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Day Two at Comic International at San Diego! #SDCC

Day 2 at San Diego Comicon finally arrived, and all we can do is just shake our heads and marvel (See what I just did there?) that it’s only DAY TWO!!! These conventions are so densely packed with activities, panels, exhibitors and people that one day here feels like three!!!

Because we had no early morning commitments for the convention we arrived sometime after 12:00 and made our way down to the Comic-con HQ. From there we bumped into a few friends and then pushed down even further towards the Grant Hyatt to go into the art gallery. Good friend Pia (Thrasher) de los Muertos was having some of her outstanding artwork on display so we went down there to give her some of our support. Unfortunately we couldn’t get any photos because cameras, or any type of video recording are strictly forbidden. Nonetheless, just take our word for it that there is some really wonderful talent out there.

After sitting for a spell and chatting up some jewelry makers from What’s Your Passion Jewelry (we hope to have more on that story later), we made our way back to the Exhibitor’s Hall because Witch House Rocks had a table where they were again selling all things Lovecraftian. However, before we got there we bumped into an “old friend” sitting in a booth of famous heads. Weird? Perhaps, but the man was none other than Disney legend Bob Gurr!!!

We chatted with him for a bit and reminisced about our vacation on the Disney Fantasy to the Eastern Caribbean a number of years ago, and Bob was just as warm and gracious as we remember him being!

We finally arrived at the Witch House Rocks table (more like a booth) and Mike Dalagar (who remembered us from the Horrible Imaginings Film Festival in 2015) chatted us up for a bit and shared at how there have been some updates to the rock opera Dreams in the Witch House, including some printed artwork titled Signum Crucis: Unholy Mutation with a link to download an updated track from the opera. He also gave us a CD called Ogham Waite and the Amphibian Jazz Band: Live at the Gilman House. Mike was very exited for us to listen to this, so stay tuned… A review will most likely be coming!!!

While walking through the Exhibitor’s Hall we came across a table where Ryan Hungerford was selling some beautiful artwork that can only be described as “Shag-like” in its style. He was sharing his table with another gentleman named Manuel Rios Sarabia of Sadhaka Studio, who looked at my shirt logo and asked if I write reviews. When I confirmed with him that I did he gave me (rather I purchased) two comics, the first being Rainbow Warriors and the second Fearless – Still Life. He was very enthusiastic that I take a look at these given that these comics are very much LGBTQ in content.

From there we migrated over to Prism Comics. This was the table that a gentleman from the Game of Bloggers event on Wednesday recommended that we should check out. This entire row of tables was filled with LGBTQ artists of various types. Among those we talked to were Tony Breed of Finn and Charlie are HITCHED – A weekly webcomic, David Reddish, the author of Sex, Drugs, and Superheroes, as well as Lee Marrs, the author of The Further Fattening Adventures of Pudge – Girl Blimp.

After wandering around the Exhibitor’s Hall for a bit longer we went back upstairs to the “Pro-Lounge,” the rest and decompression room where professional guests (which we are) are allowed to socialize with other of their ilk, and even possibly make new contacts. While Keith and I were working on some reports that we had compiled we received a surprise visit from none other than Larry Nemecek.

He sat and chatted with us for a spell and shared some information about Portal 47 (more info on that later in this article), as well as just talking about convention experiences. We also bumped into our favorite local Phoenix author, Gini Koch as she was chatting up a whole table of other authors. There was some the exchanging of business contact information that will hopefully yield some positive interviews in the future! From there we went back downstairs to see the Marvel Media Booth where a very maddening giveaway was going on.

While there were some cool things being handed out, we chose to leave so that we could make our way our FIRST panel of the evening, and this was the Independent Creator’s Summit.

The panel was primarily made up of writer’s, and those included Hannibal Tabu (@hannibaltabu), M.D. Marie (@literarymd), Nate Wuderman (@natewunderman), Robert Roach (@RDRHometownProd), and Geoff Gerber (@geoffberger) of Lion Forge Comics.

This was a very informative panel that covered a lot of ground for people who want to get their “independent product” off the ground, and while this was primarily coming from the point of view of artists and writers, much of what they had to share could be viewed as universal, regardless of the nature of your independent creation. The points ranged from making outlines and getting your creation “out of your head” to where you’re finally in a position to work and polish it, to even just talking about your product to friends and other people in order to see if there is a good demographic for what you wish to create. They also covered areas that covered the importance of scheduling and dedicating time towards your creation, because if you don’t do so it will never properly get done, as well as being fiscally responsible. Many people overextend themselves financially regarding their creation, which does not allow for them to properly market it while being able to support themselves at the same time. Lastly they talked about outreach and distribution. Outreach is very difficult to do on your own, which is why it’s important to have help, or to at least work with other people. With distribution, they all drove home the point about the right kind of distribution. One distribution method may not work for a specific product, but a different method just might, so pick the right type of distribution for your demographic/audience.

During the Q & A for this panel Keith went up and asked about “pimping your product” through means of a podcast (he admitted that this was a self-serving question) that received more than enthusiastic responses from everyone on the panel. Needless to say there was plenty of exchanging of business cards, not only with the panelists, but from members in the audience as well.

From there we made our way over to Larry Nemecek’s Trekland panel. For those of you who have never been to one of Larry’s panels, let me assure you that these are HIGHLY entertaining! If you’re a Star Trek fan of any sort, be it a specific series, movie, or all of the above, there is something here for you! He started off his panel by covering some of his contributions to the world of Star Trek, which included serving as a consultant to the Star Trek: Experience that used to be in Las Vegas. There was also mention of Portal 47, that can be accessed through his website at Trekland. He covered the 30th Anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation, including alternate cast choices as well as behind the scenes shots taken during the production of the show. From there he launched into a conversation regarding the upcoming series Star Trek: Discovery, how its premiere date is on September 24th, will air for 8 episodes, take a break, and then return in January. He also made mention of how Rain Wilson (The Office) has been cast as Harry Mudd, as well Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter and The Chamber Of Secrets) as Captain Lorca of the starship Discovery. Larry also told the audience that there is plenty of information available on Twitter, as well as how Entertainment Weekly has all of the rights to push and publicize Star Trek: Discovery. He also shared information about a new podcast called The Trek Files: A Roddenberry Star Trek Podcast that can be accessed at Roddenberry Podcasts. This podcast will be hosted by Larry, with each episode being 15 minutes and distributed weekly. Larry then finished up his presentation by showing a beautiful clip of George Takei from the documentary The Con of Wrath, where he talked about the late actor Merritt Butrick.

When the panel was over we joined another couple and Larry took the four of us out to the Fox Sports Grille for food and drinks, where we deep-geeked even further about all things Star Trek. Again, to say that Larry is entertaining is an enormous understatement. Not only is he highly animated and excited about all things Trek, but he has a wealth of knowledge and stories that might make the eyebrows of even the most die-hard of Trek fans go up!

As we approached the midnight hour, we all said our farewells and made our way back to the Trolley Station across from the Convention Center. It was there that we saw the INFAMOUS Hall H line!!! I have seen long lines in my time, but nothing ever prepared me for that! Needless to say, we had already decided that we would not be quite so daring for this first time at Comic-Con International in San Diego, although as we boarded the trolley to get back to our car Keith had read on Twitter that Andy Serkis (War for the Planet of the Apes) was actually going up and down the line entertaining people who were in there. Only at Comic-Con would you find something like that!
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