I time I do or don’t have, is just the lack of time I have to do [i]anything[/i].

I’m working longer hours than I used to, and when I’m home, I’m so tired, I barely have the energy to just pick up around the house. The mail piles up longer than it did just 6 months ago, the laundry piles up, and it’s tougher to see friends and family.

On the immediate, I notice this lack of time because not only don’t I have time to watch what new shows will debut this season, I don’t even know what shows are debuting. I’m losing my touch. I’m sure I’ll figure it out, but more and more I find I need to schedule almost every minute of my day–including time to do absolutely nothing–to feel like I’m living a little bit. I feel like I have so little down time, time just to dream, to let my mind wander.

Or maybe I’m just a TV junkie with a habit I can no longer satisfy!

On second thought, let’s chalk it up to me being far too busy.

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