Just added this event to the list for 2016:
Super stoked! I grew up with the Friday thte 13th movies, and Kane Hodder was definitely my favourite portrayal of Jason.
Hope to see you there!
Once again, C4 (Central Canada Comic Con) proved a blast! I would’ve had this up sooner, but C4 was immediately followed by my book tour, including stops in Toronto, Saratoga Springs, NY (World Fantasy Con, woo!) and Alberta; Edmonton, Calgary, and Canmore (I already talked about WFC, but more on the western tour later).
C4 is fast becoming one of my favourite times of year (coinciding with Halloween sure doesn’t hurt). It was great to hang with my friends, and have a chance to talk with some creators that I’ve previously only known via Facebook and Twitter. I love being in Artist’s Alley surrounded by other creators. It has a great vibe. I may have even found a new local tattoo artist!
Here’s my table:
For those of you who haven’t had a chance to see the finished version of Scott Henderson’s Too Far Gone art, here you go:
Needless to say, I fucking love it.
Here’s Valkyrie Books:
I’m so damn proud of all that Samantha Beiko accomplished with her pop-up store (even though I had nothing to do with it other than cheering her on). If her C4 booth looked this amazing, imagine what the real store will look like (someday soon, right, Sam?). Also, big thanks to her for selling copies of my books there too!
Other fun stuff this year: GMB Chomichuk and I made a book! We had lots of help from James Gillespie (one of the fine folks I got to meet this year) who co-wrote a story with Gregory, Silvia Moreno-Garcia who wrote us a kickass introduction, and Samantha Beiko who edited and designed the book, and made sure we got it printed in time for C4.
C4 was my first chance to hold the finished book in my hand. I always love getting new author copies!
GMB Chomichuk’s title page art for my Lovecraftian sword and sorcery story, “When the Gods Send You Rats.” Shared World was a blast to put together, so here’s hoping we keep the tradition going, and keep creating fun things together.
I also printed out some of my flash fiction this year. Design and illustrations by Samantha Beiko:
Some of my swag:
All art and comics this year. On the comic side, Greg Waller’s Magnitude, Donovan Yaciuk’s Spacepig Hamadeus, and some new to me September 17 books (the fine folks who did Canadian Corps). As for art, I got my signed print of Too Far Gone, and the original art from Scott Henderson, a Doctor Fate sketch by Justin Schauf, and a valkyrie print by Carly Montgomery.
Justin’s colour paper sketches are such a cool idea. I wonder who I’ll get next year…
It was a good con. In terms of sales, roughly equivalent to last year, maybe a bit better. I sold lots of books, talked to lots of people, and applied some of the lessons learned from the first two years. I still have a ways to go when it comes to being at ease with selling my work directly like this, but progress is being made. Every year, I add new display items to the arsenal, and new work to the table, so I’m really looking forward to next year. I even put my name on the waitlist for a table at the monstrosity that is the Calgary Expo.
And of course, the real reason you’re likely here: some of my favourite costumes from the weekend:
A sweet Loki cosplay. Even better, he’s a Thunder Road reader!
There was lots of unexpected, but cool cosplay. This Ugly Betty was pretty sweet. I wish I would’ve got pictures of the teen gender-swapped Columbo, and the teen Burt Reynolds in Smokey and the Bandit. Someone is raising their kids right.
Wasn’t surprising to see Fury Road costumes, but this one was awesome.
Another unexpected, but awesome costume! Barf from Spaceballs! Maybe all of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens excitement is bringing attention back to that sweet parody. I’m secretly hoping Mel Brooks brings out Spaceballs 2: The Search for More Money the weekend before the new Star Wars film.
This was one of the better Mr. Freeze costumes I’ve ever seen.
Rock and Roll all night, and every day.
Zero’s nose lit up!
More people living (dying?) right.
“I am not fast.”
And now it’s back to the real world, where R2-D2 almost never shows up to say hello.
So… I was at C4 (Central Canada Comic Con) this weekend…and I’m getting a wee bit excited for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and a little disappointed to be back in the real world where R2-D2 won’t swing by to visit, so here you go:
My backpack’s got jets. Well I’m Boba the Fett.
Well I bounty hunt for Jabba Hutt to finance my ‘Vette.
Well I chill in deep space, a mask is over my face.
Well I deliver the prize but I still narrow my eyes
Coz my time I don’t like to waste. Get down!
I can’t believe that C4 (Central Canada Comic Con) is only a week away!
It’s definitely going to be a mad dash to that finish line to get everything done I’d like to have done beforehand, and an even madder weekend during the con. But I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
Because I love working with friends. And I’ll have a lot of them at this convention.
First off, Prix Aurora nominated artist (for his work on a live blog of his reading of the Thunder Road Trilogy), and illustrator of my 2014 C4 project, A Simple Twist of Fate, Kevin Madison will be at C4 for the first time in Artist Alley. He surprised me on Thanksgiving with this piece:
Love it! Check out more of his work.
Samantha Beiko is the illustrator of a couple of my other projects that’ll be debuting at C4 in addition to being a top-flight editor and author. Sam’s a triple threat, and the real deal.
Here’s a taste of her work:
Samantha will also be at C4 as her alter-ego: Valkyrie Books, a bookstore that until now, has existed only in her imagination. She’ll be selling the latest speculative fiction goodies, as well as a selection of titles by local authors (including yours truly).
I love having a table around GMB Chomichuk, it’s such a good vibe and good energy. We finally got to work together, putting a little story bindup of Lovecraftian Madness together called Shared World. We each contributed a story and Gregory brought his wicked art sensibilities to the cover and interiors. Gregory talked about how the project came together on his blog last week, and how he blames me, but Samantha Beiko made the craziness possible. Thanks also to Silvia Moreno-Garcia for writing us a kickass introduction.
Our first (hopefully of many) Valkyrie Books Secret Editions: Shared World!
The third (but definitely not last) of my Scott Henderson commissions just arrived. Scott did a killer Thunder Road illustration after reading the book, and I loved it so much I asked him to do a Tilda drawing to celebrate the publication of Tombstone Blues.
Here’s what he cooked up for Too Far Gone:
This is just the inks, to see the full colour amazing, you’ll have to come by my or Scott’s tables at C4. I fucking wept to see it. Also, sorry for all the stuff that happens to you in Too Far Gone, Edmonton.
Finally, speaking of creative colleagues, Dave Gross hosted me on his blog’s Creative Colleagues feature! Send him your clicks please.
Well…that went well.
Another C4 is in the bag, and I feel like it was an unqualified success. Artist’s Alley was moved away from the main exhibition hall this year. I was worried that being away from the bigger vendors and the celebrity guests would hurt the artists, a worry made more serious by a slow Friday, but it really didn’t. I’ll admit to being concerned about that, given that I’d printed up a book just for the con, but Saturday and Sunday more than made up for that. Artist’s Alley was packed most of the weekend. We also had better lighting, a brighter, more cheerful space, and (and I can’t stress this enough) carpeted floor. That carpet made a huge difference with all the standing I had to do over the weekend.
I’d brought my tablet to do some writing, as there had been slow times last year where I could really dive in and get some words, but that wasn’t the case this year. There was always someone to talk to so not a lot of writing got done, other than a few messily scrawled notes to self in my notebook.
I shared a booth with Samantha Beiko, GMB Chomichuk, Ryan Roth Bartel, and Jeff Martin and had a blast. There were a bunch of other awesome folks in Artist’s Alley this year, Lovern Kindzierski, Scott Henderson, Nyco Rudolph, Scott A. Ford, Sierra Dean, and the Burst Books crew (Ron Hore and Leia Getty).
Sam ended up doing a Tilda sketch in her Valkyrie Books Dream Book. Which was pretty awesome.
Okay, this couple was just to perfect not to take a picture. I was wearing a Thor shirt of my own, and Sam is a huge She-Hulk fan. They were kind enough to pose with our books.
I talked to lots of folks, and it was surprising how many people stopped by who had actually read my books. Sales aside, the convention was totally worth it for the young man who stopped dead when he saw Thunder Road and realized that I was the author. His enthusiasm for my work certainly helped keep me energized over the 13 hours I was in Artist’s Alley on Saturday.
My limited print run Thunder Road short story “A Simple Twist of Fate” was a success also. I didn’t sell out, but I sold a lot of copies. It was also great to have something new for the people who bought Thunder Road and Tombstone Blues last year. Credit where credit is due, I got the idea from GMB Chomichuk and his Raygun Gothic limited print runs and Kevin Madison knocked it out of the park with the art, as did Samantha Beiko with the book’s design.
Too Far Gone releases next fall, so there will be a new novel in time for next year’s Central Canada Comic Con, but I wouldn’t discount the possibility of having another new convention exclusive short to debut at C4 2015. We’ll see, no promises on that front yet. Too Far Gone needs to come first.
Kevin Madison, the artist of “A Simple Twist of Fate” was in town to surprise his mother with a visit, and he had time to run by the con, which was awesome. He even happened to be there when someone was buying the story, and got to do a signing and sketchfor her.
Just when I thought I was about to lose my voice, it was time to sit down with Dan Vadeboncouer and Kenton Larsen for the Media Nerds Podcast. We talked a bit about my books and writing, but dove quickly into geeking out about movies and television, and discussing Star Wars (as happens from time to time). At the end, I gave a big shoutout to Jeff Vandermeer’s Southern Reach trilogy.
Met Edmonton artist and writer Jeff Martin. Jeff’s done lots of cons and had some cool tips that I’ll try to incorporate into future ventures. There’s still a few things I need to take care of if I want to start doing more of these types of cons. Better signage for one. Maybe some ancillary things like buttons or magnets for sale. Again, we’ll see. I also don’t want to lose sight of the fact I’m there to sell books.
I usually end up leaving C4 with all kinds of swag and 2014 was no different. I thought I wasn’t going to buy any more art, as I still haven’t hung up everything from last year, but the heart wants what it wants. I got it in my head to get a Dr. Fate and Zatanna original sketch, but I couldn’t find the artist I was hoping to do it, so instead I may have commissioned a (modified) Dr. Fate helmet from Rampant Design. Clearly I cannot be left alone at my own table. I will turn all of my profits into swag.
Picked up a copy of Scott Henderson’s new graphic novel, Chronicles of Era.
And got a pretty sweet sketch inside too.
Jeff Martin and I traded books. I sent him home with a copy of Thunder Road and now I’ve got a book about Space Wrestlers to read.
In a happy surprise, I found that I’m an entry in the Manitoba Authors colouring book fundraiser being done by the Manitoba Writers’ Guild.
My book came with Black, Grey, and Orange crayons. I might also draw some hair sticking out the sides of that hat…
I didn’t find the entire Beau Smith/Mitch Byrd Guy Gardner Warrior run, but this was a good start. One of my favourite issues, illustrated by Phil Jimenez, and Supermullet Superman? Gold.
Nyco Rudolph bills his work as “Art for people who are classy as fuck” so I’m pretty chuffed to be putting this “Viking as Fuck” print up on my wall.
Fantastic old school print by Donovan Yaciuk, creator of Spacepig Hamadeus.
Talked to Hope Nicholson, who Kickstarted the return of Canada’s first superheroine, Nelvana of the Northern Lights, and scored a couple of sweet prints. Wished I would have remembered to bring my Nelvana collection with me though, it would be nice to have it signed.
A while back I commissioned an original Tilda drawing from Scott Henderson that was inspired by Tombstone Blues. Man did he deliver. Pictured here are a signed print, and the original inked page. You can still see the pencil marks in places. I love it.
Just look at it. God. I can’t wait to see what he cooks up for Too Far Gone.
Finally got my hands on volume 2 of Raygun Gothic!
And a sketch of Ghost Doctor 13 (And his sidekick, the brain of Neils Bohr)!
Who is Ghost Doctor 13?
Time to read and find out.
I’m not much of a cosplayer myself. I can barely find the energy to dress up for Halloween these days (I went as Darkest Timeline Chadwick this year). But I love seeing the folks who go all out. And comic conventions are full of the highest concentration of balls out great costumes you’re likely to find anywhere.
These vikings were awesome.
There were a lot of Poison Ivys this year (I suppose as costumes go, that one is evergreen. Bah dum bum), and lots of Harley Quinns. There always are. Fewer Adventure Time costumes than last year, to my disappointment. Newly popular were the Winter Soldiers, Quicksilvers, and Rocket Raccoons and Groots–not surprised by that at all given how sweet they were in their various movies.
My favourite Quicksilver of the weekend.
I’m always on the lookout for good Thor and Loki cosplay, and these were two of my favourites of the weekend.
One of my favourite clever costumes. Not picture: Bat Sandals and Spider Sandals.
Props to this guy, who needed two helpers to maneuver him through the crowd.
“Pizza for I.C. Weiner? Awww, crud.”
If I could’ve found a knit brain slug to stick on my head, I totally would’ve bought one.
Boba Fett sucks, but this costume does not.
Another great year!
Central Canada Comic Con is this weekend and I’ve been cooking up something special to debut for my readers: an original Thunder Road story!
Comics are a huge reason why I’m a reader and I’ve always kind of wanted to see my name on a comic book. So I made one.
“A Simple Twist of Fate” is a short adventure starring the hero of Thunder Road, Ted Callan. It’s an illustrated story that I had printed to look like a comic. The printer just dropped my copies off and they look gorgeous! This project came out of talks with GMB Chomichuk, and the coolness of the limited print editions of his Raygun Gothic comic (seriously, check it out). “A Simple Twist of Fate” takes place after the events of Tombstone Blues for the continuity nerds out there. Cover and interior illustrations are by Kevin Madison, and book design is by Samantha Beiko.
Here’s a peek at the cover image:
There will only ever be 200 of these. Come by Booth 328 to find these signed and numbered bad boys (and me!).
Some fun stuff on the horizon:
I’ll be sharing some space with GMB Chomichuk, Samantha Beiko, Ryan Roth Bartel, and assorted other awesome folks in Artist’s Alley. Come on down to Booth 328 and say hi. I’m also debuting a new illustrated Thunder Road ‘verse short story illustrated by Kevin Madison (who did a series of “Thunder Road Trip” illustrations)! “A Simple Twist of Fate” will be limited to a 200 copy print run, so you know what they say: buy early and buy often.
Other friends of Thunder Road that will be in Artist’s Alley include: AP Fuchs (#829), Burst Books (#823), Donovan Yaciuk (#316), Kari Ann Anderson (#116), Keycon (#910), Lovern Kindzierski (#425), Nyco Rudolph (#532), Scott A. Ford (#621), Scott Henderson (#324), and Sierra Dean (#724).
NaNoWriMo is kicking off November 1st. I won’t be participating in NaNo this year (I know, I know, it was on my goals for the year, but I still have two NaNo novels waiting to be edited and rewritten properly and a contracted book to finish and hand in) but the Manitoba Writers’ Guild and the Writers’ Collective have asked me and Samantha Beiko and Chris Rutkowski to pop by their NaNoWriMo kickoff and do a reading and give some words of inspiration.
Saturday, Nov. 1st from 6 – 10 p.m.
The Manitoba Writers’ Guild and The Writers’ Collective have combined forces to help you get your novel started off right! November is National Novel Writing month. The guild has offered up their office (218-100 Arthur Street) for writing space, coffee, and inspiration. At 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 authors will read from their fiction and offer words of inspiration!
6:30 Chris Rutkowski 7:30 Samantha Beiko 8:30 Chadwick Ginther
World Fantasy Convention WFC is one of my favourite traveling cons. I missed it last year, as Brighton just wasn’t in the cards, but Toronto 2012, Columbus 2010, and Calgary 2008 have all ranked among my favourite conventions ever, so I have high hopes for this year. Hope to see you there!
Novel Writing Club: In collaboration with the Manitoba Writers’ Guild, the Winnipeg Public Library will be hosting a novel writing club to offer emerging novelists the opportunity to work with a mentor for a seven month period. At monthly meetings, a facilitator will meet with participants to address their concerns, provide inspiration and advice, and offer ideas and suggestions. The objective is for all participants to complete the first draft of a novel by the last meeting in June.
The program is intended as an opportunity for writers who are prepared to commit to monthly meetings. Applications are open to those who have not participated in WPL’s critique circles during the past year. There is no charge to participants.The novel writing club will be facilitated by Chadwick Ginther (That’s me!).
Tuesdays, 6-9 p.m. November, 25, December 16, 2014, and January 13, February 10, March 10, April 7, May 5, and June 9, 2015. A wrap-up event presenting an opportunity for writers to read aloud from their work will be scheduled for June.
Interested writers are encouraged to complete the application and submit it via email to firstname.lastname@example.org starting November 1, 2014. Applications will be accepted until November 14, 2014. For more information, please call Millennium Library Reader Services at 204-986-6779
So looking back, I see I didn’t post any goals for either August or September. It’s been so long since a goals blog went live, that the last time I posted, Too Far Gone didn’t even have its final name yet. I couldn’t even remember what I’d said my July goals were. Turns out, they’re much the same as my October Goals.
As with July, I find the following statements are still true: I’m satisfied, if not overjoyed, with my progress. I will be overjoyed when it is done.
**There can be no joy until it is done.**
As such, I am modifying that goal.
There, I said it. Now I have to do it. I want this draft done so that I can get it off to my first readers with lots of time to spare to revise it before it goes to my publisher. One of my yearly goals was to participate in NaNoWrimo again, and I definitely have a book that I want to write, but if Too Far Gone isn’t done, that’s not going to happen. Even if that third book is out of my hands, I might spend November polishing and drafting a few short stories I’ve been meaning to get to. After all, that was another goal. As was polishing up another old manuscript.
October has a lot going on. I attended VCon for the Prix Aurora Awards (thank you everyone who nominated Tombstone Blues, and ChiSeries Winnipeg!). I have a wedding to attend in Ontario and C4 Comic Con starts on Halloween Friday (right now I am torn between dressing up like Robocop and Inspector Spacetime). Fortunately, I’ve also got a write-in weekend scheduled with some friends, and I always get a lot of work done at those.
In non-writing goals, I finally own a copy of Roger Zelazny’s A Night in the Lonesome October (one of my favourites by him).
Each chapter is a single day in the month of October, and so I will be rereading one chapter of A Night in the Lonesome October a day through the month. I’ve been tweeting impressions with the #ANightInTheLonesomeOctober hashtag, if anyone is interested in following along. Hat tip to my Fungi editor, Orrin Grey, for giving me the idea for this reread a while back.
This was not my first time attending C4, but it was my first time there as an author.
In the past, I would get a day pass, swing through Artist’s Alley and the back issue bins, drop too much money, and be gone in under an hour or so. Big crowds always have a way of making me want to start throwing elbows. It’s been a number of years since I’ve even attended, as C4 almost always conflicts with World Fantasy Con and WFC is probably my favourite model of conference. Given the amount of editors and agents that attend, more likely to advance my career in the long run than selling a box of books. But WFC was in Brighton, England this year, and unfortunately, just not in the cards.
But I had a great time! In fact, I found C4 far more enjoyable as a vendor than I did as just an attendee. Having a table allowed me to avoid the lines getting in, gave me a place to sit and leave my jacket, toque, and gloves (I mean, it is held in November in Winnipeg, if you feel me), and to have a place to go if the crush of people became too much. Aside from having fun, how’d the con go?
I sold enough copies of Thunder Road and Tombstone Blues to pay for the cost of my table and the crappy pizza and hotdogs that the Winnipeg Convention Centre offered up (I’ll need to sell a lot more books to cover the cost of all the swag I bought). I talked to a lot of people, handed out postcards, magnets, pens, journals, and t-shirts.
I thought a varied table might help me out, so I brought copies of all the anthologies and magazines containing my short stories. I sold a couple copies of the Fungi anthology. Talked up On Spec, and the forthcoming Tesseracts anthology The reaction the passersby had to Fungi was awesome to see, and allowed me to chat up people who would have otherwise have kept walking. I’ll definitely keep bring the short stories along to play if I do more of these cons.
I was located in a makeshift “Author Alley” row inside of the general Artist’s Alley along side a bunch of my writing pals, Sierra Dean, Samantha Beiko, Clare C. Marshall, and the Burst Books crew of Graeme Brown, L.T. Getty, Ronald Hore, and Cameron D. James.
I tracked down Donovan Yaciuk, creator of Spacepig Hamadeus, and talked a bit about my short comic for his upcoming anthology, introduced him to Samantha, who in addition to being a great writer, is a kick ass artist. One of the big attractions for me of this year’s C4 was picking up a limited print edition of GMB Chomichuk’s Aurora Award nominated comic, Raygun Gothic.
Once I found the Alchemical Press booth I dropped all of the coin! I picked up some prints, buttons, and of course, that limited print edition which is now customized and rather than 1 of 200, is one of a kind!
Also, it can pay to be a Secret Society (TM) member, and there are some cool things coming up that I can’t talk about yet.
But what you really want to see is the costumes, isn’t it?
“Aww, Ice King!”
How do you spell the repulsor noise?
Enchantress and Red Sonja!
Sweet classic Loki costume!
Not pictured: the mini donuts this Loki has tucked behind her back.
One of many Thors. I wish I could have caught them all (like Pokemon).
My lovely assistant was having some fun while I was gadding about.
Probably the best Ash costume I’ve ever seen. This guy rocked it. Groovy.
Unless these guys are about to reenact an “Acts of Vengence” storyline, I find it very dubious that Magneto and The Red Skull would be so buddy-buddy.
Captain America might need to separate those two…
One of my favourites! Castle and Beckett. The guy in the Castle costume made the vests.
TONS of Adventure Time cosplay, and lots of Marceline the Vampire Queen. This Marceline traveled with Marshall Lee the Vampire King.
Ghost Rider knows who you are and what you’ve done (especially you, Nicholas Cage).
September has come and gone. I made some promises, but did I keep them?
Why yes, yes I did–mostly. Nice to see for a change. September was a busy month for me at the dayjob and with back to school and fuller buses means it’s a little harder to get work done on my to and from work. At times I could have spent my entire lunch break just trying to find space to write, let alone actually putting words down. I may have to reevaluate my writing routine again. I’ll wait out October and see how I feel once things have settled down.
I didn’t do any writing sprints on my lunch in September with the pals that normally play along but I did get some writing done. I wrote a second epilogue for the final book in the Thunder Road Trilogy (No, both won’t appear in the final book). I’ve been waffling on the final grace note of the series (although I know what the last two words have to be (and no, not: “The End”, thank you very much)), and I think I might release the unused one as an e-short after the series is done if anyone is interested in reading it.
The long-suffering short story now has a name: “A Door in the Rock”. I really wanted this story done, but while it went through a few more polishes, I just don’t feel it’s ready for readers yet. Just because I want to give it away at Comic Con, doesn’t mean I want to give away something half-baked. I’ll still try to have it ready for C4, but if it’s not done, maybe I’ll do something with it for Christmas instead. You’ll read it eventually, never fear.
I’ve written up the first few “Loki’s Guide to Mythology” posts from Tombstone Blues and outlined a few other posts, that might end up on this site or as guest posts elsewhere. I turned in my review of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s This Strange Way of Dying (short version, awesome and you have to read it!) long version coming soon from The Winnipeg Review.
And here we are in a new month, and not already halfway through it. So what’s up for October?
Not enough? I’ll be doing events in Ottawa, Toronto, Kenora, and yes, even a couple in Winnipeg, so I’m trying to be realistic (and I’m probably not being realistic). Also? I’ve had an idea. Actually a collision of a couple of ideas that I think together have the legs to be not just a book, but a new series. Which means I’ll be diving into National Novel Writing Month again to try to get it drafted. Plotting has begun, much to my surprise. I’m not normally an advance plotter, but the last time I tried pantsing my way through NaNoWriMo I almost lost my mind and three years on I’m STILL trying to fix that manuscript.
So. Yearly goals. What do you know?
Another one bites the dust.