Had an enjoyable three-day weekend at WonderCon in Anaheim.

Got to see a lot of my fellow writers and creative people from comic books, animation, and novels. Went to a whole bunch of panels about working in different industries as a writer, learning how best to promote our work, and getting to see how some authors are promoting their books and themselves.

No matter how long I’ve been at this, there is ALWAYS something more to learn.

There were three panels on animation writing, each with their own special tone and subject. From selling a series, tales from the trenches, to what it takes to tell an action adventure story in animation.

The one on action was I think the most informative and I learned something from. Animation, like comic books, is a visual medium and the story must be told with the pictures. However, in comic books a single page of 1 to 8 panels of art can also be filled with dialog balloons and the reader and take his/her own time to read it. The same sequence in animation might only take seconds on the screen and only the most pertinent lines of dialog can be used. It needs to be cut down and much as possible, and the rest of the story must be in the artwork and animation.

Another panel was on how best to publicize your comic book. We did a lot of this last year when we were promoting the 10th Anniversary of FLYING GLORY AND THE HOUNDS OF GLORY, but there is still more we should have done and perhaps in different ways. Again, being there was a learning experience.

We don’t usually go to the Big Event panels, or the ones that are solely promoting a publisher’s line of comics or TV shows, but a friend of ours is working on a major show as part of the new DC Nation block on Cartoon Network so we couldn’t miss that. The fan response to GREEN LANTERN, YOUNG JUSTICE and the DC shorts was quite positive.

Other panels included a SPOTLIGHT on comic book writer Mark Waid who told us more of his plans for Digital Comics. Since Shannon and I have been doing a webcomic for 10 years, there is a lot to learn from him on this as well.

Another panel on the book WOMANOLOGY created by women creators, veterans and new. A worthwhile project, endeavored, and book, check it out.

There were also panels on gaming, both video and table top, which was more Shannon’s thing as her own experience in both. She can tell you more about that.

[EDIT] We also had a great time at a panel on Voice Acting with some of the best actors currently working in the industry. I may write about this at another time.

You can find Shannon’s view of Wonder Con here: http://t.co/tAg1nab9

Our final panel of the three days was on YOUNG ADULT novels, and there were 9 authors on the panel talking about their work, but done in a very enjoyable way that the question and answers weren’t boring and cliché. Three of the authors got to announce that their books were at different stages heading towards Hollywood, the audience loved that though knew that anything could happen between now and then. We did see two very well produced trailers to promote a couple of the books. One of the books is already in production as a film. As both Shannon and I have our own novels out right now, it’s really great to hear what others are going through.

Speaking of our own novels, both of us couldn’t help but keep checking Amazon’s Author Central and Smashword’s Dashboard through out the convention to watch our sales rankings. Shannon had one of her novels up for free yesterday it was fun to watch it climb the charts to # 15 in Family Sagas. As for mine, CLOCKWORK GENIE is currently on sale for 99¢ so it was great to see it hope up the ranks a bit, and I was really pleased to see REVENGE OF THE MASKED GHOST get some sales even though I haven’t been promoting this week. Maybe someone bought both, was it you?

Over all WonderCon was a relaxing weekend compared to our normal experience at ComicCon International in San Diego. Our only real problem was the heavy rain Saturday morning, which was a problem for everyone else as there wasn’t enough parking for not only our own convention but also two others going on at the same time. A good thing we chose to take the bus down each day so didn’t have to worry about any of it. Go OCTA.

I came home from the convention last night to find out that ParaYourNormal had posted an interview they did with me. You can read it here. If you read the interview, you’ll also have a chance at winning a free copy of CLOCKWORK GENIE.  Read an excerpt of the story at the end of the interview.

You’ll also find a link in the interview to BlogTalkRadio through which you’ll be able to hear the ParaYour Normal crew interview me live this Wednesday (March 21st). Here’s that link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/parayournormal

So having a nice relaxing time at the convention with my fellow authors, I don’t feel like this is March Madness. Of course once you all start buying my books that may change.

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden
Four Names of Professional Creativity