Posts Tagged ‘San Diego Comic Con’

Back to Comic-Con

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Comic-Con 2012 v3.png

It’s back to Comic-Con this week. I have no appearances, no obligations; I even sent the revisions of “Stranded” to the editor before my departure, so it’s just a fun week soaking in the concentrated geekery of one hundred and fifty thousand of my spiritual friends. I don’t even know the schedule of the con yet; here’s to having fun.

I do have to say it’s getting ridiculous in size, though. Hotel rooms aren’t quite as bad to come by as Dragon*Con – which you need to order a year in advance, whereas Comic-Con opens up hotel rooms at more like six months – but the ticket procedure is crazy. If I wasn’t going as a professional, I wouldn’t be able to make it; I logged on as early as possible that morning and still failed to get a normal ticket. I don’t know how other people do it, but clearly, one hundred and fifty thousand of them do.

Still, the programming is great, the dealer’s room is awe-inspiring, and San Diego’s Gaslamp district is a wonderful place to hang out with friends for dinner (or even to retreat to with your laptop when inspiration strikes and the lines and crowds are getting a little too much to deal with in the Convention Center).

Here’s hoping the Comic-Con team can find a way to continue to offer this wonderful event!

-the Centaur

How Crazy is Comic-Con?

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

How crazy is Comic-Con registration? I logged on at 8:00am this morning to get in the waiting list and by the time I cleared the “waiting room” for the signup page (at 9:10ish) it was completely sold out. This is what I saw when it finally “let me in” to register:

I hate to do it, but I have to lay the blame squarely on Gmail. Comic-Con sent me a registration form, I clicked on the link at 8:00am, just like they told me to …

The wait is over! Comic-Con 2012 badges will go on sale at 8:00 a.m. PST on Saturday March 3rd, 2012. To access the EPIC online registration website, click the following link: (link deleted for security reasons)

The link kept timing out, as one might expect from an overloaded system, but after 5 or so minutes of click … timeout, click … timeout, I started to get suspicious.

But the problem wasn’t in the site … it was in something Gmail was doing to the URL. Clicking on it didn’t work; copying the link location didn’t work. Copying just the text and pasting it … got me in at 9:10AM.

Too late.

Ah, Gmail, can’t live without you, but every once in a while…

BANG! ZOOM! To the moon.

Oh well, here’s hoping I get in as a professional like I did the last two years … this year I have even more claim, I guess, as I have a second book out, appear in two more books, and am involved with Blitz Comics.

Crossing my fingers!

-the Centaur
Pictured: Lots of stuff. Fair use and whatnotparody, informative commentary, transformative and educational uses, and so forth.

Taking Criticism

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

At Comic-Con I catch up with a lot of old buddies, particularly one of the Edge who’s solidered through many drafts of my early stories.

He’s got a script he’s working on, and is making a lot of progress. In contrast we know a friend who’s written a dozen scripts and is making no progress at all. Why?

One of the conclusions we came to is that it’s important to accept criticism of your work. Timely feedback is critical to improved performance – but you must respond to it.

I think writers should put down all their dumb ideas and then convince everyone that they’re brilliant. Your quirky ideas are your contribution – I mean, who’d think a story about a naked blue guy and a homeless vigilante investigating a murder would make one of the greatest comics of all time, but hey, that’s Watchmen.

But you’ve got to sell those ideas. “Ideas are a dime a dozen, but a great implementation is priceless.” So if you show someone your story with a naked blue superhero and they don’t buy it – you have to fix your story.

That doesn’t mean you take out the naked blue guy, even if your critics want you to. It’s your story, and just because it doesn’t work for someone they may not know the right way to fix it. It’s up to you, the author, to figure out how to solve the problem.

Readers give bad advice about how to fix stories because people are notoriously bad at introspection. If someone gets a funny bad feeling about the manuscript, they may latch on to the most salient unusual feature – not realizing it’s the bad dialogue or structure which gives them indigestion.

But authors are also notoriously bad at accepting criticism because they take the criticism as a personal attack. But if you get criticism on your story, you’ve done a great thing: you’ve produced a story that can be evaluated.

Authors are also bad at accepting criticism because they have fragile little egos. But you can’t afford to explain everything away. If people are complaining about your story, they did so for a reason. You need to figure out what that is – and it’s your problem, not theirs.

So, if you get criticism on your story you don’t think is fair, you get one — ONE — chance to explain yourself. If your critic doesn’t immediately get it, then — even if you don’t agree — say, “Yes, thank you, I’ll take it under advisement.”

Then put it in your trip computer and remember it for later. If others see the same thing, you have a problem. If you personally start to feel even slightly the same way, you have a BIG problem.

But your biggest problem is not taking criticism at all. Me and my friend have encountered a fair number of leaders whose egos are so fragile they’ve insulated themselves from all criticism.

You can still achieve some degree of success in an echo chamber if you’re willing to critique yourself and you have high artistic standars. But usually it just makes for unnecessarily flawed stories, movies and products – and an unnecessary slide towards the dustbin when your ideas stop working.

So if you’re lucky enough to have someone who reads your pre-baked work and gives you feedback, listen carefully, explain at most once, and take the criticism gracefully. Your art will be the better for it in the long run.

taking criticism graciously

-the Centaur

Back at Comic-Con

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

the gateway to comic-con

I’m back at San Diego Comic-Con again … my con home away from con home (my con home being Dragon*Con). Comic-Con is also where I get to visit with 125,000 of my closest friends.

the crowds begin

Like Dragon*Con, San-Diego Comic-Con has grown far beyond its original roots. The
con is about far more than just comics: it’s now a full bore genre media event.

the convention floor

They’ve got sexy space girls …

star trek babes

… sexy space guys …

the 5th, 11th and 10th doctors

… and everything in between.

the total recall car and robots

And lest there be any doubt about what I meant, here’s what I took the closeup of in that last tableau … I am a roboticist after all:

the total recall robot

While I’m here, I’ll not just be renewing my creative juices … I’ll be working on the final proofs for BLOOD ROCK, which is due the day after I get back.

If only I had a way to get more time…wait, maybe I do!

me and the tardis

Wish me luck!
-the Centaur

A Funny Thing Happened Before My Trip To Comic-Con

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

Axually by the time you reads this am already atz the con now – but just befores I waz completely discombobulated from cats:

Anthony Last night our home was invaded by a quiet, timid but quite feral cat. 2 hours trying to locate the capture him – no dice, he was a wily fucker.

Then 3 hours cleaning the pee he left behind when he bolted out the door. Emailed that I wouldn’t be coming in and got to bed at 4:25am. Sheesh.

Donna OK…while I am sure that REALLY sucked, I have to admit I also am still laughing. Sorry that happened…Febreeze works well.

Anthony He’s an adorable little cat. He’s also a master of hiding (he tucked himself into the tiniest possible space in a bottom bookshelf) growls if approached closely and smells of pee. I think he’s been causing my other cats to spray. I’d be laughing too if the situation wasn’t so serious – just last night I lost two books, half a dozen magazines, some papers, and possibly an heirloom kitchen table I got from my grandmother to pee. The behavioral effects on our other cats are so severe one’s on Diazepram, the other’s on Prozac, and we’re thinking of getting rid of them. I’m locked out of my own library most of the time because we can’t let them get in there. I went out for coffee for an hour and a half and found the black cat on top of some clean laundry.

Donna Oh no!! I take it all back… No longer funny :( I hope it gets better!

Anthony There’s some small amount of funny, I admit it. When not gnashing my teeth, I like to remember that it’s better than a kick in the head with a golf shoe!

William Good lord! I think you need the Cat Whisperer.

Cortney Decoite O. My. That’s almost as bad, if not equal to, a burglar. My deepest sympathies.

John Have you ever tried a kick in the head with a golf shoe? It’s not so bad. My eyes are still crossed and I’m falling down a lot, but I don’t think it has anything to do with the kick to the head…

Iz funny in a lolcats trainrecks kind of way. Don’t worries, will not get rid of teh cats. But just catching the ups now. Response will be the slow, please be the patients.

-the Centaur

Ryan Reynolds Recites the Green Lantern Oath

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

From ComicsAlliance’s coverage of the San Diego Comic Con, here’s the star of the upcoming Green Lantern movie reciting the Green Lantern oath:

For those that need a reminder:

In brightest day, in blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil’s might,
Beware my power… Green Lantern’s light!

Yes, in case you’re wondering … I’m a fan.

the centaur as a medieval green lantern

-the Centaur

Comic-con @ an end again

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Some issues with lines but … not the zoo it was last year. Maybe I am better at navigating it; maybe they’re working out the kinks. Regardless, a great con this year – the highlights for me were the urban fantasy and ya panels and the bigscreen finale of Doctor Who.


Lines, lines and comicon

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

O.M.G. What a ridiculous mess.

Some people are nice. Some lines make sense. But more often it seems that the nicest people are stuck enforcing the stupidest rules, and the reasonable rules are enforced by people who literally go far out of their way to be total assholes. Geez!

With apologies to all the many hardsuffering comicon employees who try to be nice, if people would just let them.

Oh yeah…

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

… I’m at San Diego Comicon 2010:

san diego comicon 2010

Cool, eh? I’m not making any appearances or doing any signings, but I am soaking it all in and working hard on the draft of Dakota Frost Book 3, LIQUID FIRE.

-the Centaur

GDC 2010 Overview

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

gdc 2010 at moscone south

Every year I go to the Game Developers Conference to keep tabs on how artificial intelligence in games is developing. Each year I take copious notes. And each year I promise myself I’ll blog my notes online, and yet I never do.

Until now.

GDC 2010 seems smaller than GDC 2008, but it doesn’t feel wrong. In the past few years it’s been held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, taking up the massive Moscone West building and the North and South halls. I say 2008 because 2010 feels about the size of 2009, but where 2009 felt outsized, this year they’ve ditched Moscone West, filling out North and South “just right” for a smaller, saner, but still vibrant conference.

gdc 2010 show floor

The show floor is still massive, going on and on, filled with books and tools and technologies and games and career opportunities and just about anything you can imagine.

gdc 2010 show floor keeps going

And I mean just about anything. Steve Weibe? Really? No offense, but that seems more of an E3 or Comicon thing. Of course, maybe he’s super cool, but since I missed him at the booth it was just a bit jarring to see the machine there all by its lonesome.

gdc 2010 steve wiebe really

The South Hall held the AI Summit and many interesting talks. I’ll talk about the AI Summit, Starcraft, indie games, and future technologies (past and present) in a subsequent post.

gdc 2010 north entrance

But there is a whole other hall, where more talks are held. The AI Roundtables occurred here, as did talks on the Sims 3; I’ll fold these into the above posts.

gdc 2010 stairs down

But the thing that strikes me about the North Hall (other than the giant black hole of cell reception and borked wifi) is the churn of people going to talks, coming from talks, talking about IP and licenses and techniques and advances. Here, simply because of its physical layout you really can see the industry’s creative malestrom churning.

gdc 2010 make games

“I want YOU to make games.” Indeed.

-the Centaur