Month: July 2013

Post Comic Con 2013 Blog #2 – Thank You Roy Thomas

Many of my professional comic book and animation friends on facebook and twitter have commented how this was one of the best San Diego Comic Cons they have had. Each say this for their own reasons, and it’s up to them to tell you why, but let me talk about why this is one for me.

As I’ve written about before, when I first got into reading comics I discovered the Justice Society of America before I really knew the Justice League was more than SUPER FRIENDS. Soon after that I found a comic called ALL-STAR SQUADRON. This book was written by Roy Thomas, and in one way or another included every single ‘Golden Age’ hero that DC Comics owned.

For many years, Thomas had his hands controlling the greatest of characters from both Marvel and DC.

Because as a kid he grew up reading all the original Golden Age characters he maintained a passion for all of them when he became a professional writer himself. I’d like to think I’m following in his footprints.

At the first ComicCon I attended, I was excited to attend a panel on Roy Thomas and his books. Unfortunately, for one reason or another, he couldn’t make it to the panel but con personnel said he was there. So another attendee and I mustered up enough courage to go to the info booth and ask to have him paged. (Realize I was a very shy kid in my early teens. Of course I’m still rather shy in my mid—never mind.) But Mr. Thomas never showed up. I was disappointed, but didn’t have any negativity against the man who controlled all these great characters.

Years later after getting my first job in the comic book industry, I met him extremely briefly while attending Pro-Con in Oakland. (Anyone remember that?) But he and Marv Wolfman were in deep discussion that I didn’t want to disturb him.

(I lost a lot of opportunities over the years because I didn’t want to disturb people. Finally getting over that. That’s a blog post all into itself.)

Finally we reach this year. Shannon and I attended a couple of spotlight panels. One on the artist George Perez, and the second was on Roy Thomas. The panel was moderated by Jon B. Cooke (editor of TwoMorrow’s COMC BOOK CREATOR magazine), and they talked about Thomas growing up and reading comics as a little boy, on to writing and editing for Marvel, and then doing what he says is his favorite book for DC Comics ALL-STAR SQUARDRON.

Yay, me too.

Here’s the cover of the very first Issue I bought:

Getting to hear him talk about all that was really good, but the day wasn’t over. After a dinner at the hotel before heading to the Writer’s Guild of America gathering, we were coming down an escalator and knew we had a limited amount of time. Standing in the corner by the Starbucks in hotel’s lounge stood Roy Thomas.

What feels like the first time in my life, I didn’t hesitate or think about what I was doing, and just went up to Mr. Thomas and introduced myself.

He was extremely friendly as I told him how ALL-STAR SQUADRON not only got me into comics, but also into enjoying history of World War II. That pleased him, because he was always incorporating history into the stories.

I told him how I later worked for Brian Murray who had been one of the artists on the follow up series YOUNG ALL-STARS.

Shannon spoke up saying how as an editor at Marvel, Roy had given a writing assignment to Christy Marx who later became a mentor to her which lead to her own career in animation.

I thanked him and his wife once more and headed off to meet more of our fellow writers. I was walking on cloud 9 almost crying with joy. Nothing could have made this Con better, and yet there were other things that we will be talking about for a long time to come.

Though most of those ‘golden age’ characters have dropped back into the shadows as new generations of writers and characters take over, Roy Thomas and the ALL-STAR SQUADRON will forever be the heart of what makes comics special to me and why I write and draw them.

Thank you Mr. Thomas.

Post San Diego Comic Con 2013 – #Mission818

Well, I’m back from ComicCon and survived being one in 130,000 people on the convention floor.

I won’t tell you how many conventions I’ve been too, and have only missed one in all that time, but what I can say is this may have been one of the most productive cons so far.

Over the next week I plan on writing short blogs about different parts of the con that I experienced. I hope it’s worth the reading.

Shannon and I road the Amtrak Train “Surfliner” down to San Diego and back home again each day. (We didn’t go for Sunday. We needed the rest.) It was a relaxing way to do it, and actually get some writing done. On Saturday we met someone at our hometown train station that was also going to Con, and saw again when we got back late that night. It turned out we had other connections, and this chance meeting may lead into some positive networking with companies down the road. We can only try.

Each day was crowded with people, and sometimes that can be frustrating when you’re trying to keep up with your partner salmon swimming up stream, but it is still fun.

The TV news kept going on about the costumes (or cosplay), but there was so much more to it than that. Though there were some really great costumes. The ones that really got to me were the families. Not just a group of people together, but families. A family that was dressed as Superman/Wonder Woman and Supergirl/Superboy. Another family that was the main pantheon of Star Wars characters. Do what you’re children love, and your children will do what you love.

As stated in my last blog we were going to avoid Hall H and Ballroom 20. However we did make one attempt to get into 20, Steven Moffat was there about the TV series SHERLOCK. The line which began at ground level near went up a long set of stairs and then Disneyland Lined back and forth. We spent 40 minutes in the line, but once the actual program began we knew we’d never make it inside. A friend of ours spent 3 hours in line for the same panel and still never got in.

We never even contemplated going to see DOCTOR WHO in Hall H. Not only getting in line itself can be bad, but also a lot of people decided to camp out in line or in the Hall itself once inside. The simple concept is that you go into see one panel even if you’re not interest in it and stay there until you see the panel you want. Sometimes if you sit in an earlier panel you might discover something new that interests you. Sounds like a good plan, but then you decide to do it for Hall H. Waiting 3 hours might be okay for some, but would you be willing to camp in the Hall our outside the convention center all night long? Well a lot of people did. Not me; no way!

Even avoiding the masses, we did end up in some very good panels. We sat in on one about writing for television and the experience in the “writer’s room.” It was fun that one of our friends was on the panel, would be even more fun if we were friends with the rest of the panel. We got in but the line beyond use couldn’t, this was a much smaller room.

Shannon really got a lot out of a panel on Digital Comics in Schools and Libraries. She’ll be writing her own blogs about that.

There were also a couple of spotlight panels that we attended. Those were cool to hear the people we look up to talk about their careers in their own words. I’ll be writing about one of those later. Of course it was also great to meet people on the floor, in artists alley, they we’ve worked with in the past.

We also attended the Writers’ Guild of America gathering, but could only stay for about half an hour, as we had to get to the train station.

It doesn’t sounds like a whole lot, but the little things are what matters. Each a small part of my #Mission818

We really had a good time.

More Con Blogs to follow.

San Diego Comic Con 2013 and #Mission818

As I write this thousands of people are arriving into San Diego for Comic Con International and many are attending “Preview Night”. I’ve never been there on Wednesday nights. It originally was a special “Preview” for professionals and retailers, but now it has grown to be nearly as busy as every other day at Con.

Shannon Muir and I will attend the convention Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. We are riding Amtrak trains to and from San Diego each day, but it is much more inexpensive and relaxing than trying for a hotel room.

We attend Con to meet up with many of our professional friends and network with many of the companies in attendance.

This year I am bringing #MISSION818 with me.

If you’ve been around my blog long enough, or a regular visitor and follower of my facebook or twitter feed you’ll know what #MISSION818 is. For those that don’t here is a brief description.

Shannon and I are engaged to be married, and I plan to move to be with her in the Glendale/Burbank area, and so my Mission is find employment in or around the 818 area code before our wedding.

I would prefer to find employment with an animation production company or comic book publisher, but am open to other positions and companies in that region.

I am a scriptwriter, having written professional in television animation, and been hired to develop series for independent producers. I am also a comic book illustrator, novelist, and book cover artist.

If I could have the exact job I’m after it would Senior Vice President of TV Animation Series Development, but that’s not going to happen right away. In the mean time I’ll be quite happy to assist the guy in the position now. I’ll even bring my own broom.

For my professional friends on facebook and twitter, you know that as I further my career I tag them with #MISSION818. So, this year I will be wearing a #MISSION818 T-Shirt and you all can find me in the Comic Con crowd. See the photo to know what you’re looking for:

Feel free to stop me and say hi, and like my facebook post. More importantly, lets talk about what I can do for you.

Hope to write a Post-Con Blog next week, or maybe some on spot posts to my facebook page while I’m there and let you all know how #MISSION818 worked out.

Thank you all for the support.

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden
Four Names of Professional Creativity

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