Friday, February 27, 2009

ISN'T THAT SPECIALIST?

Today was the spill clean-up class. I had come in the other day to talk to the instructor about my goatee, and she and the DG supervisor laid it out for me. So I trimmed it as per instructions and it was all good.

Basically, we were subjected to this chemical to get a taste for it so we could see if our masks were fitting properly. I did it fine the initial run, but messed up slightly on the second. Then we went over a lot of procedures, tired on the suits (mine was a size too big thanks to Nick, and my co-worker Paul was having a LITTLE too much fun in the suits), and took an open book written test. I kinda broke my 100% streak by mis-answering a question, but ah well.

So now I'm a spill clean-up specialist. Whoopdee Friggin' Doo. Another thing I hafta test for every year.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

MOVING IMAGES

Had to go to the Museum of the Moving Image for class. They wanted us to write about one of the demos we experienced there. Unfortunately, the place closes at 3 so the later groups all ended up not doing many or seeing everything. I have a feeling I've been there before, because I recognized the Exorcist head spin dummy. But, if I had the place no longer resembles what it was. I did find it funny, though, that the museum is right across the street from the theater we go to after CAG meetings, and where we'll go to see Watchmen next month. Small world.

I did an animation thing, moving images, taking pictures to make a short cartoon. Now I have to find time to blog about it on that bullshit blog we had to start for the class. It was really a mistake to go back to school NOW. Last year, I coulda done it...but I'm just too damn busy to want to bother any more than I already did.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

NOVEL IDEAS

Since I have so much trouble getting artists to do my stories, I'm looking to turn to novels. I've got two ideas; a fun all-ages romp about high schoolers putting on a play, The other is a play on my drama with the Idol entry that STILL doesn't have an artist. I actually started work on the latter, making use of the characters me and Bob created for the webcomic we're supposed to be doing together and their location as the central hub of the tale. I'll be liberally borrowing elements of my life to throw in there, but it is in NO WAY biographical or a representation of anyone I know. It's a mixture of things grossly embellished as only fiction can do it.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

MEETING

The meeting is a week late due to last week being Valentines Day. Turns out Gary is teaching history this semester so our room was a completely different one from the others we've had so far. Kinda killed my hopes of using the computers as I planned out a little exercise for the writers and artists to randomly pair up and work off each other's creations. So, they hadda go manual, no big. Overall, the exercise was a pretty good success. Everyone had fun so I think I may do it again at another meeting. I have a variation of it in mind I may try out maybe in March.

I was a little disappointed in the attendance. I'm hoping it's just 'cause it was later in the month and not all the sour grapes over the awards fiasco. Also thought we'd get at least one of the 10 members who joined after Comiccon. We did get one new guy, though, someone Rachel knows, so that was something. Hopefully, we'll be back to pulling 25-30 people soon. We'll see what happens over the next few meetings. Mark had indicated to me that a couple people were done with us after the awards, but wouldn't tell me who. Gonna hafta watch out for that as well.

Friday, February 20, 2009

SPILL CLEAN-UP

Once again, to meet their spill clean-up quota, they're trying to get me into the class. A more lenient teacher is doing it this time, so they're gonna try to sneak my extra trim facial hair in. I couldn't do it last time because of my goatee and it being against regulations. Whatever. So, Damien wanted to take me over to show her and talk to her to see if we could get away with it. However, this whole week he was in a class and not here, and when I finally went on my own to meet up with him today the lady was out to lunch. So I said screw it and went home. We'll see what hapens next week. All I know is if they say no again that's it. I'll be their DG monkey, but I'm not willing to shave when I don't wanna for a position that doesn't even net me any extra pay.

I'D LIKE TO CURSE THE ACADEMY...

Okay, so we had our 2nd annual awards ceremony at NYCC. Everything went fine, it ran smooth. Right? Wrong. It turns out people are crying shenannigans over the winners. A lot of people didn't like that a majority of the winners all had some kind of association to Free Lunch, a company run by a few of our New England members. And because Sue was the primary on the whole awards tabulation and organization front, they're citing favoritism. Also, the overall presentation was found to be lackluster and demeaning to nominees. Basically, it was a clusterfuck that cost us several members, accordng to Mark.

So, it needs a major reform and I intend to be involved with that. I think from now on I'll be involved with all events that take place in NY. When a NY event goes bad, not only does it look bad for CAG as a whole but NY especially. So eff that, time to take over!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

PATHS CROSSING

This is the last week of Chinese New Year, which means gradually they'll be going back to work and shipping again. Today and yesterday, my route was heavy enough to justify my going out on it. People on my route definitely missed me, because nobody else knows how to do their stuff the way they like it. Added bonus comes in that thanks to president's day, I don't have a lecture class and therefore no lab class, so I've basically got the whole week off from school! Woot!

Funny thing about doing the Index; I'm starting to come across numerous references to books I've done for it. For instance, I did Uncanny X-Men #150 and 194. This week's X-Men Legacy features Rogue fighting through her previous memories with Xavier and Gambit along for the ride, and one of the memories featured her combined Nightcralwer and Colossus look from 194. And some books have a few page preview for the upcoming Wolverine: First Class #12, which is basically an expansion on what happened to the X-Men immediately after 150. I mean it's incredibly weird having just written ABOUT those issues, only to find them referenced in new material.

Friday, February 13, 2009

CODING

So foolishly they decided to send me out on FOs again. It was already late when I left and I wasn't sure the best route to take to do some of my stuff. I did the best I could, but ended up with several stops late thanks to the freight in the Empire taking forever. Instead of coming in, I was told to just finish the deliveries, which ended up taking me until almost the regular time as if I did my route.

Apparently, they don't have the money to pay me for my hours anymore. Their solution? When I'm in the office they'll have me switch out to be under the agents' manager, and then switch back to normal when I go do my other stuff. That adds about 6 more codes I have to type in per day Fun times, right?

Sunday, February 08, 2009

NYCC DAY 3

Tired from being at the party so late I came in around 12, having to buy my lunch on the way 'cause I had a panel at 1:30. I ate, went to my two panels in a row, and that was all for me for that show. Don't think I'm gonna do so many next time, keeps you too busy for everything else.

Liam had sent me a list of commissions he wanted from various people at the show. It needed a little refinement as he had a writer on there and some of the artists weren't even at the show. Well, the few that were were never around when I went looking, and the ones who were there their stuff looked like shit. So I called it a bust. What was also a bust was the last of my autographing. I left the books home since I couldn't find a few of the people I was looking for, only to have them be there TODAY. Oy.

Liz's X-23 poster got destroyed at the party, so I went and got her another. Then, the hunt began for a way to transport it better. For the last couple days we saw people walking around with what looked like FedEx tubes decorated with video game images. So me, Liz and Shawnti in our final walk-through of the show tried to find them. Several direction requests later, we finally got to the booth that was handing them out. I took one too for a Billy Tan piece I bought.

One of my coworkers was supposed to come to the show with his kid, and I thought he'd be there yesterday. Instead, I ran into a guy from one of his buildings who said he was there today, but I missed him since I was in the panels. Ah well. I also met a guy off of Superhero Hype who was with the Highburn Studios booth, and the model for one of their characters who pranced around in skin-tight outfit with angel wings most of the weekend.

The show wrapped up and then came the debacle of tearing down the table. People had left tons of their shit at the table, which I somehow ended up getting possession of. Liz had to leave me her cart so I could lug the now TWO boxes I had to take. Someone also violated the no food at the table rule 'cause I found a coffee stain on the table cloth. Rachel and Lindsay took some stuff, and then came the table itself. I brought a dolly and twine, unable to find the bungee cords anywhere. I tied the table to the dolly, and after a while figured out a setup that will allow me to pull it with a minimum of fuss. On a LEVEL surface. You never realize how much NYC sidewalks slope or how badly they need to be fixed till you try to roll a free-rolling object.

Deciding to save myself some stairs, I, like an idiot, decided to head for the R station on 6th Avenue. I had some troubles with the boxes and got to the point where I just slammed one down on the sidewalk as I fixed them. By the time I got home I was none too happy and flipped out. We're gonna address this packing up issue in a BIG way. Oh, yessiree!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

NYCC DAY 2

One thing hampering my enjoyment of the show as the fact I still had stuff for Index #4 looming over my head. With my deadline on Monday, the chronologies for the X-Men entries were proving to be very complex, on top of the fact I still had several issues to finish. See, this other guy was supposed to do them while I did all the other stuff, but this guy is a bit of a rabble rouser and had a few problems with some format changes that came up as we went and so his formatting was in an outdated style. Rather than try to work my way through the muck that is the X-chronologies, I opted to just do it myself. Oyyyyy am I dumb. But, since I was gonna be stuck at the con all weekend, I decided to partake of some good sales and buy the Essential I was basically working out of, as well as several other Essentials so I could have a jump on whatever title we'd do next should Marvel decide to keep us going.

I managed to get lunch at Subway in with Liz before I had to go off to do another panel. This one was Meet the Editors, with Glenn Herdling hosting Mike Marts, Scott Allie, Rob Levin, and Nick Lowe. Me, Lindsay, Hector and Steve were all working this one and split up snagging the editors. I was sure to give Hector Lowe as an editor from Marvel saw his Hell's Blood and said he should show them his work. Figure give the guy more of a boost, no? But we ended up spending a good 10 minutes trying to find someone to supply the panel with water before Hector opted to just buy a bunch of bottles himself, running him up to a good $40 tab. Hopefully, he can get it as a write-off.

I did some Index work before the next panel, which was my first; the Webcomics panel. Me, Zman, Steph, Rebecca, Joe McGlone, and J.M were on it, with James hosting. It went off pretty well. Some of the panelists had answers that were like ERGH! but overall it was good. Not much in the way of attendance. Now, let me tell you about Liz here; for some reason she had confused the panel I was working with the panel I was on and came to that one. Then she apparently got busy and didn't make this one. D'oh! Doofus.

Taking a walk around, I found myself going into the demo booth for the upcoming Wolverine video game. Gotta say, it looks pretty damn hot. Once the demo was over, they gave us dog tags and foam Wolverine claws. I had to laugh when I saw the boxes they came out of; the very boxes I helped unload days before. At least now I know what was in them! I also ended up finding Khoi Pham, artist for a few issues of Incredible Hercules. I bought one of the books he had there (chosen because in our convo he said how much he loved drawing crazies) for him to sign. He didn't have change for a $20 and I was short a dollar, so he let me slide until I got change. I made sure I hit the discount bins again to buy a few more books and get said change to give him his dollar. It's not much, but I wasn't gonna stiff the guy.

The Indy After Party was a rousing success. Blaggards offered more, but not much more, room for the 225 people we ended up getting. Keith sprung for an hour's worth of food, and me, Alex, his wife and Liz all shared after they took their sweet ass time getting the food out. The raffle was hillarious, as every number they kept picking Once the music started, I was forced to remain in the back 'cause it was LOUD. I also had to leave the party for a bit to walk Rebecca, who I'm surprised actually CAME to the damn thing, to the train. A lot of mingling went on, and hopefully networking, and it was all pretty fun.

However, what was not fun was James' luggage cart being left behind and dumped on J.M. Since he lives in Jersey and wasn't gonna have him lug it back and forth to meeting James may not be at, I ended up taking it. Considering I had my own shit to lug, I wasn't too thrilled. I tried to load up the cart but since I had books in bags that were falling apart, they didn't exactly stay on too well. I made 3 blocks from home when the damn latch on the handle released and the cart closed up, dropping all my shit in the middle of the street. Already annoyed, I picked up my stuff and put it on the sidewalk, then flung the cart about half a block away. After a few kicks for good measure, I picked it all up and carried everything home.

Take it or trash it policy is quickly coming...

Friday, February 06, 2009

NYCC DAY 1

I brought the table me and Liz bought last year and the box of crap I was left with from the Nationals. I carried them, which ended up being a BIG mistake. The table was a lot heavier than I thought it would be, and the morons who built it put the latch to keep it closed upside-down so when ya held it from the handle it'd slip off and open up. Basically, my arms were killing me for the rest of the day.

I got in early thanks to an exhibitor badge and helped set up the booth. I walked around for a bit to check out what was there. I got a little disheartened when I found only $1 or more bins, but then I saw the motherload: 3/$1! It was run by the same guys who did the 25 cent bins at Nationals. So, yeah, I raided all the boxes, but I was fairly selective in what I grabbed rather than getting everything. I ended up with almost a full long-box, but that's why Liz brought the cart she bought the last NYCC so I could cart it around. I also grabbed a few books I thought Liz would like, but ended up with some duplicates she's just gonna give away to her friend. That's cool.

I volunteered to help out at some panels for Buddy Scalera, as did several other CAG members. The main reason I volunteered was to fill up my time as Liz decided to get a table in Artist's Alley this time, meaning no sidekick for me. And since I didn't wanna be restricted to the table for any length of time, I hadda do something to keep busy, right? My job is basically helping to round up the speakers and get them to the room. The one I ended up with was Frank Tieri at the Marvel booth...and he STILL came late. Ah well. The room we got was this tiny-ass thing that barely accomodated all the people who came. We had to open the door into the next room and take it over so people could get in close enough to hear. Luckily, we were able to secure a bigger one for the future panels. This one was for story structure, and featured Tieri and Peter Tomasi with editor Steve Wacker hosting. Fabian Niceiza wasn't in that day and Peter Milligan was MIA. I did get to meet Wacker after the panel where I took a moment to thank him for the Ben Reilly issue of X-Men/Spider-Man. Christos Gage, the writer, through E-mails to a few fans said Wacker played a big role in that series, and issue. Just letting him know the Ben fans appreciate it.

I also decided to try my hand at being an autograph hound and brought some books from home to get signed based on a list I made up of who was gonna be there. There was one or two I ended up missing or forgetting to grab books for, but luckily I was able to pick those up in the discount bins. Billy Tan was there who did the first X-23 mini-series. Seeing as Liz was a fan I told her, and she gave me the copy of X-23 I grabbed her (being it was the limited cover and thought she'd have the regular, although considering how many of those I found in the boxes I can't imagine how "limited" it really was) to get signed. I ended up also stopping by Brandon Choi's table and getting her a signed X-23 lithograph as well. Hey, she was nice enough to pay for my McDonald's, one good turn. I also got a Marvel Zombie poster from Arthur Suydnam, got Alex Saviuk, the dude I talked to at the Nationals, to sign one of his books (thought I had brought 2) and a copy of Dynamo 5 #0 signed by the creative team. I also picked up the new Sky Pirates, Hell's Blood #1 and Liz's book.

Tonight was the CAG awards after the call for members panel. I had brought both cameras with me to photograph as I was the designated photographer and mine dies quickly after extensive use, so the Kodak woulda been my backup. Unfortunately, I came to discover that when I went to take a pic of Matt in his trademarked character's costume my camera had been turned on in my bag and the battery dying. The only place to charge it ended up being under the table in the panel room. I also had to run out to get batteries for the Kodak from a gas station on 10th. Gonna hafta get some camera batteries; standard AAs don't last long.

The members panel was well-attended, and the awards went off without a hitch. We almost had a problem with using the projector to display the categories as people spoke, but the AV guys showed up with the cord Sue needed to hook up her laptop. The lighting in the room was HORRIBLE. My pics are gonna need some heavy Photoshopping; especially since I ended up using the Kodak most of the time and that thing is for shit. At one point I was to juggle THREE cameras as Mark Torres had somewhere else to be and wanted shots, but his thing was delayed so he got his own. Basically, the winners were Liz, Matt, Hector, Ed, Shawnti, Alex and Keith. Not too bad, although the things they won for kinda revealed a little flaw in the set-up that we have to iron out for year 3.

After the show we all headed out for dinner. Mark led one group, while I was in the other. Unfortunately, having 25 people on a Friday night in Midtown wasn't condusive to our finding easy seating. We tried the Tick Tock diner, but seating was sparse and slow-coming. Then over to TGI Fridays, but they only had stairs for Sue and an hour wait. Finally, we all split up again, me, Liz, Alex and his wife going back to the diner. Last time we'll be going there as the prices were high and the food/service crappy. Plus, the way the front door is set up it creates a wind tunnel and vacuum that makes coming in and out an adventure. And while the lithograph survived, I ended up dropping and stepping on the free Ultimate Alliance 2 posters I got at the Activision booth. D'oh!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

IT'S NOT QUITE COMIC CON...

...until the boxes start coming into my station. As my older readers know my station handles both the Javitz and Penn Plaza Pavilion, home of two NY cons. So, the week of a show, we get tons of boxes for both. NYCC especially. For all my complaints about the job, I find it pretty cool that by some random twist of fate I ended up in a place that deals with so many comicbook elements. Besides the cons, I've seen packages coming from DC, one Marvel, and a few for Teshkeel Comics. Pretty damn cool if you ask me.