Why local cons Rock! And review writer Carl D Smith who shows you how the sausage is made.
Small nerdy cons are the best! Everyone is nice and helpful. I had the honor and privilege to be on a panel with 2 other local podcasters Amber and Ben. We talked about the basics on how to start a podcast. It was well attended and people asked lots of questions during the panel and after. When I first arrived I was shocked and asked the people if they were here for the podcasting panel thinking they got the room location wrong.
Earlier in the day I told Amber I would be happy if 3 or 4 showed up. To my surprise almost 40 attended. To say I was in shock would be an understatement. It gave me the energy I needed. I wasn’t nervous like I thought I might be and no one left in the middle of the panel. Victory number one of the con
I also got to meet our local pod father Eddie of the Podcast Arcade. The rest of the members of the group are the most wonderful people you will ever meet. They are all helpful and not trying to compete for your audience. The podcast community for the most is like that, we aren’t trying to “steal” your audience. We all want more listeners, but we know there are plenty of listeners to go around. They even let me record a session on the make Eternia great again show with Jeff. Side note Jeff and I hit it off since both of us have big families and we homeschool our kids. At the con Jeff and I sat down and recorded a quick bit together. Victory number two of the con.
For the first time in my life I took the time to sit down and play DND. Like I said in a previous episode I have never played DND, I have always wanted to, but never took the time to play. Thankfully I had a patient DM who took the time to try and explain the many nuances of the game. Me and my 3 other members who made up our adventurous group took on two small campaigns. Most of us were very green, but we seized the day with minimal damage. I think the DM took it easy on us since we were new. All in all it was fun, I like the fact DND has the large campaigns broken into smaller 1 hour adventures. This allows the casual player to play a quick adventure and easily come back later. I will plan on playing again soon. Victory number 3 of the con.
I was able to chat with several creators in the vendor area. There are so many, Jesse of Tank Zombie Studios and The guys of Omaha Underground. Who indulged my questions and comments. Russell Nohelty who is passionate about helping other creators sell the things they create. K Lynn Smith who is insightful and delves out encouragement to all of those who talk with her. Wesley Sun of Sun Brothers Studio is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. He is the type of guy will give you the short off his back if you need it. Lastly and certainly not least is Carl D Smith. I have known Carl since I came to college in 1992. We weren’t best buds but were hung out occasionally and I appreciated his humor and love for all things nerdy. After college our live never crossed paths much. We reconnected this weekend and we both admitted we should have gotten together more since we live less than an hour away. Just like most people we get busy with jobs kids and day to day life we forget to take time to connect with those we used to know. Hopefully that will change. Carl is a good guy with some great talent. I recommend you check out his work and all the other creators work, I will leave a link in the show notes. Final victory number 4
I almost forgot to mention I rode up with artist Lee Bokma. We got to chat on the way up and back about all things nerdy like retro comics and video games. I made a mistake, but it ended up being a good thing. I thought the con started at 11 and actually it was noon. We got there around 10:30, so we had about an hour to waste. Since we were in Council Bluffs I too him to Kanesville Kollectibles. Which is something Carl told me back in 92. It’s an old store which has old comics, books, records, cassettes and other old stuff. The place isn’t organized well, so you have to dig for what you are looking for. If you do some digging you can on rare occasions find a few gems you might be looking for. Which for some is half the fun. I found a bunch of comics for 50 cents and Lee found an old movie poster and a few comics. I was worried Lee might think the place is too dirty and unorganized, but he loved it and plans to come back. What I thought would be bad by making us have to wait an hour ended up being a good thing.
Eddie has mentioned after a con you get energized, it’s like summer camp. You don’t want the new people and things you saw to go away. Eventually they do somewhat diminish, but the new friendships and experience that are made keep going on. Yes there is a bit of a dip, but the trend tends to move up because of the connection and experiences that are made. And that’s why you and I go to these things to connect with liked minded people and experience and see new things, to have fun.
One thing I will do different next year is to bring one of my older kids. I think they could handle some of the grind. They would have fun see all the nerdy stuff the con has to offer. After all that’s what cons are about experiencing new nerdy things together.
Carl D Smith
If you are a regular listener you know I usually do a quick comic book review and I will. However since I found some new books at the con I will be reviewing local artist and writers for the next few episodes. The first one is Carl Smith. I am currently reading his BCWYWF Argosy, which is a collection of all of his released and unreleased works from the two issues of the series. It also includes a journal which documents what he was thinking and going through during the time he was putting out his books. Each comic has a page or two explaining how he came up with the story and characters and a little bit about the process of working with artists and dealing with printers etc. You really get to see how the sausage is made with this collection.
The next book of Carl’s I got was the Horror of Loon Lake. This is a collection of short comics and short stories all with a horror theme. Unlike BCWYWF Horror of Loon lake has almost no commentary, it’s pretty much all stories in written or comic form. It’s a bunch of creators who got together and combined their works into one big TPB.
In both cases it’s wonderful to see creators put out their work for the world to see, and also have someone explain how hard it is to take on such and endeavor. My hats off to Carl and all the people helped get their work published. I will include a link to his work. Please take a look at the books he has created, I only talked about two, but he has more novels and comics. He’s also coming out with a new RPG game later this year. Plus he has a line of children’s books too call draw your own adventure.
One thing I had re affirmed from O comic Con from the guys at the podcast arcade to talking with Russell Nohelty, K Lynn Smith, Wesley Sun and Carl Smith is start. If you’re on the fence about something you are hesitant to take on just start. If you are a regular listener you have heard me say this many times. In a tough world though I think we need to hear words of encouragement a lot more than we do. Perfect is the enemy of done. Even it’s a small step, at least that step is in the right direction. If you shoot for the moon and you miss you will still be in a much better place. Whatever you are thinking about starting whether it’s a book or a new business, it doesn’t have to be perfect, but you’re not going to get any better until you start.
Links from the episode:
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Works by Carl D. Smith:
Works by Russell Nohelty:
Works by K Lynn Smith: