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How to survive Rhode Island Comic Con

How to Survive Rhode Island Comic Con

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With Rhode Island Comic Con now just hours away, here are some helpful hints on surviving a convention:

1. Park at the Providence Place Mall and walk over. Sure there’s parking at Providence Convention Center but why pay $15 when you can pay less for the same amount of time. The Mall is where the food’s at and it’s linked to the Convention Center by a skybridge.

2. Check ‘n’ charge your electronics now and bring back up batteries/cards/charging wires. There isn’t a Best Buy for miles but there are several wireless carrier stores, an Apple Store and a CVS in the mall. If you’re bringing a DSLR with you bring extra cards and batteries because there probably won’t be charging stations.

3. ATMS: Get the money before you leave the house. There tend to be two long lines at conventions: Starbucks and ATMs. Guess which ATM is gonna run out of money first? Right, the one at the con not at your local Walgreens.

4. Comfortable shoes and clothes. Check the weather forecast before you leave, walking around in bundled up clothes in a tightly packed space with a lot of people things tend to get hot and you really don’t want to be dragging a heavy coat around five minutes after you just walked through the door.

5. Generally this where I’d say to have a back up panel but RICC is only 4 years old and the panels are light.

6. Yes, the food is expensive inside the Convention Center, walk back over to the Mall and buy it there. For the ragging Providence Place Mall gets, the restaurants like Dave & Busters are great places to eat at.

6a. Stay hydrated. Get a 24 oz water bottle at the corner store and just refill it for the entire weekend.

7. Download the Rhode Island Comic Con app. Make sure to spell out the full name. It includes maps and a locations of such important things like the bathrooms.

8. Remember to check out Artist Alley for up and coming artists. You never know what you may find.

9. Twitter hashtags of #ricc #ricc2015 #ricomiccon and #rhodeislandcomiccon are probably best to watch just in case. It’s the only way the dealers found out the fire marshals had closed the doors last year since no announcements were made to the con floor.

10. Remember to ask the cosplayers for their pictures and say thank you. I’d point you to the anti-harmashment policy for RICC but I don’t know if they have one.

11. Otherwise, enjoy yourselves and hopefully Altered Reality Entertainment has learned from last year’s mistakes.

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[Con Report] Rhode Island Comic Con 2014

me at booth lighter

(Image taken by Matthew Graves)

The third annual Rhode Island Comic Con happened last weekend at the Rhode Island Convention Center.

I missed the first year, attended the second as a fan and was a dealer at the third and I wish I could recommend it to my friends to make it an annual event. It’s got everything: comic books, movies, artists, authors and tv/movie stars as guests!
Scooby Doos
Nerd Prom in my backyard! And there’s no airline tickets or hotel fees to contend with! You just drive up and walk right in, right?

Not exactly.

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[Plotting About] Some #writing links

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I went to a few writing panels at Emerald City Comic Con and found most of them to be helpful.

Below is a list of links that were brought up at the con as well as the recent Rhody Writers Group Meet Up.

Writer’s Digest Classes
Gotham Writing Classes
Matthew Keefer’s novel
Association of Rhode Island Authors
Romance Writers of America Conference
RI Romance Writers
Ocean State Summer Writing Conference
Writer’s Digest Conference 2014
Miss Snark
Helping Writers Become Authors
Netgalley
Edelweiss
Patreon
Greenerside digital
Story cartel
Trello
48hrs books
Gumroad
Amazon advantage
Createspace
Breadpig
Fresh books

And more links at Hallowed Ink Press‘s Helpful link page.

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[#eccc] Seattle, Emerald City Comic Con and Browncoat Cosplay: Jayne Cobb

With Emerald City Comic Con now a week ago in the rear view mirror: How did it go?

Extremely well.

Emerald City Comic Con (ECCC) continues to grow just as it’s host city does. The convention now taking over the convention center, parts of the Sheraton and a few buildings across the road. It even has it’s own mobile app.

This year the ID badges were mailed out. A week before the con some of us worried but a day later the badges arrived. Minus the lanyards. This was easily fixable since I have several lanyards left over from previous conventions and I mixed and matched a SDCC plastic holder with my Browncoat lanyard.

I decided to leave earlier this year and took the morning non-stop out of Boston which worked out and aside from some turbulence, it landed on time and so did my cosplay pieces via USPS. I’ve found getting to the host city a day early and leaving a day late let’s you acclimate better in the end.

Unlike SDCC, I decided to go as Firefly’s Jayne Cobb this year and that meant only a few changes: different gun+pants and hat.

One swing through Etsy for the gun from QEProps and thankfully my mother can knit and thus we get:

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 3.42.44 PM

The pirate cosplayers showed up just in time and hence we use the line from Serenity: Let’s be bad guys. I may tweak the costume a bit: gloves and a different belt maybe. The gun thankfully fit in the Mal Reynolds holster and not in the Blackhawk Omega VI Universal Holster I had bought. It still works. Even got a good compliment from a Colonial Marine cosplayer about the use of the Public Relations shirt.

Total cost: Not nearly expensive as Mal Reynolds due to no boots or jacket.

This year I focused on the writing panels and was happy to find several panels each day. So much so, leaving Room 309 or 2AB wasn’t needed. This also meant less pictures as you can see from my Flickr page.

A separate post of writing links will be going up soon.

The downside to trying to shove so many panels into rooms was the attendance in tiny 309 meant people queued up while 2AB/3AB were too big until someone closed half the room.

The idea of having the University Bookstore in 310 for signings was great idea in theory.

The slight problem: the authors were all the way and hell an’gone in TCCC 3.

If the authors and the University Bookstore were together in the same row it would’ve worked.

I came prepared to get John Scalzi signature. Bought The Human Division paperback. The people in front of me weren’t so lucky.

The EMP Museum table was great to see.

Their TARDIS photo op was a great idea.

I feel they or anyone else with an iconic prop could take it to the next level like the 501st Legion does and get quality Doctor Who cosplayers with Daleks or some sort of different prop with a backdrop and bang instead memorable moment for the kids.

And find another spot, if TCCC 3 is going to be as cramped next year then put the photo op booths closer to the con or devote an entire largish room to photo ops. If Seattle Space Needle can take a photo of you and give you a card to find it on line then so can we.

The writing panels ranged from legal advice to freelancing to producing a book on a budget. For the most part the panels and their speakers stayed on topic.

Except for the times a moderator didn’t arrive and the speakers needed to be bearded back to the topic.

One of the many reasons I like ECCC is the fact the crowd situation hasn’t reached SDCC levels of hilarity. The amount of people sitting around and not getting asked not to loiter was nice to see.

Unfortunately, the lack of benches and in areas along with the 6th Floor tables and chairs disappearing was missed.

The t-shirts for this year went fast, any Seattle themed shirt was close to being sold out. SDCC embraced pre-ording shirts last year and besides the queue to get them, the pre-ordering worked. Hopefully, ECCC will do pre-order next year. It would solve so many problems.

The photograph backgrounds continued to be the high point. The official ECCC photographer was a welcomed sight.

I decided to hit up The Terminator Q&A with Michael Bein with my brother at Cinearama and found the movie theater and it’s chocolate popcorn to be highly enjoyable. The use of moderator and the trailers for Bein’s new grindhouse movies he producing with his wife less so. The movie was 30 years old and at least a half dozen people saw it when it came out.

Overall, the con was highly enjoyable and I’ll be coming back next year.

Now, I just need to figure out if I want to add another costume to the ensemble. I’m thinking Ten or Four or Captain Jack.

Spent the next few days in Seattle. It was fun going from West Seattle to Bainbridge Island to the Chihuly Museum.

Photos will be posted to the Flickr account in a week or so…

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[Plotting About] March 2014 / Week 3 / Weaver / Chapter 11

shouldbewriting19

(h/t to Jen Basile for posting the icon)

My unofficial deadline for Weaver was yesterday.

But as you can see from the count o’meter we’re getting close to the 1/3 mark.

The Where Weavers Daire K BAR count is:

Chapter 11 and onward is good news since the chapters are already written.

Chapter 12 is getting a slight re-write but otherwise it’ll be subtle tweaks from here on in.

Went to a meeting of the Association of Rhode Island Authors. Was nice to do some networking.

Anyone listening to my social feeds next week will see an uptick in pictures and posts from Emerald City Comic Con, Seattle and a lovely four legged golden named Clover.

The East Coast getting one more snow storm before I leave feels like Nelson Muntz laughing. Damn you, Smarch weather.

I decided to cosplay as Jayne Cobb this year. It’s easier than Mal Reynolds since there is less to ship. 🙂

Thankfully the Jayne pistol made by QE Props fits into my Mal holster.

One of the essential items was finished up by my mom:

hat3

At this rate I may need to wear it to the airport…

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So begins the planning for SDCC ’11. . .

Well, for those just joining us, here’s how things stand for those who did not manage to get any tickets for SDCC 2011:

SDCC is currently not selling tickets due to the server strain that couldn’t withstand two attempts by Nerd Prom attendees. So, after losing their attempt to free the tickets from the clutches of the Evil Empire, the Nerds have now positioned their rag tag fleet around the small moon of Endor.

Judging from this page, they’re decided to spread out the tickets between 2 vendors and try a test run on Wednesday. The #sdcc tag on Twitter is going to be a lovely place to watch the fireworks just as it was for the great Hotel Fubar of 2010.

On the personal front: my time off from work has been approved and where I’m staying is already booked. So, it just comes down to airline tickets and right now Southwest has the cheapest fares.

I guess it goes without saying the line for the ticket booth for 2012 is going to rival that of Hall H…

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New England Web Comic Weekend 2…

New England Web Comic Weekend 2 arrived this weekend. With NaNoWrimo Write in on Saturday, I decided to go on Sunday.

With no airfare or hotel fare to worry about this is probably the cheapest con I’ve gone to ever with the exception of the Star Trek Con years ago to meet James Doohan.

The drive up and across via RTE 146 was fun, after driving up and down RTE 95 so much the buildings get boring after a while.

Arrived around 10am, stood in line for a bit. Thankfully, the staffers advised us the one and only ATM Machine in the building was out of money and the closest was the “skeevy” convenience store down the block. Their air quotes by the way, not mine. This got a good chuckle and once the doors opened for admissions the line move fairly quickly.

NEWW did something interesting this year, they had a VIP option for the two day passes. The VIP Option included a NEWW 2 bag, a well designed and crafted sketch book, a cute sharpie and premium seating at the panels. The sketch book, bag and sharpie are probably the best things that happened at this con since last year I remember tables like LICD handing out free bags to carry stuff.

If there is a NEWW 3, I highly recommend keeping the sketch pad/bag/sharpie idea. Next year I will bring my poster sleeve so multiple trips to the car are not needed.

The ID Badges were a step up for their first year, instead of Hello My Name Is, the 4×2 official NEWW ID Badges were cute, their laniards needed some work though.

The set up for the “dealers room” was longer than last year, the problem was: No map. The listing of artist/authors/creators being there was great, the slight problem: It was just a list with no map and no description and no website address and the PDF wasn’t even hotlinkable. And everything I’ve just mentioned did not come with the bag, sketch book and sharpie. I can understand saving paper and all, who doesn’t want to do that, but there’s saving paper then there’s just not giving the attendees enough info.

The last downside, I promise this is the last one: The “dealers room”, needs to move. As much as I enjoy ambience of everyone out in the main corridor at Eastworks, this is not San Diego Comic Con and I should not have to be asked to ease over due a gawker/aisle blockage. I completely understand where the staff is coming from: Nobody wants the Fire Marshal to show up and shutting down the fun fun.

Beyond the downsides, it was a great experience, managed to meet and buy stuff from: Ananth and Yuko of Johnny Wander, Danielle Corsetto from Girls w/ Slingshots, Evan Dahm of Rice Boy, Karl Kerschl of The Abominable Charles Christopher and Sam Logan of Sam & Fuzzy.

I couldn’t tell if the absence of Scott Kurtz and Kris Straub had an impact this year or not. There were many creators from different webcomics and everyone’s table looked busy. Everyone was having fun and there was enough empty areas for people to sit down, read their books, draw and otherwise chat. The cafe at the end of Eastworks was getting used quite a bit and overall the con was worth the 2hr drive (including the $3.20 for tolls on the Mass Pike).

Missed most of the panels, so can’t report on those except the only one that caught my eye was World Building on Saturday.

Beyond the pictures I posted on Twitter, pictures have been uploaded to Flickr.

Now, back to the beast that is NaNoWrimo…

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New England Webcomic Weekend 2010!

Yep, it’s time once again for New England Webcomic Weekend!

NEWW has been scheduled at the tail end of Convention Season, November 6-7 (yes, at the beginning of NaNoWrimo but after 5 days of staring at blank page on the computer you’ll need a break) and is being held once again in Easthampton, Massachusetts at the Eastworks Building.

Several guests have already been listed.

I can highly recommend NEWW, last year we encountered free parking, friendly staff, Eastworks Building is great location and a plethora of places for lunch.

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