I got an e-mail from Doug around the time Batman v Superman was coming out – a movie I had not seen yet, but one that I had a lot of reservations about when I heard it announced. Warner Bros was so desperate to catch up to where Marvel had gotten over the last several years, they made a mediocre Superman movie (Man of Steel), and then immediately announced the next movie would be the Justice League. Fan reaction to this announcement was…toxic at best…so they went back and said, “Just kidding. It’ll be a Batman and Superman movie. … And also, it’ll have all of the Justice League in it.”
The movie was terrible. Absolute garbage. But I hadn’t seen it at the time I read the script (to avoid spoilers, I tried to just keep to my lines as Lex Luther), but then I walked in while they were filming the scene where they call our Zack Snyder for killing Superman in the second movie. I didn’t really mind the spoiler – I knew the movie was going to suck – and now I knew how much it was going to suck. So much so that even Warner Bros was after a reboot after their second movie. Well done, guys.
Based only on the performance of Jessie Eisenberg from the trailers, I channeled my inner “terrible actor” and threw it into the performance, which Doug loved. I’m not a fan of Jessie Eisenberg nor do I enjoy his movies (Zombieland was pretty cool, though, despite his best efforts). But pretending to be the guy for a night was a lot of fun.
The wig was a huge pain in the butt, though. I haven’t had hair in ages, and the length was just long enough to get in my eyes but too short to tuck behind my ears. It just kept getting in my face and into every shot – but we rolled with it. We made it work. And it was a lot of fun. I only got to interact with Malcolm, which was fun. We were in front of a green screen, but I kept coming up with ways to annoy him with candy.
Eventually they kept adding makeup to me the whole night – which was a pain to wash out. It was just Halloween makeup, though, and they had remover in the studio, so I just kept wiping until it all came off.
What has been your favorite NC review? Who’s your favorite supporting character from the show? And who would you like to see me play next?
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD REVIEW
This was a fun one. But when Doug reached out to me, I was a little nervous. He told me I’d be playing a Warboy, but they were all shirtless in the movie. Was I going to have to run around with no shirt on for his video?
I immediately hit the gym.
But much to my appreciation, he put me in a white shirt and a thick leather jacket. And thick makeup. That kept coming off, but that’s another story.
Doug’s direction was hilarious: keep up the energy and testosterone. Everything we did involved shouting, head butting, and extreme facial expressions. I even head-butted Doug during a take early in the video, where we needed to get nose-to-nose. But both of us wear glasses normally, so without them we had limited depth perception. So we almost gave each other a bloody nose.
We also did a lot of improve in the car, which was fun. The whole searching for the explodey stick and then saying, “I never learned how to read.” I was happy Doug kept that in. It even showed up for a while in his opening credits.
All in all, this was a very fun video to participate in. And I LOVED the movie, so that made it all the more special.
The final day of the con had us grabbing breakfast in the green room (they had some delicious fresh apples!), and then heading to the floor for our final set up. The last day of the show is always exhausting, but the excitement of the final day always brings enough energy to muscle through.
We didn’t have any panels on the final day, so we were able to just focus on sales and hanging out. Traffic on the floor was still pretty solid, and people were in good spirits – the way you like to see the final day of a con.
The comic book guests of the show, somehow full of energy on the final day!
After several hours of selling, we finished and packed up and began to say our good byes to the staff and volunteers who had made our weekend so great. I even walked around the floor a bit, looking to see if there were any gifts for my daughter (I didn’t see anything age-appropriate, but I’m sure she’ll want a bunch of stuff when she’s old enough to appreciate it).
Thanks so much for another amazing weekend, and a fantastic start to the convention season! I can’t wait to be back again next year!
Thanks for a fantastic weekend, Anime Milwaukee. Photo by Tommy Schultz
The next morning started like any other day, but would progress quite differently. We attempted to grab breakfast at the diner across the street again, but after waiting over 40 minutes for our order, we had to take off to open our tables. Russell offered to stay behind and pick up our food, which took another 20 minutes or so. Alan and I were open and ready for the masses who piled into the dealer’s hall first thing, and started making sales right away. The day flew by quickly, between selling books, chatting with friends who stopped by, and promoting the Kickstarter for Albert the Alien vol 3 (live until March 15).
Kickstarter backers at the con got bonus rewards, as modeled by Alicia
Around 5pm, just before the close of the floor, the group broke down and went to our panel about How to Exhibit at Cons. When we arrived at the room, however, it appeared to be another schedule hiccup. The room was already filled with voice actors doing their bits for a very large crowd, who was having a fun time. Since the schedule didn’t list the right now for our panel, and no one was waiting for us, we opted to let the voice actors keep going and instead went to grab some dinner.
Alan took us to a Spy-themed restaurant, which I was not able to eat at due to the wait time (I had another panel later that night). Instead, I went to a local Bon Mi place and went to the green room to eat diner and talk to the staffers up in the room. I enjoyed my sandwich, told some funny stories, and then headed to my final panel for the weekend (which did have a matching schedule on the door to my schedule) about Self-Publishing. We had a nice sized crowd for the panel – a good 30+ attendees – all asking excellent questions and trying to make their own comics. I went on for the full hour, and broke down at the end to grab a quick drink before we did Cards Against Humanity with Dan and Jillian.
Myself and Lady Jillian, getting ready for a night of Cards Against Humanity!
The rest of our guest lineup for CAH. Top: Russell Lissau and Greg Wicker. Bottom: Alan Evans and myself
This panel is a rather private affair, and pictures are almost always forbidden – but we were able to snap a few. They play the game a bit differently than normal – but it’s a way that I’ve grown to enjoy more and more. If you’ve never attended, you really should – it’s a fun time. The panel went until almost 2am, and as soon as it ended I headed up to bed.
What do you do Saturday nights at a con? Are you all about the panels? The viewing room? The dances?
My first convention of the year – which is a show I commonly start my year with – was Anime Milwaukee, and it never disappoints. This weekend is, and does, set my bar for the year on how conventions can and should be run. I love this show. LOVE IT. And I’m going to tell you why: the attendees are awesome. Period.
What do you like most about the cons you attend? What tends to bring you into a show? Guests? Events? Bands? Panels? Word of mouth about the show? Let me know.
That said, let’s jump into the con.
After work, I picked up my buddy Russell Lissau (another guest of the show, and writer of Old Wounds) and we decided to hang out and grab some dinner locally before beginning our drive north to avoid some traffic. Russell took me to a local Mediterranean place that had some very delicious kabobs and hummus. We sat and caught up, having not seen each other for some time (and not having done a con together for months). Eventually we finished dinner and headed up to the con, which was a much faster drive than we both anticipated.
We got to the hotel and parked, and headed in to get our badges and itineraries for the weekend. We met up with Alan Evans (Rival Angels), who showed us that our rooms were all next to each other (and connected!). We poured some drinks and hung out for several hours, eventually being joined by our good friend Sandi. I didn’t stay up too late, because I was exhausted from having the baby at home, but I did stay up later than I expected to.
Alan and I got up early and hit up the gym, taking turns and spotting each other in the workout. We had a good hour in the gym, and then headed to our rooms to get ready for the day and headed to breakfast. We went to a local diner across the street, grabbed a quick bite, and then went to the floor to start setting up our tables.
The booth, set up in all its glory!
Our table position was PERFECT. We were just to the right of the main entrance to the artist alley / dealer’s area, so we had a lot of main traffic coming past our table. We were very visible from the entrance, and got a lot of spillover because of the extra visibility. Before we started selling, however, it was time for opening ceremonies.
Do you attend opening ceremonies at a con? I find them attended very sporadically, depending on the show – some have incredible attendance, others less so. This show has great attendance at their opening ceremonies.
Many guests were still arriving (or would not be attending for the weekend, due to the massive storms in California cancelling flights). They called the guests up in groups, and so the comic guys all went up together. Despite having agreed to me doing all the talking, Alan said a few words which lead to some awkwardness, and then we went off stage and opened our tables for the start of selling and panels. Well, sort of….
We had received our panel schedules from the guest department, which we were following. However, that schedule did not always match the schedule outside of the rooms. So when I arrived at my 3:30pm Writing for Comics panel, I found someone else already talking in the room and no line waiting for me. When I looked at the panel doors, that scheduled claimed the panel was in another room an hour earlier. I told my guest handler about the snafu, and went back to my table to keep selling. This would become a theme for the weekend, unfortunately, but was really the only hiccup in an otherwise perfect weekend.
Godzilla sketch card commission
About the time the floor was supposed to close, we had another panel – this one was a group panel, about Making Time for Making Comics. Attendance was a bit light, but again – our schedule didn’t match the door schedule. But we had a fun time, talked about identifying and removing distractions, and how to prioritize creative projects. After that, we grabbed some dinner and hung out in the green room with the rest of the guests – including an appearance by my buddy Matt Mercer, and Vic Mignogna.