Yes, I met Stan Lee, No It Was Not A Positive Experience #Comics #Marvel #DC #Indie #Fantasy

I actually meant to publish this a month ago on the anniversary of Stan’s death… unfortunately I missed scheduling the publishing date. So… yeah, here it is. Sorry for the delay!

On this anniversary of Stan’s death, I wanted to reflect on the time I met him. I always caution people about meeting celebrities. Too often, they are not everything you think they’re going to be. Often we see them as larger than life individuals and sometimes they are… other times… not so much.

I met Andrew WK when he was at the height of his musical career and despite being completely high off his ass, he was larger than life. This was a man who loved his fans, loved talking to them, engaging with them and literally stayed until everyone got to talk to him.

I met Marc Hudson of Dragonforce at one of their concerts. Nice guy, soft spoken, but was nice enough to wait until my buddy fixed his camera! He was otherwise soft spoken, but the fact that they come into the crowd to meet their fans, I have to give credit there!

11133808_914153015314576_5150553061159157568_n

Same with the guys from Kamelot. Awesome folks!

10277712_916690335060844_1120954005155875110_n

Philo Barnhart was literally everything you’d expect from a man who loves kids! That’s just how he is.

78883020_2780446578685201_1878993276548153344_n

 

But that doesn’t mean that every experience will be positive. Not every celeb is in the right frame of mind when you approach them, others may just not be in a good place. Keep in mind, they are human.

So that brings me to my Stan Lee experience. For starters, I have no pictures. We were banned from taking them.  So what happened? Well… I paid for an autograph, so I was hoping to get a chance to say hi and maybe ask him a question. Then I saw the lines…. Holy… they were long. It was pretty clear I was going to be there a while. Okay, worth it.

So I got in line and waited… and waited… finally, Stan came into view. What I saw… was not what I expected. Even in his old age, Stan had always come off as larger than life. A giant among men. However on this day in 2016… That’s not what I saw.

You get up to the front of the line, Stan is behind a dividers with three people standing on one side of him, two people on the other side and God only knows how many people behind. I go up to the table, they ask me what I’d like to have autographed. I pull out my copy of Uncanny X-Men #16. I place it on the table. They take it and pass it on to the next person. I’m told to wait a moment. The guy in front of my get’s his book autographed before being shooed away. I was told not to ask any questions or anything because Stan couldn’t be distracted.

This was… odd to me, but whatever. I get it. The poor man probably had to do thousands of these autographs. Fine.

Then I get my book to Stan’s pen. As I’m walking up to him, I could not believe what I saw. He was a small man, huddled over to the table, shoulders in, head down, sunglasses on, hands shaking… It pulled at my heart.

As I got up to him, he complained that his hands hurt. I pulled my book back, wanting to give him a moment, but the people with him beckoned me on. So I placed my book on the table for him to autograph. When he finished, the book was handed to me and I was shooed away. I said ‘Thank you!’ and I think he said “yup” or grunted, but… I’m not sure.

I looked back at him one more time before going to one of the nearby Comic Con officials and told them what happened. The woman was polite, but didn’t seem to take me seriously. She kind of waved it off saying, “Oh don’t worry, he can take a break if he needs to.”

I’m not sure I believed her. That didn’t look like a man in charged. It looked like a man with a metaphorical gun to his back and vultures overhead. I shook my head and walked away.

Since then, the book has been mounted and rests on my book case… and each time I look at it, I think about donating it. I’m not proud of the manner in which I got the autograph and I’m not sure I should profit from it either. So maybe I’ll donate, who knows? I haven’t decided.

This was not a good experience. It was sad, and given the allegations of elder abuse that later came out, it placed an even darker mark on the experience. Stan deserved better. A man who brought smiles to so many… who gave people an escape, taught, and entertained… He deserved better than that at the end.

Well that’s my two cents. Just be careful with celeb meets. In MOST cases IMHO, they love meeting their fans and they’ll engage with you, especially lower level celebs, but that’s not always the case. Some are just doing it for more money while others may have other outstanding issues.

Readers, do you have a celeb experience? Let us know about it in the comments!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Spoils of Comic Con… #Comics #Marvel #DC #Indie #Fantasy

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, so I thought I’d share the adventure with my readers.

To be honest, since having kids, we’ve done less and less of the major area cons (Boston Fan Expo, Connecticon, RI Comic Con, NY Comic Con, Pax East, etc.). We’re considering taking our oldest to one of the larger ones because he’s old enough now to handle it.

78423679_2774547155941810_6995934196795441152_n

So to feed the comic buzz, we’ve been attending some of the smaller cons. I actually have grown quite fond of some of these. Though not as grand or attention-drawing as some of the bigger cons, they’re ones you can go through in a few hours to a few days, depending on what you want to see and how much you want to take in.

78824444_2774547332608459_2800779359479136256_n

If you’re looking for an artist or celeb who’s really big and well-known right now, this may not be the place to look. Also, if you’re looking for specific comics that are really rare… you may or may not find them. A lot of dealers only bring limited stock as they don’t typically get a lot of space.  However, if you’re looking to browse or perhaps see an artist you liked as a child, this is the place for you.

Northeast Comic Con had the pleasure of hosting everyone from Marvel/DC veterans, to Jim Henson Productions artists, to actual Disney animators! Ergo, there was plenty to see and do.

My first stop when I got there was to see Mark Mckenna. Known for his work across the comic board, he did quite a few of the Old Republic Star Wars books back in the day, so I knew I wanted a piece done by him.

78334139_2780448395351686_7801078786262302720_n

I found him to be a very friendly, talkative individual who knew the material and really seemed to appreciate his fans. I’ve met a lot of artists and they don’t always appreciate talking shop, but he certainly did. I had him do one of my favorites; Ahsoka Tano. I was not disappointed by the results.

78090501_2780449058684953_229658051710287872_n

(I still maintain to this day that whomever came up with the idea for sketch covers was a genius!!!)

For years, I’ve had a list of characters that I wanted to get done. I could now cross Ahsoka Tano off that list.

However, one of the other characters I’d wanted to get done was a tough one… Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a HUGE fan of Avatar (The Last Airbender, not the James Cameron movie!). While there are some graphic novels, the Avatar library is comparatively limited and the artists don’t seem to do conventions around here. So it seemed like one of the commissions I wanted; Katara, would likely never get done.

Then I spot one particularly jolly individual sitting in the corner…

78883020_2780446578685201_1878993276548153344_n

You all know the man. Yes, you do. No I’m serious. Even if you don’t recognize him, you know his work. Look up his IMDB page. He’s worked on several major Disney and Don Bluth works, as well as several other animated productions. He was one of the people who created Gaston’s character in Beauty and the Beast, he worked on the Little Mermaid, and a little known Disney film that happens to be one of my favorites; The Black Cauldron.

Let me just say that this man is a larger than life character with a LOT of heart. He really has an aura about him, an affinity for kids, and really seems to love what he does. I spent a lot of time at his booth chatting about his work and looking through his offerings.

At that point, there was no way I could walk away without having him do a commission for me. I was tempted to have him do a Disney piece, but that’s not really my thing, and while I liked Don Bluth’s work, I wasn’t really huge on any of them. Still I wanted to get a sketch done by him… but what? What could I have him do?

He’d done Disney and Bluth films, but I didn’t see any Nickelodeon productions… would he really be willing to do it? Well… not only was he willing, he was happy to. He asked me if I wanted a specific pose or anything in particular. I told him no. Typically, I let the artists figure that one out. The less direction, the better the piece.

78615893_2780449118684947_5425005137544347648_o

The end result speaks for itself! He went with her Fire Nation disguise and the whole thing came out really amazing! This actually might be my most valuable piece. I’m currently looking to get it preserved and framed.

Because our kids tired easily, we only spent one day there instead of the three it was open for. However, we got a lot done, got to check out a lot of the puppet work and peruse the comic/collectibles areas. We spent way more money than we should have, but can’t complain! It was a fun time and I’m definitely going back next year.


Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Can video games be considered art?

It’s a tough question to answer. Certainly in this day and age they are not considered ‘high-art’ but when programming backgrounds and beautiful scenery, its hard not to consider them as such.

Let’s consider Skyrim for a moment… someone (me) goes through hours upon hours coding, re-texturing, and updating the graphical properties of the game, using some mods he downloaded and some that he created on his own to create scenery that is on par if not superior to new releases. Could the imagery he comes up with be considered art?

Let me give you a few examples to look at:

Given the extreme detail and the amount of hard work that goes into such things, no two modded Skyrims are exactly the same. Could imagery like this not be considered art?

I think it can, and eventually video game designers will soon be considered the artists that they deserve to be, but I’ll open it up to the floor.

Readers, would you consider this art?



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

You can also add me on Twitter!

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Lady Mechanika Review!

Lady Mechanika is a creator-owned comic book series by Joe Benitez, inspired by the steampunk genre. “Steampunk” is all about re-imagining history, usually combining the elegance of the Victorian Era with more advanced science fiction technology.

The tabloids dubbed her “Lady Mechanika“, the sole survivor of a mad scientist’s horrific experiments which left her with mechanical limbs. Having no memory of her captivity or her former life, Mechanika eventually built a new life for herself as a private detective, using her unique abilities to solve cases the police couldn’t or wouldn’t handle. But she never stopped searching for the answers to her own past.

Set in turn of the century England, a time when magic and superstition clashed with new scientific discoveries and inventions, Lady Mechanika is about a young woman’s search for her own identity as she solves other mysteries involving science and the supernatural.

-Benitez Productions


I’m going to start off by saying that I typically go straight for comic books that I’m familiar with. It’s always the big ones for Marvel and DC that we all know and love. Occasionally, I’ll check out another book that someone has told me about over time, but usually I’m not the browsing type. I may change that…
Upon entering my local comic shop, I was looking at a few of the older DC comics that came out. On the newer release shelf something caught my eye… (Pictured above) Lady Mechanika The Tablet of Destinies, caught my eye. I love super detailed art work… and have been a HUGE fan of anything steampunk ever since I was first introduced to Studio Ghibli’s movies. I love the style and always enjoyed stories surrounding such universes.

I picked up the book and flipped through it… I was honestly impressed. In most cases, the artwork on the cover is a lot better than what is actually inside the comic. I don’t know why that is, but there’s almost always a quality image on the cover, with the interior being almost completely different…
00a_LMTPB.jpg
As you can see, the artwork is beyond dazzling. You could easily and justifiably use almost any of these images as the cover of one of their books. You can honestly see that these indie comics are a labor of love for the people who make them.

On to the story, honestly, I would say that this is a cross between Indiana Jones and Sherlock Holmes, set in Steampunk Europe of the 19th Century. Lady Mechanika at times has that very stoic, unshakable temperament that we see from Holmes, but she is haunted by a past that won’t go away. I won’t give away much here, but we do see her haunted by her past, which is a mystery she is trying to unfold while solving other cases as well.

Unlike most comics, this isn’t a serial that goes on and on like most comics. It’s divided into several mini series (Again… like the Holmes novels). Each one is a different case and a different story, all of which are tied together by Mechanika’s past, which she is trying to solve;
The Demon of Satan’s Alley
The Mystery of the Mechanical Corpse
The Tablet of Destinies
The Lost Boys of West Abbey 
La Dama De La Muerte

Each of these series is usually between 2-6 issues. Unfortunately, this also means that there is a brief period between production where no comic is released. Usually this spans a few months before the next set comes out. Given the detail and the amount of work that goes into the comics, I fully get why, but its hard for those of us who love these stories.

It also makes finding back issues hard. The runs are limited and for a popular series… that means higher prices on ebay as they get older. I could go on and on about these, but really, I don’t want to spoil anything. This is an incredible series. If you like mysteries, adventure, fantasy, and/or steampunk… yeah this is one series that is a must for your collection!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

You can also add me on Twitter!

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Never Forget Those Who Help!

Hi All,

The countdown has begun to Soul Siphon’s release! I personally an extremely excited and cannot wait to finally hand my creation over to all of you to enjoy.

At this point though, I want to take a moment to recognize the talents of those who helped bring my book to life.

Firstly the cover artist. You haven’t seen the cover yet, and I’m sure the anticipation for is mounting, but you will soon enough. I found him on a networking site for artists when I was shopping around for an illustrator. I immediately fell in love with his work and after a little back and forth, hired him to do the cover. He is easy to work with and worth every penny!
Meet the talented Arts, Jabari Weathers.
This guy really knows his stuff and if you get a chance to work with him, I’d highly recommend it.

Secondly the people who helped with the Promo posters…
12697057_958733638294_5361610803053723206_o

The artistic imagery, darkness, and professionalism knows no limits. This is the second book that they’ve help me create.
DSC_2044
DSC_2034.jpg
Rick Chandler was the photographer.
Jenny French was the model… who also happens to be a very skilled designer in her own right!

Last but CERTAINLY not least and I mean by any means is a fellow writer whom I met on here. He’s got his opinions on writing, religion, and perspective, and we agree on NOTHING politically, but I’ve spent quite a bit of time conversing with him and have come to call him friend. One of my big hopes in life is that someday we’ll meet in person to have a beer in either country!
My editor, a man who holds nothing back (and thank God for that!) Eric Klingenberg!
This is another one that I highly recommend working with if you get the chance!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Soul Siphon Update

Less than a Month to go…

We’re more than half way through the edits! The cover design is complete and just being finished up! All legal documentation is out of the way, and we’re good to go!

With any luck, our release date of April 1 will be a reality!

Thank you all for your support and patients!

-Jim


 

Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim


 

Boston Film Family Photography

Never let it be said that I forget about the talent that helped bring my writing to life.

This is the photographer who helped make this a reality:
Featured Image -- 679

When I started out, I told him that I needed an image of a dark, war-torn angel, and this is what he came up with:
DSC06376

 

I’m happy to see that this is becoming a real business for him. He’s very talented. So if you need some work done, he knows his stuff, and he has both the tools and connections to accommodate… well pretty much any request I’ve seen thus far.

Thanks Friends,

Catch you on the flip-side,

Jim


Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim