Thursday, July 28, 2011

POST-CON-BLOG – My Feet Still Hurt.

Has it already been a whole week since I took the three-hour train ride south to San Diego for Comic Con International?

Ya, I guess it has, and my feet have finally stopped hurting.

It was crowded as expected, but truthfully it didn’t feel as bad as last year. I can’t explain it, just felt that way. Other than being detoured around massive signing lines, or avoiding the video game corner, I was able to get around most of the floor with ease.

Of course walking that floor or standing in long lines (I avoided anything in 20 or Hall H) did end up killing my feet and legs to hurt and each night ached through the night. A hot bath took care of some of it, but not all.

So like many others, when you’ve walked the floor for hours you are desperate to find his and your feet are killing you like mine, you need to find a place to sit. But all the seats around the tables under the sales are filled and the sun is too bright out on the back patio as you avoid being struck by the sword of a knight in armor, and the Fire Marshal prevents you from slumping down a wall to the floor of the hall our lobby. What are you going to do?

May I make a suggestion? Go sit in on a panel. No, not a panel you’ve been planning to go to, or one that is so popular that you have to grab a chair and sit through to panels to guarantee you’re in for the one you want. What I mean is, go and sit in on a panel you have no previous interest in. One that would never have appeared on your planned out schedule.

Here are two examples. My fiancée just received her certificate to be a library technician, and wanted to attend a panel on Friday titled: COMICS IN THE LIBRARY – self -explanatory. But we got to the room half an hour earlier expecting there to be some type of line and wait out in the hall. The volunteers out front the door let us right into to sit in on the panel right before. This panel we hadn’t planned for was titled: GRAPHIC NOVELS FOR THE NON-TEENAGERS – this title is a bit more open in it’s meaning. Were they talking about kid comics that teenagers wouldn’t read, or were they meaning Adult Comix? So we sat in on it not knowing what to expect. What it turned out to be was another panel on libraries and how they were targeting graphic novels beyond their Young Adult readers. Sitting through half this panel gave us information on libraries and comic books as much as all the panel we had intended to be in.

The second example came Saturday when as creators of webcomics and planning for the future with digital comics, we headed for: “Digital Disruption: Comics, Webcomics, and the Business Model of the Future” with guests Mark Waid and Scott Kurtz. Well again, our feet were hurting and were able to get into seats for the last fifteen minutes or so of the previous panel. This was a Spotlight and not a panel, it focused on Comic Book Creator Peter Kuper. I’ll be hones with you, I had no idea who he was, was never a reader of MAD magazine, and his art style doesn’t appeal to me. How ever his own story was extremely interesting. We sat in as he was describing his development of a comic based on Kafka’s story Metamorphosis. Strange art and story for sure, but I really got a lot out of how we was designing the pages to tell the story and keep the viewer feeling like they were in the horrific dream of the story. He also showed art from the magazine World War 3 Illustrated, much of which was political in nature. Then he talked about how his family moved to Mexico from New York and he showed art work that he did there, and then in turn wound up doing further political work because of it. Sometimes the creator’s life can be as interesting if not more so than that of his creation.

As I said, these were not panels we planned to be in, but we got a lot out of. So at the next convention, whether it’s San Diego and its 120,000+ friends or a smaller local one, you’re feet are going to get tired. So go take some weight off, sit in the back of a panel, relax, and listen. I promise that you’ll learn something new, and enjoy yourself in ways you didn’t expect.

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden

Four Names of Professional Creativity

Wednesday, July 20, 2011



If you’re reading this sometime between Thursday July 21, 2011 and Sunday July 24, 2011 I’m either on a train or in the midst of a massive crow of my fellow comic, television, movies, video games, and internet fans.

I’m here pushing my way through to network with other professionals in those same industries.

It’ll be a struggle as it is every year, but I seem to survive.

For most of America who don’t go to such conventions, the most they’re ever going to hear about or see on the news are hundreds of people dressed in crazy costumes. Some you might recognize like Storm Troopers and Slave Girl Princess Leia, or characters from Japanese anime. The proper term for all that is Cosplayers.

What you’ll also see are promotions for blockbuster movies and television shows. These have taken over a lot of the con over the years. The annual invasion of San Diego by Hollywood.

Some people feel the con has lost its luster and become too big, gotten away from the heart of what started it all: comic books.

Well, that part is true, at least to some degree. As large as the con is, comic books take up a very small portion of the massive convention center.

But I want you to take a look at the whole. What are comic books, television shows, animation, movies, books, manga, video games, roll playing games, even Legos, have in common? They all originate from the imagination; whether it is the writer and artist who first came up with a costumed character that would go on to have a special effects extravaganza movie, or the fan who falls madly for the star faring pirate, or shirtless vampire, or school uniform wearing anime idol. The imagination fuels even the programmer who makes your avatar’s sword the power to destroy the great dragon boss.

It all begins with the story, no matter in what form it is written. The 160,000 expected visitors to the con would have nothing to do if someone hadn’t first conceived of the stories, which they have come to honor.

Fandom keeps those stories alive. The Cosplayers continue the stories of their characters. It’s marvelous, and wonderful. Every story lives for four special days.

I am a storyteller, and at San Diego Comic Con International, I stand among my brethren.

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden

Four Names of Professional Creativity

Thursday, July 14, 2011

POST GHOST BLOG - The Masked Ghost

I can’t believe that it’s been nearly a year since I first had the ghost of an idea that quickly became grew and became the pulp serial known as “Revenge of the Masked Ghost.”

I’ve already writing about the “Secret Origin of the Masked Ghost” so I won’t go into it much here other than to remind you that my original concept came out of the question: How does a family deal with discovering that the mysterious masked vigilante is their brother or son? It was long before I was writing away expanding the idea into a full story premise (I was using a pencil on a pad of paper).

I posted the first few chapters on facebook and then chose to set up its own website and keep adding a new chapter every week. A few weeks liker I started a new job so the story had to move to a new chapter every other week.

As I mentioned at the beginning, it was an experiment, but a successful one I think. I usually wrote each chapter with in a day of posting it straight to the web. Proofed as best I could in the time I gave myself, and then would later go back and repost a cleaned up version of each chapter. Probably should have made certain every word was spelled right before I posted, but I wanted to do it this was and so kept doing it.

Twenty Five chapters later and the Masked Ghost has had his Revenge.

So what happens next for the Masked Ghost, for Margaret and Donald Raymond?

I really can’t say, I really don’t know. I do plan on bringing together all the chapters together fill in any plot holes and maybe expand upon some of the character or action scenes. Then possibly will release it as a novel, most like an ebook. I’ll let you know.

Before I do that I have to finish up another novel, that only needs a little more reworking before I declare it done and let it loose on the world.

But don’t worry; the Masked Ghost isn’t too far away from my thoughts. There maybe future stories in store soon enough.

Thank you all for your support, comments, and reading the serial.

I especially want to thank the crew at ALL PULP for posting announcements as each chapter was finished. Please send your support their way. I really liked writing pulp, and it was great to know there was an audience out there.

It was also fun to participate in #TuesdaySerial There are a lot of other great authors there. Go check them out.

For now, the body is in the ground, the mask is folded and put away, but the Ghost is restless. Go back and read the entire serial from the start, and get your friends to do the same.

"Revenge of the Masked Ghost"

Next week I’ll be at San Diego Comic Con International. I’ll try to post something about it for you.

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden

Four Names of Professional Creativity

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Book Review – “The Ghost and the Goth” by Stacey Kade

The Internet, and especially Twitter, has been introducing me to many enjoyable books over this last year, which I wouldn’t have discovered any other way. It just takes me a while to read them all (sorry to those waiting for a review).

One such book is the Young Adult Paranormal Romance “The Ghost and the Goth” by Stacey Kade.

Teenagers. High school, and all the cliques and clichés that go with it. It is in this world that Alona Dare lives, dies, and well haunts.

Through the eyes of the recently dead Alona, we are introduced to that high school world where every type of student is put in their own box. Especially the freaks like Will Killian. Yet, only now that she’s dead does Alona discover whom her true friends were/are.

We have all read or watched stories in which our main character can “see dead people,” and have to help the ghost revenge their death or complete some unfinished task from life. Yet, what kind of psychological damage is done to someone with such a ‘gift’? What happens when every ghost around you keeps vying for your attention? No one believes you, and will have you committed.

Kade begins the story with a lighthearted look at high school life and death; then takes a somewhat darker yet fun tone as we witness Killian’s struggle to ignore the ghosts as his life crumbles around him.

Though the book began with some very high school clichés it didn’t take long for the story to get moving and allow us to discover the hearts of the main characters. I was pleasantly surprised by the twist of what was the real threat of the story.

“The Ghost and the Goth” is a fun yet serious tale a high school haunting with just the right hints of romance. When I find the time I may pick up the rest of Stacey Kade’s trilogy.

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden

Four Names of Professional Creativity.