Highs and Lows, Plans and Schemes

Last weekend I drove back to Yellow Springs, my “midwestern hometown” (not to be confused with my “actual hometown” of Montclair or my “family’s hometown” of Sackets Harbor), for Free Comic Book Day at my old stomping grounds of Super-Fly Comics & Games. In the past I’ve just gone to hang out with my friends and see whatever musical act they had performing that night. This time around I went more with the purpose of selling copies of Monstrology & Book of Dragons, as well as do the usual spreading the word about stuff I’ve got going on. All in all it was a very successful trip and I made more sales that day than than the entirety of my time at C2E2 earlier in the year. It was also great to see my good friend Adam Hicks and finally meet one of my inspirations, Vito Delsante (and his delightfully charming family). Plus, musical guest Juice Lee was a great way to close out the day.

I’m quite happy how it all turned out, but it also showed me how poor my performance at C2E2 was rather than how great FCBD at Super-Fly was (although it was pretty great). That’s not a condemnation of C2E2 as a show, either. It’s more about my lack of planning and preparation for that show and not working to put myself in a better place for it. Something that I will, hopefully, rectify this year. There are a few other shows I’m looking at hitting up soon so fingers crossed that they work out as well.

***

At my day job this past Friday (yes, Friday the 13th) we had a rather significant shake-up that, while initially troubling settled relatively well. It’ll certainly make for an interesting summer there, for sure, but one of the things brought up was the opportunity to take June through August off (unpaid and uninsured, but with unemployment). While kind of crazy I had a moment of wishing it was something I could have taken advantage of. I come into some money every July from a cashed-in retirement plan but this year a lot of that is already spoken for paying off debts. If that wasn’t the case and with the ability to get unemployment during that time it may have been something I would have taken advantage of. The ability to try to focus up on writing and working on projects, as well as going to as many shows as possible to sell and promote myself, would have been a really interesting opportunity. We were only given the day to consider it and the lack of preparation would have made me a nervous wreck but certainly has captured my imagination these past 24 hours or so. It certainly makes me want to plan better (I mean, everything does) for the possibility of that happening next year.

***

Projects are proceeding apace. My Secret New Thing had its first production meeting this week and it’s made me very happy thus far. It’s something completely new and different for me and I have some really great partners working on it with me.

Prose fiction is still kind of stalled out a little bit as my mind has swung back towards thinking about comics this past month or so. I’ve cranked out some good ideas and finished the first draft of a new script and looked over an old (verrrrrry old, like seven or eight years old) script and wasn’t immediately repelled and disgusted by it. So that’s something and makes me want to get back into the world of that series that I had kind of put behind me for a bit. of course all of this comic making necessitates finding more artists (and finding ways to pay them) and that’s always kind of a humbling and challenging experience. I’ve been getting good work from two of the artists that I’ve been doing projects with recently so maybe there’s a little hope there.

***

Speaking of comics, it was announced today that comic artist/writer Darwyn Cooke passed away last night after a battle with cancer. It’ such a huge loss to the artistic and comic communities. I’ve found his style dynamic and original since seeing his run with Ed Brubaker on Catwoman. The New Frontier, his exploration of the entire DC universe set in the 50s and 60s, is one of the greatest versions of those characters and his comic adaptations of Richard Stark’s “Parker” novels (some of my favorite crime novels of all time) are some of the greatest works in the entire comic medium.

Truly, a giant talent has been lost. Thankfully, we will always have his work to remind us and help us celebrate him.

About The Author

Thacher Cleveland

Thacher E. Cleveland is a contributing writer & columnist for PanelsOnPages.com, co-host of the Super-Fly Comics & Games PodCast, novelist & comic creator. Originally from New Jersey and previously from Yellow Springs, Ohio, he currently lives in Chicago. You can find him on Twitter (@demonweasel), tumblr, his personal website and even on Google+

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05 2016

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