Monday, May 26, 2014

Godzilla and SpringCon: A Perfect Weekend

So, a few things.

First of all, Happy Memorial Day to those of you in the US. I'm eating bratwurst with friends and family, but also remembering fallen soldiers like my father-in-law. Hope you're able to do something similar.

It's nice to have a day off after an extremely busy May. Between C2E2, SpringCon, and just work in general, I'm excited to not do very much today. I started a new day job in December and it's been tough to get back in the creative groove. This blog has suffered and my fiction writing has suffered, but I guess that's expected. Cartoonist Jake Parker wrote a really encouraging blog post about how to ramp up creatively after a major life change, but points out that it usually takes about a year to recover after starting a new job, having a baby, or moving to a new city. I hope it doesn't take me that long, but it's good to know that I'm not alone in struggling.

I'm going to try to update at least once a week, which is way less than I used to, but if I want to get any fiction written then I've got to be a less prolific blogger. I'm finding Tumblr super useful to quickly share weird, fun stuff, so this blog is going to be more about updates and longer pieces like the Bond series that I promise I haven't given up on.

Unfortunately, I didn't get a post up last week, because the weekend was too full of fun. Friday night, David and I saw Godzilla (Diane had a previous commitment) and it's probably the most fun I've had at the movies since seeing Star Wars about thirty-two times in the theater in 1977 and '78. The new Godzilla isn't a perfect movie, but it's awesome and we engineered our experience to pull the maximum amount of fun from it. We finished our massive marathon of the entire series (minus a couple of impossible-to-find entries) about a week before and then made it to our local screening of the original 1954 film. We were eating and breathing Godzilla by the time we saw the reboot.

We went to our favorite movie theater with the reclining, cushy lounge chairs, ordered a pizza, and saw Godzilla on the biggest screen possible. Without spoiling anything, there were times in the movie where David and I were clinging to each and squealing like tweens at a One Direction concert. Again, not a perfect movie, I realize that, but we had no complaints. I love how it reworks the mythology into something that makes sense while pulling the best from the earlier movies. And I've heard people complain that it takes a while to get going, but I adore that it teases out the monsters and lets the climax be an actual climax. It does struggle with making the human drama interesting, but that's a problem that every single Godzilla movie ever has struggled with. There've only been two or three that handled that better than this one and they all had other problems that this one fixed. It's a fantastic movie and probably my second favorite of them all, right behind '54.

The next day was SpringCon and Diane did go to that. It was a family affair with David and I sharing the table. Kill All Monsters sold equally well on both days and I sold out my stock of The Avenger: Roaring Heart of the Crucible. That's probably the third time I've done that; it's a consistent seller at conventions.

David had planned to delay the third issue of his Hulkasaurus comic and instead came up with a card game that he designed and drew. He sold a few of those, but he also did monster sketches all weekend and even had a commission when a woman asked him to draw a fire monster for her.

As fun as that stuff was, he got asked about Hulkasaurus #3 enough times that he went home on Saturday night and finished it. We printed enough copies that he was able to fill the demand on Sunday and he earned enough to buy a Skylanders game he'd had his eye on all weekend.

David and I were able to hog the whole table, because Diane set up in the aisle to do face painting.

She's always a hit and it was pretty cool that one of her more involved paintings won Best Makeup at the convention's costume contest. She'd painted a young Hermione with cat makeup for a Chamber of Secrets look.

Sunday was my first time on a panel at a convention and that was a lot of fun, too. The other panelists were - from left to right, below - Erik Burnham (Ghostbusters), Anthony Hary (Fifteen Minutes), and Otis Frampton (Oddly Normal). The topic of the panel was Local Boys Made Good, so we talked about the idea of "making good": what are our metrics for success, how have we gotten to wherever we are right now, and how do we keep motivated to push to greater success? I thought it was an interesting, inspirational conversation and we had some nice audience participation.

Of course, one of the most inspiring things for me at conventions is just to be around so many creative people and comics fans, some of whom I only get to see a couple of times a year. That's a major highlight of any show and SpringCon was no exception. It was a perfect weekend, even though I'm glad that this one's a lot more relaxed.

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