Things I Learned at the Big Lick Comic-Con

I had so much fun at the Big Lick Comic-Con this past Saturday!

On a side note, it was empowering to set off, on my own and spend the day around other creatives. In the past, I would only have done something like this if I had someone to go with. Now, there’s something wonderful in being able to wake up whenever I want on Saturday, hit the road at the exact time that I felt like going, and spend exactly the amount of time that I want to spend there.

I arrived around 12:30 and ran into my friend Jerale (a fellow creative) and his two adorable little minis. I’d explain the movie and book projects he has going on, but it’s too much for any one person to remember (except Jerale lol). Check out one of his projects on Amazon by clicking on his name!

After buying a ticket, I had to head to the ladies room. Two much coffee on a 45 minute drive will do that to you. But after that, I was ready!

img_0818The convention was a pretty good size. Not so big it was overwhelming, but not so small that you couldn’t walk freely. There were a lot of people there and a variety of vendors. You had comic books, of course, but there were also fiction authors, jewelry creators, artists, movie sellers, and actors from hit TV shows. There was so much to look at and discover.

It’s also a great place to people watch. Comic book conventions draw a wide assortment of people. It’s pretty cool to see so many people with different backgrounds gathered in one place to enjoy a mutual love.

Okay. On to my favs.

One of the first tables I stopped at was the table of author, Liz Long. Liz writes young liz long amazonadult and fantasy fiction. She’s also a best selling author, in case you didn’t know.

Liz is also the organizer/creator of the Roanoke Author Invasion! It’s an annual event that draws readers and authors of every genre, from around the region. I can’t imagine the amount of time, planning, and patience that goes into such a huge event, but every year, Liz pulls it off.

Next year’s event will be on April 6th!

I walked around a bit more, but I knew I wanted to catch the Comic Creator Q&A panel with Dennis O’Neil and Larry Hama.

img_0819My biggest takeaway from that panel was something Larry Hama said. I can’t remember the exact term he used, but it was about not creating up to your potential. He said that as an artist, he’d mastered the art of creating a relaxed face. He felt confident with that. But to create (as an example) a scowling face would have meant he’d have to learn something new. And there’s fear in learning something new. Well, it’s not the learning of it, but the presenting it to the world, that causes fear. The fear that maybe it won’t be good enough. That fear could lead someone to stagnate in their comfort zone, unwilling to grow, learn, and try something new. They’d never know what they were truly capable of because they were too afraid to try.

In the end, he chose to keep learning, because he didn’t want to sell himself short. He wanted to live up to his full potential. And that really rang true for me. This is something that  applies to everyone, regardless of what field they work in. I know that as a writer, I’ve been afraid of writing mainstream, non-genre books. I want to, but I’m intimidated. I worry that what I write won’t be good enough. I get genre fiction. I know how to write genre fiction. But mainstream scares me. But I know that I have to do it. To not do it would be to sell myself short.

Another great panel was, Meet Falk Hentschel. He’s starred on Arrow, DC’s Legends of img_0822Tomorrow, Knight and Day (with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz), and a lot of other things more. Check out his page on IMDb.

One of the things Falk talked about was the audition process for television. He auditioned for a lot of parts for the show, Arrow, and was turned down repeatedly. But he never gave up. And a cool thing is, the casting directors started to like him. They liked his personality, and I’m sure they liked his determination.

End of the story: he kept auditioning until he finally landed the part of Hawk. He never gave up, and in the end, he got what he wanted.

Being a success in any field isn’t easy. It requires a lot of hard work, sometimes a lot of rejection, and a lot of determination.

I hung out a while longer, staring at the cosplay peeps, looking at art, debating on jewelry. Sadly, there weren’t as many in cosplay as I thought there’d be, but the ones who showed up were great.

After the con, I decided to spend some time in downtown Roanoke. But that’s another post, for another day. Until then… Happy Reading!


Heather Elizabeth King is a novelist who lives in Virginia and writes paranormal mysteries. She's been a story teller since she can remember. Some of her favorite memories are of telling stories to her girlfriends at slumber parties when she was a pre-teen. Heather is a recipient of numerous book review awards, including: *The Gold Star Award from Just Erotic Romance Reviews *A Recommended Read from Fallen Angel Reviews *The Joyfully Recommended Award from Joyfully Reviewed *A CAPA Award nomination from The Romance Studio.

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