Saturday, July 14, 2012

Comic Con and the Pigs of Uranus

Saturday at Comic Con was even more crowded than Friday -  at one point we spent an hour in line and eventually realized that at the rate the line was getting in to the ballroom, we would enter just as Family Guy came up, which was such a horrific thought that we left the line and went to the exhibition hall instead.

We did see a How To on Proper Pitching and Promoting Yourself, which was excellently attended and equally excellently hosted by Professor Bryan Tillman. I felt better connected already by the end of the hour.  The main thing, he said, was to know your product (if your product is yourself, you should know yourself), and have an answer for any question about your product that can be thrown at you - if you don't know the answer, make it up on the spot, fast. But don't make up something you can't live with. And network, network, network.

There was a change in programming and another How To - The Art of Writing with Gregg Hurwitz - was also held on Saturday afternoon. Gregg writes Batman comics, film scripts, TV scripts and novels. Not surprisingly, in order to accomplish all that, he has a work ethic that I couldn't possibly emulate, working (as in working on a word processor) from 7 am to 5 pm every day. He had a number of tips - like what to do about "notes", the slips film and TV actors/directors/producers send to writers telling them the script isn't working for them. He said that the trick was to ignore what the note said, as it was probably wrong, and find out where the error in the script actually was. For instance if a director says that he got bored on page 50, it's quite likely the problem in the script that led to the loss of interest was much earlier. Gregg also said you should learn to steer a course  between responding to every note, which would mean becoming a pushover, and ignoring everything, which would mean getting a reputation as difficult or egocentric.

gilbert shelton signing
Gilbert Shelton meets my nose and signs my book. Photo by STB.

Then I got to attend a great hour and a half with one of my  heroes, Gilbert Shelton, the creator of Wonder Warthog, and follow it up with a trip to the Last Gasp booth in the exhibition to get my copy of the complete Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers book signed by him. I told Mr. Shelton that one of my happiest moments was first hearing the Pink Fairies song Pigs of Uranus, from What a Bunch of Sweeties. I asked him if they'd collaborated or if he'd been ripped off. "Well, they asked my permission," he said. "I don't know what it sounds like."

He's never heard Pigs of Uranus? "Well," I said, "You'd probably like it - it's very Texan. It's a Country song, odd though that might be from a bunch of Englishmen."

I have to say that Last Gasp Books have an incredible catalog. (Although the Gilbert Shelton book was on their table, it's produced by Knockabout, an English publisher. He has no current US publisher.) I couldn't afford many more of their books, but they had the complete set of Tintin and a huge number of fine art books. 

Then STB and I went for a bucket of chimichangas and enchiladas, served by the merry Karen, wreathed in smiles, at the Whatsis Mexican restaurant in Old Town, and thence to bed. 

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