Bam! Yet ANOTHER project

As some of you may know, I attended Comic Con a few weeks ago.  What many of you do not know is that my background in video games is only proceeded by comic books.

Growing up, my family, in particular my father, has had a love for books.  Dad would hand me books since before I could read.  He told me tales of fantasy and these larger than life characters.  My mother never understood this aspect.  I truly believe dad may have been doing it partially to piss her off.

They are now divorced and happier.  She lives in Illinois still with her new husband.  Dad lives in suburbia Los Angeles in the dreaded 909.

The comic books that I collected growing up are currently stored in a trunk in a garage at my mother’s home.  I am actually quite amazed that they are still there, regardless of whichever condition that they may be in.  You see, my mother burned the baseball cards I collected at the time.

Dad’s house is like another world entirely.  Everywhere you look is traces of his fixation with comic books.  He has a full bedroom for my son that is nothing but Spiderman.  Dad is a big kid at heart.  He frequents comic shops weekly.  He raised me on books like Tales from the Crypt, Batman, and Spiderman.

Uncle Jay & I in my sons Spiderman Room

Uncle Jay & I in my son's Spiderman Room

Despite my recent cosplay endeavor, I wasn’t always a Supergirl fan.  Dad wasn’t interested in Superman.  It seems that you are either a Batman fan or a Superman fan.  We were the former.  The new Detective Comics featuring Batwoman are currently in my monthly “must pick up list.”  Superman still has of yet to make a regular home for me.

However even back then I really didn’t partake as much from the mainstream comic book lines.  There has always been a draw for me to the artistically popping, underdogs of indie comic books.  Maybe that’s why I was rebellious growing up.  Maybe that’s why, to a degree, I still am.  It feels awesome to be a cliche.

After the convention I began to re-evaluate where my passions were.  While I do love video games, I have found that the community within the comic book industry has some very important things to offer me that, well video games really don’t for me- timelessness and a foundation in encouraging literacy and imagination in its execution.

I found myself looking back.  At my own childhood.  Of sitting on shoulders with loose teeth as my dad pointed to superheroes on comic books.

In present day, I have passed these things to my children as well.  I encourage my son to read comic books.  And, while he may go with his grandfather and read those mainstream books, he also reads indies with his mother.

my son reading The Edge a story within Volume 3 of the comic Flight

my son reading "The Edge" a story within Volume 3 of the comic "Flight"

I realized that I had not been completely true to myself.  Perhaps part of the reason why I never felt at ease or why it didn’t just all fall into place was that.  I was denying myself the potential to reach further.

When I went to Comic Con, I was representing Girls Entertainment Network.  And while I am thankful for the opportunity I had to work with them, I have come to realize that I have a different vision for how I would like to proceed with my venture into comic book journalism.

Approximately 2 years ago I purchased a series of domains for various projects that I was considering.  I had been mulling over the thought about a comic book site for some time but never made the jump into it.

I went to a movie showing of the 1943 rare Batman serial and an exhibit this weekend on the Golden Age of comic books over at the Skirball Cultural Center.  It reminded me so much about what we, as a culture, have lost, what we have gained, and what remains the same though it may have a different face.

It was profound and moving with its subtleties and brash overtones.

The time has come.  The past doesn’t always have to be so scary.  Neither does the future.  It’s time they shook hands.

I will continue to write freelance for comic book realted sites, but am also gathering steam for what I need to make a website that I believe will be something I am proud of.  Please stay tuned for further information about my site: Superficially Iconic: “a site for comic book intellectuals.. and everyone else too.”

The skys the limit oh dear Superfriend of mine.

The sky's the limit oh dear Superfriend of mine.

See you at Long Beach Comic Con.  And now I have to get ready for a superhero birthday party… Marvel turned the big seven-oh today don’t you know?

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Halts and time outs

I’m in the midst of yet another major time out.  It’s spring cleaning and with it comes… well the evaluation process of what’s working, what needs to go and what’s actually important.

I’ve noticed over time I seem to have strayed from my journalistic roots.  Once upon a time, I was a game journalist.  In high school, for our school newspaper, I covered everything under the sun, with primary focus in features articles.  I loved it.  It challenged me.

The blogging I initially started here was more for personal reflection.  In some ways it was a collection of all of my thoughts- both fluid and real time that I wanted to release and share.  It was part of the collection for the book I’m writing about my journey through an abusive marriage and divorce.   Later it grew to my path towards getting on my feet, falling on my face, learning to find the strength to get back up again and do it all over.

It was very personal.  It was harsh and real.  It was also a double edged sword.  Ultimately I came to some very important conclusions from it.

Friday was very significant to me.  In many ways, I realized just how much I really wanted to be more careful and greedy about what I sent out into the digital space.  I took a time out.  A very much needed time out.

“There are some things that are meant to be legendary.” he said.

Simple, yet profound,  it was a piece of commentary in a silly private conversation that resonated so strongly… reminder of things I already know but tend to forget.  The easiest and hardest things seem to be that way.

I shared bits and pieces about the events that transpired on my weekend with close friends, but left few digital footprints about it.  It was legendary and however selfish it may have been to keep them private, the moments were my own and the world doesn’t need them unless I chose to share them with them.

People know far too much about my love affairs.  And although I’m forever thankful and happy to tell tales of my brushes with romance and heartache, perhaps part of the problem is that I am sharing these and not writing about it the way that it should be.

I’m taking to account the comments made from my peers: a cast of characters embued into the story, my readers, and the potential readership.  It comes with a price.  I’m weighing in.

I think it’s time you know more about the paths to the stories.  I need to dedicate more time into writing my novels, my screenplays, my childrens books, and, in this realm, my journalistic roots.  I’ve been doing it the way I wanted to for some time, and for those of you that have followed me through this journey, I appreciate you emphatically.  It’s time to put a halt on the bullshit.

I’m sick of being crucified for putting myself so out in the open to be crucified.  The relationships I have become compromised.  Despite my relatively off radar lifestyle, the blips that I do share get run away with.  While I encourage your imagination, there needs to be more left to your imagination.

I think in the end, the format really needs to be more evident of how I’ve changed.  People haven’t taken me as seriously as I’d have liked them to because I show them too much.  If people want to know my personal stories, they’re going to have to get to know me personally or read about it in one of my novels.    Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?  I’ve been selling myself short here.

Ironically it’s the ease of connectivity and accessibility that is really taking a toll.  I want more emphasis on building ways to effectively communicate ideas, passions, goals, desires in a cohesive fashion that isn’t so much “Look at me.”  How about you start inwardly and stop giving a crap about if people are watching what you do or not.

Life is about the journey, not about the destination.  Share your stories with the people you hold dear.  Stop being so accessible to strangers.  If you’re going to put yourself out there, be careful what you write.  On the digital scape, there is no undo.

Reformat.

There are some things that are meant to be legendary.

The best advice I was given in such a long time…

2 days and still going like the energizer bunny..

It was supposed to be a semi normal day Friday, despite the holiday. After trips back and forth to LA, SD, and Bakersfield.. I thought the 4th was going to be relatively quiet. Things with the roommate skyrocketed into horrific. I was so ready to go to work already, but not wanting to deal with any drama.

No one wanted to be at work. It was extremely laid back, and for once.. everyone got along. My plans for the night afterward were initially to take refuge with a notebook and ride to some patch of grass.. look up at the stars and have some solace. It sounds a bit emo, but I can assure you, its not meant to sound it completely. I just have a lot on my mind sometimes and tend to disappear off the radar momentarily.

Thankfully, I have some amazing friends that are able to catch me before I completely become a blip. Family didn’t call. Friends did though.

“I’m not going to let you spend it alone. Let’s do what we can to figure out how to get you here, or I’ll grab you later anyway.”

Worth the drive. It means so much to me. Multiple friends.

I wasn’t supposed to get out early enough to go, but that changed. I was cleared from my boss and made the mad dash to get home and change. We left later than we’d intended. The traffic clogged up a bit as we neared our destination.

“And that is why everyone in LA should have a thing of bubbles in their car.. because you never know.. and what a fun way to pass the time…”

We were headed to the ocean.. my place of zen. Friends (nerds), ribs, booze, chatter, movies, video games… awesome.

“Are we going to actually go in the water or should I not even bother with my swimsuit?”

“I’m not sure but you can bring it if you want to.. it’s really up to you..”

It was among one of the first things packed.

“I already had it packed anyway from San Diego.. he wanted to hit the jacuzzi when I was there.”

My friend just smiled.

As it got closer to the fireworks, the convoy of us headed towards the beach. Dan was the fearless leader, with a tripod nearly as big as me pushed over one arm, and a backpack nearly as heavy.

I could smell the ocean and someone smoking djarums. Blew bubbles and skipped. A stranger gave me a black and I lit up. Ah, escape.. escape. And we weren’t even there yet.

The ocean called to me. It took me all of 20 minutes before curiousity got the best of me… I pulled Steve and Dan with me.

“I just want to find out how cold it is..”

Until sunset, I was in the water. The beach truck rolled in and everyone got out. We made robot firetruck boobs in the sand, and headed back towards the rest of the group. Fireworks from all over. Malibu, Santa Monica, Marina Del Ray..

“Over there is where all the rich people are.. all on their roofs, laughing at all us broke people with our crappy public displays…”

I’ve lived in California for nearly a decade. This was my first fourth on the beach… and there’s only one thing that was missing. Yet, I would look at the sky and dream… we are looking up at the same sky, even if we’re in different cities.. living our parallel lives… not knowing what the future will bring.. fate? One could only hope.

The moment is broken by pings. I put it on the back burner. It’s not time right now.. and who knows if it ever will be. A friend texts me last minute.

“Would you like to come out and cover the anime expo with me tmorrow for TechZulu?”

The future.. goes back to my roots. I’m going to be up all night in proactive mood. Ah the workaholic in me…

“Get some sleep so your eyes aren’t puffy tomorrow, and we’ll talk more”

Excitement. So many reasons. Doors opening… building blocks on relationships.. personal, professional.. friendships… steps forward.. steps back.. new experiences… more…

We packed up the rest of our things and headed back to Trina and Matt’s. Matt made this concotion affectionately called “the ritz.”

“Dare I even ask what’s in this or just drink it?”

We walked down memory lane a little bit. Matt showed us some of his stuff from film school. We talked about nerdy silly things. Played some Scene it… which, I might add, when playing with 2 film school graduates, is a bit.. intimidating to say the least.

Knowing that the day had to start early, we headed back for me to couch surf once again. My friends.. so very gracious to open their homes to me.

Awoke early to prepare for the long day ahead. A shower to wash away the sea. Singing “You Don’t Own Me..” Not a care in the world.

We went to the store for sustenence. I was thinking about making some seafood omlets.. still focused on those moments of zen yesterday. But opted instead for a breakfast burrito. Accompanied, of course, by some chai.

I put on some jazz and cooked. Sang and danced around.

“He hasn’t let me cook for him yet. One of these days though.. perhaps when we both have the time..”

And then the expo itself. Everything was a rush. My friend Trina of Gaming Angels ended up bringing me. It was my first anime con, and I was a bit nervous for no reason. I’ve always wanted to dress up and go to one, but hadn’t yet. And now I was going as press.

Finding Marc was crazy in itself. The con was massive. Rush was the norm though. Newsworthy.

I was fortunate enough to meet up with the folks from Girl Gamer. They are such great people. It’s funny in a way how small of a world it is. It seemed that all of us knew eachother before the meeting. Paralell constants.

I knew a few others that had mentioned that they were going to be there.. just barely missed on a friend who dressed as Jack Sparrow. The gaming journalist convoy… in addition to us, was also Coin-Op Tv, All Games, and if I’ve missed someone, I apologize. Let me know if you were there and I missed the link, I’ll gladly add it.

My day, however was dominated primarily with awesomes Girl Gamer and Marc of TechZulu.

The day was a complete success. Not for the fact that everything went as perfectly as planned, because with these things, it rarely ever does, which is half the thrill of it.. but because I firmly believe in the strength of the connections that were made there. It is one of my loves of the advent of social media. We have small worlds, but when we share passions.. I look forward to seeing how things go for everyone. Where their paths take them. I wish them good luck in their journeys… parallel.

There were smiles all around that day. It was an experience I am forever thankful to have had.

Pulled from place to place…

Taking pictures.

Interviews.

Near interviews.

Secrets.

Finding out about why people put so much devotion into the things they enjoy.

Logistics.

“Are you ok with all of this? This adventure?” Marc said.

and I turned to him and said..

“Are you kidding? This is what I live for…”

Travel.

Journalism.

Friendships.

Technology.

Business.

The ocean.

A camera.

A notebook.

Living at the edge of life.

Carpe Diem.

[And now to shower, get dim sum, and some more beach time before going back to hipster jesusville.. Pictures soon to come, and sidebar links updated later]