A year later, at this year's convention, I held my first published comic book in my hands. As I flipped through the first issue of "Easy Way," the only words I could muster up to describe my joy were: "This … is … fucking … awesome!" I'd dreamt for years of having a comic book published, and, I have to say, the experience far surpassed all of my expectations.
I ran into Jonah Weiland on Saturday by the enormous Hulk statue in front of Marvel's booth, and he asked me, "How is your first convention as a professional comic book writer?"
"I haven't been this ecstatic since breakthroughs in technology allowed me to order porno flicks from the comfort of my own home," I said.
Weiland asked if I'd be interested in writing an article about my experience for CBR, and I happily agreed. After mulling over the events this past weekend, here is what I've put together:
10. I received an exhibitor pass from IDW Publishing a week before the convention. This is good for two reasons - first, I didn't have to stand in the rain waiting in line to buy a ticket; second, I finally understand why women complain when men look at their chest when they meet - every person I was introduced to looked at my badge as we shook hands to figure out which company I was affiliated with and to see if they recognized my name. I'm sure most of them were thinking, "Did I send this guy my pitch?" But, the truth be told, I was looking at their badges thinking, "Did I send this person my pitch?"
9. Strolling around Artist Alley with my new comic book, I told all the scantily clad models peddling their "goods" that I was looking to cast actresses for the movie based on my comic.
8. Security guards are more hesitant about tossing out a "professional" comic writer after getting complaints that he's stalking Joe Quesada.
7. Now that my book is coming out, I don't have to fetch bottles of water for Steve Niles anymore. I heard this task was given to some guy named Brubaker, who has a book called "Black Sails" coming out by IDW after "Easy Way" is released. "Hey, Ed, I've got seniority at IDW! Hurry up with that water - Niles is thirsty, you newbie!"
6. My name was announced over the P.A. when I signed copies of my book. However, I told the announcer that I wanted him to read: Now signing at IDW Publishing's booth, Christopher Long - the guy whose last name is a description, the master scribe, and the badest mama-jamma at this convention - writer of the critically acclaimed "Easy Way." Needless-to-say, the asshole didn't read the card the way I gave it to him.
5. When invited to join the IDW crew for dinner, the corporate credit card was whipped out, and I was told, "Put your money away. We got it." My money went back in my wallet faster than a speeding bullet.
4. Being included in the gossip mill that ran amok at the convention. I was slightly disappointed that the rumor I tried to start didn't spread like wildfire about me falling off the wagon by licking up all the spilt beer on the floor at Rock Bottom Brewery on Friday night.
3. I was able to walk up to Grant Morrison and say: "I see that you are a bald, comic book writer. I, too, am a bald, comic book writer." I will forever cherish his look of disdain.
2. In years past, I know I wasn't given an invitation to the big poker game because I wasn't a professional. This year, I know I wasn't given an invitation because the people involved must know that I've been watching the television show Celebrity Poker and that I'm a kick-ass card shark.
1. Being asked to write this list for Comic Book Resources. (Hey, Jonah, you're still going to give me Quesada's home number for doing this, right?)
I forgot something on my list: Chris Ryall is a God among men! (Are you happy now, Ryall? Stop your crying that I didn't mention you!)