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Hi all,

And it’s time for my annual To-Do list. I know the year is half over but that doesn’t mean I don’t plan to make up for lost time. Anyway on to my list:

Work out a decent routine schedule for my writing, art and other projects.

Enter more writing contests

Purchase needed Art and Writing Supplies

Complete the first drafts for my scripts and other writing projects

Sell artwork on eBay

Self-Publish one of my stories

Register scripts, treatments and pitches with the Writers Guild

Make demo DVD of video projects

Burn Story Soundtrack CDs

Send writing samples to Comic con, Twitter and Facebook contacts

Attend Long Beach Comic Con

Host Crowdfunding page for a writing project

Go to the L.A. Zoo

Raise butterflies

Attend one writer’s group meeting.

Take a screenwriting class

——–

And that concludes my list, will report my status within the next few months as I check off my list.

Off to go celebrate my folks’ 34th anniversary.

See ya on Monday!

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Hey folks,

Before anyone asks, yes this post title is a reference to a line from a song… can’t remember which one though…

Anyway, things went great.

Attended the Vegas Valley comic book festival…

This event, a division of the annual Vegas Valley Book Festival is held every year in November at the Clark County library.

For those like myself who have attended Comic-Con in the past, this is a much smaller scale but offers just about the same schedule. There’s Artists’ Alley, Panels, Special guests and the like.

This year I met comicbook writer, Greg Rucka.

If anyone remembers the big Superman: World of New Krypton series published in 2009 by DC Comics, Greg was one of the main writers beyond that storyline which lasted for several months and issues.

Overall, he’s a nice guy and offered some great advice for writers starting out.

Another panel I attended was on how to write comicbooks.

Made me glad I got Final Draft which now features formatting for writing comic books.

Overall, I enjoyed myself.

Topped of the day with a steak dinner and seeing Lee Daniels.

I’ll admit this is one of the best films I have seen this year.

Coincidentally, it takes place within the same timeline of 42: The Jackie Robinson story.

Aside from that…

I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday…

Off to work on my entry for National Novel writing month…

See ya soon!

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Hey folks!

Well, it’s Monday… again.

Anyway, this Saturday was Free Comicbook day!

Since 2009, I’ve been attending Free Comicbook day. For those that don’t know what it is…here’s a quick history lesson.

Free Comicbook Day started in 2002.

Publishers such as DC and Marvel release special edition issues that are available for free at participating comicbook shops.

The event is open to the public and has comicbooks for all ages.

However, comicbooks aren’t the only things to see at participating shops during Free Comicbook Day. Artists both professional and local as well as celebrity guests meet with fans at certain comicbook shops. Guests like this will often do a sketch of a character or an autograph.

Either way, Free Comicbook Day is a great way for fans to talk about their favorite comicbook characters, writers and artists. For those that missed this year, try to plan for next year. Free Comicbook Day is on the first Saturday of May.

Great way to spend a weekend afternoon with family and friends.

I will be going back next year.

For those that think there’s no such thing as a free lunch, there are free comicbooks on the 1st Saturday of May.

See ya on Wednesday!

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Hey folks, It’s Monday and I have to say the Blacks in Hollywood event was… great!

The event was hosted by actor, Phil Morris from the TV series Love That Girl. Phil has also done other series such as Moesha and voice acting in various DC animated series such as Justice League and Legion of Superheroes. The Blacks in Hollywood featured screenings of Static Shock, I Spy and Mission Impossible. Static Shock was a series by late Comicbook and Animation writer Dwayne McDuffie who has written a large number of comics and scripts for animation.  He also founded Milestone Comics, which is a black owned and operated publishing company for comicbooks. Dwayne and a handful of other black artists and writers started the company, feeling that blacks weren’t properly represented in the Comicbook industry.

Blacks were not only represented that much in the comics but also starting out in Hollywood they had minor roles in movies. Hattie McDaniel was the first black actress to win an Oscar for best supporting actress for her role as Mammy in Gone with the Wind. During that time, guests of color who attended the awards sat in the back row of the auditorium. 70 years later, Mo’Nique won an Oscar in the same category for her supporting role in the movie Precious. Bruce W. Smith, an animator who created the Disney Animated series, The Proud Family and founded Jumbalaya Studios first animated hit was Bebe’s Kids.

Over the years many, black characters have been featured in animated films and television series. Black Lightning, one of DC Comic’s first African American heroes is one of them.  Three of his biggest appearances in animation have been Batman/Superman: Public Enemies, in the film he is voiced by Lavarr Burton who played Kunta Kinte in the 1970s mini series, Roots. Black Lightning’s second animated appearance is in the series Young Justice and is voiced by Khary Payton. His other appearance has been in two DC animated shorts titled ‘Under the Weather’ and ‘Clothes make the Hero’ with appearances by his daughters, Thunder and Lightning. Juice, a young superhero in the Justice League Unlimited episode ‘Ultimatum’ is loosely based on Black Lightning. In a DC comics based skit on Saturday Night Live, Black Lightning was played black comedian and actor, Tracy Morgan. Other African American  superheroes from DC Comics have appeared in animation including Static, Shebang, Bumblebee and Rubberband Man. Bumblebee is DC Comics first female African American heroine. Rubberband Man was originally a villain in the Static Shock series, however after being released from prison he turned over a new leaf and became a superhero and friend of Static. His name may be based on the hit song, Rubberband Man. Other successful black television series are Sister, Sister, The Cosby Show, Everybody Hates Chris, The Parkers, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Good Times, Sanford & Son, What’s Happenin’?! The Steve Harvey Show, The Jamie Foxx Show and Family Matters just to name a few. There’s also black owned and operated tv channels, BET, TV One and Centric.  Either way, Blacks have a long history in Hollywood and that history continues. There is now a writer’s guild for Blacks as well as film festivals and writing contests which mainly focus on films and stories featuring characters of the same race. The NAACP awards, a sort of Golden Globes  and Academy Awards show for blacks, has given recognition to people of color in television and film. Overall, the Blacks in Hollywood event was worth attending. In 2010, there was a panel at Comic-Con for blacks in the film, tv and comicbook industries. I missed it but if there’s another one this year, I’m making sure I grab a seat and recommend those attending do the same. In the meantime, here’s some photos and screenshots of Hattie McDaniel, a few of DC Comics’ black superheroes and The Proud Family.

See ya on Wednesday and stay Black people!
 Hattie McDaniel

Static

Black Lightning.

Shebang

Rubberband Man
Bumblebee

 The Proud Family.

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Hi folks!

It’s the first monday of November.

Still getting used to the time change.

Aside from that, I had a great weekend.

The Vegas Valley Book Festival was one of the biggest highlights.

One of their most popular events is the comicbook festival.

There are movies, panels, artist alley and of course comicbooks at various booths from many comic book shops in Las Vegas.

Every year dozens of comicbook fans, young and old and of various nationalities show up for this one day event.

This marks the 6th year anniversary for the festival. Guests include Award Winning Comicbook artist, Dan Parsons and author and business consultant, Rob Salkowitz. I met both after their panels and it was great to talk about comics and the industry. Prior to that I spoke with a fan by the name of Brian who had been collecting comics for years! The topic of the day was the news of Disney acquiring Lucasfilms for $4 billion.

The conversation was pretty much on the comicbook and movie industries. Disney buying Pixar, then Marvel and some of the movie adaptations of popular DC and Marvel comics that have been released in the last 5-6 years.

Dan Parsons’ panel, The Anatomy of a Comicbook, focused on how an artist puts together the pages of a comicbook. From thumbnail to sketch and the final process, ink and color. It was very informative.

Rob Salkowitz’s panel, Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture was another interesting panel. He explained the history of San Diego Comic-Con and the industry as a whole.

At one point, comicbook fans were few and far between, now comicbook fans from all over the world travel to San Diego every summer for 4 days of comicbooks, movies, TV shows and video games. In 2010 alone, which was the first time I went, there were 148,000 in attendance!

In many cases, comics and animation were (and are still) considered ‘kid stuff’ by various critics. However, there’s always been a large audience for comics and animation. Two years ago, when Toy Story 3 opened in theaters, not only did it introduce some Disney and Pixar’s classic characters to a new generation, but fans of the first two films were among those standing in line at the local cinema.

I remember in 4th grade being called a geek. At first, I took it as an insult then I learned everything that I heard described a geek was actually a stereotype. As it turned out, I learned geeks and nerds are intelligent, hardworking, creative and friendly people. They educate themselves and love to talk about their interests, something I can honestly say I enjoy.

Overall, this was one of the best weekends I’ve had so far in November and I look forward to doing other things this fall. Will post updates of how things go.

See ya on Wednesday!

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Hey folks,

It’s the monday after Free Comicbook and I have to say, this year the shop wasn’t as packed as it normally is.

Got several Free Comicbooks including some leftovers which I’m happy to give away to those who missed out.

But anyway just a brief history.

Established in 2002, Free Comicbook Day was started by both Comicbook publishers and the stores that distribute them. Each year, DC Comics, Marvel, Bongo, Archie and other comicbook companies publish special edition issues for this day. These issues are offered at participating stores in both the U.S. and abroad. Still, it’s not all about free comics, some stores have raffles and other freebies, stores in Los Angeles often have guests such as Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee and many others well-known in the Comicbook industry. Some may do autographs or free sketches.

Those who attendee range from people who have never picked up a comicbook to readers and collectors who have been fans for years. There’s also a mixture of young and old and people of various nationalities who read comicbooks.

Well that’s the history of free comicbook day, now here’s some of mine and some general comicbook info:

I started out reading Comicbooks at the age of 13. My first comicbook was Archie, from the moment I started reading I could put it down. I read this particular issue quite a few times and later started by the double digests on a regular basis. Overtime I got into other comics as well such  Looney Tunes(DC Comics), Toy Story & other Pixar series(Boom! Studio) and Simpsons(Bongo).

I’ve found comicbooks to be fun to read, they’re mostly short stories but many have kept me turning page after page. Some comics feature a single storyline, others may have multiple stories or are part of a series that expand over several issues.

Mini series are usually storylines that can be 6 to 10 issues long. Some mini series storylines cross over into other comics. These are often minor stories with supporting characters getting spotlight moments they wouldn’t normally have in a regular issue. Most times these stories are part of a subplot, a recap from a previous issue or a back- story with certain characters. Then there are issues that are more like guidebooks containing information about characters, locations and the like.

Then there’s Graphic Novels. Graphic novels aren’t all that different from comicbooks. Graphic novels are often a series that has been collected in chronological order and bound in a hardcover or paperback book. Some graphic novels do feature stories that are separate from regular issues or a mini series. Many times, graphic novels will have, in movie terms, bonus features. Bonus features include the following, commentary from the artists and writers, sketches, alternate covers or a collectible of some sort, such as a poster.

If a mini series is a best seller, writers will do a spin-off series or if a certain character is popular, he or she may get their own series.

Many writers have also done adaptations or comic series based on movie or television show. Since the 1990s, DC Comics has done just that with their Looney Tunes series.

With over 200+ issues printed, this series features the classic characters in new stories but still has the same old slapstick comedy seen in many episodes.

——–

I’ve been a comicbook fan since I read my first Archie comicbook in 2004, since then I’ve read comics as well as watch television specials on comicbooks and have read different articles about the industry, I’ve attended comicbook related events including Comic-Con in San Diego.

Some comicbook readers stop reading after a certain age, others continue reading and collecting comics throughout high school and after graduating college.

I hope to publish my own graphic novels or comicbook mini series, one of these days.

Aside from that, I listed to a teleconference which lasted for 2 and half hours but was well worth it.

And that’s it for now…

See ya on Wednesday!

 

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Hey folks, with this being the last day of Black history month, I thought I’d close it with talking about two of my favorite people in the film and TV industry, Dwayne McDuffie and Bruce W. Smith.

Dwayne McDuffie, is an African American comicbook and screenwriter. He’s written a number of comics for Marvel, DC comics and Archie comics and has written and produced the popular animated series Justice League Unlimited and his own animated series, Static Shock, based on the teen African-American hero, Static. The series which ran for four seasons, was inspired by many of the comics featuring the character, Virgil Orvid Hawkins who is also the hero, Static. Dwayne also co-founded, Milestone Media, a pioneering comicbook company started by Black artists and writers, who believed African Americans were underrepresented in comicbooks and the goal was for Milestone Media was an attempt to help the imbalance. The company did open the door for many artists and writers who had been turned down by other comicbook publishers. One of them being, African-American comicbook artist, Jamal Ingle who later worked on DC titles including, Action Comics, Superman and Supergirl. In the Static Shock series, Virgil is a fan of another hero, Black Lightning, who is also one of the first African-American comicbook heroes. Although Black Lightning never made an official appearence in an episode, the hero, simply called “Juice” was based on Black Lightning, Juice appeared in the episode of Justice League Unlimited titled “Ultimatum”. Dwayne was nominated three times for an Eisner Award for his work in comicbooks and was given an award by the animation writers caucus division of the Writer’s Guild of America(West Coast branch). In 2009, he won an Inkpot award at the San Diego Comic-Con. Although it’s been a year since Dwayne passed he’s still one of my favorite screenwriters. I saw him in person in 2006 but was unable to speak with him. I did however contact him on Facebook prior to his death last February. Nice guy.

Bruce W. Smith is an African American character  animator, film director and TV producer. Despite being one of the few black animators working in the industry, Bruce’s credits including directing his first animated feature film, Bebe’s Kids and co-directed the animated scenes in the film, Space Jam. Bruce also created the hit Disney series, The Proud Family which ran for five seasons. The series was the first line of work from his production company, Jumbalaya Studios.Bruce’s goal was to introduce characters of different ethnic backgrounds to animation.

I also have the same thing in mind with my own characters and stories and hope to share them one day.

Though Static and Black Lightning aren’t the only black characters that have appeared in comicbooks and television. Others include: Chuck and Nancy(Archie Comics), Nam-Ek(Smallville, Season 5, 2005),  to add more diversity to the series, Smallville’s version of Clark’s friend and classmate, Pete Ross is African-American.  At one point, there was a black version of Superman and Supergirl.

Going back off-topic for a moment.

Richard Pryor opened the doors for many black comedians, including Bill Cosby, Chris Rock and many others. Both Richard Pryor and Flip Wilson had their own weekly TV series.

Don Cornelius was the first African-American to who produced, created and owned his own television series which was the long-running hit, Soul Train.

As for any remaining Black History month projects. I have few in mind. Including a personal essay/memoir titled Rootz which explains my decade long research on my heritage and in sense, ‘finding myself’ and other projects.

Stay tuned for details and updates!

Rather than close with my usual see ya I decided to take a different route…

Stay black!

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