Archive for August, 2009

Buddhist, Browncoats, and Comic Books

Oh my whole 2.7 readers you must have missed me while I was away on holiday in the UK for the Annual Buddhist Summer Festival. Wipe your pretty little eyes and know that I was surrounded by great country air, saffron robes, and comic books.

Yes, I may have been roughing it for the week by sleeping in a tent but no good Nerd Grrl would be caught without her reading sustenance known as The Comic Book.

So there I was surrounded by trees, the English shore and stars at the end of each evenings meditation sessions with a tiny LED flashlight to lead me to my mansion of a tent— all 4ft x 9ft – to read the first 3 installments of ‘The Unwritten’ by Vertigo. I love a good mystery and the fact that so far the main character writes fantasy à la tongue-in-cheek Harry Potter makes me squee! at random intervals.

I wasn’t focused completely on comic books and made sure to catch a few sights of Cambria. A few nights before my trip back I spent the evening discussing sci-fi movies, comic books, and detailing the American dessert known as the S’more— which made me feel like a Chocolate Ambassador since they don’t have anything that’s the equivalent in the UK.

Anyhow, I talked about comic books and movies and how the increasing adaption to the big screen is justly legitimizing the comic/graphic novel industry. I was answered with resounding blinks and the reply that the guys around me really didn’t read comics.

Are you kiddin’ me?! What are they teaching in schools today?

In the UK, just like back home, I tried conversing with other people about comics, etc. I was met with the same response but one bold soul pointed out, “You really don’t look like the type of grrl that would be into that kind of stuff.”

Before I could make assumptions and say something snarky I remembered to ask the same question one should always ask when a rude/backhanded compliment is thrown:

“Why would you say that?”


Now they’re on the spot and I haven’t raised my voice nor gotten ethnic in a public place. (Score 2 points for me!)

Their response was a shrug but the incident got me thinking but I had no one to converse with until I met Wash on my last stay at the Festival. Okay, it wasn’t Alan Tudyk but the guy did look like a combination of Wash from Firefly and Shaggy from Scooby-Doo. (“I’m a leaf on the wind; watch how I soar…ZOINKS!”)

Nevertheless, seeing a guy sporting a powder blue shirt with tropical flowers, wearing shorts, and blatantly resembling my favorite Firefly character made me smirk. Too bad no one told the guy that it was England and a whole 65 degrees out but here he was sitting next to me waiting his turn in the registration queue. I turned to him and told him he reminded me of a character from a Joss Whedon show and wondered if he had ever heard of a guy named…

“Wash!” we said in unison. (Nerd Grrl meet your male equal.)

Well I’ll be. I come across the pond to find a fellow Browncoat that lives only a couple of hours away from me in the States. What are the odds? We talked about the show and I told Shwash (Shaggy and Wash) that I was a writer and looking to get my foot in the comic book/graphic novel publishing world. Shwash revealed that he worked with a guy that works on multiple sci-fi projects including Serenity/Firefly and so we exchanged email addys and I was on my way.

A week after I returned I got the chance to meet Shwash’s friend Ben and he was able to give me a few leads and let me know that I had an ally and to send work my articles to him ASAP. The point being that no one can know I exist if I don’t post. (Good point Ben.)

Wow, all this happened because I opened my mouth and started a conversation about a topic I love.

As writers we often wonder where a big break will come from but we fail to make the simple connection that we must still have a life and interact with other people, sometimes in non-work related things.

In my quest for further spiritual knowledge I met more people from NYC and CT that I never would have met nor had the courage to just talk to them. I think this lesson can be used during a writers meeting with an Editor at Comic Con and other Sci-Fi/Comic Book conventions.

By searching to find something you have in common with someone you can let go of your obsessive worry/fragile ego to step back and watch what happens when you speak to other people about your passions.

So far I’d say my experience has been mighty Shiny.