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Denver Comic Con 2017

I REALLY want to try to keep this to two hours.  It’s already 7:15 and I don’t really be up late to try get this out.  So hopefully I’ll post this around 9:30 or maybe in the morning.

So it didn’t start out well.  Starting with the 7-day invoice with ZERO grace period.  Who does a 7-day invoice?  And WHO doesn’t make note of that in the subject or body of the email, preferably in ALL CAPS.  YEAH!! (That’s yelling versus my normal emPHAsis mode).  Getting put on the wait list.  Notified that I didn’t make the wait list in April.  THEN finding out there is some sort of lottery a bit later.  WHY wouldn’t I just be automatically enrolled in the lottery?  Yeah, I dunno either.  So I fill out yet ANOTHER form and then wait…  I find out that I win about three weeks before the con so I’m thinking, CRAP, I need to at the very least get stickers since I’m out.  I was totally expecting to go as a fan/exhibitor.  I was able to grab some exhibitor passes from Monte.  That guy is a damn ROCK!  Twenty years and STILL SOLID.

Spilled Milk Sticker 3x3The stickers turn out AMAZING.  I’d like to plug www.UPrinting.com for that one.  I had been saving a 20% off code since LAST year and I was finally able to use it.  I had to go vinyl this year because the ones from two years ago were just the “indoor” kind.  Put them on your car…  Two weeks later…  You’ve got a white sticky mess on your windows.  Let it endure the elements of the winter and spring and you’re scraping that crap off with a razor.  So far so good.  Those stickers are STILL looking good after about a month.

Thursday I head downtown and up the convention center parking spiral.  I’m following the signs all the way up and then MORE signs ALL the way to the BACK.  About 20 cars are parked there so I figured I was in the right spot.  I have to remember my stall in order to pay and of course I forgot so I go back and look.  I’m 3418.  Something like that, but I don’t have the receipt in front of me at this moment.

I’m on autopilot and head to where I normally go for badges and registration.  I’m getting funny looks from the suits all dressed up.  WHAT?  There is some damn “hydro” convention here?  I see a DCC volunteer and he’s JUST as lost as I am.  We find ANOTHER volunteer, but she looks like she knows where she’s going.  Meanwhile, I’m carrying stuff.  The two pull up vertical banners on my shoulders and the large display box and the other long table banner box.  WAY more carrying than I wanted.  I FINALLY get to my table and I see the freight elevator.  PERFECT!  I head up to P3 and walk out expecting my car to be right there.  Oh no, it’s CLEAR at the other end.  Those OTHER cars must have been for that stupid hydro conference.  How lame.  I go get my car and pull it closer.  NOW PERFECT!

WP_20170629_13_19_20_ProA quick carry to the table and back up to the car.  Easy peezy lemon squeezy.  One more trip down and I go to check out the con…

Now I see the con from a TOTALLY different vantage point than you fans (unless you’re an exhibitor reading this).  There’s only SOME hustle and bustle from other exhibitors setting up or fork lifts bringing boxes to people’s booths.  I kind of like this vantage point.  I can get the lay of the land and scout out certain land marks.  The floor felt a bit smaller than last year and it turns out it was.  Many of the other exhibits were OUT of the main hall and in the halls of the convention center itself.  Weird.

I was able to swing by Monte’s booth and say hi.  I almost blazed by the Mile High Comics wall, but then I see William Moulton working tirelessly.  Everybody else is at lunch.  When I mention the size of the floor, Will says that’s it’s considerably smaller.  Not sure the exact difference, but I get it since many of the exhibits are out in the halls.  I take some pictures of booths that catch my eye and then I head out to my car.  Less than two hours to do all of that so I was pretty happy with that.

On a high from setting up so quickly, I get in my car and notice a ticket on somebody else’s car.  I think, “aw bummer, probably didn’t pay like last year”.  I don’t think I paid for my unload time since there were signs NOT to (at least I think so).  Then I start up my car and I see a ticket on MY windshield. “AW F&@<!!”  A $50 dollar ticket and I PAID for parking!!  It’s $12 for 8 hours and I was there BARELY two hours.  The ticket said “no in and outs” and I didn’t pay for stall 3300 (I’m SURE of that number because it was the CLOSE one).  So starting out; NOT even on day one it’s $62 for parking.  AAAHHH!!

Friday morning.  I’ve taken the day off to be at the DCC.  There’s SOME traffic, but there’s only some slow down around Hampden.  I take the exit and head down 13th to Champa and I’m IN.  Spiraling up the parking structure and heading for P1 this time.  A HUGE line to pay for parking and I think to myself “I’ve ALREADY paid for parking two or three times over!”  The line was only about 10 minutes.  I head down to my table and my neighbors are all set up, but there not at the con yet.  Maybe they are and wandering around, but it didn’t look like it.  I drop my bag and head over to the DCC merchandise booth, but I’m too early.  They haven’t fired up any of the tablets and got them connected.  The said come back around 8:45.  So I wander around to take some pictures (many of these are on the Spilled Milk Comics Facebook Page).

WP_20170630_08_45_41_ProAfter wandering around taking pictures I head back to the DCC merch booth to get my beer glasses.  This year the Breckenridge brew is called “I am Brewt”.  I don’t remember when the voting was, but I think I missed it this year.  They were able to use me as a guinea pig because many of the clerks didn’t know how to ring anybody up yet.  They were having some deals which were actually pretty good so I got 3 beer glasses and 3 of the taster glasses.  Unfortunately, the tasters only had the “I am Brewt” logo on the glass and NOT Groot.

The con doors were gonna open at 9:00 for the VIP’ers so I headed back to my table, taking pictures along the way.

I meet my neighbors when I get back to my table.  Tammy (who prefers to remain anonymous to her readers), goes by Corgli Creator aka CC.  I didn’t think that was weird at first, but now I do.  WHY wouldn’t you want to take credit for your cute little web comic?  I dunno.

The neighbor to MY left (or right if you’re facing my table) was Nen Chang.  Well at least her artwork was my neighbor.  Nen was on vacation with her family and her personal assistant Julie was there to hold down the fort and make the sales.

BOTH of my neighbors already had a pretty HUGE fan base so there was quite a bit of traffic to their table and I TRIED to give these people stickers and do my 30 second plot synopsis.  People would rather pay $20 for a single small print than $10 for a complete miniseries (96 pages AND covers).  I don’t get it.  NOW indy publishers are charging $5.00 per comic.  DAMN!  Printing certainly has gone up, or they are doing extremely LIMITED print runs.

Quite a few people stop by the table to see if I have anything new.  My response is that I’ve got a screenplay in the can that took about two and a half years and starting on a new one with Matt Haley.  I COULD bury the logline here, but that will most likely be a separate post.  You can certainly ask.  The “logline” is the one sentence blurb explains the movie which you’ll see on Netflix or DirecTV.

When people stop, I will ask them if they want to hear the 30 second plot synopsis.  MOST people said yes, but there was this one dick that said no.  What a total dick.  What do you say to that?  I said, “ok, just keep flipping through pages.”  Eventually he walked away.  When people said YES, then I’d start in with:

 

The main character, CiCi, is a clone.  She was cloned using nano-technology.  The tech stayed inside her which creates her weapons and armor and also preserves her memories and emotions.  Her background is fairly religious and the CLONE has issues with this.  She’s not sure if she has a soul and is troubled by the fact that she was created with tiny little robots.  She teams up with another clone, Max, and they try to take down the corporation that created them.  It’s a four-issue miniseries.  A complete story arc.  All FOUR issues for a MERE ten dollars.  (my hard sell at the end)  Is that 30 seconds when you read it out loud?  Maybe read faster?

 

This year, not many people purchased.  That’s ok.  I wasn’t expecting to be there anyway.  There are SO MANY choices that people hedge their bets and move along.

My MAIN point of being there THIS year was to have a spot for NEXT year.  I don’t know if Matt and I will be done by then, but there’s not rush.

WP_20170630_13_16_54_ProI took pictures of cosplayers where I could recognize the character (or at least I THOUGHT I did) and/or I liked the character.  Turns out there were a few characters that I thought were Kingdom Hearts and were Final Fantasy or some other anime.  I’d leap from my table and try to get a picture of people in front of my table.  That would typically get a few other people to take pictures as well.  As it turns out my Spilled Milk logo will be in their pictures too!  I wish I was more organized about this, but cosplayers typically don’t like to carry too much because they are already carrying a giant weapon or accessory.  I’d just hand them a sticker and tell them to find the picture and hopefully they would share MY picture, complete with the Spilled Milk logo in the shot.  Why not?  It’s a cool logo.  🙂

I was able to talk to Buzz for the longest time.  He was there pretty early and he was riffing pretty good for so early.  DAMN!  He is TOO FUNNY.  I hope to circle back with him after the con get a CiCi pinup.

I talked with Brandon Peterson for quite some time too.  I don’t remember what we talked about, but he was drawing an AWESOME Medieval Spawn / Witchblade sketch cover.  He was using water colors and doing an AMAZING job.  Go Brando!!  I think I gave him the set of CiCi comics I had.  Maybe I’ll get a commission if he’s got the time.

I talked with David Mack only briefly as well as Frank Cho.  I KNOW I gave them both comic sets.  I got a few prints from Frank and David’s Daredevil hardcover.  They signed everything and my con was complete.

I also was able to talk with Nick Nixon who is another publisher.  HIS take on things is to sell advertising and make enough to be able GIVE the book away.  Hmmmm…  I like his take for sure.  Check out his new project Gun Safety for Kids.  It looks FUN!

Another shout out to Russell Nohelty of Wannabe Press.  This guy is doing the right things for independent press.  We walked the halls of the DCC in the morning (Sunday morning?) and he was handing out sketch cards with the Wannabe website and logo on the card.  AWESOME!  Free marketing when somebody shares that card on social media.

I’ll be posting the pinups when I get a chance to scan them and talk about meeting each artist.  At least as much as I can remember.  I should be getting back to fixing my website and try to bring the search status back up to #1 like it USED to be.  Or getting to sleep.  This went over about 10 minutes, because I had to load in pictures.  I don’t know what my words per minute are, but I type pretty damn fast when I get going.

Please go visit the Spilled Milk website www.SpilledMilk.com (this also serves as a track-back to the site which hopefully will improve my search ranking).

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Categories: Comic Book, Entertainment

SpilledMilk.com Version Five dot OH!

“You should blog more, you should blog more”… ALRIGHT ALREADY!!

I thought “The Grid” would launch and I could just drag and drop content into my account and a website would magically show up. They SAID they would open up some time in the spring. And YES, technically it’s STILL spring, but you wouldn’t know it with all this snow all over the place. I guess I’m “Founding Member 29143” which makes me feel kind of like a member of The Matrix or OASIS. https://thegrid.io/#29143 I’m guessing they want MORE founding (funding) members before they launch. Their official statement was they effectively weren’t ready yet and wanted to wait. Reminds me of Pied Piper

So I had to roll up my sleeves and get to work. For those that don’t know me, I don’t wear long sleeves so I’m ALWAYS ready. I had been meaning to redo my website for a LONG time now, but it’s hard to find the time. FINALLY, it had to be done. I had gotten a Twitter Bootstrap link from William and it’s been in my InBox since June 26, 2014. I had briefly looked at their site. http://getbootstrap.com/ There is SO much there! It was just too hard to take in all at once so I bailed on it. I figured it would take TOO much time. Flash back to about a week ago, May 8th, 2015 and I finally bit the bullet. I fired up Microsoft’s Visual Studio Ultimate 2013 and started down the path…

I created a new project/solution and chose the MVC 5.0 with razor. Studio thought for a bit and then created all the templates. The templates ALREADY included support for Bootstrap! WOO HOO!! (Whenever you see a “WOO HOO”, think Homer Simpson when he finds donuts at work.) I hit F5 and the template site came up locally on my computer. WOO HOO!! When you’re trying to get a website up and running only a week before the Denver Comic Con you’ve GOT to go with the default. DE-FAULT! DE-FAULT! DE-FAULT! (again, think Homer Simpson).

I changed the About view. I changed the Contact view. I changed the Footer in _Layout.cshtml. I went through the nav-bar and changed a few things. And I was DONE! Ok, so I wasn’t ACTUALLY done. There was still quite a bit more to do so I turned to www.PluralSight.com

I found a course by Mark Zamoyta on Pluralsight called Responsive Websites with Bootstrap 3 and it was a beginner level. SWEET! I figured it would be a walkthrough and is absolutely WAS. He walks you through all things “Responsive”: Patterns, Navigation, Images, Video, Scrolling, and Animation. I grabbed bits and pieces of his course and the example code to put into my MVC 5.0 site. His course was all done in an index.html page, but I was able translate what he did into my Index.cshtml view and _Layout.cshtml files. That brought the level up to intermediate by constantly doing that mental leap, but it wasn’t that difficult. The bummer deal for YOU is that if you don’t have a Pluralsight subscription then you’re SOL. Sorry.

I had to re-install Chrome for about the fourth time, because I really needed its developer tools (F12) for its phone and tablet emulation. This allowed me to see how things would look and perform on an iPad or iPhone. I’m really not a fan of Chrome because I’ve had WAY too much adware come through it and it’s a royal pain in the ass trying to get rid of it. So the best way is just to uninstall Chrome and then re-install it when you need it again. So we’ll see how long this lasts.

I was able to deploy last night to www.GoDaddy.com using the FTP option of Visual Studio. Of course it was not successful the first time. Or the second time. OR the third time. Or the FOURTH! I was getting some obscure security error and finally found a page on the GoDaddy site that told me what options to set and how to do it, but it was an outdated page so that option didn’t exist anymore. I needed to set the CAV PRIV to FULL since I was using MVC 5.0. How the hell do I do THAT? I called the GoDaddy support line. Lou was AWESOME! In about two minutes he figured it out and sent me a setting that I need to have in my web.config. I added that setting in the appropriate section, redeployed, and *POOF*… My site magically appeared. WOO HOO!!

I still have a LONG way to go before the con, but at least I have a new and improved site. I need to add quite a bit more content and find that sweet spot for image file size and dimensions so the pages load quicker. I’ve got to do more Search Engine Optimization (SEO) research since domain name no longer rules. Dwayne REALLY set me straight with the SEO and talked about Google Penguin versus Google Panda rules.

Just spot checking some SEO tips and tricks I’ve already done the #1 thing you can do. Convert to mobile. Twitter Bootstrap is “mobile first”. Tonight I’ll be making it FAST (that’s #4). And #3 is Google’s integration into Twitter data, so prepared to get annoyed if you’re a Facebook friend.

I’ll post the results in a few months.

Take care, and thanks for listening to my rant… Parker