A list of zany things that happened in Calgary which are polite enough to say in mixed company:

calgary1

1.) I was invited.

2.) Boom Studios sat me in between Paul Jenkins (Wolverine Origins, The Amazing Spider-Man, Batman: The Dark Knight) and Steven Grant (Punisher: Circle of Blood, Avengers, 2 Guns) for the duration of the convention.  LIKE WE WERE THE SAME SPECIES, or something.

3.) I landed two paying gigs while at the show (my first with each company.  Details soon), ensuring that I won’t be homeless for another year.  Thank Rao.

4.) The entirety of the Boom Studios crew (writers, artists, editors, operations folks, marketing, and so on) crammed into a Tardis-like 2” by 2”, non-air-conditioned room at some creepy Korean karaoke bar and sang and danced in unision for three hours straight.

Best song:  R-Kelly’s “Gotham City”.

5.) Devon and Bryce Carlson free-style rapped. It was gangster.

6.) The Calgary Expo talent liaison folks knew I was vegan, and brought me vegan pizza, vegan sushi, fresh fruit, and Canadian root beer all throughout the day.  Every day.  On purpose.  For free.

7.) Fans were excited to see me, and brought stuff for me to sign—which isn’t super uncommon (and I’m incredibly grateful for that)—but these people live IN A DIFFERENT COUNTRY than I do, so that was pretty cool.

One dude begrudgingly brought me his teenage daughters’ copies of Freelancers, and asked me to personalize them.

8.) Paul Jenkins, Zack Sterling (Adventure Time) and I hung out in the airport, swapping story pitches that producers—thus far—have been too lame to give us millions of dollars for.

Paul looked me in the eye after I finished my first spiel and said “Hey…That’s really good”, thus affirming my entire existence on Earth.

9.) Calgary asked Paul Jenkins, Michael Alan Nelson (28 Days Later, Day Men, Supergirl) and I to speak on a “How To Break Into Comics” panel.

I’m typing that again.  Just to make sure you read it.

Calgary asked Paul Jenkins, Michael Alan Nelson and I to speak on a “How To Break Into Comics” panel.

I have spent my ENTIRE LIFE trying to get into comics.  I lay awake at night, terrified that someday somebody is going to pull the rug out from under me and I’ll have to go back to working a soul-obliterating retail gig…and a bunch of people who live on the other side of the continent asked me to give advice regarding how to break in.

I guess I can calm down just a little bit?

10.) I felt like I belonged.

That might not sound like much, but this weekend is probably the second time that has ever happened to me (the first being the last night of Emerald City, at dinner with Dean Trippe and Hannah Partlow).

I eat like a weirdo, I don’t love the way people say I ought to, I don’t speak the same language as 99% of the people who I share a last name with, my biological family and I aren’t on the greatest terms, I don’t drink or smoke…there are a lot of barriers between me and the average Joe.

Boom makes me feel like I’ve found the place where I was always meant to be.  I’ll never be able to thank them enough for that.

We are Boom.  And you are too.

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The Dead Don’t Rise!

Calabrese fans: the leader of R.O.C.K. has broken out of the comic book world and invaded the third dimension! Catch a glimpse of him in the video below!

This is the first time a character I created for a comic book has transitioned into film.

Pretty effin’ cool!

Blackest Terror vs. Chick-Fil-A

Inspired by the hardcore badasses above and all of the stellar folks speaking out against Chick-Fil-A and their casual bigotry, Jason Pedersen (images) and Hannah Nance Partlow (letters) and I made this:

The above stars Blackest Terror (a bigot-fighting super guy whose self-titled comic is available via Comixology) doin’ what he does best: keepin’ his neighborhood free from those who would profit from fear and hate.

He has a cameo in Thor: Unkillable Thunder Christ , which shipped the Wednesday before last and is available through Diamond (MAY121207).

Ummm…we made it for another comic book website which occasionally runs guest panels from comic book professionals.  They opted not to run it.  And I understand that–taking a stand against bigotry is polarizing.  It’s controversial.  It might result in not getting future comic book industry gigs, or in crappy emails and message board comments… BUT PEOPLE ARE BEING DENIED RIGHTS, AND EVEN KILLED BY THEIR OWN GOVERNMENT.

If superheroes have any worth, then this is it.  They can be little avatars we dress up in our personal flags and send off to beat the living shit out of the real-life-bullies who would take away our dignity and put us in the ovens if nobody would call them on it.

Like so:

So, yeah.  Don’t let the bastards grind you down, e’rybody.

And don’t forget that we win this in the end.  We’ve all seen Star Trek– we know that eventually humanity gets its collective shit together and we put aside our differences and invent tricorders.