Irritating Archery #10 – Stumped… In Town.

Well it’s convention time again.  This weekend is the Stumptown Comics Fest in Portland Oregon.  I go to a lot of shows in a year and this has consistently been one of the better ones.  It’s hard to describe how it works but I would say that a 2 day show with a $6 entrance fee and great atmosphere is something that excites me.  If that doesn’t excite you there is the fact the interesting fact that it’s a pure comics show.  Almost more of a Gallery show than a convention.  It’s not about the panels and big announcements, it’s about the love of comics.  Great conversation, great guests, great everything.  If you love comics this is one of the best shows for you to go to.   This time though it’s a little different for me.

Why is it different?  Because this time I’m going for work.  It’s a different story going to a convention when you come at it from that perspective.  It goes from regular schmoozing to a different form.  This time, I’m trying to find that perfect artist for a book I’ve been editing for a teacher at the University of Oregon.  It’s not fun to lose an artist and it’s even less fun to find a new one.  Really, Professionalism isn’t a rare thing but when you are talking to the amount of people I’ve spoken to over the last month you run across plenty of people who are too self-important for there own good.  It never hurts to ask but I’d say it can hurt to answer.

Wait, what does this have to do with anything?  Well, because this is where I shine.  I hate doing this over e-mail, I love actually talking to and meeting these people.  It also gives me an ability to give more detail faster if people have any interest so that I can really get them hooked or they can decide it’s not for them just as quickly.  A lot of artists get busy and even if they do want to do something sometimes they just can’t because of timing and schedules.  But it’s still nice to make the connection and actually get the face shown and hopefully make some friends as well as connections.

That’s another problem with the whole going from a business perspective.  When I go to a convention as a fan I go to meet poeple, make friends and connections, meet people.  When I go for business, I go to get my face out there and have a tendency to take a different perspective into the whole thing and end up making less friendly connections.  I may give out business cards galore but I end up making less friendly connections.  It took me a while to get out of that mindset.  I don’t thin I have.  I really hope I have because I’d rather make friends rather than connections.  That’s not to say I enjoy myself less.  It changes the tone of conversations as well as the people I spend more time talking to but I much prefer the conversations I have as a fan talking to other fans rather than talking shop.  I mean the best part of Wondercon this year was talking to Richard Starkings about things other than his book.  It was only once we started talking Scott Pilgrim and ther comics that I really started enjoying talking to the guy.

It’s interesting how much just changing the dynamic of a conversation that tiny amount can make it that much more fun.   I want to go as a fan but it’s important I get this thing done this time around.   But why am I excited for this show? Take a look at the guest list.

  1. Gail Simone.  One of my favorite people in comics.
  2. Jeff Smith.  I think I just got a Bone.  (Sorry It had to be done)
  3. Carla Speed McNeil.  Nominated for an Eisner for a damn good reason
  4. Craig Thompson.  Wrap myself in a warm blanket of great storytelling
  5. Evil Twin Comics.  Fred Van Lente and Crew.
  6. Fantagraphics.  If you don’t know Fantagraphics you are missing out on awesome products.
  7. Hero Initiative.  Another show means more donations.
  8. Mike Allred.  HE’S A MADMAN I TELL YOU!  Also a great guy.
  9. Oni Press.  More great Product.
  10. Periscope Studio.  Steve Lieber and crew.
  11. Top Shelf Productions

And these are just the ones I’m excited about seeing.  However if you have any questions you would like to ask to any of the guests join the forums and I’ll ask it if I can and have have answers for as many good questions as I can in next weeks column. You can also ask by just leaving a comment below although I’d prefer you join one of the best forums I’m a part of at the moment.

And with that we join in out regularly scheduled short review feature….

Geek Out of the Week

Comics

warlord1c

I know I pretty much guaranteed book of the week last week due to my fanboy love of all things Grell.  But really it didn’t surprise me that it was the best thing I read this week.  Not just because of fanboy Glee.  Really, it was because it was a damn good book.  Fantastically well written it starts out by spending the first half of the book introducing new characters who I am guessing will be the Point of View characters for the first arc.  The second half of the book then focuses on the titular character Travis Morgan and the new threat facing the kingdom of Shamballah from the Shadowlands on the fringes of Skataris.

The issue does a great job of summarizing who the characters are through quick conversations establishing who each character is.  You get the Orgin of warlord in one page and them bam!  There he is fighting a Griffon that attacks him and his pet Catwoman in his bedroom.  After a great well rendered fight it’s on to discovering that there is a new villain in the world and this one has a new kind of weapon to Skataris.  Who is the Golden God?  Who are these new characters.  I honestly can’t wait to find out.

I can’t let a review of the issue go buy without bringing up the art either.  It’s easily the best thing Joe Prado has produced in his career.  and seeing as how it’s one of those books that I’m an anal retentive douchebag about me complimenting the art is a big thing.  The pages are rendered in a way that is at once his own style but also very reminiscent of the Grell Pencils on the book n the days of Yore.  I was stunned by the quality he put into the book.  He’s a god artist but before now I never really looked at it as great and now, He’s a great damn artist.  Absolutely knocked it out of the park.  great designs, great finished product and you could see just how much working on the book means to him.  There si a love for the work you can actually see in the artwork and you can really tel just how passionate he is about the project.

Five Stars for being fantastic in every aspect of the craft and

0 Dry slaps for the same reason.

Gaming

so4_tlh_360boxart_160w

After finally getting a box that hasn’t died on me after a week I’ve finished the game.  And I can say this.  I will recommend it to anyone.  Great gameplay and a great storyline counters some bad voice acting in a couple of the characters.  The game has a great ending (One I’m playing through a couple more times to see all possibilities.  And because it’s an awesome game)  And the gameplay is fun and fresh every time through.  Complicated yet simple it’s a fantastic example of good game design and writing.  I am not disappointed and while this game was the series’ last hope for getting any money from me it made good and has brought me back to loving the great vast Star Ocean.

4 Stars out of five for great gameplay and story.

2 Dry Slaps for some of the Voice acting.

Next Week in Geek

  1. Air #8 – Another issue of one of the best written books on the stands.  I’d recommend this book and it’s easy to catch up with a cheap trade of the first issues and the extra low priced issue 7.
  2. DMZ #41 – Another month another issue of DMZ on the recommendation list.  Why?  Because this book really does get better with every story arc.
  3. Firebreather TP Vol. 02: All Best Heroes Are Orphans – Here is another chance to grab the first issues of the ongoing to jump abourd the fun train.  It’s fun, it’s well written, and your main character is half man half dragon.  How is that not awesome.
  4. X-Factor #42 – Peter David is knocking it out of the park again with these last few issues.  I can’t wait to see where it’s going and hope it keeps firing on all cylinders like it’s been the last few months.
  5. Rebels #3 – One of the big surprises for me this year.  I didn’t think anything of it but tried the first issue and got hooked.  The second issue was even better.  So I’m hoping the trend continues and that the book not only gets better but that Vril Dox is even more of a massive douchebag.

Well that wraps up the tenth edition of Irritating Archery, let me know what you think by leaving a comment below or joining the forums and saying hi. You can also follow me on Twitter as the Scion_Of_Mogo

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