Today I experienced my first ever comic convention and in fact the first ever London comic convention, Kapow. Though I had a pass for both days, I could only make it today.
Just before 10 am, I joined the queue for a good 25 minutes with a mix of people – some in costume but mostly guys in t-shirts and jeans – the same guys I’d expect to see at a hack day or any other tech event I’ve been to in London. I actually expected more costumes but I did see enough people in full make up to feel like I was at an actual comic convention. Of course it’s nothing compared to the adventures I’d have in San Diego at the main Comic-Con but it’s much easier to get to this London one.
First off, I joined the hordes to see the millarworld panel. After revealing a couple of new titles (including Hit-Girl), it felt mostly like friendly chit chat. It was early so I didn’t mind so much. And as it was a Q&A, it was really dependant on the questions people asked. It was mostly “is your process the same as an independant as it would be with someone like Marvel?” and the answer was basically yes. Granted I shouldn’t complain as I didn’t ask any questions but despite the repetition, I did take away a few things:
1) John Romita Jr. commented that he is working on a project called Snapshot but as a creator owned piece, this won’t be making him his money. It’s his work on Marvel that will pay the bills. My take away? Even when you are at the top of your game like he is, you still work for free.
2) Mark Millar ended the panel Q&A with a comment about thosse who’ve said he’s sold out. His response? “If I get given free money, I’m going to take it. I’m Scottish.” If John Romita Jr. is anything to go by, taking money isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it can still lead to even better things i.e. the work you love to do. All I can ask, what is selling out anyway? Do people think that good work is only done by people who can’t pay their bills and live a miserable existance. Yes? Oh. Crap. Done that. Been there. Please don’t make me go back…
3) Most importantly, a comment by one of the Millar panelists made me think about my own work. One of his projects started as a screenplay but turned instead into a graphic novel. A couple of my ideas seem too large for confines of a film. Maybe I’ve been looking to the wrong medium for the optimal place for some of my projects. I’d love to work on something small…maybe someone out there is an illustrator who’d like to work with a writer by the name of Heather Taylor? Any takers? And by Heather Taylor I mean me.
While I wait for the illustrator of my dreams to appear, I’ll be working on my feature. The main reason for coming to Kapow was actually to meet with my director and producer to talk about the next draft of my current feature script. It’s a monster film in the making so Kapow was really the best place to talk about it.
All in all, I’m extremely pleased with my “unofficial first draft” and so were they which is always a relief. Lots to work on but all to make it tighter and tighter, better and better. We’ll do another draft by the end of the month in time for my producer’s visit to Cannes. Don’t want to get too excited yet but it feels like it’s all going in a good direction. Seems like I’ll have to abandon any attempts at ScriptFrenzy this month but I’ll still be working on a script so it must count for something, right?