RCCCC: Image Comics at Rose City

Over the course of the weekend at Rose City Image Comics had several panels, each looked at different angles and sides of Image. We wanted to cover all of the panels and present them here for you now.

Actually, before we get into the panels it must be noted that David Brothers the moderator for all the Image panels was amazing. He had charisma and brought everyone in the room together and gave its panel tons of energy. When he isn't moderating panels, he provides front page content to the Image Comics site, and hosts a podcast called The I Word.

  • Adventuring

The first panel of the con we attended was the adventure side of Image and it ran September 19th 10:30 am. The panel featured the creative team of both The Autumnlands (Kurt Busiek & Ben Dewey) and Shutter (Joe Keatinge & Leila Del Duca).  I think the first thing that amazed me was that Image had high fantasy comics in their line up. The second thing that impressed me, I was fascinated and interested in both of them.

The Autumnlands is a magical world with anthropomorphic  animals and a human. It follows the journey of several characters as they set out to try and stop the once happy and beautiful world they knew from coming to an end. Writer Kurt Busiek speaks of the book with such passion and love for fantasy that you can tell he wants to explore the world he has created just as much as the readers. Ben Dewey on the other hand loves creating all the anthropomorphic creatures that Kurt can think up.

Shutter follows Kate Kristopher as she is forced back into adventuring when a family secret threatens everything she has worked towards her entire life. The story is an urban fantasy that also has some anthropomorphic creatures, dinosaurs, spacemen and a living cat clock.  Joe and Leila have made a book they both love to write and draw. This team laughs and looks forward to each page that they do. Seeing them up on stage smile at each other as they talk about their book was nothing short of encouraging for a writer just starting out.

*There was another Thrills of Image comics which included both the team of Bitch Planet and Nailbiter. But you can scroll down and read the spotlight of Nailbiter and a spotlight on Bitch Planet later this week.  

  • Owning it

The last Image Panel from Image, focused on the principals behind the company and featured: Justin Greenwood (The Fuse), Emi Lennox (Plutona), Jeremy Haun (The Beauty) and Image Co-Founder Jim Valentino. The focus at this panel was on creators as whole and what is means to work with Image.

Let us first point out the fact that we got to see Jim Valentino, a man who started in alternative comics and worked for Marvel. He then decided to help carve out what is now arguably the largest comic company after the "big two." The lineup of artists and writers on the panel was a mix of experience in the industry and a mix of genres offered at image. The purpose was the show the vastness and diversity of the company's creators and books

Jim spoke about something that struck me and motivated me. He spoke of working on the book you (creators) want to make. Not the IP of a company that has final say on what the story is that you are trying to tell. At Image the artists and the writers all own their work and have the final say.

It is official. I (Logan) want to have a book published by Image. Why? Because you get to own your work, you find your team (editor,artist, letter etc.) But also because at every Image panel at the convention we saw teams of creators speaking passionately about the books they make and the work they will continue to do. I made a conscious decision to keep using the word team in the post for the simple fact that as a writer and artist you work as a team and collaborate. All the people we saw on stage acted like a team who want to be working with each other and push each other for the best stories they can tell. That is why they are at Image Comics, and that is why I want to be at Image Comics.


RCCCC: Imposter Syndrome and You

RCCCC time again and today I am going to be talking to you about Wil Wheaton's Panel from Sunday, September 20th @ 11:00 am.

There are quite a few things that I could talk about from his panel, but I think that one aspect of the panel was most important. His discussion of Anxiety & Imposter Syndrome. If you don't know what imposter syndrome is, it is the feeling that you are inadequate even when there is information that proves that feeling to be wrong. It can also be a feeling of chronic self doubt. Wil Wheaton defines it as "The mom's voice from Carrie screaming They're All Going To Laugh At You". 

First I'm going to share with you Cal Tech's breakdown of three ways Imposter Syndrome can be experienced.

  1. Feeling Like a Fake
    Before even reading past the title, I'm sure a lot of you can already empathize with this feeling. This is when you feel like you have somehow deceived your way into a position or a job that you really don't deserve. I know that when I got accepted into graduate school, I legitimately said "It's only a matter of time before they realize the mistake they made". 
  2. Attributing Success to Luck
    Once again, the title really defines this experience. Cal Tech really knows how to title this syndrome's parts. This is when you succeed at something and say something like "I just got lucky." or "This other person deserved it." which could be used as a sort of safety net in case you don't succeed next time.
  3. Discounting Success
    And again, title is self explanatory. This is when you achieve something, but you automatically try to downplay it and say "No big deal." or give excuses as to why you don't deserve the praise. Once again, in school, when I got my Master's Degree, I said "Yeah but it was only a 3.0, I barely got it. It shouldn't count." 

Now I want to share some of Wil Wheaton's thoughts about how to overcome perpetual self doubt and actually go out and create.

Let's get this out of the way. No matter what you're doing, and no matter how good it is, people online are going to shit on it. Do you want to know why? Because there are so many people online, and those people who leave hateful comments about your stuff are fuck sticks. You need to learn to ignore those people because it simply is not important what they think. Do you like what you made? Good! That's all that matters.

That leads into the first piece of Wil's advice that I want to impart on you: "Make something that you love and accept that it's not for everyone." This is the perfect way to find happiness in art. The moment you find your voice, or find your story, or find your instrument, and realize that you love what you're making and want to make it forever, that's happiness. Now, realize that not ever single person out there is going to like it. Chances are the majority of people will not like it because there are 7 billion people out there. You can't appeal to even half of them, so don't try, and don't take it personal when some dick mouth decides to shit on your creation. Joel Watson once said "You make [things], they make comments".

And that is one of the most important things to remember. The people who are online spewing their hate online are typically not creators, they are people who hide behind a screen and talk shit. What they say is not important. When it comes down to it, Dub Dub said "make whatever it is for yourself and hope others come along for the ride" 

Now go out, realize that you kick ass, and make some amazing art! Do it for yourself, and most importantly have some fun while you're doing it! 


RCCCC: How to Start Your Own Nerd Rock Band in 5 Steps!

RCCCC stands for Rose City Comic Con Coverage, and the first panel that we are covering here will be the Saturday 2:30PM panel entitled: Set List to Stage - Realize Your Nerdrock Dream. The panel covered a large range of information but the main focus was on creating the band, writing songs, and the progression of the music business. Before I share any of my thoughts or information garnered from the panel, I want to go ahead and plug all the artists and panelists: 

Kyle Stevens of Kirby Krackle, Irene Rea of 2Rivers, DJ Jeff "Switch" Sorenson, Christine Mooney, & Chris Waffle of Going Viral

I will note that the titles that are italicized were not from the panel, they are just steps that I think are important to know/do when starting a band.

  1. Write What You Love
    If you want to start a nerd rock band, chances are, you are a nerd. There is also a chance that you love doing awesome things like playing magic the gathering, or playing zelda, or going to comic conventions.

    What is important to take note of here is that your audience, or potential audience, can sniff out bullshit. If they think that you are writing a song about something because it's popular (and not because you love it) best case scenario, they will call you on your shit, worst case scenario, they will bail on you because they think you're a fraud. Basically what I am saying is just write about what you love if it's video games, or comics, or cos playing. Do it and have fun with it.
  2. Find Your Instrument
    This one is pretty self explanatory, and it wasn't in the Panel, I just wanted to make this a 5-step process to starting your nerd rock band. So pick your instrument. This has become a lot easier recently. You can get a guitar for $80, or you can just use free software on your computer to make electronic music and sing over that...or if you don't have a good voice (like me), you can just make electronic music like Anamanaguchi.

    Find your musical strengths and play off of those. Are you really good with computers? Maybe get a midi keyboard and learn to play it so you can screw around with a Soft Synth and create all those crazy noises that you hear in electronic songs! The options are limitless because everything is so easy to get now.
  3. Find Your Band
    This is another self explanatory step that wasn't in the panel. If you want to start a full rock band, there are so many options on how to find people. You can do it the old school way, and find some fellow band nerds that can put up with you long enough to write songs and tour with. You can hang fliers at guitar center or a local comic shop. You can find them online through facebook, or any site that you frequent. With the internet, you can even create music with people in completely different countries. You can record an idea, send the stems via drop box or e-mail and then get something back from them the next day. It's AMAZING!

    Maybe you want to go solo on this endeavor! That is perfectly fine as well. You can make everything in a program like GarageBand that is free. They have free drum loops (that I believe are royalty free), they have free software synths, and you can get a microphone for $30 that sounds pretty dang good if it's your first demo! Technology has pushed us to the point where you legitimately can be a one (wo)man band!
  4. Don't Be A Dick
    This is probably the most pertinent piece of information offered during the panel. Be nice to everyone you run into, whether it be the neighbor who asks you to shut up and stop practicing before 8pm, or the band that opened for you, or the promoter who couldn't people you on a show. There is absolutely no reason to be a dick to anyone. You don't know what their day has been like, and there's no reason to take your bad day out on them. It will only burn bridges and make succeeding in an already difficult industry that much more difficult. Also, we all know that adage "You attract more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. Follow this one like it is in your bible.
  5. Learn to Take Criticism/Compromise
    This is a mix of some tips from the panel as well as personal advice. Just do it. Learn to take criticism and learn how to compromise. When you are in a band, you are not the only member. There are X amount of other people in the band who care about the band as much as you. You will all have to compromise at certain points in the band and you will need to learn when to go along with another persons Idea.

    Learning to take Criticism is even more important, and there are two aspects to this. First you need to learn to decipher the constructive criticism from the people online who are being dick trolls. Once you have mastered that, and developed thick skin that repels all the internet's trollage, you can find the group of people you trust to be honest, and ask them for their honest opinions about the bands music, how to improve, etc. etc. There is no doubt that at some point, someone will say "What you're doing is wrong because of this." or "Have you tried it out like this?" ... don't take offense to them making suggestions or recommendations. Give their ideas a try (unless it's crack. Don't try it if it's crack) and move on. The ideas may work, or they may not, but trying out a different lyric, chord, key, tempo, melody, screen printer, etc never killed anyone.

The most important thing to do when starting your Nerd Rock Band is to have as much fun as you can because that's what it's all about. It's about writing songs about stuff that you love because you want to hear a song about it! Chances are, someone else wants to hear it to. 

Coverage of: rosecitycomiccon.com

Rose City Comic Con Announcement

Logan Naugle & Kelly Sue Deconnick

Logan Naugle & Kelly Sue Deconnick

Greetings Earthlings. Bandrew Here. Tomorrow will be the first true write up for Rose City Comic Con. In the mean time, I just wanted to give y'all a quick update as to what's been going on, and why the podcast is going to be late today. 

Bandrew & Ryan Ottley

Bandrew & Ryan Ottley

Logan and I have been lurking about in Portland, attending panel after panel at the Rose City CC. There will be plenty of coverage over the coming week including a VLOG documenting the experience, a podcast discussing the first day (which will hopefully be coming out a a little bit later today), and then quite a few discussions from Monday - Friday covering panels as well as our overall experience here at the Rose City Comic Con. In the panel discussions, we will be including a lot of information from the panels as well as links to the creators who were involved in the panel.

If you are from Portland or have been looking to go to a con outside of your home state, this is a great option. It seems to be a con focused on what Comic Con was created to celebrate. Comics. Check out http://rosecitycomiccon.com/ to pick up a ticket for today or to get prepared for next years con!