Busy Busy – Appearances Galore!

The next few weeks will be chock full of appearances for me. So, y’know, come say hello.

Appearances as follow:

April 23rd – Long Beach Comic Con – Fan Expo – 11am – TOP COW NOIR – Alongside Filip Sablik and Marc Bernardin – Afterwards, you’ll likely find me with artist Tony Fleecs shaking hands and kissing babies.

April 27th – Brave New World Comics – 5pm – 9pm – ECHOES #5 Release Signing

April 29th – May 1st – Anaheim Comic-Con – Artist Alley Table – Come Find Me!

May 7th – Collector’s Paradise - 11am – 2:30pm – SIGNING

May 7th – Meltdown Comics - 4:00pm – CHAMBERLAIN/FIALKOV – Graphic Noir Panel

Take Five – On Downtime

A couple weeks back I was writing about my work load and how much work I was getting done and all of that noise.  Well, that pace hasn’t really let up, and combined with a baby seemingly grown past the need for sleep, it’s been a fuck of a week.  I found myself throughout most of my work days staring at the screen, or reading articles or twitter, or, happily distracted by all the great submissions for my new column over at iFanboy.

So today (not counting right now), I took the day off.  Tomorrow? Same thing.  Recharging is key.  Now, again, to go back to things previously said, this is my full time job.  This is what I spend virtually every waking hour doing.  Ergo, I get free time.  You, with your day job and your few hours a day to work?  You don’t get this.  I mean, you can have it, if you want, but, it’s a tradeoff.  You’re giving up a day of writing, a day of getting better, a day of getting a tiny bit closer to not needing that job.  If that’s cool with you, then, more power to you.  But me?  Even where I am now, low as it may be, still makes it seem like an impossibility to actually take a full day off.  Again, please, note, on this my ‘day off’ I’ve already done a notes phone call, approved art, and y’know, wrote this thing that you’re reading now.

This is getting a bit meta for me.

This is not profound.  This is not something you’ll jump up and down with eureka-filled glee.

Just remember, that creating requires a functioning mind, whatever that means, and that a healthy mind is a relaxed mind.  So tell your problems, worries, and concerns to go fuck themselves, and have a great weekend.

Shoplifting

“Writing is like shoplifting.  You’re constantly trying to get away with bigger and bigger things and not get caught.”

I spent about 14 hours total in the car this weekend with ace writer/editor Rob Levin (theroblevin.wordpress.com/) talking about, well, that.  Rob and I have been working together for around five years now.  He was the guy who brought me into Top Cow, editing both Cyblade and Alibi, and then came on board TUMOR when it became clear we needed a grown up involved to get the book done.

The conversation we had was about pushing yourself, and how easy it is not to.  How every project needs to push off from where you left off, and you need constantly be challenging yourself.  But, it also comes from a sense of self-loathing.  At almost every minute when I’m writing (or immediately after when I’ve submitted my script to the editor or the artist or my friends for notes and thoughts) is asking whether I get away with what I’m doing.  If the constructed reality of the story stands up to scrutiny because, y’see, I see the stitches.  I see the places where I took shortcuts, got lazy, forced it out, left it to fix ‘later’ etc.  I did something that I find morally wrong from a creative stand point.  And the feedback?  That tells you if you make it past mall security or get tackled and beat up in the back hallways.

But, with that, comes something else.  So, if you constantly feel like you made it by some miraculous twist of fate, how in god’s name do you sell yourself or your work?  Well, that’s the other thing that’s important.  Compartmentalizing.  When I’m sitting here alone, writing, and listening to the Pixies, I hate myself and every word I ever wrote.  When I tweet or do interviews or go to shows all of that HAS TO go away.  I go from hating myself to being Mr. I Can Get It Done.  You have to instill confidence in your editors and fans equally.  You need to show off that you know what you’re doing and that you’re going to do an amazing job.

Now, if you actually BELIEVE that, there might be a problem.  There’s very little more terrifying than being told, “Great, get scripting.”  Because you just started all over again, back at the beginning and facing off with trying to get that hardcover past that tall nerdy guy with bad skin and a B. Dalton Booksellers tie standing by the door.

Maybe that’s just me, though.