Saturday, July 23, 2011

Comic-Con 2011 - Day Two

Saw this moment at Comic-Con today while standing in line waiting for one of the panels.  I noticed this guy in a wheelchair in line behind me.  Like most people at the convention he had something written on his tee-shirt.  His said, "Keep staring.  I might do a trick."  
I chuckled.  I liked it.  It said something about the guy's attitude toward the nature of things that I appreciated.  I was waiting for him to look up from the book he was reading to give him a thumbs-up when one of the Comic-Con volunteers overseeing the lines heading into the panels came up to him and asked if he wanted to be moved to a space near the front of the line.  The guy waved her off saying, "It's OK...  I'm fine waiting."  
The volunteer went away.  The guy went back to reading.  I readied myself to say something to him again when another person, this time a Comic-Con staff member, came up to the guy and asked, "We can move you to the front of the line if you want.  Would you like to do that?"  
The guy sighed.  He took the sigh back in with a deep breath and looked up at her.  "That's OK.  I'm fine waiting.  Thanks."  He pointedly returned to his reading.  
The lady left.  I was beginning to think that maybe he might not appreciate my approval of his tee-shirt as much as I thought, but I still thought to say something to him.  Before I could catch his eyes, a Comic-Con staff supervisor comes up to him.  "Excuse me...  Would you want to be moved up front?  We can do that if you'd like..."  
"Yes," he said, slapping the book closed.  "Let's do that.  You're the third person to ask me, and I've said I was OK each time, but it seems people are going to keep asking me until I say yes."  
He started to maneuver his chair back and forth to turn it around.  The supervisor starting instructing the people in line to move to make way for him.  "Please...  If everyone can give him room."  Her voice was loud, to get everyone's attention.  People passing by turned their heads to look.  I wondered how many of them noticed what was written on his tee-shirt.  
Marv Wolfman writing seminar. - Marv became famous for his treatment of Superman.  Best thing I got out of the seminar was Marv reading the text of the Pixar Writing Bible.  Per Marv, this is part of a document that Pixar Studios give to writers who work for them, telling them how to structure their stories.  It is very short and succinct.  It  reads: 
"Once upon a time, just as it was every day..."  
"Until one day..."  
"And because of that...  And because of that...  And because of that...  Etc."  
"And since that day..."
"The moral of the story is..."  
I'll write more about this structure later.  Marv also gave out a trick about how to bring out exposition without using long expository passages.  He says he often writes a scene where two characters argue about what to do, during which they will cite the facts of the situation to support their case.  I have a scene in mind in one of my stories where I can use this method.  
Writing the Apocalypse - A panel about writing end of the world stories and what makes them attractive.  Do you pick an apocalypse based on science?  Nature?  Some religious event?  Human stupidity?  For most of the writers it was some combination of all of the above.  
My favorite statement about such stories came from the moderator.  In apocalypse stories, anyone can become the most important human being in the universe.  When so few people are left, anyone left could make the difference between the survival or the ultimate extinction of the human race.  
Del Rey/Spectra - A preview of books coming from this publisher.  The ones I took most note of were: 
The War That Came Early Series by Harry Turtledove - The master of alternate history writes a series of novels in which World War II starts when Germany invades Czechoslovakia in 1938, and Herman Hess offers a deal to England to join forces against the Soviet Union.  Apparently the offer by Hess was actually made, according to Turtledove, though it was rejected.  Something I never knew.  
George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones series is being made into a series of graphic novels, starting in October.  
The Star Wars Craft Book - Instructions to make things like a Jabba the Hut body pillow or a "droidle" to give your Jewish Star Wars fans on Hanukkah.  
More tomorrow.  


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