Gearing up for RCCC 2014!

Rose City Comic Con is just around the corner, and we are getting excited!

This year, our sister site, will be back, bigger than ever!  Not only will we be there with copies of Paris in the 20th Century, but we will also have previews of Ana DuPre and the Eye of the Kraken, the debut of our mini-comic, If Coffee Were Like Comic Con, and Keri is debuting an amazing variety of art (prints, originals, and a calendar!).

750ss arturo chinchilla giraffe nerds widow5 winny

















So come check us out at booth E-05!



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Comic Review: Sisters

sistersSiblings, and more specifically sisters, have a unique relationship.  You spend a good deal of your life trying to distance yourself from them, but one day realize that the person you need the most in your life is that self-same sibling you have been trying to avoid.  All the years of arguments, lack of privacy, and shared family trauma mellow with time and form the basis or an unbreakable bond.

Or at least that is what it is like when you look back on it as an adult.

When you are a kid, you can’t get past the annoyance that is having someone around you all the time,  especially when it is expected that you always have to be “nice” to that person.

Raina Telgemeir had a similar experience growing up with her sister, Amara and chronicles one particularly difficult episode in her latest book, Sisters.  Jumping between a family road trip to visit cousins in California, and vignettes showing the relationship between Raina and Amara throughout the years, Sisters is part travelogue and part family drama.  Each sister places expectations on the other that are either unspoken or unrealistic (or both) which deepens a divide which neither one wanted, but are both seemingly helpless to repair.  This divide mirrors a greater divide in the family which both girls are just becoming aware of.

Both girls are deeply invested in their own worlds, their own desires, and their own dreams and find it difficult to share them with each other.  For Raina, it is the desire for solitude and peace and quiet (something in short supply in a crowded house with three children).  Amara loves to draw but wants to do it on her own terms.  The fact that her skills rapidly outpace her older sister’s does nothing to help Raina like her more.  Since they are trapped for weeks together on this trip, tensions boil to the surface and things get downright ugly.

That ugliness is ironic given Telgemeir’s light and fun art style.  Her characters perpetually seem poised to sing or dance, and the colors of the book contribute to the exterior happiness which belies deep frustration and resentment.

As is always the case with Telgemeir’s books, Sisters is a fast read, taking no more than an hour for most middle readers to devour it.  But, as with the rest of Telgemeir’s books, Sisters is eminently re-readable.  There is no great mystery to be solved.  There is no “will they or won’t they???” romance to be requited.  This is a good old-fashioned road trip where the adventures along the way are just as important (if not more so) as the destination itself.  Because of that, kids can pore over scenes in the book time and again, reveling in the dialogue, scanning the art, or imagining what they would have said in the same situation (or remembering what they did say when something similar happened to them!).

Telgemeir’s books are in heavy circulation at our school library and are perennial best sellers when the book fair comes around.  Sisters should continue both those traditions, so be sure to pick up a copy for you, or your kids.  Or, better yet, pick up two copies so you don’t have to share with your annoying sibling!

Check out a seven page preview here.

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SDCC 2014 Interview with Christian Gossett

We chat with Christian Gossett about his work on The Red Star, Star Wars, and the Star Trek prequel.

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SDCC 2014 Interview with Paul Pope

We chat with Paul Pope about Battling Boy, Aurora West, and not dumbing things down for kids.


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SDCC 2014 Interview With The Lumberjanes Crew

We meet with the creative team of the Lumberjanes (Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, and Shannon Watters) to chat about our favorite campers!



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Solving the Funko Fiasco

Funko-Pop-Buffy-the-Vampire-Slayer-Buffy-SDCCI am singling out Funko for this post, but really it could apply to any of the myriad of toy companies which were selling exclusive toys at SDCC this year.  So, if you are not one of the thousands of people who waited in line for a Funko bobble head and instead would prefer to imagine yourself in the Hasbro line or any of the other lines, please feel free.  I am only talking about Funko because that is the line I had the “pleasure” of standing in.

I am not a toy guy.  Despite the fact that I have several bobble heads and potato heads, they are more a giggle for me than a desire.  So how did I find myself endlessly circling the Funko booth at SDCC trying to get in the line which was always capped before the con even opened?  Simple.  I did it for love.

My wife texted me while I was in San Diego and asked if I could “swing by the booth where they are selling the Buffy bobble heads.”  My wife is a Buffy fan and had seen a tweet from Sarah Michelle Gellar about the limited edition bobble head that would be released at Comic Con.  For my wife?  Anything.

Each day I would get to Funko as fast as  I could, only to find the line capped and a gruff guy informing us that the line would be re-opened in anywhere from forty-five minutes to an hour.  Fortyfive minutes would pass, I’d be back in front of the Funko booth, only to find that the line was once again full and would be another hour or so.  Repeat for several days until finally, on Sunday I loitered and hustled enough to get into the line.  An hour later I was at the front of the line, only to find that Buffy was sold out.

Now, don’t cry for me.  I’m not here to whine about the line waiting.  I’m not here to boo hoo about not getting Buffy (I found my wife a nice t-shirt by an independent artist and an IOU for a regular Buffy when they are released later this summer).  I’m here to offer a solution to the long lines at Funko, Hasbro, and all the other “limited edition” retailers.  I call it the “McFarlane Method.”

Many years ago Todd McFarlane (the creator of Spawn, for those of you who only know him as “the toy guy”) came up with a plan for alleviating the line in front of his booth.  He issued tickets.  Each ticket had a number, and that ticket was good for two items to be signed.  One ticket per person.  He didn’t do it to be a jerk or to cut down on people having their entire run of Spawn signed.  He did it so that people could enjoy the rest of the show.

He figured he could sign 100 books an hour.  So, he would issue the number of tickets that corresponded to the amount of time he would be signing.  Three hours signing = 150 tickets.  Six hours signing = 300 tickets.  Then, he would post a sign saying that he was now signing tickets 1-50.  The people with those tickets could get in line, he would sign their books, and they would move on.  People with the higher number tickets were free to enjoy the show and then come back as they got closer to the time their number would be called.  No one went away unhappy.

Funko, Hasbro, Mondo (what is it with these companies ending in “o”?) all know how many customers they can process in an hour.  Why can they not just issue tickets for their shops which are good for a specific time/location in line?  Then, instead of everyone standing in line for hours, or milling about so they can get in line once it opens, people could enjoy the con, and then check in when their tickets are good?

Before you rush to say that there will just be a crush of people getting tickets, Lego executed a similar plan last year for their mini-fig drawing.  Once the line location was established, the line moved quickly and orderly.  People who wanted more than one ticket could get back in line and get another.  In our case for exclusives, this would just allow them to get in line a second time later in the day.   Then, once people had their tickets, they could enjoy the rest of the show.  To be even more efficient and hi-tech, the companies could set up a dedicated app which would indicate what numbers were being served.  That way people would not even have to keep cycling back in front of the booths, clogging up the aisles.  They could just check their phones every so often from anywhere in the con.  In short, the current scenario is not the only way to do business.  Companies just have to be willing to try something a little different.

Some people believe that standing in long lines  is part of the Comic Con “experience.”  For those people, I suggest that Hall H may be the place for them.  For the rest of us, I would like to see a solution that allows people to get the exclusives they desire while still being able to enjoy the rest of the show.  Hopefully Funko, Hasbro, Mondo and the rest of the companies offering exclusives will re-examine their line strategies and come up with a solution.

What are your thoughts?  How would you solve the issue of long lines and circling for exclusives?  Sound off in the comments!

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SDCC 2014 Interview with Gene Yang

We chat with Gene Yang about Boxers & Saints, The Shadow Hero, and the importance of teaching young kids coding skills.

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