Since it’s been a few years since I’ve been to a major convention, I’ve been reading up on different tips and tricks. C2E2 has their own suggestions that I’ve used as a start. Another is one that Mark Evanier likes to share about any convention, which is to decide what kind of convention you want to have, and do that. Even in my youngest and most foolish days I could never do everything I wanted when I started going to the Chicago Comicon, so add in age and I’ve decided to concentrate on a few areas. Making a budget and sticking to it is important, especially when it comes to what Brad Bowyer calls the celebrity petting zoo. There are a few I wish to get, but it can be easy to blow the budget on just that one area alone. And I want to go to the artists alley and pick up some new stuff. I always like to see new things, especially in comics.
I’ve got the C2E2 app on my phone, and have a small notebook listing what all I want to do, what panels to attend, who to see and what autographs to get. Brad also suggests picking one thing each day you want from the convention, be happy when you get it, and consider everything else you get as a bonus. Problem is, there’s 5 things for Saturday on my list.
But hopefully I’ll have fun, and get to see you there. If you recognize me, stop me and say “hi”. Even if it isn’t me, maybe you’ll meet a new friend.
Next weekend, I’ll be going to C2E2 in Chicago. Going to a comic convention in Chicago is something I haven’t done in years. Kathy and I used to go to the Chicago Comicon which was something I looked forward to every year until a couple of things happened:
1) It moved from the late great Ramada O’Hare to the Rosemont Convention Center, where it lost something in the move, and
2) Wizard bought it, and lost everything else.
I tried going a couple of times since, but it just wasn’t the same. And I would look at what they had to offer each year, with nothing to entice me into making the trip. And there were the other elements, like my employment situation and not wishing to travel from home too long. As Harlan Ellison noted in one of his “On The Road” CDs, I have everything I want at home, why would I leave all that to come here?
When C2E2 first started, I’d give them a look and see if it was worth giving them a try. One thing or another would prevent me from doing so.
And then one of my new year’s resolutions was to get back into the swing of fandom, which is something similar to what Tom Spurgeon over at the Comics Reporter site resolved. Sure, the internet has rose in the interim of my fandom hiatus, but there is no substitute for actually getting out there.
I have been preparing these past few weeks for my trip. I got my tickets months ago, just before they announced Peter Davison as a guest, making me glad for taking the plunge. I opted to stay at the Hyatt Regency on site, just in case Kathy decided to come along as well. When we did go to conventions, her favorite part was getting to the room where she could kick back and relax while I jumped in the fray. But she chose not to come along. This is the first trip I’ve taken without her in years. Sure, there was Clixcon back when I started this blog in 2004, but it’s been even longer. Used to when I would take a trip with my family, there were the letters sent daily chronicling my adventures, and the one phone call about halfway through. But thanks to cellphones and the internet, keeping in touch is better and faster. Looking forward to trying it out.
I bought a bag of holding messenger bag from Think Geek to carry my stuff, and with the sale they had going on at the time I got a holster thing to strap on my left leg to carry more stuff. And while we do have a suitcase, that is too much for just a weekend. We couldn’t find our duffel bag, but it was getting ratty, so I bought a new one. All of these purchases should come in handy on future trips, though.
Right now, I have an idea of what I’m wearing each day. Friday I plan to wear my Iron Man shirt with the glowing chest thing from Think Geek with my Simpsons Pin Pals bowling shirt, and Saturday wearing my Mooby shirt since Kevin Smith is appearing that day.
Wow, I’ve gone over 500 words and haven’t even gotten to the tips yet. Tune in tomorrow for more.
Like a lot of you, I’ve been overwhelmed. I’ve had at least 10 things to do a day and lucky to get half of that done. You know how it is…you have to go to work, then there’s your family, and something comes up, and there’s things you want to do, shows you want to see, books you want to read…
It got so bad for me, it was even affecting my work. And getting called on something that was neglected at work, I have been endeavoring to do better. Not just at work, but in all aspects of my life. I straightened out the problem that brought all of this to a head, then planned to improve other areas of my job to do better. And there are things at home that I’m working on. And then there is this blog. Even though my phone has the capability of not only posting on this blog, but I can even dictate by voice to it, you can see that posts have been few and far between, if there are any posts at all. Like a lot of other bloggers who have fell by the wayside, it can be tempting to just post on Facebook or Twitter and leave it at that.
But there is more than a sense of obligation that keeps me to this blog. I like having my own place to say what I want to say, as well as the potential to reach more than just over 200 people on Facebook. And I will make this a more frequent stop in the future. There is a lot of catching up to do. I hope to fill you in on playing Defiance the video game (and the series starts tomorrow night on Syfy) as well as my plans to attend this year’s C2E2 convention as well as talk about how things have changed since the last time I took a trip without Kathy. Stay tuned.
Johanna Draper Carlson has wrote about something I figured was a matter of time, a comics publisher going all reprint. This is in light of the announcement that DC parent company Warner Bros was ending their magazine publishing. Since DC is technically part of their movie division, comics will continue to be published for now.
But given the recent history of Looney Tunes and Hanna Barbera (that only have new product when say, an executive wants to try their hand at Bugs Bunny and company. Certainly not bringing back the shorts that they started with) and Marvel owner Disney (who only does new content with Mickey Mouse et. al. when it suits their other divisions, like theme parks and merchandising) one has to wonder why comics with new content are being published, especially when other aspects bring in more money. My only guess was that it was cheap R&D for them.
I tried to write this post earlier today on my phone, but it didn’t work out. So again I try it.
About the only thing I wanted to do today was go see Oz The Great And Powerful and pick up a prescription refill at Wally World. I got a little thrown off by the time change. Last night before we went to bed, Kathy and I changed all the clocks in the house. But my clock radio automatically changed as well. Guess which one I looked at when I woke up this morning?
I saw the other clocks were an hour behind and figure out what was going on, which was hard to do in my groggy state. It took a few minutes to figure out where my pajama bottoms were, as it was warmer last night when I took them off in the living room than this morning. But I got some more sleep.
I was able to afford going to the movies today by inputting the codes from the boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch that had the $12 movie credit. But seeing it in IMAX was $15.50, so we had to pay the difference. It sure did help, though.
Before it was time to go, I felt more like wearing a short sleeved shirt. Good thing it was sunny and the mid 60s when we went. It had been so long since we had nice weather like that around here. I know we’ve got at least another month of cold miserable weather around here before Spring, but it was good to get a taste.
As for the movie, like the weather, it was good break from the dreariness that’s been going around lately. Worth going to see.
I know this story’s winding down, but I wanted to say something about the whole Orson Scott Card writing Superman controversy. For those who came in late, DC announced that science fiction writer Orson Scott Card was going to write a Superman story. Card wrote for Marvel and they adapted Ender’s Game to comics. And then it came out that Card supported an organization that opposed gay marriage, and then all the fuss began. Yesterday, artist Chris Sprouse announced he was wasn’t going to draw the story and DC put the project on hold, and everyone’s saying don’t hold your breath.
Long time readers of this blog are aware that my views on gay rights differ than Card’s. But I can remember a time when my views were thought to be in the minority, and it was a scary thought to express a view that differed from the view that people were supposed to have. I didn’t like that, and I don’t want anyone to go through it. I’m not mandating that people buy something if they don’t like something about it, even if it isn’t something that is in the final product. I’ve also said here before that the great thing about capitalism is that it’s using your money as a means to express yourself. Like something? Buy it and hopefully they’ll make more. Don’t like it? Don’t buy it.
Second, I wonder how many people who have expressed an opinion about this matter is a current reader of the Superman comics being published. While I can only admit to buying the 2 volumes of Superman Earth One published so far as being my only purchases of said stories (and my reaction to the 52 reboot was and still is, thanks for the ride, I wish you luck), on the other hand, I didn’t start this.
And finally, I wonder what will happen when the movie version of Ender’s Game is released. Will this controversy continue, or given comics’ audience relative to movies will it not matter?
When I started this blog thing back in 2004, one of the things I promised to talk about was anime and manga. That hasn’t panned out as much as I would’ve liked. I don’t know, I really followed it back in the early 90s (even going to AnimeCon 91 and Anime America 93, the only two times I’ve made it to California) but having life pull me in other directions as it is wont to do.
Kathy and I got into Downton Abbey this year, catching up on the first two seasons before the 3rd season started on PBS. There were a couple of manga that would be interesting to fans of the show called Emma and Shirley, each featuring a housekeeper from Victorian England that are from the same creator. I had the first volumes of each, with plans to buy subsequent volumes if it struck my fancy (and as usual, God laughed by having TokyoPop go out of business and driving up the prices of the later volumes of Emma, and only releasing the one of Shirley, the manga Kathy preferred)
So it was that I read of Toren Smith’s passing (from James Hudnall) at the age of 52, not too much older than Kathy and me. Anybody that got into anime in the 80s and early 90s is aware of the path Smith blazed in getting anime and manga out here in the States, not only dealing with Japanese companies being presented with exporting to the US in numbers that were the equivalent of books they threw away from being spoiled or ruined in their print runs, to introducing a new element to a genre that was considered kid’s stuff, Smith is the one to thank for bringing anime and manga from a very narrow niche to a recognized subsection of fandom. Nowadays it’s considered cool to be a fan, wasn’t so much so back in the day.
And back before the internet took off, it was good to be one of those in the know to realize that not only was Smith immortalized in the Original Anime Video (OAV or OVA) of Gunbuster! Aim For The Top! as tragic romantic interest “Smith Toren”, but that it wasn’t a reversal of his name: in Japan, the surname is presented first. Nowadays, everybody online just rolls their eyes when you present that fact.
I guess the Fish McBites aren’t doing too well, because the Filet O Fish sale is back at McDonald’s. Fish and/or fries, 2 for $3.33. And as a bonus, here’s the history of the McDonald’s Filet O Fish.
I’ve been having problems at work lately. I can’t say for sure that’s it’s the reason my blood pressure’s up, but I can say that it can’t be eliminated. They’re just another faceless conglomerate that’s more worried about making everybody jump through hoops and pushing buttons than actually getting the job done.
I’m not going to mention any details about where I work just yet because I don’t think I need to get to that point, and there are so many businesses out there that I write here can apply to.
Take last week. The task in question got done, and showed up as done in their reports; but oops, one of the steps that I was supposed to do wasn’t done. And it showed up in one of their reports. And lo, there was much gnashing and rending of garments, not to mention that I had some ‘splaining to do about why that step wasn’t done. Never mind that it was much easier to skip that step in getting the task accomplished, but the TPS Report didn’t have the cover letter attached. I didn’t have to deal with 8 different bosses about this, but there was a lot of work to deal with this bureaucracy, with nary a mention that the job was done.
And then today. One of the levers wasn’t pulled when it was supposed to, and oh lawzy, an e-mail had to be sent out to get the ol’ lever pulled. And again, I had to do some ‘splaining about why that lever wasn’t pulled. Never mind that the work was done that the lever pulling signified. Never mind that I went out of my way to help a couple of customers. But I forgot, I’m just supposed to do what I’m told, keep my head down, and don’t make waves.
And God forbid I ask them to do any ‘splaining. Things that I’ve wondered about. Things like why I have to pay through the nose if I want health insurance because I don’t qualify for the lower rate. I wonder why I don’t qualify when I’m working 45 hours a week. And why is it when I had my gall bladder attack last October, why when I called my supervisor to say I wouldn’t be in, I was initially told no can do, there’s no one else to fill in for him so he can fill in for me. Actually, I know the answer I’d get. I didn’t call the 800 number, put in my employee ID number, and press 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 when prompted. I’m sorry even when I felt so bad that I was thinking it would be quicker and better to call my supervisor instead of jumping through your hoops. (And in case you’re wondering how I got out of that pickle, I said I wasn’t coming in. I didn’t care if I got fired or what. And could further explain that after that phone conversation, I was going to go to the ER).
And I’m sure what other response I would get. That I would be labeled “not a team player” or “difficult” in my future reviews. And I can forget about making my current position permanent when it becomes officially available (as opposed to the carrot on the stick they’re using it for now).
What, did you think they’d actually address any of the issues I raised?
Something to think about next time you hear them cry about poor them, they’re not making enough money and could they have some more, please? While they make me feel like Oliver Twist asking for more gruel whenever I need more office supplies.
Guess what? Last night I got a new phone and what’s better is I’m actually dictating this post into my phone. I’ve been thinking about getting a phone for quite some time. I was one of those old farts that just had a phone that can be used for just taking calls, work has been using the texting, maybe once in a while taking a picture.
I’ve been seeing things for smartphones for quite some time now and there’s all this hype about “there’s an app for this and an app for that”. While I’m getting older, I don’t want to get left behind. And last week we were looking at phones were just the see what was out there, just get a general idea. I didn’t know Kathy wanted a new smartphone until she said something. So we’re talking about it and saying it would be nice to get one. Last night I went out to get Skyfall to add to my James Bond 50 blu ray set and I picked up a catalog Best Buy had of the different cell phones they have. Kathy liked the Droid Razr M phone in platinum, but the color was a Best Buy exclusive. I read out the specs and they looked good. So I decided to pull the trigger and get us some new phones. We were planning to go out Saturday after work anyway to go eat Cracker Barrel and go to Half Price Books. We went to Best Buy, but they were busy over in the mobile phones. I wanted to talk to someone at the Verizion Wireless store (VW was what we had, and I’ve been happy with them) So we went to the Verizon Wireless store and we had a very helpful employee named Jennifer help this out, get set up and helped us by showing us how to do different things. Best of all, I get an employee discount because of where I work. I know Kathy’s gonna love the Facebook I’m here I gotta get her fed up I was she gets home from church. And I got Netflix and I got Comixology. I got a couple free books to try it out, the FCBD Scott Pilgrim book issue 1 of The Walking Dead. I might get some more like to try out Mark Waid’s online comics. I also downloaded WordPress and I was glad to see not only can I add posts to the blog via my phone but also I can talk and it can transcribe what I say. Mostly, anyway. I had to go back and do some editing to fix some misspellings, but not only do I like that ability, it should come in handy when my typing can’t keep up with what I want to say.