Its that time of year again. C2E2 the top Chicago comic convention is back.
I spent most of Friday attending different panels. First I went to Comic Art Storytelling and Self Publishing Unmasked both were pretty good. But for me one of the highlights was the Write or Wrong panel of managing your brand hosted by Dirk Manning.
For many years Dirk Manning had a column on Newsarama about writing that he has since turned into a book. He was a very entertaining speaker and had plenty to say. Basically everyone already had a brand its just a matter of what is said about who you are and what you do and in order for your brand to be that of a comic book creator the best thing to do is create. He also had advice about budgeting your time and money and not editing your own work. We have all heard advice like this before but it is always good to hear it again because we will always need to remember it. More than one panel talked about how it is easier than ever to print comics now, the hard part if finding an audience to get them to. Many crowdfunding campaigns fail because they can’t find a crowd. He also talked about working hard and being nice, how pity does not help, and to always engage with people, and never argue with people online.
Later I went to a panel brought to us by Racebending.com about Creating Diverse Characters.
I have been to a few Racebending.com panels at conventions and they are always a delight. It got into the subject of movie and television casting. If the casting language for a project is not explicit then white still ends up being the default in the minds of most producers and directors. One way to combat this is to have a diversity in your writing and editing rooms. And they got into how the term color-blind-casting can end up being problematic when it is used to put white actors into roles originally intended for people of color. Whether people want to admit it or not racism is a systemic problem in our world so not considering race as a factor can easily lead to dis-empowering and offensive casting choices. The current situation with the Hugo Awards came up and panelist Michi Trota had plenty to say about the logical fallacies that the sad/rabid puppies are operating on. I think my favorite part of the panel was when Turtel Onli came up with a nice allegory on diversity and why arguments against it are ridiculous. Be advised this is not a word for word quote just the best as I can recall it from my notes; if you are walking down the street and you are hungry and you see a Thai food place you say, “Yeah I’ll get some Thai food.” You don’t say, “Oh that Thai food is not for me because I’m not Thai, I’ll have to go somewhere else.” I hope I didn’t butcher that too badly. Anyway Professor Onli is incredible and I always enjoy panels he is on.
The last panel I went to was the Creator Connection one.
This was another panel the featured Dirk Manning as well as Buddy Scalera, Michelle Killebrew, and James the ‘lovely assistant’. They had plenty of advice for writers and artists who want to work together. The writer and artist relationship can be kind of like dating. The artist is there for more than just doing what the writer says but also working with a good writer can make one a better artist. They also said that consistent output is just as important and ‘good work’ and getting something finished is better than making it perfect.
And now lets take a moment for the things people really like about convention coverage, cosplay pictures.
I spent so much time in panels Friday that I did not get many cosplay pictures. But I did get some extra pictures of action figures which I know some of our readers will appreciate.
I still have two more days worth of convention to talk about so I will be back with that soon.