Archive for the ‘Conventions and Other Appearances’ Category

It was a spur of the moment decision, but the minute I found out that Buhl Public Library was hosting a few workshops on independent publishing and then a book signing, I decided I wanted to be one of the participating authors. We ended up getting a better weekend October 7 and 8 than I had originally expected.

First off, due to the unexpectedly quick shipping of my husband Bernie’s book, When Halloween Was Green, I had a special someone doing his first ever book signing at my table. It was fun sharing the table with him, and we both did pretty well sales-wise, especially considering- as fellow scribe G.S. Wright put it- people generally don’t go to libraries to buy books.

We also broke in the new camper, a Flagstaff hard-side popup trailer, at Banbury Hot Springs. Despite the rough start setting up, we enjoyed getting to commune a little with nature while also quite able to sleep warm and comfortably. The pool was a little tame compared to my favorite hot springs, but I found out quickly which spouts supplied the hot water and made myself at home there. I was especially delighted to participate in an aqua yoga class offered there. Should we be in the Buhl area again, I would be happy to stay there again or maybe at nearby Miracle Hot Springs.

The next weekend, the family went down to Sandy, Utah for its  first annual Halloween Expo. Bernie sold about a gajillion books there. My books didn’t go over quite as well, but it makes sense. My contribution to horror literature is quite modest, military history comics being more my specialty. On the other hand, Bernie’s book is all about Halloween. We had a lot of fun spreading some Halloween chills and cheer, and Bernie even mentioned the possibility of us returning.

However, Halloween’s still yet to come, and there’s an abundance of events to come with it. I’m looking forward to Trick or Treat Street at Snake River Landing in Idaho Falls, October 24.

Salt Lake City’s convention scene is getting so big, I’m going to restrict myself to listing five or so highlights in no particular order.

5. Hugs and kisses from Tuxedo Mask- or at least a six month old baby cosplaying as him. And then he gummed on my nose.

4. The Ostrich Chews! That’s what my daughter and her friend decided to call themselves to show solidarity with Osric Chau, who was plagued by people constantly mispronouncing his name. As if they couldn’t fall back on calling him “Kevin from Supernatural.” At any rate, he appreciated the Haikyu cosplay the kids did and found the Burger King crown our Kageyama “King of the Court” Tobio wore amusing. The kids then gave it to him, signed “from the Ostrich Chews.” Much to their delight, he wore that onstage while judging the cosplay contest. He also signed an autograph for my daughter

“to Ostrich Chew.”

3. Kylo Ren does indeed have some good in him! He supports our troops! I should say in the interest of full disclosure that the man wearing the mask here is not Adam Driver. I don’t mind. While Adam Driver does terrific work for our troops with Arts in the Armed Forces, and I’d love to see him in a convention soon, the 501st Alpine Garrison (bad guys doing good!) also does some amazing work raising money for charities like the Peter Mahew Foundation, and they’re terrific about supporting our troops as well.
12885933_10206101478357497_4142173062083044478_oHere we are with a copy of Untold Stories from Iraq and Afghanistan.

2. The troops themselves! As you can guess by item number five, I quite enjoy meeting the fans. Given that most of the books on which I’ve worked are military comics, it’s no surprise that most of the fans I get are veterans or active duty troops. I appreciate them about as much, otherwise I wouldn’t do what I do, which in this case included giving away a lot of books. Nearly a third of the books that left my table went free to active duty troops. (And yes, I checked military IDs).

1. Spaceman germs! Yes, like the Ostrich Chews, that became an ongoing gag throughout the convention as my family met this guy in the middle…995369_10154120821245159_9070120054376656053_n…and my canine companion Marshall decided (with my permission of course), to give Mr. Aldrin a thorough slobbering. A lady running a table near mine decided this means that my dog’s carrying “spaceman germs.”

.5 because Why Not? Much to the amusement of a group posing for pictures in front of my table, I waited for them to get a couple of good shots, then photobombed them while brandishing a copy of Why Not? #2(ish).

And now I promised word of an upcoming convention. Yes, just a few weeks after Ontario, Oregon’s Bordertown convention, the comic book creators of Idaho and eastern Oregon have decided we all can’t really get enough of each other and need to hang out again this weekend. The College of Western Idaho is hosting its first convention on the Nampa, Idaho campus at the Micron Center for Technological Education April 2. It also just so happens to be the weekend when Tiger on the Storm #2 will be officially released, so I’m going to be there with yet another book to sign!

An epic five day adventure launched on Wednesday, April 16 as my canine lifeline Marshall and I pulled into Salt Lake City’s Salt Palace Convention Center with boxes of books and giveaway items. This was Marshall’s first trip to any city bigger than Boise. In fact, he experienced a number of firsts- first ride in an elevator, first stay in a hotel, first visit to a nightclub, and- of course- his first comic book convention. I like to think he did pretty well, although he did not like the Dr. Strange we met in the lobby, but more on that later.

The convention itself started on the 17th with a minor misadventure. My table’s original location- which was okay at unloading the previous day- had been so thoroughly blocked off on both sides, the only way in or out would have been to move the table. With my issues and my tablemates including a dog and a fellow writer who’s been through a lot worse than me, I found the sudden lack of access disconcerting. Thankfully, the convention staff very graciously helped me relocate to a table in a less crowded, more accessible aisle. I’m also thankful to Jeff Balke, who suggested I not settle for an inaccessible table.

My friend Tammy Godfrey arrived with her own books, and that’s when the fun really began. Her books cater to a demographic I have to admit I’ve pretty consistently neglected- the romance fan. Welcome to Jade’s Inn is a paranormal romance for people who think that, as James Marsters wrote in the autograph he gave Tammy, “Edward has no taste.” Tammy also drew from her many years as a veteran and a military wife in writing Combat Boots and Mistletoe, part of the proceeds from which go to Toys for Tots. Thanks to her, I could safely say that our table’s literary selection, with its superheroes, spies, zombies, vampires, military romance, and nonfiction war stories, had something for everybody.

We also provided a variety of giveaway items. Tammy brought book lights. I handed out post cards promoting a variety of comic book creators, cosplayers, and other creative types. Most importantly, of the few hundred wristbands, stickers, and such we had to raise awareness on behalf of POW Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, I returned with only one.

paulbradford
The wristbands proved especially popular, sported by the likes of Paul Bradford from Ghost Hunters International, Steve Gonsalves, Marina Sirtis, Kelly Hu, Ed McGuinness and Dexter Vines (who were also kind enough to sign all my copies of Amazing X-Men), Spencer Douglas (who drew a silly piece inspired by Marshall’s apparent dislike for Dr. Strange), Peter David, Shelby Robertson (from whom I got a beautiful Nightcrawler print), and many more, including the Unstoppable Feet Jensen.

Of course no convention recap is complete without cosplay pictures. Here’s a sample of who came to visit Tammy and me. Some of them even showed support for our books.

capnbucky crawler docock ghostbusters greatestchromeandtwitter

 

The beautiful thing about having a table at a convention is I’ve got a forum in which I can directly and personally promote causes that mean a lot to me to hundreds or maybe even thousands. And if I lose my voice, I can still raise awareness about the plight of POW and my fellow Idahoan Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl by handing out bracelets or buttons.

Drop by table X-6 at Salt Lake Comic Con Fan XPerience April 17-19 so you can join me in making a statement for Bowe and for all our troops.

via Bowe Packs: Sample Photos.

With all the book reviews and some news of my own books, I figure it’s about time I wrote about something in the “conventions and appearances” category.

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Think of a comic book convention with this lineup, including also David Wohl, Frank Mastromauro, and Vince Hernandez. Think of it with free admission. Now think of it all going down at a Dave & Buster’s. That’s Phat Con for you, coming January 18 to the Dave & Buster’s at 20 City Blvd W, Ste G1, Orange, California.

I’m sad to report that due to the working stiff gig I still keep, I will not be able to attend. Those of you who can be there, please be sure to have extra fun on my behalf, then get ready for Salt Lake Comic Con Fan X-Perience.

The inaugural Salt Lake Comic Con last September was one for the record books, it being the fourth biggest comic convention in North America, the biggest first year comic book convention on the continent, and the biggest convention of any kind in the state of Utah. Taking all this into consideration, I expect the Salt Palace Convention Center to be packed yet again April 17-19 for Fan X-Perience.

Guests- far too numerous for me to name individually- include cast members from Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Walking Dead, Boondock Saints, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, X-Men 2, the Fantastic Four, and more. Word is we’ll have a Power Ranger, a Ghostbuster, and a Monkee there, too. And we cannot forget the reason why I’ve got a goofy orange striped crocheted hat with ear flaps, Adam Baldwin. Comic book professionals scheduled to attend include Bob Layton, Jamie Tyndall, Ryan Ottley, Terry Huddleston, and yours truly, among many others.

Yes, I will be there with copies of all my books ready to sell and sign, and, as always, all the proceeds from the sale of Untold Stories from Iraq and Afghanistan will go exclusively to veterans’ charities.

So again, have fun at Phat Con for me, and I hope to see you April in Salt Lake City.