Home Behind The Curtain Behind The Curtain: ‘State Of The Union’ February 2014

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these ‘State Of The Union’ things so I think it’s a good idea to let you know what’s happening with the site and what we’ve got planned for the future.

Actually, I say ‘we’; it really is just ‘I’, little ol’ me, trying to put all this together on my own. It’s been a bit of time since the last post on the site – especially since there’s been a lot of news, both for SDCC and here at home – and that’s down to me, I’m afraid.

There’s been one or two things happen and said to me personally which has left me a bit shaken and, to be frank, retreating into a little bit of a shell. It’s not something I’m enjoying and it’s going to take a bit of work to get through, with a lot of help from some people a lot smarter than me, but I’ll do what I can to improve on things. Because how I am will, ultimately, reflect on how the site is. It really is that much of a labour of love at this point.

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So: starting this weekend coming (Friday 21st February), I’m back in the saddle, full bore, as it were. There’s plenty to keep me busy, what with MCM Expo Birmingham due very soon and lots of announcements for special guests and features taking place there. Thought Bubble is, once again, ramping itself up for another big event later in the year – taking its cue from other Cons and starting its promotion earlier and earlier – and, of course, there’s London Super Comic-Con which I’m really hoping I’ll be able to attend next month and London Film & Comic Con in June.

I’ll be doing a post on all the UK Cons due in the forthcoming months and throughout 2014 on Sunday 23rd, to give you an idea on how vibrant the pop culture and comic books event scene is in this country. I’m going to do what I can to attend these as press although, considering how new this site is, I still feel a bit cheeky busking on somebody else’s dime. Bare with me.

This doesn’t mean that I’m going to be abandoning the sites core remit of passing on as much information as possible about San Diego Comic-Con and, with Open Online Registration due ‘in the Spring’, I’m going to be ramping up my articles  and coverage to help any Brits wanting to make the journey (along with any non-UK visitors to the site – you’re welcome along for the ride!). To that end, I’m announcing a bunch of new features and articles that will kick off in the first week in March…

VIDEO FEATURES:

  • Every Friday – ‘SDCC Q&A with An Englishman In San Diego’

A weekly half-hour/hour Google+ Hangout in which viewers can interact and get direct feedback on issues and questions leading up to San Diego Comic-Con. As well as covering all the latest SDCC headlines, we’ll also be taking live questions from the audience – it should prove the best and direct way to get the most out of Comic-Con.

  • Every Sunday – ‘The Week That Was with An Englishman In San Diego’

A weekly wrap-up of pop culture, comic-book, film and TV news headlines, all relevant to a Con-goers interests. Not as slick and polished as, say, Nerdist News but completely live so I’ll be able to cover stuff suggested by the audience, on-air.

  • Coming Soon – ‘Bye, Bye, ‘Comic Book Guy’! Fitness & Health for San Diego Comic-Con’
I’ve always said that, to do Con, it is a marathon at sprint level for a week! And to do that, it’s always best to be in the best shape you can be. I can hardly say that I fit the ideal physical standard to endure SDCC at full tilt so I’m going to be doing something about that – and, with the help of an online fitness guru, we’re going to give you the best tips to prepare for San Diego in July.
This will be a weekly fitness show, showing my progress, which the audience can follow and participate in as well. Diet, exercise, basic tips to just make doing Con a little easier on the body… All with be covered over the sixteen weeks between March and July. I’m organising partners for this as we speak… Watch this space!

  • Coming Soon – more ‘Icons Of Con’

Our first interview with Geoff Boucher was a rousing success, if I do say so myself – if you haven’t checked it out, I’d highly recommend it, there’s some great stories in there. And I’m hoping to follow that up with more interview with those faces which make up Comic-Con, as fans and attendees. Next up, fingers crossed is an interview with Batman executive producer legend and long-time Con fan, Michael Uslan, as he prepares to celebrate the Dark Knight’s 75th Anniversary in 2014!

I have a whole shopping list of people I’d like to ‘bag’ before SDCC 2014 – hopefully with Boucher and Uslan starting us off, that’ll be a good jumping point to get the rest. Again, watch this space!

POST FEATURES:

  • Every Thursday, starting 27th February 2014 – ‘An Englishman’s Opinion’

There’s always been a spot on the site for this but, starting next week, it’s going to be a regular thing: an editorial piece, covering something that’s on my mind, relating to Con, pop culture or whatever. It’ll get me into a regular writing mode (I’m not a writer, I know my limits. But I gotta learn, right?) and I think it’ll be good for me. I’ve got a whole bunch of ideas for stuff I want to discuss and the first one is going to be on ‘The International in ‘Comic-Con International”… Hopefully it’ll be quite the conversation starter.

  • Every Monday – ‘San Diego Comic-Con: A How-To Guide’

Starting Monday, 3rd March, we’ll be posting a useful weekly article which, when built up, will make a definitive guide on getting to, attending and getting the most out of San Diego Comic-Con. From the layout of the beautiful city of San Diego, to schedule management, to protocol and etiquette, to communication, to actually preparing to get out there in the first place, it’s going to be the best place to start for beginners and veterans alike.  

  • Coming Soon – The Tally Ho

Simply put, a regular comics review feature. I’m going to get in contact with a couple of retailers and publishers to see if I can land some advance copies of books. I want to support the comics industry anyway I can and, if I can help point people in the right direction for new and exciting books, I will.

  • Finally: A promise…

I need to ramp up the output on this site if I want it to take off the way I think it has the potential to. So, here’s the deal: as of Monday 24th February, the site will have at least four unique posts per day, one of which will be comicbook and comics industry related.

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I can’t say that I’ll be able to do all this alone. I’m still looking for my first sponsors to financially help me keep this site operational and I’m going to be actively looking for companies and individuals who would like to join me on this journey. Likewise, I’m also looking for contributors who’d be willing to help out with some of the heavy lifting when it comes to writing. I’m after people to cover: Cosplay / Comics, Games and Pop Culture reviews / Breaking News / Editorial pieces.

You don’t have to be an established or experienced writer – I’ll handle editorial – only passionate and enthusiastic about the topics you want to cover. Please get in contact with me if you’d like to get involved.

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There’s so much that needs to be done with the site but there’s so much potential in here! I can’t help bunt get excited about what the future will bring. And I still want to get ‘The Road To San Diego’ up and running – the planning for that starts right now. No idea how I’m going to fund it, but…!

Stay loyal, good friends!

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