Month: July 2012

“The Sad Day the Cat Wore A Mask”

Thirty-One years ago today, I put a mask on my cat.

I had only been reading comic books for a couple of years, if that, but had fallen in love with all the super heroes. One of the earliest books I picked up was a reprint of JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #100 which had dozens and dozens of heroes in it. I reread that story over and over, and I tried to learn about all of heroes.

I had only begun to draw them. (I’ve long destroyed those pictures.) Once I drew a hero I called “Captain Combo” (dumb I know), whose costume was made of every single one of the super heroes I knew about.

In my childish thoughts, Captain Combo needed a sidekick. What better partner could there be than my cat Sunshine? So I drew a mask with all the hero emblems on it, cut it out the eye holes and tried to put it on the cat’s face. To say Sunshine didn’t like the idea would be an understatement. Don’t know why the cat wouldn’t wont a secret identity. Wouldn’t you?

I never got a second chance at putting the mask back on Sunshine because we had to take my grandfather to the doctor’s office, and that day would change our family’s lives forever.

The day was already strange, and for those of us who believe in the supernatural side of the universe, sometimes things happen all at once and you wonder what else is going to happen.

We had been living down at my grandparents house to take care of Dad for a while, as my grandmother had passed away only nine months earlier.

That was the day of the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana; it was also the day that our cousins left to become missionaries in Taiwan. It had two major things happening, for us a third thing was about to happen.

We took my grandfather to the doctor’s office. Being my mother (his daughter), her brother, and my father. My sister and I were basically tagalongs, we went everywhere as a family.

Less than a mile away, us kids waited in the waiting room. As stated, I was on my way to becoming a comic book artist and so had a pad of paper and a pencil.

The doctor examined Dad and even said something like ‘this is the best I’ve seen you in a while.’

Then we guided him back out to the car and my father and uncle helped him get into the car. That’s when it happened. My father, who had his arms around my grandfather at the time and half way into the car, swears he could feel the soul leaving. My grandfather was dead.

What was I suppose to do? This was now the third family death in a very short time.

I was angry, but didn’t have the strength to even break the pencil I was holding. I so wanted to, but couldn’t. It was like my hands were numb.

So with the world celebrating a royal wedding, our family had very little to celebrate. Yet we did celebrate in a way, that my grandfather was now reunited with his love. For nine months earlier he had told her “Keep the gates open.”

He died of a broken heart.

I couldn’t draw a super hero to save him from that, I couldn’t draw one to save us from the pain of loss.

We would have to be each other’s heroes to get us through the days, weeks, months, and years to follow.

Sunshine the cat never did wear the mask, but became a source of comfort as I held it and it purred back. So in a way he became the perfect sidekick when needed.

SDCC – Pre Con Blog 2012

When I first attended the San Diego Comic Convention, I couldn’t believe there would be that many people interested in comic books and get together in one location. That year there was this shocking number of over 5000 people in attendance.

This year the Convention Center has capped the attendance at 130,000 people.

That’s quite a bit of a difference, and that’s a whole lot of years in-between.

Through those years my goal has been work in the industry; first as a comic book artist, then as a writer both in comics and in animation, and pursuing a career in production as both.

As Image Comics is celebrating a major anniversary in its existence I remember how it was through them I got my first professional credits (though my name only appears in one of the books I worked on), that year I got to sit in the company booth and I even signed my autographs on a few items.

I’ve only missed one year over all these year. And though I have never completely gotten over all my nerves each year I get better and better at talking with the professionals as I am one of them. I am.

So once again, I am heading down to San Diego to schmooze with my fellow script writers, authors, artists, editors, actors and producers. And Mission 818 is going with me.

This is the third year that I am taking the train down and riding it back home each night. It’s a relaxing trip, and it is a whole lot cheaper than any hotel you’ll find (or not find) in the entire city this weekend.

Can’t promise that I’ll be blogging all through the weekend, but check out my twitter feed at @Kevinpsb00 I’m sure I’ll have something to say.

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden

Four Names of Professional Creativity

What is #Mission818?

UPDATE – Sept 17. 2012 – See bottom of post.

What is #MISSION 818?

The name of my blog is “Four Names of Professional Creativity” and I have posted about my writing, about my artwork, about comic books and movies. I’ve also given suggestions and guidance to new writers on how to find ideas out of the world around them. I’ve promoted my novels, and written reviews of the novels of others. This week I’m writing about employment and my continued long-term career search and what I call Mission 818.

For over a year I have been in a part-time job with the Fullerton College Foundation where I design, assemble, and write content for newsletters, event programs, and advertisements that have increased the Foundation and it’s scholarship programs. They tell me I do a good job.

I am blessed by this job, and glad to help to the Foundation and my alumni of Fullerton College, however I know it is time I turn my focus towards the future.

I am engaged to one of the most – no, make that the most – wonderful woman in the world. We’ve been together for years and we share so much including a lifelong passion for television animation. It is time we get married and I become the best husband she deserves.

To make that happen, I need to find a full time job and join her in the 818.

With that intent, I can’t continue the way I have. Whether it be at an animation studio or not, I must find employment now and it must be near her in the Burbank area, hence the 818.

So, what is Mission 818?

It is my quest to find employment, be married, and live in the 818 area code.

As I’ve mentioned before, since heaven knows when I have wanted to work in comic books and animation. My goal was patricianly achieved in comics, but I still intend to do more with it and I keep my hand in with the webcomic “Flying Glory and the Hounds of Glory” (now in it’s eleventh year). As for animation I got my first script writing credits on several episodes of a show called “Midnight Horror School” in Japan. Unfortunately it has never aired in the U.S. I have also professionally written and developed series.

Additionally I have worked with numerous studio executives and producers as a contracted assistant from time to time over the years (read temp.) With every job, no matter how small, I have gained experience, which I bring to the next one.

Though my dream is to be a scriptwriter on a long running animated television series, or better yet, create my own show that runs for multiple seasons with fantastic rating numbers (I really am dreaming), for now that’s not what Mission 818 is about.

I will not to give up that dream (even those ratings) and will keep fighting for it. Yet, right now, I need a concrete foundation to build that dream upon. I am seeking a “day job,” a secure position in the production offices of an animation studio or prod co. Yes, I know there is no such thing as a long-term secure position in our industry, especially now, but that’s what I’m after. Receiving a regular paycheck while helping produce the best animated television series.

So what type of position am I looking for? It would be so easy to say, I want to get my foot in the door. Well, that’s not enough any more; I need to get my entire body in the door and down the hall. A Production Assistant or Coordinator on a show would be great start, and wouldn’t turn it down, but with my experience and skills I’m looking for something more.

The assistant position I am seeking is in the Television Animation Series Development department of a major studio. A few years ago, I had a temp job in the development department of one such studio, and even though I was there for a short time, it was an extremely thrilling experience as new and potential shows passed across my desk. I fell in love with those offices and am looking to return and be part of that work on a long-term basis.

Additionally, working in a studio’s development department may have a whole lot more stability than in the production of a show.

As much as I would like the above jobs and working in animation, I won’t say no to other positions in or out of the entertainment industry. My only requirement is that should be in the 818, preferably Burbank/Glendale area.

So Mission 818 has begun, seeking employment, and planning for marriage.

Part of this is asking my friends in the industry if they know of or could keep an eye out for any job opening inside or outside of television animation.

All help is appreciated. Know that this isn’t just for me but for the woman I love.

Who knows, one of the studios might need someone to work on their newsletters. I’ve been told I’m pretty good at them.

UPDATE – Sept 17. 2012 – I’m still pursuing employing with in the 818 Area code and the studios. This coming Friday I will be visiting the offices of an Animation Production Company and have the opportunity to pitch a television series. I’ve prepared a pitch bible for a action adventure series, and a pitch for a short, and have also have a back up in case the producers ask “What else you got?”  This is very important.

I’ve had the opportunity to pitch before, and even if the shows are bought or turned into successful series, the experience is always good. A little scary, a little fun. It’s a great learning experience.

Hope to write a blog about the experience next weekend.

My #Mission818 continues.

Thanks for the support.

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