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Sunday, September 30, 2007/8:00 AM

You and Me Printer, One of These Days...!

I have to say it's been an eventful week around these parts. Busting out papers and getting them back to my students asap (so proud of myself there), trying to switch my rats onto a proper diet (only to find that now the OTHER rat, Maud may be having a sneezing reaction to the NEW food... good grief i can't win) and going to my comic book haunt only to find that the Ithaca mini-con was moved up from like February to THIS WEEKEND!!

Sooo Jesse and i hopped into the car as fast as we could after this Saturday's class. The campus Fair was the same day so of course i insisted on running about looking at stuff (honestly last year's event was better, but that's another story). But here is where the REAL chaos erupted from.

Jared told us Wednesday that the mini-con had managed to snag an editor from Vertigo who was going to be there to look at portfolios. I nearly fell over backwards. This was perfect! I've been to Ithaca's con before. It's not so much a con as it is a medium sized room full of comic shops that are trying to get rid of their dollar and quarter bins as well as the busts and toys they've accumulated over the years that just aren't selling. Usually Roger Stern (writer of the death of superman and a delight to speak with) and Joe Edkin (writer of sonic X and a friend of mine) go. So you get 2 writers, a couple of artists (usually 2 that i don't know, although this year one of Jesse's former students was trying to sell his comics. I was highly impressed. With some more experience under his belt, I think he'll have something!). The crowd is almost never more than 60 people at a time. So after hearing that an editor was going to be there and that chances of a crowd would be SLIM, i ran home (ok i drove) and broke out my portfolio.

LOL... oh my portfolio. What a disaster. Half of the stuff I'm working on is still in transition. My first real written webisode (I've only edited all the others I've worked on) will be out in December... i hope. Our deadline keeps getting moved. Such is the world of webcomics when no one can afford to pay the artist (according to the editor i spoke to, that happens in the paying comic world too. good grief, is no one accountable anymore?).

Anyway back to the portfolio, quick version: No ink, printer no work with no ink... Ielle unhappy, run to staples, buy ink, come back print 90% of portfolio stuff, printer run out of blue ink, printer no work without ALL ink, Ielle SMASH!

So after I de-hulked I sent the files to my email and went to work the next day to print it all out. Where the battle of the printer resumed on a new playing field. After a LOT of swearing (some of it not pretty) and my threatening the printer with tossing out the office window (which would have been something as we're in a basement and the window is about 2 x 3 and ground level) the damn thing FINALLY forced out my pages.

After a quick run though the fair, I zipped off to Staples with Jesse in tow and grabbed the nicest portfolio folder i could find (six bucks for a beautiful faux-leather/plastic black thing. I haven't decided if i was taken or not yet). As Jesse ran into TOPS to get some cash (he was going to the con to buy, buy, buy lol) i was in the driver's seat quickly tossing everything together and off we went (after more drama over a forgotten debit card, but that was Jesse's "whoopsie" moment). One last note on the portfolio building, Jesse ended up having to complete it for me as i drove us to ithaca. He's such a sweety, that sooooo won him boyfriend brownie points. Thanks hon!

When i got there another writer was talking to the editor so i patiently waited and talked to Joe (who had a table right next to the guy). They seemed to be having a great conversation so of course i didn't want to interrupt. When i did get to sit down, i was feeling kinda bad as i felt like i forced the other guy out, but that quickly went away as i got very excited that an actual editor was looking at my things.

How did it turn out? I have no idea. We had a good conversation, but i knew going in that editors can't do much with writers at the cons. How can you get a sense of someones writing in a 10-15 conversation where you're flipping though images and not fully getting the words down? I left him one of my pitches (sadly i don't have enough of them and the one i gave him I'm only half confident in, but we'll see how it goes. I just wanted him to see what i COULD do). The second thing i gave him was my Dr. Strange Civil War sample script. I really enjoyed writing that one, but he's an editor from Vertigo not Marvel and thus i donno what good it will do. I realize you should have samples for all the big companies, but i didn't get a lot of heads-up with the event. You can be assured that come November for Mid-Ohio, I'll have a marvel script (I'm keeping Dr. Strange as my sample, I've had a LOT of compliments from Marvel fans on that one) a DC script, Wildstorm, Vertigo and some pitches for Image.

I probably won't see much come of this meeting from that particular editor, but I am proud I did it. It was a complete learning experience. I'm proud i had the guts to go over, introduce myself, pass him my portfolio, discuss the industry and such. He did mention that the industry didn't have many girls (although I couldn't decide if that comment was positive or negative, I'm going to take the Pollyanna approach and assume he meant that as: gee we don't have many women, we could use more; instead of: good luck, it's a boys game sweetheart).

The number one thing it taught me? Don't put together a portfolio in the parking lot of TOPS unless you're double jointed or sitting in the backseat of the car.

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