Tuesday, July 15, 2008

San Diego?

It's currently 3am....I still have to get up to go to work tomorrow morning. We're getting a bunch of things ready for San Diego, the biggest comic-con in North America. It's always an amazing show, and it keeps getting more insane every year.

This time I'll be with Paul Dini & Laurie Breitkreuz at their booth (#1803), along with a bunch of other friends. Just glancing at the schedules, there's lots to see. Once again, the wish of having a cloning machine prevails....and that's not even including the show floor.

So let's see, if I could clone myself for San Diego, I would station one of me at the booth, another 2 in the panel/programming areas, probably 4 of me walking up and down the floor, and another to get myself food. Of course the original me would be sleeping in the hotel room...

- Kandrix

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I'm ready.

That's pretty much it. I'm ready to take this thing full on, take no prisoners style.

I've been away for quite a while, lots of exhaustion, and catching up to do...heck, I haven't even posted stuff about the show, but that'll change soon.

...and that's all I have to say for now. Back with some stories, photos, & more shortly!

- Kandrix

Saturday, April 19, 2008

New York, New York, big city of dreams...

You know where I won't be? New York. That's right, the New York Comicon is this weekend, it's been both a blessing and curse. When I learned that New York moved to the weekend before our show, I knew that we'd have problems landing certain guests. It has been a struggle in some areas, but I think we did just fine with our lineup. I was also planning on being there, but pulled out because it would have been suicidal to try to go to there a week before the Expo...it's turning out to be the right decision.

This past week has featured multiple flight changes for guests, and changing the timing of a bunch of things. A couple guys also canceled too. We're really behind in terms of posting our programming schedule for one thing, and there's some stuff that's supposed to be ready for the show (and it's not) and it's causing a lot of added stress. I'll talk more about that in a different post.

It's not all bad things though, so really I can't complain. The program guides came in on Wednesday, and I have to admit that I'm really proud of them. They look awesome, and I think that everyone that get's a copy will be very pleased. We also landed Party Machine as a sponsor, so that'll help us out with some of our transportation needs. There's been a lot of media requests coming in, and on April 16th we had a huge surge in web traffic.

We've got another volunteer meeting today, and it's coupled with our bag stuffing, and it should be fun. Today will be the day that a lot of things come together. I really think in the next 3-4 days pretty much everything will be finished, but it'll be a pretty good workload. I'm now officially on my 2 weeks of "vacation" from my day job, but I'll have to put in at least another day of work to catch up on some work and tie up some loose ends.

- Kandrix

Monday, April 14, 2008

Breakfast Television on Citytv

Laurie and yours truly will be appearing on Citytv's Breakfast Television for a segment for the Calgary Expo, which is going to be great in more ways than one! First, it's a great way to promote the show (less than 2 weeks...gah!) Second, we're going to be on for 5+ minutes! Third, we'll be promoting an art contest with a great prize pack! And lastly...we're going to be on tv! Hi mom! We'll be on at 8:20am, channel 8 in Calgary.

A bunch of interesting things happened today. Original art for the auction showed up, so we got pieces from Darick Robertson, Jo Chen, Justin Ridge, and Hye Jung Kim. I'm also dealing with a couple of issues, mainly making sure that we get our artbook in time for the show. It's tough trying to coordinate everything because there's always lots of small details that you have to be aware of!

- Kandrix

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Art Contest on Citytv

We are less than 2 weeks away now from the Expo (omg!), a lot of things that we had planned out are starting to come together, and there's still a few things that are really behind. There was a big webupdate on the weekend, went to bed at 3am, got up at 7am....Ah...the life of a convention organizer. By the time I got my first phone call, I had already put in 6 hours of work.

Anyways, here's a really cool thing. We're working with Citytv (a local television station) as one of our media sponsors. They've put together a couple ads that just started to run, and we're hoping that this will really push the attendance through the roof! Here's a quick look at it:

We've also got our first volunteer meeting today, which I'm looking forward to. We were late getting the volunteers organized last year, so it's been a bigger focus for us this time around. Should be fun!

- Kandrix

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Burning Sensations....

It's been a week since the last post, and everything is coming together tightly. I'll admit that I'm feeling pretty burnt out right now. There was a major project at work (not Expo related) that took up lots of time and energy. It's got my (already) messed up sleeping schedule even more messed up, and I feel pretty drained mentally.

So I actually took yesterday off to do virtually nothing...except for watching a bunch of episodes of Battlestar Galactica season 3.

...and of course when you take a day off like that it throws everything off! Back to the fray!

- Kandrix

Saturday, March 29, 2008

New Challenges

Remember that time that I posted about removing the stone of shame and attaching the stone of triumph? Yeah....that was awesome....so that's pretty much the situation right now. You get a major project done, then you get your next challenge almost right away. In this case, we got the program guide (now a whopping 32 pages!) and the artbook done and off to print.

Now comes the financial part of things. Unfortunately I don't have a huge reserve of cash, got some of it, but not enough to pull off the show without blinking. We've raised more this year through sponsorship, advertising, and exhibitors, then ever before, which is a really good thing. But the costs for going to a 2 day event are HUGE! As in rijunkulously massive...So, everything becomes a juggle. Especially since we get the majority of our funds from gate admission, but we have to pay for lots of stuff in advance. Add that into coordinating the rest of the show, and it's pretty tough.

On a side note, our other transit ads should be up. We went with a totally different direction for this campaign. More specifically Woodruff Sweitzer (an advertising agency that we're working with) came up with the concept. I think it's a great idea, I've passed it out to a couple of peers, and the response has been pretty positive. We're calling it our Geek Campaign!

That's it for now.

- Kandrix

Friday, March 21, 2008

Tougher Long Weekend!

Dear Case of Red Bull,

How have you been doing? You're looking really hot right now with your slim cans and big smile. I've been dreaming of kissing you all night long, and intimately spending this long weekend with you. We've been through a lot together lately, and I just want you to know that I appreciate everything you do for me. I might go crazy, get the shakes, or even gassy, but that's love. I'll see you again soon!


Monday, March 17, 2008

Toughest Week Ahead

This week will be the toughest week for me (by far) with regards to the show. There's lots of pressure everywhere. The program needs to go to print pretty much right away. It's ballooned up to 24 pages, plus a 4 page map insert. I've got 16 pages out of 28 complete right now. It's funny because at the beginning of last weekend, I was pretty much "flipping a coin" to decide what to work on first. I guess I'm lucky that I spent the time working on the guide....but of course I got that crazy deadline.

But I did get a source of inspiration today, one of the guys I haven't seen in a while dropped in with some posters and gave me that "little bit of pick me up" that I needed. There's only 40 some odd days until the big show. I just gotta remind myself that now's the time to stay focused, or a lot of the hard work we all put into getting this thing off the ground could suffer.

I also just got the artbook pieces by Jo Chen and Amy Hadley late last night/early this morning, both of which brought a big smile to my face!

Well...onto page 17!

- Kandrix

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Moving Things Along

It's been a good couple of days. I've been able to get a bunch of things finished up for the Expo, and it's nice to have a bunch of things off your plate...unfortunately there's even more stuff to do! You ever see that episode of the Simpsons, where Homer's got the stone of shame, and he's so happy when it comes off...then they attach the stone of triumph? And it's a bigger stone?

That's pretty much how I feel.

I think I saw something about only 49 days left....and I don't even know when that was posted....so there's a shrinking window of time. This must sound repetitive with me talking about getting something done, and having another thing to do...

I met with our ad agency today, and they presented some concepts for our ad campaign. I have to admit that I wasn't sure what to expect, but I m pretty jazzed about what they showed me. We've only got a few weeks to make the ad deadlines, so the crunch is on (again!)

What was really interesting is that they were looking through our guest artists, and picked out one artist to make some of their concepts. That artist was Omar Dogan, which was really cool! We also talked about ideas on tying in our print concepts with our television promotions. Should be fun!

Well, that's it for now!

- Kandrix

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Being Sick Sucks!

At this very moment, I'm sick. Or at least I'm pretty sure that I'm sick. Which really sucks. Had a quick meeting with a couple of the guys for the show. More of a workshop, we figured some stuff out for the volunteers, costume contest, floorplan, and a few other things I don't remember quite at this moment. Being sick just makes it hard to focus on stuff that needs to get done.

Our second batch of postcards and tickets are coming out later than I want. Part of it was waiting until we finished signing Tricia Helfer to our show. The other part was time (or lack thereof). They should be in this coming week, so then we can really push the marketing of the show here in Calgary.

We're also starting to work out some stuff with Citytv for our television ads (which will be sweet!). The Pattison platform transit ads I mentioned previously are up now too, at the U of C, ACAD/SAIT, and Chinook stations.

There's another batch of guests that I still have to put up on the site, and it'll be the last major guest update. We're completely full everywhere right now, guests, exhibitors, artists. I hope that our advance ticket sales do well!

Some bad news, we've had a few cancellations to our lineup. Amy Allen is in New York, and the film that she's working on had their schedule pushed down. It's unfortunate, but she'll be replaced by Matthew Wood, who played General Grievous from Star Wars. We've got a lot of male media guests, as Tricia's the only girl! And she's only there for Saturday!

Other cancelations include Bryan Lee O'Malley and Hope Larson. Some stuff cropped up last minute (and I already picked up their flights), but now I'm sending them over to the Emerald City Comicon, and they'll be coming out next year. So in the end, everything's cool.

That's all I can think of for now (things are a bit foggy...)

- Kandrix

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Packed Work Weekend!

I guess that streak of posting everyday ended...gotta start another one! This will be one of the first weekends I've actually got that's completely free to work on all sorts of Expo stuff. I've made my task list, and hopefully I can stayed focused on getting everything done. It's really tough sometimes because it's easy to get side tracked. I call it the 'can of worms syndrome', where something pops up and you thing it's just a quick and easy task, but turns out to require much more work than you planned.

I've got to book more flights for our guests, do a web update (got some new surprise guests that I'm excited to tell everyone about!), finish some web promos, work on the programming and costume contest/masquerade....and a whole bunch of other things. It should be very productive!

What's also really cool is I've been getting a bunch of our guest's artbook pieces. I love seeing how a project comes together!

If I've got time, I'm also going to start laying out the program guide, I've got less than three weeks before that goes to print!

I also noticed how much text I've got, so here's the rough promo image of Marvel's Phoenix drawn by Gene Ha!

- Kandrix

Monday, February 25, 2008

Wondercon Over!

Wondercon has now come and gone...sure went by quick! I was able to talk to a few guys about coming out for next year, and it looks promising. It always helps when the guys that came last year had a really good time, and can give us an awesome reference!

We're about 2 months away from the show, so it's really going to be crunch time. There's still lots to do, like working out our costume contest, the programming, and a few other things. That's it for now!

- Kandrix

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Busy! Busy! Busy!

It's overcast here in San Francisco, but that didn't stop anyone from coming to Wondercon today. There was a massive lineup throughout the day, and most parts of the show were packed with people. I hope that we can do the same thing this year with our show. Once again, I spent a good chunk of the day with Jimage, talking about all sorts of stuff. I also was studying different components of Wondercon that I'd like to use in our show. One of the things that they had was a part of the Children's Film Festival. There was an amazing short film by Jeff Riley called "Operation: Fish", an animated stop-motion short that was fun to watch. Bobby & Eva Beck were there, along with Shawn Kelly and a bunch of their friends.

We're thinking about putting together a mini-film fest for Calgary as another component to our show, and it'd be awesome to have pieces like that!

Overall, the show was great, although I did talk with J.J. Kirby today and unfortunately he won't be coming out to the show because he doesn't have his passport yet. I met him for the first time this weekend, and he's got great energy and enthusiam, so it's really too bad he won't be here. Well, 2009 baby!

- Kandrix

Friday, February 22, 2008

Life at Wondercon

Just got back to our buddy John Giang's place, it's about midnight right now. After the show we went out with Patrick Morgan, Thierry LaFontain, Stephen Silver, Bobby Chiu, Kei Acedera and John G. At Wondercon, we setup with our friend Dale Berry for our Monk's Tale book. The funny thing is we didn't bring enough #3's with us, but oh well!

So, I spent the majority of my day walking up and down the show floor, and very little time at our table. I even left the show and hung out with Jim(age) Demonakos, we grabbed some food, a phone charger, and some batteries....and that's the end of that awesome story...

Jim's the organizer for Emerald City, and he mentioned that he's now sold out for his show. Totally rad! We just talked about our shows, it's always a great inspiration to chat with him. That being said, there's only a few people that we needed really talk to, and everything else was just casual. We don't have our 2009 dates yet...so I'm a little stuck in terms of working on 2009 guests.

- Kandrix

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Chillin' at the Airport

Our flight's been delayed by an hour, which actually works out pretty nice. It gives me a chance to grab some food and do some more work (over the internet) before getting on the place. I'm never really bothered by flight delays, it's just a good opportunity to do some creative thinking. I find that I'm much better working things out when I'm away from home because you're not stuck with the regular day to day of life.

The only thing that sucks with travel is hauling around stuff. I just recently picked up a new laptop. It's one of those monster 17" ones from Dell (who has now become my second wife)...I call her Della....This thing weighs about 20 pounds, without the power supply (which is also a monster). So if you see me walking around with an incredibly developed right side over the next few months, you can credit Della. I think she'll break the tiny little airplane tray...

- Kandrix

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Off to Wondercon

It's been a couple of busy nights, getting things ready. A bunch of advertising things had to get wrapped up, like Pattison and an ad for New Tribe Magazine. I got a couple of emails from our retailer friends saying they just got our postcards from Diamond Distribution. So that's cool!

We printed off 24,000+ postcards, out of which there's only a handful left. So I'm working on the second batch right now, we've got more guests lined up, and things are much further along now then when the initial set went to press.

I'm also heading off to WonderCon in San Francisco tomorrow. It'll be kinda different this time because the show is completely sold out, and we've got a waiting list already! That being said, I can't really invite anybody else to the show because there's no space to put them. What I can do is some pre-planning for 2009!

Last thing before I forget, here's the colored versions that Omar sent me...that' right, versions! He sent a color variant which was awesome!

- Kandrix

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Deadline Done!!!

So I was up until the wee morning hours working on the ad for Pattison. I got it done, slept for a handful of hours and dragged my tired butt outta bed for work. Work went surprisingly well. Sometimes you're so tired you just don't want to do anything but sleep. Then you start thinking about sleep, and how comfortable your bed feels, then the day drags on and on....fortunately this wasn't one of those days!

What I'm really thrilled about is that Pattison will also be donating an extra 47 x 68 poster for the show. We're going to get all of our guests to sign it, and it'll be the last auction item in our charity auction. That's right. Every single guest. That'll be more than 60 signatures on this poster. I got the inspiration/idea when was visiting Bobby "Boom" Beck over at Animation Mentor a while ago (2 years?).

Quick reference...Bobby used to work at Pixar, and worked on Toy Story II. He's got this poster that's got a whole bunch of signatures from the people that worked on the film. I thought it was such a cool thing.

Now this isn't exactly a super-original idea, there's lots of films/projects/sports teams that have signatures from everyone around. But it's really cool when it's your own thing!

I'll put up what the poster looks like later on!

- Kandrix

Monday, February 18, 2008

Pattison Deadline

You know what's really fun? Forgetting that you actually have a deadline...it's even more amusing when it's already pretty late and you've got to get up early in the morning for work. What's the deadline you ask? It's the first part of our transit ads for Pattison Outdoor.

This year we're really stepping up our promotional efforts. Our deal with Pattison will have a bunch of massive (47" x 64") posters in a bunch of Calgary & Edmonton's train platforms. It'll look really awesome. And they'll be on display for 8 full weeks before the Expo (I thought they were for 4 weeks, hence the forgetfulness!).

*sigh*....another late night....


Cammy Line Art by Omar Dogan

Here's the amazing lineart of the Cammy promotional piece that Omar did. It's absolutely wonderful. When we were chatting, I told him that I need the piece to be able to work in a horizontal postcard format, or a vertical poster format. I love strong foreshortening in comics, I really think it helps to make the art come alive.

The great thing about getting this was the anticipation for seeing what the colored version would look like...you'll see that in the next post!
- Kandrix

Sunday, February 17, 2008


I love seeing something evolve. Here's the first rough sketch that artist and good friend Omar Dogan did for this year's Expo. Omar's always a super-workhorse. When I called him up to do the promo piece, he told me that it'll be a couple days or a week before he could show me some roughs. Now he's out east in Toronto, so I called him early afternoon his time.

A few hours later, I get a call from Omar saying that he just emailed me the rough to check out. Needless to say, I was pretty darn happy!

I'll show you the lineart in the next post!

- Kandrix

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Long Weekend

Mad props to Jimage! He helped me out (again) setting things up, I don't know what I'd do without him! I had this blog setup a long time ago, as evidenced by the first (and only) entry at the time back in January. It was on one of those default blog templates, and I really didn't want to fuss with putting the look of this thing together...hence the help from Jim, a fellow convention organizer (Emerald City Comicon). I totally need to pay him like $8 or something....

So it's the Family long weekend here in Calgary/Alberta, which means lots of time dedicated to working on the Expo. There's been a few really cool developments for the show that I can't wait to tell the world! I've been picking up a bunch of flights for our guests, and trying to coordinate things so it's easier for us during they're stay.

The best thing right now is we're sold out of exhibit space at this year's show. My big focus right now is getting the majority of our marketing elements setup. I've got a great feeling about this year's show, and it's less than 2.5 months away!

I'm going to force myself to post something everyday from here until the show!

- Kandrix

Thursday, January 10, 2008

finally starting up?

Yeesh...i've had this blog parked for a while, I really need to start using it. It's really tough (as I'm sure everyone can admit to) getting enough time to do everything/anything. At some point it just becomes too much and stops you in your tracks.

I'll start putting this thing together soon!

- Kandrix