Monday, May 30, 2011

Costumes and AWESOME GOODIES [Giveaway] [Phoenix Comicon]

Anyone know who she is?

the Harry Potter gang!

Batman and McKayla

McKayla and I at the Comicon sign

Portal Man

Tawnya and a Star Wars bunch

Tawnya and PIRATES! Aaargh!

scariest zombie chick
So those were some of the better costumes we encountered.  And, as promised, a giveaway!
Includes signed bookmarks from Frank Beddor, Janni Lee Simner, Lisa McMann, James A. Owen, and signed comic, Free Realms from Jon Lewis and a signed book, Secret Identity Crisis from Jake Bell.  Enter your deets below.  Oh, and if you can guess which author loves Superman so much his wife got him a Superman wedding ring, you'll get an extra 5 entries.  Ends 6.26.11 11:59 Arizona Time, open worldwide.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday at Phoenix Comicon

We started out this morning in James A. Owen's How To Draw A Dragon. Inspirational? I think so. James writes the Chronicles of Imaginarium Geographica series of books and started out drawing the Starchild comic series. He told us the secret to drawing. It's twofold. 1) Make lines on paper. 2) Choose where you want the line to go.

Then it was off to Making Candy Sushi, but. Fail!  The panelists didn't show.

Then there was Elvira, Billy Dee Williams, and Alien Encounters of the Book Kind. PJ Haarsma's presentation was fantastic. The protag of his story, JT, is a softwire, which means that he can access any computer with just his mind. Softwire is probably going to become a movie (either live action or animated) and there's also an online RPG to accompany the books. One caveat. You cannot fully play the game unless you answer questions from the book. Get your young boys started. It sounds sooooooo cool.

Then it was Adam Baldwin and Robert Duncan McNeill. They both worked as actors on Firefly, and they both work on Chuck (though Robert is now a producer and director) which was renewed for the next season, and the only thing they were allowed to tell us about the new season is that Josh Schwartz said it'll be AWESOME.

Then I ducked into the Frank Beddor and The Looking Glass Wars Spotlight. I walked in right in the middle of Frank's super seekrit super awesome project and totally feel lucky that I was there to experience it. The room took an oath not to divulge before I got there, and boy am I glad I made a point to talk to Frank in the Exhibitor Hall, otherwise, I'd have blown the whole thing. *phew* Oh, and someone asked him when the first time he read Alice In Wonderland was and he told us that his mom and grandma used to read it to him as a child and he hated it.  The Looking Glass Wars was his revenge!  Anyway, he was super cool and super down-to-earth, and after this panel, I'm totally convinced I'm going to read his books. I bought it before last year's Comicon, but he wasn't able to come, and I haven't had a chance to read it yet. Have you guys? Is it as amazing as it sounds?

Then since I watched Battlestar Galactica from start to end in fourteen days (yes, all the seasons!) I ran over to see Aaron Douglas and Paul McGillion (he's from Stargate Atlantis, and I totally cropped him out of the pic). It was a great time, and I rather enjoyed all of the banter the two engaged in. But my fav was with this pic - this doll is not Karl Marx. No. No, it's Col. Saul Tigh. And Douglas does a wonderful Tigh voice!

Then I ran down to the exhibition hall to see if I could catch any of the authors before they left, and I ran into everyone I wanted to. Janni Lee Simner, Lisa McMann, Jon Lewis, Jake Bell, James A. Owen, and Frank Beddor.

Next up was Lisa McMann's Spotlight panel. She was rather unfortunately scheduled in the very very last time slot on the very last day, which was too bad, because everyone was heading home. But, she and her daughter talked a lot about some of the inspiration for Kendall in Cryer's Cross. Lisa's daughter (I so didn't get there in time to catch her name, not that she'd want it posted anyway) spoke for a while and gave a very moving account of her personal struggle with OCD and the process she went through to overcome its hold on her. She is very proud of her progress, and she totally should be. Her parents are proud too of course. Lisa went on to pass on some writerly advice and actually told us that she's got a Spring 2012 release of her first contemporary YA novel, Dead To You, which is about a young man who finds an age-progressed image on the Missing & Exploited Children's Database and is returned to his family, and the struggles and trials that come with going home again. I'm intrigued. Are you?

Then when the questions started winding down, I ran off to Nicholas Brendan. Because you know, who can miss Xander? And he's in Criminal Minds, yo (and he says we should write CBS and tell him he needs more screen time). He's a lot on the raunchy side, talking about things I'm totally not posting here, but he was fun nonetheless. He ended with the Snoopy Dance, of course. It was fun.

And that, my friends, marked the end of Phoenix Comicon 2011. I'm supa-tired, but that's the way these things go, right?  Come back tomorrow and we'll talk about the fun costumes we saw, AND we'll have a giveaway for some awesome swag from authors and comic book artists and more.  

Saturday at Phoenix Comicon

So, Saturday we started out the day at Alien Heart Bigfoot.  Say what?  Alien ♥ Bigfoot.  It's an anthology just like Pirate ♥ Ninja at last year's con, full of stories about fun relationships between aliens and bigfoots (bigfeet?).  It was a pretty fun panel, although the moderator didn't really leave much room for audience participation because of the VAST number of artists and writers in the room.

Then I headed to Getting Inside the Criminal Mind.  It was an interesting panel, but I wish that there was a more concrete presentation from the authors instead of just a random jumble of questions from the audience.  But basically, after you weed out all of the folks asking questions specific to the book they're writing (ugh), there were a few gems in the rough. (nothin' like mixing metaphors, right?)  Like you need to figure out what motivates your characters, and their criminal activity.  The panelists can't teach you what to do because every character is going to be different.  But, some things you can explore are why some people cross lines that others won't.  And every panelist seemed to agree that you need an extensive character chart.  Figure out what happened in his or her backstory and in his or her childhood.  And the answer to what motivates them is never money, because how much is enough?  It's never enough.  Oh and if you think your story has been written before, because no one can write the story inside you the way you can.

Then it was off to Leonard Nimoy.  Since he was ahead in the poll the last time I checked it, I went to see him.  Sorry Girl Power in YA choosers, you eeked him out by a vote at the last minute.  I'll write an entire post on what was said there, but let me give you a little preview by saying that I was awed by his humility and by his eloquence.  The place was packed to capacity, and he did not take questions.  He didn't have time for questions anyway.  Amazing.

Then I stopped into True Blood's Kristin Bauer (she plays Pam) and I have to say, she's totally skinnier in person.  Pam said she'd do anything but answer questions about Twilight.  Here's how the first question from the moderator went:

Moderator: "Did you read the Twilight books before--"
Crowd: "Booooooooooooooooooooo."

Hilarious.  She totally meant Sookie Stackhouse books.  Totally.  Anyway, Kristin did NOT read any of the books before auditioning for the role.

Then I hopped into the Writing For Tomorrow's Young Adults panel.  It really turned into a What is YA? and  How To Write For YAs panel, which was fine.  Here was the theme though:  "But not in a creepy way."  Hang out with teens, but not in a creepy way.  Get online and interact with teens, but not in a creepy way.  Do middle grade bestiality, but not in a creepy way.  (It was funny in context, but totally sounds creepy on the blog, I realize that.)

Then we skipped our way, (okay really we walked) to the exhibition hall where I found some awesomesauce stuff.  Like Lenore comics for 50¢ each. (I ♥ Lenore)

After we finally finished the filled-to-capacity exhibition hall, where we totally met The Ghostbusters.  And we also met the author of Blackstrap's Extacy, which was awkward at best. She really wanted me to buy her book, and I really didn't want to buy her book, so we said we'd show up at the Aaargh! Pirate Swordfighting event which promised to be scenes from her book acted out.  We left about ten minutes in.  If those were the scenes from her book, I'm totes not interested.  Sorry.  *yawn*

We stopped in and watched like 200 people while they learned to dance the Thriller, which was awesome.

Then we went to the Masquerade Ball?  Everyone else there seemed to get it, and maybe I'm letting my mean girl flag fly, but we so totally did not even understand a bit.  I even turned to ask the peeps behind us, and they just gave us a look like we were totally ungeeky. (and if anyone understands the Masquerade Ball Costume Contest thing, please feel free to email me or leave a comment and explain, seriously.)  So, we left and were headed to the acoustic Halocene set when re ran into them on the street!  They're pretty darn good.  I'm thinking good enough we'll see them go on a national tour if they don't implode before then.

After that, we went to Geek Prom, and it was a blast, and I totally wish that Monster was there with me... wait, so that he could stand there on the side and just watch me dance?  Lame.  I'd still take him, regardless.

Can't wait for all the fun tomorrow will bring, and the little bit of rest before I run off to help mentor seven twelve-year-olds at church camp (*gasp* that's crazy.  i know this.)

UPDATE: So, reading this at 9am, getting a little sleep after the 1:30am post I wrote, I realized there was a negative tone. SATURDAY ROCKED! Just so we're clear. I didn't assault you with a constant barrage of awesome... so sorry. Oh, and Mandy totally knew those were the True Blood books, but she just misspoke. Clarification. And I only meant to comment on the tenacity of the crowd and the depth of their hatred for all things Twilight. Apologies if it reads differently, Mandy! Thanks everyone, I'm off for another fun-packed day at the 'Con, y'all.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Friday at Phoenix Comicon

Started out this morning at a super cool, super intimate panel called Agents of D.A.N.G.E.R. and Actionopolis.  Great panel with Shannon Denton, Jon Lewis, Terry Tibke, and Jake Bell.  These guys write books that are appropriate for children but totally un-dumbed-down.  They're a small house, but they're prolific, and they're pretty awesome.  It's rare that your first panel is your best, but dude.  This was the best.

We needed three people there to help cover all of the panels.  More details coming soon, I swear.
The sketchoff was incredible, and if you have a chance to catch one, you totally should.  The comic book artists take suggestions from the audience, like "Superman as a saucy pirate wench," and "Picachu Batman," and draw them right there in front of the audience.  It's rad.
Then we split up and I hit up the Cherie Priest Spotlight.  Did you know she writes adult books with some ya protags about steampunk and zombies?  You should check out Boneshaker.  I'm gonna.
And then there was Raving 101.  Learned how to pop, how to lock, and how to properly dance with the glowstick, baby.  Who knew there was a proper way to hold one while dancing?  Not I.  Oh, you want that information?  Here's the scoop.  Weave it between your middle three fingers, creating a sort of tension grab, and dance with it that way.  No pinching it.  The panel was quite hands-on, as you can see from the photo.
Then we stopped by the Imperial Cadet Training Session, which was adorable, might I add!  The kids all got to go through an obstacle course with their storm trooper helmets.  Awesome.  Made me wish I was six.
Then we went off to see the Zombie Walk.  Holy Hannah, Fun.  Here's a bit of footage:

And then some of us donated blood, and some of us went to the Halocene concert.  They rocked.  I suggest you listen to them.  I want to go to their acoustic set tomorrow night, but we'll see if I can fit it in between the Geek Prom and the Brain Eating Contest.

Then we waited for the Zombie Beauty Pageant, which was hella awesome.  Oh, and sincere thanks to the Department of Zombie Defense.  You kept us safe. ♥  Here's a verse of the talent portion:

And some of the contestants at the end:

Then I skipped out early while the rest of the IHM team stayed at the ZBP and I went over to the Nerd Poetry Slam, which was hilarious and awesome and all kinds of wow.  I especially loved Nerd Chick's poem.  It was amazing.  She did this one live.

Then it was the Steampunk Ball and the Anime Rave and a trip home so we can do it all again tomorrow!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

My Comicon Survival Kit [Phoenix Comicon]

So I learned a few things last year at Comicon. I'm putting together my survival kit as we speak, and thought I'd let you guys see what goes in it.

1) Backpack. Obviously you need something to carry around your stash in.
2) Water Bottle, emptied. You can fill it up inside, and save yourself three bucks a bottle.
3) Flashlight. For walking to the car at night, or in case you need to shine it in the eyes of a drunk geek or a zombie.
4) Camera. Duh? Just make sure you ask people's permission before you snap their photo if they're not there in an official capacity.
5) Mini-Tripod. You don't want to bust out your huge one and you don't want to tote it around the con, so just bring the small one.
6) Notebook. In case someone says something noteworthy.
7) Extra Memory Cards. Even though I doubt I'll run out of space, I'm not risking it.
8) Smartphone. My Droid is about done, but it'll still let me tweet. (Please Verizon, run a BOGO on the Thunderbolt already!)
9) Phone Charger. I think I charged mine at least four times last year... in the car.
10) Glasses. Don't forget the sunglasses for your hike to the Hyatt or from your car. It's bright here and you're gonna need them. And if you're nearsighted like me, it's handy to have your Rx glasses so that you can actually see the panel members.
11) Extra Hair Ties. You don't want to be left without in case one breaks.
12) Pens. The more the merrier, especially if you want people to sign stuffs for you.
13) Smarties. Sometimes it's easier to bribe a nerd than you might think.
14) I Heart Monster Button. It's an identifier if nothing else.
15) JLab J3 Earbuds. In case you have a particularly chatty neighbor before a session and he/she is annoying you. Just slip them in and hook it up to your phone.
16) Inhaler. In case someone leaves you breathless. (thanks, T!
17) Lip Balm. In case the How To Date An Asian panel pays off.  I'm kidding.  I'm married!  I should probably add sunscreen too. And hand sanitizer.
18) PowerPaks. For energy and health's sake.
19) Allergy Medicine & Cough Drops. Because I don't want to be sniffly and coughing the whole time.
20) Tums. Because you don't want to let a bad burrito ruin your day at the Con. Just keep chuggin' the Tums.
21) Tylenol. Same reasons as above, but applied to aches and pains, or in case the Klingons beat you up.
22) Protein/Snack Bars. In case there's a do-not-miss session during lunch.
23) Deodorant. It's supposed to be 100°, and you're most likely going to be outside walking, and do us a favor, pack a little extra, please.
24) Aveeno. So my hands don't feel so icky.

Things not pictured:
Business Cards. Networking is fun!
Photo ID. So you can get your badge.
A Sparkling Attitude. No one likes a grump.
Laptop & Charger. To pacify you if you're bored.
Books.  To get signed and to read.

What would you add to the list?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Bookish Heartsy: Tesoro Jewelry [Shareworthy]

You guys have heard me mention Heartsy before.  Today brings us an especially awesome offer from Etsy seller, Tesoro Jewelry.  Tesoro does fun hand-stamped jewelry and findings, but what I especially loved was her selection of Harry Potter sayings.  With lines like "Mischief Managed," and "I Solemnly Swear I Am Up To No Good," and "Wingardium Leviosa,"  who can resist?

Or, since they're totally customizable, you could add your own bookish line or book quote to the keychain/ring/bracelet/necklace.  Think, "I Swoon For *insert swoonworthy YA male here*" or "I Buy Books" or even "Once Upon A Midnight Dreary".
I'm planning to purchase one for me and a few for gifts, and already snatched up my Heartsy offer.  What do you think?  $15 for $32 ain't that shabby, right?  Especially not when the keychains start at 9 bucks!