Welcome to Wasted Potential.
The life and not so hard times of Norm Burns, an aspiring cartoonist who works at a fast food restaurant while dreaming of being the next Charles Schulz, and his friends and family.
Well, it's been a couple of weeks since I've posted a strip, and now I'm making it official: "Wasted Potential" is going on hiatus for the foreseeable future.
I'd like to thank everyone who's been reading this strip for the past four years. Hope you've enjoyed reading the strip as much as I've loved writing and drawing it.
Thank You and Good Night;
Not only have I provided you, my loyal readers, (at least I hope you're loyal--I haven't looked at my readership stats since I took a couple of weeks off a couple of months ago) with not only the usual amusing and insightful weekly installment of "Wasted Potential" but this week, there's the promise of prizes. I'm having a little contest associated with this week's strip. Details are in the "Author's Comment" under the strip itself.
I'm not really much of a salesman, although I did do pretty well at the Genghis Con in Cleveland last Saturday, but since the Holiday Season has settled upon us, I feel that it is my duty as a reluctant entrepreneur to remind you of the availability of Official Wasted Potential Merchandise! Two WP t-shirt designs are for sale atmy Skreened storeand, as the cliche goes, they make ideal Christmas gifts!
After I do a comics show and force my latest free flyer on unsuspecting passers by, I usually notice a small surge in the number of visitors here the next day as many of those people say to themselves, "What the hell? I might as well check it out." And a few of them even stick around and become regular readers.
So, after spending the day in Cleveland yesterday at the Genghis Con, I'm expecting such a rush. If you're one of those curious new readers visiting here for the first time, I say Welcome! I hope you enjoy this week's strip. Feel free to browse the archives and I hope you'll come back every Sunday for a new installment.
There's a new small press con called the Genghis Con starting up in Cleveland on the 28th of this month, and I'm heading over there to set up a table where I'll be attempting once again to foist my strip on an unsuspecting public. Below is the official press release, and here's a little blurb about the show from the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
GENGHIS CON CELEBRATES RICHES OF MIDWEST INDEPENDENT PUBLISHING
Comic Show Features the Unknown Work of Local Graphic Storytellers
You wont find Superman, expensive back issues or fading Hollywood celebrities at Genghis Con, a comic book convention organized to showcase the work of independent artists and writers from the Midwest. The event will be held at the Beachland Ballroom on Saturday, November 28, 2009 from 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm. The convention will feature the talent of approximately 50 graphic storytellers from around the Midwest whose work does not fit into the normal perception of what a comic book should be.
For 70 years the part of the country known as the rust belt has provided the world with an incredible abundance of creative talent in the art of telling stories with pictures. This form of communication has reached its pinnacle of popularity in the form of the beloved comic book. Many of the biggest names in comics today hail from the Midwest.
Comic readers are familiar with such Ohio natives as Brian Bendis, Brian Vaughn, Fred Van Lente, Harvey Pekar and Jeff Smith. These and many others from around the Great Lakes are the modern personalities shaping graphic storytelling as we know it today. The common thread through each of these current and rising stars of the industry is they began their careers creating and publishing their own material.
Like their famous brethren, the participants of Genghis Con use skill, imagination and craftsmanship to create engaging, original graphic storytelling art. Their work, however, remains largely unpublished outside of the creators own trips to the local copy center. Genghis Con exists to bring this creative talent together in one place and to provide a venue for interaction with potential readers who may not have any other opportunity to see this work.
The organizers of Genghis Con are committed to creating an event which is unique in many ways. Early in the planning stages, the convention organizers decided to break most of the rules of a normal comic convention. These changes include eliminating the dealers room and the endless rows of fading TV celebrities. Perhaps the most radical difference is participants will not be charged for table space as they are at other comic conventions. The organizers feel this will free the artists from feeling the pressure to make up their costs and allow them to focus on promoting their work.
"We are not doing this to make money, says Scott Rudge, one of the Genghis Con organizers and owner of Astound Comics in Westlake, Ohio. We want the creators to use the money they save on renting space to offer inexpensive copies of their work. This benefits both the artist and the audience in a way not seen at a typical comic con. We want those attending the convention to feel comfortable interacting meaningfully with the creators and we hope to do that by making the communication of ideas as inexpensive as possible.
To further break down the barriers between the artists and readers, Genghis Con attendees will be able to build their own comic book containing the work of each artist at the show. This book will be included at no additional charge with normal admission of $5.00.
We are looking for creators who use a comic book style format to tell their stories, but we also have accepted some zine and poster artists, says Rudge. While we may have some of the next generation of mainstream stars displaying their work, we are also looking forward to offering the work of those who have no interest in promoting their material beyond the desire to simply tell a story.
The call is out for artists wishing to participate in Genghis Con. Artists are welcome to submit samples of their work for consideration. The organizers of Genghis Con will be accepting submissions until November 15th. For complete details and submission guidelines, creators should go to the event website, www.thegenghiscon.com.
So, I started a new blog last week, it's called Gutter Talk, and it's about--big freakin' surprise--comics,
I'll be writing about pretty much anything related to comics, including comic books, comic strips, books about comics, TV and movies based on comics and so on...
Click here to check it out.
Last week, if you remember back that far, I told you that I would be participating in the Sunday Comix 24 Hour Comics Challenge this weekend, and as I write this I have returned home from spending the night sitting in the Crimson Cup Coffee House, weary but triumphant, having completed my second 24 Hour Comic. (Which puts me one up on Scott McCloud, the guy who came up with the whole concept, whose only ever done one.)
As you may know, the idea of the 24 Hour Comic Challenge is to complete a 24 page comics story within the space of a 24 hour period. All writing, character designs, penciling, inking and lettering must be done during those 24 hours. Not to brag, but I completed my latest opus in 19 and a half hours. Truthfully, the art, at least, is nothing to brag about, although I'm actually rather proud of the writing. For something that's totally made up as I went along while fighting just to keep my eyes open, I think it reads pretty well, and those who've read it have enjoyed it.
The story is entitled "Memories of Jane," and as soon as I get to a scanner and convert my crude pen strokes into pixels, I plan to post it for posterity on my Comic Space site. Notification of said eventuality, with, it should go with saying, a link, will be posted here on a future Sunday.
Ok, so there's still time to check out the Sunday Comix art exhibit at Crimson Cup Coffee House in Columbus, Ohio's fabulous Clintonville neighborhood. I am one of the many cartoonists whose work is on display, and it is, in fact, the original art for this week's strip that hangs upon the Cup's wall. The exhibit runs through the end of the week.
This Saturday at the Cup will be the Sunday Comix 24-Hour Comic Day, where brave cartoonists will gather to test the limits of their creativity and endurance by attempting to create a complete 24 page comic book in a mere 24 hours.
The national 24 Hour Comics Day, sponsored by publisher Nat Gertler's About Comics, was back on the 3rd of this month, but most local cartoonists were too busy at Mid-Ohio Con to participate, so Sunday Comix founder Max Ink organized our own local version.
I'm going to make another attempt to create a 24 Hour Comic this weekend (if I get enough sleep this week, that is.) I succeeded my first attempt in 2004, at the very first 24 Hour Comics Day, but pooped out about 11 p.m. on my second attempt the next year. Will I make it this time?
Why don't you drop by Crimson Cup Coffee House this weekend and find out? You can also check out the art exhibit while you're there, and, of course, get a darn fine cup of coffee.
Crimson Cup is located at 4541 N. High St.
See you there.