Overview

On The Road With Raven Gregory

Lowdown - Article

Share this lowdown

  • Button Delicious
  • Bttn Digg
  • Bttn Facebook
  • Bttn Ff
  • Bttn Myspace
  • Bttn Stumble
  • Bttn Twitter
  • Bttn Reddit

WIZARD WORLD PHILLY

Hey people. Raven Gregory from THE GIFT here with the latest convention report coming from WIZARD WORLD EAST.

First off, I have to say this has been the best convention I have EVER attended. The love for comics is amazing and everybody was totally awesome to us.
The fans of THE GIFT brought their friends to pick up the title, as well as retailers that just love the story and what we are doing with the series. We love you all too… in a guy to guy sort of way. Not to mention we sold out of issue one and six. 

We also got to sit next to Joe Linsner at the DAWN booth. I had always been a big fan of his work but this was the first time I ever got to read his stuff. And I must say that it was an honor to be able to chat with this man off and on over the three days there.
On the plane ride back I read Lucifer Halo and I was just blown away. One of the best stories I have read. I really enjoyed how much of himself he throws into the book. Really incredible. You almost feel a kindred spirit in the reading and his flowery narration is near flawless. This man kicks ass!

During my few and far between breaks I got to meet David Mack and Michael Oeming. David was also another creator I had never had a chance to check out. After reading Kabuki, I now know why he has so many ladies flocking to his booth. This guy is one of the most poetic writers in comics today. His art is also gorgeous in ways that I didn’t know could be captured in the boundaries of a panel.
I was also very broke since I never get any of the take, and he gave me a s****load of free stuff which was down right awesome of him.
Oeming too was just awesome to meet, as I’ve been a huge fan of POWERS since forever.

We hung out with the guys who do Bubba the Redneck Werewolf, the Silent Devil Crew, and the good people at Arcana Press.
If you get a chance to check out any of their books you won’t regret it. Ant, Erza, and Bubba are some of the coolest books out there. And Silent Devils Dracula VS King Arthur is gonna be friggin' AWESOME when it hits the stands. I can’t wait for this book.

We also met the people who do Helios. They had a big blow up cover to their #2 by Eric Basuldua that was one of the best covers I have EVER seen.

I did get to see a few other people while I was down there but since I spent most of the time at the booth I didn’t get to see everything PHILLY had to offer. But it was still awesome!

The after-party at the hotel was great too and I met the owner of Mile High Comics' daughter, who I had known from other conventions but never really knew just who she was. Sigh If only I was single.
We spent a great deal of time drinking with Mitch from Bubba and the Silent Devil people... I had forgotten how cool it is to talk to people who love comics as much as we do.

We also got some BIG news, but the news was canceled due to EVEN BIGGER NEWS that we will release in the next few weeks. It's really good stuff.

The food in Philly was great and I can’t remember the last time I’ve had so much fun at a con. Philly really is the city of brotherly love. 

***

WONDERCON

Hello again all. Raven Gregory here with the latest, albeit late convention report coming from WonderCon.
Now, instead of the blow by blow regular report I usually do, I'd like to try something a bit different.
You see, I quickly learned that some things never change. The first hour of the day at the Cons always sucks. However, overall, fans show much love and retailers are happy to have another book on the shelf that does well for them. And WonderCon is a cool place to continue this routine.

I got to meet the Red Star team (good people), Jeph Loeb (a total class act), Geoff Johns, Devin Grayson, and Erik Larsen (more on this guy later). I also ot to me some people from the Bendis board, and the GIFTED VIEWS board (Hey Danny!). That was the cool part of my Con experience.

Now on to the reflective, albeit eye-opening portion of the experience.

I spoke with a few creators and backers of independent publishing in my spare time and the general consensus I got was that if given the opportunity to do comics again... they wouldn't.  That comics - or pamthelets as they call it - were quickly going the way of the dodo bird.  That it is no longer economically feasible to make comics and that consumer support has shifted entirely over to the BIG TWO.  In fact, it seems, the only reason left to make comics is to get your stuff optioned or turned into some other "more lucrative" entertainment avenue that can bring in enough money to support the making of the comic to begin with.  Now considering how many books get canceled each and every year, much of the above is true. Which really SUCKS!!!! But hey, it's a lot like cancer... just because you find out you might be dying, doesn't mean there's nothing you can do about it. T
To make the above more clear: most high quality comics take about 10,000 dollars to produce.  A print run of 15,000 units cost about 6,000 dollars.  So if you sell this many books each and every month then you MIGHT break even. Sadly enough, most don't.
A lot of people have a house  invested into making a comic book come to life (I don't need to tell you that a lot of money goes into making comics) and most creators have the pressure of this house resting square on their shoulders as they struggle to break even.
Combine this with working a regular job and working 50 hours a week on the side on your comic book and it's no wonder the chemotherapy doesn't always work. Pretty depressing, huh?

So a word of advice to all the creators and backers, but NOT the fans: be naive.  Love your work and believe that what you have is special. That you can succeed where so many have failed. That you can personally bring back the millions and millions of the comic fan that used to pick up SPAWN, SAVAGE DRAGON, SPIDER-MAN, CYBER FORCE, and all the other books that proved that dreams can be made into reality. Because if you don't close your eyes and jump into the deep end, the sharks that make up reality might kill your dreams before they can even take their first breath. Put all your love, all your work and everything that is you into your stories and never look back... NEVER, because that way lies madness. And the 9 to 5 job at McDonald's [shudders]
Keep in mind that there's a reason they call it a labor of love.  Keep in mind that in the old days people who wrote and created comics were never rich and never owned their own toy company (Todd we need you back) and did the books they did purely out of love for the comics. I like that. The love of the comic.

But as I said, fans... don't be naive. DON'T!!!!
Imagine if Spider-Man came out today under an independent company. Most retailers won't order any independents unless a consumer orders it, Wizard is only slowly starting to address the indies more and most fans shun anything that isn't Marvel or DC. So, if Spidey came out today, more than likely he'd make it to issue five and get canceled. Don't believe me? It already happened to the X-MEN in the 60's and The HULK after six issues.
So fans, support the books you love. Tell a retailer how much you enjoy so and so's book. When you go to pick up your weekly books tell another comic reader in the store about a really good comic. Do that and we might save the comics that could be the next Spider-Man, the next Hellboy, the next....well, you get the picture.

Okay, enough reflecting on the depressing s*** I learned at Wonder Con.
Let's talk Erik Larsen. For those of you who don't know yet, Erik now runs Image Central. He is now the man! I caught a glimpse of him at the con and began stalking the man who could make THE GIFT a really big thing. I finally caught up with him and after a long zen-like waiting process (for those of you trying to get in the industry, you will learn about this soon enough), I managed to get him over to the booth to check out the book. We spoke about bringing THE GIFT over to Image and other little things that people in the biz seem to chat about. He said he'd give it some thought so hopefully this pans out. But I've been turned down twice by Image so I won't set up any expectations.
I'll just keep doing what I love and hope the house doesn't break my back.

That's all for this Con. The only thing left for me to mention is that I bought Johnny The Homicidal Maniac as well as The adventures of Barry Ween, stuff that makes me smile.
Next up is Wizard World Philly. Oh, for those who missed the Phoenix Con report I never did get to it. I got to do my first panel and people showed much love but being as small as it now seems I didn't want to try and sugar coat exactly how small it was... being it was small. See ya. 

***

WIZARDWORLD LA

Sorry for the delay folks but here's the latest from Raven Gregory's con experience.

FRIDAY
4 AM - The long long drive to LA begins. All in all it was pretty fun and I got a chance to hang out with Ryan Melloy (the upcoming artist on The Heir) and chat back and forth with a fellow creator. We arrived in LA fine but did not see a single clean restroom the whole time there.

8 PM - The booth is all set up and we are ready to sell. Tried to get a Galactus for my son (more on this later) but they sold out too fast. After having a few conventions under my belt, I now realize that without a shadow of a doubt the first hour of the con is always the slowest. I truly felt the urge to do that Japanese thing with the my pen... but, the hour soon passed and the crowd was tremdous and we started selling. All was good.
Not long after the selling started, Mike Malve (the owner of Atomic Comics here in Arizona) swung by the booth. We chatted a bit and he said he was going over to say hi to Joe Quesada. I asked if I could go with him since I'm a big fan of Joe's work.
We went over by the Wizard booth and standing there was Joe Quesada and BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS. In case you don't know I'm a HUGE FAN of Brian's work and have had a great deal of advice and help given to me by that man over the years. We chatted a bit and before Brian left, he said for Joe to keep an eye on me. To which Joe replied "We are!". HOLY S*** CLIMBED THE MOUNTAIN TOP!!!!
The fan boy in me died and went to heaven. My favorite writer in the world had said something that cool about me to THE MAN at Marvel. It just doesn't get any better than that.
Th rest of the day was cool, but still couldn't get past the high of Bendis and Quesada.

SATURDAY
7 PM - We arrived an hour early and set out for our plans to acquire the most convented GALACTUS. We tried to get in line early, but were soon told that they would not be selling to exhibitors. DAMN IT!!! So we switched badge with a guy fom artist alley and Ryan stood in line to get the toy while I ran the booth.
BOOYA!!! We got it. My son is going to think I'm God.
BUT...You should have been there to see this MAD RUSH of hundreds of people sprinting to get in the block-long line to get this bad ass Hero Clix figure. It was CRAZY!!!
Day went really well and we got to see plenty of celebs. Thomas Jane (The Punisher) was walking around checking out some comics. He's a really cool and down-to-earth guy.
Tyler Mane (our editor's boyfriend) swung by and said hi. I got to say hi to Kevin Smith, Kevin Nash, Rob Van Damn (very cool), Brian Bendis, Renae Geerlings, Tyler Kirkham, Marco Galli, Brian Buccellato, Robin Spehar (all the people who made THE GIFT), and Marc Silvestri (THE MAN), Matt Hawkins (THE MAN), Joel, Scott Tucker, and all the folks at Top Cow. And last but not least Peter @#$%ing Seigerwald (the greatest colorist in the industry and an all around nice guy who likes to put his name on people's knuckles).
Afterward, we went out to dinner with the guys who do "Bubba the Redneck Werewolf" and had drinks... many drinks.
WizardWorld LA is just friggin' awesome!!!!

SUNDAY
5 PM - A slow but fun day. Got to meet lots of fans and picked up Shiver in the Dark from the creator. Check this book out if you can find it. Everything went well. We all had an awesome time and everywhere we went, the industry showed much love... but, that's how it is with comics isn't? It's all about the luv!

See you next at the Phoenix Cactus Comic Con...home sweet home.

***

MEGACON

Hey everybody and welcome to the 1st installment of On The Road With Raven Gregory. For those of you that don't know, I'm the writer and creator of The Gift from Overcast Comics. I’ll be doing a series of reports for the 13 plus conventions we’ll be attending this year. What better place to start than the place that started it all (we debuted issue one there last year)? That's right: MEGACON!!!
But before I really get started, I want to share some preview pages of upcoming issues of The Gift with you. Here you go:             

On to the main event: MegaCon...

The trip down was by far the best flying experience I have EVER had.

FYI, I hate flying. No seriously... I really hate flying, so my spider sense was already warning me that there would be some kind of counter cost to this peaceful voyage. This cosmic balancing counter cost came in the form of one missing suitcase. Ahem. Let me rephrase that. One missing suitcase that contained the copies of THE GIFT we were planning to sell at MegaCon.

Note to self: See what happens when you try to save a few bucks on shipping.

Anyway, the suitcase was found a day later after much drama just in time for the drive down (from Jacksonville to Orlando) to the convention.

FRIDAY
9:40 AM - On the road and I'm really starving. Woke up 4 AM this morning and I still haven’t eaten. There are motorcycles everywhere (Bike week at Daytona) and I need a drink.

11:15 AM - We (my brother and backer) arrive at the Orange County convention center. MegaCon! I set up the booth while they leave to bring back breakfast. The floor is spider web sticky. It’s a work out just to walk.

12:00 NOON - This is for the fellow comic creators out there: you know that first couple of minutes when no one looks interested in your stuff and you’re sitting there thinking that no one likes you and the memory of being picked last for kick-ball comes rushing to the surface. I am SO there.

1:00 PM - Doors (people that pre-registered get in an hour early) open to the public. Still haven’t eaten. Don’t know...how much...longer...I... can hold out.

1:05 PM - My sharpie pen starts to look REEEEALY tasty.

1:15 PM - FOOD!!! YEAH!!!!

1:20 PM - Books start flying off the table. I forget to eat. :(

4:00 PM - Traffic at the booth begins to slow a bit. I eat my cold pancakes and eggs. Not bad. When you’re this hungry even the bad is yummy.

6:00 PM - I am amazed by the mad love everyone is showing the book. Fans who picked up issue one last year, retailers who (one told me our book outsells SPAWN - Holy s***!!!) really support the book, everyone is friggin AWESOME!!!

6:30 PM - I get to walk around for a couple minutes. I see Jim McLauchlin (Editor In Chief of Top Cow Productions) across from us at the ACTOR booth. This guy is by far one of the coolest people in the industry. I am definitely bringing the Rum and Coke to LA. :)
Jim, if you’re reading this, you bring the ice. Shoot the s*** for a minute before going off in search of goodies.

6:35 PM - I FINALLY GOT ANT!!! Yes!!!! I traded my copies of THE GIFT for two copies of issue one (both covers). Mario Gully, the guy who writes and draws it, is really cool. We talk sales and inside comic stuff and decide to swap Ads in each other's books. His art reminds me of a young Todd McFarlane. If this guy keeps it up, he’s going to be BIG!!!

6:50 PM - I meet Vanessa Kay. She has a booth here. This is THE Vanessa from the MAN SHOW!!! If I wasn't married I'd be in love right now. She is SO WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

7:00 PM - Back to the booth. Convention closed for the day. People still buying the book. :)

7:38 PM - We leave the convention. Eat, drink, hang with my brother (who by the way took me to my first con and who I wouldn’t be here without), get to the hotel, order the Matrix Revolutions to watch but fall asleep before I can watch the whole thing. :(

SATURDAY
8:00 AM - Arrive at Mega Con two hours before the doors open. The place is deserted. I sit back and relax enjoying the quiet atmosphere knowing full well how busy it is about to become. I liken it to go on the football field the day before the BIG game.

10 AM - 6 PM - The book sells like hot cakes... non stop... non stop... no breaks... WOW!!!

3 PM - (okay so I lied... I did get one break) Need to get some air. Been stuck inside for too long. I go outside to get some fresh air. I step out the door...and everyone is smoking. (COUGH) Back inside. :( Book keeps selling... getting tired.

6 PM - Convention closes for the day. We keep selling for another hour. Get some great news!!! The book does so well our backer decides to give us another full page Wizard Ad.

7:30 PM - We pack up to go.

8:30 - 11:30 PM - Unwind with multiple filled glasses (now pay attention... there’s a moral here somewhere). Orlando has A LOT of two for one drinks. And I got to go swimming. Bestwestern has some awesome hotels.

SUNDAY
12:30 AM - Pass out.

3:00 AM - Now, remember that counter cost I mentioned earlier? Well, since we had such an awesome day yesterday it was only right for me to wake up to find my glasses broke from falling asleep with them on. Damn cosmic balance. :/

3:30 AM - Quickly get over my misfortune and head down to the pool for a quick dip.

3:35 AM - Pool closed. Back to the room. Cosmic balance continues.

3:50 AM - Go back to sleep.

3:59 AM - >sigh< Can’t sleep. FISH!!! (As in "like a fish")

8:30 AM - Arrive at convention for the last day. Love the quiet atmosphere, but it doesn’t last long as the other exhibitors start pouring in.

10 - 6 PM - Slow day. Still get much love, but not so much moola. However, the backer is still confident in what he hears from people who come back to the booth to talk about the book and how much they enjoyed it. People really seem to enjoy it and are telling their friends and retailers about it. BEST FANS in the world!!!

7 PM - We leave the con. We are all exhausted. Goodbye MegaCon. See you next year.

Next Up: WIZARD WORLD LA. See you there! :)

- Raven Gregory

Related content

Related Headlines

Related Lowdowns

Related Reviews

Comments

There are no comments yet.

In order to post a comment you have to be logged in. Don't have a profile yet? Register now!

Latest headlines

READ ALL HEADLINES

Latest comments
Comics Discussion
Broken Frontier on Facebook