Thought Bombs & Sketches

Artistic expressions, new projects, dope ideas, and anything fresh in the creative landscape can be found here on any given day…

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The Ten Con Commandments – Remix

Back in 2015 I wrote a post called “It’s the Ten Con Commandments” where I laid out the important things con goers should have in order to make it all the way through New York Comic Con. And now I’m back to update/reaffirm these commandments, cue Biggie’s Ten Crack Commandments – Star Wars remix, if you need a soundtrack for this.

teseract1) Bag(s) – As I can’t fit everything into a Utility Belt and do not own a Tardis or tesseract, as seen on the left, I prefer a backpack to help get around without tripping folks up behind me. Your bag should be big enough to carry your gear and NYCC booty and and extra bag for stuff that doesn’t fit.

2) Gear – You think Batman plans on fighting Supes in his regular suit? Nope, he dresses to kick Big Blue in the butt. Unless you’re in cosplay dress for Comic Con appropriately. Lines are killer, and the first casualty will be your feet, good socks and insoles will help. It might be cold outside and an oven in, or the reverse, temperature is a wildcard, layer up as layers will give you flexibility in your comfort.

matter-eater3) Food/snacks – Javits is expensive, period. There are a few bargains to be found but hey are overshadowed by the long lines. Stock up on sandwiches, bring food that you know won’t go bad or stink up the joint, and eat on-line while waiting to get into a room. Snacks are good too for keeping up your energy.

4) Water – Any Fremen will tell you “water is the key to life.” Again, Javits is expensive and the money you spend on drinks could go to that limited edition collectible you’ve been hunting for the last year. It’s also good to stay hydrated if it gets hot in there.

99a30df437dcfb19f2c61ae41686f3945) Power – Doing it for the `Gram will kill your phone/pad, bring chargers and backup batteries. Would Green Lantern or Ironman go into battle with only a 15% charge. Okay, so yes Tony did fight at a power deficit in the 1st Ironman, but you ain’t him stay charged.

6) Rubber bands – Silly right, you won’t need them. Wrong, posters will be handed out and a rubber band is the difference between cramped fingers and a free hand. Also, don’t shoot at anyone with them, see #10.

7) Hand sanitizer – Con crud is real, folks go from con to con spreading germs like the monkey in Outbreak or David Hewlett in Planet of the Apes, not to say he’s full of germs, he’s actually a cool guy who took the time to take a picture with me before his panel. But seriously sanitizer, super strength.

8) Boards/bags – There are a ton of free comic handouts and you will want the bags to protect that zero issue when you shove it in your bag. Trust me it hurts your soul when you get home and that signed copy you stood on-line for an hour is dinged or ripped.

money20159) Cash – This isn’t the Federation, you need money. There are cash machines on site and most of the vendors can take cards, but the ATM fees are killer and you might be able to make a deal with cash, especially on Sunday when they want to dump as much stuff as possible. Also if you’re on a budget it helps when you have a set limit going into the day.

10) Humanity – Everyone should be there for good time. When people are pushing, shoving, harassing and just being general douche bag, it takes away from the fun. Don’t be that @$$hole, because it would suck Apache Chief balls to spend all that money to get in, just to get tossed out. Keep your hands to yourself and ask to take a picture.

With 2 days to go, remember it’s a marathon, plan and pace is the key to success, know what’s important for you to see and where you’re going because they changed a bunch of things up this year. If you can’t make it, I will be live tweeting (GCarmona3) from panels and the floor and maybe digging out the old Periscope (GC003) for floor walking. Look for me.

Book Drops Next Week

Last year as I was freelancing, temping, taking an evening computer class and planning a wedding, I squeezed in writing a joke book for Random House.

My former DC Comics co-worker gave me a call asked if I was interested, and at first I thought there was no way I could do this. And then I remembered I was getting married, sucked it up and started writing.

Who knows you might have seen me on the 6 train cracking myself up as I jumped from one gig to another. From there I cashed the checks, made revisions and forgot all about this project until my Google Alert went off. It told me that my name showed up somewhere on the web and at first I just thought that another one of my namesakes did something stupid. To my great surprise it was a listing for the book. Its a crazy feeling when you search a book site and your name pops up.

9781524719753_p0_v1_s550x406This was the craziest thing I’ve ever written, so I need to thank a few people. First on the list my editor Frank J. Berrios for giving me this shot. Thanks to artist Erik Doescher, who I’ve never met but did a great job bringing life to my super stab at humor. My niece and nephew for being my beta testers, I also dedicated it to them. To all my friends and family that pre-ordered my first published book. My Mother cuz you have to thank Moms, but really for supporting, if not fully understanding my love of 4 color characters.

My last thank you goes to my then fiancée, now wife Sharon for slowing my roll when I compared myself to Morrison and Heinlein. I’ll still expect my name in the next round of Pulitzer nominations and now I have proof that I’m the funniest cat I know.

DC Super Friends Joke Book can be found at:

And please rate it on GoodReads.com.

 

Top 5 of 2016

With all the passing’s of celebrities, family and friends, a crazy election, and injustice still an issue in this country, 2016 could be looked at as one of the worst years in a long time, but I won’t look at it that way as I had some great times and life changing moments. Here are my Top 5 of 2016.

5. Black Comic Book Day

CYy4MmNUoAM18Hf The annual event of Bleeks and Blurds, held at the Schomburg Center in Harlem, NY, is filled with talks and vendors of color in the comic book field. This free gathering continues to grow in influence and spreading the word that there are comics out there for us.  Black Comic Book Day Pictures Here

4. Civil War and Luke Cage

black-panther-civil-warCaptain America: Civil War – My second favorite Marvel movie had one of the best super powered battles since Revenge of the Sith, introduced Spider-man into the Marvel cinematic universe, but the most important reason for making the list was the debut of the Black Panther on the big screen. Also this year was one of the best written of the Marvel shows Luke Cage. Amazing cast, dynamic dialog & humor, and a banging soundtrack made this one for the books.

3. Kobayashi Maru

StarFleetExperienceIf the name sounds familiar it’s because the Kobayashi Maru is the famed test for Starfleet cadets and earlier this year I was able to show how I had the right stuff. For the full details of my exam experience click on my article written for BlackSciFi.com Kobayashi Maru.

2. Star Trek Mission

swu2yaccfr7azok3jtu2mo_iaiepnnttidabuyhcymua1e_wmkk8w7kkecnrqn6e6bvspoqpmnwqvczfdxl-hpdb770qrmxrahlumkkikixzab0byaw530-h329-pStar Trek Mission – The 50th Anniversary to celebrate the legend that is Star Trek, I went full out trek, battled Klingons in space, represented DS9 on a panel, met Q, and sat in the Captain’s chair. For the full details of my personal Trek read my piece on BlackSciFi.com Star Trek Mission.

 

1. The Wedding of the Century

396394bf10d4478fb720c458affe81adAnd of course I couldn’t close out my Top 5 list with out the most important event of my life. Getting married to my Sharon Carter. You can tell she gets me by the Christmas gift she got me.

2016 is just the beginning for us.

Happy Holidays

flowerpowerwip
step 1. Line Art

To make sure that 2017 starts on a creative and positive note I wanted to end 2016 with an artistic thank you to everyone who was there for me as I became an honest man.

flower-power-w-i-p-2
step 2. Flat Colors

This post includes the stages of creativity for my Flower Power illustration.

Working off of my iPad I used Adobe Draw to create the  basic black and white line art. The next stage of this was filling in the flat colors. A note about the creative process, the  green of the shirt was a happy accident, in making sure I filled all the open spots I used a green background and realized how good she looked in green. Even a digital drawing has an organic aspect.

flower-power-2016

The last stage was adding  shading and details to the figure and her clothing. To give her that pop and personality I used Adobe Capture to create the flowers in her hair and on her shirt. From here I used Adobe Creative Cloud to transfer the illustration to Adobe Illustrator to clean up the image and create a more portable png.

With the final image done, I uploaded the illustration to Canva.com to add my Happy Holidays message and some random “snowfall” to give the seasonal feel. Enjoy and here’s to staying creative in 2017.

happy-holidays-2016