My SDCC Hunger Pangs

My SDCC Hunger Pangs

My first comic-book convention experience came in 2007, attending Dragon*Con. For as much as I love comic books, comic artists and that whole ecosystem (and am trying to get a foot in the door writing stories), I’d never attended a convention until then.

Three things overwhelmed me:

  1.  The idea that I’d never attended one of these conventions
  2. I didn’t know what to do with one of these conventions once I got there; and
  3. The actual comic writers and artists presence at the Con was something of an afterthought. Let me hit all three.

First, actually attending. Over my 21-year military career, I tabled the idea of becoming a comic-book artist (my original intent before joining the military) for the idea of building my writing skills and letting the military dictate my way forward. There were a couple of stops that might have been conducive to creating a career in comics — Denver and San Antonio. However, if you’ve served in the military for more than one term you realize almost everything is temporary.

Second, I didn’t know what to do with one of those conventions once I got there. Now, I do (aside from buying Green Latern and Flash t-shirts). However, at that time, there was no way my portfolio would have been prepared. Worse, I knew I wasn’t putting in the hours to have presentation-quality art. Now were I to go, I’m still in awe of the artists, however, my primary focus is writing. I’m still not sure how I’d even present a script. Writing, as I’ve learned, is tougher to break into with comics then being skilled artist. There are a lot of valid reasons for this.

Third, and what surprised me most: the lack of space given to comic book artists, writers and comic book celebrities. Conventions like Dragon*Con and the San Diego Comic Convention have become the Sodom for pop culture. Slowly, that’s enveloped the presence of the actual comic creators. Films, television and other celebrities get more space and have more time dedicated to the events. At Dragon*Con, artists and writers were crammed under an escalator and into a cramped sideroom. The keynote speaker and celebrity, Steve Rude, was also in that room and had a table mashed between a pair of conference rooms.

Now, at 41, I’m trying to write and network my way into comics. It’s difficult, damn near impossible if you believe some folks who are there. It’s tightknit and guarded — as it should be. All that said, I’m having a few hunger pangs not going to SDCC this week. I would have carried a script in my hand to show others; and then seen what might happen.

I recall the feeling I had being at the convention, thinking, “THIS is what it feels like.” The immersion is unlike any other. My inner child’s destiny fulfilled and all that. However, my inner child didn’t have the writing chops until now.

And the art chops — well, that’s another blog post for another day.

Are you headed to (or longing to go to) SDCC? What’s your goal?

(Jason Tudor is a contributor to The Furnace. For more, visit his website at He also has a new fan page and would appreciate your ‘like’ at:

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