New to comics: Episode 1 – How and what to read

Did you know there is a right way and a wrong way to read comic books? Yeah, I didn’t either until last year. I’m working on widening my appreciation and understanding of different types of storytelling, and I thought comics would be a good place to start.

To get started, I enlisted to the help of a couple of comic aficionados – who also happen to be two of my best friends – Nick Lane and Lauren Williams. Listen in as we discuss how to read comics for n00bs like myself, as well as which books you should read first and which ones to save until you’re more experienced.

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The intersection of art, craft, and trade

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“The truth is that story is an art, a craft, and a trade. Only when all three aspects are in perfect harmony do you get a classic.” – Robert McKee.

I’ve been preparing a 3-week podcast series on how to read comics for the uninitiated (aka n00bs like me). It turns out that picking up a comic book isn’t always as easy as it looks, particularly if you have years experience of reading “regular” books. The first episode goes up this Friday, March 15th.

Refresh your perspective

There comes a point in every creative project where you hit the proverbial wall. It might be writer’s block, designer’s block, or an unexpected problem. When you hit the road block you have a couple of choices. You could continue to fight until you break through the barrier. Or you could try hitting the pause button for a while instead.

One of the projects I’m currently developing is a feature-length documentary film that I’ve been calling The Quilting Thing (no, that’s not even a working title). In the early stages it was all research. Everything was zipping along with positivity and sunshine. However, when it came time to turn research into a treatment and a business plan, the storm arrived.

Every time I looked through my notes my frustration increased. It looked like a mess of information that went in ten directions with no connecting threads weaving everything together. Nothing to serve as a foundation for the story. No story? No film.

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It’s time to do something

I’ve watched this video from Kid President several times since I first saw the link on Friday. I love it for many reasons. It’s well constructed, the music selection is solid, Kid President’s delivery is magic, et cetera, et cetera. However, the thing that keeps me coming back is the message.

“What will you create that will make the world awesome? Nothin’ if you keep sitting there.”

One of the most difficult parts of Creating Things™ is releasing the thing into the wild. Sure, you could keep the thing all to yourself, where it’s safe. But that defeats the purpose of you creating the thing in the first place. Creation is meant to be shared.

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Creating Whoville for Christmas

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A very Whoville Christmas

Usually when inspiration strikes, it only offers a small part of what a project could become. As you work and create, you collect more pieces until you have fully formed project. But sometimes, inspiration gives you the whole vision in one glimpse, leaving the details to be filled in later. I had one of those visions when I returned home from spending Thanksgiving with my family.

While I was gone, my roommate made a beautiful Christmas wreath. As soon as I saw the wreath on the front door I knew how we were going to decorate our apartment this year.

Whoville.

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Author Neil Gaiman on the importance of stories

My cousin Helen, who is in her 90s now, was in the Warsaw ghetto during World War II. She and a bunch of the girls in the ghetto had to do sewing each day. And if you were found with a book, it was an automatic death penalty. She had gotten hold of a copy of ‘Gone With the Wind’, and she would take three or four hours out of her sleeping time each night to read. And then, during the hour or so when they were sewing the next day, she would tell them all the story. These girls were risking certain death for a story. And when she told me that story herself, it actually made what I do feel more important. Because giving people stories is not a luxury. It’s actually one of the things that you live and die for.

– Neil Gaiman

Two thoughts on achieving execellence

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

– Aristotle

 

If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.

– Colin Powell

How to paint a pair of rad shoes

A few weeks ago I came across this blog post by Amy Ratcliffe, all about the nerdy shoe crafting party she threw with some friends. The shoes they created had me drooling with shoe envy. I knew I had to try my hand at making something nifty for the many miles of walking at Comic Con.

Want to paint your own pair of geektastic shoes? The list of links I used to research and draw inspiration are at the bottom of this post.

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Philip Bloom on becoming successful in video

9: You don’t need a Red. You don’t need an Alexa, you don’t need a C300. Any camera will do, to a degree. Don’t listen to the chattering masses on the internet who say you MUST film on X camera as your Y camera is shit. X camera has .5 stops more dynamic range and Y camera has more noise than camera X, using camera Y would be INSANE!  That is nonsense. Yes, some cameras will make your life easier and some will make your life harder. I don’t subscribe to the idea of using the shittiest camera you have because you are an artist and you can make anything shine. Nonsense. Use the best camera you have access to. The camera is NOT the most important thing. You and your ideas are. But don’t be a camera martyr and say “my work is what is important hence, not the camera, I shall film this on my iPad!” Don’t be silly now!!

10+ steps to becoming mega successful in video production and probably winning many awards whilst becoming super rich!!

(emphasis mine)

Detroit to Los Angeles

Two weeks ago I was fortunate enough to be pay a brief visit to North Carolina to assist STAA with the One Day Ticket to Sportscasting Success seminar. On the way home, I had a layover in Detroit and made the unfortunate discovery that Detroit Metro wanted money in exchange for wifi access. Not happening! So I explored my little section of the airport with my iPad and edited the video with the Avid app on the flight home.

Did you know that Detroit Metro has a monorail?!