Monday, October 8, 2012

Pitching Prt 2 - The Bad News

Just received an e-mail from the producer I pitched my animation series ideas to.

Unfortunately they don't fit what he is looking for.

Disappointing, I will admit, but as I have stressed before every one of these meetings are great learning experiences.

I knew they were looking for concepts that would work to an Internet market, but was surprised to learn the actual age demographic they were shooting for.

At least they gave me a reason for the rejection.

It wasn't that my ideas were bad; they just didn't have the sharp edged humor they are looking for. Or so that's how I understand it.

Now comes the next hard part, not letting a rejection get to me and prevent me from doing more.

Because that really is the next order of business, moving forward, working on the next ideas, and pitching to more and more producers. Now I have to discover the next step in the path of my career. Even stumbling blocks can be milestones.
Next, never give up!

Thank you for following along on my #Mission818 adventure, I will keep you informed as it continues.

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden
Four Names of Professional Creativity 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Thoughts after Pitching an Animated TV Show. Part 1.

BLOG - Animation Pitch

As promised, here are my first thoughts after having the opportunity to pitch an animated series.

This is not the first time I've pitched to television. The first time was a live action sitcom that I pitched to two of the cable networks. There was some interest but no bite, then an animated series to one of the educational networks. No bite or response there.

I can't tell you a whole lot about the current pitch itself because I expect to hear back from the producer with in the week.

Probably the most frustrating thing of the day was that I was late. Late by only a few minutes, but late all the same. The producer wasn't bothered by this, but it really shouldn't have happen. I'm prone to showing up places early, so this was really bothering me as I was stuck in snail crawling traffic. But I can't let that frustration get to me, admit it, apologize and move on. No excuses.

The next thing that came, as it should, was the casual chitchat. The producer was quite happy to show off how his office was starting to look better since they moved in. They even had their sign up since the last time I was there. We then ended up talking about the fly over of the Space Shuttle Endevour earlier in the day. One of those things that everyone was chatting about that day.  (I got to see it while it flew over Disneyland.) He also asked about how things had been with me since the last meeting. I told him about my part time job at the college's foundation and the scholarships they give out.

Let the producer guide the chat, it's his time and office, so when the moment is right he'll ask to know what you brought.

Based on what we had discussed during our first meeting I put together what I hoped would interest the producer. The first was a pitch for a complete animated comedy adventure series. That was followed up with two 'short subjects'.

I'll admit right here that I stumbled a bit in my transition between one pitch and another. But once I got past that things went smoothly.

When I was done with my three pitches the producer did mention that he had seen something similar to one of them before. Actually, he had seen it a lot, and he explained when he meant. I'm never one to ride the wave of what's currently 'hot'. Know that I won't be pitching any 'sparkly' vampires. The concept of my pitch, however, from what the producer had seen, had been on several people's minds. Sometimes that happens.

This wasn't a rejection, and he went on to say that after he read more of my pitch packet, if it had a unique enough hook there was still a change.

Sure I might be disappointed, but I did understand what he meant. I look forward to his thoughts.

He did react and know exactly what I was going after with one of the other pitches. So that was good.

The meeting was short, nice, and very friendly. Even if nothing further comes out of these pitches, it was a great learning experience. I now can put more notches into my animation development belt and work on the next one based on what I've learned here.

What comes next? More writing, more developing, and more meetings.

That last part for me is the hardest, the networking and getting to know more people to arrange such meetings, but over the last while I am improving with that as well.

This is all part of #Mission818 and things are going along very nicely.

Right now I'm contemplating if there is a way for me to pitch my novel "Revenge of the Masked Ghost" as a live action series. Now to find the right producers that would be interested in talking with me about it.

Thanks all for your support. Hope to tell you more when I hear back from the producer.

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden
Four Names of Professional Creativity

Sunday, July 29, 2012

"The Sad Day the Cat Wore A Mask"

Thirty-One years ago today, I put a mask on my cat.

I had only been reading comic books for a couple of years, if that, but had fallen in love with all the super heroes. One of the earliest books I picked up was a reprint of JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #100 which had dozens and dozens of heroes in it. I reread that story over and over, and I tried to learn about all of heroes.

I had only begun to draw them. (I've long destroyed those pictures.) Once I drew a hero I called "Captain Combo" (dumb I know), whose costume was made of every single one of the super heroes I knew about.

In my childish thoughts, Captain Combo needed a sidekick. What better partner could there be than my cat Sunshine? So I drew a mask with all the hero emblems on it, cut it out the eye holes and tried to put it on the cat's face. To say Sunshine didn't like the idea would be an understatement. Don't know why the cat wouldn't wont a secret identity. Wouldn't you?

I never got a second chance at putting the mask back on Sunshine because we had to take my grandfather to the doctor's office, and that day would change our family's lives forever.

The day was already strange, and for those of us who believe in the supernatural side of the universe, sometimes things happen all at once and you wonder what else is going to happen.

We had been living down at my grandparents house to take care of Dad for a while, as my grandmother had passed away only nine months earlier.

That was the day of the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana; it was also the day that our cousins left to become missionaries in Taiwan. It had two major things happening, for us a third thing was about to happen.

We took my grandfather to the doctor's office. Being my mother (his daughter), her brother, and my father. My sister and I were basically tagalongs, we went everywhere as a family.

Less than a mile away, us kids waited in the waiting room. As stated, I was on my way to becoming a comic book artist and so had a pad of paper and a pencil.

The doctor examined Dad and even said something like 'this is the best I've seen you in a while.'

Then we guided him back out to the car and my father and uncle helped him get into the car. That's when it happened. My father, who had his arms around my grandfather at the time and half way into the car, swears he could feel the soul leaving.  My grandfather was dead.

What was I suppose to do? This was now the third family death in a very short time.
I was angry, but didn't have the strength to even break the pencil I was holding. I so wanted to, but couldn't. It was like my hands were numb.

So with the world celebrating a royal wedding, our family had very little to celebrate. Yet we did celebrate in a way, that my grandfather was now reunited with his love. For nine months earlier he had told her "Keep the gates open."

He died of a broken heart.

I couldn't draw a super hero to save him from that, I couldn't draw one to save us from the pain of loss.

We would have to be each other's heroes to get us through the days, weeks, months, and years to follow.

Sunshine the cat never did wear the mask, but became a source of comfort as I held it and it purred back. So in a way he became the perfect sidekick when needed.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

SDCC - Pre Con Blog 2012

When I first attended the San Diego Comic Convention, I couldn't believe there would be that many people interested in comic books and get together in one location. That year there was this shocking number of over 5000 people in attendance.

This year the Convention Center has capped the attendance at 130,000 people.

That's quite a bit of a difference, and that's a whole lot of years in-between.

Through those years my goal has been work in the industry; first as a comic book artist, then as a writer both in comics and in animation, and pursuing a career in production as both.

As Image Comics is celebrating a major anniversary in its existence I remember how it was through them I got my first professional credits (though my name only appears in one of the books I worked on), that year I got to sit in the company booth and I even signed my autographs on a few items.

I've only missed one year over all these year.  And though I have never completely gotten over all my nerves each year I get better and better at talking with the professionals as I am one of them. I am.

So once again, I am heading down to San Diego to schmooze with my fellow script writers, authors, artists, editors, actors and producers. And Mission 818 is going with me.

This is the third year that I am taking the train down and riding it back home each night. It's a relaxing trip, and it is a whole lot cheaper than any hotel you'll find (or not find) in the entire city this weekend.

Can't promise that I'll be blogging all through the weekend, but check out my twitter feed  at @Kevinpsb00 I'm sure I'll have something to say.

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden
Four Names of Professional Creativity

Monday, July 2, 2012

What is #Mission818?

UPDATE - Sept 17. 2012 - See bottom of post.

What is #MISSION 818?

The name of my blog is "Four Names of Professional Creativity" and I have posted about my writing, about my artwork, about comic books and movies. I've also given suggestions and guidance to new writers on how to find ideas out of the world around them. I've promoted my novels, and written reviews of the novels of others. This week I'm writing about employment and my continued long-term career search and what I call Mission 818.

For over a year I have been in a part-time job with the Fullerton College Foundation where I design, assemble, and write content for newsletters, event programs, and advertisements that have increased the Foundation and it's scholarship programs. They tell me I do a good job.

I am blessed by this job, and glad to help to the Foundation and my alumni of Fullerton College, however I know it is time I turn my focus towards the future.

I am engaged to one of the most – no, make that the most – wonderful woman in the world. We've been together for years and we share so much including a lifelong passion for television animation. It is time we get married and I become the best husband she deserves.

To make that happen, I need to find a full time job and join her in the 818.

With that intent, I can't continue the way I have. Whether it be at an animation studio or not, I must find employment now and it must be near her in the Burbank area, hence the 818.

So, what is Mission 818?

It is my quest to find employment, be married, and live in the 818 area code.

As I've mentioned before, since heaven knows when I have wanted to work in comic books and animation. My goal was patricianly achieved in comics, but I still intend to do more with it and I keep my hand in with the webcomic "Flying Glory and the Hounds of Glory" (now in it's eleventh year). As for animation I got my first script writing credits on several episodes of a show called "Midnight Horror School" in Japan. Unfortunately it has never aired in the U.S. I have also professionally written and developed series.

Additionally I have worked with numerous studio executives and producers as a contracted assistant from time to time over the years (read temp.) With every job, no matter how small, I have gained experience, which I bring to the next one.

Though my dream is to be a scriptwriter on a long running animated television series, or better yet, create my own show that runs for multiple seasons with fantastic rating numbers (I really am dreaming), for now that's not what Mission 818 is about.

I will not to give up that dream (even those ratings) and will keep fighting for it. Yet, right now, I need a concrete foundation to build that dream upon. I am seeking a "day job," a secure position in the production offices of an animation studio or prod co. Yes, I know there is no such thing as a long-term secure position in our industry, especially now, but that's what I'm after. Receiving a regular paycheck while helping produce the best animated television series.

So what type of position am I looking for? It would be so easy to say, I want to get my foot in the door. Well, that's not enough any more; I need to get my entire body in the door and down the hall. A Production Assistant or Coordinator on a show would be great start, and wouldn't turn it down, but with my experience and skills I'm looking for something more.

The assistant position I am seeking is in the Television Animation Series Development department of a major studio. A few years ago, I had a temp job in the development department of one such studio, and even though I was there for a short time, it was an extremely thrilling experience as new and potential shows passed across my desk. I fell in love with those offices and am looking to return and be part of that work on a long-term basis.

Additionally, working in a studio's development department may have a whole lot more stability than in the production of a show.

As much as I would like the above jobs and working in animation, I won't say no to other positions in or out of the entertainment industry. My only requirement is that should be in the 818, preferably Burbank/Glendale area.

So Mission 818 has begun, seeking employment, and planning for marriage.

Part of this is asking my friends in the industry if they know of or could keep an eye out for any job opening inside or outside of television animation.

All help is appreciated. Know that this isn't just for me but for the woman I love.

Who knows, one of the studios might need someone to work on their newsletters. I've been told I'm pretty good at them.

UPDATE - Sept 17. 2012 - I'm still pursuing employing with in the 818 Area code and the studios. This coming Friday I will be visiting the offices of an Animation Production Company and have the opportunity to pitch a television series. I've prepared a pitch bible for a action adventure series, and a pitch for a short, and have also have a back up in case the producers ask "What else you got?"  This is very important.

I've had the opportunity to pitch before, and even if the shows are bought or turned into successful series, the experience is always good. A little scary, a little fun. It's a great learning experience.

Hope to write a blog about the experience next weekend.

My #Mission818 continues.

Thanks for the support.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Book Review - Frostbite: Demonically Tempted by Stacey Kennedy

As I reached the final pages of "Supernaturally Kissed", the first book in Stacey Kennedy's Frostbite series, I thought I saw something in the story that was being over looked; little clues being dropped that I expected to have answered by the end of the book. Those answers didn't manifest themselves. By the end of "Demonically Tempted", the second book in the series, those clues were answered, and I was thrilled to see I was right. The answer turned out to be something important and leads into the third book of the series "Mystically Bound." (No SPOILERS, go read both books to find out what it was.)

After her experiences with the police, Tess finds herself working in their Cold Case department. What better witness can they have than to interview the victim of a murder? That's what Tess does; talk to the ghosts. So along with her ghostly hunk of a boyfriend Kipp, she helps solve crimes.

This time, Tess may have gotten into something she can't handle when the ghosts come to her because something is terrifying them. On top of that Kipp has vanished, and Tess worries that she sent him away.

"Demonically Tempted" is a fun paranormal mystery follow up to the original "Supernaturally Kissed." Though it doesn't have the same mystery, and even the ghostly erotic romance of the first, it remains an enjoyable and loving tale of a woman and the man she should never be able to have.

If there is anything that it suffers from, it's what many Act Two stories of a trilogy do. While telling the story at hand, while Tess fights to save lives and ghosts, the book sets up a lot of foundation of the book to follow. The supernatural threat here doesn't feel as dangerous as the human threat in the climax of the first book.

That said, "Demonically Tempted" and Kennedy's writing, remains to be enjoyable ride all the way through to the end even when we're told what Tess must do next and we must wait for the next book "Mystically Bound."

As I said at the start of the review, what I, myself, enjoyed the most was to discover what I had been guessing at was true. Go find out what it is.

Enjoy this book, be "Demonically Tempted"

Review by
Kevin Paul Shaw Broden
Four Names of Professional Creativity

Monday, April 23, 2012

"Beyond the Grave" - Book Review

Beyond the Grave by Mara Purnhagen

As the daughter of famous paranormal investigators Charlotte Silver's life has always been interesting. Then when real ghosts came to her for help, all things went crazy, and now an evil spirit is hunting her family. Not exactly the best way to start college.

It doesn't seem that long ago when I wrote my very first book review about Mara Purnhagen's first book in the "Past Midnight" trilogy (plus two novellas that filled in the gaps between the novels,) and now we have reached the conclusion with "Beyond the Grave".  (Though from the text on the cover, this might be an on going series, but I don't think it is.)

The consequence of "One Hundred Candles," the second book in the series, comes back to haunt Charlotte. A demonic like spirit is following her family and has already done severe damage.

One of the things I mentioned in the first review was that I really liked how Charolotte had her friends to help, and yet they never came off as a 'Scooby Gang' that many of these types of stories could be. Instead, her friends are supporting her through her struggles in her day-to-day life as she helps them with theirs. It's only natural that they would be there for her when the supernatural gets angry. A greater example of this is a fellow student, that was practically a schoolyard enemy in the first book, now becomes an important close friend. The growth of friendships and family is what make's Purnhagen's stories enjoyable and successful.

I did have a little trouble with the explanation of what and where the evil force came from, and those who are granted abilities to stand against it. Yet, the Paranormal of this story only helps to support telling Charlotte's tale.  It's her story and greatly worth the read.

Reading all of the "Past Midnight" series has been very enjoyable to read for all ages. I look forward to Mara Purnhagen's future stories.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Wrong Price, but You Win...

Okay, I thought I had fixed this a couple of weeks ago...

Amazon and Barnes & Noble have my novel CLOCKWORK GENIE at 99 cents. It's not going to last, it's $2.99 everywhere else.

So you better go pick it up today, and SHARE with your friends before the big guys find out their mistake.

Buy it and lets see how far up the charts we can get it to go because of this mistake.

Her Master has been murdered, can the Genie's new master restrain her power? Find out and discover is magic can make a family.
See the links to the right and get the book now!

Friday, April 6, 2012

The End of the World came on Good Friday.

The End of the World came on Good Friday.

A million wings flaps and the sounds of thunder rolled across the horizon. The Heavenly Host was so massive that their very angelic presence blocked out the sun sending the entire world into darkness.

Each Angel drew their sword that sparkled like lightning and fire. The first of these flaming swords had blocked reentrances in to the paradise garden and access to the Tree of Life. Now a million more such blades were about to do the deed for which they were forged.

The world is full of sin. There was no one righteous, not even one.

For man had abandoned the ways of God, and even now rejected him when he walked among them.

The mission of the angelic army was to bring the Wrath of God upon the world and to destroy all sin.

This time they would not Passover, their command was irrevocable. There must be payment for man's sin. It would be total, it would be ultimate, and it would be finished. It would be the end of the world.

The order was given, they moved out. Their very approach towards the world brought forth earthquakes.

One was sent ahead, it was the very same angel that had blocked the way towards the Garden, now used its burning blade to cut the curtain in the temple. Access to the holy of holies was now open but there was no longer anything inside. God was not there.

Their eyes burning with anger and wrath the angels approached the city, none would be spared.

But then a shout came from below: "It is finished!"

Suddenly their wings altered direction, and a million angelic torpedo's with blazing swords ahead of them all dove towards one location; towards one man, one man hanging upon a cross.

Did they know that the man their blades were striking, one for every sinful soul upon the earth, was their own God who had sent them on this mission?

They could not hold back their blades, even if they wanted to.

In seconds, their mission was complete, the man was dead, sin and evil was defeated.

The world of sin came to an end.

A new world would dawn three days later.

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden

Monday, March 19, 2012

Wonder Con Anaheim, 2012

Had an enjoyable three-day weekend at WonderCon in Anaheim.

Got to see a lot of my fellow writers and creative people from comic books, animation, and novels. Went to a whole bunch of panels about working in different industries as a writer, learning how best to promote our work, and getting to see how some authors are promoting their books and themselves.

No matter how long I've been at this, there is ALWAYS something more to learn.

There were three panels on animation writing, each with their own special tone and subject. From selling a series, tales from the trenches, to what it takes to tell an action adventure story in animation.

The one on action was I think the most informative and I learned something from. Animation, like comic books, is a visual medium and the story must be told with the pictures. However, in comic books a single page of 1 to 8 panels of art can also be filled with dialog balloons and the reader and take his/her own time to read it. The same sequence in animation might only take seconds on the screen and only the most pertinent lines of dialog can be used. It needs to be cut down and much as possible, and the rest of the story must be in the artwork and animation.

Another panel was on how best to publicize your comic book. We did a lot of this last year when we were promoting the 10th Anniversary of FLYING GLORY AND THE HOUNDS OF GLORY, but there is still more we should have done and perhaps in different ways. Again, being there was a learning experience.

We don't usually go to the Big Event panels, or the ones that are solely promoting a publisher's line of comics or TV shows, but a friend of ours is working on a major show as part of the new DC Nation block on Cartoon Network so we couldn't miss that. The fan response to GREEN LANTERN, YOUNG JUSTICE and the DC shorts was quite positive.

Other panels included a SPOTLIGHT on comic book writer Mark Waid who told us more of his plans for Digital Comics. Since Shannon and I have been doing a webcomic for 10 years, there is a lot to learn from him on this as well.

Another panel on the book WOMANOLOGY created by women creators, veterans and new. A worthwhile project, endeavored, and book, check it out.

There were also panels on gaming, both video and table top, which was more Shannon's thing as her own experience in both. She can tell you more about that.

[EDIT] We also had a great time at a panel on Voice Acting with some of the best actors currently working in the industry. I may write about this at another time.

You can find Shannon's view of Wonder Con here:

Our final panel of the three days was on YOUNG ADULT novels, and there were 9 authors on the panel talking about their work, but done in a very enjoyable way that the question and answers weren't boring and cliché. Three of the authors got to announce that their books were at different stages heading towards Hollywood, the audience loved that though knew that anything could happen between now and then. We did see two very well produced trailers to promote a couple of the books. One of the books is already in production as a film. As both Shannon and I have our own novels out right now, it's really great to hear what others are going through.

Speaking of our own novels, both of us couldn't help but keep checking Amazon's Author Central and Smashword's Dashboard through out the convention to watch our sales rankings. Shannon had one of her novels up for free yesterday it was fun to watch it climb the charts to # 15 in Family Sagas. As for mine, CLOCKWORK GENIE is currently on sale for 99¢ so it was great to see it hope up the ranks a bit, and I was really pleased to see REVENGE OF THE MASKED GHOST get some sales even though I haven't been promoting this week. Maybe someone bought both, was it you?

Over all WonderCon was a relaxing weekend compared to our normal experience at ComicCon International in San Diego. Our only real problem was the heavy rain Saturday morning, which was a problem for everyone else as there wasn't enough parking for not only our own convention but also two others going on at the same time. A good thing we chose to take the bus down each day so didn't have to worry about any of it. Go OCTA.

I came home from the convention last night to find out that ParaYourNormal had posted an interview they did with me. You can read it here: If you read the interview, you'll also have a chance at winning a free copy of CLOCKWORK GENIE.  Read an excerpt of the story at the end of the interview.

You'll also find a link in the interview to BlogTalkRadio through which you'll be able to hear the ParaYour Normal crew interview me live this Wednesday (March 21st). Here's that link:

So having a nice relaxing time at the convention with my fellow authors, I don't feel like this is March Madness. Of course once you all start buying my books that may change.

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden
Four Names of Professional Creativity

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Read an E-Book Week

March 4 - to March 10th, 2011

is the 4th annual "Read an E-Book Week."

To help promoting the reading of ebooks (like that really needs that much more promotion) This week has been declared the official "Read an E-Book Week"

So to be a part of this, I am selling REVENGE OF THE MASKED GHOST at half off.

That's right, for 50% of the listed price you can discover how a family reacts to discovering that that one of their own is a masked vigilante, and upon his death what they must to bring forth the REVENGE OF THE MASKED GHOST.

Use this COUPON CODE to receive the 50% discount: REW50

Enjoy and tell your friends.

Find the book at my Author Page on Smashwords.

March 4 - to March 10th, 2011

Thank you all.

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden
Four Names of Professional Creativity

Monday, February 6, 2012

COVER ART - A peak under the mask.


Over the last year a lot of you stuck with me as I released chapter after chapter of my pulp mystery serial REVENGE OF THE MASKED GHOST.

With in the next week I will be releasing it as an eBook.

Before that happens, I wanted to let you get a preview of the cover art.

I painted it using Corel Painter, just as I did for CLOCKWORK GENIE.

Thank you all for the support. Hope you enjoy the art. I'll let you know when the book is released.

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden
Four Names of Professional Creativity

Monday, January 30, 2012

Ring Tones and Novel Writing

With CLOCKWORK GENIE already on virtual stands and book shelves, and REVENGE OF THE MASKED GHOST about to join it in the next few weeks, it's time to start working on another novel.

The next novel, which I am planning to do a pseudo-NANOWRIMO through the month of February, will be a Young Adult fantasy which I've had sitting on the shelf for several years and have decided now was the time to dust it off and make it ring.

Speaking of making the story ring, can someone explain to me the use and necessity of ring tones?

In my story a cellular phone plays an important roll (does anyone call them cell phones anymore, or are they all smart phones.)I've been thinking about what ring tones my lead teenager would program into her phone. The more I thought about it, I began to wonder what would be the point.

Why do people have ring tones? Why purchase a song to play when someone calls?

I have had a cell phone (three or four) over the last 15 years, and have always set them to silent or vibrate. Never saw a purpose to have the ringer on.

You want to know when someone is calling you, that's for certain, but how many of us like to hear when other peoples phones start ringing.

If we're fast enough, we usually can answer the phone just before the third ring, so why do people want to extend those rings by turning them into songs?

Have you ever noticed that when someone has a musical ring tone, the longer it plays the harder they have in shutting it off and it usually becomes a real embarrassment?

While in the movie theater there is always that slide that comes up repeatedly to remind you to turn off the your phones, or worse that audio clip where every sound in the theater is amplified with every possible phone or noise that could be made.

Recently the Muppets did a very nice version of this before their movie.

Why is this even something we have to think about any more? People's phones ringing loudly and long, in the theatre, middle of church, a business meeting, or dinner.

Yes, some can hear the buzzer of my phone. Usually when it vibrates through the table or desk. But it's usually low enough it doesn't bother anyone. But I do turn it off in the theater.

The other day I was watching a rerun episode of THE MENTALIST, and there was major mistake with the use of a cell phone. The lead of the show has just broken into someone's home. Only a few feet inside the house, his phone rings. His phone rings. This was not done for comic effect. You'd think that if you were going to break into a house and not want anyone to know you were there, you'd turn the phone off or have it on vibrate. The Folly Department can just as easily drop in a Buzzing sound as it does a ring tone. Other than receiving important information about the B Plot, the use of the phone in the house had no purpose. A woman nearly catches our lead in the house, but not because of the ring tone.

So my question is a serious one, and is research for my novel. How many people actually have audible ring tones? How many have simple ringers, and how many have longer songs?

I'm probably going to ask my teenage niece about this. She is a Young Adult after all.

My next question to her will probably be: Do you actually use your phone, or is it mostly used for texting and facebook? I don't want to write cliché teenagers in my story, but the phones have become an integral part of their lives.

I may have been rambling here, but in doing so I find that this is all very important to my novel. Not only are cell phones important to the story, but also so is being annoyed by the ring tones.

This has been great talking, thank you for all the help. I appreciate – RING RING – Excuse me, gotta go answer that.

(Oh, like you didn't see that joke coming from the start of this blog.)

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden
Four Names of Professional Creativity.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Brushing with Celebrity on the Floor.

The other night as I watched the Golden Globes with all those celebrities passing across the television screen, whether they were winners or just happy to be nominated or just plain seat fillers, I was reminded of something that happened this past summer.

Each year I attend the San Diego Comic Con International, and when there is somewhere around 120,000 people packing into the halls its hard to remember a face in that crowd, but a face did come back to me all these many months later.

I headed upstairs to attend a panel, though no longer remember what it was, and the line of people waiting to get in was already wrapped down the hallway and around two corners by the time I joined in at the back.

There were three guys just ahead of me, two were standing and a third was sitting on the floor (I know how he felt, read my blog on how much my feet hurt at the con). When I joined them they were in a discussion of DC Comic's New52. At that point in time we only had a vague idea of what was coming, each expressing their own opinions and how to do it better (fans you gotta love us).

Anyway, as the conversation lulled and changed, I eventually had an opportunity to talk about FLYING GLORY AND THE HOUNDS OF GLORY. If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you'll know that FGHOG is the webcomic, which I illustrate and co-write with Shannon Muir. Click the link to the right to check it out; we're currently celebrating our 10th Anniversary.

I was carrying with me business cards, some for myself, and some to promote the comic. They are small and can easily slip into your pocket (which you'll discover cleaning out your luggage when you get home, or turned into a mashed ball of wet paper when you pull it out of the washer), but they seem to work. What really worked for me was that I included a QR Code box on the reverse side of the card. (QR Code, you know, those strange little boxes filled with even smaller white and black boxes). People could use their 'smart phones' to scan the code and pull up our webcomic. If nothing else, it was a conversation starter.

While standing in line, it hadn't started to move yet; I gave a card to each of the three guys I had been talking with. After explaining about the code on the back, the one sitting on the floor pulled out his phone and scanned the card and checked out a few pages of the webcomic.

I got a polite "Cool," from him.

One problem I have at conventions is that nametags hanging from their lanyards and always turn backwards so I never can see a person's name. Not very helpful.

All I knew was the color of the nametag told me he was professional like myself. So just as the line began to move I asked him what he does? Figuring he'd be an artist or something.

He looked at me and simply answered: "I'm an actor."

The line moved on and I didn't get a chance to ask anything further. I had this feeling from his expression that I should have known who he was, but was also glad that I didn't know.

So, here I am, months later and watching the Golden Globes when it hits me.

I am more then ninety percent certain that the man who had been sitting on the floor, who took my business card, and looked at my webcomic, was the actor Seth Rogen.

Could be wrong of course, watching him now on the stage, and thinking back to the convention, he could have easily disappeared in to a crowd of geeks and nerds, and someone like me would never have been the wiser.

All the same I have to have a little thrill from this…

Seth Rogen thought FLYING GLORY AND THE HOUNDS OF GLORY was "cool."

Monday, January 9, 2012

Influences to Glory - Writers and Artists

            Earlier today I was in the midst of a Twitter conversation that brought up our earliest comic book influences.
            Every artist, and writer, has their influences. Not all of us will agree as to who the greatest or the worst, the most dynamic, narrative, or the worst is. But we all know who influences us.
            For me, it goes nearly to the very beginning of reading comics. I had already read through a digest reprint of JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #100 (written by Len Wein, another important influence to me), which introduced me to the world of the DC Universe that wasn't the SUPER FRIENDS of Saturday Morning Cartoons.
            Here was not only the Justice League of America, but also another team that called themselves the Justice Society of America. As a little kid, all I knew was that these were alternate takes on what I thought were well-established characters.
            Over the next few months I would beginning to pick up other comic books. One comic was THE NEW TEEN TITANS by Marv Wolfman and George Perez. The second was an issue of ALL STAR SQUADRON written by Roy Thomas and among many artists was Jerry Ordway.
            These two books would truly build my view of the DC Universe. The Teen Titans very 'science fiction' based modern stories with highly detailed artwork, while All Star Squadron showed heroes in the midst of World War II and had heroes with magic based powers.
            For a while I believe that Earth 1 took place in the modern day, and Earth 2 in the 1940s, so that even when they did a cross over story they were coming from two different points in time.  I soon learned that wasn't true.
            Anyway, back to my influences.
            For writing, I couldn't have picked any better writers to follow than Marv Wolfman and Roy Thomas. Yes, I'll hear people mention who they believe are better with more complexity to their writing, but for me these two men were the foundational influence to me that everything grew from.
            Where Wolfman knew who to emotionally grab me in one story and then tell great actions sequences in the next, Thomas knew how to handle dozens of characters sometimes at once.  Thomas also knows everything about what I was learning to call the 'Golden Age' of comics, and spent time in every issue telling something about it all.
            Because of Roy Thomas and the All-Star Squadron, I quickly became infatuated by Golden Age, and I saw out reprint books of the original stories (there was no way I could afford the originals, but I found the stories I wanted).
            As with most young comic readers I soon began to create my own characters. But I didn't want to create them in my modern world. I didn't fit in a New York that I saw through George Perez's detailed art. I created my characters influenced by Jerry Ordway that I felt had a more 'realistic' style. His faces were and are great.
            (Imagine my thrill later when Ordway was hired to ink Perez's work on CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTH. The two were so perfect together.)
            (SIDE NOTE: I would also discover in the back issue bings the John Byrne issues of FANTASIC FOUR, and I bought as many as I could afford over several years of collecting. The greats of these were those where Byrne's art was inked over by Jerry Ordway.)
            So I'm creating my own characters, refining them, turning them into something more than just sketches on a page. I gave them names, and origins, not just the basic how they got power origins, but why and who the characters are with out powers.)
            I was looking towards Roy Thomas and his interpretation of the Golden Age, that I began to emulate.
            Three characters that I developed the furthest were The Torchlight, Speedstar, and a heroine I called FLYING GLORY.
            I have written stories about all these characters, and as you all know, I took FLYING GLORY the furthest.
            I've told the story already as how publishers were interested in a FLYING GLORY comic, one really liked the story that I told, but eventually it became clear that I couldn't sells a Golden Age story when I was pitching it.
            So with the help of Shannon Muir I updated the Flying Glory character, made her the granddaughter of the original and gave her a group of friends that supported her. THE HOUNDS OF GLORY.
            Our webcomic FLYING GLORY AND THE HOUNDS OF GLORY, currently celebrating its 10th Anniversary of being online. Everything that I put into a script I owe to Marv Wolfman and Roy Thomas, and each panel of my art is so greatly influenced by Jerry Orway and George Perez (though I'll never be able to draw hi details and crowd scenes).
            Thank you Mr. Ordway, Mr. Perez, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Wolfman for you have made me the comic book professional that I am today.

Kevin Paul Shaw Broden
Four Names of Professional Creativity