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on the road again...

Spending most of the day today getting ready for SPX, as Evan said I don't think too many people know we're going but that's okay, we're mainly going to touch base and hang out with Dan Vado who we haven't seen in ages.

BAAF was pretty interesting, I'd definitely go back. Tons of panels and guests, lots of events, and of course loads and loads of anime. A very tiny and disappointing exhibitor/dealer's room though (I bought one thing—a cute set of block figures from the new Final Fantasy game, X2 or whatever it's called). I didn't see much of anything though, thanks to our stupid workload. I did my panels (which I think went well, the audiences were attentive and interested) and that was pretty much it. Maybe if they invite me to do panels next year I can plan ahead to take the whole weekend off and actually attend some of the events and films. In any case, if you're in the area it's definitely worth attending.

The only really weird moment was when some audience members hijacked a panel I was on to grill the panelists about why companies frown on bootlegging. It was very odd, we (the general panel) made it very clear that yes, fansubbing brings fans in, and exposes people to new properties, and is a positive force; but that once the property is licensed here distributing your copies is a problem, clear and simple. And they just didn't care. I mean, I know perfectly well that if I go download someone's song without paying for it, I am bootlegging it and breaking the law. You don't have to agree with whether it should be illegal to know that it IS illegal. And the funny thing was, for all their statement-making, when I suggested that they look into the state of copyright laws and fair use in this country and get involved if they think the current situation is "wrong" I didn't see any notebooks coming out to write down the info I gave them, or even a glimmer of recognition on any faces. I guess they just wanted to complain to someone and chose us (although not a single person on the panel, by the way, had anything to do with production or distribution of anime). Best line of the whole conversation; when a kid said he should be allowed to bootleg Gundam because the company with the rights here didn't "put it out fast enough", panelist Sam Humphries said (and I may be paraphrasing) "Look, there is no human right to have Gundam". Which cracked me up, although it really seemed to piss the kid off.

In more personal news, things went well yesterday in our discussions about our Adult Swim project. But I will let Evan address that when he has a chance…things seem very positive and they seem into the project, so it just remains to be seen how the next step goes.

One last thing, sparked by this discussion of health coverage for freelancers that Dirk Deppey linked to today. First, my own comment, which is that it's—I'll say silly—to expect coverage for freelancers in the comics industry when they don't get it in any industry in this country for the most part. But if you are in the NYC area, there is coverage available to you if you freelance in the arts, entertainment, or technology industries (as well as a few other categories) through the Freelancer's Union (which is not actually a union). Look into it yourself, but it's excellent coverage (HMO, no deductibles, prescription included) for $286 a month. It's really simple to qualify for the group itself, which makes you eligible for all their programs (they also offer life & disability, but I don't use those so I don't know much about them). And if you're not in the NYC area, I would urge you to join the group anyway, to let them know what areas of the country they have support and interest in (they plan to eventually cover as much of the US as they can). $286 seems like a big number, but if you're freelancing enough to quit your day job, insurance is an expense you really need to work into your budget. Of course, I say that after having foregone insurance for most of a decade, but you can only play Russian Roulette with your health so long.

Anyway, this is getting very long-winded. Just a couple notes: Snow Drop, the Korean book I'm adapting, will start shipping in Jan 2004, DNAngel will start shipping in April 2004. Both books are bimonthly. DNAngel is apparently the story of a 14-year-old boy who's inherited some weird family ability to turn into an adult form and become a…great thief! Looks cute, I'm looking forward to starting on it.

Comments

I'm attending the expo for the first time ever. It's my first show like this of any kind, so let me just ask: This will be the big moment when thousands of people will swarm me and give me hundreds of thousands of dollars for my poorly-xeroxed scribblings, right? This is where it all pays off, RIGHT?????

I'm nervous and have no idea what to expect.


On another note: I don't have health insurance right now and it scares the heck out of me. If I get sick, I'm going to get into my car and crash it in the hopes that my car insurance will kick in. "Yeah, so it looks like you've got a cracked engine block and a bad kidney. . ."


Have fun this weekend!

Exactly! prepare to be trampled as people rush you and throw money at you ^_^.

I hear you on the insurance thing. One big sign that it was time to finally get coverage was that I was having constant nightmares about not having insurance. Not, like, a dream about having no coverage, but about having some horrible cancer or something....anyway, I sure sleep better now.

Gotta run, see you this weekend!!

Look, there is no human right to have Gundam

LOL! As a gal forced to watch a lot of bad anime I could not stop laughing at this comment! :)
That's not to say I don't like anime, my husband is just not a discerning viewer. If it's Japanese he'll watch it!
Can't wait to see some of your new stuff and I'm sending good vibes on the Adult Swim project.

Thanks for mentioning the health care thing, Sarah! I'm going to mention it on the inkers' list, if that's okay.


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