Thursday, April 28, 2011

Seven Subjects Over A BLOG

Last week I made a fool of myself with my blog. No doubt, I will make a fool of myself again this week. This certainly is not something I intend to do every week (unless you like it), but I did promise to write up seven ideas for a blog over the week and briefly write about them here. So let’s get to it… Oh, you really want me to do this?


One of the first ideas that came to me was while I was standing in line at a local restaurant. This is one of those ‘greasy spoon’ like places. It has a lot of business from the different car dealerships and repair shops around it. So you know it has to be good. Actually the restaurant has been there for at least fifty years. Far better then most in town.

Anyway, one of the usual things I like to order in this restaurant is a corn dog. But when I looked at the menu board I did a double take and had to check what I saw was right.

A Hot Dog is $1.95

A Corn Dog is $1.45

Exactly what’s in a hot dog that requires another 50 cents?

I know the meat in both of them isn’t really any different, and probably not very health, but what makes a bun more expensive than the corn meal dipped in hot oil? With a corn dog I get a free stick.

No answer to that, but have to say that corn dog tasted far better then the ones at a chain a few blocks away.


What I heard in the office? or A really bad pick up line.

“Are you a 501c?”

It’s a good thing I work for who I did.


Wednesday night I attended the Writer’s Guild of America west, Animation Writers Caucus Schmooze. We gather at a local restaurant and have a guest speaker. Some months it's a small group of us, and sometimes like this month the room can be packed. (It doesn’t help that there was another large party and they had stolen several of our chairs and tables.)

Last nights guest was extremely intelligent and interesting, and there was a lot of information he provided us. I could tell that even some of the more veteran writers around the table were impressed and learned something.

Maybe I’ll write about all that someday.

Around this table were writers I have known for years, some worked on shows that I grew up watching, others are writing some of the best animation on television today, others like me are struggling to find the next writing assignment. There were also those, who call themselves “aspiring”, who are just starting out or in school, but have the dream.

And all I could think about, seeing all these people is this: These are animation writers, I’m one of them, and I belong at this table.


The next few subjects I jotted down over the week are all comic book related. I’m really nervous to write about some of it because I worry about not being able to get work at a publisher because I’ve offended them with a comment about how they handle this or that, or why they did that, or why so and so is no longer on a book.

Well you know what, like all fears, we have to put them aside and be truthful. Don’t do or say something offensive on purpose, but you must still express your own true thoughts. Because only then can people really know what you are like. Even if they may not like what you have to say, they might still be willing to listen and converse. You might come out ahead because of it. But if you say nothing and hide behind your fear, then nothing will happen.

Pause, hiding behind my fear for another moment.


The very first thing I jotted down in my notebook after promising to write this list was this:

“Those Epic Events in Comic Book Universes”

I don’t really know what I want to say about these. I loved CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS when it first came out, and I followed several of the other events over the years after that. But recently (and this goes for both Marvel and DC) the Events seem to constantly overlap one another so that its one never-ending event. Lots of it confuses me, especially when I haven’t been reading certain books for a while.

I won’t deny that the events help sales of certain books, and that’s a good thing. But I’d like to have a pause between them from time to time. Would be nice. That’s why I like reading some of the smaller books that aren’t the flag ship titles or characters.

Don’t get me wrong. I’d love to be part of a massive company wide event sometime. I even have one such cross over story worked out in my head. I know who should write and draw the main series that would spin off into the other books. But with the way I write, this wouldn’t be some major Cosmic Apocalypse, which kill off a dozen characters to have them come back later. This would be a more focused story which would allow each character and book to show off what they really are all about and if a reader picked up an issue of SuchandSuch Men they wouldn’t have to worry about the rest of the crossovers. They would have a good story in their hands with out the rest.

That’s just me. There are far more experienced people out there who know how to make all this work. Just hope they will hire me someday.


I won’t jump on either side of a ‘controversy’ that isn’t one, at least not now. I’ll only say this. Superman isn’t real, people.


Final comic book note. The Justice Society of America. I love the Justice Society of America and all their related characters. I have from the very first comic book I ever picked up. So I feel guilty for not buying issues of their book over the last several months. I don’t blame the writer of the stories, I just couldn’t get into it. I probably should have, because I don’t understand Alan Scott’s new look. Not liking it, but that’s me. I know some artist worked hard on designing it.

I think I will be writing a review in the next little while of Justice Society of America #50 that just came out.

For now, just let me say again, I love the Justice Society of America.


There, done. Seven subjects for my blog. Each one could be expanded upon to fill an entire blog. Maybe two or three of them will become their own blogs. We’ll just have to see.

Lastly, a note to you and myself as I did last week: Whatever you do, don’t try to act silly and foolish to cover up the fact that you have nothing to write about in this week’s blog. It doesn’t look good. I should know. Look what I’ve been writing.

Next week, a blog I hope will be worthy of having the label:


These last two certainly weren’t.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Another Filler Blog - Go read my serial instead...

Sometimes it’s just hard to come up with ideas to fill this blog. I totally missed one a couple of weeks ago. I really hate when that happens. Feels like I have let my readers down, and maybe even more so I let myself down by not accomplishing what I have set out to do.

Coming up with ideas for non-fiction articles and blogs are much harder than fictional tales of giant worms that live in the sun—

[Hold on a sec, I better write that down before I forget—Darn, lost it.]

That’s exactly what I mean. You can come up with the wildest or most serious or most funny piece of fiction easier than it is to work up a worthwhile article or blog with substance that the audience can enjoy and get something out of and maybe learn from.

This blog is not going to be one of those because I’m already running out of steam.

Here’s what you can do, and what I can do, as a way to start working up better ideas for your blog and not just waiting to the last minute to fill space. (I'm not doing that; really I’m not doing that. Well, maybe, a little.)

Make quick notes to yourself through the day and through the week. They don’t have to of anything important, just a thought you had, a person you met, a funny sign you saw, a stupid commercial, a news article that intrigues you (that’s important, be certain to read and not just blogs like this one). Write down a few words about it. The act of writing, even those few words will begin the creative juices flowing. Maybe those juices will run dry and that idea won’t amount to anything, but that’s okay, keep making note. The more you do it, the more the ideas will grow and develop.

Apparently this one didn’t work out to well for me.

So here’s the deal, I’m going to be making notes of blog ideas through out the following week. Then next week I will show you the seven best of those ideas and actually write a blog about them.

There’s my blog for the week.

The “Space Worms From Hell” wasn’t very good either.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

WEBCOMICS: What's Cooking?

I should have had this blog up two days ago. I should have had a bog up last week. Sorry.

I began writing this week’s blog about TAXES. About how I am very happy to be filling out my taxes this year, because it means that I’ve had a job this past year worth taxing. I know a lot of you out there hate paying taxes, but after so many years of not having a job, I am excited about having taxes.

I can now tithe to God and give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s

Putting that aside, I now know why this blog was delayed. So I can tell you about something that arrived in the mail today…

It was a large package, which came in USMail.

Inside the package were three smaller identical packages.

Inside each of these packages was a copy of a book.

Inside the book was the first every published FLYING GLORY AND THE HOUNDS OF GLORY comic page.

Yay! We’re published.

Ego moment over.

So what was the book that published FLYING GLORY AND THE HOUNDS OF GLORY.

“It’s a cook book!”

(Sorry, couldn’t resist the Twilight Zone references).

Really, our webcomic has been published in a cookbook along with dozens of others.

The book is called:

WEBCOMICS: What’s Cooking?

Inside 60 webcomic creators bring you not only their visual stories, but also their own culinary arts with special recipes of their liking.

For us we created our very own “Spicy Guacamole Spread”


Okay, joking aside, there’s a reason why all these great webcomic artist and writers got together to produce this cookbook, and that’s to raise money for local food banks.

As someone who volunteers with FIES: Fullerton Emergency Service; I know how important every single dollar, every single penny is that comes into food banks and other related community organizations. So the money raised by our little four-color comic cookbook will be well used and will help many.

You can order your own copy of WEBCOMICS: What’s Cooking? here:

Go buy a cookbook, read FLYING GLORY AND THE HOUNDS OF GLORY, and enjoy our Spicy Guacamole Spread. I know you want to.

Friday, April 1, 2011

“Don’t take NO for answer!” Right, but it is an answer.

“Don’t take NO for answer!” Right, but it is an answer.
by Kevin Paul Shaw Broden

The other day a friend was griping about being told NO by studio executives after he pitched them a show idea. He was really upset, and needed to vent.

In the back of my mind, I’m screaming, “You Got to Pitch a Show!”

One of the greatest entertainment industry experiences I’ve had so far was when I got to pitch my own television series to two of the cable networks.

The difference between his pitch and my pitch was that he got an answer.

For my friend he received the answer of “No.” For me, I didn’t get any answer at all.

After weeks went by I had to write e-mails and make phone calls until I finally discovered that they had chosen to “pass” on my show. Somehow everyone else knew that both networks had passed on my project except me. They didn’t tell me.

‘Pass’ is another word for ‘No.’

A ‘No’ hurts, but not hearing anything hurts a whole lot more.

I have waited days, weeks, and even months to receive answers from story submissions, art consideration, and even job interviews.

This is one of those places where “no news is good news” doesn’t work. For one reason or another, the person you made contact with just doesn’t get back to you. Yes, a lot of them are busy and even their assistants don’t have the time to respond to every entry that is sitting in their slush pile of scripts, art samples, and resumes. Others however truly don’t like to say ‘no’. That makes them the bad guy, and they don’t want that. If I don’t respond, just take it as a ‘pass’, I don’t want to hurt your feelings.

Whether that’s true for all of them or not, I don’t know. But a form letter would be nice from time to time. At that least that tells me that my manuscript made it to your office. And if it required coverage, there might be a check mark next to the reason you chose to ‘pass’.

It’s an answer.

It might not be the answer you’re wanting, but it is an answer.

Anything beyond a form letter with even the smallest explanations of why they said ‘no’ is also not what you want to receive, but it is what you need to receive.

Now that you have an answer, learn from it, so the next time you submit – whether it's the same pitch or not – you will be better than you were before.

Next, here comes the part where I will freely admit I’m not good at:

Get an answer! Follow up.

Write a brief thank you message to whomever you just met with: the studio executive or the hiring manager, or whoever it. Thank them for taking the time to meet with you and briefly remind them what it was about.

After a couple of weeks if you haven’t heard back, write another short note. Reminding them of you and your project, and you hope to meet with them again whether it is on this or another.

As I admitted, I’m not good at this, but I do my best. My networking skills need improvement, but the only way to improve is to do.

Don’t be rude, but fight to get an answer.

So “Take No for an answer.” Learn from it, find out what they didn’t like. Improve upon it for the next pitch, interview, drawing, or audition. Turn it around and make their next answer to you a ‘YES’.